December 2007

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One in a million!

A theme is emerging of people being surprised by their own circumstances. Grandsons of vinters shocked to find themselves making wine, Rumer Willis trying her hand at acting (of all things!), generations of writers struggling against the family legacy and then finding themselves writing in spite of themselves. But nothing is worse than a couple […]

More Juno

John’s Juno review reminded me of a bar mitzvah we attended last summer. His parents spared no expense in throwing him a Greek Mythology-themed party (by his request, as it was his favorite topic). Boys in togas were running around, spreads of food abounded, and the place was elaborately decorated. Next to some foam doric […]


Bernie and I watched it last night, and I almost didn’t make it through the first ten minutes. It is wildly overwritten, Ellen Page delivering the smug one liners like every female comic on the Los Angeles alternative scene. It is also a pretty good movie. The plot has some nice twists, but there’s a […]

Tony: A Man of Property

Excerpts from a St. Helena Star article from 2004. This is Tony. Tony may not be able to control his hand or his checkbook, but it seems he has a good wife who is trying to keep that pesky addiction under control. But then, the problem becomes clear: land is just flying at them! Then […]

Simplify This

    (a+x)(b-x)(c+x)(d-x) … (z-x) “Simplify” means that the solution can be written using fewer characters than the problem itself uses.


I think I’m a reasonably clever guy. And yet the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest is in its 126th week and not a single caption has ever come to mind.

Perino wins what?

Undeniably sexy White House spokesperson Dana Perino won an odd little battle with the New York Times over a sub-heading to a story about the decision to destroy the CIA torture tapes. She got the paper to retract the claim that the “White House Role Was Wider Than It Said.” The body of the piece […]

Me! Of All People! Part Two

Almost exactly three years ago, we were leaving the Napa Valley, with its cheeses and wines and olive oil stores (any specialty store with a single type of item for sale upset John greatly). Found in a notebook from those days:May 2004An article from the St. Helena Star mentioned a vintner who said it was […]

another narrow admission

Another player who appears in the Mitchell report tries to get out ahead of the story. From Brian Roberts of the Orioles, in a statement to the Baltimore Sun: “In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to […]

mortgage meltdown

There’s been a lot of talk about helping out homeowners. Alan Greenspan was the latest to suggest some sort of bailout. What is it about homeowners that elicits such sentiment? Where were these concerned parties when the bankruptcy bill was pushed through? Is credit card debt inherently less noble than mortgage debt? Or if you […]