Tag Archives: writing

Why the sense of urgency? The numbers don’t lie

I turned 58 a week ago. Amid all the birthday cheer on Facebook was a post from a childhood friend, sharing that his mom had died that very morning. That sad news reinforced what I wrote the next day to thank … Continue reading

Posted in Irish Investigations | Tagged , , , , , | 45 Comments

Which version of ‘Hallelujah’ is the best? Does it matter?

Five years ago I heard a group of college students perform an a cappella version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and was spellbound. Newsweek recently ranked 60 versions of the song, from best to worst. I disagree with the magazine’s No. 1, John Cale (“Shrek,” the movie). … Continue reading

Posted in Irish Investigations, language, music, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

When ‘The Boy With No Story’ has a tale to tell

Sometimes I fear I have no story. I don’t mean writer’s block. I mean that I have no story, no narrative that spells out what it is I’ve done, or what I’m doing, with my life. This struck me the other … Continue reading

Posted in Children, communication, family, Irish Investigations, language, music, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A 67-year-old man in a wheelchair dies, then gets smeared by internet trolls

The recent passing of Syracuse icon Gertis McDowell is instructive for two very different reasons. One, we can all learn from his upbeat attitude and the happiness he spread to strangers even when he was in pain. Two, we can try to … Continue reading

Posted in college, Irish Investigations, language, poverty, Technology, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Would you swap your talent for someone else’s?

Let’s say you’re a gifted painter. Maybe you don’t make a living at it, but it’s a source of pleasure and fulfillment, occasionally joy. But for years you’ve wished you were a standout baseball player, even though you’re not so … Continue reading

Posted in art, Irish Investigations, language, music, running, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

On vacation in California, the camera goes to the dogs

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — It takes about a week in Northern California to give up trying to capture the beautiful scenery with a phone camera, so you do the next best thing — take pictures of dogs. That’s easy to … Continue reading

Posted in family, Irish Investigations, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

‘The Last Waltz’ and other Thanksgiving rituals snuck up on me

It’s scary sometimes how the mind works. Mine, anyway. When Michelle came home from work the other night carrying cameras, backpacks and other tools of the photography trade, I greeted her at the door with, “Take a load off!” It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, family, Irish Investigations, music, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

When ‘thoughts and prayers’ don’t seem to be enough

It took three tries, but I finally came up with some words of sympathy for a family that lost a wife and mother to cancer at age 54. I hadn’t seen any of the family for a few years, as … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, communication, family, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

At what age are we ‘senior citizens’? Time will tell

When I was 49, the constant letters from AARP were bad enough. Eight years later, it’s Time magazine’s turn to take a cheap shot. Time’s special offer arrived in the mail the other day, a discount subscription “for senior citizen … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, communication, Irish Investigations, language | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Making sense of, and accepting, ‘second-class’ behavior

“Most grown-up behavior, when you come right down to it, is decidedly second-class. People don’t drive their cars as well, or wash their ears as well, or eat as well, or even play the harmonica as well as they would … Continue reading

Posted in books, driving, Irish Investigations, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments