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The Mouth That Would Be President: Endgame

Posted July 5th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President: Endgame

It is July and Cleveland is battening down the hatches in anticipation of Tornado Trump. The Drumpf has been sitting pretty as “presumptive nominee” since early May and Ted Cruz’s disappearance after the Indiana primary. Hillary could not rest easy, as it were, until just about a month later when she collected the delegates in…

WWI: Back to the Île de France

Posted November 8th, 2011
WWI: Back to the Île de France

The change in terrain is almost overwhelming.  Gone are those rolling hills of Lorraine and the flat expanse of the Pas-de-Calais. Here the Grand Morin winds through a deep valley, a location appreciated by neolithic tribes in the millennia BCE, centuries of farmers and tanners, and paysagistes like Camille Corot in the 19th century. Our hilltop…

Next Great Artist 8: Significant Form and the Reality of Television

Posted July 30th, 2010

I found a certain irony in Challenge 8. Last week I railed about the triviality of the challenges. I even weighed in on the subject on Jerry Saltz’s New York magazine blog where some of the more interesting discussions about the show take place. This week the Great Minds at BRAVO decided to go with…

Listen and Follow Directions

Posted March 13th, 2016
Listen and Follow Directions

The most common comment on any report card I received in elementary school was, “Ellen would do well if she would just learn to follow directions.” Teachers stopped saying that as I got older but only because the grading system was about the mark and not about any insight into my approach to learning and…

At 60 you’re just getting started?

Posted February 2nd, 2012
At 60 you're just getting started?

The morning of January 28 dawned bright and mild. At 11:00, doors would open to the party we had planned for ourselves to celebrate my 60th, my Dear One’s 78th, the 2nd anniversary of our marriage and my Tattooed Boy’s 30th, and all of which fall with a month’s span, give or take a couple…

I Could Sit and Rock Forever

Posted October 15th, 2011
I Could Sit and Rock Forever

Whitecaps foamed on brown Susquehanna waters and gusting winds snatched at tickets and threatened the frame tents sheltering crafts people and food vendors. It was only a little past noon and already Deesigns by Deena was packing up. Necklaces with cross-sections of nautilus fossils, freshwater pearls, crystals, and all kinds of stones—I snatched a business…

Sea Cloud 4: Life of Lime

Posted January 22nd, 2014
Sea Cloud 4: Life of Lime

  Even here in “water, water everywhere.,” the day’s rhythm is like that of any exploration we have made. I wake, I rise and shower, I find coffee or tea and the time to organize my thoughts while my Dear One makes up for often fitful sleep. The swells are large; islands are visible as…

WWI: Belle Skinner’s Passion

Posted October 26th, 2011
WWI: Belle Skinner’s Passion

The visitor’s guide to Hattonchâtel opens with a discussion of geology established 150 million years ago as rivers cut down through soft strata leaving limestone bluffs to tower over the plain, a perfect natural fortification and a position that provides gorgeous views to each of the compass points. Its “modern” history dates to the ninth…

To Knead or Not To Knead

Posted February 20th, 2010

My Dear One decided to bake. I noticed because there were a couple of plastic buckets left over from some construction job in the oven—a sure sign of yeast at work. For whatever reason—cabin fever, a short supply of good rye bread in the freezer, the sudden urge to make up for previous failures–he quietly…

That Is Such Sad News

Posted August 22nd, 2015
That Is Such Sad News

A Facebook friend inquires, “Is death always sad?” The comment followed former president Jimmy Carter’s announcement that he has terminal cancer. A number of people from NPR’s Diane Rehm to ordinary friends have found the news “sad.” My FBF continued: “Although I greatly admire Carter, I disagree. Of course, I don’t want him (or anyone)…