Did he really say that?

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = GEORGE CARLIN...Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS...Nothing is more fluid than language = R.L.SWIHART

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Frankie Lymon And Michael Jackson

Who is the youngest person
in each of these photos?

The answer is in the title.

is distinguished by
his position in
this 1956 photograph
of  five identically
and nattily-dressed

I am not a Hyperlink delinquent

I will not list
the singing groups
influenced by Frankie
because such a task
could never be completed

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers most famously
answered the question...
Why Do Fools Fall In Love

It would be delinquent of me to not link to that song.

But it is the first hyperlink that segues into the second photograph
for reasons that are as simple as A-B-C

This is a 1969 photograph
of five identically and
soulfully-dressed brothers.

Unless you live under a rock,
you would know that
the brothers are
The Jackson Five.

Unless that rock
suffocated your brain,
you would know which
brother became the
most famous.

is distinguished in this photo
by the derby that is bigger
than his face.

I would not be the first person to say that Michael
worshiped James Brown, the Godfather of Soul.

But I may be the first person to say that Michael
also worshipped Frankie Lymon, the Godfather of Doo-Wop.

After binge-listening to the first and last hyperlinks
on this page, I witnessed a little something called
the Evolution of Music and loved
every second of it.


was revised on February 22, 2018
after two commentistas felt obligated
to correct my spelling.  


This is Not an Eyeball

November, 2011
If my IQ was based on understanding anatomical vocabulary, it would have only one digit but I presently need only one doctor and her name is...
Ginny Goombatz.

"Doctor Ginny, I have pain."
"Kindly be more specific, Paul."
I point to my lower back, the left side
"Lie down, please."
"Either the ceiling or the floor, whichever works for you."
I chose the floor. She leaves the room for two minutes, returning with a smaller version of what you see above.
"What's that?"
"A medicine ball. Please place it on the exact point of pain, assuming there is only one."
"One is all there is."
"Start rolling but do it slowly."
The vinyl-covered medicine ball is about 90% filled with a fine sand-like substance. There is resistance to the rolling process.
"This is not easy."
"Pain is much easier, if you prefer that sort of thing."
"Lo siento, Dr. Ginny."
"Am I rolling slow enough?"
"NO! And lift your right leg to add pressure."
"Because the pain is on the left side, you want the diagonal effect..."
"Please spare me the math talk, Paul."
"Yes, Doctor."
"Can I stop now?"
Suffice it to say that all I could think about for five minutes was the satisfaction
of attending Ginny Goombatz's funeral, ASAP.

"You can stop now."
Something felt very strange as I followed her out of the room to the next torture chamber. Two things had disappeared and one of them was my lower back pain. The other was my death wish. It was replaced by a clone wish. Not more of me–God forbid–but I wished for a multiple human cloning of my doctor. The world would be a better place if there were fifty exact versions of Ginny Goombatz.

1999 + 2010
Three days after my fiftieth birthday, I tore an achilles tendon playing one-on-one basketball at the Burbank Y.
A Kaiser orthopedic surgeon opted not to perform surgery on the damaged left foot. Instead, he performed a miracle. Three hard casts and one soft cast later, pain bit the dust. I spent countless hours doing laps in the Burbank Y pool. Eleven years later, I was ready for a competitive sport.
Tennis was anathema because of all the lateral movement. Golf seemed a natural solution but it required remembering which end of the club to hold.
I played all sports as a kid on Long Island but the only one in which I excelled was handball, twentieth century-style. That is, all you needed was a bare-hand, a single flat concrete wall, and a "Pensy-Pinky." I was a barefoot terror on the handball courts in the shadow of the Whitestone Bridge.
I hoped to inflict the same terror on a racquetball court. In my home-spun bravado-flavored vocabulary, I regarded the game as "handball with a fly swatter, locked inside a box with one solid glass wall." But the fly was actually a Pensy-Pinky with a designer label.
As mentioned in a previous post, I became a two-time D-league Racquetball Champion but that is equivalent to winning the Special Olympics and not qualifying for a handicapped parking sticker.

