I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 5

Part 1 of this essay may be found here. Part 2 of this essay may be found here. Part 3 of this essay may be found here. Part 4 of this essay may be found here. When I sat down to write this multi-part essay – which has taken on an interrogating memory life of … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 5

I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 4

Part 1 of this essay may be found here. Part 2 of this essay may be found here. Part 3 of this essay may be found here. When I awoke late on the afternoon of Thursday, February 15, 2001 in my small studio apartment in West Philadelphia, I felt completely rotten. And more than a … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 4

I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 3

Part 1 of this essay may be found here. Part 2 of this essay may be found here. When I awoke in my new apartment – on the 8th floor of the Madison Building in the Presidential Apartment complex, situated where City Avenue meets the Schuylkill Expressway – on Wednesday, February 14, 2001, the temperature … Continue reading I Never Wrote the Most Important Story I Ever Wrote, Part 3

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part III

In June and September of 2021, I wrote the first two essays in a series on the evolution of the methods I use to rank my favorite tracks (a term I prefer to “songs”). These essays presented the history of the 309 individual “mix” cassettes, videocassettes and CDs I constructed between August 1981 and August … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part III

Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

In 2005, Rupert Holmes published his second novel, a murder mystery called Swing. Being, well, Rupert Holmes, he also wrote and recorded an accompanying seven-track CD of swing-inflected music; both are well worth finding. The combination, meanwhile, led him to quip, “I’ve been singing songs from my new book.” In the past month, I received … Continue reading Crafting the “Soundtrack” to my Interrogating Memory book

Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

I begin with a correction: the following epic poem is technically Dadaist, not Surrealist. Two years ago…well, two years ago everything was different. Outside of places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), almost nobody had ever heard of COVID-19. The race for the 2020 Democratic … Continue reading Another Surrealist Epic Post-Thanksgiving Poem

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

In late June, I wrote the first in a series of essays outlining the evolution of the methods I use to rank my favorite tracks (a term I prefer to “songs”), beginning with my first-ever mix cassette tape in August 1981. In the interim, however, moving to a new apartment, the ongoing search for a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part II

Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

I rarely break the fourth wall here: personal stories I tell are usually contextualized within some larger theme, like interrogating memory. Today, however, I speak directly to you – to explain why, after 16 posts in 3½ months, I have not posted since June 25. I will not, however, explain why I did not post … Continue reading Moving, Non-Publication…and Dada?

Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

I recently updated a data-based discussion of my cinematic “guilty pleasures,” adding a comparison of “most-acclaimed” and “my favorite” films from a given year or years. In so doing, though, I side-stepped the question of determining with something approaching academic rigor just what my favorite films are, relying solely on my gut to select a … Continue reading Measuring the Unmeasurable: Ranking One’s Favorite Music, Part 1

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII