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Footpower vs. Horsepower

on March 30th, 2014 by mark

I never thought to hate an object so much as I do now. And it is an obscene object, at that. It’s black and heavy, covered in soot and soil, dirt and grime. But everywhere I go these days, I have to carry it with me–like a ball and chain, limping along, the report of […]

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Riding the Low

on March 15th, 2014 by mark

I’ve wanted to move forward from the last post about which I was rather pleased. It was cathartic for me to write that in some ways but in other ways, it took a great deal of effort to process it once I’d written it. I know that in these pages, I’ve recounted my childhood and […]

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How Writing Saved My Life

on February 8th, 2014 by mark

Sometimes the walls just closed in. A hotel room can be a place of liberation, yes. When you’re seven-years old and your parents take you for the first overnight that you remember. You’re far from home, the sea is right on the other side of the bluff where your room is, and the waves crash […]

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Don’t Write about the Weather

on February 1st, 2014 by mark

It is gloriously cold-cool most might say-and I am reveling in it. I awoke this morning around 7 to come down to a house thermometer that read 64 degrees. In the house. No wonder I was chilly. I put a pot of coffee on and turned the thermostat up to 68 to warm my cold […]

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One Step up-Two Steps Back

on January 18th, 2014 by mark

Jarvis’s death at Christmas-time and a host of other, much smaller issues, simply put the wind out of the sails. As I write, I am taking a much appreciated day off-almost entirely (I had a phone call from an interview subject). I have come to the end of the first semester of my 23rd year […]

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Resolved

on December 31st, 2013 by mark

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, […]

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Jarvis Streeter

on December 24th, 2013 by mark

I met Jarvis Streeter in 1988. He was teaching a course on Theology at California Lutheran University where I was a student. The January interim term was a month-long period where students either went home or could take a course that was a little bit more “loose,” a little more focused in one area. Jarvis’s […]

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A Christmas Memory (with apologies to Truman Capote)

on December 15th, 2013 by mark

In the distant corners of my Christmas memories lie the hard charging ghosts of Midwest cold and snow, east coast relatives and Pennsylvania ponds covered in ice fit for skating. This time of year comes around and though most of my life has been spent in Southern California, I still expect snow, cold and quiet […]

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Captain Phillips

on November 27th, 2013 by mark

Tom Hanks brings to every movie he makes a kind of sincerity that I love to watch. He’s been type-cast, that’s true and perhaps with some reason, but to say that he cannot or does not stretch himself is simply wrong. Hanks can act. In his new film, Captain Phillips, Hanks brings a kind of […]

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Darryl Wagar

on November 24th, 2013 by mark

Darryl’s smile was infectious. He bounced when he walked and he never really seemed to stand still. He was always swaying or moving, pointing things out, describing what was going to happen next. Darryl had vision. The only time I ever saw him frown was at a Pleasant Valley Recreation and Parks District Board meeting […]

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