Archive for October, 2010

Gray Saturday

23Oct10

I barely slept last night. Last night I had to call the police at about 11:30 when a small riot broke out in the alley. Then, at about 1:30, I dropped in on a different group of partiers to suggest that their garage band should consider closing the garage door. The concept had clearly not […]


Juan Williams’ unfortunate remarks have made for some excellent conversation over the past couple of days. At the office this morning, the discussion centered on whether he deserved to be fired. The opinions ran the gamut from “I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal,” to “Hell, yeah—and he should be prosecuted, too.” Later […]


Every day I scour the Web for photographic inspiration. Tonight I hit the motherlode when I happened upon a year-long series of photo essays by New York Times staffer Todd Heisler. Titled “One in Eight Million,” Heisler’s series explores the lives of 54 New Yorkers who let him follow them for a week. So far, […]


I love The Independent. It’s full of informative news from around the world—which is often reported with a wry sense of humor. For example, take the article about the riots in France. I smiled at the helpful translation (in parentheses) of a typically euphemistic phrase: Mr Sarkozy promised rapid action to lift the fuel blockages […]


Less than a month after I accidentally joined a friendly protest in Paris, today the unrest finally boiled over and turned violent. In a nutshell, President Nicolas Zarkozy’s government is proposing that the retirement age be raised from 60 to 62. The government’s argument is that France’s retirement system is untenable if left “as is.” […]


By pure coincidence, today I discovered that a former colleague is now working as a freelance photojournalist in Iraq. (Long story short: We’re both represented by the same rights-management firm, and I saw his images on my handler’s website.) I was curious about his work, so I did a quick Google search: “freelance war photographer […]


I’ve had a spectacularly unproductive weekend: Aside from some halfhearted raking, the only thing I accomplished was to more or less clean out the duplicate files from my iTunes library. Some of the “duplicates” were in fact different takes on the same piece, so I listened to each version to choose the keepers. I was […]


Oseh Shalom

15Oct10

I can’t stop singing Oseh Shalom in my head. I’d never heard this melody until last Sunday, when a choir performed it during the “kirkin’ o’ the tartan” that concluded the Munro reunion. At first it seemed an odd choice for a Presbyterian service, but I was drawn into the music: There was something haunting […]


I’m finally plowing through the newspapers that piled up while I was out of town last weekend. Of all the articles I’ve read over the past few days, the one that has most stuck with me is an editorial by Andrew M. Borene titled “Think about what’s going right with America.” My visceral reaction to […]


I didn’t want to do it. For two years my friends and relatives have been sending me invitations to join them on Facebook. “It’s really fun,” they’d say. “And it’s a great way to stay in touch.” But I’d always demur. For one thing, I value my privacy. And for another, I value my time. […]