Love in the Time of Caesar

So I’ve been reading about death rituals in pre-Christian Rome, and I’ve discovered two things. The first is that one’s memorial had some kind of effect on the afterlife. The more people remembered you, the better. This is why tombs and inscriptions where all over public places–and it’s why, if you were poor, and if your family couldn’t afford to do much, some might feel that your afterlife could be less than peachy. (I don’t want to make this correlation too simple, because honestly, I don’t think the afterlife entirely hinged on remembrance. If one of you knows more, let me have it.) Thing two: It’s really very touching to see the poorer tombs, where a family obviously couldn’t afford to hire an artist (or at least a good artist) to decorate the graves. Some of the most loving folk art is intricate and… really pretty bad. It’s also interesting to see how the tombs have birds and flowers and serene furry things, much like we modern folks decorate our nurseries.

(Originally posted August 19, 2015)

Even Better Than the One with the Dentist

In the middle of the night, I somehow decided that I had to remember the secret identity of the Robin (as in Batman and) who came after Jason Todd. I knew he was Tim somebody. He’s actually Tim Drake. But I came up with Tim Conway–and this left me imagining the best Carol Burnett skit in the world.

(Originally posted August 16, 2015)

Happy Baby

I’m in Florida with my parents, because my mom has just had her hip replaced. She’s doing well, but she’s relatively immobile and she needs somebody at home while my dad’s at work. Their condo is lovely, but it’s set up in such a way that the living room is the only place where I can exercise. So my mother sits in her chair, with her Diet Coke, waiting to watch what she calls The Yoga Show.

(Originally posted August 1, 2015)


I’m in my new horn-rimmed glasses, at the grocery-store parking lot, feeling stylish. I have just bought food for a road trip. The store was cold, because the day is hot. In my car, in my specs, I take off the sweatshirt that I wore into the store–and then I feel a breeze. My tank top has come up while the sweat shirt has come off, and I’m flashing the world, which contains–among other things–a woman in the car that’s facing me. She’s watching all of this, cocking her head, while she talks on her phone. I adjust my shirt. I adjust my swanky glasses. I am so cool in my glasses that I look at the lady, and she looks away.

(Originally posted July 16, 2015)