A Love Letter to José Carioca, Rio de Janeiro

In which the past catches up with me My dear Joe, We met at least twenty years ago, so I’ve always considered you a friend, but it’s different now. Aside from the standard byproduct of aging that causes one to see the hallmarks of childhood in a new light and with a new appreciation, IContinue reading “A Love Letter to José Carioca, Rio de Janeiro”

How *Am* I?

In which I do not seriously ask that question, thank God Language is weird. My relationship to language learning has always been marked both by eagerness and a measure of trepidation, an uncertainty born of having to consciously try. I grew up in a monolingual household–it’s been at least two generations since either side ofContinue reading “How *Am* I?”

Singular Sensation

In which Broadway’s Broadwayest musical turns 45 There’s no shortage of subjects I could chase this week. The album Taylor Swift surprised us with that no one was emotionally ready for. The utter circus my expat life is becoming as I wait on important answers from oversaturated offices. The fact that I’m using my limitedContinue reading “Singular Sensation”

Washington Irving, Berlin

In which I ruminate on an eerie visitation and the man behind it Excuse me while I congratulate myself on that terribly clever title. A writer I love overlapping a composer I love overlapping a city I love which happens to be where I live? Oh, Cecilia, you crack-up. *pats own back* Just kidding. (SortContinue reading “Washington Irving, Berlin”

A Moment Alone in the Shade

In which I contemplate a pilgrim’s progress I would bet a ten-dollar-Founding-Father bill that you expected my title to refer in some way to the room where it happens. Well, kids, I’m full of surprises. Besides, there is no longer one ‘room’: everyone who has witnessed the production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton available on Disney+Continue reading “A Moment Alone in the Shade”

Stones Studies, Part III: The once and future Mr. Jones

In which I am blinded by one brief shining moment Let me tell you about my favorite member of the Rolling Stones (though I can’t seem to shut up about Charlie, so). He’s dead; he’s been dead a long time. Fifty-one years to the day, in fact. As the received wisdom among fans goes, “noContinue reading “Stones Studies, Part III: The once and future Mr. Jones”

Stones Studies, Part II: Character portraits, best practices

In which I dip into the cult of personality Welcome back. Or, if you’re new here, welcome (and go get up to speed). As I’ve mentioned, in paring down a fifty-plus-year career to what resonates with me, I arrived at the material spanning 1968-72, give or take a bit on each side; okay, let’s sayContinue reading “Stones Studies, Part II: Character portraits, best practices”

A Birthday Salute to Paul Laurence Dunbar

In which I mark a poet whose work has occupied my mind Allow me a moment out of my other endeavors to devote to a topic of true import. A few months or lifetimes ago, as social institutions and governments responded to the pandemic by mandating masks in public, it didn’t take long for aContinue reading “A Birthday Salute to Paul Laurence Dunbar”

Stones Studies, Part I: Watts happening

In which I pay tribute to the single one of these people that I know what to make of Consider a band. They build a reputation on noise and pugnacity, in both their music and their behavior. One of them has wildly surpassed the once-improbable fantasy of upward mobility he set for himself. One has,Continue reading “Stones Studies, Part I: Watts happening”

Stones Studies: An Overview

In which I introduce a thermostat-inspired trilogy Something happens to me as spring turns into summer. It’s been an annual occurrence since 2012. The change in the weather, the ratcheting-up of the heat, impels me to spend some amount of time (brief or not) absorbing everything the “World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band” did betweenContinue reading “Stones Studies: An Overview”