Archive for September, 2007

Do you know what it means…

… to miss New Orleans?

After a long hiatus: The return of the short reviews

Linda Thompson, Versatile Heart (Rounder, 2007) The death knell of the “album” is ringing out all over the land. With sales drastically plummeting, the long player (digital or analog) is going the way of the 78 rpm. Occasionally, though, a dying form will cough up a gem as it heads to extinction. Thompson’s first release […]

Guns, germs, steel…and Oprah

America’s cultural tradition has come to include the concept that all people deserve equal rights. However, women in many nations (including the United States) are subject to injustices that range from lower wages to spousal abuse, rape, lashing, and stoning. Understandably, among many Americans there is an outcry to intervene in the most extreme cases, […]

My friend the Satanvertible

(With a nod to S. Wells and apologies to anyone who read the earlier version of this post on that other website we shall not name.) When I moved to LA six months ago, one of the first things I needed to do was buy a car. I come from a proudly used-car-buying, loan-averse clan, […]

Americans in Paris, part II

“Whenever we hit a city we haven’t been to before,” our friend Lynn told us as she put us on the bullet train to Paris from Aix en Provence, “we try to spend at least part of our time underground. The Paris sewer tour is a good idea, but if you have to choose, see the catacombs.” Turns […]

The best kept secret

I just got back from my favorite night out of the year. The National Endowment for the Arts presents around a dozen master artists in the traditional and folk arts with $20,000 and the lifetime honor of being a National Heritage Fellow. People are nominated each year for avocations as diverse as Carolinian stick dancing […]

Thursday open thread: Out now edition

Still no volunteers for Thursday Playlists. So: politics. Do any of our five or so readers still think the U.S. should stay in Iraq longer than the few months it would take to effect an orderly withdrawal? Matt Yglesias offers the following: I still hear it often said, including by liberal-minded people, that all serious […]

What I did on my summer vacation

Cue Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died.” It began on my way to the bus, with a phone call from my oldest, dearest friend, Meghan, who, through static interference and intermittent service, told me that our friend Q had died. For some reason I continually misunderstood her – I kept asking “who?” – for some reason […]


Today marks the end of two weeks without alcohol. Self-imposed and quite arbitrary. Glad I did it, glad it’s over. Why did I do it? I’d been thinking about it for a while — wanted to feel healthier, look better, see how hard it would be to abstain. One week was too short a period, […]

I am, as it turns out, quite clean.

The past few months since I quit writing my blog, Is there no sin in it?, I’ve felt a little unmoored. I keep telling myself it’s a good thing, not blogging, not sharing every thought I have with a thousand strangers a day. I had started to feel like I couldn’t have an experience without […]