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#67 Riding Around With the Car Top Down and the Radio On

I’m back in Brooklyn after a month at the Jersey Shore where I slowly became the alternate universe version of myself. The one who gets a tan and wears a shark bracelet. The one who considers fudge an acceptable breakfast option. The one who has a car. Gratuitous beach shot. I’m sure many of you have cars, and so the idea of “becoming” a person who has a car sounds strange. I haven’t owned a car since the late 90s when I sold my Geo Prism at one of those “cars for cash” places and officially joined the ranks of the Straphangers Club. So having ready access to a car for a month was kind of mind-blowing. I found myself just hopping in the car to drive around the island. Meandering around to it

#66 Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Like many of us who were in NYC on that fateful day 19 years ago, I can't stand to see the photos, videos, and memes of the smoke, the ash, the loss. Hopeful posts remind me: #NeverForget No problem. I don't need any reminders, however well-intentioned they are. I saw it all live and in living color and it's burned in my brain. So, instead, I offer the story of another 9/11. The view from Sacré-Cœur September 11, 2010: I was having a “Year of Yes”*. I wanted to have more of a life outside of work so I said YES to every invitation I could. Parties, networking events, skydiving, travel. Mostly travel. My friends pounced on the opportunity to test my “yes” theory. I criss-crossed the US (Disney

#65 My Calculator's Probably Dead, Dead, Dead

Today was one of those rainy, sleepy September days at the shore. The island is pretty quiet, just the occasional sounds of cars skimming over the partially flooded streets. For some godawful reason, I decided to redo my personal budget. Cue horrible, gripping dread and visions of future self arm-wrestling Delilah for the last bits of private-label cat food.* Visions of abject poverty aside, what really drives up my anxiety is the numbers themselves. Some people take comfort in working with numbers. They’re specific, finite, and bound by rules created by men in togas (and then spectacles). To me, numbers are barely discernible hieroglyphics just waiting to be (mis)interpreted. Words. Words h

#64 Nothing Can Harm you, Not While I'm Around

If you read my last post, you’ll know that my 16-year old dog, Delilah, broke her front leg and is in a cast. I went through a real guilt phase over it, like I BROKE THE DOG. But, Her resilience is impressive. She’s doing OK — in some ways better than I am. She's a tough kid. This period of recuperation has given Delilah a lot of time to work on her new break-dancing skills, using her casted forelimb to propel herself around at at alarming speed. I’ve spent the last week effectively bubble-wrapping this creature in an effort to keep her from further injuring herself (and thus, my fragile psyche). I’ve deconstructed the sofa. I’ve built pillow forts. I’ve restricted my own movements so that

#63 Break the Bad Luck in My Life

Cape May, 2020. Hey, there's a lighthouse here! I've only been coming down the shore for 50 years, how would I know that? I’ve really been enjoying this time down the shore. Having full days stretching out in front of me with few, if any, appointments and even fewer expectations has started to unwind my tangled brain. I’m sleeping better (mostly) and just taking every day as it comes. This week I actually made plans, though. Barbara is off on vacation in the wilds of Colorado and Utah so it’s a good week to spend time with my sisters and visit a few friends. The first plan I made was to take the ferry from Cape May over to visit my friend, Lauren, in Rehoboth Beach. I like ferries — there’s

#62 Ain't About What's Waiting on the Other Side

I number my posts because, in 2019, I vowed that I would write 100 essays over the course of the year. I figured that would be an easy goal to meet: 2 per week! How hard could that be?* I made it to 30. That failure dwarfed every other thing I accomplished last year. It felt like a validation that I must not have the skills, the courage, or the fortitude to actually be a writer — that I must not want it enough because I didn’t show up and do the work. The reality is that I was afraid of putting what are, essentially, my shitty first drafts out into the world. So I would agonize over every post, paralyzing myself with the poison of self-criticism and perfectionism. Then I told myself that my


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