Sacred Things

She died on Palm Sunday. I think that would have made her happy, as she drew her last breaths, knowing that she was going to die on a significant day on the church calendar. I held her hand all that morning. Now I hold the bean stone.

I’ve been carrying a rock around in my pocket for a couple of months.

The smooth, bean-shaped stone is about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide and five sixteenths of an inch thick. It’s smooth, like a worry stone. Not perfectly smooth, like the kind you’d find in a gift shop. But smooth in a natural way, with some imperfections and slight ridges that make you know it’s real.

Continue reading “Sacred Things”

Advertisements

Humor & Harmonization in o-HI-o

I spent a month in Columbus, Ohio, last week.

614-ColumbusYuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck.

No, really. YUCK. Not the city – the bad joke.

I’m no comedian (obviously), so I generally leave the jokes to those who are. And last week, while in Columbus for a tradeshow for a couple of days, I ran into someone who seems to be a good one in the back of (614) Magazine, a free community publication.

Continue reading “Humor & Harmonization in o-HI-o”

Bob Lind Shoutout – Ellington Story

Got a shoutout in Bob Lind’s “Neighbors” column in yesterday’s issue of the local paper,The Forum, Fargo. The column references a story I wrote back in 2001 (the Lind column was off by a couple of years) forNDSU Magazine about the night a North Dakota Agricultural College extension agent and his friend from South Dakota State College recorded Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the original Crystal Ballroom in downtown Fargo.

Continue reading “Bob Lind Shoutout – Ellington Story”

In on the NoDak Acts

A bunch of bands have written songs that include North Dakota in some way. Flyover country? You decide.

Figures my favorite tune that mentions North Dakota has another state’s name in the title – “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

North Dakota man was a gunnin’ for the quota / Down in the badlands she was savin’ the best for last / It only hurts when I laugh / Gone too fast…” 

But, hey, what the heck. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, especially if you’re not the headliner.

Continue reading “In on the NoDak Acts”

Is SAG Sagging in Its Duty?

I’m still trying to come to terms with the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the most recent victim of self-inflicted drug overdose in Hollywood. The man was an amazing talent.

Continue reading “Is SAG Sagging in Its Duty?”

Unsociably Social

Untitled design

Social is making us unsociable.

I’m not talking about the fact that so many of us now spend hours and hours on social media, looking at and reacting to status updates from friends, getting our news 140 (or now 280 if you’re among the elite) characters at a time or watching video with slack jaws.

Continue reading “Unsociably Social”

Winter Wonder

In North Dakota gripe about the cold and snow all the time, but winter truly can be wondrous. CLICK ON THE HEADLINE TO READ MORE

As I drove home from work yesterday evening, I was treated to a sundog in the sky to the west. As always when I see a sundog, I marveled at it, thought how beautiful it was and how it has to be really cold for one to show itself.

Continue reading “Winter Wonder”

10 Yards More

Snow is a given in the upper Midwest. We deal with it. Winter here brings one of the most satisfying opportunities to be a good neighbor. I learned it from my dad, and now I try to pass it – Why not go just 10 yards more?

There’s nothing like opening your garage door in the morning after a snowfall and seeing that your neighbors have already removed the snow from the sidewalks between their property line and your driveway. It’s a warm, friendly feeling.

Continue reading “10 Yards More”

Fortunes Are In Our Hands

Man knows more than he understands.

One thing I knew for sure after the satisfying meal at a local Chinese buffet – that was NOT a fortune. The missive was all too true, but it did not tell me what was going to happen to me tomorrow, next year or in a decade. It did not provide any hints as to what I might do to make the best happen. There was, in short, no foretelling of anything.

Continue reading “Fortunes Are In Our Hands”

Feeling Blue? Get Yourself Some P!nk. Or Just About Any Other Color.

From Pink Floyd to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, there have been a lot of colors along the way. And they’ve all be awesome… CLICK THE HEADLINE TO READ MORE.

It started for me in 1979 with Pink Floyd.

I found my 11-year-old self standing in the principal’s office at Roosevelt Elementary in Jamestown, N.D., the second from the end in a line of four 6th graders performing “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II.” I thought about how much trouble we were in as we sang, “We don’t need no education / we don’t need no thought control/…”

We were rebelling, of course, with the song that was all over the radio those days.

Continue reading “Feeling Blue? Get Yourself Some P!nk. Or Just About Any Other Color.”