Story Time

When you stop to think about it, it is an amazing stroke of fate that any of us is here.  We are each so unique.  The chance of someone just like any of us existing has got to be close to zero, less likely than the chance of winning the Mega Millions (which, by the way, is now up to $253 million here in California)....more

Hope

It is difficult to write passionately about a cause, regardless of how much it might mean to you, when you cannot honestly write about it in the first person....more

Henry and the Guy with Two Signs and the Pregnant Woman and the Old Man with the Dog

I think his name is Henry.  I’m not really sure because he has a speech disability and I found him quite difficult to understand.We met him standing by the side of the drive-through lane at one of the local McDonald’s.  My wife had a headache and wanted a Coke and, you know, Mickey D’s has drinks for a dollar these days.We asked him if he wanted something to eat and he said yes.  So along with my wife’s Coke, we ordered Henry a cheeseburger and fries and a soda.  He expressed his gratitude in no uncertain terms....more

Lessons Learned from Children While Waiting on Hold

On the phone at work today, I found myself stuck on hold for nearly half an hour with a social service agency in a county about 300 miles away.  What surprised me was the recorded message that played over and over.  Actually, it was quite cleverly done.  But what I heard sent a chill up my spine.The recording consisted of the voices of children, both girls and boys, of various ages, many of them extremely young.  One by one, they told their stories in a single sentence each:“I am not a punching bag.”“I need a place to call home.”...more

I Love Salad Bars!

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with salad bars.  I loved them and everyone else hated them....more

Impostor

I am reading a beautifully written essay on the difficulties of relating childhood memories in English when you grew up speaking another language.  Some things just don’t translate.  In fact, one could argue that events experienced in one language can no more be translated into another than apple can be translated into banana.  Barney the Dinosaur notwithstanding, if you grew up speaking, breathing, existing in purple, how is one to render the experience int...more

Alone and Together

I suspect that among the secrets of a long and successful marriage is achieving a balance between “together time” and “alone time.”...more

Tantrum

One of my favorite put-downs has always been “What, are you two years old or something?”Lately, however, I have been rethinking the wisdom of this phrase.  My grandniece, who really is two years old, has helped me to see the error of my ways.  If I put aside the likelihood of public embarrassment for a moment, I am forced to admit that I am jealous of her....more

Winning is Just the Beginning

Olympians and politicians have a lot in common.  They are heroes to some, reviled by others.  They have their sex and doping scandals.  They have their spectacular wins and their crushing defeats.  They toil in obscurity for years and make a lot of money when they finally succeed....more

Saved by Hummus

While visiting my parents in California’s verdant Central Valley this past weekend, my mother griped about the fact that each of her three children have strange dietary habits and that I, in particular, am difficult to feed....more