I’m often baffled by anyone who want to be friends with me–particularly about lefty agenda items that can’t be shaken out of my brain through a meme or “But Hillary did worse!” argument.
Maybe they are on an evangelical Karl Rove mission to let me see my folly–or perhaps they’re just fans of NASCAR crashes and fifth grade choir concerts. It’s like me saying, “You say you sell Amway? Let’s hear all about it!”
I think the Zuckerbergians in the bowels of Facebook should develop a litmus-test for friends, replacing the holistic score we give folks as we look over our friends “in common” before we let them in our virtual lives of cats, knee injuries and occasional political viewpoints.
No one likes unpleasant surprises, such as finding out your house-closing that your new neighbor can’t … Read More… →
I was too calm at work. Something had to be wrong. Then I realized that I had left my phone at home—on the kitchen counter–probably under the bread wrapper. It was the same unnerving peace I felt on a vacation last summer–when we left the dog with friends.
Smudge is a hybrid, a schnorkie-poo, who, in the thankful absence of rats, is obsessed with one thing—the perfect blend of dye, felt and rubber toxins that is the tennis ball. He is so completely focused on bringing you that ball for you to obediently throw it across the yard/basement/bathroom that he’ll forgo food, rest and common sense—crashing into fences, couches and unsuspecting two year-olds. If you don’t follow his escalating sequence of hints (sitting patiently, rolling the ball closer, grumbling, grumbling louder), he’ll finally … Read More… →
“The Joe,” the battleship-gray windowless box on the Detroit River, is slated for 2017 demolition, making way for high-rise condos, a hotel and shopping as part of a pay-back to creditors owed $1 billion. For a few months in-between wrecking-ball and ground-breaking, Detroiters will once again have an unobstructed view of the river at the corner of Fort and 3rd–as if looking back in time and seeing the Purple Gang hijack another bootlegger at the docks, before moving its haul up the street to the speakeasy beside the church.
And that same little brick building on the left will probably still be standing when the condos are torn down in 60 years–perhaps making way for the next home for the Wings.
When the 1974 picture above was taken, I was probably immersed in Channel 50’s after-school reruns of Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island or … Read More… →
Few third graders have been heard to proudly announce to their classmates…
“I hope to be fourth cellist in the New York Philharmonic.”
“I’d like to be a situational middle-inning relief pitcher for the Yankees.”
“I want to be an Indy pit crew member.”
“My dream is to be an editor.”
Not many editors get a standing ovation. Even at the Oscars, its award is sandwiched between Best Costume Design and the latest Revlon commercial. And you are more likely to be mistaken as that fourth cellist before someone says, “Aren’t you an editor–of documentaries?”
Twenty Feet from Stardom honors the teammate, the supporting role–in effect, the glue behind some of the greatest songs of the last fifty years. And … Read More… →
Another week, another social media snafu for an airline company. Two months after US Airways posted what will surely go down as the lewdest tweet from a business account of all time, it was Delta’s turn to take flight on the runway of incompetence.
In the opening minute of the game, Clint Dempsey stunned the world with the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history. Twitter lit up like a hippie at Bonnaroo, and brands were determined to inject themselves into the conversation. That’s when Delta stumbled into … Read More… →
Can Snapchat make baseball more relevant to Millennials?
Major League Baseball’s marketing team sure hopes so. The league, stuck in a rut of plummeting ratings and ever-increasing apathy among younger audiences, is counting on the trendy social application to stop the bleeding. Or at least slow it down.
The league announced in February that it would incorporate Snapchat into its social strategy, and so far it’s delivered on that promise. MLB and some of its teams have embraced the platform as a new way to engage fans and humanize its players.
While MLB isn’t new to the social space – the league has nearly 9 million combined fans on Facebook and Twitter – its use of Snapchat is somewhat … Read More… →
My married friends all make it seem so simple. Sitting over beers, they say “just sign up for eHarmony or Match and it will happen.” Just magically. Like that? Like dating in your 40’s in 2013 with the technology available to us is going to create a date as simple as downloading an app making reservations on Open Table. God, don’t I wish it was that easy.
