A crowd shuffles into Target at the DCUSA mall in Columbia Heights. Photo by Gridprop on Wikimedia.
Last week, an international student in my class declared that Thanksgiving is a terrible holiday — a time when people are killed. “What do you mean?” I asked, madly searching for some explanation. I recalled that suicide rates spike during the winter holidays, but I didn’t think that was it.
The student then explained that she’d learned about the origins of Thanksgiving and how it arrived amidst a virtual genocide of indigenous Americans. The other students and I had to admit that was true. This mortality-Thanksgiving connection is, indeed, part of U.S. history. Then, as the discussion continued, another student helpfully pointed out that it wasn’t just a dark spot in our past. In very recent memory, post-turkey shopping turned deadly. It happened again last year. The international student wasn’t at all surprised.
“Will you have a chance to experience a Thanksgiving dinner in the U.S.?” we asked the foreigner. Perhaps. She’d been invited to one, but said she feared to venture out of her dorm room that day. The international student was only half kidding. Continue reading
This fall has flown by, and I now sit among clocks that read two different hours. As we tie up Daylight Savings Time, I’m more than due for a publication update. My essay “Tequila after sunrise” was published last month in Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, an anthology about living in between spaces from 2 Leaf Press.
I’m thrilled to see my essay set at a tiny Greek hotel there on page 120 of this book, only in part because Henry Hughes of the The Harvard Review described the compilation as “Compellingly narrative and, at times, dazzlingly lyrical” and tagged its stories “both cerebral and sensual.” Continue reading
Okay, it’s a public library panel, not a national stage. But you get the idea. And note the DC State Fair t-shirt. Photo by Stuart Levy.
Pundits have used a lot more red ink lately, marking Xes on the days when President Obama doesn’t hold a press conference. One hundred and fourteen days here, 101 there. Only a Russian-protected leaker and a red line in Syria could staunch the scribbles, bringing Obama officially before the press an astonishing two times in August. Otherwise, it’s X, X, and X.
What Obama does instead is push out constant social media blips and almost daily White House videos.
So think of this as my trendy White House video-type announcement about a matter of great interest to the public:
The DC State Fair contests are now open.
The media haven’t caught wind of it yet, as far as I know. Yet news of favorites like the Pie Contest, Honey Contest and Homebrew Contest has zipped around D.C.
Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and check them out.
And to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah today, shana tova! May your year be filled not only with luscious desserts and homemade beer but also the sweetness of peace and inspiration.
Filed under DC, Events, Humor
What a week.
Thanks to cyberspace, my dear DC State Fair just garnered overwhelming community support on our Kickstarter campaign.
I also have the Internet to thank for both the topic and mode of publication for my latest story on Elevation DC, “Cyberspace connects DC with the businesses next door.“
The 50th anniversary March on Washington that I plan to join on Saturday came together largely online. As I write this, buses and vans of participants are no doubt coming together all over the country through a frenzy of emails. Continue reading
Photo by Flickr user r.a. paterson. Neither my fence nor garden are nearly as nice.
Deer fences have been on my mind, which believe it or not has to do with writing.
It all started in my community garden around the Fourth of July. That’s when I noticed a garden neighbor, a quiet gentleman in his late 60s who tends to weed in a button-down shirt, walking down the garden path flourishing red, white and blue leis. By that time, my fellow gardeners and I had been grumbling about the nibbles for a while. Hungry, overpopulated deer had eaten whole crops of string beans and beets, and gobbled my Swiss chard plants down to nubs. Even my tomato plants, which are supposed to be deer-proof, fell victim.
“The deer obviously didn’t read the gardening books,” I remember another plot neighbor quipping. “Tomato plants are supposed to be poisonous!” Continue reading