A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song”

In which I, well, never mind This week we arrive at something that has been on my mind all year: the half-century of the release of one of the most special songs in popular music. I’ll execute a smooth transition out of last week by introducing it as the song that prompted Lennon to say,Continue reading “A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song””

80 Years

In which I renew my vows I fell in love with John Lennon a few months after turning thirteen. This might not sound like much to people who grew up in an era when everyone and their cat classified themselves by their favorite Beatle, a question that echoes through subsequent generations. But it was pivotalContinue reading “80 Years”

The Apple of America’s Eye

In which I look at an old legend through a new lens In an example of excellent seasonal timing, today is the historian-approved birth date of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Remember him? The guy who planted all those trees? Yeah, you know him. He was born in 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts, to…to…youContinue reading “The Apple of America’s Eye”

Any Tom, Dick, or Karen; Any Tom, Karen, or Dick

In which I face the facts (i.e., the cold-hearted cynic I am inside) This title cleverly references not only a number from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, but also the one-time husband of Karen Carpenter, Tom Burris. He serves no other purpose in this post. It came as absolute and very recent news to meContinue reading “Any Tom, Dick, or Karen; Any Tom, Karen, or Dick”

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 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”

An Emergence/Emergency Kit

In which I prepare a launch pad The wave of protests across the United States and beyond in pursuit of just responses to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and a whole horrible timeline of others–protests which, in their own right, have been mostly peaceful and entirely necessary–is different from previous expressionsContinue reading “An Emergence/Emergency Kit”

A Brief History of Gouda

In which I consider a career change One of my more bizarre priorities in this pandemic-induced wilderness has been maintaining access to good cheese. Don’t roll your eyes at me, it’s a legitimate concern. (Difficult enough in non-troubled times, if you ask me.) Anyway, I did recently happen upon some quality Gouda–tangy but mild, probablyContinue reading “A Brief History of Gouda”

Scott & Zelda Get Hitched

In which I celebrate an historic union One hundred years ago yesterday–on 3 April 1920–F. Scott Fitzgerald of Minnesota and Zelda Sayre of Alabama were married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They had known each other a year and a half and the letters were intense. Scott had recently been the latestContinue reading “Scott & Zelda Get Hitched”