Life & Culture

The Call

It was confirmed yesterday: we live in one of those neighborhoods where neighbors—grown, adult neighbors—get into fistfights. Perhaps it was a once-in-a-decade event, but it has somewhat darkened my view of the neighborhood. Particularly after Bellevue. Peaceful Bellevue. There, people didn’t... Read More


My Imperfect Relationship with the Truth

“The last common grandmother of humans and chimpanzees lived six million years ago.” I like that statement, and I believe it. Don’t we all believe things we like, things we want to believe? I like the idea that I’m closely related to chimpanzees. It reinforces my worldview, my makeshift... Read More


This Is Marijuana, Washington State, 2015.

The other day we were driving up to Sequim and saw one of those guys along the side of the road who twirl the signs, usually advertisements for a mattress or furniture sale. This guy’s sign said “Cheap Weed.” It reminded me that marijuana is just another commodity here. It also reminded me of... Read More


Who Goes Nazi?

I recently came across Dorothy Thompson’s 1941 Harper’s piece, “Who Goes Nazi?” In it she describes a party game in which you look around the room and decide who at the party would embrace Nazism in America. Thompson had been a correspondent in Germany during the 1920s and 30s before being... Read More


Civil Discourse

Facebook post to a “political discussion group” a week or two into Trump’s presidency: “Hey, I’ve been checking in occasionally without participating, but I have a question. What do you think about President Trump’s constant lying? Is it important or unimportant? We’ve seen him lie... Read More


My Obama

I dreamed last night that President Obama was at our house doing handyman work. He wore the dark suit and tie, looking presidential, but he was building something. He had run out of nails, so I was collecting old ones and cleaning them up for him. He opened a trap door in the yard and scrounged... Read More


You Can’t Win

I have these curious dreams where I’m with a group of people, say at a party or something, and they’re all extremely bright and witty and deep, and I sit there stumped and amazed as they spin verbal rings around me. Awake, I console myself with the knowledge that it’s all me, even the most... Read More


Family Feud

I recently humiliated someone very dear to me—publicly—and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I wish he hadn’t felt humiliated; on the other, I don’t regret what I did. This, I guess, is how feuds start. It began when he forwarded an email to me and about twenty other... Read More


Almost Barefoot

My birthday present. Running sandals. I took them out for a trial run today: Forty-nine degrees and muddy. My toes did get a bit cold and bloody—but the blood only because I stepped through some thorny undergrowth. The tread is quite flexible, so you can feel the rocks and roots. The right... Read More


My New Stride

I accidentally ran 13 miles yesterday. Accidentally because I set out to do about an 8-mile run up Tiger Mt., to start extending my miles for some sort of summer event, but we (LaRoo and I) made a wrong turn and ended up doing 13 miles. Eight miles just to reach the top of West Tiger 3, then... Read More