It was my birthday last week. I turned 35. I figured such an auspicious milestone deserved to be marked with full decorum and seemly maturity, so I had a nice dinner with friends, took in a ball game, and spent some time with family.

Then I got my big gift, and all my decorum has suddenly disappeared.

I finally got an MP3 player. No — this is huge!

I hadn’t really bought any new music for like ten years. Somewhere along life’s way, I allowed myself to be convinced that I had shitty taste in music. I was self-conscious about it. So I stopped being a collector of music, and I spent my money on other things. Like good food, and awesome books.

Luckily, my friends at the time all had truly outstanding taste in music, so my life was still filled with good tunes and cool tapes despite my self-imposed musical embargo. I listened to good music, but I didn’t buy it. I bought maybe five cds over ten years.

Then I heard this old Pixies song one day last year, a song I had completely forgotten existed, a song that had always made me squirm with delight, and what do you know, it still did, and something finally snapped.



I find it very disconcerting when guys change their facial hair. All of a sudden you are looking at a section of their face that hasn’t seen the sunshine in years, and it seems so inappropriate, so embarrassing, like they forgot to put on pants when they went to the grocery store.

A friend of mine shaved off his moustache a couple of weeks ago, and I am only just beginning to recover. Handsome guy and all that, but now I have to totally change the way his face scans in my minds eye. Sam used to look one way, now he looks a different way.

It’s all so sudden!



It’s the mighty Fourth of July weekend here on Cape Cod, a time of traffic, drunken mayhem, and the celebration of our god-given right to blow things up. My local paper, which I trust above all things, tells me that we celebrate a Very Special Fourth of July this year, like the whole weekend is the Greatest After-School Special Ever Told.

Recently we Bay Staters (that’s Massachusetts) have been embroiled in a bitter struggle at the state legislative level that has torn families and friendships apart. It’s a philosophical debate with profound practical ramifications, involving deeply held beliefs of the most Fundamental Rights of Man, the True Nature of Things, and the Right to Control Our Own Bodies.

I speak, of course, of the Fluff Wars.