Atheist though I am, there are times when I look to the heavens and mouth the word “Help!”

What I have trouble doing, however, is saying that to any actual human person.

Which helps me understand the appeal of religion. There are some things you can’t quite bring yourself to confess to another human, but sometimes you just need to talk.

I don’t know if it’s the way I was raised or the books I read, but I have to go through a series of mental gymnastics in order to justify asking anybody else for assistance. Read more about Help!

Cancer! So Annoyed!

I’m not a big noticer – I live too much in my head – but one evening when I was idly scratching at what I assume was a spider bite on my right breast, I noticed something. A small lump. Not just a nodule, that felt like any number of other nodules. A lump, with a little length, a little width, and the definite feel of “something there.”

Well, there was something there. “A bad actor,” as one doctor put it, after my diagnostic mammogram. We set up an appointment for a needle biopsy. It was positive. I had cancer. Read more about Cancer! So Annoyed!

Pets'n'Me: A Short History

I’ve had a checkered history with pets. As a child, I was into dogs. What child doesn’t beg for a puppy? I got a puppy. A shiny little cocker spaniel named Taffy. We were inseparable until I was in junior high. Into the woods, across the fields and creeks, through back yards and alleyways and clambering down into the newly dug holes for new houses – Taffy and I went everywhere together except when I climbed trees, and then she waited for me at the bottom. I still remember the day my dad told me that Taffy had gone “to live on a farm.” By that time, I was more into boys than Taffy. Read more about Pets'n'Me: A Short History

Gay Inspiration

I have little to say about the Orlando massacre aside from the horror and grief that we all feel at such a useless (and is there ever a useful?) loss of life. Aside from a couple of gay friends, one now living far away and the other long dead of AIDS, and some lesbian neighbors of mine, I do not have much interaction with that community in particular. As a matter of fact, I’m on record as having been a little miffed off when the issue of gay marriage popped up on Ohio’s state ballot the year that I hoped we could rout George W. Read more about Gay Inspiration

Spring Comes On Forever

I found out within the last hour that Sara, a dear friend of mine, is terminally ill and hospice has been called to her home. Her daughter and her husband will be her caretakers, along with the hospice workers.

This came as a shock to me, but when I called a mutual friend, who is also close to her, he told me that he, too, hadn’t been in touch recently. She had been ill, and did not want company, even when I suggested stopping by. I just assumed that when she felt up to it, I would hear from her and in the meantime, my life went on. Read more about Spring Comes On Forever

Waiting Games

Well, it’s been a week. I went to the grocery store on Monday and detected a flubby sound on the way. In the parking lot, I discovered a tire as flat as a snail’s foot. Snailed it a block over to Discount Tire with a sack full of groceries (might as well go ahead and shop), only to be told that if they pumped it up in that condition it could explode. So I waited until a mechanic was free to change it. Sudoku on my phone. Read more about Waiting Games


I think I was about 13 when I read my mother’s copy of . Not counting Rhett Butler, I fell in love with two concepts: red hair and green eyes, and Mammy.

This confession of Mammy-love came up recently when someone online referenced another favorite character loved for her supportive role, which reminded me of Mammy, and referencing her, I felt obliged to explain how it seemed as if I had, at one time, wanted my very own slave. Read more about Mammy


I was driving to Costco to pick up a new pair of glasses early yesterday afternoon when I heard the first reports of the latest terrorist attacks in Paris. The kind man who retrieved my glasses for me was born in Germany near the French border. He asked me if I had heard anything further than what he had picked up at work. I told him what I knew, and we talked for a little while about why such things happen. About disaffected youth and discrimination and joblessness and the desperate search for some kind of meaning in lives that can find little else than whatever jihad has come to mean. Read more about Nothing