In Tribute: Her True Calling

Exactly 10 years ago today, I got one of those calls we all dread. My mom had cancer, a stage-4 brain tumor, the kind that seems to pop up out of nowhere fully formed and beyond repair. I was standing in my kitchen when I heard the news, and I remember dropping the phone as I […]

The Internet Is a Series of Lead Tubes

Like many of you, I suspect, I have a love hate relationship with the internet. I love the access it gives me to all sorts of information, and how it connects me with people I would have never been able to hear from before. I hate how it also contains spaces for people to easily […]

Like Groundhog Day: the Mammogram Story That Won’t Die

Before I begin, a disclaimer: I’m sick of writing about mammography. It feels like groundhog day — I’ve been writing the same damn story, over and over and over again, for nearly 15 years. This is at least the fifth time I’ve written a LWON post about mammograms. (See also: Breast cancer’s false narrative, The […]

Guest Post: the Grandmother Hypothesis

Recently I’ve started seeing examples of those much-mocked New York Times trend stories that are not about Millennials, the way the trendiest trend stories usually are. In the articles I’ve been noticing, the trend-setters are Baby Boomers — who are, according to the Times, relocating to New York City to help raise the grandkids. Now […]


When we were kids, my brother was the sneezer of all sneezers. There was never just one, or even two or three. It was always 17. No lie. Each sneeze began with this strange little sucking in of air, a pause, and then from his bent body and contorted face flew ah-YESH-ah! Seventeen times. He […]

Face Time

I was at an airport not long ago when a TSA agent did a double take while checking my ID. I’m used to this. I’ve always been blessed with youthful looks, and typically people meeting me don’t believe I’m actually nearing a half-century of years on Earth. Occasionally I’m still carded in bars. That feels […]

Hug It Out

There are hugs, and then there are hugs. Am I right? Hugging is not one-size-fits-all. It’s a skill, partly innate, and not everyone has it. We all know people who are huggers, and people who just aren’t. There are also people who like to be hugged and people who curl away as a hugger approaches, even flinching a little […]

Prescription for Tragedy

  Not long ago my father, who is 84, had a great fall. Great meaning bad. He doesn’t remember tripping on anything, just that suddenly he was on the floor of his bathroom. He’d hit his head on the corner of the sink. There was a lot of blood. A long hospital stay followed after surgery to […]