childhood heroes, part 1, mickey mantle

childhood heroes, part 1, mickey mantle

june 10, 2014 i’ve been blogging a lot about my childhood lately. my first discovery of anti-semitism on valentines road (http://www.erictrules.com/blog/there-was-a-horse/). my horrendous, forced-upon-me  bar mitzvah at temple sholom (http://www.erictrules.com/blog/bar-mitzvah-blues/) . a lot of pain, a lot of negativity, blah blah blah. we all have it. so what? can i really transform the microcosm of my own pain into the universality of art? make it the story of other people’s pain and suffering? like o’neill? arthur miller? tennessee williams? the 3 greatest american playwrights. not that i’m a great american playwright. i’m not. but… i’m a theater prof, and a…

The “R” word

The “R” word

5/13/14 It used to be the “C” word. C-c-c-ommitment. Normally a young man’s word. Why ever get married, settle down, have a family, limit your (sexual) options? What about freedom? Opportunity? Spontaneity? Improvisation? Living in the moment? Be here now? What about the 60s? Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll? I’ll tell you “what”. Life is what. It has a way of catching up with even the best (free-est) of us? Leaving us older, lonelier, less and less healthy and attractive with each passing year. Maybe even sadder, wiser, but more isolated… eventually, if we don’t make the effort, we…

bar mitzvah blues

bar mitzvah blues

5/17/14 today, a scorchingly-hot, sunny california day in LA, i went to my friend’s son’s bar mitzvah. sheldon mandel, let’s call the friend… or the son. doesn’t matter. a double jewish name, with a particularly challenging first name to bear, for whoever of the two was the name bearer. what were the parents thinking? sheldon? so obviously a name of head turning, of eye-rolling, of clucking… in modern-day america anyway. but perhaps also … to some… maybe the parents… a name, too, of… tradition? a name of weight and beauty… hebrew, jewish, american tradition. brought me back fifty… three years….

for mom

for mom

5/13/2014 a couple of days ago it was mother’s day. no big deal. my mom passed away in 1999. suddenly… from a cerebral stroke. she never knew what hit her. it’s been a long time. fifteen years, seems like fifty to me. it’s too bad she never got to meet my young indonesian wife when i got married for the first time at age 54. i wonder if they would have liked each other. my mom always wanted me to find… companionship. i’ve found it, i think. i hope she’d be happy for me. but i’m not a father. my…

there was a horse

there was a horse

may 7, 2014 there was a horse. a golden palomino. ginger. like her color. a perfect, golden palomino. no bridle, no saddle, just naked and free. across the street on valentines road. on the bolson estate. tall oak trees, green grass, and a golden horse. she would come up to the fence and let us pet her. or sometimes, feed her apples. whenever she felt like it. she was there before us. the first horse i remember. probably the first i ever saw. ginger. we were the newcomers. 1953. i was six years old. my sister had just been born….

on the bus to palookaville

on the bus to palookaville

may 3, 2014 it’s another nocturnal and nefarious crime caper. naturally, i’m with my uncle harvey, the black sheep of the rosenberg clan and “the con” in my documentary film, “the poet and the con”. we’ve stolen a bus. not ken kesey’s bus. no merry pranksters here. something like the team bus for the lakers, or maybe the ascendant LA clippers. but donald sterling’s not on the bus. who the fuck would want that scumbag, racist b-ball owner, after the un-civil comments he made this past week that inflamed the whole multi-cultural nation? certainly not us. my uncle’s two accomplices…

sky’s the limit

sky’s the limit

may, 2, 2014 first day of the rest of my life. i’m “semi-retired” as of today. taught my last USC class of the semester… yesterday… and will be teaching no more fall semesters. just 3 more springs. half time at half pay. “phased retirement”, amigos! time to collect social security, take the leap, and see how to create that “third act” i’ve been talking about for so long…. so… played tennis today. with earl, the pearl. as every tuesday and friday. in LA’s south central hood. slauson and van ness. my favorite thing to do in the world. hit the…

Henry Miller

Henry Miller

April 28, 2014 How did my main man, Henry Miller, outcast and misfit of Brooklyn’s 14th ward (Williamsburg), American literary giant & “pornography”/anti-censorship pioneer #1, and one of the most unique and creative voices of the 20th century, become a lost man of American letters? Certainly American academia and its politically correct sister in crime, post 60s American feminism, have cast him out… as misogynist public enemy #1. His rants, his books, “Tropic of Cancer”, “Tropic of Capricorn”, “Black Spring”, “The Colossus of Maroussi”, “The Rosy Crucifixion” (Sexus, Plexus, & Nexus), “The Air Conditioned Nightmare” (his condemnation of 1940s American…

on retirement

on retirement

“RETIREMENT”… with guaranteed income and/or a pension doesn’t exist in our country anymore. And SOCIAL SECURITY simply isn’t enough. The basic “contract” with workers has been “broken”. “Work long and hard and you will be guaranteed a financially secure “old age” and “retirement”. Sorry, that’s an idea of the past. Yet why is it that US postal workers, can retire at 55 years young, and union Teamsters, who are guaranteed 75% of their working salaries after they retire – for the rest of their lives – are so well taken care of? While the rest of us schmos? We have…

on marriage

on marriage

i wonder if there’s an honest husband alive who would not secretly admit to actually enjoying his wife’s planned, but still unexpected, 2 week call “out of town”, much to his own surprise. who wouldn’t have to admit to the temporary feeling of relief… of release…. of so called… “freedom”. yes, i know you’re out there, my deceased father amongst you…. husbands who never want(ed) to breathe a day without their “soul mates” and life partners. but me… sure, i call, text, facebook and whats app my wife, who is now in indonesia at her youngest sister’s wedding… at least…

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