Category: Politics

Šeima Means Family 7: The Republic of Užupis

Posted May 29th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 7: The Republic of Užupis

We could not have imagined what a good choice the apartment at Užupio 26-11 would turn out to be. My Dear One found the listing online. We both loved the old-fashioned blue-upholstered furniture and the sunlight flooding in the window. The apartment claimed a view of Gediminas’ Tower, that famous ruin on a Vilnius hilltop….

Šeima Means Family 2: The Determination of Memory

Posted April 30th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 2: The Determination of Memory

Most of us choose what to remember. We cherish feelings illuminated through rose-colored glasses and forget the uncomfortable; sometimes we nurse the grievances and grudges that give us our sense of self. In any case, the content and color of the past, the limning of our history is largely up to us. In Lithuania, memory…

The Dallas-Austin Axis 1: A Bumpy Ride

Posted January 16th, 2015
The Dallas-Austin Axis 1: A Bumpy Ride

Simply a coincidence no doubt, but at a doctor’s office we visited in Maryland this morning—just back from our week in the Lone Star State—there were several issues of Texas Monthly magazine lying about. I opened the one focused on the performance of Governor Rick Perry and had just enough time to read through “Guv…

A Mid-West Triangle 3: Designed but not Intelligent

Posted October 22nd, 2014
A Mid-West Triangle 3: Designed but not Intelligent

I was shocked when we pulled up to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The place was mobbed. We had to search for a parking place. Somewhere I had read that they had upped the entertainment value by installing a zipline; apparently attendance was not reaching goals. This didn’t look like an organization with attendance…

The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

Posted October 23rd, 2013
The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

I want to be snarky. I want to be elitist and scorn cultural credibility bought by Walmart money. I am not altogether succeeding. Fact is, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is pretty damned amazing. It has the best collection of American moderns that I have seen anywhere other than the Boston Museum of…

Charm City’s War

Posted June 16th, 2012
Charm City’s War

  Since bicentennials are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, my Dear One and I found it impossible to ignore the “Star-Spangled Sailabration” of the War of 1812. That war is one of those conflicts largely ignored in American education. We’re very big on the War for Independence but leapfrog the War of 1812 to get to the…

Lietuva 8: Shaking the Family Tree

Posted May 25th, 2012
Lietuva 8: Shaking the Family Tree

Well we traveled from Maryland to Lithuania to learn more about my Dear One’s progenitors and all we discovered was that his maternal great-grandmother’s name was “Prana” not “Orene” (as it appeared to my eye in a scribble on a ship’s manifest). Apparent that “O” was a Cyrillic “P.” Anyway, it makes perfect sense: great-granny…

Lietuva 5: Cuckoos, past and present

Posted May 22nd, 2012
Lietuva 5: Cuckoos, past and present

Yesterday as we walked through Grūtas Park, my Dear One halted and said, “Hear that? The cuckoo?” I listened and heard twitters and warbles and caws, but no cuckoo. “It’s just like a clock—can’t you hear it?” No, I couldn’t. But later on, back at Romove Homestead, I thought I had wandered into a Swiss…

The New York Times and the Ethics of Eating Meat

Posted April 30th, 2012
The New York Times and the Ethics of Eating Meat

The New York Times sponsored a contest: “Defending your Dinner: An Open Contest for Hungry Ethicists.” I’m a sucker for contests, raffles and such, even though I never win. This effort met with predictable results. Because I was curious about when the “winners” might have their essays printed, I poked around on the Internet.  Much…

Procreation, Politics and Power or What I Learned in High School that I Need to Know in this Election Year

Posted March 25th, 2012
Procreation, Politics and Power or What I Learned in High School that I Need to Know in this Election Year

A few years back I found myself on camera with Regis Philbin on the quiz show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” A few days prior to that encounter, a factoid learned when I was sixteen drifted into my brain during a trivia-cramming-induced stupor. The information that floated back concerned the 19th century Englishman Thomas…