Monthly Archives: March 2014

A two-piece baseball bat?

“Where do you get all your ideas?” readers of Work of Art ask me occasionally. The main thing is having a good memory, although all my siblings insist that accounts I relate about our childhood favor me.

Except for obvious, grotesque exaggerations, I go by what I remember. And no, the many nuns I’ve Christened in my almost 600 columns might not have had exactly those names, but that’s part of legitimate editorial puffery.

A classmate at Immaculate Conception School, Martin Suazo, shared some memories with me, although by necessity we see events from our particular perspective.

Let me explain:

On Friday there will appear our monthly Senior Profile, by writer Lupita Gonzales. We chose Martin Suazo because, as a life-long resident, he knows Las Vegas well. As a three-sport first-team player for the I.C. Colts, Martin helped us remain competitive. Continue reading

Anything for a laugh

An impressive new video on Facebook, the social medium on computers, aims in setting the right example for children. The brief video is quite graphic, something I wouldn’t recommend showing my youngest granddaughters.

It shows a woman going up an escalator, being tagged by her daughter. As they reach the upper level, the mom discards a cigarette butt, and the child, probably no more than 5 years old, does the same. (I seriously doubt the child ever took a drag on the cigarette — it was probably just a prop. Nevertheless, having the child shown holding the smoked cigarette, and then littering with it, makes a point).

The video includes a potpourri of “things parents pass on to their children.” It features a domestic beating, road rage, more littering, the use of obscene language and gestures, and more. The message is that children learn from grownups.

Coincidentally, about two weeks ago, I stopped to take a group photo of some youngsters. The photo wasn’t for publication but for the group’s personal collections. What did I see in the back row? It was a kid flipping off whoever would eventually look at the picture. Continue reading

They played oompah style

Only a few weeks ago, I wrote a column titled, “Your computer is toast.” It described my elation over having acquired a genuine computer to help me teach journalism classes at Highlands.

I wrote about inviting my then-Highlands student son, Adam Stan to my office to show off the new arrival. He assures me to this day — about 30 years later — that he meant no disrespect in likening my new acquisition to a slice of soggy toast. And he assured me of his sincerity by giving me his own tour of much more up-to-date hardware in the lab he used.

Crestfallen, I carried the pain of such a put-down for years, but Adam was right. The computer my department had acquired, built during the Punic Wars, was indeed toast by comparison. My consolation, however, is that what he showed me then, in 1985, now is toast, of antedeluvian quality compared to the equipment Highlands uses now.

A former Las Vegan, Al Sacoman, came across the “toast” column and accordingly forwarded me a photo of a computer lab that resembled an operating room. The gentlemen in the photo wear suits — none of those warmups with sweatshirt, with a laptop balanced on our navels, in their parents’ basement. Continue reading

No bang for our bucks

There can be no doubt — no doubt whatsoever — that Sandra Bullock ranks second in the pulchritude department. She’s gorgeous, just a step below Katherine Zeta Jones.

But let me explain:

I’m not one of those callow teenybopper reviewers who go gaga over anyone who’s relatively attractive. I’ve given up on inviting Marilyn Monroe into my dreams, to make room for KZJ, and in her absence, Sandra Bullock.

But the more I type these three names, the more I feel like the kind of dizzy fan I criticize.

So let’s end all this discussion about “crushes” held by septuagenarians.

Except for the following:

My wife and I saw “Gravity” (not the 3-D version) recently at a multi-plex theater in Santa Fe. Because of its two fine actors, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, we looked forward to about 100 minutes of great dialogue, splendid special effects and a tight plot. Continue reading