The Surprisingly Interesting History of Winter Landscape Painting, Pt. 2/4: 1870-1900

Hey folks! I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this 4-part series from a couple days ago. I've now finished compiling part 2. I'm going to go ahead and repost most of my introduction from the first post providing some background for this weird project. The paintings follow. Here you go: [M]y latest obsession—as odd …

Continue reading The Surprisingly Interesting History of Winter Landscape Painting, Pt. 2/4: 1870-1900

Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a “Podcast”: Episode 1

Look, I've never made a podcast, never been on a podcast, and generally don't listen to podcasts. But I do miss talking to my friends, most of whom are scattered to the four corners of the earth. I also enjoy talking about interesting topics — politics, current events, art, music, literature, pop culture, high culture, …

Continue reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a “Podcast”: Episode 1

The Surprisingly Interesting History of Winter Landscape Painting, Pt. 1/4: 1400-1870

Happy 2021, folks! I don't know about you, but I'm definitely feeling a great swell of hope and gratitude as we move forward into this new year, with its promise of vaccines, a reopened economy, and rekindled friendships and community ties. Fingers crossed! Anyway, as many of you know, I have a bit of an …

Continue reading The Surprisingly Interesting History of Winter Landscape Painting, Pt. 1/4: 1400-1870

Merry Christmas, in Love and Squalor

This is no time for a child to be born […]Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.-- Madeleine L'Engle It goes without saying: Things are not okay. Most people I know are downright soul-sick from ten months of cabin fever, anxiety, ennui, social/physical famine, episodic mental health collapses, and the various forms of unhealthy …

Continue reading Merry Christmas, in Love and Squalor

One More on Advent: the Spirit of Santa, Miracle on 34th Street, Bridesmaids, AA, the Beatitudes, and G. K. Chesterton’s “Unreasonable” Hope

Hope is a strange invention—A Patent of the Heart—In unremitting actionYet never wearing out— -- Emily Dickinson Happy Christmas Eve folks! Christmas is finally almost here, but it turns out I had a few assorted Advent thoughts I still wanted to spew out at you. Here goes… I love the holidays, gaudy kitsch and all. …

Continue reading One More on Advent: the Spirit of Santa, Miracle on 34th Street, Bridesmaids, AA, the Beatitudes, and G. K. Chesterton’s “Unreasonable” Hope

My Nine Favorite Sparkling Water Flavors of 2020

Here’s another free advertising post. I used to look down on my nose at people who drank canned sodas all the time—don’t they know how bad it is for their health! But no more. The pandemic has made me a soda addict. Granted, I’m not drinking the old syrupy stuff that gave my grandfather diabetes, …

Continue reading My Nine Favorite Sparkling Water Flavors of 2020

Stripping Away Everything but the Gospel: An Advent-Tinged Reflection on Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town

Bruce Springsteen, Haddonfield, NJ, 1978 Look, I get it. We’re all sick of “Advent.” The liturgical season of waiting may have started less than a month ago, but it feels like we’ve all been living it for the past nine months. And yet, in some sense, that’s the point. This dark wintery season is supposed …

Continue reading Stripping Away Everything but the Gospel: An Advent-Tinged Reflection on Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town

An Alternative Holiday Playlist: 40 Classic Dance Hits That All Have the Words “Boogie,” “Shake,” “Groove,” “Dance,” or “Funk” in the Title

I actually love Christmas music, both secular and spiritual. I’m not a curmudgeon about it. But it’s also nice to mix things up sometimes, and today I thought you might need a little boogie music to liven up your Advent. A couple days ago, Hannah and I were decorating the Christmas tree and listening to …

Continue reading An Alternative Holiday Playlist: 40 Classic Dance Hits That All Have the Words “Boogie,” “Shake,” “Groove,” “Dance,” or “Funk” in the Title

Stubborn Burros: Why Intrafaith Dialogue May Be More Important Than Interfaith Dialogue These Days

[A]s far as I'm concerned, he can go to hell. -- Fmr. President Jimmy Carter on Jerry Falwell, Sept. 1986 Dialogue across social and political lines often seems to get a bad rap these days. I wish I had counted how many of my social media peers had announced at some point over the past …

Continue reading Stubborn Burros: Why Intrafaith Dialogue May Be More Important Than Interfaith Dialogue These Days

The Best Moments from John Lewis’s Graphic Novel of the Civil Rights Movement, Pt. 3

Detail of Edmund Pettis Bridge from March trilogy slipcase cover. This is the last of a three-part post on John Lewis’s graphic novel series, March, which is made up of three books—March: Book One (2013), March: Book Two (2015), and March: Book Three (2016). As I noted in my previous two posts, despite its being …

Continue reading The Best Moments from John Lewis’s Graphic Novel of the Civil Rights Movement, Pt. 3