The Power of Pride

I am not a fraud.

But there was a time in my life – not all that long ago, if I’m being honest with myself – that I did everything I could to hide who I really was. I pretended to be the kind of person my parents wanted me to be and the kind of person I thought my kids needed me to be.

I was terribly unhappy, and more than once over the years I tried to end it all. Continue reading “The Power of Pride”

9-1-1: A Look Back at Terror

whitewashed image of the skyline of New York with the Twin Towers intact

It’s been fifteen years since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and when I started writing this post, I didn’t know what the Twin Towers looked like. The image in my head was vague, and the pictures I found weren’t any better.

I had forgotten.

On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school. Within a week, almost every young man I knew had signed up for one branch of the military or another, and were excitedly waiting to serve their country in a war that had not yet begun.

I had no real idea of what war was. As a child, I had heard of wars, but they were something fantastical, like a story that had no bearing on my own reality. They were removed from me. A fiction.

When the Twin Towers fell, I lost one of my last shreds of innocence. I grew up a little. My life was changed.

I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine what it must have been like for those who lost their loved ones there, or in any of the subsequent terror attacks. My heart aches for NYC, for India, for Turkey, for Fort Hood, for Israel, for San Bernadino, for Egypt, for France, for Somalia, for Iran, for Nigeria, and for Orlando, among all the others.

Whether we know it or not, we all feel these losses. Energy is dispersed. Love is destroyed. Life is stolen. Everything changes. The world crumbles a little bit more.

But we can’t crumble with it. We have to stand up and declare ourselves stronger than hatred. We are bigger than the cruelty that lives in dark hearts.

Stay safe and hold your loved ones tight, everyone.

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Happy International Lefties Day!

Southpaw, kidal, clicky, mancino, spuddy-handed, gitcho, caggy, chapool, port-sider…

image of a left hand using a computer mouse

There are a lot of terms for left-handers all over the world, and mixed feelings about the connotations of the words, as some are derogatory, while others are celebratory.

On this day, however, left-handers the world over can celebrate. It’s International Lefties Day!

image of a gray left handprint

Happy Mardi Gras!

image of a white and red Mardi Gras mask

This year, my wife and I celebrated the same way we have since we got together: food, drinks, parade, and partying!

The funniest thing I saw: Our friend, the Mardi Gras birthday girl, has as many costume changes as Cher on tour, and my favorite is probably her “naked suit.”

The best food this year: The same as it always is… the spicy boudain dip!

The best drink this year: Salted Watermelon Shooters

The best parade attraction: The middle school marching band

The verdict: I can’t wait for next year!

image of a parade float

The Promised Land: Reflections on MLK

image of MLK giving a speech

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

The tragedies faced with our country today show that there is still so much work to do to achieve Dr. King’s dream. Many have rightfully risen up against the face of racism to demand their rights, while others are frozen, not knowing how to proceed, not knowing how to fight without the risk of the bloody backlash that is becoming all too common.

logo of the Black Lives Matter movement

Those of us who stand on the right side of history – the side that believes separate is never equal, and that there is no superior color, gender, sexuality, or creed – will continue to fight against the injustice bred into our society, in whatever ways we can, in the name of leaders like Dr. King, until one day we are all judged simply by the content of our character.

Dr. King saw the promised land, and I hope to live to see it, too.

Happy New Year!

This afternoon I’ll be sitting down to black-eyed peas, cabbage, and a host of other goodies that are supposed to bring prosperity and good luck into my life this year – and I hope you’ll do the same with your own traditional foods and superstitions for a bit of fun as we begin another year on the planet.

image of New Years' party favors

If you’re looking for amusing things to do or see today, I’ve rounded up a few links for you:

Be safe and enjoy your weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with a great new column I call Spotlight Saturday that is not to be missed.

Happy 2016, folks.