Life, Interrupted

“I hate the stupid coronavirus!” my 5-year-old son wailed in frustration one recent afternoon. I forget the reason why now, but that hardly seems to matter. In his own way, I think he spoke for a nation suffering from corona burnout. Each new round of cancellations or restrictions brings with it a fresh wave of grief, as we mourn the …

A Dog Named Hari

Blair Braverman is a big deal in the world of adventure dogsledding. One of her dogs is named Hari (after Haricot Vert). He is an Alaskan Huskie, bred to be strong, fast and incredibly healthy. But one of the few afflictions that can affect this breed is blindness. And at the age of three, Hari went blind. By this time, …

The Social Network

According to research, about 85% of all jobs are filled through some form of personal referral. Understanding this simple fact is essential for making progress in your career and in your life in general. Back when I worked in recruitment, we used to have a saying that “People hire people.” And it’s as true now as then. The word “networking” …

Adaptation

While I am not usually drawn to military memoirs, I found I could not put down General Stanley McChrystal’s Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement For a Complex world. The book is an easy read, even for military know-nothings like myself. He does a masterful job of telling his own story, while extrapolating from it some great lessons in …

Adult Education

When you’re a kid, nothing spells your doom quite like those ubiquitous “back-to-school” ads running through the full month of August. Even now, they still have the capacity to conjure that sinking feeling that heralds the end of lazy summer days and a return to normal operations. Once again, I am 9-years-old, going with my mother to get a new …

Typecasting

When he was a 9-year-old schoolboy, Neil deGrasse Tyson first visited the Hayden Planetarium in New York. Sure, he had glimpsed at the night sky before, but that was from the rooftop of an apartment building in the Bronx. Never before had he seen the Milky Way like this. Lit up like a Christmas tree inside the planetarium’s darkened theater, …

Little Feat

Several readers of my monthly newsletter have asked in recent times, “Where the hell have you been?” If you haven’t seen me in a while, you may not know that I’ve given birth to a new venture: a baby boy named James, born in November 2014. He’s pretty cute if I say so myself, and has so drastically altered my …

Dolce Far Niente

Remember when leisure time was seen as a good thing? A healthy thing? It was a quaint old time when people closed up their shops or offices for a spell during the summer months while they went off to spend some quality time with loved ones, indulge in cherished pastimes or otherwise recharge their batteries in some meaningful way. One …

The High Note

While scanning the radio in my car for a good song, I stumbled upon an interview with Paul McCartney. He was funny and engaging, so I stopped to listen for a while. He was asked about his voice, and if, at age 71, he could still sing all those old Beatles songs. His answer was honest and revealing. “Well,” he …

Go Easy

After a very long day at work, I stood in line at the counter waiting for my takeout pizza to bring home. Unconsciously, I was berating myself for all the things I had left undone: taxes still to be filed, an offsite meeting to be prepared, client emails to be returned and all the usual turmoil of an overtired brain. …