A Little Bit of Magic

I’m afraid I don’t believe in magic anymore. When I was young, I used to think there was some magic in the world and things could happen because you willed them to.

I still think my mom willed herself to win on the Price is Right. She was determined like that. All you had to do was look at her and it was clear, if she wanted something to happen, it was going to happen.

Today is St. John the Baptist day, which is why I’m thinking of her. Continue reading

Mary’s Angels

Remember back when I thought my dad visited me in the form of a small Asian man at the YMCA? Well, now I’m wondering if my mom’s been sending people my way, for years – but I just never noticed it. Continue reading

Why Hello Officer…

Police officers

Glendale Officers Stan Mar and Dan Kiang

Nothing good ever comes of lusting for a hamburger so badly, that you can’t think of anything else. Continue reading

A 93-Year-Old 36-Year-Old

Bianca, Pat and Alessandro

Bianca, Patrick, and Alessandro, their new baby, who will undoubtedly speak Italian one day.

I think a 93-year-old is inhabiting my nephew Patrick’s body. He sings Italian songs to his newborn son, plays Italian folksongs on his phone, makes homemade pasta, and goes out of his way to stay in touch with relatives, both here and in Italy, because he values family more than anything. Call me crazy, but this doesn’t seem like a typical 36-year-old. Continue reading

Ogie-Wan Kenobe

Dad in blue plaid shirt cropped

My dad, Ogie-Wan Kenobe

Remember in Star Wars, when Obi-Wan Kenobe fights Darth Vader and ends up dead, but then comes back? His image and wisdom are seared into Luke’s brain and Luke looks to him for powerful guidance during some pretty tough times.

OK, I’m not saying that my dad, who we used to call, “The Ogre,” is a Jedi knight, but sometimes I feel his presence in some pretty remarkable ways. Like yesterday morning when I was battling with myself over working out. (And yes, I know this is a recurring theme with me.) Continue reading

I Got a Visit on All Souls’ Day

My Dad, in his favorite sweatshirt, with me walking on the beach years ago.

My Dad, in his favorite sweatshirt, with me walking on the beach years ago.

I was rooting around in my closet a few nights ago looking for a jacket to wear because,  joy of joys, it’s finally cool in the evenings here. As I slid clothes along the wooden rod in my tiny closet,  I spotted my dad’s favorite green sweatshirt.

He loved that sweatshirt and used to wear it all the time — really — I mean ALL the time. If you didn’t take it off of him and demand to wash it, he would have never removed it Continue reading

A Pooty (Pretty) Butterfly

Ever experience something that you don’t talk about much because you know people will look at you funny and say, “Yeah, right.”

For me, it was the night my mom visited — maybe 7 or 8 years ago. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you’ll know that’s impossible because my mom died in 1992.

However, when she was alive, she always said that after she died she was coming back as a “Pooty Butterfly.” My brother, Bernie, always shot back with, “Yeah, you’ll be the biggest damn butterfly around.” And my mother would laugh and smack him on the head.  (This is called Italian affection.)

Well, the biggest damn butterfly actually did visit me one night and it wouldn’t leave. Continue reading