Amid all of the reactions and gifs and videos on social medial today, it was a single tweet of thirteen words from a man and writer that I respect that struck me the hardest.
It’s easy to forget, living in the shadow of New York City, where races, cultures, genders, and backgrounds mix and blend seamlessly, that huge swaths of America are much more homogenous, where scores of people have never seen a mixed race couple or a Muslim, their only experience with such things is being told to fear and hate such things.
My wife and I have been together for fifteen years and, on a day-to-day level, I don’t even think of the fact that she is a full-blooded, second-generation Puerto Rican-American. We live a mundane life — we go to work, come home, change diapers, and make dinner — but if our situation was presented to some outsiders, I’m sure they would have strong opinions. Not only is her last name Cruz but she decided to keep it, even after marriage. …
Sports punditry and analysis is always full of bad arguments and poorly thought-out opinions. But the worst sports argument of the past decade concerns LeBron James.
LeBron has played in the NBA Finals nine of the last ten years and ten total. He’s led a team to the Finals in each conference. And critics point out that he’s won *only* four.
His record in the Finals is 4–6. And that means he sucks.
Forget the fact that he’s in the conversation as the greatest all-around player most of us have ever witnessed. Forget that he’s been under a microscope since high school. Forget that he drags teams full of CYO players, D-League castoffs, and Old Timers legends to the final round every single year. Forget that he’s done it in three cities with three completely different sets of teammates. Forget that in those ten years, he’s had the lesser team at least seven times, including running into a superteam, possibly the greatest team ever, one that added an all-time great player to the squad with the greatest regular season record in history. …
Riddle me this…
In the mid-90s, Jim Carrey was in the midst of an epic run of box office hits. From 1994–1998, he starred (or co-starred) in eight films, all of which grossed at least $100 million dollars globally, with three of them doubling that figure and three more tripling it.
Halfway through that streak he brought his talent and star power to the film that had the highest domestic gross of 1995 — and sixth-highest worldwide — playing the Riddler in Batman Forever.
It’s far from the best Batman film, but he was fun and, in certain moments, particularly with the cane, truly brilliant in the role, as he “lights up an otherwise over-scripted, over-frenetic potboiler.” His character’s destruction of the Batcave was one of the film’s highlights. Unfortunately, he was ultimately betrayed by the script and was buried within the bright, garish, cartoony world Joel Schumacher created (or was forced to create). …
“When autumn winds have stolen summer’s last kiss I will find you again in my dreams; over and over past thousands of Thursdays, until I can meet you under grey skies and flaming trees.”
— Nicole Lyons
As the calendar pages turn and summer begins to loosen its grip on the world, many people become a bit despondent and lament the end of the long, warm days of July and August as they are replaced by the extended darkness of autumn and winter evenings.
I, however, love the shorter days of fall.
Yes, I savor the incredible spectrum of autumnal colors and the sounds of leaves crunching beneath my feet, but I appreciate the imperfect days equally as much as the flawless ones. There is something about a dull grey sky hanging low over the earth, like a giant comforter over all our heads, that draws me in. …
Friday would have been my best friend’s 40th birthday.
It should have been.
Instead, she and three others from our small town perished in a car crash in the early morning hours of a Sunday in December, 2001 after celebrating a twenty-first birthday.
As soon as I received the news, I raced home and visited the crash site
I should be celebrating with her or, in the age of the pandemic, at least toasting her over Zoom and reminiscing on thirty-seven years (and counting) of friendship, how it all began before kindergarten. …
My second child, my second daughter, turns two today.
My first, the oldest, is an eight-year-old that acts like she’s 14, and since there is such a large gap between number one and number two — for a very, very, very, very good reason — the past two years have been a refresher course in infant and toddler life.
I’m a much better parent now, thanks to eight years of living it. I didn’t have much experience with children before I had my own, so much of it was new to me the first time. It’s not that I completely forgot about bottles and bibs, messy diapers, and frantic searches for pacifiers in the middle of the night, but remembering them and actually living them again are totally different experiences. …
“Always stay a student.”
— Frank Shamrock
The professor opened class with a simple statement.
“I assume everyone has the syllabus and all of the materials.”
Uh, I didn’t. I looked around the room and quickly ascertained that I was the only one. There was no sense in hiding.
I raised my hand to tell him. He wasn’t too annoyed. He simply said, “Open up Canvas and download it now, please.”
I said, “You got it,” but I thought, What the hell is ‘Canvas’?
I was in school for the first time in a decade and so much had changed. I’m from the era where you received everything on the first day of class. I was a dinosaur. I looked around again. Save for a few outliers, I was the old guy. Worse, I was the old guy in a technology class that didn’t know the technology. …
“Who is the best NBA player to never win an MVP award?”
The MVP doesn’t always go to the best player in the world, particularly in the NBA where voters like to reward a narrative, just look at Dave Cowens in ’73, Charles Barkley in ’93, Karl Malone in ’97 or Derrick Rose in ’11.
The all-time greats usually manage to put one MVP on their shelf, but there have been a few that missed, so when the question was first posed to me last week, some names immediately jumped to mind.
John Stockton is the all-time leader in both assists and steals. …
One question that COVID-19 has brought to the forefront of our societal conversations is, Who are the essential workers?
The first professions that immediately spring to mind are obvious: doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers. However, the pandemic has proven that there are additional tiers and classes of essential workers, including grocery store employees, delivery drivers, warehouse employees, non-frontline healthcare employees, and teachers.
My wife and I are in these last two categories.
The economy has ground to a halt in many sectors so we’re very fortunate to still be receiving paychecks, but with that said, the expectations from our employers have risen to unrealistic levels. …
I’m not a journaler by nature.
Yes, I have written down my innermost thoughts on occasion, but generally I jot down short quick notes on almost everything that pops into my brain that I then compile to use later for writing that I will publish, either here or in my newsletter.
Yet I felt that living through a time when a viral droplet infection — a silent, invisible killer — raced across the globe and was documented in real time was as good an occasion as any to keep a daily record of my thoughts.
I’m not doing it for public consumption, despite this public essay announcing it. I’m not so vain or naive to think it will become another Man’s Search for Meaning or The Diary of Anne Frank. My experiences can’t even begin to compare to those of Viktor Frankl or Anne Frank — I’m forced to stay home where I have all of the creature comforts of the 21st Century so it’s not exactly a sacrifice. …