Tag Archives: fall


Yesterday we went outside of the city, something we rarely do and something we have not done in a long time. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember how beautiful New England can be, especially when it’s just starting to turn to Fall.

We drove down two lane roads that were closely hemmed in on both sides by trees that were just beginning to show tinges of reds and oranges. Light would filter down through the leaves and then we would turn a corner and the trees would fall away to show a pond with the light hitting in just that right way.

We passed cranberry bogs and U-Pick Farms where cars lined the roadway as families picked over trees and chose pumpkins for Halloween. We passed small signs in front yards advertising that this house was for candy apples and this one would be a great place to stop for firewood (Cheap!). There were yard sales and white church steeples and it was Norman Rockwell reborn in the 21st century.

There is no doubt that’s where I want to be, some day; out and away from the city. I just don’t know that’s the case quite yet.


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All Our Gods are Demigods

In American culture, ancient mythologies and folklore passed from generation to generation have been replaced by cults of celebrity. We rely on musicians, artists, athletes, actors and writers to show us the way. They stand above us and apart from us and demonstrate what we can achieve if we are truly great. They are inspiring and they are Gods Among Men.

Ted Williams hitting a ball out of the park in his last game when any other player would have been well passed their prime Muhammad Ali dancing around the ring with cheerful bravado as a lesser man tries and fails to beat him to a pulp; Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show all loose limbed cockiness smirking at the camera; Janis Joplin breaking out with a throaty growl fill with promise, raw and primal; Martin Luther King speaking so that angels would weep and devils would change their mind.

But our gods are temporary gods. Struck down by their own success, by cowardly men, by drink and drug and bullet. In that final moment, in the moment when they prove that they were human all along, they show us the greatest truths.

In the old days, ye olde ancient times, humanity created gods that were petty, jealous, bickering things that lived above us, but still fell into predictable patterns of human behavior. They were powerful, they could do wonderful, terrible things; but they were, tragically, so much like their worshipers.

And now we have come full circle.

We select those chosen few: the geniuses, the artists, the performers, the entertainers, the writers, the poets, the athletes and the leaders. We select them and place them so high up and aspire to them. We put them so high up and out of reach; the Platonic Ideal of Humanity. And then, when they fall, when they prove that they were just like us all along, they continue to show us the way.


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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

31 Days of Spoooktacular: Harvest Season


Sometimes, it’s important to take a break from Halloween in the middle of the season and remember that Fall is great for other reasons as well.

When I was a kid, we used to head up to my grandparent’s house in Virginia in the Fall to pick the apples in their small orchard. My dad would climb into the trees and shake them as hard as he could and the apples would rain down. We’d gather them up and sort them out, the bruised and abused apples being set aside for cider.

The cider making was really the best part. The cider  press and grinder was a cantankerous wooden and iron contraption that would tear through the apples, grinding them into pulp, the pulp falling into a cloth lined bucket, which was then pressed. Swarms of yellow jackets and wasps would gather and I would always watch anxiously, hoping that they wouldn’t become part of the cider. Which, inevitably, they always did.

After we moved from North Carolina to New York, we stopped going down every year for apple pickin’. It has been years, maybe a full decade, since I last did any kind of apple picking.

Today, Emily, a couple friends and I all headed out West, going a little further out into Massachusetts, where there was fairly large scale U Pick apple orchard. I had been to a few of these operations, but this was probably one of the larger that I had been too. There were goats and pigs and hayrides and plastic jugs of cider and trees going red, yellow, gold and the apples. So many apples.

As a kid, it was one of the ways I defined Fall: you went out into the country and collected apples by the bagful and you got out into the air that was just starting to get chilly and you really saw Fall for the first time, in all its colors.

It was nice to be able to do that again and to usher Fall in again that way.

TOMORROW: Blood and Horror at Rock and Shock


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Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More