Former Fellow at CUNY Writers' Institute Specializing in Current Events Commentary OpEds Humor
A still from "Grapes of Wrath." The Grape Cluster of Damocles attacks in the horror classic. Grapevines wreak havoc on humanity in revenge for the end of Prohibition.
Actual New York Times blurb:
“Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen classic about five sisters out to nab husbands… the better to produce an heir to save the family farm.”
Coming up this week on New York’s Classics channel:
“Gone with the Wind”
The best Oscar-winning adaptation of Martha Mitchell’s bestseller. The O’Hara family suffe...
Eye of the tiger
Back when I was commuting, on the way to work one day someone stepped on the back of my shoe. I had to stop and bend down to slip my foot back in, which in the stampede of people getting off the Staten Island Ferry at rush hour is a hazardous maneuver.
And I thought, I am so sick of getting stepped on. Bumped into. Banged with a shopping cart. Walked through. So much so that when an assignment in a writing class was to make myself a character in a story, I wrote about killing the man who cras...
It’s not about the bike
"I am NOT one of those happy smiling old people strapping on their helmets and taking leisurely rides down well-paved country roads."”
After reading the anti-ebike Atlantic magazine article, titled “Ebikes are Monstrous!” I dashed downstairs to my garage, but—whew! My ebike was not “pervaded with murk,” as the writer had declared. I was greatly relieved.
To the bikelash I encountered as a bicycle rider in New York City, we can now add ebikes as targets for random hate. As that writer said, ne...
After all, small is beautiful
Tiny Equinunk has a lot to offer
EQUINUNK, PA — While the census-designated area of Equinunk stretches miles to the south and east, the tiny, exquisite Equinunk Historic District sits at the intersection of Equinunk Creek with the Delaware River, eight miles below the birth of the Main Stem of the river at the confluence of the East and West branches.
This northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, known as the Upper Delaware region, is part of the glaciated low plateau section of the Allegheny Pla...
Rolling in the deep
Like many of my things, my house is a franken-house, patched together from disparate and not-always-compatible parts. The kitchen and first floor bedroom (a courtesy title bestowed by the selling real estate agent on a mud room) are a portion of the original 1880s house, some of which collapsed about 70 years ago.
The ruins of two stone walls outline a space in the yard. Instead of rebuilding the collapsed portion, the earlier owner added a stacked three-level addition on the opposite end: a ...
I’m scared of scrapple.
Wikipedia charmingly describes it as a “semi-solid congealed loaf.”
Congealed is a creepy word. Semi-solid might be an accurate description, but it just doesn’t sound the way food should be textured—it is not a phrase you would read in food critics’ reviews, though they unashamedly will write “dried lacto-fermented,” “carbon-negative vodka,“ “beguilingly unctuous,” like a come-hither slime mold and “salt-macerated,” in just one essay alone. Semi-solid has a gloppy, muc...
The pen marks at midnight
Before I could leave it behind forever, I had to squeeze whatever money I could from New York.
After 20 years at home and half a philosophy M.A., a year of pavement pounding and ten thousand resumes emailed into the void, of course I had to end up there: the graveyard shift, midnight to 8 a.m., proofreading 401(k) reports.
It wasn’t quite a bloody horse’s head in my bed, but the cruelly smashed blue pencil laid at my computer station still spoke pretty loud. The trainee typesetters were on my...
Don't crone for me
Recently, while noticing my feet in the bathtub, I realized it has been decades since I had overheard indirect meant-to-be-overheard comments on my appearance as I walked by. Things like “I don’t like her hair” or “She should wear more makeup.”
Going about my everyday business was the equivalent of parading on a stage in front of judges at a beauty contest, though the people making those comments did not themselves appear as qualified as judges, or decent human beings, as the judge who repeal...
Twenty-five years ago, on a very tight budget, we brought the kids to the Shawangunk Mountains to climb and romp. The bargain motel we stayed in would have been a great setting for a creepy out-in-the-woods-type horror movie, as it came supplied with badly fitted doors which creaked when the wind blew and when it didn’t, mystery stains on the bedspread and non-familial hair in the tub.
On Saturday morning I was up somewhat before nine, before the rest of the family, and went out for a walk in...