Tag Archives: Portland

Stage Names: Want to understand the Cold War? Portland Stage’s “Havana” can help

PORTLAND – The title of this review is as ludicrous as some of the situations in which Graham Greene put his characters in the 1958 “entertainment,” “Our Man in Havana,” one of his frivolous works surrounded by serious novels that secured his legacy as a legend of 20th century letters. But with President Obama having just announced a move to normalize relations […]

Bracing for Blizzard Juno? Grab a shovel and some Zen.

With Winter Strom Juno bearing down on Down East, friends and family won’t lose a chance to poke fun at me over an obsession for shoveling snow, specifically the messes which accumulate in my driveway following storms. But in taking self-effacement to the nth degree I let some other thoughts slip by. This is a chance to make […]

Coach K: A sports role model we can actually root for

  There is a silver lining in every cloud after all, and this week we will find it on the hoops hardwood. Recently, the nation’s sports attention has been on DeflateGate – the alleged cheating by the New England Patriots in the recent AFC Championship Game, enroute to the Super Bowl. And while that affair’s fallout will linger, […]

In cold and flu season, Musterole remains the remedy of my dreams

My contractor had to delay repairing my kitchen floor for several days while caring for his sick boy, who had a chest cold. After the second postponement, I sent him this text message: Vicks on his chest, back and throat might help; too bad you don’t have Musterole. Ah, Musterole; how easily that word came […]

Irrational love: A Mustang memory

Some years ago, Ford Motor Company held a writing contest for past and present Mustang owners to describe their favorite memory of the American icon. The prize was a trip to Los Angeles for a Ford convention and further Mustang considerations. While I didn’t enter the competition, my own recollection of the classic pony car […]

Scaling back inflated grades: the first step in education reform?

    I teach college classes regularly, and with each passing year I’m feeling more extinct as a result. Part of this has to do with how much has been made over the last generation of the importance of self-esteem versus hard-earned grades – at all levels of our education system. As someone who has […]

Forever in bloom: which flowers are best for giving?

People always seem to ask me for advice on flowers. Those who know me well also know that, as the son of a (now long retired) florist, I’ve always favored flowers as tokens of appreciation over other gestures. In this light, the questions never cease: What kind do you usually send? Why? Do you have […]

The last, true big-time college football game

When I’m out driving and want to take a mental break from news casts and jazz, I turn the dial to scratch that other itch of mine – sports. Recently while cruising home to New England from Virginia, I tuned in to a segment on the greatest rivalry in college football. Several callers touted Michigan-Ohio State, USC-Notre Dame, and […]

Is self-sacrifice instinct or moral choice?

I’ve always been amazed by accounts of selfless sacrifice – of those who give their lives so that others might carry on. Inherent in this is a question that perplexes and fascinates: how much are these acts rooted in instinct versus a predetermined outcome that people carry inside them based on their value system? This […]

Why snow shoveling is good for the soul

   Friends and family know I never lose a chance to poke fun at myself over an obsession for shoveling snow, specifically the messes which accumulate in my driveway following storms. But in taking self-effacement to the nth degree I let some other thoughts slip by. This is a chance to make up that ground. More than […]