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Movies A-Go-Go

Illustration by Gracia Lam On a chilly night in December 1967, I stood in a long line in front of a movie theater—exactly where in the city I cannot remember...

Call of The Wild

Illustration by Gracia Lam I was walking my dogs recently, an early evening stroll around my Westside neighborhood, when a woman standing in her driveway stopped me. “You need to...

Postscript: Call of the Wild

Photograph courtesy flickr/Dru Bloomfield I am amazed that I have never written about coyotes. I have lived in Los Angeles all my life and have been aware of them since...

Light Years

Illustration by Gracia Lam I am lying in bed reading the paper. It is dusk and still warm out. The windows are open, and I can feel the early night...

Bad News, Bear

Illustration by Gracia Lam  At every lunch or dinner I attend I hear the same lament: What happened to Barack Obama? Reactions range from perplexed to borderline vitriolic as people...

Happy Feat

Illustration by Gracia Lam I have a card on my desk. It’s one of those stiff notes that arrive in an envelope attached to a flower arrangement. Printed on it...

Brave Betty

I remember making the call. My hand was shaking. “I would like to speak with Dr. Pursch,” I said. I was put on hold and then came his voice—an...

The Last Dance

We got a whole extra year. That’s what I tell myself as I glance back over my shoulder. My mother outlived the medical prognoses by the many shiny gift...

Modern Family

I am not easily grossed out. As our so-called entertainment became rife with the raw, the vulgar, the pornographic, I promised myself I wouldn’t grow squeamish. I would stay...

Locked Up

About a year ago I got a call at two in the morning. As anyone knows, when the phone rings at that hour, terror takes hold. I grabbed the...