Showing posts from January, 2015

Eulogy for My Grandmother

The death of a grandparent is something that always lingered over my head like a gray cloud threatening rain. The older I got, the darker it got. Would I be ready for the downpour? Was I prepared to deal with the sudden change? Of course I did everything to ignore the looming possibility, but as the years wore on -- and as certain health scares popped up here and there -- I felt that prickly sensation, just like when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up before a storm. Ever since elementary school, I was aware of this possibility because, every so often, a classmate of mine would be absent for a few days. And then I, along with the rest of my class, would learn of the reason why little Jenny or Timmy missed several homework assignments: one of their grandparents had "passed away, and she needs to be with her family right now." This happened throughout high school, college, and even during my years as a post-grad twentysomething adjusting to life in a new city on

15 Things That Will Turn 30 in 2015

1985 was a great year. It's also the oldest year I can still remember. (Don't do the math, it'll only hurt your head.) But little did my kindergartener self know what wonderful things were being birthed into the world back then. What pop cultural goodies are celebrating three decades of greatness this year? Let's take a look... 1. The Golden Girls - Thank you for being a timeless piece of sitcom glory. 2. The Breakfast Club - To this day I have yet to try a Corn-Pops-and-Pixy-Stix sandwich on white bread. 3. Back to the Future - Great, now I have that Huey Lewis and the News song stuck in my head. 4. The compact disc - Sadly, I didn't own my first CD player until 1993. 5. Clue (the movie) - I can recite every line of dialogue, and I've attended several midnight screenings of this film. In unrelated news, I'm still single. 6. "We Are The World" - Still waiting on that "brighter day," fellas. 7. Micr

TWENTY15: Sounds of a New Year

New year. New music. New playlist. The following tunes are helping me kick off what I hope is a fantastic 2015. Can it top 2014? Who knows? All I know for sure is that I'll have some great tunes to keep me company through it all. (Translation: for the upcoming Golden Globes weekend and a trip to Vegas later this month.) Sample the goods here: @TheFirstEcho

An Open Letter to Trader Joe's Cookie Butter

Dear Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, You may not remember this, but we met sometime during the fall of 2012. You were sitting on a shelf in the snack aisle of the store, looking all cute in your unassuming, modestly sized jar. I was pushing a shopping cart full of my usual grocery fare – once again on an empty stomach. (You can imagine the poor decisions I’ve made while hungry for a hearty meal.) The guy at the sampling station told me you were available, and I couldn’t help but notice that others were checking you out, especially after getting a taste of what you had to offer. Mr. Sampling Station had spread you on an apple slice for me, and I knew this was the beginning of something special. My taste buds were telling me this was a match made in food heaven, but my brain was telling me I was embarking on a dangerous journey down a path of self-destruction. I bought you right there and then. A spoonful of you, and all was right with the world. You brought the warm fuzzies. You comf