Michael

Music Fix

May 27, 2009

I make no secret of my adoration for The Avett Brothers, a band I fell for even harder after seeing them live last summer. For that concert at the Oregon Zoo, I stood in a monsoon-like rain, oblivious to the drenching. Now I’ve seen them again, this time indoors last Friday night at the Crystal […]

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Alternate Universes

May 24, 2009

I pass the bathroom door. Our soon-to-be four year old, Atticus, is seated naked on the toilet. His mother is next to him. Atticus is holding her iPhone, which is playing a YouTube video of Sesame Street, a technique for scaring off the constipation spirits. Surely no one forecast such a scene more than a […]

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Slumming in the City

May 19, 2009

Movement outside the bathroom window. Peering through the blinds, I see a heron atop the neighbor’s garage. It’s scoping out the goldfish in our small backyard pond. Some are so large they’re often mistaken for koi. All are oblivious to the harbinger of death gazing upon them.

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Taken by time

May 16, 2009

When I was in college, my roommate and I often drove back roads deep into the Georgia woods. The roads would narrow to little more than rocky rutted paths. With no idea of our whereabouts and not caring, we’d then walk until the forest enveloped us. It was aimlessness with purpose, a meandering quest for […]

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Cancer With Wry Smile

May 9, 2009

I’m a big fan of a guy’s blog. He’s a storyteller, and a damn good one. Even if he wasn’t, he’d win my award for best blog name: And I Am Not Lying. Jeff Simmermon hasn’t posted much lately, and I just found out why: he apparently has testicular cancer. His account of learning about […]

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Spring flower girl

May 9, 2009

In evening light, she and a friend drift past my house. “Can I take a picture of your hat?” No hesitation or strange look in her response, only a guileless yes. “What’s the occasion?” She glances at her friend. “I make them all the time from what I see along the sidewalk.” Lilac today, maybe […]

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Showing my age, I remember when teenagers called AM radio stations at night to dedicate songs to girls or boys they liked. The lyrics communicated things they couldn’t say face to face. In junior high school, I was one of the them. Sometimes we masked our identity but made clear whom the song was intended. […]

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Blood Puddle Pillow

May 7, 2009

When my wife and I were dating, I went to her apartment. She greeted me with an enigmatic smile. Smelling faintly of perfume, she led me upstairs to the bedroom. On the floor was a chalk outline, like those drawn around a dead body at a crime scene. It was me, she said. Today I […]

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What’s the context of these quotes from the epigraph page of a book I bought today? Not the unfolding torture scandal, though it could be. Instead they set the tone for Savages & Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America’s Road to Empire Through Indian Territory by Paul VanDevelder.

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Wine and Wind

May 3, 2009

We had crowded into a building filled with tables filled with wine. As we — wife and another couple — snaked through lines of people and sampled the wares of artisanal vintners, rain began drumming on the roof like it does in Florida, not Oregon. The sound drowned out the chatter. Wind swept through open […]

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Story Quest

April 30, 2009

I’m lost in the Lost City of Z. When I open the book in bed at night, my world disappears. Reality becomes author David Grann‘s riveting account of the obsessive hunt for a place that may have never existed. Grann had phenomenal material without visiting what may be the remotest place on Earth. His adventure, […]

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Dog Boy

April 25, 2009

I swear it’s true: Dog Boy, aka son Atticus, asked to enter a dog carrier. (Please, no calls to  the child abuse hotline.) His mother consented (arrest her, not me). Photographic proof here:

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Classroom Chaos

April 24, 2009

I can’t imagine a more poignant or tragic portrayal of classroom chaos than that depicted in the French film The Class. Fictional but shot documentary style, the story shows a teacher’s persistent but futile attempt to reach students mired in pubescent rebellion and complex culture clashes. Throughout the film I kept thinking of my school […]

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