Merry Christmas America, Love Arabia

Merry Christmas America! I bring tidings of great joy from the Arabian Peninsula (even though I’m currently in Vermont). These tidings come courtesy of my beloved colleague Dr. Abdulhaq, who is originally from Iraq but has been a resident of the U.A.E. for some time now. Dr. Abdulhaq and I traveled to Philadelphia for a conference in…

An American Muslim, Courtesy of Abu Dhabi

A few days ago, I announced that I’d converted to Islam. I was surprised by how many people seemed surprised. I’d like to share a glimpse into that transformation with a few short passages from my new memoir, DRYLAND, which I’ve been working on for more than a year a year and a half. I guess…

How Islam Saved My Life

Fourteen months ago I quit drinking while residing in Abu Dhabi with my family.  Not only was I tired of the cycle of being hungover every morning and craving booze every night, my alcohol use seemed magnified in close proximity to a non-drinking Muslim population. Today, I credit a region of the world that confounds…

The Last Supper: Redemption in the Middle East

While Allan made chicken soup, I played the card game “Go Fish” with David as Sky News Television reported the day’s events: Saudi Arabia bombing rebels in neighboring Yemen. We were acting like a normal family on the evening of March 27, 2015, even though nothing was normal. A regular night would have entailed booze…

The Yearling

In six weeks, I will have been sober for 365 days. These ten-and-a-half months easily count among the most difficult times of my life. Being in recovery is a reckoning.  Note the use of the present-continuous form of that verb. I haven’t quit drinking. I am always quitting. I am not all better. I am getting better. I’m not reborn….

50 Days to 50

Fifty days until I’m 50! Okay, so it’s only 39 days until I turn 50 but I intended to write this post a week and a half ago. The world changed in that window of time, as did my mind about what is worth saying. When I think back on my five decades, and all that I have witnessed…

My Sweaty Self in Sticky Situations

Dears, After years of writing about keeping brains in jars (Alzheimer’s runs in my family as does an odd way of dealing with it) and documenting a friend’s murder of another friend (insanely gruesome story set in Korea), I am delighted to announce that my next project will be a comedy…of errors. Ready? Set? Here…