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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Mom's Protection Oil

I went to my Mother's house today to help her & my Step-Dad with a couple of things, like taking out the trash and moving some stuff around the garage.

As I was leaving, she took me aside and slipped me a small bottle of a strange, viscous liquid.

She told me that it was my own personal version of her protection oil, designed to keep me from being attacked while I am working.

I asked her what she thought would be attacking me at work, and she shrugged & said, as if explaining something obvious to an idiot, "Demons, people, spells."

She told me to dab this stuff on my Adam's apple, the back of my neck, and on the insides of both my wrists before entering my workplace.

I asked her what was in it, and she told me she couldn't say because that would take away its power. I uncapped it & took a sniff. It smelled like a mixture of mothballs & soy sauce.

"And don't share it with anyone," my mother warned me. "It only works for you, but only if you keep it for yourself."

I assured her that I wouldn't let anyone else use it. 

And then I thanked her, because what else do you do when your Mom offers to protect you from demons?

Thursday, November 24, 2016


What I'm grateful for is all of you.

There's no way to make this sound less trite, but it's the truth: you're what matters. All of you.

And it's a pleasure & a privilege to be connected to you.

I care little for gadgets & baubles. Stuff is just a means to an end. What's important is communion. We're in this together, and we need each to get anything done. This fact is both necessary, and, I think, good.

So whether we are close or distant, whether we agree or not, whether we have affection for each other or irritate each other, I thank you. I am grateful for whatever connection we have.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Be well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

That's Not Us

So we're sitting in this downtown restaurant when we see a couple across the street, a skinny guy walking hand-in-hand with an obese woman.

"Hey, honey," I say to my wife. "Look over there. It's us!"

My wife gives me a look that I'm pretty used to. I try to backpedal.

"Oh, you're right, sweetie," I say. "That's so not us. Her hair's too long, and I don't have a beard."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Quote of the Day

"I'm aware, more and more, that the only thing I'm going to miss are my friends. Apart from the deluge of terror that attends the prospect of turning carcass, what bothers me is the idea of losing the handful of people I can have a decent conversation with. It takes you a lifetime to acquire them. Losing life isn't so bad, but losing them is."

- from The Thought Gang, by Tibor Fischer.

Monday, April 6, 2015

What I'm Reading: Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

“There was a way of working—it was hard for him to put this into words, but he knew it when he saw it—a perfunctory way that met all the technical criteria for how a job was supposed to be done. It would be above reproach should any supervisor review the work, yet lacked some essential quality of passion, determination, velocity.

"Checklist work and real work were not the same to him. You could get praise and a paycheck and fill your day with busy, important-seeming activities and never solve a case.”

Monday, March 16, 2015

About My Age

I would have acted differently if I'd known I'd live this long. I wouldn't have been so foolish & impulsive if I'd realized that I would have to live so long with the consequences.

All I can do now is the best I can, given where I am & what I have.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Never Surprised

There are 3 phenomena that never surprise me:

  • Stupidity
  • Cruelty
  • Weather
In a certain sense, they are, in fact, all the same thing.