Category Archives: Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff
We all have those moments in our lives when the world at large encroached upon us; moments like 9/11, the JFK assassination, or the Challenger explosion. Those moments that, when we are asked to talk about them around the office water cooler, we begin describing with the words, “I remember exactly what I was doing … ” or “I remember exactly what I was wearing … ”. For those of us not directly connected to any of these tragedies, some of those moments are just that: moments we’ll never forget.
Others become watershed.
I was 15 years old when the Chernobyl disaster occurred, and it was exactly seven days after Read the rest of this entry
I’m going to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, because nothing ruins an adventure like knowing every damn little thing about it beforehand (it’s really not an adventure if that’s the case). However, I’m going to include a couple of my favorite photos and share some details, so if you’re planning on visiting the Bronx Zoo’s Dinosaur Safari this summer and want to stay completely in the dark, I’d advise skipping the rest of this post (except scroll down to “A word on buying tickets.” That stuff you’ll want to know). Read the rest of this entry
My uncle on my mother’s side, Louis Squeglia, passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. He was 95. I was tasked with writing the eulogy and thought I’d post it here.
Five-star General Douglas MacArthur, who played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II, once said that “the best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.” Louis Squeglia was a fine example of the truth in these words, and they were what he lived by: he considered himself a lucky man, and he wasted no time reveling in it.
Like MacArthur, Lou served in the U. S. Army in New Guinea from 1943 to 1946 as a Radar Crewman. His stationing there resulted in a connection to the Battle of Luzon, the initial conflict of MacArthur’s Philippine Campaign, which would eventually result in the liberation of the islands.
If you asked him what he thought of those trying years in the South Pacific, he’d tell you the reason he was losing his hair was because of the heat and his helmet.
“But I’m lucky,” he said, “that I didn’t lose more than that.”
In the next breath, he’d tell you Read the rest of this entry
For hundreds of years, there have been lantern festivals in Thailand. There are two, but the one that features krathongs (water lanterns)—is called Loi Krathong, which in 2019 will take place November 13. There are many stories behind the centuries-old festival’s origins, but it’s meant to thank the Water Goddess for a successful rice harvest (read more about that here: https://www.discoverydcode.com/dcode/articles/how-to-enjoy-thailand-water-latern-festival/)
Here in the US, many set water lanterns afloat for Read the rest of this entry
I’ll be up in Cape Cod this week for some much needed quiet time.
The writing life can be crazy, because no matter what anyone Read the rest of this entry
In the summer of 2011, I needed an escape. I ended up going to see my sister, who lived in Austin, in my first-ever trip to the state of Texas.
Long story short? I fell in love with Texas. In an absolute, complete, I-see-no-wrong kind of love. The smell of burnt asphalt and cactus blossom laced with a kiss of mesquite. In Hill Country, woods and mountains not much different from Connecticut, but with the occasional surprise of a cactus thrusting from a blanket of past autumn leaves. The joy of watching over a half a million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The 108 degree heat, hot glazed pecans at the HEB, and people who will absolutely talk to a total stranger without looking at him like he has five heads.
But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry
We hear and see these stories all the time, especially now in social media: our loved ones who have passed on make their presences known. Admittedly, some of these tales may seem more like urban legends or click bait—there are, for example, three or four different versions of the ‘cardinal visits mom/sister/grandchild after daughter/sister/grandmother’s death’ and several articles across the web entitled ‘XX signs your deceased loved one is with you.’
But there are just as many things that happen to people, every day, that seem less like coincidence. Things that have no rational scientific explanation. Like my cat knocking over a piece of artwork a friend made within minutes of that friend’s passing, something my cat had never gone near or even noticed before. Or my friend seeing her deceased brother’s initials and birth date (including year) on the license plate of a car that pulled in front of her. Or another friend, calling out to her late husband to help her find the insurance papers; when she came downstairs the next morning, they were literally next to her coffee maker—but no one else had been in the house (shivers, right? Me too).
Sometimes these things are coincidences, and I won’t deny that. I have always prided myself on knowing the difference between a sign and a coincidence; sometimes, it’s tough to tell, and you really have to make the call. Others? Not so much.
I had one of these happen to me recently. Read the rest of this entry
We’ve all heard of massive volcanic eruptions in the past killing thousands of people and laying waste to cities and entire landscapes. Before Santa Maria, before Mt Pelee, and even before Krakatoa, there was Tambora.
Tambora is an active volcano on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. On April 10, 1815, Read the rest of this entry
Whether or not you celebrate this holiday, I don’t think any of us can deny that sometimes, Easter decorations—especially vintage ones—can be creepy.
Growing up, we had a rather freaky plastic Easter Bunny that lit up. I have no Read the rest of this entry
Recently, a friend and I spent almost an hour on the phone talking almost exclusively about our passion for accoutrements.
What are those, you ask? Accoutrements are Read the rest of this entry