Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

In late June, I wrote the first in a series of essays outlining the evolution of the methods I use to rank my favorite tracks (a term I prefer to “songs”), beginning with my first-ever mix cassette tape in August 1981. In the interim, however, moving to a new apartment, the ongoing search for a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

My Book INTERROGATING MEMORY: FILM NOIR SPURS A DEEP DIVE INTO MY FAMILY HISTORY…AND MY OWN Is Now Available For Purchase!!

I grow weary and gray-bearded promoting my book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History...and My Own while waiting for "official" publication - though I continue to pursue that option. [UPDATE: I am taking the last few steps toward self-publishing - I expect it to be within a few months.] … Continue reading My Book INTERROGATING MEMORY: FILM NOIR SPURS A DEEP DIVE INTO MY FAMILY HISTORY…AND MY OWN Is Now Available For Purchase!!

Grappling With the Instinctive – and Unnecessary – Fictionalization of History

I recently watched Michael Mann’s Public Enemies for the first time since its 2009 theatrical release. Based on Bryan Burrough’s excellent 2004 book of the same name, it narrows the focus of the sprawling book to the cat-and-mouse game played by bank robber John Dillinger and Melvin Purvis, special agent in charge of the Chicago … Continue reading Grappling With the Instinctive – and Unnecessary – Fictionalization of History

Fact and Fiction in Relationship Portrayals: BEAUTIFUL GIRLS Meets My Romantic History

The indispensable Internet Movie Database (“IMDb”) informs me the underrated romantic dramedy Beautiful Girls debuted in American movie theaters on February 9, 1996. However, I did not see it until sometime in the last decade or so. I enjoyed it, especially the bravura performance by then-14-year-old Natalie Portman. Her portrayal of Willie Conway’s (Timothy Hutton) … Continue reading Fact and Fiction in Relationship Portrayals: BEAUTIFUL GIRLS Meets My Romantic History

When Failure Is Success…And Vice Versa

It was likely in 2001 – though it may have been just after I moved into my new apartment in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia in February 2003 – I received this handsome piece of engraved metal from my more off-than-on-again girlfriend. When I first read the question, I tried earnestly answer it … Continue reading When Failure Is Success…And Vice Versa

Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

I rarely break the fourth wall here: personal stories I tell are usually contextualized within some larger theme, like interrogating memory. Today, however, I speak directly to you – to explain why, after 16 posts in 3½ months, I have not posted since June 25. I will not, however, explain why I did not post … Continue reading Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

I recently updated a data-based discussion of my cinematic “guilty pleasures,” adding a comparison of “most-acclaimed” and “my favorite” films from a given year or years. In so doing, though, I side-stepped the question of determining with something approaching academic rigor just what my favorite films are, relying solely on my gut to select a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

Walter Mondale, Perry Mason and George Floyd

This is how I conclude the opening section of Chapter 1 of Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own (publication TBD): I also learned that by 1920, Pennsylvania was the 2nd most common American state for the last name “Berger” (14%), behind only New York (23%),[i] which meant … Continue reading Walter Mondale, Perry Mason and George Floyd

That Time We Seriously Flirted With Joining A Cult

On January 29, 2021, 3½ years after my wife Nell suggested in financial exasperation that I write a book, I put on “outside” clothes, sneakers and my protective mask, then walked down to our local FedEx office. There, I plugged my thumb drive into a printer…then watched in relief and wonder as it printed out … Continue reading That Time We Seriously Flirted With Joining A Cult

That Time A Building Completely Broke My Heart

On January 29, 2021, 3½ years after my wife Nell suggested in financial exasperation that I write a book, I put on “outside” clothes, sneakers and my protective mask, then walked down to our local FedEx office. There, I plugged my thumb drive into a printer…then watched in relief and wonder as it printed out … Continue reading That Time A Building Completely Broke My Heart