Author: Jonathan

This One’s for Howard

I have not posted in a while. I turned 65 earlier this year which kind of makes the whole idea of this blog kind of moot for there is a huge difference between 60 and 65. When I turned 60 all I had to do was look over my shoulder and there were my 50s, still shiny like a fully loaded muscle car that had some good drives on it. Five years later, however, the 50s are distant and dusty, like that 1985 …

Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter.

The world doesn’t need another think piece on bowling. Robert Putnam’s 2000 book “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” was an essay on the death of bowling as a symptom of declining community engagement. Yes, bowling centres have disappeared – from 1998-2013 the number of establishments in the US fell from 5,400 to just under 4,000 which is a significant drop. Further, we can chart the death of bowling leagues as steady revenue for the lane operators as a metaphor for the end …

Let My Girlfriend Go

“Come by at 8:30. We can talk then.” Even though it was a text, I could feel the flat tone of my girlfriend’s mood coming through. The verdict was in and it did not sound promising. To be honest, I hadn’t thought it all through when I embarked on the “Second Seder Initiative”.  The notion was admirable – an unmarried guy throwing something special for friends and neighbors of whom he had been ‘shnorring’ for years.  Rosh Hashanah lunches at the Feldsteins, breaking …

That Was The Year That Wasn’t

  Its not a particularly widespread tradition in my ethnic snack bracket to send out “End Of Year” letters. My wife, now ex, and I had some some friends during our time in LA that introduced us to this tradition and it was a nice way of catching up, collecting thoughts and framing a piece of time in the context of a continued commitment to friendships that became out of distance.  Molly and Edward had us on their list for a long time, …

And I’m Never Going Back To My Old School…

The great late film critic Jay Scott, during his 1982 review of the legendary teen classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High for the Toronto Globe & Mail, wrote that high school was the last truly democratic institution we encounter during our lives.  Those sentiments rang so true a few weeks ago when I attended the farewell event for Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute which has now been shuttered for lack of enrollment.  Permanently.  Closed. Ferme.  SchlieBen.  Threw that last one in because they used to …

Palm Springs Weakened

I’ve been watching some TV lately.  I don’t know why.  You can blame some personal struggles, the late winter, the inability to finish a Chabon novel.   HBO is currently running a free preview promotion.  I killed my subscription a while back because I don’t see the value if you were not a fan of Game Of Thrombosis or there isn’t a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm to sop up like chicken soup and a loaf of challah.  I took the opportunity to check …

Working With My Thumbs

I have said for years that most of my work days start like the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan – the nausea of certain doom, heavy email fire from the financial front, PTSD all over the office (Post Traffic Stress Disorder).   Monday didn’t start any better – a pre-dawn service recon mission to the car dealer (German too, just to top up the metaphor), radio signals of trouble at the warehouse, goods held hostage.  Yeah, the smell of payables in the morning …

In Memoriam

The Emmys are coming up and I have noticed in recent years that in this show and in others like the Oscars, Grammys and Teen Choice Awards I look forward with morbid curiosity to the scroll call highlighting the significant names lost during the past year.   It’s a bittersweet interlude to the festivities, mournful and  astonishing,  for the way these distant stars and their work impacted us so significantly during our lives.   There’s that sudden sinking feeling when a face comes up that …

My Lover The Car

I had breakfast with my father this morning and he openly talked about the end of his driving life.  Granted, at 91, he is doing way better than most including what’s left of his friends who aren’t parked permanently underground.  However, even I didn’t expect he would bring it up.   If my father has any unique talent, it is behind the wheel.   It has been a consistent quality of his for as long as I have known him even with his most recent …