Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Space Alien Celebrates Halloween

The Space Alien's attention turned for a moment from the Chicago Cubs World Series games to consider a Halloween costume.

The ever-popular Space Alien had been invited to many parties and wanted to look terrific.

Your editor looked up from the ornate Jack 'o Lantern she was carving and suggested:
"How about going as yourself?"
"No!" cried the Space Alien.  "That would NEVER do; that's not a costume!"
"Well how about wearing a big pumpkin?" suggested your editor.

"It's too stuffy inside a pumpkin," complained the Space Alien.  "Pumpkins are good to eat, but not to wear."

Your editor agreed that this was so.

             So what to do?

The Space Alien thought deeply about this and then proposed a solution.

"I won't wear a costume at all!  I'll just say that I'm YOU all dressed up as ME!"

Your editor wasn't sure that she wanted the Space Alien assuming her identity while wandering about the streets going from party to party, but at last she gave in to the Space Alien's entreaties.

So PLEASE dear Loyal Readers, if someone knocks on your door on Halloween saying that it's me, your editor, wearing a Space Alien costume, please understand that this IS in fact the Space Alien.   Know that the Space Alien means well, but can be socially inept, especially when excited, as is sure to be the case on Halloween.

If the Space Alien sneaks candy from the trick or treat bags of small children, or takes a swim in the apple bobbing tub, or starts juggling the pumpkins at your party, please be gentle in your remonstrations, and remember this IS the Space Alien and IT IS NOT ME!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Space Alien and the Billy Goat

In 1945, the Chicago Cubs made it to the World Series!   The Space Alien along with every sentient being was filled with the joy at the prospect of a World Series championship for our Cubbies.

But during that exciting series, the owner of Chicago's popular Billy Goat Tavern was asked to remove Murphy, his pet billy goat, whom he had brought to that game at Wrigley Field.  Later, in a fit of pique, he allegedly declared "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more!"  and thus, the Curse of the Billy Goat was born.   (To learn more about this nefarious curse Click here.)

The Cubs lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers that year, and since then have not won a World Series championship.  So it appears that the above "Curse of the Billy Goat" had indeed done its sad work.

The Space Alien decided to speak to Billy Goat Murphy about this.   At first Billy Goat Murphy was angry and defensive and tried to fight the Space Alien.  He wanted the Space Alien to go away and leave him alone!

Billy Goat Murphy was Angry at First

Sad, Conflicted Billy Goat Murphy

But the Space Alien didn't give up, and continued to talk softly to Billy Goat Murphy.  In their conversations it came out that Murphy  was also an ardent Cubs fan, and, indeed, had the power to undo the Curse of the Billy Goat.  But Murphy felt "stuck" and was therefore experiencing extreme feelings of conflict accompanied by severe anxiety and depression.

The Space Alien had studied psychoanalysis with Adler, Jung and  Freud, and urged Billy Goat Murphy to relax on a comfortable couch to share his feelings.  The Space Alien listened quietly, puffing on a lavender-scented electronic vapor cigar, until at last Murphy's  conflicts were resolved.
The Space Alien's Exclusive Photos of
Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung
A Relieved and Happy 
Billy Goat Murphy
Billy Goat Murphy's anxiety and depression were relieved as he came to see that the Curse of the Billy Goat was never intended to be a permanent impediment to a Cubs victory, and he happily lifted the Curse.

Now the Cubs may continue to play ball, unimpeded by that 70+ year old curse.   Fans watching the Cubs in their National League playoff games against the Los Angeles Dodgers surely noticed this! To read more about these exciting games, click here.

Work is Done; Time to Play!
Exclusive Photo, Courtesy John Levin

The Space Alien's work here was finished!

Giving one more mighty cheer for the Chicago Cubs, and, always hopeful of finding a partner for a catch, the Space Alien picked up a baseball and headed off into Deep Space!

