chuck-e-cheese-logoDid this ever happen to you? You experience something, you suffer through it. But then another person crystallizes your feelings about it.

This happened recently. A friend of mine, who I’ll call Rachel, I first met 20 years ago. She wrote on Facebook recently about a dialogue between her husband (“Thor”) and her daughter (“Anna”).

Anna: Daddy, my birthday party is at Chuck E. Cheese this year!
Thor: Good luck with that. I don’t go to parties at Chuck E. Cheese.
Anna: But there will be pizza and games!
Thor: Anna, I wouldn’t go to Chuck E. Cheese if you were getting married there.

I practically applauded, as I responded: “I’ve been to no fewer than a half dozen CEC bday parties, none for MY daughter. BRUTAL. Read the rest of this entry »

forgiveForgiveness is “the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.” Forgiveness is not always easy.

About a dozen years ago in Albany, NY, I witnessed an extraordinary event: four men touched by violence, coming out to speak against the death penalty. Bill Babbitt, seeing his mentally ill brother Manny, who he had turned in to the authorities, executed for murder; David Kaczynski, who turned in HIS brother Ted, the Unabomber; Gary Wright, who himself was almost killed by Ted Kaczynski; and Bud Welch.

They all had compelling stories Read the rest of this entry »

maple treeYou can blame Jaquandor for much of this post. A bit ago, he linked to this lovely poem about an old maple tree coming down.

I don’t think I pay attention to the trees, or nature generally, enough. A couple months ago, a huge branch fell from our tree, a maple as it turns out, in the farthest part of the back yard. The massive branch, too heavy for me to move, barely missed the shed, but it turned into an accordion our compost container.

Just recently, the branches have been removed, and the tree is now clipped, but still massive. Read the rest of this entry »

the root of all evil
Nuclear arsenals.

Thanks to Reliance on “Signature” Drone Strikes, US Military Doesn’t Know Who It’s Killing.

John Oliver: Subpar Sex Education in U.S. Schools. Plus: DC Statehood; stay for the song at the end.

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand.

Senator Elizabeth Warren to the GOP: This is 2015! Also Jeb Bush’s Grandfather Was A Founding Member Of Today’s Planned Parenthood.

FactChecking the GOP Debate.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong? Read the rest of this entry »

BillySwan-ICanHelpFor a song that went to the top of both the pop and country charts, I feel that I Can Help by Billy Swan must be one of the most obscure of hit songs.

Maybe it’s because there were a record 36 different #1 songs in 1974 on the US pop charts. It doesn’t show up on oldies stations as much as its contemporaries.

Almost no one of my acquaintance knows the song. I DID hear it used on a commercial in recent years (but I can’t remember for what).

But it was a massive crossover hit Read the rest of this entry »

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