Category Archives: commentary


Noticing KFC ads for chicken and waffles, I remember Mildred Pierce opening her chicken and waffle restaurant in James N. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce. I believe her second restaurant was in Laguna Beach. Until a few years ago, I hadn’t … Continue reading

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In Paris Gare de Lyon train station, I stood next to a well-dressed young man who didn’t appear drunk. He leaned over and threw up. Late that evening in Zurich I had a very large bratwurst, beer, and went to … Continue reading

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The girls blow the boys? I beg your pardon?

How language changes. “On Sunday afternoon the girls blow the boys to a picnic.” From Life magazine, 1949. It means the girls paid for everything. The article was about how an Ohio State boy made five dollars last him for a … Continue reading

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Wherever you go, there it is: home town, U.S.A.

“This was a world of vast parking lots connected to one another by roads that, due to congestion, often looked like vast parking lots. Every motel, restaurant, pet shop, and cinema was part of a national chain, giving the whole … Continue reading

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Perusing one of my railroad books, ‘Down South’ on the Rock Island, by Steve Allen Goen (La Mirada, CA: Four Ways West Publications, 2002), I came across the photo and caption reproduced below. (Ignore the Brook Hollow ad.) The photo was … Continue reading

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Ode to Bank of America, Southern California Gas and, Most of All, Nationwide

“We can’t acknowledge your sister’s death until we have a death certificate,” said the woman at the branch where my sister had done her banking. Meantime they would continue to honor automatic transfers, she assured me. A mailing I received … Continue reading

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Reading to survive

 I’m pleased to have Mike Albo as a guest on Late Last Night Books…/mike-albo-gross-time-looki…/ . Mike Albo, MA creative writing, Columbia, authored the novels Hornito, The Underminer (with Heffernan), the novellas The Junket and Spermhood, and the plays Sexotheque, … Continue reading

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