February 23, 2014 |
"It's a waste of time and nothing good will come of it!" Before Thursday night, I would have agreed with that attitude toward an adult who was adopted as a child into a healthy, welcoming family and who late in life decided to seek out his "real" parents. Eric Conger's Beautiful Boy proved me wrong. Now in its world premiere at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, Conger's exquisitely constructed, moving play begins with Bill Moore (Jeff Coon) attending the funeral of the woman who raised him. Recently unemployed, he decides at 49 to find his birth parents, and hopes to discover himself.
February 17, 2014 |
My twin sister contacted me in early 2013 with a proposal: "We are going to celebrate our 66th birthday in Salthill, Galway, Ireland. " She had lived in Salthill for two years and the people and place had entranced her. She rented an apartment on the Promenade in Salthill. The "Prom" is a walkway along the Galway Bay and beaches. Salthill is to the Irish as the Jersey Shore is to Philadelphians. There are a couple of casinos, a bingo hall, an aquarium, and many restaurants and cafes.
February 10, 2014 |
When I felt the plane lift off from Philadelphia International Airport, I knew I was embarking on an incredible adventure. My destination was Milan, Italy, where I would begin my semester abroad. Little did I know that a weekend trip to Africa would be in my future. On April 29, 2013, my friends and I boarded a plane to Marrakech, Morocco, for one exciting, moving weekend. I fell in love with Marrakech: its beautiful, charming people, the endless piles of dried fruits, nuts, and spices, the warm, soothing scents emanating from tea stands, the gorgeous, colorful lanterns lighting every roof.
February 2, 2014 |
We'd been planning the trip since Lauren was 7, soon after I heard about the Sweet 16 parties South Jersey parents threw for their girls. Elaborate occasions with multi-course meals, tributes, and even a first dance with Dad seemed more fitting for a bride than for an adolescent's coming-of-age. Soon after my own 16th birthday, I'd left home for a summer tour of Europe. I couldn't re-create that life-altering trip for Lauren, but I wanted to at least give her a taste of it. The idea came when I'd married her father 10 months after relocating from the West Coast to join his family.
January 27, 2014 |
I stopped for a moment on a curve of the switchback trail in Bryce Canyon, Utah. My fellow hikers had vanished from sight around the next bend, and I stood alone in complete silence. It was an eerie silence I had never experienced before: not a whisper of breeze, not a rustle of tree leaf, no human voice, no trickle of water. For that brief moment, I felt alone in the world. Suddenly, a single sound broke the spell: It was the call of the canyon wren that I had been waiting to hear for the first time.
January 27, 2014 |
You're Mike Pettine Jr. You're 47 years old, and your dream has come true. You're a head coach in the NFL. Joe Banner, the Cleveland Browns' chief executive officer, has just introduced you at a news conference. It's late Thursday afternoon. Your arrival drew so much interest from fans and media that when your flight landed, the Browns instructed you to stay on the plane until the rest of the passengers exited, at which point the team sent a car onto the tarmac to pick you up. Half the world, it seemed, was waiting for you to get to Cleveland.
January 22, 2014 |
Right there in the coach's handbook, somewhere around Chapter 3, is where it says there is such a thing as a good loss for a basketball team that has gone midway through the season without facing either adversity or one of those nights when nothing goes very well. Call it a reminder, call it a teaching moment. But don't call it necessarily a bad thing. Jay Wright, after his Villanova team was dusted, 96-68, on Monday by a night-of-the-blue-snow shooting performance by Creighton, wasn't reading from that page, however.
January 20, 2014 |
On June 21, I boarded Train No. 650 at 30th Street Station for a first-day-of-summer yoga escape. Destined for a pristine beach oozing tranquillity? An isolated mountaintop exuding transcendence? More like an island - the one immortalized as the city that never sleeps. I was Manhattan-bound; though not to a hip yoga studio, but to the hubbub of Times Square. An estimated 15,000 other yogis and yoginis and I were participating in Mind Over Madness, all-day outdoor yoga sessions at the "Crossroads of the World" - and a fund-raiser for the yoga-inspired charities Bent on Learning and Urban Zen. I arrived in the Big Apple in the afternoon, made my way to Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, checked in with a T-shirted event attendant, squeezed into a tight spot, unrolled my mat, and got ready to Zen out during NYC's Friday-evening rush hour amid wailing sirens, honking horns, accents familiar and not, crystal-clear images flashing frenetically from mammoth video screens, vendors hawking $20 "Rolexes," stilt-walking Lady Libertys, a man in a wheelchair holding a cardboard sign scribbled with his honest plea for "spare change for beer and pizza," and a frenzy of more sights and sounds.
January 13, 2014 |
We have six wonderful grandchildren ranging in age from 12 to 5. Over the years, we have found choosing birthday gifts (fun and educational) very difficult. It is hard to find a spot-on gift for children who are blessed with so much. A few years ago, after searching frantically for a specific Lego set, we realized most gifts got lost in the excitement of the parties and the sea of presents. We wondered whether the kids even remembered what we gave them. So instead of birthday gifts, we decided to create adventures.
January 6, 2014 |
We sat on our surfboards and let the warm Pacific swell lift us and set us down in turns, waiting for the wave that would carry us to shore. Looking east, we squinted into the low morning light of a tropical sun and saw hot, white sand, steaming rain forest, and distant mountains all under a crystalline blue sky. For my wife, Amy, and me, it was the long-planned trip of a lifetime, repeatedly postponed because surfing the high season in Costa Rica...