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)


A Little Background Information 1

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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