For most of us this Thanksgiving will be unlike any holiday we have ever had. Perhaps more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving has always been an opportunity for families to come together, but not this year.

I was speaking with a friend the other day, and for purposes of this column, let’s call her Mary Smith. She lives alone in Malibu with her cat Mr. Peepers (also not the cat’s real name, but I tend to call all animals Mr. Peepers). Mary is bright, artistic, caring, and looks at the bright sid…

Yogi Berra, the famous New York Yankee catcher, was supposed to have said, “Déjà vu all over again.” That’s exactly how this election feels to me. I’m certain I have been to this dance before.

As I write this column, I literally have no idea who our next president will be, but assuming this time the polls are correct and Trump loses, we Americans are about to face a monumental crisis of sorts—I call it “Trump withdrawal.” Please allow me to explain.

NOTE TO READER: This is the first time I have rerun one of my columns. The column below first appeared in The Malibu Times on Feb. 6, 2017, shortly after Donald Trump became president. It is, unfortunately, every bit as true now as it was then.

Before I proceed, let’s make sure we are talking about the same thing. Sexting is defined as follows: “when people send or receive sexual pictures, messages, or videos through technology, e.g. cell phone, app, email, or webcam. The word comes from a combination of the words sex and text.”

People frequently ask me two questions—“When will your house be finished?” and “Are you excited?” The answers to these two questions are “Hopefully before I die,” and “No.”

My wings have been clipped. Make no mistake about it. I used to be a traveling man. In fact many moons ago I owned a travel agency.  I know many people who have done far more traveling than I have.  A friend of mine has been to almost 150 countries.  Who is counting? (I guess he is)

First please allow me to confess—I have been looking for any excuse to use the word “conundrum,” and so this column is more driven by my need to use the word than any content, as you will plainly observe.

  • Updated

Several years ago the comic genius Mel Brooks started a foundation whose sole purpose was to protect the Yiddish word “schmuck” (big fool among other meanings) from becoming extinct just like the Yiddish word “schlemiel” (little fool) had become over time. Apparently my tribe is very intent …

No, this column has nothing to do with something you cook with in the kitchen like a pot or a pan. This column has to do with a drug, a controlled substance (whatever that is). The title I chose is “pot” because it is considerably easier to spell than marijuana, and I don’t always have confi…

We are living in strange times, and that is an understatement if ever there were one. For years now we have witnessed the exponential growth of online shopping. Just look at the price of Amazon stock if you don’t believe me. The malls and retail stores are dying. Why go shopping when you can…

I have a good friend who lives in Malibu. He is intelligent, witty, caring, philanthropic. In other words, he is a mensch. He has no preexisting health condition and is quite fit. He has chosen to put himself under house arrest until a vaccine is widely disseminated.  When I say “under house…

  • Updated

When Trump spoke at the West Point graduation earlier this year, I was reminded of when I went to the Military Academy many decades ago. No, my loyal reader, not as a cadet (I could never have gotten in), but as a young man wanting to enjoy a beautiful autumn day watching an Army football game.

I am a clairvoyant of sorts. I have an uncanny ability to see things way into the future, but like the Greek mythical character Cassandra, I am totally unable to alter the course of events.

It’s been virtually half a year since I sat indoors at a restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal, but lest I get overly nostalgic, let me walk down memory lane and share with you a few not so good memories which all took place at restaurants.

A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying my morning coffee with Iris, my son’s girlfriend. We were looking out over the ocean when a mega boat appeared on the horizon. For a moment I thought the Queen Mary might have broken away from its moorings in Long Beach. As the boat approached the Malibu …

  • Updated

The aforementioned hairy beast is no other than yours truly. Now if you my loyal reader are confused, it is no wonder. Earlier this year I wrote a column about my going bald. But what a difference five months make, for it was approaching five months since I had had a haircut.My hair was so l…

None of us has unlimited time, and yet here I am about to tell you the ways I am killing time during the pandemic before the virus might possibly kill me. 

My son Isaac lives in Manhattan with his girlfriend Iris. He is 34 years old and is head of marketing for Solid and Striped, a high end swimwear company he founded seven years ago. I have not seen my son since around Christmas. Both he and Iris had Covid-19. They were thankfully minimally sy…

When Gary Hart campaigned around the country for president in 1988, a reporter asked him how he knew what city he was in. Hart truthfully responded that each morning when he awoke in a different hotel, the first thing he did was look at the local telephone book to find out where he was.

I often called my Dad, David Ross, “Pop.” I have no idea why, but I do know it was an affectionate term, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, I want to share with you some memories.

I’m not sure whether I am in a semi-comatose state or in a full blown coma, but what I can tell you unequivocally is that this damn pandemic is sapping whatever little strength I ever had.

Last week I wrote my column about some unusual news stories I’ve been reading to pass the time away before I am allowed out of my house. Little did I know that in just the few ensuing days I would be reading several additional stories which are, well let’s put it this way, mind boggling.

