Nona

Nancy Jeanne Riviello, née Decker, was amplified by her voice. While small in stature, her presence in song soared to fill any space; while lightly built, she carried conversations tirelessly. Years ago, her decline robbed the maestra of her instrument – as if a normal life’s supply of notes and …

Papa

The night he passed after a sudden decline in health, my mother asked that I handle my grandfather’s obituary. She specified that it should be something out of the ordinary for printing in a handout at the funeral, with a shorter version for publication in the local news and in …

Audrey, Too

It was a little before Thanksgiving when Christina first glimpsed a new shape moving outside of the back door. Cats had been using our backyard as, variously, a refuge from canines, a litterbox and, (we feared) a nursery, for quite a while, with no let-up when we moved in, so …

Chicken WTF

I can’t really speak any language apart from English. Not well, anyhow. Whatever French or German phrases I can cobble together are halting, awkward, absurdly accented, incorrectly conjugated and have about a 1/3 chance of having the right genders. In Spanish, I can almost order dinner, but I find emphatically …

The Cat That Wasn’t There

Living with cats brings with it many joys: a steady stream of vomit to clean up, little pink anuses in your face while you fall asleep and litterbox duty, to name a few of the more popular ones. Occasionally, though, I discover a new source of cat-related wonder. It is …

Epic

I’ve only ever really worn two bits of what might be considered jewelry: a watch of some sort, since middle school at least, and a wedding band, for most of the time since about the turn of the century. Neither, however, sports any actual jewels. I’ve recently added another piece …

2008 State of the Head Address

Madam Speaker, Mister Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow cephalids: It had been a year since my last MRI, and in the strange way of memory, the noisiness of the tube had become exaggerated in my mind. This time, I almost managed to snooze through it, the …

Driving Miss Zeta

I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit when the bespectacled clerk at Budget Rent-A-Car asked if I’d be driving 75 miles or less. “I’m afraid,” I said “that we’ll be going a good deal further than that.” My wife smiled too as he went out to pull the twelve passenger …

Agley

This is the piece I mentioned last time; there was only a little bit more to write, and I couldn’t bring myself to trash it, so here you are: The drive to improve one’s habitat is somehow ingrained in members of animalia. Birds do it, bees do it, even frequently …