Meeting Armenians

Every time I meet another Armenian, I’m filled with a sense of familiarity.  Familiarity because we Armenians have an immediate and everlasting communion with one another the moment we meet.  “You’re Armenian?  So am I!  Let’s be best friends.”  Maybe because there are so few of us (well…unless you’re in Glendale, California.  If you’re not […]

Dear Mom

Dear Mom, You would have been 72 years old yesterday.  I bet you would have been a smoking hot 72 year old.  I can picture you right now in my imagination, with a cute little bob that you would have kept a couple years after your hair grew back.  You’d be adorned in funky earrings […]

The Open Road

As anal as my mom was about organizing and planning ahead, when it came to planning trips, all we did was grab some triptiks from Triple A and hop in the minivan.  Granted, often our excursions were over summer vacation so my parents had time to spare, but I grew up with a sense of […]

The Gypsy

My Aunt Meliné (pronounced Mel-inAY not Mel-een…don’t get it wrong or she’d be pissed!) was a total bohemian- a dancer, artist, jewelry designer, hair stylist, and real estate agent, who never met a sparkly trinket she didn’t love.  Growing up in Cuba, she was known as Maria, and when I was born I was named after […]

Teacher Man

My parents couldn’t go anywhere in the Detroit area without running into an old student.  My dad was particularly memorable to his former students. At Target looking for batteries: “Mr. Morukiiian!  It’s me!  Class of ’85!” At our favorite diner:  “Mr. Moruuuukian!  It’s me!  Class of ’75! You dressed like a woman at our talent […]

Childhood and Pets and Death

My family does not have a great track record when it comes to pets. Our first pet took years of begging, pouting and an intervention from our adoring grandpa.  We were finally able to convince my parents to get us a bunny rabbit.  From some weird old guy selling rabbits at Eastern Market in Detroit. […]

Photo Ops

I look at photos from my parents’ and grandparents’ younger days, and they were so poised and serious. They rarely even smiled in photos.  Photographs were valuable and rare.  They only had a handful of opportunities in life to have their images captured on film. We, on the other hand, have had cameras pointed at […]


I felt like an impostor last night.  I was invited to speak on a panel for young women on maintaining work/life balance as a successful career woman.  I’m not sure I’m qualified to be giving advice, seeing as I feel a constant struggle to achieve balance in my life. I looked up “balance” in the […]


One of Dad’s best buddies was Hyrayr Agababian, who possibly had the best name EVER.  Uncle Hyrayr was married to Aunt Maria Rosa, a gorgeous classy Argentine woman. They were both fiery, passionate people and of course fought like feral cats.  Yet I remember Uncle Hyrayr also looking tenderly at her, referring to her as […]


My mom was born in Posen, Michigan, located in the northeastern tip of the state (or the pointer finger of the mitten, for you Michiganders out there).  This village boasts a whopping 234 inhabitants as of the last census, 61% of whom are Polish.  That is the largest percentage of Poles anywhere outside of Poland. […]