How to Appear More Intelligent


“3 Easy, Research-Backed Ways to Appear More Intelligent,” the headline reads. How can I not click on that link? It’s like being thrown a guaranteed lifeline in a stormy sea of self-doubt. At my age, my intelligence quotient might have peaked, or even begun its descent on the far side of the bell curve. It might be all I’ve got left is putting lipstick on the pig—at least I might be able to...

In Support of Women’s Rights


We stood waving our signs under the hot afternoon sun and we called and chanted to passing drivers at the busy intersection. It was a day of organized protests, held across the country, to demand equal health care rights for women, for women’s choice, and to revolt against the sickening storm of conservative theocracy flooding our nation and attempting control of our lives. Some drivers honked...

Long Live the Tulip Queen


One of the few special events in Albany, NY is the annual Tulip Festival in Washington Park. The tradition dates back to 1948 when the city of Albany sent aid to the Dutch city of Nijmegen which was struggling to recover from the devastation of World War II. To express their thanks, the Dutch sent tulips, and the annual Tulip Festival was born. Part of the Tulip Festival tradition is the naming...

A Modest Pronoun Proposal


I’m a guy that knows my grammar, yet I’m constantly messing up a person’s preferred pronouns. I forget that a friend formerly referred to as she now uses the pronoun they. But they is a plural pronoun and so I get confused. And he is now zhe. But what’s the correct pronunciation of zhe? And then there’s hir, which looks like a typo. As much as I appreciate your desire to use your pronouns of...

Many Years Ago on Mother’s Day


Irene Klein and son It’s almost forty years since I’ve had a mother. Many memories of my mom are foggy, others long forgotten. But today I’m remembering how on our birthdays my mother would rock us in the chair and sing an Italian lullaby. Every year. When I got older it became a joke, but still a required tradition. It was funny because my mom and I both knew I was grown up now. David’s an...

The Mindset Gap


There’s a weekly Sunday email newsletter I subscribe to called Brain Food, which claims to be “packed with timeless insights and actionable ideas from a wide range of disciplines.” It’s kind of a self-improvement epistle centered around thinking and decision making, mostly geared toward the professional class, but interesting enough to a writer like me. This week’s newsletter, in its “Tiny...

Gazing at the Face


I’ve never lost my phone or worried someone would pick it up and start snooping. Maybe I should be more concerned: imagine all my secrets revealed. And there’s always the first time it happens: you say you never lose your phone and then you do. So I recently added facial recognition to the lock screen of my phone, with a password backup . That’s how you enter the inner sanctum now. I’ve shared my...

An Encounter at the Register


The thermostat acting up and flashing ‘replace batteries’ isn’t an emergency, but I will say Julia is more comfortable and pleasant when the ambient temperature is comfortable and pleasant. The hardware store is only a ten-minute walk, and the sun is beaming this morning after the insult of several inches of snow yesterday. I’m happy to make the trip. The batteries are upfront near the register...

The Rooney Rule is Rotten


In 2003, only three out of 32 National Football League teams had a Black head coach, leading the NFL to pass the Rooney Rule, which required teams to interview a minority candidate for head coaching vacancies and other top positions. Since then, the rule has been tweaked to make the requirement two minority interviews for open positions. In addition, teams that develop minority coaches and front...

Easter Smiles


It’s a bit of a morose group for an Easter Sunday. Despite the background, this is not a cell block. On the right is the asbestos-laden fake brick siding on the unheated room we called the shanty at the back of my grandmother’s in Niagara Falls. The wall on the left is the beer distributor warehouse next door. In summer, the wall is fronted by tall tomato plants with swollen red fruit. From left...

Happy Birthday, to Two Men Who Have Shaped My Life


That’s my dad and me 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 company. Today is his birthday. He would have been 95. The photo is staged because a...

Dad Lessons I’ve Learned


In honor of all fathers . . . 1. Show Up Regardless of whether you live with them or not, a father’s job is to show up whenever possible and be a positive force in the lives of your children. My kids are young adults now and I’ve been fortunate to be present for most of their journey from infancy to adulthood. You’ve got to make time for them. 2. Be interested What you’re interested in is not...

The Devil in D.C.


I recently visited our nation’s capital. I walked the neighborhoods, visited the monuments and memorials, looked at art, watched the people, and even witnessed the presidential motorcade passing by—and all the time I experienced a nagging sensation of dirtiness, a troubling unease. Something has gone wrong in our nation and I seemed to be searching for clues in our capital as to what happened and...

Kites in Peril


You’re just a visitor to the National Mall and you want to fly your kite on a sunny day, you want to see the sails puff in the wind, rising into the sky, soaring and fluttering, the long colorful tail bebopping in the breeze, but if your kite flies too close to the Washington Monument then secret service agents draw their handheld mini lasers and cut your line and your kite plummets and crashes...

What Enneagram Type are You?


I’ve always been interested in behavioral assessments and personality tests: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Predictive Index, Enneagram, and others. I think I might uncover patterns in my motivations and become more in tune with my strengths and weaknesses, my desires and fears. That kind of knowledge would prove helpful in navigating relationships, work, the self, and the world in general. Maybe...

David Klein

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


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