January, 2012
Not only is there no backpain but this sixty-two year-old body is entirely pain-free. I am surprising a lot of racquetball players at my gym: I am no longer the best source for comic relief on the courts.
A-league is for experts; B-league is expert seventy percent of the time. I am a C-leaguer and, out of thirty players on our roster, I made it to the Final Four in the play-offs. There were a lot of stunned people in the gallery when I split the first two games against the top seed, who is half my age. Unlike his opponent, his body exuded athleticism.
I score the first point of the decisive third game. That was the good news. The bad news was that I did not score another point as a result of inexplicable & countless unforced errors. There was no physical pain but my body was smothered with embarrassment. I exited the court after the traditional handshake but eye contact and dialog with the victor–and anyone else–was an impossibility.

The morning after after the Final Four defeat, I awoke with my left foot on fire. Technically, I had "aggravated an injured tendon," despite a thirteen-year dormancy of the injury. After extensive heat-padding and ice-packing, I limped my way to the Big Five Sporting Goods store on the Long Beach promenade and bought the five-pound medicine ball pictured above. Dr. Ginny Goombatz, who has a graduate degree in kinesiology and prefers to be known as a personal trainer, had used a three-pound medicine ball.
I watched the medicine ball DVD and there were lots of great things to be done with it but "Cathe"–her name is readable upon enlarging the photo–never demonstrated it as a rolling device!

All I had to do was exactly what I learned from Ginny Goombatz but starting with a different "pain point." I did it hourly til sundown. It was the most boring exercise of my entire life but by nightfall, the limp disappeared and has not been seen since. But the same cannot be said about my new and improved racquetball game.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Father Frank Revisited

This is a re-posted photograph

But I want you to look at
the men in the background.

Do they appear a tad impatient?

A line of 500 future monsignors
was moving  systematically
and quickly.


But it reached a snag when a bearded Priest stepped up to the plate 
was face-to-face with Pope John Paul II.

The Beard and the Pontiff were laughing and smirking and acting as if
they were life-long buddies. They became oblivious to
a most structured ceremony that affected
the entire globe, more or less.

Well, the truth is that not only did the Beard and the Pontiff
have God on speed dial but God had both the Pontiff
and the Beard on his speed dial:
#2 and #5, respectively.

#1 on the Supreme speed dial is, of course, Godette. #3 is Meryl Streep
and #4 is Willie Mays.** It is rumored that #6 is Hitler
because even God likes to make prank phone calls.

"Nonsense" said God, "My favorite janitor is #666."

Jesus Christ, like his two brothers, Buddha & Allah, were not on the Big Boss Daddy's
speed dial because his three sons were his three Almighty alter egos.

Any thought that entered God's head was immediately flashed
into the brain of "Jessie, Buddy, & Al."

Another rumor in divine circulation was that a fourth sibling
was alive and well on terra firma.
Her name is Oprah.


We now have a five-year-old boy
with a gun standing on the porch
of a Harlem brownstone
off Madison Avenue

His favorite sister used to
go courting in Mount Morris Park,
directly across the street from
where she took this picture
of Frankie Oliverio.

As luck would have it, she grew up
to become my Godmother!

Half a dozen years after this Godfather's future Godmother
photographed her youngest brother, my Uncle had a job
as a tollbooth collector on Fire Island.

To prepare for this job, he spent two hours a day with
a pack of index cards and a box of pencils.

He always manned the south-side booth. That is, beach-bound cars approaching
the South Shore of Long Island at the end of the William Floyd Parkway
had to give him toll money to get there.

However, each motorist was given a "Rewards Card,"
entitling the driver to a free return trip on the other side of the bridge,
despite the presence of additional tollbooths there.

This should have made for happy campers but the "Rewards Card"
was the bogus creation of a kid from Harlem.

I will let your imagination conjure up the chaos and traffic that ensued
on the north-bound side of the Fire Island Bridge.

"God has his pranks and I have mine!" Father Frank said to me, some years hence.
"Before I had love of God, I had love of gag."

I will let your imagination conjure up the chaos and traffic that ensued at the Vatican
when a long line of future monsignors waited out the tete-a-tete between #2 and #5
on the Supreme speed dial.

Please note:
Frankie Oliverio was fired for causing massive traffic jams
on the Fire Island Bridge BUT  the man who fired him
also helped my uncle get his next job
with the United States Post Office.



