Paul Michael Jones

Second Wind



This week marks the first week of fall, which means that 2020 is officially dying along with the falling leaves. Y’all, it’s time to party. So, break out the pumpkin spice and everything nice. Sit outside, and enjoy the brisk autumn air as it washes your face and brushes your hair. It’s the end of the world, and we all […]

Flushing the fire

Dear angry people, I know how you feel. Today, as I was getting ready to write this piece, a wave of rage washed over me. I didn’t see the wave forming in the distance. It seemingly came out of nowhere and walloped me. It was disorienting. I felt accosted by my own emotions. But I have a feeling … it was […]

Creating and consuming



Lately, I’ve been submitting my life to the MRI scanner of my own introspection. Some of that is really healthy. Other times … not so much. However, I think everyone in America could benefit from an honest audit of their consuming and creating habits. Last week, while listening to the phenomenal “Battle Ready” podcast, Erwin McManus dropped some serious gold […]

Pigs, pearls and perdition



Cancel culture is a blood cancer in the American circulatory system, and it’s only getting worse. From a systemic vantage point, it is easy to see that every society has a spirit. Even if you don’t identify as a spiritual person, if you’re honest, you can see that there is an essence that fills and feeds the ideologies of any […]

Mountains and mustard seeds



This week marks my one-year anniversary as a writer for the Pleasanton Express. Last year, on my birthday, I wrote a Facebook post that changed the trajectory of my life. Not really wanting any fanfare, I simply penned an honest plea for people to love and forgive one another. Noel Wilkerson Holmes noticed my birthday musings and graciously extended an […]

Becoming Benjamin Button



On Aug. 16, I will turn 39. That great and ominous transition will happen only in a matter of days from now. Thirty-nine feels like less of a year of its own and more like a dramatic precursor. The shadow of the great “four zero” looms so mightily overhead that it eclipses the very existence of its predecessor. And as […]

Leaping electricity



When we were kids, my brothers and I would wield electricity like mad magicians. Our wizardry was best wrung from carpeted floors in the arid winter weather. We would don our wooliest socks and walk across the energyladen fibers with lazy feet. Static electricity is a wondrous thing. For us, it was the unofficial eighth wonder of the world … […]

Taylor Swift and true friends



On Monday morning, Taylor Swift messaged me on Instagram. At least … that’s what the person pretending to be Taylor wanted me to believe. It all started with the dubiously named “@taylor_ swif.t1” account requesting to follow me. The imposter claimed to be Taylor Swift and labeled the account as the “Official Taylor Swift page.” This kind of thing happens […]

Mirrors and meditation



Recently, I took some time off. I needed a break. I think our whole country could use some rest and relaxation, but I can’t control the country. I can only control myself. So, I decided to take the bull by the horns and ask for some much needed sabbatical time. All of my various employers were super understanding and supportive. […]

Wry humor and world domination



Over the years, I’ve joked with people about my plans to take over the world. Those who know me best know that I am just kidding, and those who know me least wonder if I’m insane. Still, that doesn’t deter me. Mischievously inspired by the Spielbergian cartoon mice in the animated series, Pinky and the Brain, I have shared my […]


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