A Christmas Tail

1991. My fiancee and I had moved down from Connecticut to Northern Virginia (to find jobs, because the CT job market sucked). She was working for a pharmaceutical company, and I was working for MCI (when it was still just a long-distance company). MCI was a meat grinder. Lots of meetings, politics, and tense ‘discussions’, […]

Pageant Pandemonium

Few traditions are more pervasive, unpredictable or unintentionally funny as the annual Christmas pageant. Many kids have been traumatized by stage fright, and even more parents have been mortified by their kids’ performances. It’s guaranteed to generate a lifetime of memorable moments….not all of them painful. Growing up in a musical family, it was pretty […]

You’re the Tenth Caller!

I’ve always been a huge fan of radio. Growing up, it was a way to transport my imagination beyond my small town. Whether it was to Top 40 music, listening to the national news or just hanging on late at night during a snowfall to see if school was cancelled, radio was my constant companion. […]

Drinking Games

I’ve never been much of a drinker, and at my age, I’m not likely to become one. I don’t think I even tried to sneak a beer during high school, even though lots of my friends did, and it was a common thing to go to a party out on somebody’s remote farm, where the […]

Herding Cats

I’ve never had a time in my life where I didn’t have a dog, a cat, or multiple instances of both. I don’t know what I would do with my time if I didn’t have to walk a dog, fill a food or water dish or scoop out a litter box. Some times I don’t […]

Trivial Pursuits

Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be the first to find the answer, unfold the mystery or solve the problem. That’s been true whether it was a spelling bee, board game or solving problems on the chalkboard at the front of the class. I thought of it as being smart, most others considered […]

Stand-Up Comic

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a tendency to be a smart-aleck. When I was 10, my Mom was buying some sodas and asked “What do you want?” I said, “A Cadillac, but I don’t think that’s happening.” I didn’t get any laughs from the audience. When I was in sixth grade, I signed […]

Hold that Bus!

Back in school, I was a band and choir kid. From the first time we could sign up for either, I was in both. I started playing trombone in 6th grade, and joined choir as well. My parents were pleased because it kept me from getting into typical childhood mischief. Every year, choir held special […]

Trick or Treat

Every Halloween, kids dress up as witches, ghosts and goblins, going from house to house in search of the best candy rewards. As I got older, neighbors were less generous when they saw teenagers lurking in their doorway. When the candy bounty ran down, we turned away from asking for treats, and towards tricks. In […]

Trouble with a Capital T

Being precocious is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing if you’re the kid who learns how to be the center of attention. It’s a curse for everyone else who has to deal with THAT kid. Well, I was always THAT kid. If there was trouble to be had or mischief to be made, […]