Skip to content

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Wrens are not Squirrels

A Carolina Wren sang from the upper branches of the Japanese Persimmon. The song was more warble-y than usual, and I went to the back door to listen and watch, slowly closing the patio door since the heat of the day had arrived. Another Wren in the pond caught my attention. It was splashing in the […]

Wrensong and Rainfall

“Matamoros is getting it,” Trudy said. Like her mother, she loves watching weather radar. She held out her phone. A bright red band was smeared across the map. It came in from the Gulf and passed inland right over the spot where the map showed Matamoros to be. “Corpus is getting it.” There was another […]

Pond Plans

All our tiny backyard pond plans have come together.

Essential Work

1. Ron We worked in a big room filled with desks and tables. One wall was made out of glass and looked out onto a hallway. This used to be the mainframe room, the 60s era computing technology that got the astronauts to the moon. Our computers were Sun workstations that sat on the tables. […]

I Do

“I like your writing, except…” “Except what?” “Except that you write so much in the first person. It’s all me, me, me, I, I, I.” “I’m telling stories.” “Stories in which you seem to always have a cameo if not prominent role.” “You’re right. I’m sorry. I do.”

Quite Meta and Very Meta

1. Tangential Background Years ago, the University of Illinois had a 5-year joint liberal arts/engineering undergraduate program. I was curious. Eventually (some time during my freshman year), and in spite of the Engineering Dean’s pronouncement that “that program is meant for civil engineers who want to build bridges in South America,” I enrolled. What degrees […]

Pest Control

1. He must have thought we were easy marks. After knocking at the door and stepping back, the salesman started pitching his pest control.  “We’re not interested,” I said, turning to close the door. “But,” he said, looking and pointing at the two wasp nests under the eaves. “I know about them,” I said. “We’re […]

Tutoring and More

1. The End of Dreaming Years ago, something happened in my brain. I stopped remembering my dreams. Stopped remembering so completely that I wake up every day with a blank slate, as if nothing happened all night.  Sometimes there’s an echo of a dream. Once or twice, I have recognized where the dream took place […]


So the end of the massive disk herniation story is this: the back injection worked. Except… that’s not quite the end. Although within days the pain had substantially receded, the fact is that I had been on my back for almost two weeks. And in the process, the crystals in my ear had migrated to […]

Lost and Found Songs

1. Jotting Down Songs There was a time when I would jot down a song or singer whenever I heard something I liked. Sometimes it was on the last page of the journals I used to keep. Sometimes it was a quickly scribbled note on a notepad. Sometimes it was on the outside of the […]