Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!

Let me address the question I posed yesterday ("What is the nicest thing you did or have done to you in 2021?"). My answer is I bought someone a car. And it wasn't a frivolous gesture; it was an important act.

Someone I like was struggling with an old, unreliable vehicle whose frequent repair bills were crippling her finances and jeopardizing her employment. Her job was literally on the line if she couldn't find dependable transportation; the car was a serious threat to that. 

The situation was the kind of critical moment in a person's life where a single bad event might start a cascade of more bad events. I wanted to stop movement in that direction and turn fate around. So I offered my friend money to buy a newer, more reliable automobile. She accepted and got such a vehicle. And kept her job with all the benefits of steady employment.

I haven't mentioned this before and am withholding identifying information; I raise it solely to cheer us up about 2021 during which good things happened with the bad.

Experience has taught me that generosity benefits the giver as much as the recipient. We gain from giving. Remembering this particular act warms my heart and makes me feel like I'm improving the world, if only in a small way.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Good News

This was a hard year for everyone. We thought it'd be a welcome off-ramp to 2020's awfulness but we were mistaken. The virus is worse than ever, politics are still stuck in division, and bad stuff happened. 

As we leave 2021 it might be nice to reflect on good things that happened this year. Small acts that occurred in ordinary people's lives, without fanfare or applause. So I pose this question -- what is the nicest thing you did or have done to you in 2021?

(My answer will be shared tomorrow after hearing yours.)

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Holiday Treats

What culinary treats did you enjoy this holiday season?

I had a dish of caviar (Salmon roe), topped by caperberries (which differ from capers), on a bed of sour cream over Carr's plain crackers. I like the flavors in this combination.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Holidays!

The jolly season has arrived. Merry Christmas, everyone! And Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Alex Haley

I attended Hamilton College during the late-Seventies. A decade earlier famous author Alex Haley taught there. Haley was in the middle of writing the influential "Roots," which was later turned into a blockbuster TV series, and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

A student who took Haley's class reminisces about him in a new article in The New York Times. I regret missing the opportunity to learn from him.

Saturday, December 18, 2021


I'm awarding myself a medal for accomplishing something today I fretted about for weeks -- personally transporting a fragile, four-foot tall glass artwork from a NYC gallery to my Long Island home. In the rain no less. I used a U-Haul cargo van, plenty of muscle and extremely careful attention.

Nothing focuses the mind more intensely than the prospect of a six-figure loss happening faster than you can say, "Oops." 🙂

("Fenice" [Phoenix] by famed glass-blower Lino Tagliapietra)

Friday, December 17, 2021

Bad Boys

Women fascinate me. Here's one explaining why she's attracted to Pete Davidson:

"For me, Davidson represents the kind of attainable, affable, dirtbag with a sensitive heart surrounded by years of unprocessed emotional trauma that have calcified into an unscalable wall. Some might call this affectation emotional immaturity or, rudely, a waste of time. For me, I see not quite a challenge but a kindred spirit. A man with baggage that isn’t so cumbersome that it can’t be unpacked, who will make me laugh but has also seen his share of darkness."

Hmm... What do you think?

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Mysterious Sphere

Have you ever seen a "poetic postbox"?

Hidden in one of our local parks is a metal sculpture designed by artist Alicia Framis. It's called "Cartas al Cielo." Cielo is Spanish for 'sky' or "heaven." 

The sphere serves "as a vessel of communication with those who have no earthbound address." Visitors are invited to slip letters into the sculpture through a thin slot on its side and commune with ethereal correspondents.

It seems appropriate, viewing such a mystical object, to use an obscure vintage film camera to take its picture (1957 Kodak Brownie Starmite II). Here are the results.

Friday, December 10, 2021

At Last!

If it seems odd that someone with two cars and three motorcycles lacks a garage, you're right. I've struggled 36 years at this house without permanent shelter for my vehicles.

No more. Garage is finally going up.

Friday, December 3, 2021