Youth Climate Strike in St. Louis

About 150 people gathered today, on the mall between the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse, for the local Youth Climate Strike. It was sunny but cold, and some of the activists worried about attendance. Thousands were gathering in other states, in Washington, DC, and in capitals abroad. Haven Coleman, co-founder and co-director of the […]

Seeing Climate Change in Black and White

Of course, many of us thought the revolution would be televised contrary to how the song goes, but how many of us thought the environmental chutzpah necessary to inspire the world to “panic” about climate change would be led by a 16-year-old Swedish girl in braided pigtails? A young woman who told those gathered at […]

A Plague of Streaming

Netflix started in 1997, selling and renting DVDs by mail. The service was a godsend, especially in America’s hinterlands. For several years it seemed as if you could get almost any film you wanted, delivered to your door, back when HBO was limited and expensive, Blockbuster stores already felt stale, and Redbox was just a […]

Spring Is Coming: A Playlist

Spring starts this year on March 20, a week from today. Depending on where you live, you may have seen or experienced polar vortexes, devastating fires, Arctic winds, and other weather extremes. Here in the lower Midwest, we have been eagerly waiting for spring. We often exchange words of encouragement with passerby, as in “I […]

Honoring WASP and the Women Who Flew for the War

Avenger Field, outside Sweetwater, Texas, is a working airport and home to the National WASP WWII Museum, dedicated to the memory of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (or Women’s Army Service Pilots). Because of Texas’ climate and available land, the US Army Air Forces established 65 training fields in the state, and Avenger was home […]

It Used to Be Mine

Ever since Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, Tidying Up, hit the screen on January 1, 2019, a lot of us, it seems, have come to realize that our lives are full of things that no longer “spark joy.” Every time I hear Kondo’s famous phrase, I think of Lucinda Williams’ song, “Joy”: “I don’t want you […]

The Kominsky Method: Wonder Boys Meets Golden Girls?

If you liked Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys, you will enjoy The Kominsky Method, a Netflix series that started in 2018. Its first season is complete with eight episodes, and Season 2 is reported to be in the works. Wonder Boys (2000) is about a guy who teaches better than he writes. He has a […]

The Bird Trapped in the Airport

“Women who die alone at midnight contributing to the end, to lost time, to the rain and flies, seeing the bird they saw trapped in the airport surviving by the water fountain”   —Mary Ruefle, “Women in Labor”   A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet esteemed poet Mary Ruefle at a […]

Putting the Goth into March Madness

College basketball fans everywhere know what March portends—the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. This post is not about any of that televised hoopla. No mentions of basketball or an impressive three-pointer will you find here. Nope. This assortment of words is about a different type of 64-team bracket, one probably no […]