I was a child when Video Games became a thing. The Christmas when my parents got us an Atari 2600 has become a mythical time in our lives. I remember bleary dry eyes and joystick thumb from playing until we dropped.
Even with advent of the screen, we played outside all the time. I had a bike with a banana seat. I had Barbies and coloring books and Simon and dolls and Colorforms.
But my all time favorite toy to play with was the game Connect Four. Maybe it was the power of commercials in the 70’s, but I will never forget the commercial for Connect Four. “Pretty sneaky, sis…” I played this with my brother, and I’m sure I wanted him to say that line. Maybe he even did.
My kids have the small travel version of this game, so the plasticky kerthunk of the checker dropping into its space on the grid isn’t quite the same , but the game play itself is just as I remember it. For many years I’ve had to hold myself back from beating them at it, but now that they are older, they beat me fair and square. Funny how life works. Pretty sneaky, indeed.
When I was 24 I moved from New Haven to Pasadena. I packed everything I wanted to bring with me into a bunch of big boxes and shipped them via UPS to the site of my new unseen apartment on Cordova Street, blocks from Colorado, a mile from CalTech. It would have been romantic and adventurous to say that I hitchhiked across the country, or jumped on a boxcar on a moving train, or tested public … [Read More...]
Do you have a happy place? A place you imagine when the yoga teacher tells you to close your eyes and empty your mind of all thoughts? I know, that's breaking the rules. You're supposed to empty your mind, not fill it with an image, but it helps me to imagine my happy place as a palate cleanser. It's a bridge between the junk of the day that's cluttering my mind, and the empty echo chamber that … [Read More...]
Once upon a time, I had the perfect writer's day. My alarm woke me up at 5:45 AM in the middle of a dream. Or I woke naturally when the sun glinted off the mirror and into my eyes. Or the cat stood in the doorway and meowed like the world was ending. I turned my head and coffee was waiting for me, perfectly mixed with coconut milk creamer in my favorite mug. Or I went downstairs in my cozy … [Read More...]
Raise your hand if you, like me, still don't understand what Bitcoin is. I tried to read "Bitcoin For Dummies," or a version of it that I found on the internet. In fact, it was something like Blockchain for Dummies because Blockchain is apparently the thing that makes Bitcoins? I imagine Bitcoin to be like Monopoly money. It's not real, exactly, but somehow it's worth like a million dollars … [Read More...]
Chick's Drive In was a hot dog, hamburger, and fried seafood restaurant on the beach in my hometown. It was not, in fact, a drive-in restaurant, at least it wasn't when I started working there in the late 1980's. I was 16, and if you don't count delivering papers for a few years before that, it was the site of my first job. I started working there in the summer before my senior year of high … [Read More...]