Death of the Gerund

I am writing today to discuss with great sadness the imminent extinction of our dear friend, the Gerund.  An event which while perhaps not signifying the end of the world as we know it, certainly sounds the death knell of refined civilization, and the rise of the great unwashed. Continue reading


A Summer Drive – and Other Hazardous Pursuits

So if you’ll recall from last time, I had driven from Chicago to New York as a terrified 19-year old in my girlfriend Lisa’s 1974 Ford Country Squire Station wagon – all 14 glorious feet of it. Having run out of gas several times in Ohio, and experienced the thrill of driving the speed limit in the passing lane through New Jersey, I was less enthusiastic about the drive back, but I couldn’t abandon the car, and nobody wanted to drive back with me, so at the appointed hour, I took a bus across town to my parking space and headed west across the George Washington Bridge. Continue reading

Roughing It

Like many other city boys, I went away each summer to a sleep-away camp, in my case one of the oldest ones, founded in 1904 and tucked away in the Adirondacks on the northern shores of Lake George.  One of the counselors at that camp was also a teacher at the all-boys school I attended, so a fair number of boys went there.  I started going in 1968, at the age of 8.  I guess the rationale was that if I could survive second grade, then I could survive two months in the North Woods. Continue reading

Charity Begins at Home

We have recently become enamored of a new charity, designed to better the lot of our local communities on Long Island.

Here’s the very sad story.  Since the pesky economic crisis hit, many a Long Islander is finding it harder and harder to keep gas in their Hummer, Suburban, Expedition and of course Cadillac Escalade.  These poor SUVs are now languishing in the driveways of the modest McMansions that lard the leafy suburbs of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, leading to anguished cries echoing up through the double height atria of their owners’ humble abodes. Continue reading

Say Nothing. Act Natural. They’re Watching.


People like to wax poetic about how charming Canada Geese are, walking around lawns on their creepy scaly legs, swimming coyly in ponds and rivers and flying scenically around in V-formations.  It’s all rot. What they don’t realize is that it’s a pernicious, devious, waterfowlian conspiracy. The Geese are Agents of a Larger Doom. Just ask those nice people bound for Charlotte, North Carolina a few years ago who went for a little swim in the Hudson River. Continue reading

My Personal Gas Crisis


Okay, so I came to driving a little late.

Having grown up in New York City, I had no reason to learn to drive. And I went to college in Chicago, so again no reason to drive – until you realized that without transportation, you are essentially a prisoner of Hyde Park, which is not without its own peculiar charm, but please. Continue reading

Son of Willard

So with the power back on, we prepare to move in a couple of weeks later – on the second hottest day of the year (the first being our closing date). We begin to realize much to our horror that our late rodent friend (which I picked up by its desiccated tail, slipped into a ziplock bag and deposited into trash) was the patriarch of a seemingly vast family of rats, all of which were none too happy about our moving in. Now we were immediately considering a quick resale when by coincidence an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal (of all places) saying that rats were a growing problem in the posher suburbs, citing a case where some fancy housewife opened her viking wall oven in her Beverly Hills mansion, only to have a rat jump out and disappear into the adjoining great room. Continue reading