The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Siren’s Song

Sirens exist You only need to take one look at Sorrento from the Bay of Naples to understand why Odyssesus (Ulysses to the Romans) plugged his ears with wax and steered clear of the sirens’ song — once ashore he knew that he’d never return home. Strolling the alleys of Sorrento, Sireneuse to the Italians, […]

A Mini-Apocalypse Now

img class=”alignnone size-large wp-image-4856″ src=”×1024.png” alt=”” width=”586″ height=”879″ /> “Our motto…” Scrawled in white paint upon the stone wall of a Khmer temple deep within the Cambodian jungle is a message: “Our Motto: Apocalypse Now!” This dictum greets the character of Army Captain Willard as the patrol boat charged with carrying him beyond the blurred […]

What My Fitbit Taught Me

Hitting the Pause Button I can hear the late afternoon traffic buzzing across Route 1. From the bottom of the hill, looking up, I can’t even see the top where the road meets the highway I need to cross to get home. It is a very, very steep hill near the end of my run. […]

This Breath; That Breath

“Life is not about controlling the outside world. It’s about mastering perceptions from the inside.” GURU SINGH Feedback seems to suggest an unwanted truth — I’m struggling for control. I suppose we all are to some degree, but the question remains: control of what. Control of emotions, control of perceptions, control of reactions, control of […]

A Flightless Dove

Procrastination par excellence I was supposed to be writing a post, this post, but I began with some creative avoidance: news at the Washington Post and NY Times, posting some materials for one of my classes, and then I remembered an article in The Atlantic I heard about on NPR. I found the article entitled, […]

Cat People

This post is going to get real judgey really fast — I don’t get people who don’t like cats. Having said that, sitting at the kitchen table attempting to meet the deadline for final grades, I think I’ve figured out why some people don’t like cats and prefer dogs instead: cats are too much like […]

Bloom Where You Are

I saw the daffodil weeks ago before I even knew it was a daffodil. Green shoots sprouted from the edge of a massive refuse pile where we discard all manner of compostable waste. I actually thought the green sprouts pushing upward through the decaying leaves might have been the beginnings of an onion, a potato […]

The Three Walters

Their bat-removal plan was solid. Their bat removal plan was solid. Big Walter, Little Walter and Old Walter would rush the door behind Memere’s thick and ancient quilt. Big Walter would go left with the tennis racket, Old Walter would break right with the goalie stick and Little Walter would attack forward holding the quilt […]

Bambi and the Solar Farm

We’ve seen her around several times — at the stairs near our back deck, in our next-door neighbor’s front garden, in the side yard near the red maple next to our garage. A loner, wandering slowly, no companions to speak of. The other day she got close, real close. My wife held out her iPhone. […]

Back Away From the Elephant

I’m seeing koans everywhere now. Since my last post, I’m seeing these damn koan things everywhere. Minute bits of wisdom sprinkled by the universe in unlikely places, and issued forth from unexpected voices settling like fine crystalline dust over the surface of things. Maybe that’s the point — everywhere you look there is a puzzle. […]

Use this? Certainly, I will.

“Use this,” read the email from my wife. I thought: Use what, exactly. I might’ve even said that out loud; these days it’s anyone’s guess. So, I clicked the link which lead me here: Jennifer at Unfold and Begin offers creativity prompts. On that day, it was a line from Pulp Fiction, a line delivered by Jules […]

Rolo Blondie Bars

WARNING: This is a delicious, chewy treat. Stop now if chewy wonderfulness is not your thing! Rolo Blondie Bars Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (1 stick) 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar packed 2 large eggs at room temperature 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour  1 tsp. baking powder dash of salt 1 1/4 cup of chopped Rolos 1/4 cup of chocolate chips 1/2 cup […]

This Pipe is Not a Pipe

Turns out we may have to re-think our own humanity. The recent discovery of 65,000 year old cave paintings in Spain are leading archeologists, anthropologist and anyone who cares about the question to consider exactly when and where we became “human”. According to experts, these paintings in Spain were likely made by Neanderthals and therefore […]

Empty Thoughts; Vacant Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. The redundancies begin like a deeply scratched record with the needle bounding back over the same track, the same track, the same same same track. Still, I have to ask: Really? Are you thinking? Are you praying? Of the countless who offer thoughts ask: what […]

Afraid of the Shadow

Groundhog Day has come and gone. This year the little-rat-bastard saw his shadow implying six more weeks of the dark and dreary cold of which many are weary. Now I know that few people actually, truly, believe that some overgrown ground dwelling squirrel can actually predict a seasonal shift with any meteorological certainty, however the […]


My grandfather’s basement smells of clean, damp concrete despite it being poured in 1963. Fishing through some containers on the neatly organized upper shelves of his workbench, he pulls a leather pouch out of a Hills Brothers coffee can. I sit on a metal stool’s edge beneath a shimmering fluorescent shop light. He holds the […]

Are You Doing Everything Right? I hope not…

This must be a joke. Yet there it sat occupying my In-Box. “Ridiculous,” I said to myself. Because of that sheer ridiculousness, I deleted the email thinking it too spam-ish. “Hold on,” I thought. “Did that email actually say what I think it said in the subject line?” I un-deleted the email and from the […]

People are Strange

,/div> People are strange and becoming stranger And I don’t just mean in terms of acting strange, but more in the sense that we are becoming strangers to one another. Perhaps this was always the case but we just didn’t share or talk about being estranged or how we got that way. Estrangement seems a […]

A House of Cards

Looking for inspiration this morning, I began reading and came across an essay by Ali Schultz in which she wrote the following: As we bury ourselves in “busy,” devote ourselves to mountains of purpose and strive — overtly or subtly — for external fiscal, material, social markers of success, we hold our deck of cards […]

New Strings; New Song

Four days into the new year and we got our first snow day. Two snow days actually. The day before the storm, as is typical in Rhode Island, shoppers headed to one of two places — Stop and Shop and Home Depot. Occasionally, I’d imagine people will hit both. Milk and bread from one; generators, […]

A Sound Rarely Made

I talk too much. I claim this fact as an occupational hazard but more likely it’s a personality defect as well. Listening is hard sometimes. It’s not that I have an egotistical love of my own voice (at least that’s what I tell myself), rather I want two things: to understand and demonstrate that I […]

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