My time as a driver.


I have driven a lot in my life.  Part of that is that I like to drive and I’ve often used it to relax.  Part of it is, for over a decade, I lived on the East Coast while both my parents lived (in separate states) on the West Coast and Veronica’s parents lived in Wisconsin, so it was easier to hit all those spots by driving.  And a major part is that I hate to fly.

So, over the course of over 25 years, from when I got my first California driver’s license in December of 1990 to when I got my latest one, spending almost five hours at the DMV earlier today (always bring a long enough book – I brought Les Miserables), I have covered a lot of the country.  So, I give you one man’s very opinionated look at driving across the country.  Those who are sensitive about their states might not want to read on. (more…)


14007_606590166026496_319586453_nSome idiotic State Senator from Arkansas who doesn’t deserve to have his name mentioned decided to tweet out yesterday, when my entire metro area was in lockdown, that us liberals are probably cowering wishing we had guns now.

We weren’t cowering because we don’t cower.  And we don’t wish we had any guns because we didn’t need them.  We stood back and let law enforcement do their job and they did it.  And as a result, we have a captured live suspect instead of a dead one.  For, as Richard Russo once wrote “He’d been shot at before and guessed that my mother wasn’t really trying to hit him, but those were precisely the situations that got you shot.  He knew from his experience overseas that if you only got shot by people aiming at you specifically, war wouldn’t have been nearly such a hazardous affair.”  Instead, we didn’t have to have any guns whatsoever.

But, aside from the gun issue, it was an insult to this city.  To my city.

I have strong feelings about living here and that was why I came back in 2005.  There are strong undercurrents of violence here – this is the kind of place where I have been threatened when crossing the street for daring to stop the light and be irritated when people don’t stop and I have been threatened by shoplifters as they were stealing things.  But there are great things here.  There are the ducks in the Boston Public Garden.  There is the bas-relief at the Common for the 54th.  There are my beloved sports teams, those teams that Chicago embraced on Tuesday morning because they showed the kindness of human compassion.

JAgd0Boston is both large and small.  There are well over a million people in the metro area.  So I didn’t know anyone who was directly hurt this week.  But, we are also a small place.  I worked at Copley Square for 3 years.  I have stood in that spot that was bombed, stood there on a Marathon Monday with my son, who is 8.  My favorite steak place is Jimmy’s Steer House in Arlington and I’m pretty sure Krystie Campbell was working the last time we went there.  I have one former co-worker who was friends with Sean Collier.  One current co-worker’s mother was having her house in Watertown searched when the police reacted to the shots last night.  None of this touched me directly and all of it did.

But I love where I live, for much the same reasons that Dennis Lehane does.  And I love that the people of this city came together yesterday and did what needs to be done and let those who needed to do their job do it.  And I love that Dunkin stayed open to give donuts to all the law enforcement.  And I marvel at the video I saw yesterday out someone’s window of the shots going off and one cop hearing it and sprinting towards it.  They did their job and we let them do it and now maybe we can get some answers.  And then we can all go on.

It has been both hard to live here, far from family, in a place where the people sometimes scare me.  But I also love to live here and think of all the mornings where, instead of getting out at Copley, I got out at Park Street and walked through the Common and the Gardens to work in the snow.  The Standells said it first, though the Dropkicks sing it better.

I love that dirty water

Boston you’re my home