Month: December 2010

How to make a jeżyk (aka Polish porcupine ball)

The many stars of the jeżyk ornament

The many stars of the ornament

On Christmas night, my wife, mom and I spent some time making what Mamusia calls “jeżyk” — or what is known across the net as “Polish porcupine balls” (even though jeżyk translated to “hedgehog”) — the delicate Christmas tree ornaments that you can make from sheets of fancy tissue, wrapping or heavier paper. Continue reading

One of my Buddhaspotting photos in PBS’s “The Buddha” website

Distracted BuddhaJust saw this link tonight in my Google Reader — Shambhala SunSpace » After you’ve seen PBS’s “The Buddha” — and was reminded of the excellent documentary PBS did on “The Buddha” and broadcast on April 7 this year. Apparently, according to SunSpace, PBS aired the repeat tonight. Continue reading

I’m a slow reader. And other meandering thoughts on a “sick day.”

The Book of Dads, edited by Ben George

The Book of Dads

It takes a sick day from work to be able to sit back in my La-Z-Boy and read a good book.

Today I returned to the excellent The Book of Dads, which I bought on June 9, 2009. I know the precise date because of two things.

One, I see that, in this collection of essays by writers on the joys and humiliation of fatherhood, the authors — including Steve Almond and Mainer Jennifer Finney Boylan — had crossed a line through or around their printed bylines and replaced them with their autographs, some wrote the date and “For Stan.”

The other reminder is that the occasional Goodreads newsletter reminds me that I started reading this book, the latest one tells me, 535 days ago, and I’m still not done. Ouch. Continue reading

My year in Facebook status messages

My year in 2010 Facebook status messages

My year in 2010 Facebook status messages, by Stanley Dankoski


I’m happy to see that 2010 has been more meaningful to me, through this slightly interesting lens, than was shown in my greatest status messages of 2009.

Here’s hoping for a life living with more meaning in 2011.

‘Waterman Movie’ director would like to honor the late Leslie Nielsen with a finished film

Bryan Waterman

Bryan Waterman

My first try back into freelance news writing was based on somber circumstances. Actor Leslie Nielsen died at age 84 on Sunday, Nov. 28, and I happened to know the director of what is now understood to be the actor’s last film.

Director Bryan Waterman, just 26 years old, was originally from Salem, NH, where I had been a reporter for the local newspaper, The Salem Observer. That paper is owned by the New Hampshire Union Leader. I pitched a story idea there to the editor, who back in the day was the publisher of the Observer. She was interested. Continue reading

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