Always Changing, Probably

I don’t often write about work, and my family and friends seem so befuddled about it that I rarely even bring it up. It’s not fascinating or earth-shattering, but I do enjoy it.

First, a little background: When I finished my undergraduate work (English and anthropology), I knew I wanted to work in publishing, preferably academic publishing. I was certain I did not want to teach, and really, what else is there for an English major but publishing or writing? So I continued with a master’s degree in publishing. Was it more than I needed? Perhaps. It also… Read More …

Everything and Nothing

I’ve never been a big fan of Robin Williams’ comedy. I often found his frenzied standup painful to watch and sometimes had to turn from talk shows during his segments, because even his interviews were just too manic during my “wind down” time. I was wary of his movies for the same reason, and I haven’t seen many of them. I have, however, always been a fan of Robin Williams, the man.

No, he wasn’t a hero by any stretch and didn’t accomplish… Read More …

Happy Discoveries

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, life is pretty short. I try to spend mine discovering anything and everything, big and small, bizarre and mundane.

No matter where I go—to and from work, out for a stroll behind my building, or walking through my neighborhood—I am constantly taking inventory. My eyes scan everything around me, detecting the least little speck of something out of place. (Ask Susanne—she’s witnessed me spotting the tiniest of things in the forest floor on many of our hikes together.)

So it was nothing new to… Read More …

Burying Daddy

Ten years ago today, my father died. But there’s a lot that I didn’t bury with him.

You see, Daddy (pronounced děd-ee for us Mississippi kids) was kind of an enigma. He could be a cruel, selfish, and uncaring drunk, especially on weekends. Or he could be quiet, silly, and even caring at times. And even his bad side varied widely, ranging from simply being absent to purposely destroying any hope for peace and tranquility at home.

Of course there were… Read More …

Getting Jazzy

For all its quaint, laid-back charm, Vermont likes a good time!

Having a few errands in the Burlington area, I decided to check out a few of the free outdoor performances of the Discover Jazz Festival—and to see how much Vermonters enjoy the outdoor performances. I was not disappointed.

On the center block ofof the Marketplace, Burlington’s own The High Breaks were performing their not-quite-jazz but very enjoyable surf rock. I believe I heard… Read More …

Oh, Alaska… I mean, Vermont!

Back in the day, I loved that silly network show Northern Exposure. The humor and the quirky characters were a great escape from the dullitries¹ of college chores and work, and the storylines often played out like Alaska was some foreign land, long before Sarah Palin came along.

The kicker for me was always the wandering moose, which acted as the unofficial mascot of the show. At the time, a moose seemed about as American as a camel. (Isn’t a moose just a … Read More …

Oh, how I ♥ New York!

When spring arrives in New York City, something special happens.

As warmer, drier weather sets in and the days get longer, outdoor dining returns, music fills the streets, and pedestrians find many more reasons to smile. New York is a happier, friendlier place in spring, and the increase in outdoor activity is the obvious sign.

But in a place that gets a reputation for having no joy or sense of humor, spontaneous outbursts of either (or both) are a much better glimpse into the… Read More …

Brushing Ants

When you’re four, the world is a very big place. Every turn is a potential discovery—or a potential danger. Only adults can really help you tell the difference.

For me, the world barely covered two southwest Mississippi counties, but it seemed expansive. Trips to Mamaw’s seemed like an all day chore, even though she lived about 8 miles away. Visiting my father’s family in Brookhaven seemed like driving to another world, and we didn’t have much use to drive to McComb very often, except for the special trip to Winn-Dixie or Rose’s—until the 1975 tornado destroyed them. So we spent most of our time in that little green house near Summit. And it was like heaven for us kids.

We had the pond just across the barbed wire fence, and every rain created a creek that ran into it. We’d sometimes… Read More …

Postcards from the Undertaker

Yeah, I’ve been a bit quiet for the last month or so, but there’s a good reason. I’m pretty sure Mother Nature is out to get me! You see, the snow, ice, and sub-zero temps no longer bother me, so she decided to throw me a fastball.

Just over a month ago, I noticed a mild sore throat one Friday afternoon while walking home from work. No biggie, I thought, it was just the usual road-salt induced dryness. After all, there had been a cloud of salt hovering over Main Street for a few days.

But by the following Monday I was at 102° F and hacking up a lung nearly 24 hours a day. I didn’t… Read More …

Curse of an Overactive Mind

So, Amazon shamed me recently. Yeah, that Amazon—that online orgy of toys, electronics, music, movies, books, groceries, this, that, and everything else. Apparently, they still want to sell books and decided to shame customers by sharing a list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. The list is from the folks at, a website for readers by readers, so not all the books are classics or even literature—just books that readers think readers should read. For Amazon, the intent was likely to get the folks shopping for frivolous junk to pause and think about books. And I did.

You see, despite having an MA in English & Publishing, I… Read More …