"Father Frank, do you have
 a most favorite memory
 of Sam & Grace?"

"Nephew, are you serious?
 Asking  me to single out
 one memory of my most
 important brother and
 my most beautiful
 sister-in law is like
 asking you to name
 your favorite
 Beatles' song."

"Or my favorite chapter of
  Alice in Wonderland."


The Great Trimalchio

Christmas is only one hundred and forty-eight days away but get your tickets now for the n-teenth film version of the Great Gatsby. However, it is the first to star Leonardo DiCaprio, who is/was also under contract to portray none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald himself in "The Beautiful & The Damned."
If Leonardo can re-do Robert Redford, then why not re-do Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront?
However, the most succulent & succinctly quotable Brando line from that classic film, I coulda been a contendah might be subject to a Fitzgerald twist of logic and get re-phrased as
I coulda been a Trimalchio

On November 7, 1924, this letter was written to Maxwell Perkins, FSF's publisher. It is taken from A LIFE IN LETTERS F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby was published on April 10, 1925 and that naturally begs the question
Who da hell is Trimalchio?

This book, written by Petronius in the first century of the first millennium, is a tour guide through the deliciously decadent days of the Roman Empire. The longest bacchanalia chapter is entitled TRIMALCHIO. A former slave, he is–at the time of this story–a man of immeasurable wealth. To call the parties that he hosts "extravagant" makes me guilty of understatement. He now owned ten slaves per square yard but some were allowed to dine along with the guests. The only requirement for this privilege was knowing which of the seventeen pieces of silverware corresponded to which of the seventeen courses of the meal. No easy task since each course may or may not be interrupted by a circus act.

Trimalchio's palatial estate makes Cleopatra's palace look like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. This doyen of decadence is featured in Fellini's Satyricon.

Trimalchio inspired Fitzgerald but inspiration is not a crime, especially when blessed by the Divine Intervention of Zelda. With a little bit of help from their friends–in particular, Ring Lardner–she convinced her husband to entitle his perfect novel THE GREAT GATSBY.
Were Scott to have used the title "Trimalchio" there would have been one and only one film version–albeit an epic–starring none less than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Good Golly Miss Molly

This is a copy of the very first record I ever owned, along with Sweet Little Sixteen and I Walked the Line. They were gifts from my father. Forty-five years later, I met Sheridan "Rip" Spencer who had been singing doowop music for that many years.

Therefore, the good folks at the well-blogged PLAN 9 MUSIC concept will gladly link the original release of "Good Golly Miss Molly" to a live performance (featuring Muhammed Ali) of the original recording.
The most important name involved in both recordings is Bumps Blackwell.
You will notice that there is a lot of red tape ink in the previous paragraph. However, I can easily explain the typo: I got frusterated!

I searched and I searched but I could not find–in neither Google-land nor the youTubeSphere–a doowop song called RED TAPE. It is my favorite Rip Spencer song and he recorded it with the Chevelles.

It is at times like this when iTunes might as well be called nonTunes because it linked me to fifty versions of a thrash-trash song where someone repeatedly screams "RED TAPE!" and the instruments all sound like Black&Decker power tools.

But that should not stop you from appreciating the Good Gollies of Miss Molly.

With Apologies to JC

Lyrics = Oliverio/Peterssen.
Music = Peterssen/Rip Spencer.

The original title of this song was STUNT MAN and before Rip Spencer's involvement, a rock&roll version was recorded at Ray Peterssen's "Raining Notes" studio in San Diego.
It featured me as Tom Waits-like vocalist with Ray providing Carlos Santana-like guitar licks. Copies of that recording are available upon request.
The original idea for this very controversial song was mine and the inspiration came from a Tracey Ullman character, a very masculine stunt man (Rayleen Gibson).

But it was Sheridan "Rip" Spencer who came up with a brilliant idea: convert it to hip-hop to be performed in four voices. Let it be performed by Jefferson High School students. Rip had access to a world-class Los Angeles recording studio but somebody would have had to finance it. Rip had spent fifty years in recording studios and his doo-wop version of "Good Golly, Miss Molly" was released just before the seminal recording by Little Richard.

