The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah.  The Osmonds, the wholesome musical group known for its family-friendly fare, takes to the state fair circuit this week with a new repertoire that will come as a shock to long-time fans; an entire set devoted to the music of Jimi Hendrix, the acid-rock guitarist who ha… Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  It is, say public finance experts, a looming crisis whose significance has been overshadowed by the so-called “fiscal cliff” the nation fell off of in 2012, spraining its ankle; a trillion-dollar liability that would kick in if publishers, magazines and literar… Read full post »

AUGUST 11, 2014 2:50PM

Consuela, Your Love Chaperone

Dear Ones–

The waters of romance are treacherous seas.  Consuela is prepared, once again, to serve as your chaperone through the shoals and eddies of love’s tempestuous currents.  Here are the distress signals she received this month:

“Dippity Doo (click . . . clickRead full post »

HOXIE, Arkansas.  This town in Northeast Arkansas is drawing an unusual amount of attention as this fall’s mid-term elections approach with the announcement by the Department of the Census that it has become the mean center of the nation’s mullets, a hairstyl… Read full post »

VATICAN CITY. Pope Francis I today named Wladislaw Orzacg, a Polish brewer-bishop, as a candidate for canonization as the Patron Saint of Light Beer.

“We’re all out of the IPA–would you like something lighter?”

“The requisite number of miracles having been associ… Read full post »

CHATHAM, Mass.  This picturesque seaside community on Cape Cod is a vacation dream spot for many extended families, and for good reason.  “There are tons of playgrounds for the kids,” says Courtney Phelan, a mother of teen-aged twins.  “There’s fishing for my hu… Read full post »

A Friday in August and, like a lot of other paper-shufflers in Boston, I sneak out of the office for the 4:30 train from South Station. I’m just about to settle into my seat when I notice the Old Curmudgeon, who usually drives into work–the better to burn fossil fuels… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2014 8:45AM


AUGUST 8, 2014 8:17AM

An Interview With Slappy McGrath

“Slappy McGrath in the House of Death” has been selected for performance at the Gallery 263 Playfest September 6th and 7th at–oddly enough-Gallery 263 in Cambridge, Mass.  Community Theatre Monthly caught up with Slappy as he was winding down a summer stock production… Read full post »
AUGUST 7, 2014 8:00AM

The Salad Days of Open Salon

I remember what it was like, back when I first joined Open Salon. It must have been--I don't know--2009, 2010? It seems so long ago, my beginnings are lost in the fog of memory, just like that 20-foot Soling I ran aground in Boston Harbor, underneath the flight path… Read full post »

A humid Thursday morning in August.  I wade through the lighter-than-usual summer trash as I emerge from the Au Bon Pain at South Station bearing my large iced mocha latte–$4.46 with tax–and think about how different things were when I was a young legal beagle starting out… Read full post »

It was, I assured my wife the morning after, nothing serious.  I’d been awakened at three in the morning by acid reflux, a gagging sensation, night sweats, arrhythmic heartbeat, heartbreak of psoriasis and the grippe, but seriously–I felt fine.

Still, she was worried.&nb… Read full post »

AUGUST 5, 2014 9:19PM


. . . either you have it or you don’t,
no amount of MFAing will give it to you:
1. the ethereal fluid coursing through the veins of the gods;
2. a thin, acrid, watery discharge from a wound or an ulcer.

Take your pick.


Either way it brings on those ecstatic states,
verbal… Read full post »

SAN DORITO, California.  The men’s springboard diving events were barely over at the Games of the XXXth Olympiad when then-10-year-old Tyler Scher took his first steps up the three-meter tower at the municipal pool here.  “He needs all the practice he can get,&rdq… Read full post »

Bob [Dylan] is not authentic at all.  He’s a plagiarist and his name and voice are fake.

                                 &nbsRead full post »

AUGUST 4, 2014 2:05PM

The Penance of Jane Shore

There is a state between lady and whore
called “courtesan.” In the reign of Edward IV
there were three such,
of whom he said
they were merry, wily and holy,
one we know by the name Jane Shore.


Daughter of the merchant class,
a grocer’s daughter, a lovely lass,
she… Read full post »

AUGUST 3, 2014 10:13AM

Pigeons Have Copied Your Brain

In a summer of my misspent youth long past I worked as an intern in Washington, D.C. and would frequently walk past the White House on my lunch hour. There I would encounter, as you may today, protestors of various persuasions, all of whom blamed a predictable cast of characters–the… Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2014 1:48PM

My Piper Laurie

Of all the foolish expenditures of my misspent youth, the one that in retrospect seems the worst investment of all is–pool.

Not the kind with water and chlorine and big foam noodles that kids whack each other with–I mean pocket pool, billiards.

Paul Newman and Piper Laurie: &ldquoRead full post »

An article on Monday about the political significance of Senator Rand Paul’s spending the day at the Kentucky Derby with his guest, Rupert Murdoch, described incorrectly the jacket Mr. Paul wore. It was herringbone, not houndstooth.

The New York Times


An editorial decrying the decline o… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2014 8:24AM

Fine As Phineas--Newborn

The unappreciated genius is a stock figure in the literature of jazz, the art form that seems to require long-distance perspective–say, from Europe, or Japan–in order to receive the cultural approval it deserves.  Sometimes beauty, like a prophet, goes without honor in its own countr… Read full post »

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that a small group of cosmetics and fragrance workers at a Macy’s store in Saugus, Mass. can be organized separately from other employees.

The Wall Street Journal


It’s never been easy bein’ a labor organizer, but right now it’s n… Read full post »

There was, in the town where I grew up,
A house with a tombstone laid out front.
It was flat, not upright, and on it was sprawled
A forlorn girl, sculpted from stone.

We used to wonder as we passed
Whether underneath there lay a corpse.
We’d joke in nervous… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2014 8:00AM

Boring Our Children to Safety

They’re at it again,” my wife said with concern.

I looked up and saw flames rising from a pile of dead branches off in the  distance. Another night, another bonfire in the woods beyond the stone wall that  separates our property from conservation land.

“They’… Read full post »

JULY 30, 2014 7:06PM

Norm Bladdon, Private G.I.

I screwed the top back on the bottle of J.T.S. Brown bourbon I kept in my desk drawer at Mass. Gastrointestinal Hospital, or “Mass Gas” as it is more commonly known, and stared out the window at the thin sliver of the Charles River I could see from my decidedly unprestigious… Read full post »

The kids are getting older–they’re in high school now–and with summer jobs and college campus visits, every year it’s harder to squeeze in the special family time of aggravation and bickering we used to experience during summer vacations.

“We need to get away a… Read full post »