The Gifts We Have Missed

Well, it’s over.  The gifts have been opened, the food has been ravaged and piles of paper and boxes are still strewn across the living room.  Another Christmas has come and gone.  Or so it might seem.

You see, this is when every so often a wonderful thing happens: we discover a gift we had missed.  Perhaps it fell behind the tree or was hidden beneath a pile of torn paper, but there it is.  And what a joy it is to learn we have received more gifts than we first thought. Continue reading

The Golden What?

This morning, my dog pooped on the floor.

You’re probably wondering, why did he have to tell me that? If so, you understand how I felt a little while ago when I saw that the 2014 Golden Globe nominations have been announced.

If I was forced at gunpoint to list 3 things I care less about than the Golden Globe Awards, I could come up with the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, and then…well, then I’d be a goner.

And yet, when I saw a link to an article about the nominations, I clicked on it. Why? Continue reading

Do You Want to Get Rich or Just Watch?

I once had lunch with a young man who said he’d spent over $100,000 with a “success guru” and it was the best investment he’d ever made. I nearly choked when he said this, but given his extraordinary success, I wasn’t about to question his judgment. Not knowing quite how to respond, I said, “I guess you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to others.” To my surprise, he instantly and emphatically said he would not. Continue reading

Halloween 2013 – The Magic Returns

Well, Halloween 2013 has come and gone and despite what the statistics might suggest, I’m calling it a success.

Our first trick-or-treaters arrived around 7:15, our last about an hour later. All in all, probably 50 kids appeared on our doorstep and an equal number of parents stood watching them from our sidewalk. Nice people, all of them. Nowhere near the numbers from when I was a kid, but I’ll take them.

Perhaps the most surprising thing to me was that of all the costumes, only 1 was horror-related. We had plenty of princesses, ballerinas, Ninja Turtles, doctors and martial artists. But just one monster. A little Freddy Krueger.

He couldn’t have been more than 7-years-old, but he sported the hat, the glove, the bloody face, and when his friends yelled trick-or-treat, he didn’t; he growled it. And with that growl, the little monster made my night. Heck, he made my entire Halloween. And it only took an instant. But that’s the way magic works. If you’re willing to meet it halfway.

Meet the Monsters Halfway

It may have been Christmas to the rest of the world, but to me it was always Halloween. December 1968.

A few weeks back I happened to catch John Carpenter’s Halloween on TV and while Michael Myers was butchering some unsuspecting young beauty I thought, I’m just not feeling it.

I know; I, too, thought that was strange. But it gets worse.

That same week I also caught a bit of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, a movie I’ve seen probably a dozen times and one that’s never failed to send a little chill down my spine. But this time, nothing.

And then Netflix joined the party and suggested I watch the 1931 version of Dracula. So I started to. And though I loved this movie when I was a child, this time it failed to deliver.

I began to see a pattern. And that’s when a thought I never expected to enter my mind, entered my mind. It was a thought I found deeply disturbing. And not in a good way. Continue reading

Silence Doesn’t Mean Squat

Excuse me while I take a deep breath.

Thank you. I needed that because this one really gets under my skin.

Here’s a little quiz for you. What is the difference between the following two dialogues?

  1. You ask, “Will you let me know when the job is done?” He says, “Count on it.”
  2. You ask, “Will you let me know when the job is done?” He says, “Tell you what. If I don’t call you by noon, that means it’s done.”

Notice any difference? If not, you’re asking for trouble. Here’s why: Continue reading

A Trashy Little Mystery

I don’t have a great memory but I do pride myself on remembering to put out our garbage on collection day.

In the three years we’ve lived in our current home I’ve virtually never missed a day.

Then, some weeks back, for no apparent reason, I forgot. Later that week, I forgot again. The next week, same thing.

In all I missed four collection days in a row and – to make matters worse – I couldn’t begin to explain why.

Then, as suddenly as this cycle began, it ended and I’ve been perfect again for the last two weeks.

What caused this glitch in my near-perfect garbage-day memory? Continue reading