Our “18″ Days in Scotland

What follows is a more-or-less realtime journal of this month’s travels to Scotland to celebrate our 18th Anniversary. 18 days abroad!

Right now we’re on layover at Frankfurt before heading to Aberdeen.

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Ode on a Bust of A. O. Scott

A monument to movies’ gilded mage
Stands in a vaunted, vaulted sepulcher.
The sculpture—like the critic, just as sage—
Has chiseled (as Scott’s learnèd pen) assured.
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The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed because, well, let’s face it: none of us is exactly what one might call innocent. And why should we need to be?

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The Poets Down Here

I wept yesterday morning through Clarence Clemons’ sax solo in “Jungleland,” Bruce Springsteen’s epic finale of 1975′s Born to Run.

God, what a searing song. And yes, I address the deity in so saying.

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This is the house that Jack built

At the end of a long drive
It stands apart from its neighbors
At home with its solitude
And its singularity
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Crazy Stories

The other day I got an email from my friend Peter.

Reading your blog has rekindled an obsession with a childhood memory, one that I have only told two other people in my life about: my sister and my mother.
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Do I Have Your Attention Yet?

Oh, the contradictions.

I sat on the edge of my twin bed in the basement of my parents’ house, frustrated as hell. I was 31 years old, gainfully employed as a software engineer making something like $65,000 a year. But for the second time in my life, I was saddled with crushing debt.

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Tollers’ Wisdom

Once upon a time
Artur Rubenstein sat before a Steinway
Or a debauched Bechstein
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What Was to Become of Me

I am truly befuddled to discover that, amongst the literally millions of words which I have published in one place or another over the last two decades, I have yet to write anything about Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ–the work of art that has without a doubt been the most influential on my life.

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Yes, I May Be Completely Crazy

For the last 23 years I’ve been carrying a story in my head that I’ve only verbally related to a handful of people. To be clear: it’s not a story that others particularly need to hear, because there’s not a great deal (besides the biographical) to be learned from it; but I’m at the point where I’m worried that if I don’t get the story written down I’ll start to lose some very important pieces of it to the sands of time. And I’m loath for that to happen, because it’s a story that has provided Jenn and I with much-needed spiritual sustenance over the decades.

The first person I ever told this story to, in fact, was Jenn, long before she was my wife. And that’s because God told me to tell her.

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