Ambush Interview: Going off to college

You’ve heard my feelings, my whining, my lamenting about Molly, my oldest, going off to college three years ago. So wrecked was I about her growing up and out of the house that I wrote a memoir about it. Molly’s leaving fanned my abandonement issues. Okay, fanned in an understatement. It was a roaring fire. Molly was the first person I’d given so wholeheartedly to, the first person I truly trusted. And even though Molly was doing what every normal, healthy eighteen-year-old does, if we’ve done our job right, I felt left behind. What does Molly think about this …

SEEING THINGS TO THE END

I have another project. It’s creative.  It involves beads and it’s yet another “thing” to fill the minutes I don’t have.  Another project I may not finish. I chalk this up to my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition I’ve never been diagnosed with but it doesn’t take a genius to take one look at me and realize I have an issue with focus. Oh, look at that pretty flower. Cleaning the house is a joke.  I start folding laundry and see a book that needs to be put away in Jack’s room.  Once in Jack’s room, I see …

The bad apples

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a staunch defender of teachers. I think it’s absurd to blame them for the economic woes of our country; I loathe how they are vilified by the media and politicians. I believe that most of them want to do a good job, that most of them love what they do, and—paramount to all of this—that most of them love children and have their best interests at heart. If these things aren’t true, then why would anyone become a teacher? It certainly isn’t for the incredible salary, or the easy six-hour days, …

Revisiting an oldie, day two

This is the second of my vintage articles I’m re-posting. I wrote it for CityBeat back in the spring of 2017 after a spate of racist events unfolded at UCSD. What I wrote then is pretty pertinent to where I am right now, in my current state of mind, even if I may no longer be as interested in—or as concerned with—treating people delicately when discussing race. The lone comment on this story underscores why my attitude has shifted. Someone named “wilder” said about my piece: take a chill pill. live and let live. not everyone is out to …

Revisiting an oldie, day one

Thanks to an email from a reader, I went back into my archives and re-read two pieces I published in CityBeat that I’m putting here today and tomorrow, not because I don’t have fresh material (do I ever have fresh material), but because both of them still apply. And this one, as serendipity would have it, was published on this day two years ago. Which completely flummoxed me. Had anyone asked me to estimate, I would have said I wrote this six-months ago. God, I’m getting old. Did you know I used to walk ten miles to school, always …

Stumbling on goodness as it unfolds

So there I was at Target this morning, minding my own business. I had my sunglasses on, and was pushing my cart aimlessly through aisles I didn’t need to be in, laying my hands on everything, with no real hurry to be anywhere. This is the most dangerous way to shop Target. I had planned to go to the Target by my house, but I was closer to another one after having dropped Ruby at her carpool to camp. I had a short list of things to grab—hand soap, a greeting card, jeggings for the girl—but I took my …

Birthday boy: an open letter to my friend who’s turning 40

Dear Brian, What a difference a year makes, huh? As you may or may not recall—depending on the number of cocktails you enjoyed at my 40th last year, and the brain cells you’ve obliterated since—you gave me a boundless ration of grief over my official entré into middle age. You laughed and ribbed and smirked your way through the evening at my expense, and you were quite funny. It’s why I like you. Mostly though, I had to laugh to keep from crying. You might be expecting me to get even, now that it’s your turn to stuff the …

(Shifting gears now…) me as the incredible hulk

Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” —David Banner When you call the dad of your child’s schoolmate to find out if his kid is coming to your kid’s birthday party this coming Friday—since he didn’t RSVP, and your child has begged and begged for her friend to be there, and instead of letting it die like it should, like you’d planned to let it, you follow up, because you want your daughter to have The Best Birthday Ever—when that dad says, yes, his daughter will be at the party, and then adds, “You …

Cooking skillz

For two people who don’t watch television, Sam and I have been watching an awful lot of television. With the exception of football (not the American kind) and tennis and the soon-to-be Tour de France, most of what we watch could be considered shite. But one show we stumbled upon and that has completely enthralled us, is “Master Chef,” a cooking contest between everyday people, hosted by an etched and fidgety little dude named Gordon Ramsay. Apparently he’s big in the cooking world. Or, at least, he’s a behemoth in the television cooking world, because every other show seems …

VIVE LA FRANCE!

Meet our exchange student, Lucile. Isn’t she adorable? She arrived last night, swirly-eyed and seemingly in shock after a very long day of travel that included and excruciatingly long lay over in Houston, of all God-awful places. Of course, if you have to go to Houston, the airport is probably your safest bet. We took Lucile for a quick dinner, brought her home, let her shower and sent her to bed. Today, I initiated her with a quick zip through the hallowed halls of Target because I absolutely had to go there. And I will say, she looked completely …