Category Archives: America

Fly By [quest-narrative-in-progress]

. .. … MacGuffin: the arbitrary goal in a quest narrative. Barely awake from its long hibernation, packed tight: with an ounce of Clyde, the US flag, a postage stamp, and a quarter; the space pod wings towards a dove- … Continue reading

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Devil Wind

I reject the claim that the name Santana originates with the Indian word for devil wind. Based on historical documents, I conclude that the wind is named for the Santa Ana Canyon, in which it originates. Pronunciation as Santana is … Continue reading

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Runaway

I. Hunting season on a dusty path in rattlesnake country. I once felt a bullet breeze past my ear. But today a small child approaches, his blue tie longer than his button-up shirt. The path wells up and a wind … Continue reading

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Mud Lake

Posted in America, Earth | 2 Comments

Road Rage

So I’m driving on the freeway and this lady calls in to the radio talk show. The guy on the radio’s talking about police shooting black sons but she wants to talk about her daughter—sweet girl, her only daughter. She … Continue reading

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Officials Say the Darndest Things!

Remember Kids Say the Darndest Things!? It’s time for Officials Say the Darndest Things! Here are a few to prime the pump. Then it’s your turn. Segment 1: Adverbs Gone Berserk “We do not wittingly collect data on Americans.” – Director … Continue reading

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Death, Ownership, and Freedom in America

When will we ever learn? Peter, Paul and Mary have been on my mind. But I remembered it wrong. The lyric is really “When will they ever learn,” with a distancing I find inauthentic. I’m more inclined to wallow in … Continue reading

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Travelogue

I bought an A5 spiral notebook to record impressions and stories for this travelogue. But it may not do – may not do the trick. Moments recorded after the fact lose a dimension or two and even the best of … Continue reading

Posted in America, New Zealand, People | 1 Comment

Morning in a Wyoming Meadow

One morning you are walking down a dusty little path in the pine forest of Wyoming. On your right is an old pine tree. You once watched a porcupine snooze in its branches. You pass through a wire gate into … Continue reading

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Tax Cuts Fuel Deficit

A shorter version was published in the Salt Lake Tribune. Some of the comments were interesting. You can read them here. On June 2 the Tribune published an only moderately misleading editorial claiming that Social Security and Medicare “are major … Continue reading

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Life in America: The GE Man

Ed’s worked for the company for 31 years, and figures he’s done pretty well for himself. Once in a mall he met a kid he’d gone to high school with. This kid was the big man on campus played football, … Continue reading

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Life in America: Bus Service

I read in the paper about a bunch of families in a school district that was strapped for cash. The district decided they wouldn’t provide bus service to anyone within 1.5 miles of the school. Imagine a child walking 1.5 … Continue reading

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More on Iowa

I dreamed of studying at the Writers Workshop for years. The dream seemed to feed on my dissatisfaction. The academic prose I’ve spent so much of my life on seemed dry and lifeless. I’ve longed to be “creative,” even “literary.” … Continue reading

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Upside Down Immigration Blues

Saturday, July 11, 2009 After you tell a story a few times it loses its luster. Well-intentioned friends indulge you, listening with a polite gaze until you realize you’ve told them before. Then you have to decide whether to pretend … Continue reading

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Auto-ethnography: Life at the Boundary Between Self and Society

Standing before the full-length mirror in my bedroom I am confused. This morning when I posed in my underwear I thought, “Not bad for 53. You go girl!” This evening, it’s “How did you get so stocky so quickly? Cover … Continue reading

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I Pledge Allegiance

Hundreds of times as a child I put my hand over my heart to pledge allegiance to the flag. Yes, the flag. That limp assembly of primary colors propped in the corner of the classroom. It took me a while … Continue reading

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Finding Wyoming

Maps don’t help. The only way to find Wyoming is to spend the time, ask around, and make mistakes. Part of finding Wyoming is getting lost. Our Wyoming home is the Big Sandy opening in the Wind River range. To … Continue reading

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A different kind of health care system

This week I received clear evidence that New Zealand does indeed have a different kind of health care system.Having been here for a year, some differences between the countries have become muted. I don’t struggle to understand kiwi accents, even … Continue reading

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