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Welcome to the Second Republic

Or: Lessons Learned from Ancient Rome In 27 BCE, the naval and land forces of Roman consul Octavian clashed with those loyal to Mark Antony and his Egyptian ally, Cleopatra. They met in the waters and on the lands around the Greek city of Actium, and the results were decisive, bringing an end to a…
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The Case for 2020: Year In Review

Alyssa and I were nestled tightly together on the sofa, watching Bridgerton and waiting patiently. At 11:50 p.m., I removed a bottle of Korbel from the refrigerator and popped the cork. At 11:55, I poured two glasses and sat them on the table. All the while, Miss Bridgerton and the Duke danced in the background. When…
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Care in the Time of Covid

With apologies to Señor Garcia Marquez   Every year since I moved to Tennessee, sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I’ve undertaken what has become an annual rite, a pilgrimage to the local doc-in-a-box for a steroid shot, a Z-pak, and a course of prednisone. This ritual comes courtesy of genes that despise ragweed, genes that rebel…
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Sinatra and Hepburn

The Jet Set

Or: How Little Mama Inspired Visions of a Glittering Future When I was about 12, my grandmother and I were sitting in the sunroom playing Gin and chatting. Memories of the subject of our conversation — the what or, more likely, the who — is a long-dead casualty to time. What I do remember, though, is…
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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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