Author Archive

A Civilized Sip

There are a few literary works I like to read or see as a production around the end-of-year/Christmas season (I note here that Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, now beat to death in front of audiences for decades, is not one of them).  On one end of the scale I like to dust off my copy of Samuel

The Ultimate Pod Cast

Sue me, sue me, what can you do me?   So sings Nathan Detroit in Guys & Dolls.  Poor Nathan.  He sings his heart out to his girl who just wants him to go away (Don’t worry hopeless romantics, it has a happy ending).  Lately I’ve found myself transposing a few words to that tune, arriving at

Dressing Up The Money Machine

In the silences of a post-industrial space I often walk the once-purposeful streets of the industrial age that formed the gritty chessboard of an Upstate city.  The avenues are often broad in design, rigid in direction, devoid of any tree or shrub.   The tilted shadows, turned out of their corners, run away from old stilled buildings and stretch themselves out across the mostly

Rooting Out The Good Stuff

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, Of carrots and kings – And why the sea is boiling hot, And whether pigs have wings.”   The first time I read “The Walrus And The Carpenter” I knew this stanza would become my favourite.  While

The Ideal Winter – Warm and Sweet

Well, dog-gonnit.  The temperatures drop at this time of year – and I mean drop – and everything plunges with it.  As the tomato vines and once bright sunflower faces wither, crisp, and fall to the ground, I reach for the two things that will sustain me for the journey through the long winter tunnel

Flapping My Wings With Both Feet On The Ground

I like terra firma, people around me will often hear me say.  We weren’t built to live under the ocean, fly off into the heaviside layer (the woolx layer is much more comfortable), or rocket pell mell to distant solar systems.  Perhaps in an earlier moment along the ancestry line,  we swam with the fishes.   I’ve always liked

In the Company of Strangers

We’d been to the west, having explored Istanbul, the gateway to Central Asia, on our way into Azerbaijan.  We’d been south, taking a southbound train from Baku to the border of Iran, allowing us to access an astonishing country with equally astonishing people.  From where we live in Baku, tracks also stretched north and northwest deep into the

Slurping it up with Woolx

There are beaten paths and then there are beaten paths.  The path we chose had been beaten so badly it disappeared finally into the mud.  And that was exactly what we wanted. “This weekend!” “This weekend what?” “We’ve put it off long enough,” she said.  “There’s always something that comes up that gets in the

A View from the Bridge

In a clear memory I stand on a bridge, a very old bridge, and look back at Prague Castle on the high ground.  The bridge is  made of stone, hand hewn, and black.  However, this bridge wasn’t made from black stone.  Rather, Charles Bridge became black over time.  Though built of clean, washed stone, the effects of coal

Khrushchev, Planning, and Woolx

Soviet apartment buildings didn’t always win a beauty in architecture award.  Often grim and uninspiring, concrete assemblies that spoke more to modernist surrealism than any attempt to capture grace, they appealed to populations in great need of housing and a state apparatus in great need of scripting a brave new world for the new social group.  The overwhelming drive to