How to Make Friends and Out-Instagram Your Enemies

Jealous of others having more Instagram followers than you? Want to be seen as an influencer? Paid services, such as SocialBuddy (“We drive real, targeted people to your Instagram page. Real growth, real audience who are interested in your content”) and SocialSteeze (“Our service helps you grow your Instagram account, with powerful Instagram growth, get […]

Just Keep Swimming

“In water, like in books–you can leave your life.” -Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water From the time my daughter Lucinda was two and a half months old, I have taken her to swim lessons. Two of the life lessons I hope to impart to Luci, now almost 2 years old, are self-reliance and a […]

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 […]