I saw my father four times between March 2020 and March 2021. Each time, the conversation began with some version of this.
Me: Dad, you know I’d hug you but it doesn’t seem wise given the pandemic.
Dad: Nan, they’re overblowing it. It’s not as bad as they’re saying.
Me (not wanting to ignite a political debate): Dad, we really do need to be careful.
Dad: I’m 89. I’m going to die of something. If it’s COVID, it’s COVID.
Me: But Dad, it’s an awful death. It’s a lonely death because no one can visit you. The hospitals are crowded…
Why is the cool, rainy weather soothing me so much on a holiday weekend?
Alternate options might be that it’s disappointing me or depressing me or hampering me in some way.
None of that.
Even the gray clouds sans rain on this third day of the Memorial Day weekend give me a feeling of … is it relief?
I have come to realize there are times when sunshine equals pressure. You know the refrain: It’s so nice out — get out and enjoy it!
Truth is, the introvert in me hates that exclamation point and frankly the…
“I’m way too excited about this outing,” I say as I get into my friend’s Volvo recently.
We’re on our way to a diner for pancakes. At least that will be my chosen lunch. And indoors, to boot.
Diner coffee. Diner pancakes. Diner banter. Salt and pepper shakers on the table.
Diner. Diner. Diner.
It was the Malibu Diner in what we call uptown Hoboken. During a particularly rough April when both my parents were battling COVID-19, I had expressed on Facebook this very desire and someone in my little town jumped on the idea. …
It seems many people who struggle to connect with their parents as flawed humans as opposed to authority figures eventually find a natural connector when they have kids. Seeing their parents interact with their grandchildren gives the relationship a new dimension.
That wasn’t my path. Frankly, I don’t completely understand people who take that path, but I spent a lot of time in my early adulthood wondering why they didn’t understand me.
I’m a person who derives great satisfaction, fulfillment even, from connecting with all kinds of people one on one. …
(Editor’s Note: When Frank Sinatra died [May 14, 1998] I was a sports writer for The Trenton Times. I immediately called the paper and asked if I could write an op-ed. After it was published I framed it and gave it to my father for Father’s Day that year. Here you see the shelf he kept it on in his music room, among his treasures. It’s the room I sleep in when I visit. Dad died on April 27, 2021. At some point I’ll feel ready to write a column about him, but in the meantime I want to share…
What are you doing in your own life to deal with racism in the United States?
This is a question I grapple with a lot since George Floyd was killed in June 2020.
Last night while watching the CBS Oprah Winfrey interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, I saw how my lens on race has shifted. Finally, a sign of progress when most times I feel like I’m moving at a glacial pace.
There are two main things I’ve done since Floyd’s death to help me understand systemic racism better. One was to start following a lot more social…
There was something about the confluence of events in the last few weeks that set a perfect stage for the magic of a Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama pairing on a podcast.
*Rolls out welcome mat*
First, a rewind.
As Texas dealt with a recent winter weather catastrophe that cost and jeopardized lives, I was disgusted and flabbergasted with the behavior of so many people. Sure, some of those people were Republican politicians in Texas who are supposed to be leaders but instead turned out to be the snakes we knew they were.
But I was more disappointed in…
Close to the beginning of the documentary Framing Britney Spears that has made a recent splash, there is a moment where Star Search host Ed McMahon is talking to 10-year-old Britney on stage after a remarkable singing performance.
He puts the microphone to her face, tells her she has pretty eyes, and asks if she has a boyfriend. The little girl answers that she doesn’t.
“They’re mean,” she says.
Something in her eyes makes me think she’s pulling it from somewhere deeper.
McMahon looks surprised, wondering aloud if she means all boys.
It’s a fascinating exchange that makes me sit…
For 88 minutes on Instagram I watched Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talk about what she experienced at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
As she spoke, emotionally and sometimes scattered, I felt myself tear up a few times. The idea of hiding from danger in one’s own workplace hit me strongly. The questions about who to trust felt unthinkable, yet clearly it was her reality in the moment. A Capitol officer never identified himself as such — whose side was he on? With pounding on her office door, screams of “Where is she?” …
Doesn’t the whole spiritual love positivity be the change unity thing start to sound like mumbo jumbo after a while? Is it just me?
I know it’s well-intentioned and even a desirable way to be. I even strive to be it sometimes.
But there are maybe three people on the planet who are capable of staying highly informed and maintaining a Zen state, remaining blissfully unaffected while our Department of Homeland Security is telling us there is a very real threat of domestic terrorism occurring right now. …
Columnist, Blogger, Author, Coach in the Greater NYC area. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge. Favorite topics: gender, politics, race, meaning of life.