I missed a funeral today

I intended to attend a memorial service, by Zoom, today. I failed to enact, or fulfill, my intention. I could blame external circumstances (my boss, who sent me an e-mail at 4:30). I could blame internal circumstances (if given the opportunity, I’d rather key entry data than have a conversation with my boss). I couldContinue reading “I missed a funeral today”

How dark this time is

The phrase is, the darkest hour is before dawn. Is that this hour? The phrase admits of at least two meanings, depending on how one emphasizes the balance of the sentence: the subject (“darkest hour”) or the predicate (“before dawn”). Which half should one emphasize at this precise moment? Darkness, or dawn? When I watchContinue reading “How dark this time is”

How many times will I have to have this conversation?

My son (age 7), in the bath this evening, asked me, “Daddy, when will we travel out of state again?” I’m going to leave aside all of the rather astonishing class implications of that question, and instead focus on what I think he was really trying to get at: “Daddy, when will it be over?”Continue reading “How many times will I have to have this conversation?”

That glimmer of light? It’s fading fast.

I was driving my sons to school this morning when the youngest (soon to be age 5) asked me: “Daddy, is it a lunar eclipse?” No, son. It’s not a lunar eclipse. It’s smoke. Something fast approaching a cool million acres have burned in these past few weeks, and we have at least a monthContinue reading “That glimmer of light? It’s fading fast.”

Thoughts on the Tyranny of Merit

Let’s tell ourselves a fairy tale, shall we? Once upon a time there was a young man who longed to get into Yale. He didn’t — he got into Stanford instead — but it didn’t exactly poison his soul. Or if it did, the poison merely melded with all the other temptations and inducements, tragediesContinue reading “Thoughts on the Tyranny of Merit”

Oh how I wish I were brave enough for street theatre

I was recently directed to undertake training in a subject that has some topical relevance to what I shall call “the present situation.” The precise subject matter of the training doesn’t bear much scrutiny — it is mostly commonsense stuff, and is clearly meant as CYA for those further up the chain — but thereContinue reading “Oh how I wish I were brave enough for street theatre”

On uncomfortable questions on the playground

So I was watching my kids at the playground, as one does. I and the strikingly handsome dyke — LOVE her plaid bolero jacket, COVET her glasses, find it FUCKING HILARIOUS that she is categorically interchangeable with any one of various members of my half-brother’s extended family, because this is California, after all, and atContinue reading “On uncomfortable questions on the playground”