Excerpt from the 30th Annual and last Donder Society Report
What was it like having Don Heavrin, the Founder of The Donder Society, as a dad?
There are many answers to that question, but the one that comes to me now is that he sparked wonder. The way he spoke with so much authority and reverence about even the most trivial matters, made everything seem like part of the answer to the meaning of life.
For decades I wanted to read Atlas Shrugged to answer the epic question on my dad’s bumper sticker, “Who is John Galt?” Dad interrupted our…
Every night it is the same navy blue capri pants and purple-ish flowery shirt, the same concerned eyeing of the building’s flowers. Every night it is the same pacing up and down the driveway, which I assume is standard for elderly widows trying fight off loneliness. Every night I walk past her when entering or exiting the apartment and say, “evening” in as festive a voice as I can muster. Every night she replies, “nice night, isn’t it?” with a surprising hint of surprise, given that it is always 74 degrees and the colors of sunset eternally nestle around the castle-like Griffith Observatory, just over our shoulders. Most nights, I say “it sure is” with a vigorous head-nod and as much excitement as I can summon, but every once in while I say, “it’s terrible!” with exaggerated fake disdain, and I’m surprisingly surprised when Jackie busts out laughing.
Walking home from Los Feliz’s cute vintage movie theater by myself, I approach my Cheers-TV-show-like coffee shop and notice a homeless man up ahead pushing a cart. A common sight in my neighborhood, despite its Mayberry feel. He is hunched over and laboring to push his scantily-packed cart, using it as a walker of sorts.
He isn’t one of the regular homeless people in our neighborhood. Though his shoulder-length gray hair reminds me of a guy named Glenn who, years ago, used to do business in the neighborhood. Glenn sold incense on the sidewalk and the coffee shop lent him…
Booty Caller. It was the way-too-crass working name of a mobile app idea a buddy and I had in 2008, the year the App Store launched. Booty Caller would use your phone’s GPS to connect you with potential nearby romantic partners. We made a logo, designed the app interface, and engaged a developer. But ultimately, cowering under a daunting cloud of uncertainty, fear of failure, and lack of know-how, we filed away the project into the coulda-woulda-shoulda folder. Four years later, while we wallowed in nine-to-five obscurity, Tinder revolutionized dating.
After a decade of working for corporate America, NPR’s How…
Written Late September 2010
By mid-afternoon, a few of the birthday balloons from my freshly-decorated desk have detached and are floating around my cubicle. Walking back from the copier I kick one up in the air and start juggling it with my knees and feet like a soccer ball. A coworker walks up and I excitedly tell him, “my brother and I used to play balloon soccer in our living room when we were kids!”
Expecting a “Wow, that’s so cool! We should hang out more often,” all I get is silence.
I start trying to make him understand how…
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