A serious soup need not be deadly.

” There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” — from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol I spent a year trying to convince myself that some of the meat-based stews and soups I often cook were fine without meat. Vegan vegetable, hot and sour and cream of broccoli gave me no difficulty. Lentil soup and…

“On your bike.”

Since I now have a bike, that oddly gentle British way of telling someone to bug off doesn’t seem such a bad thing. Like the phrase, cycling is an oddly gentle exercise. My joints, which have been with me for some time, now protest after I repeatedly throw them onto the pavement. And bike riding…

Common Knowledge

A very short story. “Ach!” the usher snapped, “This seat is for Monsieur Chapon.” Three-quarters of the way down the runway, stage right, the seat is eventually occupied by a man of average height in a light weight, single-breasted grey flannel suit. His identity is common knowledge. A taller man in black, believed to be…

Would the Buddha be angry if you stole a book?

I work in a large downtown library. Many of our patrons are homeless. It’s heartbreaking on cold nights to watch people shuffle off with their gear at closing time. “Have a good night” seems almost cruel.  I’ve started saying “Stay warm” or “Stay dry,” which is hardly better, but at least acknowledges the reality. From…

sailing the Aegean it is not

As threatened, I am now giving the internet a fairly reasonable approximation of my favorite Greek restaurant’s salad dressing. The seventh, not the third time, is the charm. I can only assume the colloquialism was incorrectly translated from the original which must be Greek. Assemble the salad of your dreams, including some items famously appearing…

Random consolations

These fine collapses are not lies —Chaplinesque, Hart Crane Lines from the poem linked above pop into my head with some regularity. That’s probably because it’s one of the few I’ve memorized. Too, it’s a poem about finding wonder in every day life, which is essential if we’re to hold onto our hats in this rising…