The Lewis Carroll School Endowment reluctantly agreed to the funding of a composition that redefined the most important moment in the history of Christianity. We changed the title of the song, which is why this post is "With Apologies to JC."
Because the Endowment also included a $20,000 donation to Jefferson, school administrators eagerly approved the project. The hip-hop quartet was to be called "Chollette & Her Chollos." Rip and Ray jointly came up with that name.
Unfortunately, half of the donation "disappeared" and what you see below is all that exists of the song formerly entitled "Stunt Man." Both Peterssen and Spencer are deceased and I retired from Jefferson. There is, however, a band called Sharpie & the Profile...

Italic notations = Rip Spencer

Male Tenor Chollo
I know Jesus
And I know him good.
He answers the door
When I knock on wood.

Second Male Tenor
The other day
Jesus said to me

(No Pause) Male Baritone
Things are not
What they seem to be!

Sexy Female Soprano
It was a stunt man.


Baritone Chollo
It wasn’t me!

It wasn’t me
Up on the cross.
I was backstage
With my boss.
Told me to keep away
From that crucifix.

(No Pause) Everyone

It was a stunt man–

Sexy whisper
A body double.

Is not always what you see!

I went to the temple where I once got mad.
I was shooting craps and feeling pretty glad.
We saw the video
from up on the hill
But it wasn’t me
Who gave you that thrill.

(No pause) Tenors
In the story of the Loaves & Fishes
Somebody had to wash the dishes.
Nobody ever got the credit.


Sexy Soprano
It was a stunt man–
A body double

Is not always what you see!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Disturbing Church Photo

This photograph was lifted from artdaily.org (4/14/11) and the text says much more than I can.

Abstracted Church Photo

Two men with frequent blog-page miles come to mind:

In one of our countless cross-country phone conversations, Father Frank told me that St. Finbar was from Ireland.
This church, named for him, is on Olive Avenue in Burbank.

It is one-half mile from Otto Jensen's studio and home. Otto was responsible for the final look of this photograph. Originally, it had visibly loud pixilations up the wazoo and I pretentiously called it "Pointillism." But a master had spoken.

...But I Loved the Hazeburg Churches

There are fifty-seven varieties of churches in Hazeburg, Virginia. These three photos are from one of them:

Be-winged in holy prayer

Be seated right here

Above you
Silence is there

Michael Phelps Does Hazeburg

Rosetta Stone is the world's largest on-line language learning company.
Their corporate headquarters are in Arlington, Virinia.
But their non-corporate hindquarters are in Hazeburg.

Theirs are the best-known hindquarters in Hazeburg not belonging to chicken or turkey.

Every day, over one million
poultry are "processed"
in Hazeburg, Virginia–
but some call it

Recently, company spokesperson MICHAEL PHELPS visited
Rosetta Stone hindquarters
and feasted on arroz con pollo Hazeburger with Onion.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Canine Godfather

This Mathy G-O-Dfather must salute comic-strip artist Harry BLISS for adding two legs to the dashed syllable and sending it through the Licking Looking Glass.


This is not an acronym for DeoxyriboNucleic Acid.
According to the good folks at Plan 9 Music, this acronym stands for Daughter of Nina, Amplified. The Nina, of course, is the blogfully documented Nina Simone. The "daughter" is...Joan Armatrading.

That Ms. Armatrading is an eclectic musician is a foregone conclusion. Not the biological daughter of the uber-influential Nina Simone but Joan is one of the athletically-voiced singers who qualify as Nina's torch-bearers. Ms. Armatrading qualifies as an Olympian torch-bearer. Regardless of your gender or economic status, you can think of Joan Armatrading as The rich man's Tracy Chapman. The "daughter's" red ink will link you to a song with the same title as this post, sans direct reference to the "mother." All you need to do is open your third ear.

A journalist I dated in Rocky Point introduced me to Joan's music in 1978. At times, I preferred listening to Joan's albums rather than conversing with the girlfriend. At times, Michele Block preferred listening to Joan rather than conversing with the boyfriend. But not always.

For more information (and music) about British-born Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE, click here.

If my memory serves me well, Michele Block & I did have a favorite Armatrading song: Down to Zero.

