How To Tell A Genius From An Imbecile

If you’ve ever known any truly stupid people you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there’s something quite disarming and adorable about them.The genuinely slow don’t really want or expect much from life; avoiding the spotlight’s glare in favor of simple, repetitive activities which, while certain to bore the likes of us to tears, provide them with endless […]

Gallows Humor Swings

“Be nice to your enemies; you just might be one of them.” Taz Mopula If you’ve been blessed/cursed with Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) you’ll be spending time off the beaten track, in some cases, far off – for example, you might find yourself lying face down in a drainage ditch paralleling the beaten track, being […]

The Main Thing WWII Taught My Dad

My father was a gifted storyteller. If I was good he would tell me one at bedtime. My favorite concerned a troop ship anchored in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Italy. This is how it went. He and his men were asleep; it was late at night and silent. (My dad fought through the […]

No Man Is A Hero To His Valet

Long ago I was employed by a massive corporation in the business of manufacturing fabulously expensive, mediocre products that were virtually obsolete before installation had been finalized. Within this corporation was a department, enigmatically referred to as Human Resources, consisting exclusively of individuals thoroughly unqualified for meaningful employment. One day, desperately casting about for ways […]

Earth Day

Allen Ginsberg – Beat Poet When I think about Philadelphia’s Belmont Plateau on April 22, 1970, I don’t think about thousands of stoned out hippies basking in the sun, reveling in the nation’s first Earth Day. I don’t think about Ralph Nader, Dune author Frank Herbert, Nobel Prize winning Harvard Biochemist, George Wald, or Senator […]

Chuckles the Depressed Clown

Years ago I was traveling from Philly to L.A. on business and found myself seated next to an unremarkable gentleman – mid-40s, clean-shaven, tall, closely-cropped hair, dressed casually but in all regards neat and presentable. One is captive on a plane and I hoped he understood the difference between friendly and intrusive. Half an hour […]

Imprisoned Primates Escape Into Addiction

When I was a very young lad living in Edinburgh, I would go on perambulations with my mother. Edinburgh is a grand city for walking, and we explored it at length. (As a Dutch woman recently transplanted from Amsterdam I think she found it as exotic as I did.) Edinburgh Castle, with its steep, cobblestone […]

Dealing With The Loss Of Mental Illness

All good things must come to an end, according to the sage of old, but did you know this also applies to bad things? That’s right! Here’s the shocker; when it comes time to bid a fond adieu to your particular mental health challenge, you may find yourself dragging your heels, gnashing your teeth, dotting […]

When You Meet Your Demon, Please Be Gentle

The summer of 1969 found me in McGrath, Alaska, which is only a little further from the moon than it is from Woodstock, New York. I was working for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) as an EFF (Emergency Fire Fighter), being dropped by helicopters into the middle of active forest fires throughout the state. […]

Show Time Is No Time For Mercy

For twelve consecutive years I occupied space in an academic hothouse we’ll call Throckmorton Academy, an oasis of genteel entitlement located, improbably, in a Philadelphia neighborhood called Germantown. Germantown was very chic in the horse and carriage days, today it is known for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, urban decay, and crime. All Throckmorton Academy […]