Bruce Springsteen on his 2012 European tour / photo by Juan Ramon Rodrigeuz Sosa, courtesy Creative Commons

Singin’ for the Lonely

LET ME tell you about the Bruce Springsteen concert I went to in London this summer. I first got fascinated with Springsteen the same way I learned to shave, in secret imitation of my father. I remember in junior high…

"Intensity," by flickr user Nicholas_T / licensed by Creative Commons

Before Progress Messed Things Up

(Strawberry Hill, Woodbridge, N.J.) Wasn’t one damn berry on that hill in any season, shape, shade, or size. And that sluggish-greenish thing they called a stream? Had nothing but a concrete bridge prettied up with some punk’s art and years…

Wildwood Days

Wildwood Days

The first time my family vacationed in Wildwood, New Jersey, we stayed at a three-story motel on East Lavender Road. Its blinking neon sign greeted us each night as we trudged up from the beach, weary from hours spent in…

"Football in Grass" by Jayel Aheram / licensed under Creative Commons

Betting Big on the Box Trifecta

They say my grandpa used to bet on the ponies. They say he swaggered to the harness racetrack several nights a week when the weather was warm enough to draw the crowds, smoking a White Owl cigar and leaning over…

Photo courtesy Creative Commons / by Flickr user Vivienne Gucwa

Three Poems

  On Returning to Baker, California The World’s Largest Thermometer is dark now, most of the ten-degree bulbs shot out for target practice and the Starbucks’ windows boarded up and splintering to dust in the gritted-desert wind are cordoned off…

Is this the hardest game on the internet? Photo courtesy of Flickr user jimmywayne

The State Highway Signs Quiz

Proceed to quiz   Most people, when they’re giving directions, describe all highways with the uncomplicated prefix “Route” (pronounced as root or rawte, according to taste). Take Route 85 for a few miles, then merge on Route 151, then south on Route 16….

Boyce and I don't have any pictures together because basically our entire friendship plays out online. I had to get a little creative (sorry Jess).

Where Does Friendship Take Place in a Digital World?

My favorite interaction with Boyce Upholt, the guy who created land that I live with me, happened eight years ago at a movie theater in Connecticut. It was the summer after my freshman year of college, and I was with…

Breaking Badlands

Breaking Badlands

Having grown up in the country, perhaps it was the rural setting of Breaking Bad that first addicted me to the show. The desert and scrubland around Albuquerque, where Breaking Bad occurs, are a far cry from the Midwestern forests…

"Down to the Sea." Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Higher Latitudes: Rockwell Kent on Monhegan Island

“Truly I loved that little world, Monhegan.  Small, sea-girt island that it was, a seeming floating speck in the infinitude of the sea and sky, one was as though driven to seek refuge from the impendent cosmic immensity in a…

The Gherkin in London

There and Back Again

February 1 I am now booked for four domestic and international trips over the next two months: Seattle, India, Boston, England. Some for work, some for pleasure, some for both. Lately, my life has seemed like a train on the…