Monthly Archives: January 2009

In the ranch house

I’m a small kid—either 3, or 6, because it had to be right before Germany, or right after—and I’m standing on white tile in a bathroom. A woman has her jeans rolled up to her knees, and is rinsing mud from her calves and feet … Read more

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A little triagulation

We caught the movie, Defiance earlier this week, and it has been weighing on me ever since. I didn’t know the story, and I won’t spoil it for you here, but it’s the kind of film that I love: one that leaves you with more … Read more

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Gavin’s Christmas Concert is tonight. Rotten weather resulted in the cancellation of the original program, and subsequently every other class dropped out, so Gavin’s preschool class will perform on their own. They have three songs, and then we’ll all eat some cookies.

He loves these … Read more

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Night reads

My father usually read to us, although my mother gave us Little Women aloud on a road trip across the south when we were in grade school.  But Dad had the gift of doing voices, and reading with a coherence that always felt rehearsed.  (I … Read more

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The last year we lived in Missouri, I was a fourth grader, and my father had taken over the division chapel where the basic trainees came every Sunday by the hundreds (if they went to a church service, they didn’t have to participate in drills). … Read more

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We have the dubious pleasure of a bus stop/staging area at the end of our driveway. A group of African refugees—several women in vibrant colors with very small children—will laugh the entire time they are waiting. You have never heard such extended pleasure. It’s as … Read more

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On the bridge

I can’t explain how I’ve gone so long without knowing about Marc Forster’s 2005 film, Stay. This week, I’ve watched it twice, and the second viewing was even more affecting than the first.

Since the Greeks, we’ve read tales of grievers’ attempts to bring … Read more

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Our modem died over the weekend, and we spent a week without the internet. Not a tragedy, I know, but I have felt disconnected and isolated from news and events ever since. And I have been over thinking, over dreaming, and generally stirring myself into … Read more

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To remember

I’ve been reading Clive James’ provocative collection of short essays, Cultural Amnesia, and here’s a little taste:  “Nothing creative should be excluded for the sake of any other conviction.” 

I have never read James before.  He reminds me of Jacques Barzun.  His argument admirably stated … Read more

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The Artist as Slacker

Some people have to be at work by 8 a.m., and stay there until 5 or so. Some of them have to talk to customers. Or punch time cards. Sometimes they work for assholes, or sit in tiny partitioned cubby holes. Some commute for hours—leave … Read more

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