When I was a child in Montgomery, Alabama, during the very early sixties, I can remember certain areas around town that spent much of the year buried under a green and hairy shroud that covered telephone poles, buildings, billboards, trees, parked cars, slow-moving pedestrians: the dreaded kudzu.Continue reading ““There was an old lady…””
The USS Arizona, destroyed during the bombing.
Today I’m doing something a little different, in recognition of Memorial Day: I’m inviting a guest to speak to my readers. My mother was a child living at Hickam Field on the Hawaiian island of Oahu when it was bombed by Japanese planes on December 7, 1941. Needless to say, she remembers the occasion well, and has offered to write about it here. I’ve added a few sidebar notes for historical context, and edited very slightly for length, but otherwise, these are her own words. Enjoy!
A generation of teenage boys seemed to feel that this was the height of feminine appeal. (Of course many of them probably did not have many opportunities for comparison.)
I’ve recently been browsing through various online resources for artists — how-to’s, advice about materials, online portfolios, etc. — and I’ve noticed something that disturbs me: When did “Learn How to Draw” come to mean “Learn How to Draw Natalie Portman in Star Wars Makeup”?Continue reading “In the Eye of the Beholder.”
“The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563) — We used to think it was a good idea to understand each other.
I often read novels by Latin-American authors in the original Spanish.
I know, I know: at least part of the reason for doing it is just to be able to make statements like that — we all carve out these nuggets of self-esteem where we can find them — but the fact remains that some stars really do shine brighter in the universes that gave them birth.Continue reading “The View from the Tower”
“Black Square” by Kasimir Malevich. What happens when the artist refuses compromise?
I’ve known a fair number of so-called “creative” people in my time — I consider myself one of them — and there is one thing that we all seem to have in common: we’re always reaching, unsuccessfully, for control.Continue reading “The Mutually Exclusive Club”
This is not what everyone thinks of when they hear the word “rose”, but that’s what it is, all right: depending on where you live, it’s the baby rose, rambler rose, Japanese rose, or seven-sisters rose. Got all that?
Years ago, while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my partner and I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who was considered throughout the neighborhood to be a gardener of some skill. When we finally received an invitation to venture past the ten-foot privacy fencing into his little slice of paradise, we jumped at the chance to see what a Florida garden was supposed to look like.Continue reading “The Name of the Rose”
Portrait of the artist as a young moustache. As his career took off, his personal grooming took over.
Today, May 11, is the anniversary of the birth of painter Salvador Domènec Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol — better known to most of us as Salvador Dalí. Had he lived, he would be 108 years old today, an accomplishment that he might have celebrated in some way involving camels, scuba gear, an IBM Selectric typewriter, and oregano.Continue reading “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus”
I’ve always considered myself something of a political animal, but I think this time I’ve wandered into the wrong zoo.
I admit that there’s a tendency, at my age, to find all kinds of unfavorable comparisons between life today and in my youth: the movies are not as exciting, the music is not as original, the tomatoes are not as tomato-ey — and the politicians I see today all seem to have come right out of the same factory somewhere on the outskirts of Shanghai.Continue reading “Wild Kingdom.”
The Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, which means “Silvery-Ash Colored Dog with a Tail”. The Red Fox, on the other hand, is Vulpes vulpes, which means “Fox-Fox”. There must have been a committee.
The foxes are at it again.
It’s hard to believe something that doesn’t come from the fifth planet of Arcturus could make such a strange assortment of noises. Rattling, choking, yipping, barking, whining, screeching — It’s like my family at dinner when I was fifteen.Continue reading “Foxed”