The Long Hall

August 24, 2014

90

It was the summer of 1985. Jill and I were taking the first steps into our thirties, and while our goals were still ambitious, they were no longer earthshaking. The dream of changing the world had begun to fade, and we had started to focus on the smaller world right around us. We wanted what […]

Posted in: Family

Baffled as a Buffalo

August 17, 2014

86

My childhood was filled with peculiar sayings and expressions. I heard them so many times that I was sure they must have meant something, and equally sure that I was just too dumb to know what it was. Most of these phrases were employed by adults who, in the way of the mid-twentieth century, strove […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Outta Sight

August 9, 2014

89

“You’re just too cool.” That’s what she said. In fact, those were her exact words, which proves one thing: she’s never met me. No one has ever described me as cool, or any heat level, for that matter. If there were a television show called World’s Least Cool Human Being, I would be the permanent […]

Listen Carefully

August 1, 2014

85

Here’s a thing I’ve noticed. It has to do with accents, but the theory can be applied to a lot of other things, as well: The farther away we are from a place, the more everything seems to look and sound the same. I’ll give you an example, because so far you have no idea what […]

I Thought I’d Never Ask

July 24, 2014

91

Whenever I learn something brand new – when I read a book, watch a documentary, or go on a guided tour – I eventually find myself bothered by a nagging question about the subject. It’s never the same question, but it’s usually one that undermines the entire presentation. And I always think of it too […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Over the Moon?

July 16, 2014

60

Forty-five years ago, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn-5 rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy on Florida’s northeast coast. Carrying three astronauts, the spacecraft circled the globe one and a half times, then re-ignited its engines and headed toward the moon. Much of the human race watched, excited and nervous. Before Apollo 11, there had […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Unwavering Ambivalence

July 6, 2014

72

There was a time, when I was a teenager and therefore remarkably witless, that I fell for every crackpot idea that crossed my path. I was certain I had extrasensory perception, could move objects with my mind and see the future, and would eventually figure out how to walk through walls. I believed in ghosts, […]

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