Monthly Archives: August 2013

One from the vault: We are all educated people here, right?

Since the passing of my old music teacher I’ve been thinking about education again. I originally wrote this post after reading a quote by the playwright David Mamet, in which he compared contemporary education to animal training: get the student to analyze any social situation according to the categories of oppressor and oppressed, and give him a […]

Truth and Beauty

This morning I attended the funeral Mass of my high-school music teacher, Jerry Phillips. He could be gruff, but now that I’m an adult looking back, I’m amazed at his kindness, tolerance and good humor. We pulled pranks on him that, in my teaching days, would have driven me to red-faced profanity. We  laughed at […]

Outdoor Writing.

I just finished a little series on hunting octopus, and I guess in my own shoddy way it is an homage to a lost art form, the long hunting or fishing story. Hemingway, Faulkner and E.B. White used to make a killing on that kind of stuff. When I was a boy in the late […]

Octopus Hunting (3 of 3)

I was swimming back to the beach were I had left my backpack, tired and ready to call it a day, when I saw it: a fleshy, yellow, eight-legged mass prowling along the sea bed in about eight feet of water. It was the biggest octopus I had yet seen, out in the open away […]

Octopus Hunting (Part 2 of 3)

Saturday night, after a candle-light dinner of cold salami and garlic bread, I leaned back in my chair and pondered my failure to catch an octopus. They are invertebrates; I am the apex predator among all mammals. Their brain is the size of a chick-pea; mine the size of many, many chick-peas. It really shouldn’t […]

Octopus Hunting (Part 1)

Southern Italy was a good place for a long weekend alone, away from the smothering heat and relationships of Rome. Exams passed, ties civilly severed, I was ready to breathe again. After the first night of drinking cheap white wine (you can’t go wrong with $2 a bottle) and smoking cigarettes on a patio overlooking […]