There Was Nothing Wrong With His Life, Really

He’d sit up in the darkness staring across the inlet at the lighthouse on its pile of rocks, tossing its feeble light out into the fog rolling in off the lake. It was a ridiculous and hokey metaphor for exactly where he was in his life, but, what the hell, it was oddly comforting. The […]

Bees, Chanting, Etc.

Ruckert lived across a pasture from an order of monks who were famous for their gingerbread, their honey, and their singing. They’d supposedly sung at the White House once upon a time, and had made a few records. The had an orchard out behind the monastery, where they kept their bees, and Ruckert often saw […]

Off-Season's Greetings

I’m trying to crawl back into baseball, which essentially means crawling from the wreckage of last season, when various nagging injuries cut the year short for me and led to disappointment and then flat-out indifference. I’ve never in my years as a fan had a season like 2005, and I’m hoping that it was nothing […]

On (Off) the Air

I’m away from the desk this week. In all the sturm und drang of Christmas–I understand there’s a war on it–I failed to mention last week that I had a local radio appointment you might have been interested in. Anyway, I had a delightful time yesterday hanging out with the gifted and gorgeous Kerri Miller […]

Listen Up, You Little Nippers

There was a time, believe me or don’t, when machines didn’t have memories. They opened cans, maybe, or suctioned dirt from carpets, and that was plenty wonderful. We were happy as fucking clams when we no longer had to trudge out to a shed in the backyard to relieve ourselves. And put this in your […]

Easter On Christmas Eve: The Return Of Uncle Jumbo's Playground

–Illustration by James Dankert Here’s a new wrinkle in the gray, clanging days before Christmas: Uncle Jumbo has been playing miserable pet store Santa Claus, wrestling squirming cats and dogs and even the occasional bird or lizard in my lap while a wrinkled and alcoholic little temp-pool elf tries to snap photos for somebody’s sad […]

Christmas Eve

Those soft, colored lights that make such a comfortable compromise –almost a real peace– with the darkness. The shiny glass bulbs and talismans that have the power to both cradle light and build tiny fires from memories that are almost lost. The warmth from those fires is powerful out of all proportion: a window, a […]

The Santa On Sixth Street

–Irwin Norling My grandfather played Santa Claus for more than twenty years, purely, I liked to believe, out of the goodness of his heart. His annual ritual was completely a volunteer effort and a solo undertaking. This was in a small town in the Midwest, and every November my grandfather would build a tiny candy-striped […]

Vulcanized Rubber: Nine Lives of Modano

I seem to have worked out the losing streak, in that I can watch the Wild now and they can win. But I don’t seem to be able to see it through to the end. Three games in a row now–Boston, Montreal, and Dallas–have had quirks of one kind or another. In the middle of […]

A horse is a horse, of course, of course

This is a mule This is an ass. Know the difference. Not that Pawlenty’s screed against illegal immigrants left much doubt about the Republican position on what to do with them, but in case there was any lingering uncertainty, State House Speaker Steve (The Hammer) Swiggum weighed in today on the matter in an op-ed […]