ShakeDic: niggard

April 28th, 2017 → 5:08 am

“…the devil is a niggard.”  – Henry VIII

If you type “niggard” into Google, it auto-corrects into “niggardly,” neither word of which has anything to do with blackamoores (the primary term for Blacks in Tudor England).  It means, simply, a stingy person.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

April 24th, 2017 → 6:07 am

“Who is it that can tell me who I am?” – King Lear

No one, but since I’m not one for unfounded conspiracy theories, I’ll just assume Shakespeare was Shakespeare and celebrate the joy of his birth (which was sometime this week).  Happy birthday Shakespeare and thanks for the beautiful literature!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Other

The Handicap’s Lament, Part V

April 20th, 2017 → 6:35 am

“It would be argument for a week, laughter for a month,
and a good jest forever.”  – Henry IV, Part I

When my six year old son runs off with my cane so I can’t chase after him to clean up his toys, is he being cruel, or inventive?  Should I yell at him, or laugh with him at my own helplessness?

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life


April 16th, 2017 → 5:34 am

“God be praised, that to believing souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!”  – Henry VI, Part II

Happy spring holiday everyone, be it Easter, Passover, Ramanavami, or any of the others I’m forgetting to name.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Dutch Schooling

April 12th, 2017 → 5:30 am

“Those that do teach young babes
Do it with gentle means and easy tasks.”  – Othello

A Dutch friend of mine forwarded me this article on Dutch schoolchildren.  Apparently they rank #1 in well-being, while American children rank #26 (out of 29 rich industrialized countries studied).  I’m not surprised, nor am I surprised by the general recommendation to ease up on young kids.  What I was surprised about was the lack of regular homework Dutch children are assigned until their early teens.  Their early teens!  My son would die of joy – too bad we’re not Dutch.

Filed under: Blog & Other

The Handicap’s Lament, Part IV

April 5th, 2017 → 6:02 am

“A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.” – Julius Caesar

As I near the end of my latest convalescence, I appreciate everything everyone has done for me.  From car rides to hot dinners to humorous conversations in bed, it has been heartening the myriad forms of outreach that have come my way.  I really do appreciate it.

At the same time, this latest convalescence has reminded me yet again how difficult other people’s infirmities are for most able-bodied people to face.  The problem appears to stem primarily from unfamiliarity, but there is also a distinct lack of empathy, and perhaps even a tinge of fear, wrapped up in the confusion as well.  Whatever is going on, stemming from whatever cause, it has led me to write a short essay/self-help guide for how to visit with a disabled friend.  It’s titled:  “Please, Just Listen.”

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life