Saturday, November 28, 2020


Flash is not a pet and not just a cat. He’s a person, and he’s my son.

As with many parents, we adopted because we wanted a family that we couldn’t make from scratch, and someone out there needed one.

That first night was a marathon of tense uncertainty. Lots of pacing, crying, and questioning if it was a good fit.

A year later, we’re all resting easy. He recognizes that, while we don’t look like him, we are his tribe (though his dad also wears black all the time). Through us, he’s learned that the world is loving, life is beautiful, and people are cats too.

Like any adolescent boy, he plays ball, fights with his tortoiseshell sister, and has assigned chores, which in his case is to patrol all corners and crevices for any trespassing flies or spider crickets unaware of the new sheriff in town. We keep count of his apprehensions on a chalkboard in the kitchen. He’s up to twelve this week.

Now Flash isn't going to university or continuing anyone's family name, but nurturing that sleekishly effervescent lifeforce to its full cuckoo-bananas potential is legacy enough for us.

And who knows: in a karmic future life, maybe he shepherds us to safety, takes care of the litter boxes, and celebrates our fleeting-but-brilliant starlight.

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Saturday, October 3, 2020


The deadliest pandemic in a century—and half the country won't wear a face covering in some perverted twist on American exceptionalism.

As the cloth comes off, our collective character is revealed: the nation that weathered The Great Depression and then buried the Nazis currently worships a fascist while throwing petulant temper tantrums over following temporary hygiene protocols.

Such a fragile superpower, after all. 

America unmasked. 

Where will we go from here, now that we have seen ourselves?

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Underdog Rising


Fortune is cruelly compassionate. Over there, someone is born into the lowliest caste of untouchables, forever relegated to the bottom regardless of personal potential. Over here, a talentless trust-fund recipient rises to prominence for doing nothing in particular.

Someplace between lies existential justice. In this space, the daughter of an immigrant day laborer finishes school and builds a great business. A barefoot toddler on a dirt-and-rubble field kicks his way to the World Cup. The oldest, ugliest mongrel at the kill shelter gets adopted.

We need these righteous success stories to balance out the Anne Franks and Kim Kardashians of the world. To remind us that life is fair sometimes.  

And that it’s worth sticking around to see how it all ends up.

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Enjoying Thy Blow Job

A leader inspires a movement; a king colonizes.

Then, as the aristocracy drains and guzzles the life blood of its people, the leader builds up the masses by enabling their potential.

And when society is equitable and self-sustaining at last, that leader will fade gracefully into the background, while His Highness—entirely preoccupied with his own runaway gluttony—climaxes in pandemonium.

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Friday, May 1, 2020

In A Good Place

Is it close by? Walkable if happy hour gets hysterical?

How’s the lighting? What’s playing over the sound system?

Is the staff glad to see you (even when they’re not)?

What’s on draft? Do they mix them strong? Are their wings any good?

It’s important to find a regular place. That coveted third space apart from the job and home where you can be still, catch a buzz, and pass some slow, simple time in a bubble of atmospheric community.

For some, it’s pint-fueled commiseration in a dank, dark pub. For others, uplifting cocktails in a glass cafĂ©.

Wherever it is, when you connect with souls who’ve adopted the same venue, you bond through that beloved geography. Sometimes with characters you couldn’t stand in a meeting, subway, or checkout line.

Members of an easy club, postponing tomorrow until closing time.

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Friday, March 27, 2020

In the Moodlight

Atmosphere is everything. The psychological medium in which all situations unfold. The difference between loving and leaving a party. Passing or failing the test. Between that first kiss and another hug.

And nothing affects atmosphere so much as lighting. Stick employees under fluorescent tubes, and they’re reduced to serial numbers who dread every task. The same job near a sunny window is instantly more tolerable, more humane. Deep-red lava lamps move me to smoke a flower. Switch to blacklight, and chewing a mushroom’s more like it.

Ambience is an underutilized variable in our daily life—such a simple, overlooked way of elevating the mundane. Give it a try. Put a strobe in the shower. Hang a disco ball over your desk. Leave the string of Christmas blinkers up. Get your glasses rainbow tinted.

Because living in grayscale inspires a less colorful existence.

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*The Face Zone is also a live show with music.

Friday, January 31, 2020


JR was my uncle’s Dachshund, an adorable little brown hot dog—who bit me on the mouth. At just four years of age, that was to be my first of many unfortunate canine encounters.

A high-school friend’s West Highland White Terrier, Rudy, would go one hundred percent berserk when I came over. If we wanted to hang out there, her parents had to physically restrain Rudy—an otherwise lovely animal—until we escaped to the basement rec room. Even then, he would pace and snarl along the other side of the door for the entire visit, and remember: dog time is seven times ours, so that pooch had some committed animosity for me.

During college, there was Cinnamon. Such a sweet name for such a sweet-looking white-and-copper Spaniel. An interesting case, this one. She would bare teeth when I tried to leave! It got so that her owner had to create a diversion while I ran for the exit. On lucky occasions where I found her asleep, I would tiptoe past to the front door like an escaping prisoner shuffling around a tired but vicious guard. Named Cinnamon.

Is it any wonder I’m a cat person after such a Pavlovian history?

There have been exceptions, I admit. Lily, my aunt’s Beagle-Pointer mix, is as amiable and chill as they come. A colleague has a Basset Hound named Emmylou who just wants to flop near me and score a treat once in a while. I also have an unlikely fascination with Neapolitan Mastiffs because their faces look like drawn curtains of pure droop. Even met one called Blue in a pet store. Despite his murderous gargoyle likeness, he simply lacked the energy to give a shit. Only six months old, and it still took all his effort just to sit there and drool. It was kind of Zen.

That said, maybe it’s time to reexamine my aversion. If some are OK, couldn’t any of them be a Lily, an Emmylou, or a Blue under different circumstances? Not knowing better as a kindergartener, I did in fact get down on the floor and touch my nose to JR’s before he tried to eat my lips. And Rudy probably wanted to kill me because I arrived in an overwhelming Halloween costume our first meeting. Still trying to figure out what was up Cinnamon’s ass, but it could have been my tension, my own aura of mistrust triggering a negative feedback loop.

The way people’s reactions range from ugly to uplifting depending on my approach.

We get what we give in this circular life.

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