Category: Effective Writing

Don’t Do These 2 Things

I arrived at my office yesterday morning as always. But I kept on going, until I drove eight more miles, wandering aimlessly through my little town. Why? Because the odometer of my 2013 Ford Focus read 99991, and I wanted to see it when it reached 99999. I knew I’d forget to look if I didn’t make a deliberate effort, so I drove around until I reached this impressive milestone (see photo). I’m quite pleased that my car has fared so well with few needed repairs, despite enduring many New England […] Click to read more…

Crystal Blue Persuasion

I ordered the Vegetarian Stir Fry: “Linguine tossed with sauteed broccoli, mushrooms, onions, finished with sesame ginger sauce and homemade sriracha aioli.” It seemed like a safe choice. Only it wasn’t. One bite and I knew that it was WAY too spicy for me. My bald head began sweating immediately (TMI?). Was the description of the dish on the menu accurate? Absolutely.  After all, as anyone can tell you after they return home, dip their tongue in a bowl of ice water, and google the word “sriracha,” this is a sauce whose claim to […] Click to read more…

Katz Got Your Tongue

Well, it happened again yesterday. I was standing in line at Starbucks awaiting my turn to order (tall, black, dark roast) when I heard a young woman say my name. Except that’s not what happened. What she said was, “I need to get back home to feed my cats.” What I heard was, “I need to get back home to feed Mike Katz.” Which of course, makes no sense, since I had just eaten lunch and I don’t even know where that woman lives. This phenomenon, known in the literature […] Click to read more…

Make Your Stories Better

I had dinner last night with two of my oldest friends. Rick, Terry, and I first met in 1982, when we all belonged to the same karate school on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. For the next several years, it was a central part of our lives; we saw each other, in and out of the school, all the time. Thirty-nine years later, we still get together. Not often – about once a year – and always for dinner at the same restaurant. Interestingly, our dinner conversations are almost entirely confined to […] Click to read more…

Lessons From a Toaster

(Listen to this post, here.) When it comes to household appliances, I am not usually prone to blanket generalizations. But, in this case, I am going to make an exception: My toaster is way smarter than my coffeemaker. You may find this surprising, since coffeemakers, with all their bells and whistles, are the alpha males of the small appliance community: sleek, powerful, sexy. Toasters, on the other hand, have been around forever – I guarantee you that Harry Truman owned one. And they have barely changed in decades: a couple of […] Click to read more…