Archive for September, 2006

The Bowie factor

I was a middle-class migrant worker for most of my adolescence because my father believed in hard work. I started at twelve in California picking bruised plums up off the ground to be dried for prunes. I walked acres of soy beans in Illinois, pulling weeds too small for equipment or chemicals. In Iowa, I […]

Farrell's turning off the Fawcett

Good readers, writing services It is with great regret that I announce that for the next two months I need to concentrate on preparing for my Psychiatry boards. Until Thanksgiving I will be setting aside sledge hammers, power drills, and computer keyboards to focus on much less creative projects.  I hope soon to pass through the final door […]

Not in my nature

The other day I ran into a colleague, and while we were doing our post-summer-chitchat-thing, she told me she had spent the better part of her summer volunteering as a wilderness ranger in the Sierra National Forest, an experience that involved hiking and working in some of the most remote and picturesque parts of California: […]

Not afraid (but the ass-beating shall remain strictly metaphorical, thank you very much)

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, Yo La Tengo (Matador, 2006) What do fans expect from long-established, long-loved bands? When we love them for what they are, are we really loving them just for what they’ve done for us in the past? How far are we, any of us, […]

Five years on: The things I can’t forget

That’s me, exactly five years ago — the morning of 11 September 2001. Until I dug this picture out today, I’d forgotten how long my sideburns were back then. My hair, too. I guess it was closer to the nineties than I realized at the time. There’s a lot more about that morning that I haven’t forgotten, […]

Stella’s SoHo shopping secrets

Disclaimer: as a non-New Yorker, Stella humbly recognizes that all information below may be inaccurate, out-dated, or frankly irrelevant. I love shopping in NYC. I love to shop in SoHo. But do not have the budget to match. However, over the past several years I have learnt to navigate the cute and snooty boutiques and […]

Tales from the office

Hilda Hilda complained that her neurologist was rude. The doctor accused Hilda of having a poor memory and being incompetent to take care of her own affairs. He insisted that Hilda get an MRI scan of the brain to identify signs of brain deterioration. And he wanted her to take a new medicine. At age […]

How we roll

You begin by accepting the charge to organize a “reward” field trip for the school where you work. Recognize that it’s an honor to be considered for such a job, a privilege. And what with permission slips, insurance, and transportation to consider, a supreme mind-fuck. Two-hundred teenagers. Feel both pride and confusion. You love them; […]

Five years on

The banner on the Scholastic News featurette helpfully informs us of the significance of the terrorist attacks of five years ago: “9/11/2001: The Day That Changed America.” The phrase “9/11 changed everything” turns up about 78,000 times on Google and nearly as many times in your average Dick Cheney speech. Five years on, the media […]

Summer soundtracks, part three: End of the evening

In 2002, my album of the summer was Lambchop’s Is A Woman. It was the perfect record for the end of the evening, friends gone, dishes loaded, a tiny splash of a nice single-malt scotch as a nightcap. A little bit countrypolitan, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit of everything in between […]