The unmatched gloom of the dying mall

There is hardly a place more depressing than a dying mall. The vastness of the decay. The long-ago cheer. A space requiring fullness, vacuumed out.

Only in an emergency would I end up in one. But when I landed in Atlanta, I found that a packing error had rendered me sports jacket-less. Continue reading “The unmatched gloom of the dying mall”

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A good way to spend a minute

I first read ‘Your Blinded Hand’ by Tennessee Williams in The New Yorker six years ago. It’s proven to be unforgettable. It was published 18 days after the arrival of my first-born son, and I read it while still floating, amazed by my joy, which is partly why it has left such an impression, I guess. But regardless, it’s a powerful depiction of our desperate belief that, in the face of disaster and despair, we will not be alone. It both warms and haunts. I thought it should have a place on this blog. Continue reading “A good way to spend a minute”

Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping

We hit the road for our first Cub Scout camping trip, to Westgate River Ranch, an outdoor oasis in the middle of anonymous, sprawling scrubland — a wonderland of vast fields, bulls standing sternly at fences daring you to come just a little closer, a rodeo arena with its dazzling orange dirt, a saloon, all on the wide and wild Kissimmee River. Other than a lesson on the joys of being immersed in the outdoors while with a couple hundred outstanding people, here’s what we learned: Continue reading “Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping”

Politicize. Yes, please, politicize.

Of all the disgusting, empty, infuriating comments I’ve read about gun control since the Las Vegas massacre, the most frustrating and moronic has been that it’s wrong to ‘politicize’ it.

‘I think it’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this,’ the Senate Majority Leader [Mitch McConnell] said. ‘It just happened in the last day and a half.’

‘…conservatives accused Democrats of politicizing a tragedy: “I just think is disgusting,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said,’ CNN wrote.

How insensitive, they seem to be saying, to discuss a solution to a problem so soon after another example of the problem. But if your 3-year-old drowned in a pool, would it be insensitive to discuss what brand of pool fence to buy to prevent your 2-year-old from drowning, too? Continue reading “Politicize. Yes, please, politicize.”