The Pandora Open

Comey opened the box. As soon as he tipped the lid on the FBI investigation into potential Trump world coordination with Russians in the election. All bets were off. Intelligence committee partisans unleashed. The press has been banging on the lock for months. The key is turning. Carl Bernstein has been peeking through the cracks. Hoping to reveal the next Watergate. Exaggerate-gate unhinged. Stand back. Evil humors are now released.

Books for Winter’s Return

Two modern mysteries for cold and windy March days. Both good in different ways.

Dark Rooms, Lili AnolikBilled as a Secret History prep murder redux. Not that at all. Set in (West?) Hartford, Connecticut, the boarding school itself never came to life. Grace’s sister Nica is found dead from a gunshot wound in the nearby cemetery. Plot twists yes. Many reviewers had issues with the so-called “rapist” in the plot. Not. It portrayed a mother’s extraordinary evil.

The Girl Before, JP DelaneySad that so many recent best-sellers have ‘girl’ rather than more accurate ‘woman’ in the titles. Gone Girl. Girl on the Train. Anyway. Another back and forth- this one between two women. Emma then. Jane now. A device that worked well here and even melded the two when it was right to do so. An austere technocratic architecturally-renowned house in London the setting for this psycho-drama. Soon a Ron Howard movie.

Winter Book Reviews

News of the World, Paulette Jiles. Our second NYC Book Club pick. A short sweet novel. Jefferson “Captain” Kidd reads the news of the world, literally, to small town Texas folk in the 1870’s. The gentleman widower rides on horseback from town to town regaling people with tales from around the world for a dime. He is a welcomed attraction. Intellectual, articulate, well-mannered. Then. He accepts a mission to return a 10-year old girl who has been “rescued” from captivity by the Kiowa Indians to her relatives. Along the way adventures ensue and an endearing relationship is beautifully portrayed.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin. Conjuring Dominick Dunne. Gossipy. Juicy. Dishy fiction. Truman Capote & Upper Fifth Avenue “social x-rays” of the 50’s-70’s. Women who traded on their looks to snag the richest if otherwise unappealing men of their time. Superficial. Lonely. Materialistic. Narcissistic. Yup. All of that. Bill & Babe Paley. Pamela Harriman. Name dropping on every page. If only half the stories were true. Lots of fun to read.

Book Treks

Super Swirl

There’s football today? Politics has overtaken the dialogue so much that Super Bowl 51 is hardly mentioned. Trump-friendly Pats owner and players the prominent topic. Not the actual game. But. Crazy Prez has brought out Lorne Michaels’ genius again. Melissa McCarthy killed it as Sean Spicer. Alec and his scary sidekick Steve Bannon nailed it. Kristen Stewart was excellent. Skits were well written. Actually watched all of SNL for the first time in years.

Dowd has taken to writing about Mrs. T. And. New Yorker article cleverly spoofs her sneaking in at the womens’ march. Let’s face it. Melania may be the most feminist first lady ever. Refusing to follow her man to the White House.

Okay. Let’s talk about New England v. Atlanta. 24-31.

Farewell Mr. Lovely

President Barack Obama. A lovely man of honor and integrity. A mensch. A role model for young people everywhere. Global peacemaker. Gifted orator. Honest leader. Invested father. Courteous gentleman. Funny, too. As you say farewell tonight, know that we will miss you.

Hope you continue your work with “My Brother’s Keeper Foundation.”  Hope you will take any calls from President Trump. He’ll need your counsel. Hope you’ll weigh in on important global and domestic issues in your spirited yet fair way. Hope you’ll succeed in redistricting efforts. Hope you’ll retain your audacity of hope.

Sonnet Sets On 2016

The sun finally sets on this quake year
Disruptions left fissures as yet unclear
Nation shaken by Heartland’s frustration
Rally-rocked stadiums in rural towns
While shuttered Main Streets heaved up in despair
As tone deaf hunkered under safe bunkers
Beneath cloistered thought-gated college lawns
In cocktail cult kissass-disguised newsrooms
Consulting class glass shattered on both coasts
Hit by a political tsunami
From Brexit to Nexit the EU cracked
Populists tilted globalist axis
Expect tectonic economic shifts
And frequent volcanic Trump eruptions

Stage & Screen

Saw Richard Greenberg’s The Babylon Line at Lincoln Center. Much to chew on after dinner at Bar Boulud. A play about a writing course, agoraphobia, Sixties suburban ennui. Yes. Familiar. Literally and figuratively. Robotic adults from a cookie-cutter suburb called Levittown take the LIRR to evening class to escape their Leave It To Beaver lives. Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother fame, was excellent as the frustrated author-instructor. Tony winners Frank Wood and Randy Graff were superb surprises in an uneven script.

During intermission a flash on the iPhone screen. Silver Screen Queen Debbie Reynolds dead. The day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died. One word came to mind. Upstage.