Wandering Early and Late

Here we go, again

No, that’s not me pictured at right, but it pretty much sums up my recent state of being.  A path beckoning. Family close at hand. The year withering.

I actually take great solace at this time of year. Despite the sinking temperatures and paucity of daylight, there’s something Continue reading


I Roam Around, Around, Around

wandering (noun): a going about from place to place

By now I should have this (mis)timing thing licked.  But I don’t, so I am allowing myself the quarterly luxury of sharing some longer pieces found on the web that have captured my attention.

Should any of you care to share your ideas on how to break my logjam, by all means, please post in the comments section. All I ask is that you stay away from programmatic Continue reading

Lunch All by Yourself

Brooking Dissent: The To-Do Over David Brooks’
Latest Column

Allow me to start with a confession: I don’t eat sushi and I am addicted to American cheese. I know, I know, American cheese isn’t even properly cheese. It’s cheese food, whatever that means.

Why does this matter? Because such small Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

mortarboardIt’s graduation season and so the chattering classes have taken their annual turn towards dissecting what’s right and wrong with the American educational system. This year, as it has for a while, the subject of choice has been the cost of a college education and whether it is worth it.

I have refrained from addressing the cost issues of college head on. Readers Continue reading

Send My Credentials

The Credential Society: A Historical Sociology of Education
Randall Collins

Credentials. It has such an authoritative ring, doesn’t it?  You can almost hear the man asking to see yours.

CollinsAnd why shouldn’t it? The root–cred–is from the Latin credere which means to believe. So you get all those great, strong words: creed, credulous, credulity, even street cred. It all boils down to the same thing: it’s safe for you to believe in the idea or the person at hand.

Randall Collins might  ask, is it really? More specifically, he might ask that Continue reading

He’s No Angel

Let Me Finish
Roger Angell

You’d think that the reminiscences of an octagenarian WASP would drive me to distraction. Well, in this particular case you’d be dead wrong.

Like anyone, I have my weaknesses. And among them my biggest weakness is for anything that’s terribly New York in a certain, mid-20th century sort of way. Get to Bonfire of the Vanities and the decline and rot are already apparent. The sweet spot for me is a roughly 30-year period between 1936 and 1966–Swing Time, or My Man Godfrey, to Barefoot in the Park.

There are untold reasons for this but mainly it’s because I was born toward the Continue reading

The Rich are Not Like You or Me

A Bloomberg post, in which Max Abelson provides a snapshot of the travails facing Wall Street pros whose bonuses are much lower this year, caught my eye yesterday.  It’s a pitiable sight as grown men and women (but they’re mostly men) lament the hard times on which they’ve fallen. It’s right out of Dickens, I tell you, that having to sell the unused motorcycle, giving up the lease on the Porsche and summering for only one month instead of four.

Since I typically don’t troll the Bloomberg site (I’m trying not to further enrich New York’s technocratic, quasi-authoritarian mayor) I’m certain I Continue reading

What Sonny and Cher Can Tell Us About Relative Inequality

Isn’t the Internet wondrous? I mean, finally, a tool to aid in communication by providing an almost friction-free forum for exchanging ideas and working towards the  truth. (Let’s leave the arguments about truth aside for today, please.) Nowadays magazines all seem to have blogs and posts all have nifty discussion or comment boxes at the bottom like the one shown at right. Continue reading

Julie, Julie, Julie

My Life in France
Julia Child

A book about or by a cook is not a cookbook, even if it includes the occasional recipe.

I think the logic of that statement is irrefutable. At least enough so that I once again sneaked past the cookbook waivers imposed by my wife.  I honestly would not have sought this particular volume out if it hadn’t fallen off the remainder rack at a deep discount because I’m sort of viscerally opposed to movie tie-in editions. As you can see, this printing gives you both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams with the added bonus of Nora Ephron‘s name. It’s enough to make me cringe.

True confession: I saw the  movie, chick flick that it is.  My ostensible reason was to see an old Continue reading

Running on Empty

Earlier this month I  engaged in battle with waist and ego. The occasion was the annual mosh pit known as the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. My firm fields a team at roughly two-year intervals and this was an on year.

Chase Corporate Challenge 2006 Start

Rather than let the opportunity for humiliation pass I gamely signed up and dragged myself to Central Park to run 3.5 miles. The last time I ran was in the 2009 Corporate Challenge so Continue reading