The Glee of Working From Home

Even before—was there a before?—coronavirus, about 24 percent of fulltime U.S. workers did “some or all” of their work at home. The preferred term is now working “remotely,” which sounds more professional than “working from home” but strikes my ear as a little too detached and automated. I began writing cozily from home last fall, […]

The President and the Leprechaun

Malarial drugs as hope for COVID-19 treatment have been much in the news of late, mostly because President Trump has touted chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine multiple times. “I’m a smart guy,” he said. “I feel good about it. And we’re going to see. You’re going to see soon enough.” He has also suggested drug cocktails such […]

Quick Check: What Metaphor Do You Use for God?

God is light. God is love. God is energy, being, process. Irreligious as I am, I have thought all those things, but the metaphors stay locked in my head. The childhood God, the gentle father watching over you; Jesus the big brother, ready to tousle your hair and kiss your forehead; God as earth mother, […]

Housing and the American Dream

The director of a recent Independent Lens documentary says in interview that her parents bought a small home in 1963. “They easily got a $15,000 mortgage, they stayed there for over 40 years, the house grew in value and turned into their only and best investment. It financed their retirement and my education. I never […]

Dragged into Shakespeare’s Brain  

My brain fuzzed into a golden haze by some seriously good wine, I lean against my husband and squint at the tiny print of the Riverside Shakespeare in his lap. We lug this heavy tome to our monthly Shakespeare dinner, reluctant to trade it, as our friends have, for a sleek Kindle. This month, we […]

Social Distancing

Stay physically apart; communicate electronically whenever possible; avoid contact. As precautions, they sound extreme—but societally, we were already trending in that direction. Ninety-five percent of shoppers want to be left alone in stores, notes an HRC Retail Advisory, and eighty-five percent would rather check prices at a scanner than ask a human being. We like […]

The New Who: Spider Night

Doctor Who, “Arachnids in the UK” Series 11, Episode 4 Written by Chris Chibnall Directed by Sallie Aprahamian Starring Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh Guest Starring Sharon D. Clarke, Shobna Gulati, Tanya Fear, and Chris Noth Original Broadcast 28 October 2018 (50 minutes)     With “Arachnids in the UK,” showrunner […]

Being a Good American in a Pandemic

NPR was talking yesterday about small businesses as the backbone of our economy, and how staying at home during the pandemic will cause bankruptcies down the line, for everyone from the coffee-cart vendor on the corner to childcare providers. Small businesses are 44% of the US economy but “create two-thirds of net new jobs and […]


My mother stood in the pool. I held tightly to the edge with one hand and reached out to her with the other. I knew she was shortening her reach each time, which frightened, angered, and exhilarated me. But she never failed to grasp my hand and pull strongly when needed, so I sailed across […]

Unfiltered Speech

My mom made friends with every store clerk who ever helped her. One day, we were shopping, and she waved gaily at a young woman who lit up in recognition, dropped what she was doing and hurried over to show my mom her new pale pink leather jacket, its edges fuzzed with dyed-pink fur. “That’s […]