“Mad Men” Characters, Ranked

Drew Magary’s ranking got me to thinking about how to rank “Mad Men” characters using a methodology. I designed a spreadsheet filled with lots and lots of numbers. Using IMDB’s database, I culled the names of 94 characters. I then assigned each character a 1-5 point score (5=highest; 1=lowest; 0=not applicable).

Natalie Boland Novak 1934-2014

Passed away on January 17, 2014, Natalie Boland Novak, retired nurse, devoted wife of the late Edward A. Novak, Jr., M.D., of Potomac Falls, Va.; devoted mother of Edward A. Novak III, of Greenbelt, Md.; and cherished grandmother of Anna Novak of Camp Hill, Pa., and Katharine Natalie Novak Allgood of Harrisburg, Pa.

About Those Postcards

For one year, I wrote and mailed a postcard to a list of people that grew number 35. In each postcard, I recounted something I heard, saw, thought, or otherwise experienced the previous day. Why? Learn more...

Teddy Kennedy at IKEA

In the hallway for the restroom, a normal-looking, angry suburban dad with gray, curly hair and wearing a power-blue rugby jersey passing in the opposite direction suddenly turned his attention to me and asked rather pointedly, “Would you be interested in portraying Teddy Kennedy in a movie?”

Ed Novak’s Harrisburg

On December 2, 2018, I performed a one-time only monologue, “Ed Novak’s Harrisburg” at Harrisburg Improv Theater. Thank you to Anna Novak and another member of the audience who shared video evidence of this performance.

Goodbye, Pandemic Ed

As the pandemic hit the East Coast, my barber shop closed. At the same time, people began to improvise masks. I vowed not to cut my hair again until an efficacious vaccine was running through Dr. Fauci’s and my veins. I was able to amuse myself in many ways, among them my "art project": creating a monthly “Hair and Mask Update” on social media.

God is a Middle-Aged Woman

“God is a Middle-Aged Woman” was originally recorded by Ezra Furman and the Harpoons in 2007. Ezra Furman was 21 years old. This song always astonished me, partly because of the youth of its composer and partly because of its depth and wisdom.

Nobody Took Your America Away: Labor Day 2010

If your fair town cannot hold a parade this Labor Day, you can enjoy Greenbelt, Maryland's parade from 2010. What a celebration of all that we share. In the midst of everything, it's just a joyful reminder that no one took your America away. It's always been here, if you just open your eyes.

Novak Agonistes: A Remembrance of Things Past

It was interesting to learn on New Year's Day in 2016 about a mobile phone app called 1 Second Everyday, which was invented by Cesar Kuriyama. This app allows you to record a 1-second video each day and create a mashup along a timeline: a week, a month, a season, or, in my case, the entire year of 2016.