The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller
JUNE 20, 2014 4:46PM

The Circumcised Heart

“. . . if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled . . .”

Leviticus 26:41

For long years, there was no way in
to that four-chambered house
through which, we are told
(but don’t know) all emotions go.

It took something more than looks–
your wit, or carriage, or the things
y… Read full post »

The first week of summer is almost here and you can see people opening up to the season, like flowers. And then there’s my partner, the Old Curmudgeon, who makes do with his usual all-weather grumpy demeanor.

“Hey there, Bink,” I call to him as he approaches the elevator ban… Read full post »

JUNE 19, 2014 8:50PM

Jack Garner, Parsley Farmer

Jack Garner gazed out over the farm that had been in his family for three generations and gave out a sigh of exasperation. He looked down the rows of curly leaf parsley, often used as a garnish, and thought back to the lessons he had learned bouncing on his father’s lap… Read full post »

JUNE 19, 2014 8:49AM

My Notary Public Acceptance Speech

CLERK: You here for your notary?

ME: That’s right.

CLERK: Raise your right hand and repeat the three parts of the pledge on the plastic cahd there on the counter.

ME: I have a few words to say first, if I may.

CLERK: I don’t know, it’s lunchtime, we get a… Read full post »

Lately, a lot of people want to know my name. The “barista” at Starbucks. The guy behind the counter at Peet’s Coffee. “Can I have a name for that order?” he asks. I look around the place at 6:30 in the morning. I’m the only one there, but I give in… Read full post »

JUNE 18, 2014 8:07AM

Estate Planning for Cats

The Massachusetts legislature has passed a bill allowing residents to write pets into their wills and leave trust funds behind for their care.

The Boston Globe


“There–Kitzi is all provided for!”

Once a year when I take stock of my family’s financial… Read full post »

According to the US Census Bureau, most men who use online dating services are pathetic losers who exaggerate their personal net worth and physical attractiveness and couldn’t strike up a conversation with a woman in a social setting if they fell on top of one.


“This guy is such a
Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2014 11:07AM

The View From Jeremy's Butt

It’s 5 p.m., and I’m trying to decide whether to run for the 5:15 train or hang in until the 5:30 and squeeze in another three-tenths of a billable hour. I’m leaning towards the 220-yard dash to the station when my phone rings.

“Hullo,” I say and it would take… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2014 8:56PM

Freelance Your Way to Poverty

JUNE 16, 2014 9:57AM

At the James Joyce Piggly Wiggly

VERSAILLES, Mo. Lemoyne Green’s family has been in the grocery business in this town in south central Missouri, pronounced “ver-SALES,” going back four generations. “I guess you could say food is in our blood,” Lemoyne says with a barely-detectible trace of irony. &ldquo… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2014 8:20PM

Sonny Rollins at Paul's Mall

When he is announced he is heard (but unseen)
not from the stage but the back of the room;
he enters from the entrance, unaccompanied
for the first number, his notes tilting like
a gyroscope, whirring and yet in control.
Every now and then he plays with one hand free
in a sort of look-ma-no-hands daring.
So… Read full post »

High school graduation time is here, which means that over-achieving young women across America are preparing for the next phase of their lives–matriculation (which is not as painful as it sounds) at an expensive four-year liberal arts college. One of them happens to live in our town.


W
Read full post »

JUNE 13, 2014 12:50PM

Flavor of Law

I was sitting in my hot tub, flipping through the latest issue of The Source, The Bible of Hip-Hop Music, Fashion and Jurisprudence, when my personal assistant Fai’sha said there was a Supreme Court Justice on the line for me.

“Which one?” I asked. I ain’t gonna interr… Read full post »

The kids are into baseball now, a development that warms this old good field-no hit third baseman’s heart, so we were watching the Red Sox beat Cleveland last night after bath time.


Jon Lester

“Lester’s really mowing ‘em down,” said Scooter, the older of the two b… Read full post »

It took my dad eight years to pay off the note he signed
to buy the little store, grandiosely sub-titled
“Mid-Missouri’s Finest Specialty Shop.”
To celebrate, he took the family on a real vacation,
to the Bahamas; white beaches, conch shells,
calypso music and all that, three guys playin… Read full post »

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. This quaint town on the outermost point of Cape Cod has historically been known for its location on the extreme end of another measure; the liberality of its residents’ views on matters sexual. “The first settlers ran the Puritans out of town when they came up from… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 9:22PM

In the Basement With Tiny Grimes

He’d been everywhere but he ended up in
the basement of a hotel in Boston,
a forlorn jazz club on its last legs,
and so the man who’d played with
divinities—Art Tatum, Charlie Parker,
Billie Holiday–found himself on
a little stage with two sidemen playing
to a sparse crowd in a crowd… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 12:57PM

Kiss Me, You Fool!

She enters the room in a cloud of perfume,
Her bracelets jangling an irksome tune.
Her hair swirls round her rougéd face
A strand here and there is out of place.

She knows what she wants, what she wants is a man;
To achieve this end she’s conceived a plan.
Her plot is well-laid, her… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 8:36AM

Managing Your Cats

Business experts say sound personnel management is the key to surviving tough times. These are the same business experts whose current advice on “best practices” is “Your business sucks–if you switched to making kids wooden arrows you could get a government handout.”

%IMRead full post »

JUNE 10, 2014 1:57PM

Ask the Wedding Lady!

Your wedding–or at least your first wedding–should be the most glorious day of your life. Summer wedding season has arrived, and the Wedding Lady is here to help you master the many minute details that make for a perfect nuptial . . . or is it nuptials? . . . ceremony.… Read full post »

Linebacker Ray Lewis, who was accused of murder and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the deaths of two men, has given inspirational speeches to groups including a Florida youth swim club.

The Wall Street Journal

It’s the first day of soccer camp for my daughter’s team and as alw… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2014 9:02PM

Tal Farlow at Howard Johnson's

He ambles to the stage, self-effacing;
when he speaks it’s with a Southern drawl,
putting all the Yankees in
the room, in a Ho-Jo’s with a view of
Kenmore Square grandiosely re-born as
“The Starlight Lounge,” on notice of the contrast
between themselves, wired
for achievement, and hi… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2014 8:12AM

My Bossa Nova Years

It is no coincidence that the bossa nova craze coincided with the years in which I achieved my greatest romantic success–first through sixth grades. No music is better suited to inspire thoughts of love than that associated with the Portugese term translated roughly as “the new thing or t… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2014 12:48PM

A Thai Junta Party Girl's Diary

In an effort to make citizens happy about the latest coup, Thailand’s military junta is using young women in risque camouflage outfits who host street parties with free food and music.

The Wall Street Journal

Thai

Dear Diary–

Sometimes I think I have the most wonderful job in the world!… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2014 10:35AM

Hip Hop Lit: New and Noteworthy

Rapper Curtis Jackson, a/k/a “50 Cent,” will collaborate with a team of writers on a series of novels about life as a youth on the streets.

Variety

The Rapper in the Rye (Paperback)
by 50 Cent and J.D. Salinger
(63 customer reviews)

List price: $12.95
Price: $10.75
You Save: $2.20 (… Read full post »