Monthly Archives: June 2011


  Maybe it really does stick to my ribs. They say oatmeal fills you up and keeps you going all morning. I’ve never been a breakfast eater – I simply don’t feel hunger till I’ve been up for a few … Continue reading

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Verbal Aggravation

My father insisted, sometimes, on verbal precision. He would not let us say motor when we meant engine, and he was adamant about the fact that cement is just fancy sand; you have to mix it with water to form … Continue reading

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Inaudible Woman

You see me though I don’t make any sound no matter what I do or where I move. My heart beats silently and won’t be found by ear or stethoscope, and I can’t prove I breathe or chew by any … Continue reading

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Neat Freaks and Hoarders

  I mean: minimalist or collector? It seems to me that one of the ways we can classify folks is into two categories based on how many possessions they aim to acquire. I’m not into having stuff. Never have been. When … Continue reading

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   I encountered different hints at origin when I looked up “wraith” in my Webster’s Unabridged (1979) and on the Internet. I googled the word and peeked at the first four definitional sites, and all of them said “origin unknown.” … Continue reading

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My Father’s Speeding Ticket

   I love it when this blog provokes a reader to recall and tell a memory. That happened recently from my mother; she came by on a Saturday and we strolled from my place to lunch on College Avenue, and … Continue reading

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I was walking to work awhile ago when I considered the word cucumber. Here’s a random group of facts I’ve collected about it. The word has been in our language since the late 14th century. It came to us from … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Language | 2 Comments


I’m sitting in my Berkeley office, which is an uninsulated small structure described by building inspectors as a pretty shed. It has a big desk, plenty of wiring, and several windows, so it’s a nice spot for working in or … Continue reading

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Dirty Books

     The first suggestive book I ever held was my father’s copy of Candide. I have the volume here, with its “Ex Libris” bookplate and its penciled $1.50 used-book price. It was published by Hartsdale House in New York, in … Continue reading

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Quit Yer Bellyachin’

Another art gallery is about to close. It hardly matters where; they’re dying like flies trapped in a closed summer cottage. I don’t know how the for-profit galleries are doing in big cities, but the “community” galleries aren’t commercial. They’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Uncle Upset | 2 Comments