Category Archives: Personal

Lessons from 28 Days of Meditation: 20 Minutes is an Eternity

I meditated for 22 of the 28 days of Sharon Salzberg’s True Happiness Challenge and part of the Brooklyn Yoga School Team. (I didn’t blog about it as much as I intended, because I was juggling several writing projects and when I’m busy, blogging becomes low priority. One lesson I learned might be useful for beginning […]

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Day 4 Meditation Challenge: Bring the Noise

One of the things about a new habit is you don’t know what to expect along the way. The habit I am cultivating is meditating daily at the same time. Last night, I sat in my usual spot at 11:30 PM. Already, it was half an hour later than I like but I wanted to […]

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Tomás Chooses Soca

Tomás decides he wants a clockradio to listen to while he’s going to sleep. I can relate, I had one when I was ten or so, listening to music — MY music — was a private joy. Kristen helps Tomás choose a station. Head-down, teeth clenched, eyes closed, he turns the dial, very serious. Goes […]

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PICA CABALLO! My Kids Love Costa Rican Spiders

I heard screams from the other side of the house. We were sitting outside of my aunt and uncle’s tiny house on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Penninsula. My three sons had been playing with their cousin and her two cousins, chasing each other around the house the way kids should. The adults were sitting in a […]

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Getting Into an NYC High School Part 1: A Preview to the Process

You’ve already signed him up for the Specialty High School exam, right?” Kristen and I looked at each other. “No,” we answered simultaneously. “Is it too late?” I asked, the blood draining from my head. “To sign up it is,” she said shifting her gaze from us to the spreadsheet on the table. At that […]

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No More Monkeys. An Iguana [Davíd, Panama]

“Look. A black squirrel,” Tomás says. A small black squirrel crawls down one of the trees in the Plaza in Davíd. I’m standing there with Alejandro, Tomás, and Felix waiting for Kristen and my mom to return from the pharmacy. Each boys is enjoying a raspado — a shaved ice concotion smothered in a sweet […]

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More Monkeys [Arenal Observatory Lodge]

Kristen and I didn’t see any monkeys but we could smell them. There was a place on the Hormiga (ant) trail where the scent of the air changed. It suddenly stunk. An inescapable mammally, protein-y stench. We stopped and searched the canopy. Branches high above us were moving and a shadow passed. The branches continued […]

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Costa Rica – The Green Season

In Costa Rica, the Wet Season, our summer is also known as The Green Season according to those who make their living luring tourists to this tropical paradise. The Green Season means it’s going to rain. The rain can start quietly, gradually, dropping increasing amounts of water, gently massaging plants and corrugated steel roofs. Or, […]

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R.I.P. Chavela Vargas (1919-2012)

A brief moment of silence, a shot of tequila and a grito de un amor perdido for the great ranchera songstress Chavela Vargas. When I hear Chavela Vargas, I hear ranchera at its most definitive. Her voice expresses hardships and pain, loneliness, bitterness, discontent, desires, love lost and love with a capital ‘L.’ Here’s BoingBoing’s Xeni […]

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Ray Bradbury R.I.P.

It has been a long time — too long actually — since I had read one of Ray Bradbury’s books. I remember reading The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was a teenager. Even though it’s been 30 years, I remember being gripped by fear as I read Fahrenheit 451. […]

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