For those of you who are blessed with being single in your “later” stages of life, whether it’s because a divorce, or not finding the right person yet, or some tragedy, I’ll sum it up for everyone else – IT SUCKS! It absolutely sucks. I sometimes think that the married crowd has this envy like the … Read More… →
This past weekend, I flew back to Philly to go to the latest of the three funerals I’ve had to attend over the past few months. My paternal grandmother was the first in the series, having passed last September; a good friend of mine “went home” just before Christmas, an event I wrote about in these pages already (My Fading Accent); and this time, it was the funeral of my Uncle Richie. Frankly, with no disrespect intended, I was not very close to him, although he was a steady presence of my life. I don’t write to cremate Richie or to praise him, … Read More… →
Comedian Nathan Fielder engineered a prank on Twitter recently. You may have heard of it already. He asked his followers to send this text message to a parent: “Got 40 grams for $40.00.” Then, they were to send this message to the parent right afterwards: “Sorry. Text not for you. LOL.” Fielder asked his followers to submit screen-prints of the parents’ responses. Some of the responses were hysterical, in all-caps. Some were surprisingly laid back. All were pretty funny. Here’s a site where you can read some responses: htttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/nathan-fielder-prank-drug-deal-tweet-parent-outrage_n_3157077.html
Times Square on New Year’s Eve has always seemed a bit too claustrophobic for me. How can anyone enjoy themselves in such a giant crowd? What’s the attraction? The image of 26,000 runners heading off together seemed similar–like pedestrian rush-hour. I can’t even shop at the mall at Christmas time.
One of the pivotal scenes in Gone with the Wind follows Rhett Butler’s ominous words, “In a town called Gettysburg.” The scene shifts to a giant crowd gathering at the Atlanta railroad station’s telegraph office to get the long casualty lists arriving from Pennsylvania.
It took two days of Supreme Court hearings to prove that people still oppose gay marriage and are willing to go to great lengths to prevent it. Two days. Granted, the two days were devoted to the constitutionality of two different laws: Proposition 8, a voter referendum in California declaring same sex marriages in that state invalid, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as a man/woman union. To state the two positions in brief, proponents of gay marriage feel they are being denied equal protection under the law, denied access to the rights of married partners for health benefits, inheritance, etc., and that they are being singled out as a result of their status under a “separate but equal” theory. Opponents of … Read More… →
One of the greatest gifts of teaching is spending the day with other teachers. But even in the department-store enormity of a high school, we all close our doors at the bell and, in essence, work alone. We meet in meetings that no one wants to attend, by the copy machine that no one wants to un-jam or by the mailboxes, that no one wants to look into–all of these situations aren’t the most positive climates for collegiality.
I was fortunate to begin working in the late 1980’s, when Michigan teacher-strikes were winding down and school funding was healthy. The … Read More… →
Tonight in Detroit you can once again blame your parents. The punchline for the Oompa Loompa’s many songs dealing with Charlie and his competing four brats for the keys to the fabled chocolate factor is “The mother and the father.”
I was only six years old when this classic film premiered and I remember nodding my head in the theater thinking, “Yeah, the little creepy orange guys are right. Those kids are spoiled rotten.” Perhaps it was some kind of smugness that I would later have a stuffy professor explain to me as the same joy that the Greeks … Read More… →
‘If y’all going to cut me let me go’ (Detroit Free Press, 1/25/13)
We’ve all wanted to have the last word. We’ve all bit our tongues, taken deep breaths and counted to ten. It’s one of the more taxing aspects of parenting–training your kid to self-edit. During one of my less-patient moments, I believe I said:
“No one really cares what you have to say at this moment.”
The Detrot Lions have a knack for looking over that giant draft board in April and landing the perfect candidate year after year. With every Calvin Johnson along comes his polar opposite–Titus … Read More… →