April 10, 2022.

This past Friday, April 8th, was the anniversary of the cosmic breakthrough in ’76 that changed my life. It was also the first time Ketanji Brown Jackson spoke about her confirmation to the US Supreme Court, her words sure to give hope to many, especially young Black girls who dream big, as they should.

 I got a few emails on the 8th about upcoming science programs, and booked a well-priced Air B&B in Saugerties that overlooks Esopus Creek. But the highlight of my anniversary day was talking to my primary care doctor, a good, caring physician. Dr. Puca said you have to know what’s going on in the news, “but you don’t have to marinate in it, and have your stress hormones being released and flooding your brain every minute of the day.” In other words, self-care is keeping up on what’s happening, but not turning it into “a masochistic type of entertainment.” Well said, I thought. We had commiserated back when Trump was elected in 2016, so we’re both long-suffering. I told him that my daughter having a child out of love gives me hope. And, actually, I’m hearing about other younger couples committing to love, children, and the future.

On Saturday, I ran the “Create An Alien” activity at Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association’s Annual Astronomy Festival at Brandi Fenton Park, here in Tucson.  I still like the word ‘extraterrestrial’ better, but Terri said nobody knew what it was when they did this activity at the Tucson Book Fair. I didn’t argue. But how silly when I had a Mexican family, and asked the boy what he thought an alien might look like and he pointed to his sister. 

Anyway, the activity was very popular, and the kids were great! They created several fascinating creatures.  Meanwhile, I told their parents it was good for children to think about cosmic visitors, because right now people don’t get along with others in their own country if they don’t look or think like them, so how open will they be to creatures from other planets? Or wherever they’re come? Who knows. And Who is not talking.

Next up is Passover for me and my Jewish tribe, Easter for Christians, and Ramadan continuing for my “Middle East Politics” teacher and other Muslims who celebrate it from April 2nd to May 2nd. And so it goes on a planet with many religions, many skin colors, many nationalities, and many states of mind. 



April 3, 2022.

On Friday, April Fools’ Day, I performed on zoom with my comedy workshop group for some 50 invited guests. My long gray wig went over better than my jokes. Humor about extraterrestrials and human foibles may be too cerebral for standup. I asked my daughter for her honest opinion. Should I perform in NY? Jana texted, “You’re not going to be Joan Rivers, but if you’re having fun you should keep at it!” Not that much fun. I think I’ll put routines I like on my web site. 

After Friday’s show, I zoom-attended services in Atlanta, then my Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association’s (TAAA) meeting. I left both early. The synagogue didn’t caption, and TAAA’s captioning turned the speaker’s accent into gobbledygook. Besides, I felt brain dead from the week’s ruminating on … so many innocent people killed in the Ukraine … Will slapping Chris at the Oscars … Trump and his cohorts’ nonstop lies and lunacy … and my upcoming trip to NYC. Plus, I set up a calendar for my new Instagram account—three posts a week until June 12th Stay tuned for its start.

On the reading front, I just finished the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Impressive! At the end, in 2014, blind Marie-Laurie—who’s lived through the horror of World War II in France—asks her 11-year-old grandson what’s that click clacking she’s hearing. He says it’s his computer game, in which he ‘dies,’ but that’s alright, because he can always begin again.

I wish violence on Earth would vanish, taking fossil fuels along with it. We say we learn from history, but do we really?

On a brighter note, as my granddaughter’s first birthday approaches, I’m thinking what an excellent mom she has. When Jana was a baby, as precious as she was to me, I craved time to write. No blame. We all have our roles to play. And Jana doesn’t have my need. She’s an artist no matter what she does. And right now she’s focused on parenting. She can relax each night, knowing she’s doing her best, living her purpose. I feel blessed seeing her blossom. And Iris! A rainbow of delight! 

