Comic books and electronics. Costumed kids and well dressed suits. Free Hugs, albeit often from kids born around the same time as the iPod, hanging out on the streets wearing hoop skirts, manga costumes and nose-obscuring bandages. Often simultaneously.
I’ve spent several weeks in and around Tokyo over the past two visits, including side trips [...]
I’m not a pet person. Pets smell, they never grow up and have their own lives, and if you eat them your family gets really upset. Fish meet one of my personal standards for pets: flushability. We also keep an ancient pile of hair and dander, beneath which you’ll find our arthritic cat. She’s grandmothered [...]
We’re a family of cultural chameleons, hopping from ethnic branch to branch and sticking out like an NBA first draft pick at, well, pretty much anywhere. And by the way: if you know me, you realize how painful it was to make a sports analogy just then. I got a little pinprick right behind my [...]
Or, “How I Spent My Vacation”
Warning: unpleasantness follows, as well as an exploration of my propensity for sharing too much personal information.
The battlefield was a rank and muddy pit that emptied into a sewer lined with the churning machinery of war. Day and night in endless darkness, the blind and stinking machines ground [...]
Couple rows up from me on a crowded plane, a plum-faced baby possessed by Linda Blair squalls in a croaking imitation of The Exorcist, its rubbery arms flailing like an octopus under a sashimi knife. The tyke’s parents avoid eye contact from everyone on the plane including each other, and desperately play it cool. But [...]
Someday I’ll write My Lesion Of Honor. In the meantime, file this one under More Stories About Surgery.
As I recall, our firstborn was a few years old, and very curious. That is to say, he was filled with curiosity, in addition to being strange and unusual. The two of us were outdoors at a family Sukkot celebration, [...]
In a few weeks I’ll head into a surgery that the invisible web gods describe as like having an enraged trio of feral polecats clawing through your nethers. Who wouldn’t look forward to that? Not to worry anybody—it’s not super serious, just apparently painful. A week and two days later, I’m supposed to take Geran [...]
“Y’see? That’s what I mean. You say ‘knock knock’ to Americans, they always say ‘Who’s there?’ If you say ‘knock knock’ to somebody from Japan or somewhere, they’ll just get confused.” My brother Greg was telling us his knock-knock theory. This was some years back. Greg, Ben K and I were skiing in [...]
Forget the flying car. It was a dumb idea. People can’t drive properly in 2D, and the last thing I want to worry about is some 18-wheeler landing on my head. Pretty sure that’s the last thing I’d have a chance to worry about. Reminds me of a classic joke: What’s the last thing that [...]
By the time I was 15, my family could afford nicer vacations than the rock hunting expeditions of my early childhood. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with hunting rocks. I have very fond memories of rock hunting. And the thing is, they’re easy to catch.
So in the summer of my 15th year, our parents took [...]
I rose to check the weather for our trip in the dim hours between dawn and Captain Kangaroo. It was Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend, 1994, and Ben K was on his way over to pick me up for two calm and restorative days of backwoods hiking in Arkansas. A quick glance at the Whether [...]
I spent the day at the San Francisco Writers Conference, at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, high upon the crest of Nob Hill. The conference was worthwhile, and I got quite a lot out of it. Mostly by being in proximity to other people who are succeeding at getting words down on paper (or rather, computer) [...]
Early June, 1990. Marci and I were on our honeymoon in Italy, thanks to a gift of miles from my folks. We hadn’t been there long, and had just arrived in sunny and lovely Florence, our second stop. We were walking with our backpacks down the old cobblestone streets toward the part of town where [...]
You probably have a list of your own: Things I Shouldn’t Have Said. My list has a different title: Things I Shouldn’t Have Gotten Away With Saying. This these are not intentional slights or meanness. Sometimes words just slip out on their own.
The summer after our freshman year in college, Ben K and I [...]
Back before the now-time began, and well before the world ended, Marci and I were lovers. Now we’re married, so even though we’re still lovers it doesn’t count. We’d been working “starter jobs” the year after college, and when those came to an end (or rather, when we decided to end ‘em) we went on [...]