Preparing For The Olympics

David Cerny did
Sweat and toil
With plastic arms
And leaky oils
But to the artist
Go the spoils

And to the reader who visits here, I present some Londoners' music. Can you guess Who you are about to here. Then the answer is YES!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Peterssen/Oliverio Song

When I'm broke
You pay the bill
When I'm sick
You got the pill

When I cry
You dry my tears
You're the strength
For all my fears

When I'm hot
You cool me down
When I'm sad
You are my clown

Our two hearts
Fit like a glove
Some call it magic
I call it love

When I thirst
You fill my cup
When I'm down
You pick me up

When I hurt
You ease the pain
You're the potion
That keeps me sane

When I hunger
You're my dish
When I dream
You are my wish

Our two hearts
Fit like a glove
Some call it magic
I call it love

©A Deco/Chalmers Production (2003)

If Chalmers had the decency to not die in Feruary, 2012
there would be a hyperlink to hear this song
but the night we spent on the Queen Mary,
is utterly impossible to forget.

Especially when so many people aboard 
the dry-docked ship asked 
if we were the house band.

It is also impossible for me to go two hours
without thinking about Raymond Peterssen,
a/k/a Chalmers. 
if we 

A McCarthy Song

You sure ask a lot of questions
Like a miniature Alex Trebec
Maybe they're answers in question form
Sometimes they're a pain in the neck
But even if you try my patience
I try not to show it
Cause Daddy loves his little man
And you should always know it

Little Man
You and me, me and you
Little Man
We've got some growing up to do

What if I knew everything?
I mean, suppose I actually did?
I'd be putting on airs apparently
I'd have the world's smartest kid
We'd be cooler than Eskimos
You and me and our giant brains
But you got a daddy that barely knows
To come inside when it rains


I could explain history
But my facts would be fictitious
Tell you about religion
But I'm way too superstitious
I could wax philosophical
But getting waxed makes me so repititious
I could explain your mother...
But we don't want to make her suspicious, Little Man

I sure do a lot of wondering
About what kind of father I'll be
If when you see me blundering
You won't want to bother with me
So let's stay right here Little Man
You keep asking "Why?"
I might make one or two things up
But I won't ever lie


Written by Jack McCarthy
© 1994 Curling Smoke Music/No Never Mind Music (BMI)


Hello, everybody. I am sure glad we are gathered in this room. Here is what I want to do: We are all going to countdown from Twenty:

20...19...18...17...When we get to Zero, I want everyone to be...Spontaneous!

And here is what I need to say–even though I have said it before–

Complete Undivided Attention died the day Texting was born.

How do you define texting?
Texting is fingerpainting taught by a woodpecker. Instead of children creating art, they create modern forms of bad spelling.

Hey Grampa, what time do you have to take your nap?
Sorry, young man. That is very privileged information.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Aint Easy, RAYMOND

THE QUEEN MARY has taken up permanent residence in Long Beach, 90802.

I live in the same zip code but that wasn't true when ship-guests, Raymond Peterssen and Paul Oliverio were photographed with the pointed finger being mine.

The woman I was with took the picture. Raymond's wife was alongside her. Lori Peterssen was in a wheel chair. She could not walk then nor now. Muscular Dystrophy can do that to a person.

It was very late 2001 when the Peterssens, LC & me spent a weekend aboard the Queen Mary.

I have lived in Long Beach sine 2006.

Numerous passersby thought Ray and I were the house band for the Queen Mary. Ha!

The fifty-one year old guitarist had been playing that instrument for forty-five years.

As opposed to the give-me-anonymity dulcimer player.

I felt as if I had been playing that instrument for no longer than forty-five minutes.
Though–truth be seen–Ray is really digging the dulcet tones I produced.

And truth be known: the kazoo may be the only musical instrument in the world easier to play
than the Appalachian dulcimer

Besuited aboard the fabled luxury ship, above our heads are some very distinguished passengers from the days when the Queen Mary actually traversed the ocean. I believe two of those people were Godette & Gus. YES! They were in the creation business but the male half used an alternate three-letter-G name to disguise his divinity.
To the right of Raymond is my eighth-grade class picture. My right hand is touching the Queen Mary photograph. One of the girls in the other classroom pic is LC. She was the reason I made the MOST STUPID DECISION OF MY LIFE: retiring from Jefferson HS on my fifty-fifth birthday, three years after the QM weekend.