Whenever I feel grateful, I wish the same for everyone. If only positive prayers could move mountains…until then, I’m closing my week with a little ditty:


Time is a gift,

differing among humans,

and changing with situations;

feeling unrushed, unstressed,

being the epitome of bliss,

like a cosmic kiss during

a long learning curve

on a rocky orb

in a Milky Way suburb.



March 27, 2022.

It’s National Scribblers’ Day; time to doodle away, and for a moment or two, forget about reality, with Putin ravaging the Ukraine, and in the USA, Trump applauded at rallies for saying gibberish. This week’s high for me was Judge Ketanji Jackson’s beautiful face as Senator Cory Booker sang her praises at her confirmation hearing, after a round of stupid questions from certain Republican senators supported my contention that two species exist on Earth, and for evolution’s sake, one’s due extinction.

My past week was mainly spent publicizing the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association’s annual Astronomy Festival on April 9th. Several organizations and newscasters emailed back, promising to promote the event at which our volunteers share their love of the sky with everyone.

BTW, April 8th is approaching. Steve Greer’s CE5 (Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind) Contact, a three-day convention in Phoenix, starts on it. Tickets are sold out. Anyway, I want to be in Tucson on the 9th to help kids create extraterrestrials. And while I can zoom CE5 for a price, I don’t like celebrating my Miracle Day alone in a crowd. Instead, I plan to work on my Instagram, increasing my critical mass of cosmic poetry to brand me. 

Something nice usually happens on April 8th. Maybe it’s finding a great science article or quote or experiencing a coincidence; something to remind me I’m only alone physically.  

Second highlight this week was visiting my artist friend, Don Berry; it inspired a poem! Among topics we covered, for the first time Don told me—or I heard—he’d had a cosmic experience akin to mine; a sudden clarity about knowing and being everything. Maybe that’s why we’ve stayed friends so long. We both agreed we could use another lifetime. I liked Don’s philosophy; he’s learning creative skills now that he can use his next time around.  

Leaving his house, I said that my daughter sent me a book by Marie Korda, the life-changing magic of tidying up, from which my biggest take away was Marie’s suggestion to discard anything that doesn’t give joy. I said that should include people, and that our visit had been joyful to me. 

I hope my zoom performance this Friday, April Fool’s Day, with my adult ed workshop comedy group is joyful, too. I’ll do a skit about my hearing loss; a far cry from when I first noticed everyone mumbling, and tried to fake hearing, which never worked.

So, entering another week on planet Earth, I’m remembering Biden’s powerful speech in Poland yesterday, that showed me he’s doing his best to walk a narrow line, supporting Ukraine’s fight, and helping Europe to unite, while trying to keep Putin from escalating the Ukrainian conflict into a global catastrophe. And today Israel hosts a summit with top diplomats from the USA, and four Arab nations; the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bahrain, and Egypt. Maybe I’ll witness a transition in my lifetime, some awakening to smell the cosmic coffee, while those who follow unhinged leaders get no pass to play among the stars. 


Photo by Terri Lappin from a TAAA Astronomy Fair.


March 20, 2022.

First day of spring after a week of highs and lows. My highest high: the first image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope’s fully aligned mirror segments. Released on March 16, the first day of Purim, it shows a bright star that reminds me of The Star of Bethlehem. 

My lowest low? Putin’s massacre in the Ukraine; which the free world still can’t stop. 

There was also astrophysicist Eugene Parker’s death on March 15th which reminded me of talking on Kitt Peak about The Parker Solar Probe, named for him and launched in 2018 on a seven-year mission to get closer to the Sun than any human-built spacecraft yet. It’ll study the solar wind—a flow of the charged particles that Parker, in the 1950s, got ridiculed for suggesting exists. Death also took my writer friend Lynn Rogalsky, a gentle soul, who left on Purim, usually a joyous Jewish holiday. The war in the Ukraine subdued many celebrants in 2022, both for Purim and for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. I can’t help but wonder if this was how World War II began, with free world leaders trying their best not to provoke a beast from even more destruction. 

