Author: Michael Konik

Overview, with Rick Overton

God bless the Internet. Thanks to digital immortality, all the things we call “content” never fully disappear. It’s possible now to discover new programs that are in fact quite old — or on indeterminate hiatus. Our current favorite podcast extant is “Overview, with Rick Overton,” an hour-long conversation between the legendary improviser-comic-actor-writer Rick Overton and one...

Runyon Canyon Follow-Up: No Parking Any Time

“The parking lot idea, putting a lot inside Runyon Canyon, is dead on arrival. It’s not going to happen.” – John C. Gile, President, Friends of Runyon Canyon With apologies to Jackie Gleason, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Call it a simple misunderstanding. Or clumsy public relations. Or meager community outreach....

The Areas of My Expertise

The short title of John Hodgman’s 2005 book is: The Perfect Bathroom Companion. True, as it lends itself to random visits of indeterminate length. The complete title is: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order by myself, John Hodgman, a Professional Writer, in The Areas of My...

The 2-Point Coach

During the recent end-of-the-year break, we were reminded frequently that what matters most in many of our lives, the thing that rouses our deepest emotions and hottest passion, is football. If you get heartburn talking about the Green Bay defense, consider Nick Saban an inspiring role model, or interrupt family gatherings to announce Draft King...

Don’t Waste the Crumbs

Eating nutritious, delicious, organic, un-processed whole foods can be crushingly expensive, especially if you procure your whole foods at Whole Foods. The Website Don’tWasteTheCrumbs is aimed at folks who want to live healthily and frugally. Created by a mother of two named Tiffany, DWTC offers clever recipes, monthly meal plans and “life hacks” for budget-minded shoppers determined...

Friends of Runyon Canyon?

Runyon Canyon Park, the dog-friendly nature sanctuary in the hills above Hollywood, has been the subject of several essays in this space, as well as a scenic location in at least two or three of our books. It’s just about the greatest part of living in this neighborhood, and maybe all of Los Angeles. For...

Not Intelligent

Let’s say you’re the manager of a large company. You have an employee named Sia, who works in R&D. You don’t hear much talk about Sia, except at periodic, unpredictable Performance Reviews. At each Performance Review, for years, Sia is shown to be very bad at her job. She squanders enormous budgets and makes errors...

I’ll Be Me

“I’ll Be Me,” a documentary about music legend Glen Campbell’s decent into Alzheimer’s is a deeply affecting, often painful portrait of an artist slowly going away. Director James Keach successfully tiptoes the line between education and exploitation, between truthfulness and vulgar voyeurism. The film has many of the hallmarks of a stylishly produced “Reality” show — confessional...

Slingshot

For fifteen years, the prolific inventor Dean Kamen, creator of insulin pumps, heart stents, electric wheelchairs and the Segway personal transporter, has tried to solve the world’s potable water problem. (Yes, there is one, Instagram-scroller.) His newest invention, dubbed “Slingshot” to suggest the slaying of giants by technology, is a compressed vapor water purification system...

A Modest Proposal for Solving the Muslim Problem

Pardon the unvarnished straight talk. Let’s hope the Political Correctness Police don’t drag us away to their multi-cultural re-education facility. But someone has got to say it bluntly: We have a serious Muslim Problem here in the United States of America. Last time we checked, the USA was still a Christian nation, with Christian values...