July 1, 2012 |
When I finally met Nora Ephron six years ago, I did something I had never done before in a few thousand interviews and I haven't done since. I told her I loved her. I have always loved her, since first reading her Esquire pieces in the 1970s. Of course, her admirers are legion. We love her extraordinary wit, her inimitable style, her appetite for risk and change. Her actual appetite, for butter, pate, steak, pie, and her rejection of the egg-white omelet, of which she noted, "People who eat them think they're doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed.
May 18, 2012 |
The black SUV that transported Gov. Christie got a flat tire as he was on his way to catching a train bound for Washington on May 4. Where was Newark Mayor Cory Booker when you needed him? Three weeks earlier, Booker had made headlines for rescuing a woman from a burning building in his hometown. A new Twitter meme sprouted: Booker was so tough he could single-handedly fight fires, intercept North Korean rockets, and end the Greek debt crisis, the joke went. Surely he could fix the governor's flat tire.
May 3, 2012 |
Jen Lancaster is up on her high horse again. Fans of the witty memoirist are delighted to see her back in the saddle. Her just-published book, Jeneration X (NAL, $25.95) is a plea for her contemporaries to stand apart from the willfully infantile generations that bracket them -- the boomers and the millenials -- by acting like adults. "We're differentiating ourselves by becoming the only grownups in the room," says Lancaster. "We're tired of seeing all these baby boomers running around talking about their feelings and these Gen Y kids that you have to constantly coddle or they'll have a meltdown.
April 8, 2012 |
Don't Talk to the Actors marks the third time playwright Tom Dudzick visits Montgomery Theater's stage. This time, he's also in the wings, as the show's director. Following 2009's Over the Tavern- the company's all-time best-seller - and last season's Hail Mary!, both of which examined the lighter side of Catholicism, Don't Talk to the Actors is a strictly secular affair. However, if theater happens to be your religion, be aware, this backstage comedy depicts some desecration in the temple.
March 27, 2012 |
Did you hear the latest joke about New Jersey? A group of investigative journalists released a report calling it the least corruptible state in the country. How did that happen? Easy. We bribed them. All kidding aside, this is a state where in 2009, three mayors, two assemblymen, and five rabbis were among 44 charged by the FBI in a single money-laundering and bribery stin. One mayor, Peter Cammarano, was from Hoboken, where I live. Five years before his arrest, another former Hoboken mayor, Anthony Russo, pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
March 25, 2012 |
The New Republic By Lionel Shriver Harper. 373 pp. $26.99 As a prefatory note from the author makes clear, Lionel Shriver's new novel, The New Republic , is not so much a new novel as a 14-year-old novel whose publication time has come. Originally completed in 1998, it suffered from both Shriver's poor sales record (as she reports - I am not carping here) and then, perhaps more important, from being a farcical take on international terrorism.
February 29, 2012 |
THERE MIGHT not be many jokes in the Bible, but all those fortunate enough to have studied religion at Villanova University under Donald Robert "Dutch" Schultz were assured of plenty of laughs. This jovial professor was one of the most popular teachers at the university, revered for his rich sense of humor and knowledge of his subject. Dutch Schultz died of cancer Feb. 15, at age 84, in Cornville, Ariz., where he and his wife, Juanita Quigley Schultz, had been living since he retired in 1991.
February 3, 2012 |
INDIANAPOLIS - It's as prominent a facial feature as Joe Paterno's nose. The players closest to Bill O'Brien often tease him about it. They even have a nickname for his cleft chin. "Butt chin," Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer said. Tom Brady also likes to pick on O'Brien's receding hairline, according to Hoyer - not that the Patriots' offensive coordinator is the butt of every joke. He likes to give as much as he takes. It's the kind of atmosphere O'Brien has fostered with his quarterbacks, and one that stands in contrast to his public persona as a fiery, intense competitor.
January 18, 2012 |
WELL, HE didn't really look like Groucho Marx. But one of his advanced-calculus students said Marvin Knopp had a "Groucho-like" delivery. He might not have been as funny as the Marx brother either, but his rich sense of humor was known to keep his students riveted on a subject that most people would not find very amusing. Marvin Isadore Knopp, a nationally known mathematician who, as a professor in the math department of Temple University since 1976, and other schools before that, managed to make the intricacies of higher mathematics a fascinating subject, died suddenly on Christmas Eve on a family vacation in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 78. Before coming to Temple, Marvin taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and at the University of Chicago.
December 15, 2011
ONE SAYS, "Poe-tay-toe. " The other says, "Julienned tubers lightly sautéed in Irish butter, finished with finely ground sea salt. " On Sunday, Andy Reid, the worst interviewee in the history of sports, will lead his Eagles against the Jets and Rex Ryan, the funniest and cleverest jock boss ever. Where Reid recites tired mantras about improving and assigns blame to himself for everything except the Occupy movement, Ryan generally answers questions frankly; sometimes with arrogance, sometimes with self-deprecating humor.