Monday, February 24, 2014



Aw February, the love month, when flowers and chocolates flow like promises.  Except that your promises won’t rot and die like the flowers or get crunched in half and eaten whole like chocolate.

At least that is the plan.   Believe me, I love that plan.  I’ve got the same plan going myself so hooray and many happy returns to us.  And, so far, things are looking our way.  We made it past the December/January mine fields, the most popular months for breaking up.    So, love is in the air, and everything is perfect.  Except the statistics.  The statistics are not perfect.

Friday, February 14, 2014


When I was a teenager I loved going to reggae concerts.  Deep in the thick of the crowd, moving my body to the easy rhythm and heavy bass, it was easy to forget every adolescent anxiety and just be me.  Up on stage, the Rastafarians were like exotic birds with their long dreadlocked manes and fabulous accents.  I felt they were singing directly to me, as if they knew exactly what I needed to hear.  I would walk into the concert worried about a boy who didn’t care for me or a girlfriend who didn’t treat me as if I were part of the “in” crowd… and after a few songs it would all melt away.

The band would start off easy and sweet and then warm up until they reached a frenzied crescendo of spontaneous solo instrumentals — where each band member got a moment to show us his thing and we all screamed and applauded with delight, and even a bit of pride, as if that drummer or saxophone player was our own child performing in front of everyone for the first time.  They knew we felt like family.  I knew they knew because they would encourage us to wave our hands in the air in unison, even hold our neighbor’s hand and sing together some wonderful ditty like “Now that we found love what are we going to do with it?”

The band had traveled all of the way from Jamaica to give us a different kind of concert, where instead of being pissed at the tall guy in front of you or the weirdoes to the right that kept making out, you loved your neighbors.  You forgave them their imperfections.  You reached over and held their hands.  And then the band would ask us what we were going to do with all that love.  And I would hear it as a question.  And I would answer that question.  I would tell myself: I will love myself enough to not worry about that boy, I will help all of my girlfriends to feel like they are part of the “in” crowd.

So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when at the age of twenty-two I got a job being the assistant to the on-tour producer of a major reggae production.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014


A power of attorney is a document that gives the agent you appoint the power to handle your financial affairs.  The agent has a fiduciary duty to use your assets for your benefit and they only have the powers you give them in the document.  There are “limited” power of attorney documents that grant only certain powers (like access to one particular bank account for one purpose or it could be temporally limited:  you might decide to appoint an agent a power of attorney over all financial affairs during a scheduled hospital stay).  There are also “general” power of attorney documents that are meant to allow agents to handle most or all of your financial matters.  The powers and limitations are listed in the document.

Often when we think about appointing an agent for power of attorney we are worried about something happening suddenly to cause incapacity.  You may think, “I need to set up a power of attorney so my loved one can access my bank account if I’m in a car accident.”  That is true, but when it comes to assisting the elderly the reality is often not so clear cut.  Many times incapacity edges slowly in like a rising tide, with individual days ebbing and flowing like waves, and the line where capacity and incapacity meet is far from clear.

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