But never fear; The Space Alien will return for the Championship Games to cheer the Chicago Cubs on to victory!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Space Alien Consults Dr. Ruth

The Space Alien was feeling lonely and wanted to learn more about having good relationships.  So when an opportunity to chat with Dr. Ruth Westheimer presented itself this week at a special reception for her, the Space Alien's pleasure could hardly be contained.

Dr. Ruth listened carefully to what the Space Alien had to say, and offered some splendid advice!

The Space Alien headed off to Deep Space feeling much more optimistic, but will definitely return to hear Dr. Ruth and Dr. Laura Berman narrate a wonderful series of concerts here in Chicago called The Birds & The Bees: Songs of Nature and Naughtiness presented by Chicago A Cappella this weekend and next.  For tickets and more information about this outstanding group, visit:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Space Alien has an Eye Exam

While working out with the Chicago Cubs during the exciting 2016 World Series, the Space Alien kept missing easy tosses and decided to have an eye examination.  
Modern Eye Examination 
Your Editor recommended Dr. Pepsi Sarai at Village Eyecare in Chicago.

Dr. Sarai marveled
at the Space Alien's eyes
Dr. Sarai administered a thorough eye exam using the most up-to-date equipment to evaluate the health of the Space Alien's eyes, and he marveled at the acuity of the Space Alien's vision.  The entire staff was thrilled to have an opportunity to meet the Space Alien! 

Perhaps the Space Alien simply wasn't keeping those magnificent eyes on the ball, Dr. Sarai diplomatically suggested.   

The Space Alien admitted being easily distracted and resolved to pay better attention in the future.  
The Space Alien will Keep those Eyes on the Ball!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Space Alien Says: Play Ball!

Next to chess, the Space Alien's favorite sport is baseball.   The Great Amercan Pastime has long fascinated the Space Alien, who always travels with a ball and glove while traversing outer space,  hoping to find others with whom to have a catch.
Wrigley Field;
The Friendly Confines

The Space Alien jumps for joy at the prospect of the Chicago Cubs becoming the 2016 World Series champions.  This is especially poignant for the Space Alien who recalls the excitement over a century ago when the Cubs won this title, and also the heartbreak of 1945 when this prize narrowly eluded the Cubs as they faced the mighty Detroit Tigers.

The Space Alien, who knows how to say "Wait 'til Next Year" in at least 87% of the world's  6500+ spoken languages, is weary of endlessly repeating this sad mantra.  For the Space Alien, this year IS next year!

Long a fan of Yogi Berra, the Space Alien sought to honor the memory of this famed catcher by also becoming a Major League catcher, and became positively giddy with excitement when Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein, watching a tryout, pronounced the Space Alien to be one of the finest athletes he had ever seen, and rushed to offer the position held by retiring Cubs star catcher David Ross.
The Space Alien's Fave: Yogi Berra 
Theo Epstein Calls Space Alien a
First Rate Talent
Could the Space Alien
Replace David Ross?

The Space Alien was overjoyed by this offer, and felt honored to step in for David Ross.   But negotiations broke down as no regulation catcher's mask could be found to accommodate the Space Alien's majestic face and unique catching style.  And so, for the heartsick Space Alien, it was deja vu all over again!

Why must the Space Alien
wear a catcher's mask?

Exclusive Photo Courtesy John Levin 

The Space Alien considered hovering over Wrigley Field to assist the Cubs during these last decisive games, but then recalled what happened when a devoted Cubs fan tried to catch a fly ball in 2003 resulting in the Cubs losing a critical game.  (To read about this unfortunate incident click here and to see the Space Alien's exclusive video of this dream-demolishing moment, click here.)

