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Gary Freedman's Blog – September 2009 Archive (61)

The Art of the Blog -- A Home for the Alienated Soul

From my childhood years to middle age, I have been a solitary and lonely man. Repeatedly I have identified throughout my life with the miserable and the forlorn, and I have clung with a death grip to whatever person, place, or belief that seems the current answer to my anguished and ceaseless search for orientation and structure. Malcolm Lassman -- an individual of substance and good standing in the community of lawyers -- used to say to my sister: "He acts as if this is the only place he can… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 27, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Tribute to Glenn A. Fine, Esq.

Beginning in the fall of 1985 I worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC. At that time a law clerk named Glenn Fine worked at the firm. He was clearly a superior individual who has gone on to have an outstanding career in the law. I am proud to say that I worked in the same organization as he did.

The past few years have been some of the most tumultuous in the Justice Department's history. Nearly the entire department leadership resigned in a scandal over… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 26, 2009 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Tribute to Clifford Odets

Clifford Odets (July 18, 1906 – August 18, 1963) was an American playwright, screenwriter, socialist, and social protester.

Odets's dramatic style is distinguished by a kind of poetic, metaphor-laden street talk, by his socialist politics, and by his way of dropping the audience right into the conflict with little or no introduction. Often character is more important than plot, which Odets attributed to the influence of Anton Chekhov. Odets' plays include Waiting for Lefty (1935),… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 25, 2009 at 10:59am — 1 Comment

An Odd Comment

In the late 1980s I worked with a women named Esperanza ("Espe") Rebollar at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in DC. She once made a comment that I found odd. She was talking about the fact that the Jews had been blamed for the murder of Jesus Christ. She said: "Everybody knows the Pope forgave the Jews for that years ago." Isn't that an odd comment to make in the workplace?

Added by Gary Freedman on September 25, 2009 at 9:39am — No Comments

Growing Up Jewish in Philadelphia

Roots. My father's parents were Jewish immigrants from the Baltic states. My grandfather was born in Vilna, Lithuania. And my grandmother came to the United States from Riga, the capital of Latvia. My grandmother's native language was German, my father used to proclaim proudly. "She didn't speak Yiddish like some prost Russian Jew."

They hadn't known it, these Northern and Eastern European Jews, but each of them, pondering the momentous decision to leave the native country, was only… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 25, 2009 at 9:37am — No Comments

My Friend, Craig W. Dye

Here's the latest on my friend, Craig Dye. He's come a long way since I first met him. I, on the other hand, have turned inertia into an art.

The University of Maryland, College Park, has named Craig Dye to head its angel investing group.

Dye will lead the Capital Access Network, which joins together angel investors with early-stage companies for deals worth up to $1.5 million. The network is part of the university’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in the Robert H.… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 24, 2009 at 11:10am — No Comments

A Strange Boy, Indeed!

He never quite fit into the local society of boys. He usually would not play with them. In school, he seemed an isolated, dreamy boy who didn't like rough play. One classmate found him "strange and conceited, without the usual interests of a boy." Another observed that he had no close friends, and that he seemed to prefer writing and illustrating stories to the more routine school subjects. He was lazy, too, and did not participate in class projects with any enthusiasm. A survey of his report… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 23, 2009 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

A Curious Parallel

Kyle XY was an American drama television series. The show revolved around a boy named Kyle, who awakened in a forest outside Seattle, Washington, suffering from amnesia. The series followed Kyle as he tried to understand the mysteries of who he was and why he had no memory of being a child. He was sometimes shown with his shirt partially removed, revealing that he lacked a navel.

The fictional television drama Kyle XY, broadcast on the ABC network in the summer of 2006, has close… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 23, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

September 23, 1939 -- Three Score Ten Years Ago

A heavy cigar smoker, Sigmund Freud endured more than 30 operations during his life due to oral cancer. In September 1939 he prevailed on his doctor and friend Max Schur to assist him in suicide. After reading Balzac's La Peau de Chagrin in a single sitting he said, "My dear Schur, you certainly remember our first talk. You promised me then not to forsake me when my time comes. Now it is nothing but torture and makes no sense any more." Schur administered three doses of morphine over many hours… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 23, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

Should I Fear For My Life?

Back in 1985 I worked with a fellow named Charles (Chas) Green. He had a law degree and subsequently joined the army as a member of the JAG Corps.

