Cake bakers bake cakes. Bread bakers bake bread. Cookie bakers bake cookies. Bagel bakers bake bagels (after boiling them first, I hope.) Pretzel bakers bake pretzels, with a twist, of course. A recent email from a right wing “religious” organization, referred to “Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein.” Oh, dear! Do Christian bakers bake….?­­

Born-again Christians. Isn’t it better to get it right the first time?

Ascribed to Billy Sunday in Jess Walter, The Cold Millions: “Goin’ to church don’t make you a Christian any more than goin’ to a garage makes you an automobile.”

Do the Christians who are non-celiac but gluten-free pray sincerely, “Give us this day our daily bread”?

Increasingly actors listing credits in Playbills include preferred pronouns. For example, the actor playing Max in the production I just saw included (he/him/his) and the one playing Sandra had (she/her). And pronouns often appear on the signature lines of emails these days. I wrote about how a new pronoun for the NBP has not come easily to me. Search Results for “pronoun” – AJ’s Dad ( But my preferred personal pronouns have remained constant: I, me, and especially mine.

I have not done much traveling since Covid infiltrated, but it is funny what I retain from earlier trips. For example, I went to Morocco shortly before the pandemic. I could not name all the different foods I tried. I cannot remember all the restaurants and hotels. I could not even tell you all the cities I visited. But I do remember that Morocco had many wonderful, varied streetlights.

Like others, I have admired the broad boulevards of Paris that help make the city beautiful. However, A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh says that these streets were not designed for their esthetics but to aid the police so that the thoroughfares could not be blockaded as they had been earlier in the Nineteenth Century.

Call me prejudiced. I was surprised at how fit–and attractive–the mixed-doubles Olympic curlers were.

“It seldom pays to be rude. It never pays to be only half rude.” Norman Douglas.

Reality is the only obstacle to happiness.

Are you a Zen master if, when you order a hot dog, you say, “Make me one with everything”?


There is talk about a baby boom because of the shelter-at-home mandates of the last three months—call them Covid-19 babies although I hope that none are ever named “Covid.” But I wonder how many were conceived in the first fortnight and how many in the last few weeks after partners had spent months continually together.

“Ezra watched spellbound, eyes bright and jaw slack; he could never get enough of humanity, so long as it slept in another room.” Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry.

Those of us who are sports fans have heard the National Anthem countless times at stadiums and arenas and on broadcasts, but in the last few months we may have not heard it at all. Without the usual doses of the “Star-Spangled Banner” have we become less patriotic or is that ritualistic singing irrelevant in having a love of America? Perhaps it might be a good thing if, because of the pandemic, we reassessed the connection between sports and patriotism, but we still have the controversy over athletes kneeling during the National Anthem. This action has been labeled by the Golfer-in-Chief as “disrespectful to the flag.” The kneelers, whether they are correct or not in their assessments, seek to make the United States a better country. Wanting a better country implies not disdain, but love for the nation. However, if you believe that it somehow undermines the country to silently kneel during the National Anthem, then you should be happy that with sports cancelled or postponed the country has not been so undermined during this period. Do you feel that the country is stronger as a result? This makes me wonder. I have never attended a professional golf tournament. Does each session begin with the National Anthem? Since the golfers begin their rounds at different times and spectators seek different vantage points around the course, it would not make much sense. If golf does not have the National Anthem for all participants and spectators, may I assume that those at a golf event are less patriotic than those at a football game?  And, does Trump stand and sing the National Anthem—assuming he knows the words—before he plops down in a golf cart for his frequent eighteen holes?

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

“It is what it is.” I want to retire this phrase. The spouse does not. Yet again, the spouse is winning.

What is the name for the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper?

The spouse asked me what time I wanted to leave to be on time for our restaurant reservation. I answered. She immediately said she wanted to go five minutes earlier, and it was clear that we were going at her preferred time. As I started to ask why she asked me what time I wanted to go, I, of course, knew the answer. If by happenstance I had stated the time when she wanted to go—the time when we would go–she could look like she was merely acquiescing to my wishes. Smart or manipulative?

Are you a zen master if, when you order a hot dog, you say, “Make me one with everything?”