My Festivus Wish List (Because I’ll take gifts for any holiday ^^)

Let me say this first: I don’t expect anyone to get me anything – we’re all broke, it’s been one hell of a tough year on the pocketbook, and if you want to give me something but can’t afford to, that’s just ducky, because you can still give me a great present: a warm friendly hug and a ‘happy holidays’.

Now as far as my wish list is concerned… I assembled the list from a peculiar perspective. “What,” I asked myself, “Would I ask Daddy Warbucks for, if I were the little orphan Annie (only male, overweight, twenty-eight years of age, modern, and, well, me)?”

This is what I came up with.

In no particular order…

Dinner at the Algonquin Round Table
Dinner at the Algonquin Round Table

Ever heard of the Algonquin Round Table?

No, it’s not a pizza joint.

It doesn’t even exist (anymore, anyway)

The Algonquin Round Table was a somewhat controversial and elite gathering of a a celebrated group of New York’s finest writers, critics, actors and wits.

“In its ten years of association, the Round Table and a number of its members acquired national reputations both for their contributions to literature and for their sparkling wit. Although some of their contemporaries, and later in life even some of its members, disparaged the group, its reputation has endured long after its dissolution.” – Wikipedia


And Nieman Marcus is offering to help you and a guest recreate the feel by having dinner and hobnobbing with a large group of New York’s finest intellectual glitterati.  ( …for the low, low price of $200,000.00 ) No Joke.

I’m not that picky though. Give me a night at Stephen Fry’s house.

Acceptable guest list entries include:

Terry Pratchett,

any and/or all of the Pythons (except ‘the dead one’, although I’m sure he’s fun at parties) with a particular preference for Micheal Palin or John Cleese, although I admire all of the pythonians individually as well as en masse ^^….

Jeremy Clarkson (who has a clever mind and has had many interesting experiences… just like the lot of these guests and the host, actually…. hmm. I sense a theme here.)

John Sessions (a fantastically intelligent and very funny man, although not very well known on this side of the pond)

Her Royal Majesty’s Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown.

Roland Fryer, Jr. , hotshot economist tenured at Harvard University

Steven Chu, Nobel Prize winner and American Secretary of Energy

Daniel Nocera, MIT chemist and discoverer of  a cheap method for making hydrogen fuel from water

Stephan Schuster and Webb Miller – Biogeneticists and sequencers of the wooly mammoth genome

Nicholas Christakis, sociologist and physician at Harvard University

Stephen Colbert

Jon Stewert

members of the writing staff for the Daily Show or the Colbert Report … (I’ll take the green-horn intern if I have to… ^^)

Hugh Laurie – because, well, he’s Hugh Laurie. Not because he’s in House, although the show is good. Actually I’m inviting him because (like a lot of the rest of the list) he’s multi-talented, possessing a keen wit, rapier tongue, musical talent, and a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience.

Last, and in first place, Host and intellectual agent provocateur,  Stephen Fry.

’nuff said.

There are tons more, but these are some of the major ones, and would produce in any configuration a lively, unforgettable night of discussion and debate, wit and repartee. Screw the literary snobs. Give me scientists, great thinkers, and comedians any day.

As far as dining… oh, I don’t know… How much do you think it would cost to have Alton Brown teach us how to cook our own dinner?

Umm… I just realized that all of the other crap I wanted would be nothing compared to this.


happy holidays!


Turkey Day… And what it means to me

So I figure it’s important to talk about one of the most universally celebrated holidays in America. If you’re Christian, you celebrate Christmas. If you’re Irish you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. If you’re a patriot you celebrate Veteran’s Day; and if you’re a liberal, Labor Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

But if you’re American you celebrate Thanksgiving. That includes immigrants to our country, legal and illegal both. What else were the original settlers, besides immigrants?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that in this great panoply of ideas and opinions, this mixing bowl of faith and politics, some people don’t celebrate – if for no other reason than a lack of family to celebrate with.

But the vast majority, across lines of faith, politics, and personal philosophy, can come together over only one holiday in America, Thanksgiving. And that is why Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the lot. Continue reading “Turkey Day… And what it means to me”

Arthur’s Return

Okay, I’ve been absent long enough. And I’m going to be posting a bunch.

Hopefully enough that you’ll forgive me for being absent around Thanksgiving.

Also hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out the darned delayed posting thingummie that wordpress (so thoughtfully) provides in time, and make it so you guys don’t notice my absence… erm.. well, except for the fact that I just… um… told you. Just now.

*slaps himself a la Gibbs*

P.S. – That last bit owes itself to a nifty little show called NCIS, a guilty pleasure for anyone of refined taste, but well worth it anyway for the cast. The cast has an amazing amount of chemistry for being in yet another csi rip-off, and the characters are so well realized that one wishes that NCIS had been the first, and not CSI.

P.P.S. Ms. Christie – If you don’t approve of my use of your work, feel free to let me know and I will immediately remove the image from my site. I’m using it more to illustrate a point than anything, and yours was the best image I could find for doing so.