The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

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

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.

NOVEMBER 5, 2014 9:06PM

How to Hypnotize Women

Readers of a certain age—or more precisely, male readers of comic books of the sixties—may recall an advertisement that appeared regularly alongside come-ons for sea monkeys, correspondence courses in ventriloquism, and X-Ray Specs. It depicted a cool-looking guy, his hair slicked back wi… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2014 8:51AM

Your Dance Advisor

If, like me, your terpsichorean training ended after one tap-dancing lesson (“Mom, please don’t make me go back!”), you may need to re-charge your dancing skills in order to realize your full potential.  Thankfully, Madama La Vache is available to help you take the “next… Read full post »

NEW ALBANY, Indiana.  The 9th Congressional District of this bellwether state is considered a “swing” election this year, and many political experts thought they would be able to detect the first signs of a Republican or a Democratic victory with early exit polls in sm… Read full post »

This week, as every Boston school boy knows, marks the beginning of a new season at the Boston Ballet, and the conclusion of the 50th anniversary of its founding! New dancers have joined the corps de ballet, there are new works by new choreographers to be performed. Of course I… Read full post »

WHARTON, Mass. In this upscale suburb of Boston, attendance at the First Presbyterian Church had fallen off dramatically over time as old members died and their children scattered after graduating from the local high school.

Empty pews at First Presbyterian Church

“It got so bad that if… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 2, 2014 11:42AM

A Wasp's Life

In some African traditions, the wasp is a symbol of control over our life circumstances. Symbolic messages the wasp sends us: Are all my affairs in order? Am I aligning myself with my goals? Am I procrastinating about something?

Animal Symbolism: Meaning of the Wasp,

Peop… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 1, 2014 8:36PM

The Young and the Actuarial

Another Saturday night, sitting alone, waiting for him to call. I know it’s only 1/52 of the Saturday nights in each fiscal year but still–why does he treat me this way?

“You’ve been ‘neglecting our friendship’? I’d kill you if only the maximum senteRead full post »

DOS FLEDAN, Freedonia. An American C-17 Globemaster cargo plane touched down on a bombed-out landing strip here today with the first shipment of leftover Halloween candy from the U.S., bringing sustenance to a nation that has had to get by with little more than hope lately.

“Our prayers… Read full post »

As I walk down the streets of my neighborhood and look at the Halloween displays that decorate the lawns and porches, I’m struck by how trite and predictable everything appears.  Tombstones angled crookedly out of the ground; cobwebs spread over shrubbery; skeletons, witches and ghosts.&nb… Read full post »

WELLESLEY FALLS, Massachusetts. Janet Disalvo is, by her own admission, an unreformed hippie.

The mother of three lets the grass in her front yard grow wild, creating a sharp contrast with the well-manicured lawns of the homes on either side of hers. “I don’t really fit in,”… Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2014 8:13AM

My Mute TV Intervention

This is, without a doubt, the best time of the year for me, and not just because of the cool, crisp autumn air and New England fall foliage.  The NFL season is in full swing.  The World Series ended last night, and the Royals, the team closest to my hometown, were in it. … Read full post »

BOSTON.  Ted Wyzinski is a familiar sight to those who work in the South Station area here, his grizzled visage a reminder that in the race of life there are both winners and losers.  “I went off the rails in the 70s,” he says as he accepts some spare change from… Read full post »

OCTOBER 29, 2014 8:21AM

Fred Nietzsche, C.P.A.

That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888


That which does not kill you only makes you stronger, PricewaterhouseCoopers ad


You think it’s easy being an accountant?  You think once tax season is over I ju… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2014 8:05AM

Your Work-Life Advisor

Balancing your life and your work can be difficult.  If you don’t work, you probably won’t eat, in which case you will die and won’t have any life!  On the other hand, you can work so much you won’t have a life even while you’re living.  Your Wor… Read full post »

OCTOBER 27, 2014 8:32PM

The Rhino's Got to Go

Director John Huston’s third wife gave him an ultimatum after his pet chimpanzee smashed her perfume bottles and defecated in her dresser drawers; he had to choose between her and the chimp. Huston chose the chimp.… Read full post »
OCTOBER 27, 2014 8:04AM

Jimi Hendrix at the Supreme Court

What about Jimi Hendrix?

    Question by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during oral argument in a copyright case. 

COURT CRIER:  Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonish… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2014 3:57PM

The Maple Leaf Club

Grandpa Ollie took me downtown,
me in short pants, him I seem to
recall in a short-sleeved white shirt
and long grey slacks in the summertime.
I hoped to get a toy out of it.

We walked all the way to Main Street,
then took a right. He wanted to see
something, and we stopped in… Read full post »

Do you wake up early just because you miss your favorite Peace Cereal product? Do you ever wish lunch or dinner was really a big bowl of Peace Cereal? Do you have a pet named after your favorite Peace Cereal?

We think this is normal behavior and understandRead full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2014 11:55AM

Day in Sun Shadows His Twilight Years

NEW YORK. Mel Sewanicki, Columbia class of ’47, still can’t buy a drink in this town even though it’s been sixty-seven years since he made “The Catch,” a diving grab of a fourth-quarter pass that enabled the Lions to defeat Army, 21-20, ending the Cadets’ 32-game u… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2014 9:13AM

Barbie Hits the Double Nickel

2014 is Barbie’s 55th anniversary.


I looked out the window of my Dream House and allowed myself a teensy-tiny moment of reflection.  How far I’d come in fifty-five years!  It seemed like only yesterday I was born, fully-developed, in a secret test lab deep within the… Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Bowing to pressure from the Obama administration, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced today that she will step down from the Supreme Court next year in order to pursue her interest in air guitar.

Ginsburg:  “I didn’t bring my air guitar withRead full post »

OCTOBER 23, 2014 7:50AM

Fake Your Way With Biz Cliches

If you want to get ahead in business, it is not enough to be intelligent, hard-working, and decisive.  The Great Plains of Commerce are littered with the corpses of men and women who possess these qualities, and who were nonetheless stung to death by a swarm of buzzwords.

“. . .
Read full post »

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. Charles Barkley’s revelation that he’s lost $10 million gambling over the years has led to an outpouring of support in his hometown, where locals point to the good he’s done for numerous charities.


“He’s one of our biggest supporters,&… Read full post »

EVANSVILLE, Ill.  Beth Dennis, a slim, 44 year-old mother of two, is dressed in surgical scrubs this morning, but she’s not a doctor or a nurse.  “Neil was there for me when I delivered the kids,” she says of her husband, “and I want to be with him all the way… Read full post »

WASHINGTON.  The World Series begins tonight in Kansas City, but today lawyers stepped to the plate facing a different team of nine; the members of the U.S. Supreme Court, who heard arguments on a legal issue that tears the nation apart every October:  Does the Constitution p… Read full post »