A Little Background Information

When re­quired to post a bio on the in­ternet, I usu­ally write, “Mys­tical lib­eral likes long walks at night in the city in the rain with an um­brella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig.” While this works for most readers, others want a bit more background.

Rather than re­gale you with tales of my pro­fes­sional ca­reer and the jobs I have held (more than I can re­member), I’m just going to list things that I am (still!) pas­sionate about. As each cat­e­gory could con­tain dozens of en­tries, I kept my se­lec­tions down to one or two each.

So, read on . . .


JenniferGarner 2019 600

Jen­nifer Garner in 2019: more beau­tiful than ever.

a few of my faveravest things

Fa­vorite single
Elvis Presley, Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel (1956)

Fa­vorite album
The Beach Boys, PET SOUNDS (1966) 1

Fa­vorite fe­male singer
Petula Clark

Fa­vorite male singer
Elvis Presley

Fa­vorite groups
Bea­tles (1961-1969)

Beach Boys (1962-1972)
Rolling Stones (1963-forever)
Kinks (1964-1971)
Byrds (1965-1968)

Fa­vorite novels
James Clavell, Tai-Pan (1966)

James Clavell, Shogun (1975)

Fa­vorite fic­tion authors
Poul An­derson

James Clavell
Phillip Dick
Harlan El­lison
Anne Mc­Caf­frey
Lewis Shiner
Norman Spinrad

Fa­vorite non-fiction authors
Bill James
Stephen Jay Gould
Laura Kipnis

Fa­vorite poem
Tristan Tzara, Ap­prox­i­mate Man 2

Fa­vorite old movies
King Kong (1933)

The Scarlet Pim­pernel (1934)
Snow White And The Seven Dwarves (1937)

Fa­vorite re­cent movies
A Clock­work Or­ange (1971)

Dances With Wolves (1990)
Love Ac­tu­ally

Fa­vorite actors
Cary Grant

Kevin Costner

Fa­vorite actresses
Jen­nifer Garner
Marisa Tomei

Fa­vorite movie directors
Woody Allen

Clint East­wood

Fa­vorite car­toon character
Bugs Bunny

Fa­vorite tele­vi­sion series
Star Trek (1966-1968)

Northern Ex­po­sure (1990-1995)
Friends (1994-2004)
Firefly (2002-2003) 3

Fa­vorite cos­tumed heroes
The Fan­tastic Four (Jack Kirby and Stan Lee)
Spi­derman (Steve Ditko and Stan Lee)

Fa­vorite cos­tume­less heroes
Dr. Strange (Steve Ditko and Stan Lee)

Pip­squeak (Wally Wood)
The Spirit (Will Eisner)

Fa­vorite above­ground comic books artists
Steve Ditko

Jack Kirby
Wally Wood

Fa­vorite un­der­ground comic artists
R. Crumb

Fred Schrier

Fa­vorite psy­che­delic poster artists
Rick Griffin

Fa­vorite mixed drink
Tan­queray mar­tini, stirred not shaken, straight up, with one olive squeezed into the drink then tossed over my left shoulder. 4

Fa­vorite un­mixed drink
10-year-old Laphroaig

Fa­vorite drugs
Ly­sergic acid diethylamide

Fa­vorite par­tic­i­pa­tory sports


Fa­vorite spec­tator sports


Fa­vorite base­ball team
Philadel­phia Phillies

Fa­vorite base­ball player
Pete Rose 5

Fa­vorite ice cream
Tillamook Vanilla Bean

Fa­vorite quotation
“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble—it’s what you know that just ain’t so!” (Josh Billings)


Overstreet 79 Wood 500

This art was done by Wally Wood for the cover of the 1979 edi­tion of Robert Overstreet’s Comic Book Price Guide. It is an homage to the work that Wood did for the leg­endary EC comic books Weird Sci­ence and Weird Fan­tasy in the early ’50s.


a few intimate details

I am in a long-term, com­mitted re­la­tion­ship with a woman who hates seeing her name on the in­ternet. 6

Foot­notes on my blog posts. 7

I am a pizza snob who be­lieves that Old Forge, Penn­syl­vania, is the Pizza Cap­ital of the World.

Mis­cel­la­neous love

Mis­cel­la­neous hate
F*cking bul­lies 8



1   But there are a number of al­bums that could be con­sid­ered a close second. This in­cludes but is cer­tainly not lim­ited to Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde (1966), the Byrds’ Younger Than Yes­terday (1967), The Band’s Music From Big Pink and the Rolling Stones’ Beg­gars Ban­quet (1968), From Elvis In Mem­phis (1969), the Kinks’ Arthur (1969), and the Beach Boys’ Sun­flower (1970).

2   The Mary Ann Caws trans­la­tion of 1973.

3   Since we started binge-watching tele­vi­sion se­ries on DVD a few years ago, I could add so, so many more titles—but won’t.

4   That’s a mar­tini made the old-fashioned way: four-parts-gin-to-one-part-vermouth, not the modern 20-1 mix.

5   Be­cause as a Phillies fan I credit Rose with their first World Cham­pi­onship in 1980 to Rose.

6   I would love to re­gale you with tales of my con­quests, my loves, my losses—but that same Internet-fearing woman would have what’s left of my balls pickled in a jar on the mantle if I did.

7   Like these.

8   All bul­lies: phys­ical, emo­tional, in­tel­lec­tual, spir­i­tual, and in this country, po­lit­ical and eco­nomic bullies.


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