The Big Book – How It Works

Fifty years, twenty five sober, my birthday is near, and here I am, all full of reflection. Continuing the theme of influential books in my life, and these books are all about power… The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is like the Bible to me; I have internalized its principles, incorporating them into my breath. When I say “like the…


In Praise of Amateurs

Deciphering the tension between expert and amateur power/knowledge is always a challenge. We live in an anti-intellectual culture, and our easy rejection of experts and our bootstrapping, overweening self-confidence make me enormously uncomfortable. On the flip side, I find the undeserved sense of superiority deeply embedded in intellectuals, particularly academic intellectuals, to be offensive. (I’m the biggest offender, too.) Plus,…


Saul Alinsky, the Quintessential Radical

In honor of May Day and my approaching semicentennial, here’s a gem of a video, a portion of a documentary about the famous community organizer, Saul Alinsky. Talk about brilliance. This particular excerpt is simply prescient. Alinsky is best known for his book Rules for Radicals, a primer on community organizing. This book earned the right wing’s ire because Obama…

And Then There Were Three

Christmas, 1967. The stuffed bear ever at my side is Loofy, short for Lucifer. Lucifer, a hand-me-down from my aunt, was a best beloved and devilish beast who stood up to hellish things in the night. If I recall the story correctly, Loofy was named after Lucifer brand matches. His name bears a pun, for Lucifer is the bear-er of…


I’m Almost Fifty

Many years ago, I was a child who played in Chelsea Park, Manhattan, NYC. In those days, it was concrete with a little bit of green. Today, it’s green with a little bit of concrete. Somewhere in the middle, it was just sand, like a big cat litter box. I’m sure I could turn Chelsea Park into a metaphor for…


Gratitudes: Under the Rocks and Stones

Keeping track of gratitudes helps keep me positive and appreciative. The only rule is people can't be on the list because there are too many to name. Focusing on the small things keeps me mindful. Here's my gratitudes for today.

Tea, Cinderella cup, and bracelet. Life is good.

Ten things that made me happy today:

1. My niece (I broke the people law wherein I cannot include people in my gratitude list; however, this is a happiness list, so I am excused);

2. A nice dinner at Bistro Byronz for a good cause – “Dining Out for Life”;

3. I got away with an excellent joke on my boss’s boss’s boss;

4.My boss’s boss’s boss didn’t fire me for said excellent joke;

5. My house is clean;

6. Celestial Seasonings’ Gingerbread Spice Tea is out of production and off season, but I still have some left over;

7. I took a minute last week to re-string my twenty+ year old beaded bracelet from Key West that broke last year and I’ve worn it every day for a week. I do not know what this bracelet is made of. Some sort of plant material, I think, or perhaps shells;

8. Hank the autistic cat has been letting me pick him up for hugs;

9. I don’t need to complete my list all the way to ten things because I am content with nine; and

I’m not feeding into my perfectionism today.

And You May Find Yourself

I spent much of today wasting time. Some of this wasted time was spent in productive efforts that have no apparent rewards, and some was spent in an ephemera of data as I tried to clean out multiple email account folders, flash drives, and other collection baskets. I feel like I’m a thousand points of bitterness, I’ve got a dry…