rapid italian

A few years ago, I realized I had completely run out of new things to say. Every time I spoke, I was merely repeating myself, like a clump of hair circling the drain in the bathtub. Around and around I went, voicing the same concerns and trivialities as I awaited my inevitable descent into the great waste tube beyond. “Be …

the marisa disclaimer

In high school, I wore sneakers every day. They were soft, comfy, and easy to put on. Just jam your foot in, and after a few clumsy steps, the rest of the sneaker would follow. Or not. Tying the laces was optional, but on dressier occasions, I usually made the effort. Some kids didn’t even have laces on sneakers, preferring …

alone

There’s a television show where they abandon survivalists in separate locations deep in the wilderness. Each contestant gets ten different pieces of survival gear, as well as cameras to record their deaths due to mishap or starvation. Watching it makes me feel like a Roman emperor presiding over a gladiator fight. I pretend to be interested in the sport, but …

merry jewish christmas

Growing up Jewish, I learned early on that Christmas was the greatest party I’d never be invited to. There would be no Santa coming down our chimney, no chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and no house wrapped in twinkling lights. Damn they made Christmas tantalizing. No wonder Joseph and Mary were camped out on the neighbor’s lawn. They were …

on punting

One cold Sunday morning, my father took me to the Meadowlands to watch the Jets play. He never cared for professional sports, but his boss gave him the tickets and he didn’t want to seem ungrateful. It must’ve been torture for him to turn down all the scalpers as we approached the stadium. “This will be over before you know …

why jeep be bumpy

There are two ways one can enter mid-life: gracefully or kicking-and-screaming. As a breech baby, I came into this world kicking and screaming. No need to change the game plan just because it’s halftime. Ever the cliche, my mid-life crisis involved a car. At the time, I was driving a silver BMW 325i. It’s a great car, no doubt. It’s …

ghosts

My first real boss was a successful TV writer, and I was hired by the studio to be her assistant. With her jet black hair and tight jeans, she looked more like a rockstar than a sitcom writer, and she had the surly attitude that went with either. On a busy day, my job had only three responsibilities: bring her …