Random Selections from the Blog

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All I Want for Christmas

Posted December 20th, 2012
All I Want for Christmas

What, no peppermint stick ice cream? Is there something wrong with this place stuck just under the Mason-Dixon Line? My Dear One has been searching high and low and with no luck. There is none at Klein’s/Shop-Rite, none at Mars, none at Weis or Wal-Mart. We even tried Wegmans, hoping that their chi-chi reputation and…

Back in the Garden

Posted March 15th, 2014
Back in the Garden

The ground is soggy, the sun is bright and the wind whips up now and then. Although there are patches of snow and ice here and there, there is no sense of winter, only the certainty of spring. The garden is a wreck. There is so much dead foliage, not just the detritus not cleared…

Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

Posted May 31st, 2017
Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

“Alistair Horne, Vivid War Historian and Onetime British Spy, Dies at 91.” The headline in today’s New York Times would have caught my eye any morning. Right now, however, I am up to page 306 of Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris, engrossed in his narrative of the years leading to World War I. It’s a wonderful…

The Eternal City 5: Architecture of Visions

Posted April 25th, 2014
The Eternal City 5: Architecture of Visions

In 2005, Jake Morrissey published a book called The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry that Transformed Rome. Haven’t read it? Do. It’s brief, fascinating, dense with information about the birth of the Baroque in Rome, and it makes you care about these extraordinary artists. Mostly it made me care about Borromini….

The Remains of the Deer

Posted March 5th, 2012
The Remains of the Deer

There is nothing that speaks to the collision of Suburbia and Nature like an encounter with the skeletal remains of deer inside the city limits. March came in like a lamb and the soft air lures us out to wander through patches of sunshine by creek and through woods and fields. Sometimes we find beautiful…

Next Great Artist 3: Pride of Art, Prejudice of Commerce

Posted June 25th, 2010

“I am a fine artist” said Judith. The idea of designing a book cover, even one for a classic novel, seemed to her to be a task beneath contempt. Mark, a contestant who makes a reasonably steady living as a commercial artist, was insulted by Judith’s comments. Did I catch murmurs from the television audience…

Private Faith and Public Actions

Posted January 18th, 2012
US Seal

Well the Forty-Niners beat the Saints in a heart-stopping final two minutes of the playoffs, and the Patriots beat the Broncos and their verbified quarterback, Tim Tebow. Does this mean that those who pan for gold have an advantage over they who have hearts of gold? That success comes to those who place constitutional values…

5 February 2010

Posted February 5th, 2010

7:10 am There is a winter storm warning for central Maryland in effect from ten a.m. today through ten p.m. tomorrow. Meteorologists predict two to four inches of snow by tonight, eighteen to twenty-four inches in all, and blizzard conditions. Schools throughout the region will be closing two hours early so that students are home…

Next Great Artist 6: Shirts and Skins

Posted July 18th, 2010

In episode 6, a collaborative challenge was custom-designed for drama, an art school equivalent of shirts and skins in gym class. BRAVO producers determined that interpersonal tensions are entertaining in a way that the creation of art is not. In the first five contests, ideas and opinions expressed during production generated accusations of idea theft….

La Jolla 1: Sea Lions and Pelicans

Posted January 10th, 2016
La Jolla 1: Sea Lions and Pelicans

Ranks of palm trees, beyond the baggage carousels at the San Diego airport, slender trunks curved like a scoliotic spine, confirmed that we were back in southern California. We expected rain, floods even, and landslides. We arrived to blue skies, temperatures in the high fifties and a hopeful forecast. I chose the white Camry in…