Michael Wolraich's picture

    Breaking Up with New York City

    When we last left our hero, he was pitifully angsting about whether to leave his home of New York City. Many readers have demanded to know what he decided. OK, no one has actually demanded, but that won't stop him from sharing, nor from referring to himself in the third person.

    Deadman's picture

    Playing God and Taking Shortcuts ...

    This financial crisis is more than what it appears.

    It is symptomatic of a society that at some point over the last 30 years lost its way by seeking not the road less traveled, but instead the quickest route.

    It is the culmination of a mindset that increasingly became interested in pursuing immediate gratification at any cost.

    Look around you. In every area of modern life, the shortcut has become the rule, not the exception.

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 12 (St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie)

    Just a few weeks ago, I fell in love with singer Ingrid Michaelson while watching her perform an amazing concert.

    After 35 years of living, I had my first celebrity crush. I man-crush you, T.J. (courtesy of usahockeymagazine.com)

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 10 (Ingrid Michaelson)

    I finally have a celebrity crush!

    For the first time in 35 years, there is finally a woman out there whose posters I want to plaster all over my bedroom walls, whose biographical trivia I want to accumulate like so many rare golden nuggets, whose live and TV appearances I want to schedule my life around (while still respecting all applicable stalker laws, of course).

    Michael Wolraich's picture


    There are moments in life, in some lives, in my life, when one becomes unmoored. Something or someone cuts the bond between anchor and ship, and the sailor is cast adrift. Perhaps a violent squall snaps the tether; perhaps a villain slashes it in the night; perhaps you sever it yourself in a drunken flourish of enthusiasm or at a tranquil moment of lucidity; perhaps you simply wake up one morning and find that you've drifted out to sea.

    Orlando's picture

    A Nice Dream, Memories, and the Brutality of Alzheimer's Disease

    My mother has been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for about 15 years, and for each of them, I could write for days about the horrors of insurance, or lack thereof, about doctors and nursing homes that forget that for every patient there is a story and that, for the family that story involves real and raw pain, and about my visceral reaction to losing my mother, over and over again, for almost my entire adult life. But the one thing that I couldn't write about was my memory of her. 

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 9 (Blue Diamond 'BOLD' Almonds)

    It was a tough battle for the My One Favorite Thing award this week, with some noteworthy candidates. Certainly, jilted bachelorette Melissa Rycroft, who was forced to undergo a breakup on national TV a  mere six weeks after being proposed to on national TV (live by the reality show sword, die by the sword, I guess) was a top runner-up.

    Deadman's picture

    Could an economic depression make us less depressed?

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

    I don't know many very happy people. I know people who are content enough, I suppose. I know plenty of people who do a decent job at hiding their discontent. (As for myself, I'm probably somewhere in between those two categories, leaning toward the former).

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 3/3/09: (Fallon's Poor Debut and The Bachelor's Stunning End)

    If you've been following my blogging at all, you know how little shame I have. In today's dagbuzz, I take the shamelessness to a whole new level by admitting I got emotionally involved with this past season of The Bachelor, which ended last night in spectacular fashion. It is so very very wrong that I think I may have gotten myself more worked up over what Jason did to Melissa last night than anything AIG, Madoff, Thain or Rush have done during the past year.

    Deadman's picture

    Brother, can you spare some wisdom?

    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. - Umberto Eco

    Where the fuck is my wisdom?

    Seriously, wisdom was supposed to part of the deal, the salve that soothes amidst aging's unceasing, unending parade of insults and torments. I am now well into my 36th year - my hair is thinning, my back is creaking, my sex drive is waning.

    Wisdom should be accumulating, dammit.

    Deadman's picture

    The dagbuzz for 2/22/09: (Slumdog, the Oscars and a Happy Ending I Can Live With)

    I usually hate happy endings in movies. They may be fine for movies like Rudy, but for many films, happy endings often ring false and feel like cheap cop-outs. Yet for reasons I explain in the video below, I actually enjoyed the ultra-gooey finale of Slumdog Millionaire.

    Perhaps because America's economic story and outlook has become almost as depressing as the childhood of Slumdog protaganist Jamal Malik, it's somehow fitting that we allow ourselves to be gloriously deluded by inspiring, well-earned Hollywood ending bullshit.

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 8 (Reddi-Wip)

    The first time I remember seeing a Reddi-wip can was on a camping trip during a high school summer when some of my friends tried to get high by snorting the nitrous oxide gas inside it. Even back then, a 'whippit' sure looked like a stupid, only mildly effective, thing to do.

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 7 (Well, duh...)

    Can there be any question as to what My One Favorite Thing this week was? Could it be any more obvious?? I mean, clearly, it was Rick Warren's Invocation Speech. Duh. What a beautiful testimonial to the goodness of god, the power of prayer and the righteousness of Scripture!

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    InBloguration: Seeking the Silver Section

    I left my friend Jake's apartment on Capitol Hill at 8:45am, clutching my hard-won "silver section" inauguration ticket. Hat, gloves, long underwear, wool socks, sunglasses--perfectly equipped for five hours of 32 degrees, mostly sunny. We wound our way around the Capitol, exchanging anti-Bush witticisms with the passerby. At first, there were big, friendly signs: "Silver section -->." The signs happily directed us where we already knew we were supposed to go.

    Deadman's picture

    USAir Flight 1549: Do you believe?


    So I was watching next-day coverage of the Hudson River airplane crash on CNN today and at some point one of the anchors brings up God and says something to the effect, "And if you're not already religious, something like this may make you believe."


    And it made me wonder,


    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 6 (Chase's New ATMs)

    It doesn't take much for a bank to make me happy. Give me online access, a good interest rate, a bunch of branches, and I'm all good. Heck, lately I'm just thrilled when my chosen banking institutions don't implode and go boom.

    Deadman's picture

    Questions: Bringing the Funny

    So earlier this week, we discovered that several daggers - perhaps even a majority - do not believe Curb Your Enthusiasm is funny. One of my co-bloggers was perhaps the most strident of the Curb-haters, calling the show 'an atrocity' and Larry David the 'least funny on-screen performer ever given a screen on which to perform.' This made Mortimus mad, and trust me, you won't like Mortimus when he's angry (I've put the big green guy on tilt at poker several times and barely survived to tell the tale).

    Deadman's picture

    The Secret of Success ...

    OK, I'm about to reveal - at no charge to you - the secret of success, in all aspects of life.

    Pay close attention ... No, that's not the secret, I'm just letting you know you should pay attention because I'm about to reveal the secret.

    You ready??? You sure?? Are you sitting down?? Notebook in hand???

    Ok, ok, alright already, here it is (commence drum roll)....

    ------------->>>>>> REJECT REJECTION <<<<<<-------------

    Deadman's picture

    MOFT: Episode 5 (Californication)

    I don't think 2008 was a very good year for pop culture.

    The Hollywood writers' strike seemed to have lingering effects, delaying the return of some of my favorite TV shows past the point of anticipation all the way to indifference. Probably can't blame the strike, but most of the year for movies was also generally a disaster, with the summer slate being a particular disappointment (I was even let down by The Dark Knight).

    Deadman's picture

    Cancer: Early diagnosis and the Canary Foundation ...

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about how insufficient the typical yearly doctor physical seems for adequately diagnosing diseases, and how modern technology could be used so much more effectively. Interestingly enough, the latest Wired magazine cover story addresses this very issue with a specific focus on the battle against cancer. It's a fascinating read.


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