I hope you recognize the CD cover of Boz Scaggs' DIG. This DIG link leads to a purchase point wherein four customer reviews averaged a four-star rating.
Between Raymond and myself, we gave DIG a rating of about one thousand stars, maybe more.

I vowed that whenever I listened to any track of DIG, I would telephone Raymond Peterssen. But he passed away either one half hour before or one half hour after the Godfatherofmath.blogpost.com was created. That was six months ago.
What a son of a bitch!
Raymond, why don't you answer the goddam phone?
I need your wisdom, your wit, your guidance,
your C-minor-sevenths with the diminished ninth...

It aint easy to say this but I love you. You already knew that, didn't you?
Why the hell do you think this blog is dedicated to YOU?
And you also know that I have been playing dulcimer since 1972, when I graduated from the Lewis Carroll School. It was a gift from my late great Aunt Betty, who is definitely residing somewhere along Eternal Bliss Boulevard. Please thank her for me, Raymond.
But that night on the Queen Mary, I just wanted to yield the stage to YOU!

Kiss your parents and mine, will you please.
But keep your goddam hands off my sister, Linda.
However, I sincerely doubt she is able to keep her hands off of YOU!

Vinyl Legs

Being such a big fan of Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, I had to have a steamer trunk. For the first two years, it sat upon a pair of cinder blocks but now it sits on top of music.

Monday Night Baseball In Orange County

Three hours
before the game
between the Kansas City
Royals and the Los Angeles
Angels began.

Tori Hunter, (#48)
his fans in the part
of Angel Stadium
affectionately known as

My niece was at the game
with me.

This was just a cute kid
in the row in front of me
in what was believed to be
my assigned seat.

I had a vest pocket book of Longfellow poetry 
and a rolled-up Angels All-Star poster. 

Both were placed on a railing while I photographed
the Angels Hall of Fame.

Both the poster and book disappeared.
My ticket was inside the book.

The ticket was a gift from a friend 
who was too hungover from a wild weekend
to attend a Monday night baseball game.

The final score was:
Angels, 6
Royals, 3

This page was revised on May 15, 2016

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wording Through The Looking Glass

Wherever there is a makeover, there is a mirror–or a looking glass–
           and quite possibly a film crew.
There are presently twelve TV shows focusing on makeovers.
          The subjects are women, men, cars, or homes.
But in the lexicographic Wonderland, words can also undergo makeovers.

Once upon a time, it was insulting to be called TRANSPARENT.
It meant you could be seen through as if you lacked dimension; as if you had no heart and no soul. Transparency used to mean something akin to superficial.

Once upon a time, patients revealed to psychiatrists about how shameful
          some of their personal behavior was. The patient was being self-conscious
          about behavior thingies.
Along came Dr. Syllablender and when he was informed of self-conscious behavior... 
          he said STOP!
It is not necessary to be self-conscious. What you have is SELF-AWARENESS.

In Syllablender's office, not only was a word being given a makeover,
          a whole new industry was born!

More examples are to follow...

A Rock & A Hard Place

There's a great cliche about "being stuck between a rock & a hard place."
But I am stuck between Five Women & Everyman. Were the women to literally exist in flesh and bone, then life would be very exciting.
Such, however, is not the case.

Five Women is but a paper product, on loan from the Long Beach Library, and Everyman is the name of a New Jersey jewelry store.

PHILIP ROTH is one of the most prolific and respected American novelists. Portnoy's Complaint is a Twentieth Century American classic. His Nathan Zuckerman stories elevate intellectual whining to an art. The Breast is more novella than novel but like Our Gang, it is underbellied with a twisted humor.

