I hate labels as much as the next white / male / anglo-saxon / gay / atheist / right-handed / adopted / blue-eyed / ultra-liberal / 50-something / Pisces. I am a little bit short for my weight, but I am committed to getting taller. Je parle très bien le français — until they talk back. I love all dogs more than I do most people. I would rather be on a beach, any beach, than anywhere else, all the time.
Like so many others, I survived the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then spent the 1960s on City Island (when it was a charming nautical enclave) where the Bronx ends and the Long Island Sound begins. On to Greenwich in the ‘70s, when a million dollars was worth something — and where I met many of the friends I would move through life with. The 1980s saw me in Worcester (at Clark) + Fribourg (à l’Uni) + NYC (NYU). Then: Brooklyn. Greenwich. Seattle. And Washington DC. I wasn’t into the whole ‘settling down’ thing... I woke up in San Francisco in 1990. Four years later, took a detour back to Connecticut — where Thom + I met in 1994 in a bar in Westport that no longer exists.
We lived on the Upper East Side for two years, and then spent five years in Boston.
After the horror of 9/11, the world felt as though it might end soon. Better be where you wanna be, right? So, we very quickly sold the condo we loved, bought an SUV we had never needed, loaded up our cocker spaniels Remi + Jesse, and moved the family to San Francisco — in time to ring in 2002. It was great to be back in The City I loved with the guy I loved. But there were job shifts and back surgery and $tupidly priced real estate. 18 months later, we were in the same car with the same dogs and moving down to Rancho Mirage in the desert. A planned two-year real estate flip turned into a six-year odyssey, fun in the sun, nice friends, lots of houseguests and a grand business adventure. That came crashing down along with Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in the Great Bush Catastrophe of 2008. That which does not kill you…
We had tears in our eyes that November, glued to the television watching Barack Obama and his beautiful family take the stage in Grant Park. Victory. Our little world in the desert had crumbled, and the whole planet was terrified about what lay ahead. But this election was a bright line between where this country had been, and where we were going. As trite as the phrase became, this was truly change we did believe in… and still do.
Did I mention that I am a liberal / progressive / socialist / Democrat? And that I believe republicanism is a communicable disease that attacks the head and the heart — and must be eradicated for the American corner of humanity to survive and thrive? Yeah. I don’t want this blog to be too much politics and not enough everything else. But if you’re not pissed off, then you’re just not paying attention.
By the end of 2009, Thom and I had found our way to Los Angeles. A city we had always visited but never lived in. And it’s a little surprising how much we love life here in our little pad a couple of (steep!) blocks into the hills above the Sunset Strip. (Watch Jimmy Kimmel. The backdrop is a night shot of our neighborhood. And his show is pretty good, too.) After too many years without K9 kids, we started volunteering for a rescue org… then we started fostering dogs who needed a place to chill until they were adopted… then at the end of 2012, we became foster failures. First Charlie, then Bernardo and Tiger. All three rescued from a kindly yet insane hoarder in South LA (who had 40 dogs and 60 cats). Remi and Jesse would be appalled at this doggy frat house we have going on now. But it’s wonderful. Here’s the thing about rescuing a dog or cat or horse or hamster — they rescue you right back. Every day.
So, if you’ve made it this far, then clearly — you need a hobby! Find a local rescue org for any animal that you love. (Petfinder.com is a great way to find the animals and their rescue orgs. Click on their logo here.) Drop by their next adoption event. Lend a hand. Observe the people and the animals and all the different interactions. There’s something about helping animals in need that brings together a real mix of folks. Young and old, boys and girls, crazy and crazier. Two-legged and four-legged. If you’re single, it’s not the worst way in the world to meet a great mate. If you’re already in the saddle with someone, this kind of work is a nice thing to do together. Yes, it can be hard at times. But never doubt this: the return on your emotional investment is incalculable. You get back so much more than you give.
I haven’t answered the “what am I doing here” question. I guess that’s for you to decide. Thanks for following this blog o’mine. I’ll do a better job if I know people are watching. (The first 100 followers get a toaster.) Oh, and one more thing: If you are an American who is not registered to vote – WTF?! get yourself registered to vote. Now. You can do it online in a few minutes:
Don’t let anyone deny your most basic right as an American. Don’t let someone else choose your government for you. That hasn’t worked out so well for 99.9% of us. And yes, non-billionaire, that means you.
The End (so far)