With all the time on my hands, I have resorted to reading news outlets ad nauseam.  I have read all the news that’s fit to print (the New York Times’ promise) and some news that’s not so fit to print (I think People Magazine’s promise). I want to share with you two news items which especiall…

  • Updated

Although my Mom was well read and well educated and skipped two grades in school, nevertheless she suffered from what I called the “Mr. Magoo syndrome.” Mr. Magoo was a cartoon character who, to put it mildly, could not see very well, and got into trouble because of his misidentifying all ki…

The problem with being housebound for too long is that you start to imagine things. I might have been hallucinating the other night when I turned on my television set only to see what seemed to be Matthew McConaughey playing virtual bingo with the residents of a senior citizens facility outs…

I received a very strange email the other day. A business acquaintance wanted to know if I would be available next week to take his phone call. Was this some kind of a trick question? Was he putting me on?  “Would I be available” he was asking. For God’s sake, LeBron James is available.

It seems like eternity since we Malibuites first commenced the practice of social distancing. I thought it a good idea to call some friends to see what they are doing to avoid a total meltdown.

You have all heard the expression “out of the frying pan into the fire.” Well, I have just jumped from the fire into the pandemic. Just when I thought I had recovered from the fire which destroyed my home, just as I thought I was returning to some sense of normalcy, I find myself hiding in m…

With so many people contemplating the end of the universe, I thought it a good time to look into its beginning, and so I opened my Bible—the Old Testament that is.  I was looking through Genesis, because I am curious about how we all got here. I have to say I am especially inspired by God’s …

I’m going nuts, although my friends would say I’ve been nuts for years. This virus named after a Mexican beer and caused by the Chinese (how I love blaming everything on the Mexicans and Chinese) is pushing me right over the edge.

There seems to be a virus going around, or at least that’s what everybody, from my kids to the folks on the news, keeps telling me 24 hours a day. So what is a humor columnist supposed to do? 

As we mature  (a euphemistic term for getting older), we have a tendency to look in the rear view mirror to see what our proudest moments have been. I would have titled this blog/column “My Proudest Moments,” but since I only have one, I went with the singular.

My life as I knew it came to an abrupt end a few days ago when my constant companion of the past seven years died suddenly. I am referring to my iPhone. No matter how hard I tried to resuscitate it, this all purpose gadget had expired. I no longer could communicate with anybody, read a menu …

Now you need to read this very carefully so you can understand what happened the other day when I was leaving Pavilions with my daughter, son, and son’s girl friend. My son Isaac was pulling out of the parking lot when a young lady pulled in front of him blocking his departure. 

As bad luck would have it, I got a flat tire a couple of weeks ago. AAA came and put on my spare tire, and I immediately drove to the Toyota dealer in Thousand Oaks. As more bad luck would have it, I arrived around lunch time, and all the service people were enjoying their repast.

Last year my brother Phil lost his wife only a few days after he became an octogenarian. We were all worried how he would survive alone in his house on a small lake off a dirt road half an hour northwest of Lake George, New York.

Last year my brother Phil lost his wife only a few days after he became an octogenarian. We were all worried how he would survive alone in his house on a small lake off a dirt road half an hour northwest of Lake George, New York.

A couple of weeks ago an article “Street Talk” by Julie Ellerton, The Malibu Times’ Multimedia Director, appeared on our front page. In response to the question “What’s your wish and hope for the future of Malibu (or the world) in 2020?,” six Malibu youngsters from preschool to the 7th grade…

It was the first day of 2020, and I was looking for omens. They were everywhere. I weighed myself first thing in the morning as is my daily habit, and things were not looking too good. I had hit an all time high, but that was only the half of it. My two adult children arrived from New York C…

Welcome to the new year. There are plenty of good things to go around. For one thing, the holidays are over! I am a creature of habit, a man of routine, and now finally I can return to my everyday routine of doing absolutely nothing, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than doing nothing.

Okay, let’s get something straight right now. I am not making this stuff up in order to sell copies of this esteemed newspaper, although I am certainly not above appealing to your prurient interests to increase my readership.

The powers that be have asked me, as is their custom, to write a “year in review” column. Now you might think this is a relatively easy task, but for me who cannot begin to remember what I had for dinner last night, this is a monumental challenge. I think the best way for me to prepare for t…

I recently got my building permit, and I can already tell you  that I am not going to enjoy the rebuilding process, not even one little bit. That is a gross understatement like saying the Titanic took on a little water.

Okay, there it is. I have finally spat out the four letter word. Yes, I am going bald—not Yul Brynner, Telly Savalas, or Jonathan Banks bald, but bald enough. When you can count your individual follicles, then you are bald- plain and simple.

My only sibling is “no average Joe.” His name is Phil, and he isn’t even your average Phil. Rather, my brother is a character, but if you know me at all, you would assume that any brother of mine would be a character.

  • Updated

When we encounter somebody who has experienced a misfortune, we are often at a loss for words. Simply saying “I can’t even imagine. So sorry for your loss,” seems grossly inadequate, and so we tend to ad lib. That’s when we get into trouble.

  • Updated

“Why? Why? Why?”, comes the chorus of questions from my friends and relatives back East. How can somebody with a modicum of intelligence live where you can burn to death any second, to say nothing of earthquakes, mudslides, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. My questioners look at television …

  • Updated

It’s been a year since our community was devastated by the Woolsey Fire, the worst calamity in the history of LA County. The aftermath will be felt by all of us for years to come, and we don’t know how long it will take for a “new normal”  (whatever that means) to take hold.

Sign up for our Daily Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Community Calendar

Newsletters