Category Archives: Frivolity

NYC Board of Elections: Comic App!

The New York Democratic Party primary that will select that party’s candidate for the 2021 Mayoral Election this November has been in disarray due to all sorts of typical screw-ups by the Infamous “Board of Elections” here. “Ranked-choice voting” is starting to smell a bit, uh, rank.

When folks around here used to say that “the Board of Elections has its head up its ass,” I’ve always wondered exactly what that would look like. Bill Bramhall (of “Bramhall’s World“) has finally given us a pic!

Courtesy of the New York Daily News (July 1, 2021)

Birds, Bees, and Commas?

The editor in me was just so turned on by this one … 😉

A Photo Trip Down Memory Lane

I’ve been doing a lot of work in my apartment, cleaning up, in anticipation of my sister‘s return from the subacute rehabilitation facility she’s been in for several months now. When she returns home in July, she will not have seen the inside of this house since mid-March. So I’ve been busting my butt clearing things up and readying the space for her continued recovery.

This has led me to go through several file drawers that contain materials which will eventually make their way to the NYU Faculty Archives—after I’m gone. Have no fear, I ain’t going anywhere. Still, some of the stuff made me laugh out loud.

For example, I came upon an envelope of black-and-white stills, which were taken as “promotional” shots for my soon-to-be-released books, Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (1995) and Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (1995). This particular one was taken in 1994 in the backdrop of New York University buildings. We decided to pass on it because I was told to “Fuhgedaboudit“: It was a bit too “Brooklyn.” You decide … 🙂

Me, Circa 1994

Finally: I Agree With Mayor Bill De Blasio!

It took nearly eight years, but I finally found myself in agreement with one of the most despised mayors in the modern history of New York City: Bill De Blasio. I’ll be kind and not enumerate the ways in which this guy has screwed up.

But today, in trying to explain the new system of “Ranked Choice Voting” for the upcoming Democratic Party Primary, he used the example of ranking his favorite toppings on a NYC pizza. Personally, I’m a traditionalist with pizza: Mozzarella, a little grated cheese, and a delicious sauce, with the crust baked to perfection!

But Bill has his own rankings of toppings: (1) Green peppers; (2) Olives; (3) Sausage; (4) Mushrooms; (5) Pepperoni.

He then proceeded to violently X-out PINEAPPLE. And he stated, in grand NY style: “Let me tell you what never, ever, ever should be voted for! This is ridiculous, okay! Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza — we’re not in California. Okay? … This is sacrilegious in Italy to put pineapple on a pizza, so I’m just, totally, no way, never going to rank that!”

It’s sacrilegious in NYC too! It took eight years, Bill, but you finally get a Thumbs Up from me! Check out his spirited slap at pineapple at 14:20 or so here.

“The Mandalorian” Finally!

So, I’m coming late to “The Mandalorian“, and just finished the finale of Season 1. The final scenes of Chapter 8 gave me a chuckle though. The Armorer states that until that Baby Yoda-like foundling “is of age or reunited with its own kind”, the Mandalorian is “as its father.” She adds: “By Creed, it is in your care.” Standing right there is the character Greef Karga, played by Carl Weathers, who—duh—was Apollo CREED in the “Rocky” franchise. LOL

Better still, I was totally surprised when Moff Gideon showed up. It was Gus Fring! I’ve been waiting for “Better Call Saul” to come back, but there he was! Well, it was actually the actor Giancarlo Esposito. This is the Way** … forward to Season 2! I have spoken!

🙂

** Given all the interconnections noted above, I was tempted to say “This is the Dialectical Way”… but held back my instincts! 😉

Philosophy Laugh …

On the question of Free Will?

Courtesy Stephan Pastis, “Pearls Before Swine”, New York Daily News

On the annoying life of the philosopher …

A Mother’s Love & Humor

It’s Mother’s Day today, and it’s only natural to think about Mom. That’s not all that unusual, because there isn’t a day that passes where I don’t think about her. She’s been gone since 1995, when she died at the age of 76, after a five-year battle with lung cancer. Those were very difficult times.

But through it all, what has kept Mom alive in our hearts and our minds is our memories of her. She was a Force of Nature to whom everyone turned—friends and family—for love, strength, inspiration, and a laugh. A sense of humor was certainly among her top character traits.

I’m thinking of one specific time that illustrates this. It was in the summer of 1988. I had recently earned my doctorate, and we had gone out for the evening. Mom joined me, my sister, and my friends Elaine Thompson and Gema LaBoccetta for a night out on the town. At the end of an evening of fun and entertainment, we made our customary journey to the local diner, to finish off the festivities with a bite to eat.

Mom ordered some coffee, while we were all looking over the menu, and the waitress returned with the coffee and a bowl of those little sealed, flexible milk containers that are used to lighten your coffee to your desired hue.

We put in our orders, and I swiftly picked up one of those little milk container thingies. And I started squeezing it lightly, observing how full the containers were with that cherished milk inside.

Mom (to her 28-year old son): Stop playing with that! You’re going to break it.

Chris: Oh, c’mon, I’m not gonna break it.

Mom: You’re going to break it open. Leave it alone.

Chris pushes a little bit too hard on the container thingy and its milky contents hit Mom square in the forehead.

As the milk drips down Mom’s forehead, moving toward her nostrils, a single drop falls off the tip of her nose. The table grows silent.

Mom: What are you a moron? My son! The Ph.D.!

All of us became so convulsed with laughter that we were literally crying.

She was a great sport. And a great mother. And I miss her very much.

Happy Mother’s Day to All the Moms Out There!

Mom (Ann Sciabarra), 1988

Postscript (10 May 2021): On Facebook, Elaine (mentioned in the story above) wrote this, which I share here on my blog:

Chris,
Even though I was there, seated across from your Mom when this happened, I am literally CRYING right now after reading this!!! Your Mom was a good sport and I can still hear her voice. Gema and I were frozen, not at all sure of how to react UNTIL you almost fell out of your seat HYSTERICALLY laughing, which set us all off. I can easily say that THAT moment is in my top three times in my life where I was literally crying from laughing. I miss “Ma”. Thanks for this awesome memory my dear friend! Love you 3 much!!!

❤