Listen, you mug!

I have repeatedly sung the praises of the Film Noir Foundation (“FNF”) on this website. Its steadfast devotion to rescuing, preserving and restoring vital pieces of our shared cultural heritage is exemplary. The annual NOIR CITY festival has been an essential part of my own film noir “personal journey,” even if I have not attended … Continue reading Listen, you mug!

Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

In 2005, Rupert Holmes published his second novel, a murder mystery called Swing. Being, well, Rupert Holmes, he also wrote and recorded an accompanying seven-track CD of swing-inflected music; both are well worth finding. The combination, meanwhile, led him to quip, “I’ve been singing songs from my new book.” In the past month, I received … Continue reading Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

HIGH FIDELITY: A misogynistic example of how NOT to interrogate memory

I recently dissected my romantic history in the context of the film Beautiful Girls. Readers are thus aware I had two serious college girlfriends, one of whom I dated freshman year; this was 1984-85. She spent the spring break of what was her sophomore year in either Manhattan or East Hampton – where she saw … Continue reading HIGH FIDELITY: A misogynistic example of how NOT to interrogate memory

Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

In a recent essay, I discussed the January 1909 statutory rape trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns, the first wife of my wife Nell’s paternal grandfather. I now plan to write a book contextualizing the trial within Connecticut from the Civil War (spurring a dramatic increase in prostitution) through waves of primarily Catholic and Jewish immigration, … Continue reading Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

I have set aside for now my planned second book, Meet Me at the Counter: A Life in Diners, to focus on a book contextualizing the trial of Addie Burns, her life and the lives of the key players within Connecticut society of the time. In this and a subsequent essay, I will begin to … Continue reading And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

“The Burns woman”: Nell’s grandfather, statutory rape…and Eugene O’Neill

When Nell and I moved to a new Brookline apartment in early July, we unburdened ourselves of a large quantity of – stuff – we had accumulated from Nell’s mother, who has resided in a senior living facility near us since we moved her there from DC in the summer of 2013; a storage unit … Continue reading “The Burns woman”: Nell’s grandfather, statutory rape…and Eugene O’Neill

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

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

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