The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller
Professional ticket scalpers have moved in on the Boston Ballet’s annual Christmas performance of The Nutcracker.

The Boston Globe

“Is it a good seat? You can see right up their freakin’ tutus!”

Talk about a nutcracker–my nuts are cracking from the cold cause it&r… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2014 8:50PM

Your Holiday Biz Gift Advisor

The holiday season is a time to reward employees, vendors and customers with gifts that show you appreciate them, but the battlefields of commerce are littered with the corpses of those who made a “faux pas” by presenting the wrong present. How do you navigate the minefield of law, custo… Read full post »

It’s that time of year again.  The combustible mixture of free booze, poinsettia corsages and the slick, soulful sounds of Eddie Venturi and the Fastidians will cause people to get up and dance at holiday office parties who have no business doing so.

 Elaine Benes and the &ldqu
Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Frustrated by Congressional inaction, President Barack Obama today issued an executive order declaring Thursday a National Day of Leftovers after White House chefs reheated the Presidential Thanksgiving Dinner for the third time, including a dish prepared by his mother-in-law t… Read full post »

Tired of staring at lumps of starch in your refrigerator left over from Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t throw them away! Here are six great recipes that will turn Turkey Day rejects into December treats!

Stuffing Puppies: Roll stuffing into 3″ balls, sprinkle with flour and paprika. H… Read full post »

DECEMBER 1, 2014 8:32AM

Fake Your Way With Movie Cliches

Last night, I got a call that might puzzle many a parent of a male college student.  “Dad,” my younger son said with the sound of distress in his voice.  “I’ve got a clingy-girl problem.”


Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious”:&nRead full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2014 5:19PM

Dance of the Banana Republic Dictators

Venezuela has sponsored a ballet about Hugo Chavez, depicting the late dictator as a boy selling sweets known as “spiders” on the streets, giving up his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, and dancing against the background of riots in 1989, in which several hundred people d… Read full post »

Around Thanksgiving my thoughts turn towards those less fortunate than myself. This year, I’ve decided to extend a hand to Giacomo Leopardi, known to his few friends as “Jock.”

Giacomo Leopardi

For centuries, Leopardi has been known as the world’s grumpiest poet. When M… Read full post »

A balaclava is a ski mask. A Personal Journal article on Tuesday about winter workout gear incorrectly referred to baklava.

The Wall Street Journal

A “Mackintosh” is a form of waterproof raincoat, first sold in 1824, made out of rubberized fabric. A sidebar in Sunday’s pull… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 29, 2014 11:51AM

Great Places to Meet That Special Someone

Finding your soulmate is part luck and part hard work. Your perfect match will end up getting married to someone else unless you take steps to be in the right place at the right time.

But so many “hot” places to meet members of the opposite sex are crowded and… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 28, 2014 8:00AM

Call the Cultbusters!

Did your daughter just shave her head?  Has the little woman started getting mail from The Rosicrucians?  Call the Cultbusters now, before it’s too late!

Dear Cultbusters:

Our daughter Francine had a wonderful job as Fulton County Assistant Sealer of Weights and Measures when… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 27, 2014 11:27AM

Ask Mr. Postal Service Person

Everybody loves the daily walk down to the mailbox this time of the year, when it’s chock full of greeting cards and catalogs that cause Mr. Postal Service severe back pain and make him just a tad bit snippy.

The US Postal Service is here to serve you, the people who… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 26, 2014 12:59PM

Where Are the Karens of Yesteryear?

The Megans, the Caitlins, the Courtneys
come blissfully marching along.
I know if I wait then shortly
they’ll be followed by a Siobhan.

Where are the Nancys and Deborahs
I knew so long ago?
I seem to recall lots of Barbaras
and a Karen or three or mo’.

Somehow these… Read full post »

It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the only people you see coming into work in Boston are those who either have to be here–like me–or guys like my partner the Old Curmudgeon, whose wife can’t stand to have him around the house.

“Hey there, Bink,” I call to… Read full post »

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.  This town of 68,000 in the suburbs west of Boston is home to Shopper’s World, the nation’s oldest shopping center.  Once Thanksgiving dishes are done and locals have woken from tryptophan-induced slumbers, it becomes ground zero for “Black Friday,”… Read full post »

FREDONIA, New York.  Time seems to stand still in this village in western New York, and the calendar is stuck on 1933.  It was in that year that the Marx Brothers movie “Duck Soup” was released, bringing notoriety to the previously-obscure European nation of Freed… Read full post »

BEVERLY HILLS, California.  Along Rodeo Drive, the Mecca of luxury shopping west of the Mississippi, a transformation of sorts is taking place.  “We see people turning to materialism in a time of spiritual turmoil,” says Fendi store owner Mishawn Tribush.  “Shopping c… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2014 3:39PM

Rocky, St. Thomas and Me

Impressed by a Thomas Aquinas quote he came across in a newspaper editorial, Nelson Rockefeller asked a staff aid to arrange a meeting with the 13th century saint.

Review of “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller”
by Richard Norton Smith, The New York Times Book Review

&ldquRead full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2014 12:41PM

Luring the Recluse

A 17-year-old Hungarian girl lured chess champ Bobby Fischer out of seclusion with a letter that began “I would like to sell you the world’s best vacuum cleaner! Now that I have your interest, turn the page.”

Endgame, Frank Brady

Fischer: “That is one bitchin’ coo
Read full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2014 9:10AM

She's Too Sexy for My Shirt

One of my chores was to manage the product closet.  One day my crush came by to chat.  The next thing I knew he was kissing me.  The closet connected to a conference room, so I quickly shut the door.  Our clothes started hitting the floor.  He’d just peeled off my… Read full post »

NANTUCKET, Mass. This former whaling island is now the mailing address of some of America’s most spectactular vacation homes, a fact that rankles long-time residents but warms the heart of Chuck Brznarik, executive director of the National Association of Private Plane Owners (NAPPO), a trade gr… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 8:49AM

Animal Mythbusters!

Even though everyone reading this post is an animal, many people carry myths about animals around in their heads.  How’s your Animal IQ?  Take the Animal Mythbusters true-false test and find out!

Exhibit A


Chickens have shoulders.  True.  Contrary to popular be… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2014 9:07AM

Charlie Christian and Benny Goodman

There are so many stories of Benny Goodman’s absorption in himself and in his music that they could fill a chapter in a biography.  Rehearsing at his home on a cold winter day the singer Helen Ward complained that the house wasn’t warm enough.  “You’re right,”… Read full post »

NEW YORK. Safra Cohen is a lowly first-year associate at a corporate law firm with offices in mid-town Manhattan who has spent her first six months on the job as the junior member of a team working on a billion-dollar merger. Her office is furnished with a standard-issue desk and file… Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Transportation Security Agency, the arm of the federal government that protects the nation’s transportation systems, today issued its holiday survey of articles most likely to be seized during mandatory passenger searches, singling out snack-size bags of cookies and chips a… Read full post »