Hospital Madness & Farewell Dad

We had discovered a little-known secret about most hospitals and doctors: they will essentially do anything you ask, relieving them of the burden of having to make decisions.

The Book of Rubenstein

The “Church of Rubenstein,” often ridiculed in the media as a superstitious and dangerous cult, has at long last revealed the true story behind its creation myth.

Professional Jealousy

I know I speak for hordes of writers when I say, “What am I, the chopped liver of our generation?”

4/20/16: Now That It's Nearly Normal...

I certainly hope the rest of you have a great time, if and when widespread legalization comes to pass. And I’ll be really sorry to miss the party.

A Christian, a Hindu & a Muslim Walk Into A Bar…

The Jews are considered by some as having a disproportionate influence in both Hollywood and on Wall Street, but who knew that they were also a powerful force in other religions?

Who Wipes Who? Life After Depends

Although I knew it wasn’t really the “right” thing to think, I was nevertheless secretly grateful to Alzheimer’s; it had allowed for the healing of my relationship with my mother.

Coming Out of the Mental Illness Closet

I am mentally ill. It sounds a bit shocking to hear myself say that. Such a notion had never even occurred to me, until recently. My unexamined assumption was that mentally ill people were the ones living in institutions, ranting and raving and disrobing in public. They were schizophrenic, psychotic, and secured in lockdown wards.

Grim Reaper, M.D.

Is it me, or is every health care facility I take my elderly parents to secretly intent on killing them off? As a culture, we have moved from death as the ultimate taboo, through a stage of speaking openly about the dying process, all the way to the opposite position: “Death? No worries, mate, why keep putting it off?"

Gabrielle Roth, 1941-2012: Disciple of the Deep Dark Divine

Gabrielle Roth passed away on October 22nd, 2012, two years ago today, at the age of 71, from lung cancer, and it is only now that the significance of our initial moment of connecting—of transmission—has finally become clear to me.

Not a Book Review: BOHEMIAN LOVE DIARIES

Apparently Slash was recovering from yet another heart-breaking ending of a relationship, and had spiked his spirulina/ pomegranate/kale smoothie with LSD, psilocybin, Ecstasy, Geritol and Pepto Bismal, and he was found wandering on Main Street, downtown Galapago, wearing a rabbit suit and shouting, “Free the Bunnies! Free the Bunnies.”

Her Car Would Only Go Backwards

I keep her at home because after 67 years of togetherness I still want to be by her side when I go to bed and when I wake up; I want to kiss her good morning and (not always) have her smile and say “I like that” when I kiss her as she opens her eyes.

Moments of Joy with Alzheimer's!

I’ll never forget playing “Tangerine Poker,” a card game my niece Julie and I made up as we went along: I would pick a card, and put the tangerine next to the salt shaker. Julie would put a card on top of mine, and peel the tangerine. My mother would study her hand carefully, look down at the table, and eat the tangerine.

Living With the Gun

By Guest Blogger lj rey: "When I was a young man I had a Winchester hanging over my bedroom door. I thought the right to bare arms had something to do with Marilyn Monroe in a sleeveless dress. Guns were the building blocks of manhood."

On Being Safe in an Unsafe World

The whole world is having a collective anxiety attack. Post Newtown, the situation we all find ourselves in is growing more and more difficult, if not impossible, for us to bear. After the shooting, I entered a full-on crisis of faith, and I know I was not alone.

For Our Loved Ones With Alzheimer's...

My mother lost her words in stages. At one point, she may not have known the name of that thing that cleans the rug, or the other thing that rings, but she knew to refer to both the vacuum cleaner and the telephone as “the machine,” which made its own kind of sense.

Take My Money, Please!

I am not a trust fund baby, technically, because I’ve never been the beneficiary of a trust fund, although I’ve recently learned that some of my closest friends have always assumed that I am. I can certainly understand their misapprehension: I am a baby, and I have always trusted that I will have funds.

PRE-Traumatic Stress Disorder!

If seeing dismembered body parts and burnt flesh all around you doesn't at the very least stress you out, then you are the one in trouble.

Fear of People

There’s actually a word for it: anthropophobia.

When It's Not Your Time

A bit of advice. The next time you are cruising down I-95 at 70+ mph and you get run off the road by an unauthorized driver in a rental car with a suspended license be sure to point your vehicle safely towards a cedar tree.

On Being an Average Person

The whole team went out for ice cream to celebrate except me. I had nothing to celebrate. Who cared about the team or the championship? I had missed the ball.

Hypo-Hypochondria, Or Is It Me?

Comedian Richard Lewis once began a performance by saying, "I just came from spending a weekend with my family; I can't tell you how glad I am to be speaking in front of 20,000 strangers." I don't like to whine and complain about my various physical ailments to my friends and family... much.

Limbaugh and Hannity Endorse Obama!

My elementary school friends, Melvin Limbaugh and Charley Hannity were always such blowhards. They had an opinion about everything. And they always agreed about everything, which I could never quite understand.

Couples in Conflict

A friend of mine was speaking to me today about an ancient relationship, and commented, "That was during my food-throwing years." I asked for further details. "Melons. I specialized in melons." "Canteloupe?" "Honeydew." "Are we talking the whole melon, or little melon balls?" "The whole melon; I'd usually crack it over their heads."

Shootin' the Blues Away

“Shootin’ the blues away” was the subject line. The email was from D., a new acquaintance I met at an art opening a few months ago, a 70+ writer guy with Parkinson’s. The content of D.'s email was a single line: "Would you like to go out in the woods and shoot some beer bottles with a .22 single action six-shooter?"

40th Anniversary of the "est" Training

Forty years after the inception of "est," one of the original intensive consciousness seminars that launched the Human Potential Movement of the 70s, its graduates are reuniting at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on December 17th.

Kicking My Bucket List

I don't usually get headaches. (Photo to the left is not me.) So when I woke up at 4 a.m. for the third consecutive day with a splitting pain in the back of my skull, I drew the logical conclusion: terminal brain tumor.

You Are Not "Chemically Imbalanced"!

I just read such a depressing book that it would make just about anyone need an antidepressant if it wasn’t for the fact that the book itself debunks the entire psychopharmacological industry in such a convincing way that it would be maddening if it weren’t so saddening.

Be Love Now: A Visit With Ram Dass

It was 1997. I was visiting the Neem Karoli Baba ashram in Vrindaban, India, when I learned that my old friend and spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, had had a major, possibly life-threatening stroke. How strange to hear such news in that particular place?

Self-Caregiver Burnout

In the infant days of the New Age movement in the United States, it was often said about relationships that, "In order to truly love someone else, you have to love yourself first." I tried that, but found that I needed to have an open relationship with myself, so if things didn't work out I'd be free to see other people.

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