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Cooking the sausage

Creatures of Habit

Or: How backing into my parking space, making my bed every morning, and a Sunday frittata saved my life. Writing is a strange vocation to pick up. You take words — the things you and I use in conversation every day, whether we’re cajoling our kids (I’m looking at you, oh precious daughter o’ mine)…
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Death and the Maiden

I don’t remember when I first discovered Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14.”Death and the Maiden” was Schubert’s testament to the process of dying. He had fallen ill, apparently, and he wrote #14. If you’ve never heard it, you can listen to it here. It’s a remarkable piece of music, if only because the tumultuous Allegro…
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Capturing the Mood of a Moody People

Or: After 10 years, “Untitled” has a name   I don’t remember how long it was after 9/11 that I first I saw Richard Drew’s “Falling Man,” the stark, frightening image of a single individual plummeting down the face of the World Trade Center. What I do remember is how remarkably this one image captured…
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Godspeed, Captain Apollo

The first time I spoke to Richard Hatch, he was moderating a press junket at the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston as one of the headliners of Galacticon 3. For more than thirty years, Richard had been the standard bearer for the Battlestar Galactica universe, and more than a few press write-ups gave him credit for…
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Our People’s Princess

I was seven years old the first time I saw a movie without adult supervision. Lee Inabnet dropped her son, Byron, and me off at the Cinema III on Louisville Avenue in Monroe. To this day, I remember almost every single moment of that experience, from the smells of the popcorn and butter to the feel of…
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Butterfly Leaves

Or: On the joys of having four distinct seasons   Growing up in Louisiana, I never experienced the slow march of the seasons. In Louisiana, there’s Summer, and then there are about two months of this slightly less warm, wet thing called Winter, during which once every two or three years we experience a good…
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Red State Blue State, the State, Our State

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been accused of being a Clintonista leftist and a Trump-loving hatemonger, of being a sexist and a racist and of basking in my white privilege, of being a bleeding heart social justice crusader and wallowing in my victimhood. I’ve been told “that’s why you voted for Trump!” for…
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Pressure Cooker

Or: How to Make the Perfect Pot of Beans for a Cold Tennessee Day It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t own a pressure cooker, had never used a pressure cooker, and to be honest, wasn’t too sure I knew what one was. Jessica changed that on my 35th birthday, when she and her…
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Veblen was Right

Or: Gravitational Waves and the Complex Economics of Higher Learning in America   (Author’s Note: I began this post last night, but events of the day — namely a deadline and work followed by the governor’s speech mentioned below–conspired to delay completion. I’ll post twice today.)  Earlier today, I logged into the computer early, propped back…
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A Year in Review

Every year since 2005, one of the hallmarks of January was a “Year in Review” story for whichever newspaper or magazine I found myself writing at the time. What sounds like a herculean task–cramming an entire year’s worth of news or commentary–into a single article of no more than 2,200 words isn’t exactly the most…
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