You may have just received notification of a post… but it wasn’t meant to go out yet!

I’m participating in The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII, a great event organized by August McLaughlin. My itchy finger published my post immediately when it was supposed to be scheduled for next week.

Next time you receive the notification of the post publication, it WILL actually be published. I hope you’ll come back and read it then, along with all the other wonderful posts by other participants.

As my father, a woodworker, used to say, “measure twice, cut once.”

In modern terms, that would be, “think twice, press the publish button once.” Luckily it’s easier to unpublish a post than to put back together a piece of cut wood.

Screen diversions: no reading required

Are you excited to wake up every morning and hear the news? Do you believe all is right with the world, everything is on track, and we are all one big happy family?

[Rhetorical questions.]

As an antidote, I thought I’d share some entertainment. No politics, musing about the world of book publishing, or existential crises. Just five shows* I’ve enjoyed recently.

Of course, many have messages or ideas about the world woven into their stories. But the truth buried in fiction often moves us more—and makes us think more deeply—than the reality in front of our noses.

Happy viewing.

*We can’t really call them “TV” shows any more, because they’re often not viewed on TVs.

High times with Kathy Bates

Disjointed” is billed as a “workplace comedy.” Part of the comedy is that the workplace is a pot dispensary. Netflix must have had this waiting in the wings since California voted in 2016 to legalize marijuana. I happened to watch parts 1 and 2 in early January, 2018 just after the law took effect.

This show might be a little over the top for some (the animated sequences are pretty trippy and probably look even better when you’re watching in a, shall we say, altered state) but it has a great heart. And with Kathy Bates as the star, it’s hard to go wrong, although I was surprised to see the number of thumbs-downs on the YouTube views.

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3 tips to keep your reviews from failing

Every Sunday when I was a kid in the tiny New York town of Hillsdale, my parents would drive five miles down a dirt road to the local grocery store to pick up the New York Times. My parents were transplants from the greater metropolitan area of New York City; I imagine that great hunk of newsprint helped them stay connected to the life they had—albeit willingly—left behind.

My mother immersed herself in the notoriously challenging crossword puzzle. My father delved into the sports pages to follow his beloved Yankees and into the financial pages to follow his beloved stock portfolio.

I went for the Book Review.

Review of Lillian Hellman’s “Pentimento” from September 23, 1973

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Ghosts of Christmases Past


I am 12 years old. In our non-practicing Jewish household, Christmas morning means an assortment of gifts on the fireplace hearth (though no tree). I come down through the cold house to see what “Santa” has brought, though I will wait until my parents are awake to open them. This year, there’s a spiral-bound blue notebook with blue-tinted pages. Later that day—December 25, 1974—curled up on the couch in my new Lanz of Salzburg flannel nightgown, I write my first journal entry. I have written almost every day in the intervening 43 years. Continue reading

A non-believer’s polyglot Thanksgiving

Dear “Lord,”

Thank you for this hot mess of a world, because it seems to be the only one available. Thank you also for hot yoga.

Merci beaucoup for the little things: the hot astringent tea, the morning silence at the kitchen table. For the ability to think and feel and to perceive the wonders of this plane of existence.

Baie dankie for not caring whether I believe in you or not, but instead acting like an affectionate ex, someone I could tell wasn’t right for me after a couple dates but who remembers me fondly.

Danke schoen for the magical arrangement of the atomic web that holds us together, for the zoom of particles, for the waves lighting up our lives. Thank you for miracles enough.

Fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ for my friends. Solitude is only grand and nourishing when its alternative is readily available: quick laughter, hugs, jocular ribbing, nagging, nudging, conspiring, conversing, delighting, and all the other methods of human intercourse.

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