Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6

The Capitol dome in Washington D.C is a place that every American needs to see for themselves. And as one who has seen it, the scenes of mayhem from inside the building are all the more unsettling. The entire scope of American history–the whole of this nation’s collective experience, really–are found within those walls. It’sContinue reading “Why there was more than just a “riot” on January 6″

Try a little kindness

In the winding road that my life has taken, I’ve held a variety of jobs. The old story about someone who worked for the same company for forty years and then retired with a watch died a long time ago, and the result is that all of us are career nomads, moving from one placeContinue reading “Try a little kindness”

A message to my younger self

When I found this picture in a box of old photos a few days ago, I knew right away it was going on my blog. I’m 22 years old in this moment, fresh out of college and ready for whatever Life throws at me. The much older man who is sharing this image from theContinue reading “A message to my younger self”

Working through the grief

“Dogs’ lives are too short.  Their only fault, really.”  – Agnes Sligh Turnbull One of the things I’ve been doing during the COVID-19 lockdown is finding interesting quotes from people, about all manner of things. I send an email every morning to sign in for work, and I’ve become very fond of hunting for quotesContinue reading “Working through the grief”

Farewell, my sweet boy

In these COVID-19 days, there’s so much loss and disruption going on that it feels overwhelming. Much of this comes from the virus, of course, but the things that happened before the virus took hold continue happening, too. Such was the case today when I said goodbye to my beloved schnoodle, Dooney. My family broughtContinue reading “Farewell, my sweet boy”

The New York Groove

  To get through this Coronavirus shutdown, I’ve pulled out a box of old pictures, and am pulling out a few of them to post on Instagram and tell the story about the shot. An exercise in narcissim, to be sure, but we must do what we can in these unprecedented times. And writing isContinue reading “The New York Groove”

FU Coronavirus (Part 1)

My blog was birthed in a bolt of inspiration at a garage sale back in 2011. Or maybe it was a yard sale. Here’s the first post I ever wrote, and it turns out it was a garage sale. But the point was I went out of my way, spent a little money, and wantedContinue reading “FU Coronavirus (Part 1)”

American Hash

I’ve never written about this before, but I was in a fraternity when I was in college. Drinking and hazing and general stupidity have given fraternities (I don’t like using the term “frats”) a bad name, and I wouldn’t disagree with much of the criticism of them. But one element of the fraternity life seemsContinue reading “American Hash”

Why I’m taking a knee today

If you wanted to be somebody at my high school (which no longer exists, by the way) you had to be on the football team. There were other sports teams and activities, but the attention that was given to the football team made many of my classmates put in the time and effort that wereContinue reading “Why I’m taking a knee today”

An indefensible act

By removing the United States from the Paris Agreement–which every other nation in the world save for Syria and Nicaragua has signed onto–Donald Trump has declared war on the planet that all of us inhabit. He clearly doesn’t care about my children, shown above on the rim of the Grand Canyon and in the watersContinue reading “An indefensible act”

A blast from the past

As what may be my family’s last spring break rolls on, here’s my favorite image from the first one, back in 2005. My older daughter–who just turned 18 a few days ago–was in kindergarten at the time, and we spent a week in Arizona. Near the end of the week, we went to a chuckContinue reading “A blast from the past”

Always in my heart

On the occasion of my daughter’s 18th birthday, I have boxes of pictures and just as many stories to share about her. My life hasn’t been what it was before she was born on April 4, 1999, and I don’t mind that one little bit. Being a parent once scared me to death. Nothing quiteContinue reading “Always in my heart”

The battle is joined

Yesterday I wrote that I wasn’t too happy to call myself an American. Today I take it all back. 250,000 people in Chicago–my wife and younger daughter among them–participated in a march that grew so large that there was no marching to be done. Cities around the country, and even around the world, also joinedContinue reading “The battle is joined”

The hand of fate

Watching my daughter as she goes through her senior year of high school reminds me of when I was 17, itching to leave my parents’ house and see what else the world had to offer. I wanted my escape route to be the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana, and came about as close asContinue reading “The hand of fate”

Josh Wilker says it all for me

  I remember watching Yaz’s last regular-season at-bat. The Red Sox were bad that year, most of the superstars from my childhood gone. There weren’t going to be any postseason at-bats. I watched the game alone in a TV room at a boarding school that I’d be expelled from the following year. I’d started attendingContinue reading “Josh Wilker says it all for me”

The best shot was the one I didn’t see coming

On Sunday morning, I got up early and drove my younger daughter to her synchronized skating practice. Upon dropping her off, I realized that the sun would be coming up shortly, and I decided to greet it as it did. The sunrise was a dazzling display of clouds and light and water and sky. TheContinue reading “The best shot was the one I didn’t see coming”

An electrifying tribute to Prince

I write my blog for many reasons, but at the bottom of it all I like having a place to go with a story like this one. It will be gone in the morning unless I capture it now, so here goes. Chicago, very early Sunday Morning I had picked up my teenager from aContinue reading “An electrifying tribute to Prince”

It’s her moment now

Photo credit: TheAtlantic.com As Hillary Clinton gets ready to accept her party’s nomination for the presidency tonight, I think back to the Spring of 1987 and a moment that opened my eyes to gender matters like nothing else ever has. Freshmen students at Northwestern–I don’t remember now whether it was only the Arts and SciencesContinue reading “It’s her moment now”

Cape memories

My wife and younger daughter are on Cape Cod this week, and it’s been quiet around the house in their absence. But I wanted to share some old pictures before they left, because time moves so fast, and one day’s little kids become another day’s adolescents/teenagers. Enjoying this process–as I’ve always tried to do–is theContinue reading “Cape memories”

Saturday in the Park

I’ve just passed my actual birthday, and I’m in between two very important dates to me. So at sunset on a beautiful day in the park nearest my home, it’s time for some reflection. For five years, I’ve filled this blog with stories, ideas, pictures, limericks, and whatever else has come into my head atContinue reading “Saturday in the Park”

Birthday wishes to my kids’ Uncle John

Iles Park, Springfield, IL, circa 1975 My sister, my older younger brother, and I were all born in June. My brother’s birthday comes first on the calendar, so the family birthday season kicks off today. We had a lot of fun together through the years, and even if I’m not happy with how I lookContinue reading “Birthday wishes to my kids’ Uncle John”

Being somebody

Last night I saw my daughter perform onstage with the rest of her classmates. They performed “In the Heights” and it was a one-shot performance at the end of the school year. She goes to an arts school because she grew up loving Disney musicals and Glee and Wicked and High School Musical. She’s performedContinue reading “Being somebody”

Saying thanks to The New Yorker

Many years ago (almost 34 years, to be exact) I wrote a letter to the editor of a wrestling magazine. The young teenager that I was at the time watched a lot of professional wrestling on TV, and they were to me what Batman and Superman were for those who read comic books. Dusty Rhodes,Continue reading “Saying thanks to The New Yorker”