It is not unlike casting off, the beginning of another automotive voyage, backing onto the cracking expanse of concrete that is my suburban driveway. I manage to clear the oleanders without scratching my van another time. And we are off, Jane and I and the Dodge. Yes, I know that some people long for the open road. And perhaps for them the road does open. For me, it threatens to close at every turning. Is it the road to San Francisco or the road to ruin? There is only one way to know. At the Read more [...]


Hard to say what is happening with me and Stanford University, for having been next-door neighbors, lo these many years, we should be friends. In truth, I rarely set wheel on the campus. But with my new wheels, the drive there has become almost routine. Public lectures, one after the next, have brought me from one end of the university to the other. Gun control. Dance in avant-garde cinema. And now the ethics of wealth. The latter, emanating from one of the richest universities anywhere, struck Read more [...]


Tomorrow and tomorrow. There is a reason I do my best to keep in shape. Or at least I think there is. But for this disabled body, 'shape' is a tall order. I do my damnedest to keep from the worst of crippledom, let us say. Attempts to keep up the stamina, balance, muscle strength and general pain control necessary to have a life. And when I say there is a reason, excluding general fear of death, what comes to mind? This is worth asking, in view of the gravity of the question. A wintry question. The Read more [...]

Fun Guy

Having been traipsing around Dorset for some time with Thomas Hardy, I have to accept a central lesson from The Mayor of Casterbridge. That by the time we have acquired a gentle wisdom...or the wisdom of gentleness...we have generally lost the urgent drive to get much done. Or to reduce this glittering generality to a very prosaic fact of this morning's life.... By the time we have acquired the wisdom of letting a cat occupy one's lap while trying to write a blog, we have given up a high rate of Read more [...]