Category: Short & Sweet

Ella Konik: 1993-2008

Ella Guinevere Konik died peacefully last night at home in her bed, surrounded by family. She was close to 15 1/2.  Frank Sinatra once told an interviewer, “They say you only live once. But if you have a life like mine, once is enough.” Ella’s time on Earth was like that. A white-lab and greyhound...

The Primary Benefit of Movie Previews

A steadily increasing majority of moviegoers — at least the ones I talk with — are becoming increasingly unsteady in their reaction to the previews shown before presentations of feature films. The advertising and promos for Dolby and THX are oppressive enough, they say. Must we be assaulted with 15 minutes worth of previews?  I...

Poem: At the Pig Races

If you were made to run around a wood-chip track, where, at the end, in your barn, a snack reward awaited, would you run faster than you do? Would you pause for a porcine moment to consider to muse: For what am I running to? Or, what am I running from? When you win and have your...

The Political Odds

With the early returns from Iowa in hand, those inclined to wager on the next President of the United States can find betting “lines” (odds) on various illegal gambling sites. Although our friends in the middle of the country, land of cornfields and “core values”, might not be perfectly representative of the average voter in,...

New Year’s Resolution

Consume less. Less oil. Less water. Less electricity. In 2007, our family managed to switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless one. We’re exploring solar panels for our roof in 2008. We went from the traditional two-car arrangement to one, augmented by increased bicyle use and forays on public transportation. We intend on...

Our American System: A Logic Problem

Given: In a capitalist economic system, profiting at the expense of others is permissible and encouraged.  Given: The surest way to business success is to eliminate competition. Given: Government is an institutionalized system of redistributing wealth. Given: American politicians are avowed capitalists, motivated by the same self-interested desires as other devout capitalists. Given: Many laws...

Poem: The Tree Regarding Himself

If there is nothing so lovely as a tree, what, in idle moments,  Does a tree gaze upon for pleasure?  The bird, yellow and daft?  The squirrel, dancing from trunk to branch, a ballerina on the bark?   Modesty, Mommy Nature says, is our greatest virtue. Recognize how small and insignificant your roots and branches and...

A Listener’s Manifesto

After spending the past week performing in jazz clubs around the East Coast, I ‘ve come to understand that some people go to live music venues for reasons other than listening to live music. Although the booze and food could certainly be found cheaper, the ambiance of a jazz club apparently makes the wining and...

The Nicest Part of a Worship Service

I don’t attend church services regularly. All the salvation talk is a little much. But when I do, my favorite moment is when the leader asks the congregation to give salutations to those around them. Strangers introduce themselves. Old friends share a handshake. Couples embrace.  In those gentle moments, when the warnings and imperatives have...