The Puppy After That One

The other morning, I was walking my dog when a neighbor curiously regarded my three-month-old Saint Bernard puppy and asked, “You got another dog?” “No,” I replied. “My other puppy died a month ago.” “Oh my god,” she said. “I’m so sorry.” I went on to explain that Lando was two months shy of his … Continue reading The Puppy After That One

The Medical Rites of Spring

Having reached the august age of 61, I find myself at the doctor's office more often than I'd like. For some reason, these appointments cluster in the spring in a bizarre rite of seasonal self-preservation. In the past three months, I've gone for my annual physical, a head-to-toe skin exam with my dermatologist (skin cancer … Continue reading The Medical Rites of Spring

The Thing About Bad Beginnings

In Aristotle’s Politics, the philosopher quotes an ancient Greek saying: Well begun is half done. Not being an Aristotle scholar, I learned the phrase from Mary Poppins, who, most will agree, made Greek philosophy cool again. This catchy axiom stuck with me over the decades, and I still find myself reciting it when undertaking a … Continue reading The Thing About Bad Beginnings

Why We Have Pets

At any given point in my father’s life, he owned a poodle. Not necessarily because he chose to, but because life, with its infinite array of surprises, kept presenting him one. In all, I believe, he owned six: Nicole, Taffy, Buffy, Duffy, Nefertiti, and Poppycock. The last of them, Poppy, outlived both my parents and … Continue reading Why We Have Pets

The Power of Peanut Butter

My father was some kind of sandwich genius. In fact, he was remarkably intelligent in many ways, even brilliant, some would say. A Presbyterian minister by training, he was a ruthless and determined chess player. He read more books in a month than I read in a year—and he remembered them in uncanny detail. And when … Continue reading The Power of Peanut Butter

The Rise and Fall of the Pandemic Introvert

It’s embarrassing to realize I haven’t written a blog post for months now.  I blame the pandemic.  It’s ironic that I should even think to blame COVID-19 for my writer's block because a global pandemic is certainly worth a few whiny blog posts. And I’ve experienced many of the de rigueur indignities that fill blogging … Continue reading The Rise and Fall of the Pandemic Introvert

In It for the Money

Leave it to an ex-literature major to read his annual Social Security statement as a life narrative. But that’s exactly what I did. You see, my driver’s license expired just after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and I’m only now able to schedule an appointment at the DMV to renew it. New York State is … Continue reading In It for the Money

What Life Smells Like These Days

There’s just something about incense. I realize that may sound strange from a middle-age man who is neither a Reiki practitioner, nor a musician, nor a Tarot card reader. I’m not even sure when I started appreciating a thick haze of aloeswood in my study. Incense, with its evocative fragrances, has the power to call … Continue reading What Life Smells Like These Days

America Can Handle the Truth—As Scary As It Is

It’s been a while since I posted anything new on my blog. That fact is particularly ironic given that I am, like most everyone in the country, in lockdown with a ton of time on my hands. Strangely, I have found time to wipe down my door knobs and countertops like every 20 minutes. Now … Continue reading America Can Handle the Truth—As Scary As It Is

Glitter Glue and Just Slowing Down

I had spent most of the morning working on my novel, living inside the bell jar of my own, strange imagination. At some point, I went to fetch my phone from the family room. As I did, I spotted an airy tuft of cat fur on the hardwood floor, just lallygagging there like a tiny … Continue reading Glitter Glue and Just Slowing Down