Shiva for Bob

I am not sure how to add it all up, the slow turbulence that has followed the death of my cousin Bob. But whatever can be said, I have uncharacteristically grown to accept my moods. And even learned a thing or two. When I met him, I was 22 years old and only six months out of protracted hospitalization. It was summer, my stamina still low, and I was shellshocked and implausibly visiting Britain for a few months. I vaguely knew of these London relatives. I had the phone number of one of them, Lotte Read more [...]

Around Town

One of my British cousins has made a fortuitously timed visit to these shores. As another mutual cousin lies dying. All in our early seventies, very early if anyone wants to know, and it’s come to this. Where it comes for everyone. Bob’s cancer and slow death has been a sad preoccupation for the last year or more. And now he is far away in some Catholic hospice in western Paris, and capable of humor as recently as last week. And I already miss him. With loss in the air, cousin Sandy and I Read more [...]


What is there to say about day four with a beat-up face, except hallelujah. That’s right, and that was exactly my response upon wandering out of my massage guy’s office and spotting an old copy of The Nation. Here it is. Naomi Klein is a master, and she says this much better than I. And there I was on the fourth floor of a San Francisco office building that caters to small-time healers, teachers, consultants and software Read more [...]

Skin in the Game

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, they always say. And they…and we won’t quibble about who ‘they’ are…have an excellent point. These are words to live by. Which I’m currently doing, right this very minute. When your nose has some miscreant basal cells growing near its tip, damn straight, they’ve got to go. Lock them up, I say. Even better, cut them off. Without a cent. About time they made it on their own. Someone makes an appointment with a dermatologist, and this Read more [...]

Bye bye, Boris

Summertime, and the livin’ actually is pretty easy. Fish are jumping somewhere. And the cotton is doubtless high somewhere else, probably near Bakersfield, a semi-desert in the southern part of California where such water-intensive crops should not be grown. But that is beside the point. The point is that I expect to wake up in the morning hearing that totalitarian forces have seized control of the nation. Many around me consider this fear misplaced, or at least, excessive. I don’t. Vigilance Read more [...]

Pushing Back

The roar was intolerable, a decibel level that OSHA would probably deem illegal…and that’s just what it’s like being crammed into a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in support of gun control. And it was worth it, extroversion overload and all. Hillary Clinton spoke passionately in favor of getting weapons out of the hands of loonies. She always has. No, she’s not as in touch with the nation’s economic sickness as, say, Bernie Sanders. But she has her points. I like her. She spoke without Read more [...]