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Weekend Wonk

La Llorona

Last week I mentioned La Llorona, the Weeping Woman or Wailing Woman. You cannot have lived in New Mexico very long without hearing the tale. In fact, La Llorona is known throughout Central and South America and the American Southwest.

Water in the Ditch

Spring has come to my town; she is coy for the moment but will soon be sashaying. The flowering trees are busy in white and pink. The elms are bristling with catkins. The crocuses are up. There is even furtive budding on my big mulberry and of course the globe willows are leafed out already. I greet even the dandelions with cheer. By late morning these days it is top down weather and the Little Red Beast and I are making the most of it.

Charmed Life

A friend writes, “Ever since some awful hard times early on, Jerry, you really have been a very lucky fellow, as you know.” She is quite right. I will spare you those hard times, if only so that I don’t sound like a whiner. But ever since then I have indeed been wonderfully lucky: in my marriage, in my children, in my career, in my health, and in other ways that haven’t occurred to me yet.

I am one lucky son of a gun.

Bizarre Bazaar

In the pages of tabloids you can find everything to feed your head, albeit a crude diet.


So there I was in the checkout the other day and a cover story and headline assailed my eye. The picture was of our new First Couple (dancing, I think). The President’s back is to us and the First Lady is looking over his shoulder with an ominous scowl. The headline? “MICHELLE TO OPRAH: BACK OFF! HE’S MINE!’”

Welcome to the world of the checkout line tabloids, familiar to us all. A wonk on tabloids seemed just too easy, but I couldn’t get that caption out of my head, so I thought I’d have a go.

My heart has followed...

Don Marquis was born in a small Illinois town in 1878 and died in New York City in 1937. He packed a lot of life into that span. It’s a shame that he is all but forgotten today.

Don Marquis

First of all, it’s “MARkwiss (Scots), not MarKEE (French). And he wrote much more than Archie and Mehitabel.

Son of a Ditch!

That’s “Ditch,” not—well, you know—despite any personal failings we might have. But when we scream, ”SON OF A DITCH!” when racing across a finish line, we are sometimes misheard.

This wonk is long overdue. Harvey has been nagging me about it since forever.

Your New iPhone and You and the Existential Wasteland of Modern Life: Official Troubleshooting

PROBLEM: My iPhone will not will not turn on; the screen is dark and there is no sound.

POSSIBLE CAUSES: [1] Your iPhone's battery is completely discharged. [2] Your iPhone is stuck in Locked Mode. [3] You have somehow glimpsed through the thin construct of modern social existence to the core of Mankind's indifferent and inconsequential nature and so therefore can no longer discern between moral and immoral, pain and pleasure, or even on and off. [4] Your iPhone's software is out of date.

The Sweet Singer of Michigan

Take heart, Gentle Readers! I have found William Topaz McGonagall’s soulmate! (Surely you remember McGonagall, “World’s Worst Poet”?) I sing of Julia Ann Moore, aka “The Sweet Singer of Michigan, “ and I take special pride in that she was from our own American heartland. A lifelong Michigander, she was born in 1847 and died in 1920.

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