I Love Making Up Non-Fiction

About a year ago I waxed eloquent in Pulitzer-winning fashion about my favorite fiction books.  Since then I have been swamped with an e-mail asking about my favorite non-fiction books, to which I have been hesitant to respond because non-fiction books are hard—especially when being thrown at you for taping the end of the Alabama-Auburn game over one’s wedding video.

In my defense, I have already watched the end of that game way more often than any wedding video.

And in retrospect, my defense is perhaps not as strong as I had anticipated.

The problem with ranking non-fiction books is that when you combine the sheer number of categories with varying personal tastes you almost have a possibility for every time Lorde is played on the radio.  Continue reading

Am I Racist if I Stay Home on Black Friday?

Here we are in Nickname Week again: Thanksgiving Thursday followed by Black Friday followed by Small Business Saturday followed by Sleep It Off Sunday followed by Cyber Monday followed by TIMMY Tuesday et cetera, et cetera, advertisement nauseam.

Thursday is the actual holiday that is causing this moniker mayhem.  It is known as Thanksgiving, or as they say in Texas, THANKS-giving.  Of course, they say a lot of things in Texas you don’t really hear elsewhere, like PO-lice and GUN rack.  Be that as it may, I will try to arise from my turkey coma long enough to pass off as this week’s post a few reflective reflections to test your reflexes.

Thanksgiving was first declared a holiday by George Washington, but credit is usually given to Abraham Lincoln because he freed the slaves and wore a really cool hat.  Continue reading

Do You Hear the Singing Swiss?

swiss flagLike it or not, the Swiss are in the news again.  And I know what you are thinking: Winter Olympics already?  It may come as a shock to many of my American readers, but I have it on good authority that some nations exist and do stuff even when the Olympics are not going on.  The Swiss are a perfect example.

Last week Switzerland announced a contest through which they will choose a new national anthem to replace their current “Swiss Psalm,” which in turn replaced the English tune, “God Save the Queen” in 1961 because they eventually realized that 1) they were not English; and b) they didn’t even have a queen. Continue reading

Holy Week, Batman! It’s Easter!

Hello and here we are in the midst of the most holy week of the Christian calendar, not to be confused with the Christian colander which is also holey but for an entirely different reason.  Holy week is the time of year when believers in the resurrection of Christ become especially reverent and often take time  to personally and  solemnly reflect on why TV commercials can say ‘Easter’ but can’t say ‘Christmas.’

It’s also the time of year when people who normally wouldn’t go to church if their soul depended on it suddenly find themselves going two or three times in a span of a few days “just in case” or to maybe give their busted bracket a supernatural boost. Continue reading

What Time Is It? Valentime!



Given the nature of this week and its quasi pseudo semi-holiday, today I offer a brief history of Valentine’s Day even though everyone knows Saint Valentine wore boxers.  Ha ha!  Just kidding.  Actually, I mean ‘brief’ in terms of being ‘short,’ as in Robert Reich or the life span of a ‘no new taxes’ pledge.

If I may again quote Grammy award-winning artist Adele, “Rumor has it” that Valentine’s Day started from an ancient Roman festival called “Lupercalia,” which would be a great name for a German rock band (“Ich bin ein Gitarrist in Lupercalia”). Continue reading