More Incalculability in 2021

Does anyone remember this cover of the New York Times? I sure do. The precise date that COVID-19 arrived on these shores might never be known, but the first known death from the virus occured on February 6, not quite one year ago. At that time, our government was busy telling us that everything wasContinue reading “More Incalculability in 2021”

Meeting the Moment

In the terrible disaster that has befallen this nation since early 2020–and continues unabated to this day–there have been moments of hope. For me, a moment of hope comes each Thursday night, when I gather with friends from both the real and virtual worlds to share poetic selections with each other on Zoom. Poetry wasContinue reading “Meeting the Moment”

Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections

There’s no single subject I’ve written about more often on this blog, in the nine years I’ve been doing this, than Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps that’s because time and again, examples from Lincoln’s life and times bear a striking relevance to our own. The disputed (by some) presidential election of 2020 reminds me of a storyContinue reading “Tails and Legs and “Fraudulent” Presidential Elections”

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”

An original poem for these times

I have found great comfort over the past few years from reading poetry. The way I see it, there are hundreds of poets, and thousands of works that they’ve created—who knows how many there are, even?—and even if I can only make sense of a small fraction of them, I’m still better off than IContinue reading “An original poem for these times”

Here’s what I want for my birthday this year

One of the best things about joining Facebook is that once a year, on your birthday, you hear from dozens of people, from just about every stage in your life. And all of them want to celebrate the day you were born, in one way or another. Facebook makes it easy, too. Not only doContinue reading “Here’s what I want for my birthday this year”

America’s troubled days

I took this picture on a beach in Evanston, Illinois a number of years ago. It was a cold and windy day, with the wind whipping in off of Lake Michigan and not another soul around me. The red sign on the empty lifeguard’s chair reminded me that I was on my own. But thatContinue reading “America’s troubled days”

The root as a metaphor

With all of the troubled times that are happening in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it helps to have a point of reference to draw on. Similes are good because they can take an everyday idea and make it relevant to a particular circumstance. “Cold as ice” works because, well, everyone knowsContinue reading “The root as a metaphor”

There’s a war out in the streets

The death of George Floyd is an American tragedy. The image of a white police officer putting his knee on the neck of a black man—until that man’s life has been literally snuffed out—is painful to watch. Like every right-thinking person in this country, I am saddened for this man and his family an friends,Continue reading “There’s a war out in the streets”

Indifference is not an option

Three months ago, there wasn’t a single death from COVID-19 in this country. The first death was reported on February 29 (Leap Day, how ironic is that?), and it made some news but only in a glancing fashion, because it happened far away in Washington state. But it couldn’t come here, right? As everyone nowContinue reading “Indifference is not an option”

This says it all

We are at war with a virus that can’t be bombed, bullied, or threatened in any way. And the head of the resistence to this virus has never taken his role seriously. He is profoundly unqualified for the position he holds. May this be the last Memorial Day that he holds the title of Commander-in-Chief.

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”

Some advice for the Class of 2020

Pick one goal in your life. Just one. Don’t think about what your parents want, or society wants, or even what your friends want. Make it something that will make you feel happy. Proud of yourself, even. And then, go out and accomplish your goal. Spend a month, or a year, or even twenty yearsContinue reading “Some advice for the Class of 2020”

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”

Teach them how to say goodbye

  While the COVID-19 disaster grinds on, with no real ending in sight, everything seems to be getting harder. Although there’s been lots of songs written in the past about Hard Times, none of them could ever foresee the world we’re in right now. 33 million Americans have now applied for unemployment benefits, and theContinue reading “Teach them how to say goodbye”

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”

FU Coronavirus (Part 2)

I’ve been thinking about the Michael Jordan Era in Chicago a lot lately. It technically started when the Bulls drafted him out of college in 1984, but for many years it didn’t happen because, well, the team just wasn’t any good. But the team slowly got better over time, and the hated Bad Boys ofContinue reading “FU Coronavirus (Part 2)”

Some People Ain’t Kind

RIP to John Prine. I’m only now discovering his music, and that’s certainly my loss for waiting so long. But those who were in the know about these things are mourning his loss today. It’s such a tragedy that a virus that was officially written off long ago was what finally did him in. HisContinue reading “Some People Ain’t Kind”

Put another dime in the jukebox, baby

The losses to COVID-19 continue to pile up, now exceeding 43,000 deaths worldwide, and over 4,000 in the United States. I put in a link so that the total can be tracked in real time, but it’s going to be an awfully big number by the time it is all over. Awfully bigger, I shouldContinue reading “Put another dime in the jukebox, baby”

Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)

The Coronavirus has taken the game of baseball from us in 2020, perhaps for as long as the entire season. And, truth be told, the game had been dwindling in interest to me, at least since November 3, 2016. When you spend practically your whole life waiting for something, and then it happens, well, whereContinue reading “Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)”

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”

The Gambler and the Bungler

I was sad to hear that Kenny Rogers died at age 81, even though I’ve never been a fan of Country music. The Gambler was an engaging story of doing what you can, while you can. The best that we can hope for is to die in our sleep. A few years ago I wouldContinue reading “The Gambler and the Bungler”

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)”

We must do better than this

When I see the story of two African American men arrested inside a Philadelphia Starbucks, waiting for a friend to arrive, it’s a troubling moment. They know, and I know, and everybody who lives in America in 2018 knows that this only happened to them because of their skin color. Fifty years after Martin LutherContinue reading “We must do better than this”

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”