Things are different now, of course. For instance, we’ve got email. Among mine on St. Paddy’s: Breaking News: Some survivors pulled from the rubble of a theater hit by the Russians.” sandwiched between Kohls: Last Chance for 20% Off! and a Public Library Courtesy Notice. Strange world. Thousands are dying, while I get to finish my breakfast in peace, read heart-wrenching news, then delete ads, and remind myself to return Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go because it’s on hold. The sci fi novel resonated with me, as did Ishiguro’s more recent Klara and the Sun. I’ll query his agent about my own sci-fi novel, Reflections of Elba. 

And while I edit my query for the hundredth time, happy first day of spring in the Northern hemisphere. Because planets revolve, it’s also the first day of Autumn in the Southern hemisphere. Both halves have an equinox today, a moment when day and night are the same length. Hopefully, humanity survives to enjoy the next equinox, on nature’s calendar for next September. (See https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/tag/equinox/

And until next week, I’ll note that Putin’s power grab has surpassed Covid-19 as humanity’s main reason for anxiety meds. If I were an extraterrestrial watching what’s going on here, I might suggest all peace-loving Homo sapiens stop whatever they’re doing to keep this planet humming, and go on strike until Putin’s forces of evil have no food, no weapons, no fuel, no choice but to give up, and as John Lennon imagined, “the world will live as one.” 


A weekly affair

March 14, 2022.

Today, Pi Day, Einstein’s Birthday, and the anniversary of Stephen Hawking’s death in 2018, I’m starting to blog, by reporting on how last Saturday, on a planet with many humans fearing World War II, and astrophysicists gearing up for what scientific instruments like the James Webb Space Telescope will reveal, I took photos of Tucson’s Amateur Astronomy Association’s booth at the Tucson Festival of Books. I felt too leery to do activities with possibly unmasked kids, and if they did wear masks, I wouldn’t hear them, anyway. I shot nice-sized crowds at all our activities, including Looking for Life in The Sands of Mars, Solar Observing, and Martian Rovers. But best of all was the steady stream of kids at the Create An Extraterrestrial activity, which I’d initiated in 2020, before Covid-19 cancelled that year’s fair. This year, while Terri, our dedicated outreach leader, sanitized magic markers, kids happily used them, stickers, felt strips, pompoms, googly eyes, and more to design their creatures. Plus TAAA had a board for Post-It notes with “What Would You Say To An Extraterrestrial?” “Can You Give Us Something To Help Climate Control,” “Register As A Democrat,” “What Took You So Long,” and “Take me with you!” were some gems I read.

Other organizations under our big Science City tent included The University of Arizona’s Lunar & Planetary Lab, the Tucson L5 Space Society, MMT Observatory, and UA Arizona Mt Lemmon SkyCenter. Volunteers from all shared their love of space, and hope for tomorrow. And Terri emailed me great photos of the Extraterrestrials created, most whimsical, not frightening. That gave me hope, as did so many visitors wearing masks. Three cheers for Tucson! 

Back home, posting photos to TAAA’s Facebook page, I thought about my Website’s imminent launch, with me taking my place as…what? A cosmic poet? Sci fi writer? Comic? You laugh, but I just got an email that my NYC comedy debut—postponed, due to Covid, at the end of my zoomed Gotham NY Stand Up Comedy workshop in 2021—is set for May 6 at NYC’s Broadway Comedy Club. If I don’t chicken out, I’ll do my “Hearing Challenged” skit, with some jokes about Extraterrestrials. Speaking of which, I’m working on a new skit with the persona of one. Not an alien. We hate that abused word! We hate a lot of abused words. Extraterrestrial, please.

Anyway, while I ponder my future in comedy, it pains me to see a planet with such great potential so go to waste. On a more positive note, as one who follows coincidences; Happy Pi Day, on which my hard part’s finally done; I’ve finished Blog #1.

Credit photos to Terri Lappin