One day Chas said to me: "Someday you're going to screw the wrong person, and they're going to find your body floating, face down, with a knife in your back, in the Potomac."

Oddly enough, at that very time in 1985 one of the law clerks at the firm where we worked was Glenn A. Fine, Esq., now Inspector General of the United… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 22, 2009 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

What causes the "Aha!" moment?

Sometimes a scientist will work on a project for years before he comes to a solution, before he attains insight. The bare facts were in front of him for a year, a decade--twenty years, even. Then, all of a sudden, the scientist has a new imagining of the problem, and the answer that he sought stands before him clearly. What is it that triggers the "Aha!" moment: the moment the scientist says to himself, "the solution was staring me in the face for years and now I see it with utter… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 22, 2009 at 11:10am — 3 Comments

The Scarlet Letter

I had a friend named Craig Dye. Somehow conversations with Craig usually turned to sex.

On the afternoon of Friday August 7, 1987, Craig took a flight to Miami for a week's vacation. He had written a memo to our supervisor, Miriam Chilton, some time before advising her of his vacation plans: that he would be out of the office from August 10 to August 14, 1987. The memo was rife with sexual references, detailing Craig's anticipated sexual activities in Miami. Miriam called Craig into… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 22, 2009 at 10:12am — 1 Comment

My Ace in the Hole

This is my Ace in the Hole in case the FBI says I committed a felony by defrauding the U.S. Social Security Administration:



Only an unemployable psychotic would write something like this and post it on the internet, don't you think?

If you have reason to believe I am a felon, contact Special… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 19, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Oy veh!

I used to work at a law firm in DC. An employee, who worked in a cubicle next to me, talked about her July telephone bill one day. She kept saying: "Ju-ly. Ju-ly." I complained to the firm's managers that it was an instance of anti-Semitism: that the employee's statement could be interpreted as "Jew lie, Jew lie." I added that around that time the same employee had been saying, "liar, liar, pants on fire" and that she had entered a room saying, "oy veh." (The employee was African American). The… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 19, 2009 at 11:57am — No Comments

The Second Shouter Theory

On September 9, 2009, President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to outline his proposal for reforming health care. During his address, President Obama said: "There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

In a breach of decorum, Representative Joe Wilson pointed at Obama and shouted, "You lie!" He said afterwards that his action… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 18, 2009 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

I'm a Segregationist

I'm a segregationist. I believe God wanted blacks and whites to be separate. It's a sin to mix blacks and whites. Whites have their own specific character. Blacks have their own specific character. I find that mixing blacks and whites is confusing. When I was a boy it was particularly confusing.

Did you ever hear about why zebras developed stripes? Biologists believe that zebras developed stripes because stripes have survival value for the species. You see, when a predator, like a… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 18, 2009 at 11:00am — 10 Comments

The Roommate From Hell -- Memories of Packer Hall at Penn State

I had a college dorm roommate with a narcissistic personality disorder, I think. He had two girlfriends--an on-campus girlfriend and an at-home girlfriend. Neither knew about each other, of course. I went looking through his things (I know you're not supposed to, but I'm an asshole myself) one day and I found his little black book. Page after page of girls names and telephone numbers. He was incapable of a deep, mature emotional relationship with women, so it's no surprise that we could never… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 18, 2009 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Whatever Happened to Jeanette Gringo, Esq.?

Jeanette Gringo, Esq. was one of my coworkers in the Computer Applications Department at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. She was hired in the fall of 1986 by then manager Sheryl Ferguson and left during the summer of 1987. She was a graduate of the Georgetown University Law School. She was a very bright young woman. She obtained employment on the DC Law Revision Commission.

On one occasion she made a comment about me and a coworker, Craig W. Dye. Jeanette Gringo… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 18, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

Happy New Year To My Jewish Friends!

President Obama recorded a greeting to Jews around the world who will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning at sundown Friday. "L'shana tova, tikatevu," Obama said, speaking in Hebrew. "May you have a good year, and may you be inscribed for blessings in the book of life."

Obama talks about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and why during this time of year all people should work to "heal old divisions, seek new understandings and come together to build a… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 18, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Me and Martha Mitchell

The Martha Mitchell effect is the process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient's perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly.

According to Vaughan Bell, "Sometimes, improbable reports are erroneously assumed to be symptoms of mental illness," due to a "failure or inability to verify whether the events have actually taken place, no matter how improbable intuitively they might appear to the busy… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on September 17, 2009 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments



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