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Random Thoughts About Whatever Comes to Mind

Successful Patient Book Trailer

The Successful Patient book trailer is up, and Ken Cohen's voiceover is terrific! After hearing his Bartleby (yep, the Melville Bartleby), we knew he was the only one who could keep it light enough, and he more than came through.Kudos also to Holly Hill Productions for a fun piece.

You can check out the trailer on the website - click the link at the bottom of THE BOOK column to go to the grid where it's located about halfway down above the Table of Contents, and also on Vimeo. Links to both the website and to Vimeo are in the sidebar content.

I'm just finishing the book, and  Read More 

Setting The Table For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2018 sideboard

Thanksgiving 2018 sideboard

My mother believed in table settings, not in an "all things holy and the world will end if you don't do this" way but as "part of what makes a well-ordered world is a well-ordered table." She imbibed the philosophy from her mother who, in turn, imbibed it from her mother, and so on. The table-setting components didn't have to be expensive or rare because they weren't intended to impress. Rather, they showed respect for the food so carefully prpared and the friends and family who would eat it. Mother particularly liked a pretty  Read More 

The Power of Objects

Today, looking for a serving ladle in the center drawer of the sideboard, I realized that something was lodged at the very back, out of sight and tightly wedged in an odd position that made it difficult to retrieve. After some careful working back and forth, it fianlly came free in my hand, which I pulled back to see a small pastry server with a mother-of-pearl handle and silver-plated blade. It had probably  Read More 


It's no secret that I'm a book addict. Anyone doubting that has only to walk through our house searching for a room without bookshelves or bookcases. My special weakness is the old book - doesn't have to be a classic, can be fiction or nonfiction,  Read More 

Barbara Bush's Care Decision

Everyone sends kind thoughts to Mrs. Bush, wife of our 41st president, and her family. Handling long-term health issues, she has made a brave and no doubt carefully considered decision to end aggressive medical treatment and enter into palliative care.

Mrs. Bush is fortunate to be surrounded by a loving and actively involved family  Read More 

Chilling Look At What's Enabled The Rise of Plutocratic Authoritarianism Around The Globe

Please take the time to read "The demise of the nation state" by Rana Dasgupta in The Guardian of 5 Apr 2018. This article is important because it's possibly the most cogent explanation thus far of the alarming rise of authoritarian and plutocratic power around the globe.

What makes this development alarming isn't just a matter of philosophical preference for one political structure over another but the fact that it inevitably poses a real and immediate risk for entire populations  Read More 

It Takes "Good Guys" To Help Sleazoids Get Away With It

Like all American girls, I endured the usual slings and arrows associated with being born female - catcalls and wolf whistles on the street; strangers trying to lure me into their cars as I waited to be collected at school, laden down with books; boys who wouldn't take no for an answer and who'd  Read More 

The Permanent Impermanence of The Evolving Job Market

Let's face it — whenever predictions are made, the future has a way of tearing them to shreds to the sound of loud laughter in the background. At the same time, my guess is that increasingly most people will find themselves in a job market shaped like a barbell with unequal ends. At one extreme, there'll  Read More 

We Are Now The World's Biggest Banana Republic

On the face of it, Wordsworth and O. Henry would appear to have little in common, yet this morning-after-the-end of the U.S.'s international leadership role it's hard not to think of both of them.

It was O. Henry who, back in 1904 in a short story inspired by his time in Honduras, coined the term "banana republic", which was subsequently picked up by political scientists to describe politically volatile countries in Latin America whose economy was dependent on a physical asset - fruit, minerals, whatever - controlled by a combination of foreign corporations and a local elite dependent on them. Through subsidies and bribes, combined with tactics designed to destabilize legitimate national interests, the foreign commercial entities gained and retained access to the desired resource.

The result was a highly stratified society in which most of the local population was poor and survived at the mercy of a small ruling class that  Read More 

Come From Away - At The Start Of A Moment

It's hard to believe that it's been fifteen-plus years since 9/11, a national tragedy both for what it was and what it set in play (it's not good when your leadership doesn't just lose the white hat but stomps on it, then throws it as far away from home base as possible).

It was certainly one of my odder personal experiences, as only a change in scheduling related to an Atlanta house sale kept me from being in NYC at the WTC Marriott that week  Read More