Give me a deck of cards and no sand

My dad hated the beach. At least, that is how I remember it.

We only went a couple of times during my childhood, and I cannot recall a single instance of my father actually ever being in the ocean playfully batting at the waves, sitting on the beach under a big, colorful umbrella reading a trashy novel, or gathering shells in a plastic bucket early in the morning amid the joggers and older couples walking their dogs. He was much happier staying in the hotel near the air conditioner, watching the race on television or playing a game of gin with anybody he could coax away from beach frolicking for a stolen moment or two.

Al Gore to ride to the Democrats’ rescue

As the war in Iraq drags on with no end in sight amid reports that al-Qaeda has regrouped and is stronger than ever, you would think that the presidential race for 2008 would be picking up momentum as Americans, finally haven given up completely on the incompetent incumbent if his recent approval ratings are to be believed, begin looking to the future for relief.

A pack rat’s nightmare – a yard sale

You need some space. Believe me, I understand. The closets are so full, it takes two of you to press the doors closed — turn the knob to open one, and you risk a broken nose from the sheer force of stuff pushing out, like a dam bursting, unleashing a torrent of stuff. I know it’s dangerous. The shelves, all of them, every one in the entire house, are covered over with stuff. It is like kudzu, threatening to swallow the entire house by the end of the summer. Something has got to be done about it, all of this clutter. There is no room left for anything, not in this house, no space for a hairpin, no place to put a pocketful of change.

Another day, and it’s off to the races

7:37 a.m. — Snatched out of sleep by the ceaseless opening and closing of drawers. Goodness, woman, what can there be in those drawers? I turn over and groan dramatically, and she laughs without sympathy. A long night grading papers and checking box scores on the Internet. Finally, I remember: Today is race day. I hear Jack chattering on the monitor, scolding his stuffed giraffe about something it seems. I’d better get moving. Coffee, coffee, coffee ...

It’s all, really, about the tadpoles

The kids are doing their best to amuse themselves there at the water’s edge, but they are past restless. Something needs to happen, and sometimes when you’re fishing, not much does.

“Dad, can we skip rocks yet?” Dylan wants to know. Seven years old in another five weeks, he’s the oldest.

Bush’s obstinance is a rare opportunity

With President Bush’s veto of the Democrats’ bill to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the stage is now set for a showdown. Lacking the votes for an override, will the Democrats now roll over and risk losing the momentum they have been building since before the mid-term elections last year, or will they challenge Bush by threatening to cut off further funding for a war that most Americans — according to the polls — no longer support?

Media blew it at Virginia Tech

The same popular culture that some have alleged to produce yet another mass murderer wasted no time in trying to explain him to us in the hours and days following the massacre at Virginia Tech last week.

Some people — all the time

Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends, the ratio of cashews in the average can of mixed nuts. Everything is a conspiracy against them.

Another deadline – not a problem

Everywhere I go, I get the same question: “How do you do it? How do you find the time and energy to write a column when you have a full-time job and a family, especially when you’re in charge of the kids, ages 5 and 2, while your wife is working during the weekends?

High time for a new morning ritual

I don’t wear a watch. Why should I? Everywhere I look, I see the time of day. In fact, no matter where I go or how hard I try, I can’t seem to escape the passage of time. It’s on my cell phone. It’s on the oven AND the microwave in our kitchen. It’s on my computer screen, lurking down in the right hand corner.

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