Cartouche's Blog

Writing My Way Out of Something


Someplace, somewhere else, USA
February 09
Mind My Own Business
Artist, former newspaper columnist and restaurant critic. Award-winning author of "In Pursuit of Excellence". In my spare minute I can be found blogging here, on Huffington Post and other places that don't pay and (more often) writing for some places that do. Occasionally I tweet random thoughts and observations as @nonconfromist. I keep the really good ones to myself.


OCTOBER 29, 2010 1:04PM

What, How I Read and Why

I spend much less time here than I used to. I write, edit, post and move on, usually when I’m in the middle of doing something else and need a break.  Like right now.

But where do I go and why? 

I do a lot of writing outside of… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2010 3:50PM

A Day Late and a Decade Short

Ten years ago at this time, I was living in Paris in a beautiful little apartment on rue Charles V.  It was a short walk to the Seine and minutes from the Bastille and the Marais. Several months prior, I had begun extricating myself from a relationship and life that had/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 25, 2010 7:18AM

The Old Man and the C-Section

What do you get when you breathe new life into classic (or crappy)  best sellers of decades past by mixing them up with modern day woes and general celebrity idiocy?  A list and a brief synopsis, that’s what.  Here’s a list of ten best sellers with slightly revised titles a… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2010 9:09PM

Love (and Haiti) in the Time of Cholera

How much bad luck can one tiny island nation handle?  According to the New York Times, as of today, there are reportedly in excess of 250 deaths in Haiti as the result of cholera, with 3,015 reported cases.  Five of them have been reported in Haiti’s earthquake ravaged capital, P/… Read full post »

If some of this text looks familiar, you’re not on drugs and smarter than  a fifth grader I thought!  Apparently, the idea of OS interviews has been resurrected in recent weeks and I’m too lazy to come up with something more clever for an intro.  I already did one withRead full post »

OCTOBER 18, 2010 3:14PM

Vignettes from My Childhood

There was the incident with the clown.  I was being pushed in a stroller at the grand opening of Severance Center mall in Cleveland on October 17, 1963.  I had my first (and last) encounter with the red-wigged, bulbous nosed, white-faced character that brought his face too close to mine. It/Read full post »

I have one of those peculiar habits (well, I actually have a lot of peculiar habits) of noticing things that most people do not.  For example, I can go to a meeting or dinner with a couple of people, come out, tear the thing apart like an old carcass, engage in the post-game,/Read full post »

This morning, a friend of mine forwarded a link to an art contest that is being sponsored by H&M in New York City.  The theme is (duh) New York City.  The winning contestant will create an enormous piece of art that will be based on their submission that will be displayed/Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2010 1:00PM

On Being Closely Watched and Followed

Why she wanted to befriend me escapes me.  Cathy and I met in junior high.  When we weren’t talking about movies, comedy, music or food, we had intense, introspective conversations and played therapist with each other, discussing our feelings and emotions.  We also shared Hungari/Read full post »

         When I was a teenager, my parents became friends with a couple named Lou and Jean.  Lou worked for the Jewish “phone company”, which loosely translated means “you don’t ask him what he does for or how he makes a living”. Read full post »

OCTOBER 2, 2010 7:18PM

Virtual Reality Hell

I can’t begin to imagine what Tyler Clementi’s parents are feeling right now. 

“It was a prank,” seems hardly like acceptable words that the parents of a beloved son want to hear as a reasonable explanation or form of apology.  It’s neither a strong nor logic… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 11:52PM

Picked, Not Chosen

It’s not often that you get a “do over” in romance.  It’s even less frequently you’d be inclined to.  Count me among the latter.

I do have this lingering tendency to realize (more often than I care to admit) that I have been the one who has repeatedly been &ld… Read full post »

When you live and examine (and sometimes write about) your life with the intensity I do, it’s easy to see moments of it neatly framed and frozen inside fading black and white photographs of yourself.  Especially as you look at them backwards, from across the room or at a distance.  Yo/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 10:19AM

Nosy People: A Survival Guide

How many times have you been asked something that instinctively makes you cringe, feel assaulted or shocked? The audacity of some people never ceases to amaze me.   Who dares to demand such answers of you and what right do they think they have to ask these questions that are absolutely none/Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 8:55AM

It's Just Like This

Is that a new outfit?” my father would ask.

It never occurred to him to say, “What a pretty dress or I like that skirt or pantsuit.”  My father could talk less about us as individuals than he could about the items we wore.  There was always a snide remark waiting/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 7:55PM

With Sunset, Comes Forgiveness

I've spent a good portion of the day today thinking about the concept of atonement and how it applies to many people and situations in my life.  In view of how things have played out and the events, exchanges and words leading up to this day, I have come to aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 5:16PM

When Your Mother Has Alzheimer's

You don’t know “who” you are going to meet when you wake up in the morning, walk into the kitchen or pick up the phone. 

You hope for a sunnier disposition than the day before but all indications point to increased overcast judgment and cumulous clouds filled with anger. Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 12:04AM

When a Friendship Becomes Taxing

It wasn’t always this way.  There was a time where we filed our hearts and minds jointly.  Almost every day.

In the beginning, we nearly became dependents of one another.  Sure, there were some short-term gains and losses, but we both understood that sometimes, a limited partner/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2010 10:34AM

Words We Live By

They stand before us.  Singularly, in pairs, in groups of paragraphs and in run-on sentences.  They gather, they mix, spew, hint, convey, implore, assemble, disconnect, sing, sting and stun. They leap from our fingers onto screens unable to separate the weight they carry from those who read/… Read full post »

There was a wonderful scene in the movie "My Cousin Vinny" where Marisa Tomei’s character learns that her fiancé Vinny is about to go hunting with the corrupt judge to earn some brownie points.   He asks her what pants he should wear to go hunting. Horrified by it all, Tomei’sRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 8:41AM

A Letter to an ImPastor


What are you thinking?  When Attorney General Eric Holder met with you yesterday and urged you to reconsider your plans to burn Qurans on September 11th  and went so far as to say this idea of yours is “idiotic and dangerous”, which part of this little meeting did you/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 9:16AM

It's About Time

It’s about damn time.

Your time is not your own.  May I have a moment of your time?

I’ve got some time on my hands.  I’ve set aside some time.  In fact, I’ve got nothing but time.


Time to make the donuts.


I won’t take… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010 10:36AM

My Day in Court as a Character Witness

Prior to yesterday, I’ve only had one experience dealing with court.  I was the defendant in a lawsuit that was filed against me (and the newspaper I wrote for as a restaurant critic) over a review I wrote.  To say it was not good, would be the understatement of the year. Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 9:39AM

Things I Never Told Him, Her or You

I have not eaten a bologna sandwich or touched bologna ever again since your mother served only that for lunch every single Wednesday for three consecutive years.

You are cheap. 

If they did an autopsy on you and had to find one, the place where one would normally locate aRead full post »

AUGUST 30, 2010 3:56PM

Nein Kampf

I am trying to view myself through my own eyes, except they are darting and unable to stay focused.  There are too many things to distract me.  So many things have happened, all at the same time, all in different places, seemingly, all at once.  My eyes spin like slot machines/… Read full post »