ROBERT MUSIL has been blogged here and there. But someone more knowledgeable than me had this to say about the Austrian-born writer:
His masterpiece, The Man Without Qualities, is drenched from start to finish in ideas. Imagine [Dostoevski's] "Grand Inquisitor" to the power of ten, and you
have some idea of the tone of this massive work. For more than a thousand pages,the theories and hypotheses, the aphorisms and paradoxes, the points and counterpoints...pour out, in an overwhelming torrent. If the novel of ideas ever comes back into favor, Musil will probably rise from his second tier status – today he is sort of poor man’s Joyce or Proust – and be acknowledged as a great, instead of a near-great, author.
For the past two weeks, I have been pingponging between Everyman and Five Women.
This quote is from the opening scene of Roth's book. To the gathered mourners at a freeway-friendly cemetery, the brother of the deceased has just described:
With such painstaking precision...The world as it innocently existed before the invention of death, life perpetual in their father-created Eden, a paradise just fifteen feet wide by forty feet deep disguised as an old-style jewelry store...
This quote is from Musil's The Lady From Portugal:
Just as no one had ever yet reached the place where the rainbow ends, so too, they recounted, no one yet had ever succeeded in looking out over these great stone walls: there were always more walls beyond, and between them there were ravines like outspread blankets full of stones, stones as big as a house, and even the finest gravel underfoot was no smaller than a man's head.
I read Roth and it feels like my brain is taking a ride in a Cadillac. But a Cadillac can be a hearse. Then I read Musil and we are in a Mercedes. But a Mercedes can be...


...So damn good that I picked their trash. I did so in full view of all their art students. Not one of them, however, noticed what I was doing because they were so immersed in whatever art project they happened to be working on. But the Scrabble letters are mine.

The title of this piece, which sits on my mantel, is FOR JOHN & YOKO.
The story is that when John Lennon first met Yoko at her Art Exhibit, there was a ladder to be climbed. At the top of the ladder was the singular word: YES.

A fellow blogger has the step-up and lowdown on the day John met Yoko.

ALICE Under Contract

After Alice was uprooted from the Wonderland Velour Gardens and taken "around the town," I received a letter from the John Tenniel VI, the Lewis Carroll School Art Therapist.

Mr. G. Fatmat
Please do not return Alice to the Velour Garden. We are sending you a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and a bronzed pair of the first shoes you ever wore. Alice is to be forever perched atop the O.E.D. Any adjustment to that location automatically revokes your Graduate Degree in MischMoschology.
J. Tenniel VI

Dinner Theater

Most of my meals are eaten standing up. Directly below the stage is the kitchen sink. It is a well-known bachelor fact that eating on your feet sends all the calories straight down to your toes. I think I now have twelve of them.

Would you like a bite of my tuna fish sandwich?

After The Door Bell Rang

After my niece visited me for the first time. After Sugar & Sharpie & the Profile were here, this happened:

Four months into the baseball season, I finally got to see Albert Pujols hit a home run live. The Angels beat the Texas Rangers on the ESPN Sunday Night Game, 7-4. They are now five games behind the leader of the Western Division of the American League.

Obviously, Sunday is not the day of the week when Divine Intervention takes a rest.






Monday is


The day

Of the week




*** *** *** *** ***

Please goto Monday Monday

The Door Bell Rang

Sharpie and the Profile
stopped by
for a visit.

They are on tour with

I asked my niece to pose for a close-up.

"No go, Uncle Paul, not with this goddam skin condition."

She is very excited about her full scholarship to Fairfield University.
Her sister was there–Class of '99–and graduated magna cum laude.
But Lina commit a federal crime on March 13, 1996.

"But that was cool, Uncle Paul."
"Your sister stole something from a school library!"

"Which is exactly why the CIA hired her..."
"Because she was a thief?"

"Because, she had an uncle who was a personal friend
 of Pythagoras...and understood rap music."
"The CIA wanted Lina because of me?"
"Exactly. She stole the LA Times from the library because the newspaper
  could not be purchased  anywhere in Fairfield, Connecticut."
"The date was March 13, 1996."
"Exactly one year before I was born."

"The D.I. Syndrome struck again."
"You really believe in Divine Intervention, Uncle Paul?"
"That's not the question, Sugar."
"Then what is the question?"
"The question really is What day of the week do I believe 
  there can not be Divine Intervention?"
"What day of the week is that."
"I'm not sure. Ask your mother and have lots of fun in Brooklyn."

"Yeah. I'll be there soon because our last concert is at the new arena
  for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team."
"Brooklyn is where it's at! England's most controversial–and probably best
  novelist just moved there. His name is Martin Amis."
"Yeah, I know that. My brother, Anthony, already met him."
"Yeah. And Anthony hates him."