For this reason, the Space Alien will keep busy selling peanuts and popcorn at Wrigley Field to keep the fans happily nourished as they cheer the Cubbies to victory!
The Space Alien remembers
Harry Caray by singing
"Take Me out to the

But for the remainder of Cubs games this season, during the 7th Inning Stretch, the Space Alien's magnificent voice (q.v.) will be heard singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in memory of Harry Caray, the late great Cubs announcer.  (For the Space Alien's exclusive video of Harry Caray's inimitable performance of this classic, click here).   Be sure to join the Space Alien in the Friendly Confines cheering for the Chicago Cubs!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Space Alien Brings up the Clowns

While keeping up with current events in Time Magazine, the Space Alien learned for the first time about a virtual epidemic of clown attacks occurring throughout the U. S.  (To read what the Space Alien read, click here.)
Friendly Clown

The Space Alien, a friend of small children, timid dogs, and all others easily frightened, wants to assure the public that the majority of clowns mean no harm and simply labor under the sometimes mistaken impression that people actually enjoy being accosted by others with frowzy orange hair, tiny hands, and exaggerated facial expressions who say ridiculous and even offensive things.

Downright Evil Clowns
Clowns often bring joy to many, and the the Space Alien has been gladdened by their antics.  But some clowns, whether or not by intent, may do harm, and a few are simply downright evil. The Space Alien therefore asks: 'If you were in a room with 1000 clowns and knew that three of them were sprayed with strychnine, would you kiss one of them?"

The Space Alien knows it would be impractical to build a wall to keep clowns out of the U.S.  Some clowns are U.S. citizens and a few are even running for high office in the United States!

Good Citizen
But ALL clowns should be subjected to lengthy interviews conducted by I.C.E. (Internal Clown Examiners).   Clowns should be asked if they really think they are funny, if they really believe that others think they are funny, and finally given a series of riddles to answer beginning with "Why did the chicken cross the road."

The Space Alien as already noted (for more on this please click here) will not be running for the presidency of the United States, but sincerely hopes that the winning candidate will quickly establish a Clown Control Agency with the Space Alien as its Director.  The Space Alien only hopes that the winning candidate will not be a clown.

The Space Alien Cares!

UPDATE:  The Chicago Tribune (October 31, 2016) carried an important Halloween weekend feature on The Great Clown Scare.  To see it: click here.   (If you cannot open this, it is either because you are not a Chicago Tribune subscriber, OR because you may really be a clown!)

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Space Alien Announces: I will not run and if elected I will not serve.


After much soul-searching the Space Alien has decided not to succumb to the entreaties of loyal readers concerning candidacy for President of the United States.  

"I will not run, and if elected I will not serve" a somber Space Alien told the Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview.  "In no way would I endanger the United States, a country I love dearly, by diluting, in any way, the chances of the one candidate who could prevent an outcome that would endanger the safety of this country and indeed, the entire world."  

The Space Alien was therefore deeply saddened when, having been so informed, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board proceeded to throw its support behind a "third party" candidate, one arguably less qualified than the thoughtful, well-traveled, well-read and most of all self-disciplined Space Alien, to serve as the nation's chief executive, and whose only apparent advantage over the Space Alien was in having a birth certificate.

The Space Alien believes that this endorsement diminishes the chances of the candidate who, while perhaps not perfect, would be a far safer choice than the wealthy but inexperienced and seemingly irresponsible alternative.  

The Space Alien was sickened by the Chicago Tribune's casual endangerment of American democracy and world safety.  Indeed, the Space Alien had a frightening spell of deja vu which brought to mind political events of over 80 years ago in another part of the world when another crazed racist, sexist, narcissistic megalomaniac easily took control of a so-called "enlightened" democracy.  

The Space Alien hates to hold youth and inexperience against the Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune but wishes they would at least read their history books.  

The Space Alien: 
A Caring Politician


Sunday, October 2, 2016

A New Year for the Space Alien

The Space Alien was sitting in an easy chair deeply immersed in Rashi's Commentary on the Book of Genesis and pondering the meaning of tohu v' bohu (without form and void.  Genesis, 1:2).

