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A Plague on Words

Laughter, Joy & Embracing the Fa-fa Moments

Life is better when we’re laughing. Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charles Dickens said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”  Lesser known, but still wise, Dr Madan Kataria said: “I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but millions are dying because they are not laughing.”  READ MORE

A Plague on Words

Optimistic Cynicism – Bouts With Doubt

Recently, the new pastor at my church asked if I would be interested in giving a sermon. I thought the idea was an odd proposition as he asked me after meeting me only a handful of times. Even so, I agreed thinking it would be an interesting journey — spiritual and otherwise — and a writing exercise at some point while he was on vacation or away at a conference of some kind. I soon found out that it was for the following Sunday.“ Taxi … !” READ MORE

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A Plague on Words

False Promises of Gum Chewing

As an early gum chewer, the cool kid thing to do was to blow a bubble or to pop or snap the gum. No reason for such a thing. You did it because you could. I certainly wasn’t considered a cool kid … but that did not stop me from practicing. It gave a skill to the unskilled. Coolness to the uncool. Cajones to the un-cajoned. READ MORE

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A Plague on Words


Right now though, I’m a bit numb. I’m slowly, methodically, painstakingly, beginning to come out of it. But, like Al Pacino in Godfather 3, just when I think I’m out … it pulls me back in. I’ve been numb for a good portion of the week. Number than numb…


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A Plague on Words

A Career of Retirement, A Retirement from Life

I found out recently that my brother, Bobby, is very sick with liver problems and pancreas issues and very low on the list for a transplant. I understand he is not at all like himself physically or mentally and may be in his final weeks and months. Or perhaps days. And it seems like just 5 or 6 weeks ago we had one of our best phone conversations ever. It was a tough and emotional. But he was real and genuine, or so it seemed, and he was not relying on defensive jokes. READ MORE

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A Plague on Words

Peace, Harmony & Clarity — Time Standing Still

A phrase that was often said at the time was “Never Forget.” While I certainly understood that challenge, almost immediately to me it was a double negative. I soon adopted the phrase “Always Remember.” I remember the moments. The moments of sacrifice and charity. The moments of confusion and clarity. Those who know me will hear me talk about “fa-fa moments.” Moments of emotion — joy or sorrow — where words simply have no energy to reveal themselves. There is a catch of breath, perhaps a short fa-fa sound. I’ve had quite a few since then. READ MORE

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A Plague on Words

Gentlemen prefer Bonds

Starting around the time I was 12 or 13, I became a James Bond fan. This started with one of the weaker entries in the series, The Man with The Golden Gun (1974). This was Roger Moore’s 2nd go as Bond and also starred Maud Adams as his love/lust interest, Christopher Lee as the baddie, a pre-Fantasy Island Herve Villechaize, and a theme song by Lulu that went nowhere that I can recall. The film was pretty bad, looking back. And yet, I was hooked. I dug the gadgets, the cars, the exotic locales. And Bond’s seeming ease with women, which I certainly didn’t have at 12 or 13. READ MORE