"The first thing Martin did was hit on Gia."
"You mean my stunningly beautiful niece-in-law?"
"One and the same."
"Ha! Martin is true to his character. Hey, Sugar,
 what original songs are the band doing these days?"

"Well, we did Used Carlota, Hey Judas,
  Little Man, and My Obligation."

"Will Jack* be at the Brooklyn show."
"No. He has to work."
"Well. Somebody's got to drive the bus."

Sugar and her band
brought me flowers.

The band is gone
but the flowers
are still here.

*All of the songs listed
were written by
Jack McCarthy.

He is–indisputably–the best singer/songwriter/ guitarist
in the history of New York City Mass Transit.

I have known Jack since 1961.

Since 1954, I have referred
to the other man
in this photograph

My Uncle attended his first baseball game in 1936, "When Joe Dimaggio was a rookie."

The day this photograph was taken, I took Father to his last baseball game
at the stadium where his brother–my Uncle Tony–used to work.

On that day in the summer of 2007,
Father Frank wore his priest collar:
our passport to stadium privilege.

 To avoid stadium parking lot trauma,
 McCarthy drove my rental car two miles
 from Bowne Park to Shea Stadium.

 Half of the parking lot was then
 the construction site for the new ballfield.

 Because there was a priest in our car,
 we were allowed past security gates
 that would have been impassable
 were Father Frank not present.

 Jack dropped us off on the
 stadium-adjacent sidewalk.

A security guard escorted the clergyman
and his nephew to the press gate.
We rode in the press elevator.


After the sixth inning of a day game–when the sun was merciless–
another security guard went out of his way to relocate us
from a left-field box seat to six rows behind home plate.

After the game, my Uncle and I rode an overcrowded subway
with five seated passengers reflexively rising in order
for the elderly priest to have a seat.

A photograph of Father & his nephew was taken by a New York Mets'
photographer during the seventh inning stretch of a game
where the Mets defeated
the Atlanta Braves, 7-2.

Blogger's Note
In this youTube video, Jack McCarthy sings and plays the jazz standard All of Me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On This Day...She Was Alive And Well

JULY 22, 2012

Joan Rivers has a new book entitled

Her face may be laced with botox
but her humor  still burns with acid.

Ms. Rivers was interviewed in today's New York Times Sunday Book Review.
She expressed reservations about being excluded
from the newest Lyndon Johnson biography.
There are two books on my night stand. One is “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” by Robert A. Caro. It’s fascinating that I’m not mentioned at all, considering the torrid affair I had with Mr. Johnson, or as I called him, Big Lyndy.
The other book on her nightstand is  "The Idiot's Guide to Osteoporosis."
Her favorite literary genre is
European history, but only up until Napoleon. The minute Shorty comes on the scene, I’m not interested.
When asked which of her own books she wished she had never written,
she replied, "Joan Rivers's Pop-Up Guide to Gynocology."

And then there was this exchange:
If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know? Have you ever met an author and been bitterly disappointed?
The writer I would love to meet the most is God. I’ve been a huge fan of his work since the Ten Commandments. I’d like to know what influenced his font choice and why he engraved in stone and not silver.

George Carlin  still loves you Joan.

So do I.
And thank you for your autograph...

Blogger's Notes
Illustration by Jillian Tamaki.
Couched between two advertisements, Joan Rivers has a classic encounter with Louis CK.

"Clothes Make The Man But...

...Women Make The Decision."

While doing stretching exercises at the gym, a cliche Clothes make the man rolled out of the brain, immediately followed by another cliche: Women make the decision.

The cliche combo made me hunger for this blog site. I bicycled home as soon as possible.

That any two numbers can be added together was not originated by the good folks at the Lewis Carroll School of Logic. However, this was:
Any two number of word thingies joined by a conjunction can be, if not the mother of invention, a new born babe in the word family.

Therefore I googled–within quotation marks–"Clothes Make The Man But Women Make The" and logic prevailed. The word clothes tail-ended a quote that began with the same word.

As if a sock of a different color was replaced in the portmanteau suitcase, stuffed with mixed metaphors, please welcome the new-born babe:

Clothes make the man but women make the decision.