All of a sudden it happened!  A loud pop!  The Space Alien, thinking it might be children playing with one of those awful toy cap pistols, went to a window, and saw in the distance a huge fiery ball surrounded by smoke.

The Space Alien lost no time in grabbing a camera and rushing outdoors to give that fiery ball a closer inspection.  Could it be true?  Could it possibly be true?  And it was true!


The Space Alien's Exclusive Photograph 
of the Big Bang

Tears of joy ran down the Space Alien's cheeks.  The Big Bang would mean a UNIVERSE!  A universe full of flowers and trees and majestic mountains and silvery minnows swimming in crystal streams.  A universe with delightful birds and wondrous reptiles and funny furry creatures and eventually HUMAN BEINGS to commune with.   What a delight this would be!  

The Space Alien checked the calendar on an Apple Watch.  Why, today was Rosh Hashanah!  What a remarkable coincidence that the Big Bang would occur today, on the Birthday of the World, thought the Space Alien, and picked up the phone to order a dozen honey cakes to be delivered immediately.

Lekakh or Honey Cake

The Space Alien would like to wish you, loyal readers, 

a good, sweet and healthy 5777!

 אַ גוטזיסאון געזונט יאָר  

שנה טובה ומתוקה


THE MAILBOX:   This post has received an outpouring of mail which the Space Alien is working hard to answer.  Here are some responses to date:

1.  A Loyal Reader pointed out that the photograph of the Big Bang was actually one of a Spiral Galaxy. To this the Space Alien simply replies: "Was you dere, Charlie?"  (For documentation about the appropriateness of this response, please  click here.)

2.  Another Loyal Reader asked what camera the Space Alien used to take the picture of the Big Bang. The Space Alien took this photograph with a Kodak Brownie Point and Shoot.  The Space Alien considers those who use light meters and cameras with manual focus, f stops, and adjustable shutter speeds to be show-offs.

3.  The same Loyal Reader, a regular question box, wanted to know if the Space Alien had a recipe for Tofu v'Bok Choy (mistaking this for "tohu v'bohu" as explained above.)   This Loyal Reader claimed their recipe to be over 6000 years old and indecipherable. The Space Alien regrets not having this recipe, but hopes Loyal Readers will enjoy instead this easy-to-read and (as one can clearly see) delicious baked cookie recipe. 

4.  The above Loyal Reader, originally seeking a legible recipe for Tofu v'Bok Choy (which the Space Alien unfortunately did not have on hand), now complains that the Camel Milk Butter (softened) called for in the above recipe is "hard to track down."    Really, Loyal Reader, haven't you heard of substitutions?  Yak Milk Butter is routinely used by our loyal readers in the high plains of Tibet, and Tiger's Milk (from the '70's) makes a lovely butter sure to please the whole family.

5. Another Loyal Reader, a formidable maven in the kitchen, gently chastised the Space Alien for sending out for honey cakes.  Homemade ones are far superior says this Loyal Reader.  The Space Alien, taking this observation to heart, enrolled in the Cordon Bleu in Paris with a concentration in Jewish Holiday cooking with Special Guest Lecturer Joan Nathan.  Hopefully by next Rosh Hashanah the Space Alien will be turning out delicious honey cakes to share with all the Loyal Readers.

[Editor's Note 1: The Space Alien graduated from the above cooking program with highest honors.  Unfortunately while returning from Paris at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the honey cake recipe floated out of the Space Alien's exclusive Power Tote Bag, and is now presumably somewhere in space.  If any Loyal Reader finds it, please return it to the Space Alien ASAP. ]

[Editor's Note 2:  Because of the difficulty in finding exactly the right honey cake to share with our Loyal Readers, the Space Alien would like everyone to enjoy this New Year tradition of an apple (preferably organically grown, like the one in the picture) dipped in honey (a lovely gift from another Loyal Reader) to begin the year in sweetness and good health!]