Last weekend I discovered coquito, also known as “Puerto Rican egg nog,” even though it contains no eggs and is really nothing like egg nog. A friend of mine, of Puerto Rican descent, posted a photograph to Facebook of a Starbucks sign for a coquito frappuccino. Now, I’ve not been in a Starbucks in a … Continue reading Some Christmas Cultural Appropriation
In mid-September it dawned on me that November 11, 2018 would mark the 100th-anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Intellectually, as an historian, I knew this. I knew it in the same way that I know that water freezes at 32 degrees and objects fall to the earth at 32 feet per … Continue reading My Armistice 100 Adventure
Three hours. It took three hours to get home from work tonight. Diamond announced that they were closing at 4 o’clock today due to the inclement weather. I was close to wrapping a project at 4, and at 4:15 I dropped the text for a catalog section for January’s catalog on a desk in Purchasing. … Continue reading The First Snow of the Season
Today, November 11, 2018, marks one hundred years since the guns fell silent on the Western Front and World War I came to an end. I have strong opinions on the war, and I won’t air them here, not today. Instead, I will share a selection of World War I poetry. Dreamers Soldiers are citizens … Continue reading Veteran’s Day
I voted before work this morning. Go out and exercise your civic right!
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. People attempt to write a manuscript of fifty thousand words within the 30 days of November. I’m giving it a try this year. Maybe because of the writing I do every day professionally (for which I write 85-100k a month), maybe because of other issues, I’ve written … Continue reading Writing a Novel in a Month
Recently I read the first two books in a young adult series, Sherlock, Lupin & Me, which imagined Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lupin, and Irene Adler as childhood friends. (Thoughts on the first book, The Dark Lady, here.) I enjoyed the two books, and I’m sure to enjoy the next two (which are the only books … Continue reading Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief
So, there I was, driving to work, listening to an old UB40 CD, as one does, when suddenly, apropos of nothing, I exclaimed loudly and with vehemence, to no one at all, “Goddamn it, Christopher Lee is dead!” My brain works in weird ways.
Yesterday, Elizabeth Sandifer posted an essay on Sherlock‘s 2016 Christmas special, “The Abominable Bride,” on the Eruditorum Press blog. One issue raised in her essay is the sudden interest in Sherlock in Sherlock Holmes’ drug addiction, an element of the Arthur Conan Doyle canon that Sherlock hadn’t dealt with. What follows is a comment I … Continue reading Did Elementary Influence Late-Period Sherlock?
The text of an email I sent this afternoon to Senator Pat Toomey, one of my Senators: I wrote to you a few days ago about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, raising concerns I had about the accusations leveled against the judge by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. You wrote in … Continue reading Writing My Senator: Judge Brett Kavanaugh
The amateur baseball historian in me is perversely excited that the Orioles could make baseball history this year. Last night, the Orioles seized defeat from the jaws of victory and lost for the 108th time this year. This is the most losses in Baltimore major league history, but not in franchise history; the 1939 St. … Continue reading Flirting with Historic Futility
This afternoon I went to Big Lots. I needed a fan for my apartment; the motor for my fan had seized up and burned out. I pulled into a parking space, and I saw a man of an indeterminate age, dressed mainly in brown, shuffling through the parking lot toward my Beetle, shuffling as though … Continue reading An Encounter at Big Lots