No More Mr. Nice Guy

If there is one teacher responsible for my vocation as a writer, that teacher would be the one I had for fifth-grade English, Mrs. Baehr. The amount of things I learned from her in just one year is positively dazzling. She taught me where to put a comma, she drilled the difference between lie and lay into me, encouraged my creative writing talents, taught me the rudiments of public speaking, and, as the faculty member responsible for the Drama Club,Read more

“And with bitter herbs you shall eat it…”

I’m going to take advantage of the extraordinary circumstances this Passover to do something I’ve wanted to do for years: use belgian endive for maror. The sequence of the Passover Seder enjoins us to eat maror (bitter herbs) twice, once dipped in charoset (a paste of apples, nuts and cinnamon), and once sandwiched between two pieces of matzah. (The presence or absence of charoset on the ‘Hillel Sandwich’ is a most interesting topic I’ll reserve for another time.) There areRead more


Looking for a movie for these troubled times? A movie that makes you feel good and that completely takes you out of the disturbing realities of contemporary life? Look no further than the trilogy of ‘Sissi’ movies made by Ernst Marischka in Vienna between 1955 and 1957, all starring a teenage Romy Schneider as Sissi, i.e. Her Imperial and Royal Majesty, Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, or Sisi for short. For some reason, the movies add aRead more