The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

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

The holidays are a stressful time of the year, straining both long-term relationships and brief flings that begin as drunken come-ons at office parties. How does one cope with competing and often conflicting demands of “significant others” that clash with family obligations, year-end busi… Read full post »

BOSTON. Niles Oberg hates Christmas music and doesn’t consider himself a religious man. “The only time I see the inside of a church is when a friend gets married,” he says. “And even then my flesh starts to creep when I think of all my one-night stands.”

&ldquoRead full post »

HOLLYWOOD.  Studio executives at Sony Pictures yesterday gave the green light to “Glorious Sun of Mankind Kim Jong-un Adventure,” an action-comedy-drama-romance-documentary starring Kim Jong-un, supreme leader of North Korea, and co-starring Kim Jong-un.

“What can I say?Read full post »

As a budding but unsuccessful writer of long standing, I turn to Writer’s Digest for the pro-tips that I hope will transform me from a perennially-rejected shlub to a guy who has to fight off literary chicks with a stick. It is there you’ll find helpful articles such as “5… Read full post »

WASHINGTON.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney took on a new adversary yesterday, calling on Pope Francis I to release documents to support his contention that the Spanish Inquisition produced valuable information through torture.

Cheney:  “I may be irritating–but I&rsquoRead full post »

XIANGGANG, China.  Emily Costbinder doesn’t look like a crusader with her Patagonia fleece pullover, khakis and sensible shoes, but the slight Bryn Mawr student is taking a grave personal risk as she pulls out her cellphone once inside the Xianggang Xingxing Special Products fact… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2014 8:35AM

I Was a Vampire for the Chicago Bears

The literature of nausea has come to professional football: the “I Was a Vampire for the Chicago Bears” school for one crowd, and “I Was a Rich Owner’s Plaything” for the other.

               &nbsRead full post »

Portable crappers, and phat gangsta rappers,
Overdressed lawyers, who think that they’re dapper,
Blonde second wives who are festooned with bling–
These are a few of my least favorite things.

New SUVs that my teenage son crashes,
Posh window treatments with jabots and sashes,
Pant legs… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2014 4:44PM

Ah Cahn't Talk Wiff Mah Mouf Full

The dental hygienist rides the train
Into town and then out again.
Her job, in part, is to inflict pain
On those who dental flossing feign.

(Her scrubs this day are the color teal
Perhaps the better to make folks feel
That everything’s ducky, there’s no need to squeal,
Their teeth will… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2014 1:08PM

Don't Touch My Notary!

Thousands lined the avenues of Paris to protest reforms designed to energize the French economy by opening up regulated professions with high barriers to entry.  “Don’t touch my notary!” read one banner.

 The Wall Street Journal

And so after many years I have returned… Read full post »

CHICAGO.  For Joe Klesjko, a trader at Wolf/Ram Associates, December is a hectic time of year, and not because of Christmas shopping.  “Our customers would trade 365 days a year if they could,” he says of a client base that hedges their exposure in world tungsten markets by buyi… Read full post »

BOSTON. This city’s adult entertainment district is a place where the sexual impulse in all its variety seeks and finds satisfaction, but even long-time denizens of the “Combat Zone” as it is known say they’re disgusted by a manifestation of the male libido they’ve seen… Read full post »

It’s Thursday night, time for my wife to make time for “Grey’s Anatomy,” since neither one of us can figure out how to tape the damn show. “I’ll take care of the kids,” I said, kissing her on the forehead the way I did to Pam McAfree after the Homecoming… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2014 1:21PM

Me and My Talking Raven

Where some of the Neighbourhood were quarrelling, a Raven from the Top of a Tree very articulately and unaccountably cry’d out, Read the Third of Colossians and the Fifteenth!”

The Wonders of the Invisible World: Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately Executed in New-EngRead full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2014 4:02PM

At the Repo Man's Christmas Ball

It was the depths of a recession,
And real estate prices had fallen.
Some contractors were overextended
And their creditors were callin’.

Me?  I was just doing my job
Arranging for repossessions
Of cranes and ‘dozers and backhoes and such
By gun-for-hire Hessians.

One… Read full post »

WESTLAND, Mass. In this exurban town fifteen miles west of Boston, starter homes begin at $1.3 million and there are few two-income households, leaving many stay-at-home moms with time and money to go overboard on holiday decorating. “It goes beyond creating a festive mood,” says Marci… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2014 11:04AM

Sorghum in the Course of Human History

Many historians have taken the Tolstoyan line, that the story of humanity isn’t the story of great people and shining deeds.  The real story, on this view, is about economic forces, technological advances, changes in the price of sorghum.

He Stands Alone, The Wall Street Journal

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BROOKLINE, Mass.  On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Emily Greenberg gathered with her family here for a traditional dinner that included dates, black-eyed beans, leeks and spinach, all foods that are mentioned in the Talmud.

But there were some new dishe… Read full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2014 11:55AM

Me and Barney the Purple Dinosaur

The weekend is my time to give back to my community and my favorite institution within it–our local public library. I remember when I was young how much I loved Story Hour on Saturday morning. Kids from all over town would assemble in the library basement to hear a story read… Read full post »

The Federal Reserve will run advertisements in movie theaters urging consumers to use credit cards wisely during the holiday shopping season.

Bloomberg News

Everybody makes a big deal outta Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it’s the next Saturday that’s more important to America&… Read full post »

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia. In this, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, expatriate Christians must practice their religion underground in order to avoid deportation. “I try to keep the flame alive,” says Michael Cox, a construction engineer from Lenexa, Kansas, as he listens to “Frosty the… Read full post »

ARLINGTON, Virginia. The month of December is a time of peace and goodwill for members of several world religions, but for Alan Macy, it’s a nightmare. “Everybody gangs up on me–Christians, Jews and Muslims,” he says, as he watches firemen put out a blaze on his front lawn. &l… Read full post »

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 »