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Grammarly: Not Just for Grammar Geeks


I’ve been using Grammarly for about three years in Google Docs and Gmail, and now I’ve added it to Microsoft Word. This clever tool catches a fair number of items that require my attention. I know, hard to believe, given that I’m a writer. But I always say every writer needs a good editor, and even if Grammarly isn’t an editor, it can help improve your writing (this is not...

Tulip Time


Washington Park was in splendor today. Tulips symbolize deep and meaningful love, did you know? You can tell by their sturdiness and vibrancy and perfection of shape. The way they shimmy in the breeze like life itself. The way they fight to keep their petals for as long as nature allows. What I love about tulips are their graceful cups, their petals of myriad hues, their hearty green stalks and...



You either love Quentin Tarantino movies or loathe them. Put me in the love column. I’ve seen most of the films he’s directed, and one of the best is ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. The story centers around washed-up actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Rick made a name for himself starring in the Western series Bounty Hunter but has recently been...

In Praise of My Weedy Lawn


Although my neighbors—they of the lawn as green and manicured as a fairway at Augusta—might disagree, my lawn is looking its best right now. It’s resplendent with golden dandelions and tiny creeping charlie purple blossoms and delicate white clover flowers. There is a reason for this: I will not put down weedkiller. All those pristine suburban lawns you see can only get that way through the...

Introverts, I’ve Got Your Back


Olga Khazan, a writer for The Atlantic who published an opinion piece in the New York Times last month that pissed me off, states “the person who emerges from quarantine doesn’t have to be the same old you.” For those tired of being their same old selves, this might be good news: You can change and it shouldn’t take too long. Khazan goes on: “Researchers have found that adults can change the five...

They Paved Paradise, Put Up a Parking Lot


When we moved into our house 25 years ago, we were one of only a few houses in the neighborhood with a gravel driveway. The look was less formal than blacktop. It fit the cottagey character of our house. But I’ve spent all these years struggling with the gravel. To shovel snow, you must master a special technique of carefully sliding the shovel along the gravel so as not to pick up too much stone...

When the Daughter Dates Someone the Parents Don’t Like


Still waiting to hear from St. Martin’s Press, Viking Penguin, or Random House/Vintage about THE SUITOR. Almost two months. Doesn’t mean anything–and I’m used to waiting. I think publishers are pretty busy these days canceling the cruel authors and marketing the marginalized ones. But that’s not the point. The point is how do parents handle a situation when their child gets involved...

Dialing for Doctors


Telehealth isn’t new, but what a banner year it’s had, thanks in large part to the pandemic. Virtual visits with health care providers have gone way up, across the board, for every health matter. Telehealth makes perfect sense for many health situations, even when there isn’t a risk of COVID. There’s that quick follow-up visit after a procedure. Or monitoring a chronic condition. A medication...

What The Flags We Fly Say About Us


You probably don’t need to be a fan of the National Football League to recognize the flag flying in my neighbor’s yard. Not the American flag–the flag of the Washington Football Team formerly known as the Washington Redskins. After decades of protests against the name being a slur against Native Americans, and team owner Daniel Snyder saying “We’ll never change the...

He’s Wearing Nail Polish!


Julia got me into painting my toenails a few years back and I’ve been doing it ever since. Nail polishing was a fun and relaxing activity to do together and painted nails are a lot more attractive than plain ones. I even found myself enjoying, for perhaps the first time, the appearance of my toenails. Shimmering gold is one of my colors The truth is, I’ve always liked nail polish, despite...



When I travel I tend to grab a shorter, paperback book that’s easy to pack and easy to read. For my trip to Birmingham, I nabbed a tattered copy of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT out of my Little Free Library. I’ve read a number of war novels and seen plenty of war movies, but this short, devastating novel is among the most powerful. Written by Erich Maria Remarque, a German soldier who served on...

Laura Ingraham and the Big Lie


In the spirit of knowing thy enemy, I tune into the Ingraham Angle on Fox News at 10 pm the night former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murdering George Floyd. There is something sinister, conspiratorial, even bawdy about Laura Ingraham. Her eyes blaze with grievance, her glistening mouth curls in disdain. Her face is painted to smooth perfection. Tonight, she wears a...

4/20 is a Special Day


Rerunning this post from last year. Why not? April 20 (4/20) is weed day. The day got its name in the 1970s in California when a group of high school students met after school around 4:20 to get high and 4/20 became a code phrase they could use in front of their parents. Its reputation spread from there. 420 Magazine, founded in 1993, has a mission around creating cannabis awareness. I...

The Motorcycle Days


Pagans on their way to wreak havoc. Coming up the thruway the other day a posse of the Pagans Motorcycle Club passed us. All of them on Harleys. All of them wearing the club uniform and insignia. When I got home I looked up the Pagans. They’re considered an outlaw motorcycle gang, with their hands sticky in the drug trade and organized crime. And here I thought these fellows were simply...



Another shooting and another and another. Our gun culture is ruining us. How many lives lost? How many more lives irrevocably harmed? Shootings have become so commonplace they are engrained in our psyche. Every time we go to the store, or to work, or school, or to gather to worship, whenever we go anywhere, the possibility of getting shot is real. Statistically unlikely, but real. I used a...

At Least I’m Almost a Genius


I need to come up with one more word to be Genius level: overell, pevelon, renovel, lonovore? They should be words, but I know better. I’ve been working on the Spelling Bee in The New York Times Magazine since I picked up the paper from my driveway Sunday morning. I like games with simple rules: words at least five letters long that must include the middle letter. One point each word. Use all 7...

Side Effects


I’d been warned to expect side effects from my second COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone I knew who’d gotten the second shot had felt punky with some combination of joint pain, low energy, headaches, fever, and nausea. I braced myself. Vaccine at noon on a Thursday. By bedtime I was congratulating myself for feeling great all day. Next morning: all good in the kingdom. I even agreed to meet a friend and...

“Private Life”


I picked one off my Netflix queue last night: “Private Life.” Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) are a middle-aged couple struggling with infertility and desperate to have a child. Why so desperate, we’re not sure. They’ve tried everything as we quickly discover in a number of wry and painful scenes of crowded waiting rooms, specialist visits, drug injections, etc. Not...

Happy Birthday, Bob Klein


(I published this post last year on my Dad’s birthday. I might run it every year.) That’s my dad and I riding bikes past the old casino in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York, 1973. It was late March, the piles of snow melting in the background. I’m 14 years old, a high school freshman. My father is 46, married, the father of five, a rising marketing executive at a pharmaceutical...

Siblings Are My Blessing


Every day is national something awareness day and I just found out today is Siblings Day. I’d have felt horrible if I hadn’t raised a glass (you know what I like) in love and gratitude. How lucky I am to have this crew on my side. Five of us separated by 6.5 years. What kind of insanity had hold of my parents? These bigger families, it’s a lot of lives to keep track of when...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


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