Archive for April, 2010

Two great reads


It’s been a hectic week. In trying to keep up with the world around me, I’ve had little time for thinking my own thoughts. That’s one of the tough things about writing for a living: It pretty much occupies your life. But in the midst of all the din, two items brightened my day. The […]

I used to scoff silently at the people who would spend an entire evening at a coffee house, tapping away on their laptops. “How can they possibly get anything done?” I always wondered. I figured it must all be for show, so I dismissed them as a bunch of poseurs. Well, tonight I’ve joined their […]

Last week, my friend Tom (aka “The Blogfodder”) sent me a link to a wonderful project the New York Times is organizing. In a nutshell, the NYT is inviting photographers around the world to shoot an image at 15:00 GMT (10 a.m. Central), and to submit it for the A Moment in Time documentary project. […]

Last week, Esteban brought home a copy of Bill Bryson’s autobiography, The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid. “And I got it for only 50 cents,” he said, grinning. Apparently, the only thing better than a good book is a cheap good book. Esteban and I are big fans of Bill Bryson. (Even if […]

I love reading “Miss Manners.” Although the questions are sometimes a bit simplistic, the advice in this sweetly anachronistic newspaper column often reminds me of the enormous power of small gestures. Like saying thank you. A few days ago I treated an acquaintance to a small birthday celebration. I was a bit hurt that she […]

When I first met my new creative director, I asked him which words he hates. Most writers loathe at least one word. Sometimes we can explain why; other times it’s more visceral. I used to feel a little silly about the latter, but now I just accept it as an occupational hazard. Anyway … I […]

You’ve no doubt noticed the apparent rash of earthquakes over the past few months. Some people are hypothesizing that this could be a sign of the coming Apocalypse, or of Christ’s impending return. Others contend that strong earthquakes aren’t really all that anomalous. Fortunately, there’s a voice of reason emerging from all this seismic chaos: […]

This afternoon Esteban, my friends Jim and John and I attended the final performance of Tributes by the James Sewell Ballet. I didn’t know anything about the program, beyond a blurb and this intriguing photo on a direct-mail flyer. I just had to see how the dancers did this risky and difficult lift. So I […]

Ash Friday


Call me misanthropic, but every now and then I delight in the realization that—in spite of our intelligence and technology—humans don’t always call the shots. Today’s news about the hundreds of canceled flights in Europe once again reminded me how much we take our technology for granted—and how few real options we have when our […]

I remember the sadness I felt when I heard that guitarist Billy McLaughlin had developed focal dystonia. I could only imagine the devastation of losing the use of his left hand … the hand on which his remarkable technique—his music, his livelihood—was built. I thought his career was over. A documentary on PBS proved me […]