Category: Mortality

Acceptable Collateral Damage

Every time we get into our car, we die a little. Every time we return safely home, someone else hasn’t. That driving an automobile is a dangerous activity is not open to dispute. We all understand the frequency of accidents, and what happens when cars crash: terrible collisions that ruin (or end) lives.  This specter of...

When We’re Gone

Do you think it’s possible that when we’re gone, when we’re just another mildly successful extinct species that came and went like millions of other species before and after, do you think those that remain will remember us? Millions of years from now, when the mass we call Earth is still spinning in the sky...

Art After 40

After the excessive optimisim of youth, the impressive energy of young adulthood, and the confidence of being all grown up, those of us who are fortunate enough to make it to our Forties generally look forward to an incremental and inexorable decline in just about every meaningful area of life — and not just health,...

Memorial Day

Let’s resolve to treat this annual national holiday as something more than a convenient excuse to extend the weekend to three days. Let’s remember, in memorium, as the name suggests. Let’s not, however, confuse victims with heroes, or job-seekers with patriots. Let us simply say that millions of our brothers and sisters have come and...

The Artist as Saint

His nickname among musicians was “Prince of Darkness.” According to many who claim to have known him well, and according to an accrued reputation bordering on myth, Miles Davis was a jerk.  Based on evidence available for review on YouTube, as well as eyewitness accounts shared anecdotally and personally, Keith Jarrett can be insufferably obnoxious....

Brooding on Death

The remains of my dear friend Ella the dog arrived from the crematorium in a nice fabric-covered box. The ashes themselves were in a plastic freezer bag, which was probably a good thing, since in addition to a fine grey powder there were many pinky-nail-size bone fragments and flakes from the few teeth Ella retained...

Ella Konik: 1993-2008

Ella Guinevere Konik died peacefully last night at home in her bed, surrounded by family. She was close to 15 1/2.  Frank Sinatra once told an interviewer, “They say you only live once. But if you have a life like mine, once is enough.” Ella’s time on Earth was like that. A white-lab and greyhound...

The Ella Update

Ella Guinevere Konik, the lab-greyhound mutt who inspired the best-selling book “Ella in Europe” and the subsequent Animal Planet TV show “Ella & Me” is getting old. Not just “older,” but old. Depending on which set of medical records you believe, she’s either 14 or 15. Iin human years that’s around 100. She’s dealing with...

Bob Popescu, Rest in Peace

Bob Popescu, the founder and co-owner of Los Angeles’s leading jazz club, Catalina Bar & Grill, died last week of a heart attack. He was 77.  Even among the ten-of-thousands of patrons who have frequented his establishment over the past 20+ years, Bob was not well-known. Although wry and gregarious among his family and friends,...

Fathers

Commentators who care more than I about such things will surely offer a panoply of plausible sounding reasons why Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer in the history of the sport and the most famous athlete in the world, cannot seem to win a major championship when he’s not leading at the start of the final...