I’m genuinely surprised when I see a restaurant that offers non-Heinz ketchup, but the other night I was even more surprised when we ate in a place that had Red Gold ketchup — but Heinz mustard! The latter is terrible, on the same level with French’s yellow mustard. Feh. Give me good deli mustard (with a little horseradish kick) like Gulden’s anytime.

The woman who cuts my hair recently told me about another customer who had bragged he’d been sober 3 months. She congratulated him, but asked how hard it was to fight the urge to drink. He replied that he hadn’t kicked alcohol, but his addiction to social media — he’d deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from his phone, and found his days so much happier. He said he’d gotten so used to checking them multiple times per hour all day long that he’d started ignoring people he was supposed to be spending time with. That night when Martha and I went out to dinner, I told her this story, then looked up to watch a party of 12 twenty-something women come into the restaurant and, as soon as they were seated, all took their phones out.

Some people will just never learn. Video recently surfaced of a high school teacher in Milpitas, California, wearing blackface in class. This was not twenty years ago, or ten, or five. This was last month. The teacher went to school with his face painted and imitated the actor/rapper Common. I don’t know what subject this guy taught, but I sure hope it wasn’t AP American History.

Speaking of painted faces, I was wary of the movie “Joker,” but two friends whose opinions I respect urged me to see it, so I did. I’m not gonna write a full review, but here’s my bottom line: what a disappointment! I knew it was an origin story and no superheroes would appear, but I didn’t know it would be so utterly boring. I wasn’t impressed by Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, either. He didn’t hold a candle to the two actors who have defined the role, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. While it may be a billion-dollar box office smash, I’m sorry I bothered.