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

Blogging to Complicate Yourself

My daughter makes a point of being the first person to “like” my new blog posts. I freely admit that I await with eagerness the WordPress notification that she hit the button. She’s a rising senior in college in New York City, and her two summer jobs keep her busy; so these days she reads … Continue reading Blogging to Complicate Yourself

Against Caring

People who insist on backing their cars into parking spaces drive me nuts. On any given day, when I’m circling around the YMCA parking lot, I have to wait while some guy in a pickup the size of a Panzer tank backs into his spot. At that point, I remark to my wife something like, … Continue reading Against Caring

Putting It All Out There

Until I enrolled in the Skidmore Summer Writers Institute for a two-week course on nonfiction writing, I’d never heard of Philip Lopate, the man who would be my instructor. I guess that shows how little serious reading I’d done in “literary nonfiction.” Lopate, it turns out, is the king of nonfiction, having written four collections … Continue reading Putting It All Out There

Business and the Moral Life

One of the great benefits of having a daughter in college is getting to see her assigned readings—and then indulging myself in those that capture my interest. It’s like a dividend payment for all those tuition checks we wrote. In the last three years of my daughter’s studies, I’ve been turned on to the works … Continue reading Business and the Moral Life

Brutalized Souls and the Epidemic of PTSD

Details about the crime were all too familiar. On April 23rd, a young man in Sunnyvale, CA, steered his car into a group of pedestrians. Eight people were injured, three of them from one “south Asian” family. A 13-year-old girl was left in a coma, fighting for her life. Before long, reports emerged that the … Continue reading Brutalized Souls and the Epidemic of PTSD