Category Archives: love

If it’s about love, it goes here.

10 Things About My Nephew On His Second Birthday

Two going on old-enough-to-hotwire-your-car.

  1. As a newborn, the boy used to fall asleep to Mack The Knife, but he secretly preferred Billie Jean.
  2. His first hobby was laughing.
  3. He knew Pumped Up Kicks was a hit before anyone else did.
  4. He eats guacamole by the fistful.
  5. A big, sloppy kiss from Jack is the cutest thing that can happen to you in life. He grabs you by the ears and just goes for it. Sometimes he’ll even slip you the tongue. Continue reading

Get Your Dose of ‘Mad Men’ Right Here

PBS is broadcasting a four-week series on classic TV characters. On Sunday the 13th we will encounter “The Misfit”, but we have already met “Independent Woman” and “The Man Of The House”. (Rarely seen in the same place, but a great team, I find.)

I discuss “The Man Of The House” here. If you like sharp analysis, loving recollections by smart people, and lingering close-ups of Jon Hamm, you should watch it.

I’m down to once-a-day viewings, myself.


How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!–Great God!

– Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Oscar Wilde said it best: when the gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers. I wonder whether this nation, in its most ardent prayers, could have asked for a more perfect product of its wants and needs than Kim Kardashian.

Everyone wants to be famous, right? Kim does! She’s the kind of person who releases personal news early on a Monday morning, to make the most of the week’s news cycle (and encourage posts like this). If you can’t act, sing, dance, write, or perform any other kind of art or service, I guess it’s fair to make money being a jerk.

Everyone wants to be rich! What if you could make 18 million dollars just for having a wedding? You’d do it, right? You’d think about doing it for sure. You’re thinking about it right now, I bet.

Doesn’t everyone want to be perfect? Kim does; a pretty girl to begin with, she’s spent lots of money and time making herself look even better. And what could be wrong with wanting attention, wanting people to look at you, even more than they do? Where’s the harm in a little cosmetic procedure here and there?

I am just not sure she will recover from this one. Continue reading

The Message in the Silence

For this relief much thanks; ’tis bitter cold
And I am sick at heart.
Hamlet (1.1), Francisco to Barnardo

Question: what does a good American do when she feels terrible?

I knew the answer, and that for me it was different. Let me repeat that: I knew my answer. But I wanted not to know it. On the side of not-wanting, I knew that I would meet with support. So I went there instead.

My father had a heart attack in late January of this year. He survived, but it was frightening to Mom, and to my sister and brother and me, when we saw him. The doctors said he was better. A terrible shock, they said. They released my Dad from the hospital in early February. But something was wrong. Dad was sick. He had been for a long time, we knew. This was something worse.

As my mother and he began to confront his convalescence together in March, I fell into my own deep darkness. Inexperienced, I called it depression.

Doctors, good ones, had diagnosed me with depression before. I have had several major “episodes” since my twenties. I believe these were real, and that at least one of them responded to treatment. The darkness of March felt somehow old (I think now that it’s been there for years), and familiar enough for me to seek the classic measures. In this country, those measures are drugs. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Neil Postman

Neil Postman — writer, cultural critic, thoughtful guy — would have been 80 years old today. In his memory, and because memory is important, I am asking you to read his son’s appeal on DayRiffer.

Neil Postman wrote that line. Accept no substitutes.

Most of what I have written in my life now belongs to corporations (the bastards!), or to all of you; I have always been either a paid consultant or a blogger. So this is in no way a selfish appeal.

Neil Postman, unlike me, had important things to say about childhood; about humanity itself. If we lose sight of these things, we risk forgetting what it is about us that is special: what is most worth remembering, if you will.

Happy birthday, Mr. Postman. And belated thanks.

Why The Heart?

Jane Seymour's "Open Hearts" line.

I am really not a fan of the heart.

Here is the problem with the human heart, and its use as a symbol around this time every year: it has everything to do with life, but almost nothing to do with love. The organ in charge of love is the same one that manages the children, the mortgage, and the checkbook: the brain.

Human beings are a species of the highest order. Love, as we play it out among our lovers, friends, and families, is a very complex and delicate thing. So why do we consign it to that poor southern organ? The dumb one, the one that beats and beats, and clogs, and finally breaks?

We don’t even draw it correctly. Look at this:

Where’s the ascending aorta in that? Continue reading

Four Years in Five Minutes

My niece turned four yesterday.  This is the slideshow I made of those four years.

It was not easy to compress all four years of this little girl’s light and laughter into five minutes … but interestingly enough, the slideshow lasts about as long as it feels it has taken her to get this big.

Love to all, and happy January.