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The essays of John Brizzolara

A reacquaintance with the Italian rapscallion

Homelessness frightens me greatly...
Homelessness frightens me greatly...
I think it was my son’s first encounter with black humor, but more to the point, I think it may have been his first glimpse of the way men are friends with each other.

Stand by your Buddy

That men lead lopsided personal lives is possibly not an original observation but something worth mentioning. During my last excursion into romantic folly, I would turn down opportunities to spend time with these friends and others if I thought I might spend the time with HER. My almost complete neglect of my friendships is something I still wince over. Fortunately, both Mack and Steve have been there too and might do their own wincing now and again.

Feb. 20, 1992 | Read full article

San Diego Zoo. The odds of standing front to back for anything at any given time in San Diego are increasing constantly.

End of the Line

One method of making contact with our neighbors here -- and we seem to want to -- is at the bus stop, in line at Sav-On, or at Pacific Bell in North Park. If conversation isn't established in/on line, your moment in the spotlight arrives when you pay your fare to the bus driver or your phone bill to the clerk behind the glass who is certainly in no hurry.

March 5, 1998 | Read full article

El Niño has struck. Mission Valley looks like the Mekong Delta. Rain sluices through the branches and leaves of the chinaberry tree outside my window, and my next-door neighbor’s camper resounds like muted, distant gunfire with pellet-like raindrops on its tarp and metal surface.

Wet Misery

El Niño has struck. Mission Valley looks like the Mekong Delta. Rain sluices through the branches and leaves of the chinaberry tree outside my window, and my next-door neighbor’s camper resounds like muted, distant gunfire with pellet-like raindrops on its tarp and metal surface. I should be cackling with perverted happiness. I try rubbing my hands together with glee, and then I notice the drowned nasturtiums my girlfriend planted beneath that tree.

Mar. 5, 1998 | Read full article

After the six blocks back and forth to Ralphs for aspirin, cough medicine, soup, and cheap scotch, I am winded and wheezing like a ruined accordion.

Diary of a hypochondriac

I have Butt-Head on the phone while I'm holding paper towels to my Adam's apple, dripping blood on the couch. I hang up and go back in the shower and pull the thing out. I'm operating on myself after paying Dr. X and Igor $50 with a balance due of $110. Meanwhile, I think I'm hearing "Saber Dance" from an old Ed Sullivan Show as I pull ten miles of surgical string out of my bleeding neck.

April 9, 1998 | Read full article

Author John Brizzolara and his son. Remember that life is mostly failure.

Father Time

The moment you were born at, I think, 3:02 a.m. at Beth Israel Hospital on Manhattan’s east side, I remember thinking: I have never done anything important before. If you are lucky and have a kid like yourself and the asshole gene doesn’t skip a generation and my traits crop up in your child, you will have a large degree of happiness in your life, and it will help you weather the worst of things.

January 27, 2000 | Read full article

The meat of it, the wine of it, the essence of what I am now looking down upon as it eclipses the space bar on my keyboard: the very housing of my soul.

My Belly

It all comes down to a matter of vanity, I suppose. I would prefer to revert to my whip-thin rock ’n’ roll weight of 150 pounds when I was 25 years old. It would be preferable not to hesitate in taking off my shirt at the beach. I would rather see my profile in the mirror as more Brad Pitt than Alfred Hitchcock. Possibly this is the price of the growth of the soul.

Jan. 18, 2001 | Read full article

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Homelessness frightens me greatly...
Homelessness frightens me greatly...
I think it was my son’s first encounter with black humor, but more to the point, I think it may have been his first glimpse of the way men are friends with each other.

Stand by your Buddy

That men lead lopsided personal lives is possibly not an original observation but something worth mentioning. During my last excursion into romantic folly, I would turn down opportunities to spend time with these friends and others if I thought I might spend the time with HER. My almost complete neglect of my friendships is something I still wince over. Fortunately, both Mack and Steve have been there too and might do their own wincing now and again.

Feb. 20, 1992 | Read full article

San Diego Zoo. The odds of standing front to back for anything at any given time in San Diego are increasing constantly.

End of the Line

One method of making contact with our neighbors here -- and we seem to want to -- is at the bus stop, in line at Sav-On, or at Pacific Bell in North Park. If conversation isn't established in/on line, your moment in the spotlight arrives when you pay your fare to the bus driver or your phone bill to the clerk behind the glass who is certainly in no hurry.

March 5, 1998 | Read full article

El Niño has struck. Mission Valley looks like the Mekong Delta. Rain sluices through the branches and leaves of the chinaberry tree outside my window, and my next-door neighbor’s camper resounds like muted, distant gunfire with pellet-like raindrops on its tarp and metal surface.

Wet Misery

El Niño has struck. Mission Valley looks like the Mekong Delta. Rain sluices through the branches and leaves of the chinaberry tree outside my window, and my next-door neighbor’s camper resounds like muted, distant gunfire with pellet-like raindrops on its tarp and metal surface. I should be cackling with perverted happiness. I try rubbing my hands together with glee, and then I notice the drowned nasturtiums my girlfriend planted beneath that tree.

Mar. 5, 1998 | Read full article

After the six blocks back and forth to Ralphs for aspirin, cough medicine, soup, and cheap scotch, I am winded and wheezing like a ruined accordion.

Diary of a hypochondriac

I have Butt-Head on the phone while I'm holding paper towels to my Adam's apple, dripping blood on the couch. I hang up and go back in the shower and pull the thing out. I'm operating on myself after paying Dr. X and Igor $50 with a balance due of $110. Meanwhile, I think I'm hearing "Saber Dance" from an old Ed Sullivan Show as I pull ten miles of surgical string out of my bleeding neck.

April 9, 1998 | Read full article

Author John Brizzolara and his son. Remember that life is mostly failure.

Father Time

The moment you were born at, I think, 3:02 a.m. at Beth Israel Hospital on Manhattan’s east side, I remember thinking: I have never done anything important before. If you are lucky and have a kid like yourself and the asshole gene doesn’t skip a generation and my traits crop up in your child, you will have a large degree of happiness in your life, and it will help you weather the worst of things.

January 27, 2000 | Read full article

The meat of it, the wine of it, the essence of what I am now looking down upon as it eclipses the space bar on my keyboard: the very housing of my soul.

My Belly

It all comes down to a matter of vanity, I suppose. I would prefer to revert to my whip-thin rock ’n’ roll weight of 150 pounds when I was 25 years old. It would be preferable not to hesitate in taking off my shirt at the beach. I would rather see my profile in the mirror as more Brad Pitt than Alfred Hitchcock. Possibly this is the price of the growth of the soul.

Jan. 18, 2001 | Read full article

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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