Grumpkin

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Skippy Hallow 2. Still hate Halloween. Can’t get enough of television hosts tarting up in pretend-brity costumes. Even more fun is flashbacks of their silly dressing in drag of years past. News? Shmews.

The tacky tradition started in Scotland with ‘guising’, kids disguising themselves on All Hallow’s Eve so evil spirits wouldn’t recognize them. Here’s the 411. They know who you are. As a witch, I predict this year, Grumpkin Goop. SnowySquashySoup.

Witch Twitch

27,000 plus twitches on The Side Trek. There’s a new book about the Witch of Northampton, and it’s not me. “My Enemy’s Tears” is the story of Mary Bliss Parsons who was tried for witchcraft in 1675. Jagged cranky women are in again.

With the exception of witchy bitches on Fox. Is that all they got? False eyelashes, pancake makeup, Barbie dollbots. Bracing for more October snow. Siri didn’t tell Dr.H to get his winter tires soon enough. Boo!

Trek Pourri

‘Franco’ is back. September. Yup. James Franco on GH the soap. Katie Couric better not get in the way of my favorite menacing serial killer. Found a 2009 Richard Russo novel, That Old Cape Magic. It’s not Empire Falls nor Bridge of Sighs, but I liked it. Thought provoking. Marriage in the sandwich years. BoSox’ Ellsbury on fire, NYY A-Rod in the hot seat. BaggerWoods’ return to the links. Have to watch Quijote even without his Panza. Addictions are hard to break.

Jon Huntsman’s campaign story is soap opera fodder. But, New York Magazine’s article on the Romney v. Huntsman saga is epic. You heard it here first! Hope Congressional caped crusaders are having a great vacation leaving USA in the lurch. PrezO turns 50 today, already grey. Not easy.

CandyPants asks: What’s with the doily doo dads on Mika’s dresses? Not pretty.

Violet Glory

 On stage at the Javits Center stands Ben with 3 other honored undergrads behind faculty illuminati during NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation. 1,800 classmates cheer him on from the floor as he is introduced recipient of the Borgman-Phi Beta Kappa prize for most outstanding undergrad honors thesis: ‘Functional Data Analysis of Economic Bubbles: Creating a Coherent Shape of Inflationary Phenomena’.

As Ben crosses the stage with his diploma in Economics (highest honors) and Journalism (magna cum laude), President John Sexton reaches for a heartfelt hug. Ben says, ‘Thank you, John’. John replies, ‘Thank you, Ben’. Kleenex please. 

Next day, Violets in Yankee Stadium? A sea of purple stands. Joe’s smilin’. No, not joltin’ Joe. He’s there too with E.A. and Ellis. Bill Clinton emerges from the dugout right in front of Ben & Co. Bill’s speech had that politically charged Clintonesque touch of pure inspiration. Best of all, no purple rain.

mAdBen!

MadMen’s Season 5 is in doubt, but mAdBen is beginning Season 1. Ogilvy was smart enough to select him as one of their prestigious Associates. After a couple thousand applications, they interviewed 400, then invited 53 to participate in “Super Saturday”, a grueling day of presentations and interviews this past weekend. Today Ben got the happy news that he was chosen as one of 23 new Associates. Congrats! Now we can breathe, but no martinis until after noon.

Full circle from Ghirardelli Square to Ogilvy Chocolate Factory. Sweeeeeet. 

Woolf Trek

It’s a good day to reprise my 4/27/10 post- favorite obit headline ever: ‘Helen Lavalle, 94, Advised Elizabeth Taylor’. “Amongst her many jobs, Helen was a waitress at the former Williams House, where she was the only waitress who could tell Elizabeth Taylor that one lobster was enough.” -Gazette

Elizabeth Taylor was here at Smith College in the 60’s filming “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, with Richard Burton. Assume that’s when she may have tried to indulge in local lobster binge-ing and Helen would have none of it. The old Williams House in nearby Williamsburg, Massachusetts, was famous for its haute cuisine brought to the Valley by Jim Wolff, featured in Table’s Edge.


Middle March

Nod to Mary Ann Evans aka George Eliot. Sad maelstrom in Japan. More reminiscent of thousands of ‘dollops’, The Mill on the Floss. Back to reality.

Birthday weekend to remember. There aren’t enough stars for Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. Great hotel of yesteryear captures spirit and architecture of the original. Service as it used to be, only better. Some things in life worth the price.

Frank Rich, former editorial board chair of Harvard’s Crimson and friend of WSN former same, received Goldsmith Award at Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics, Public Policy on March 7. Will miss his op-eds at NYTimes. Have to catch him now in NYMag. Thinking ahead to May NYU graduation. Bill Clinton just announced as Commencement speaker. Yankee Stadium, with honorees including Clive Davis and Danny Meyer. Cool. Graduation already?!

Side Trek – Blog Spotted

Pioneer Valley newspaper Daily Hampshire Gazette featured TheSideTrek in Phoebe Mitchell’s “Blog Spotter” report. Cool! Great article. Read it here, the link works now, thanks to Noah:

‘Florence Woman Makes Mark on CNN Blog, and Her Own’. Ms. Mitchell highlighted frequent on-air Cafferty File comments, Recipe Detours, 2010 best TrekBooks and eclectic ramblings including the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney. Nod to GemQueen. Mitchell cited snarky “Skippy Hallow” post, and liked that Alicat and I fought over the neck and gizzard on Thanksgiving.

James Franco hosting Oscars, Ben’s NYU Econ Honors thesis acclaim and now this, good times. Thanks for your 14,000 visits and comment away into 2011!

Jake Trik

Boo you, Aunt CrankyPants. I like Halloween even though I can’t eat cheap candy yet. My father clearly doesn’t see that I’m about to burn my finger, how can I make my stock trades? My brother Chris shot a 77 yesterday, 18 holes. That would be your average for 9. Hope kids come to your door in droves dragging pimped out pets. At least Uncle G will give them a KitKat. Happy Halloween. Love, Jake

Cool Guyz

I like guyz in general. Some are cooler than others. On my cool guy list this week: John Slattery, I’d get in the passenger seat of his Lincoln any day; love Willie Geist on anything, he’s smart and funny, zany in a sane way; Russell Brand, ditto, in an insane way; los mineros de Chile; bloggers Jake-o-Lantern and his wacky Dad. Of course every week Jack. My Jack. Yes, boring as it is, he read my comment on the air yet again. I wrote about another cool guy, read it here.-Question: How will our children’s lives compare to ours?

The whole O’Reilly dust up on the View looked like a put-up PR stunt to me. I didn’t see it but since Julie Chen’s new show starts Monday, I’m just sayin. Oprah is taking Jon Stewart’s audience to the Sanity Rally. Oh yeah, he’s a really cool guy. Did I mention Jon Hamm? He was hilarious on live 30 Rock. Oh, that reminds me of Alec Baldwin.