This recipe for horiatiki is simple. It’s a small set of fresh ingredients that are easy to remember and the non-fresh ingredients are things I’m likely to already have on hand. The salad is: 1 large english cucumber 1 pint grape tomatoes 1 bell pepper, any color 8 ounce feta cheese 1 cup pitted kalamata … Read more


I knew Portishead was a band. But no one told me it was a place. In fact, it’s a “friendly progressive town that fuses characterful history with modern contemporary.”

Time and Distance

Some time between 1993 and 1994, my friend Andy Steward said, I may never forget it, that: In America, 200 years is a long time but 200 miles isn’t a long distance. In England, 200 years isn’t a long time, but is a long distance. Place influences time, and time influences place.

There You Are

“Wherever you go, there you are.” It’s a hokey aphorism, but as I listened to Jarvis Cocker discuss fame on Adam Buxton’s podcast, it seemed a lot less hokey. Earlier in his life, he expected fame to be almost heaven-like. “Getting famous,” he says, “is a common thing people want to do.” He speculates that it … Read more


I recently read Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound for the first time. It was good, like, very good in a way I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting bad, but it was moving in a way that reading, for example, Hesiod isn’t. But I also don’t know if Hesiod was setting out to wow an audience with The Theogeny in the same … Read more

Conk a Dook

I “finished” the 600+ pages of Finnegans Wake on May 16th. I read it in fits and starts over roughly 4 months. Why the scare quotes? I didn’t finish so much as I gave up and skimmed the last 3/8 of the book. The reading experience was difficult—infuriatingly so at times—and fun, but not quite in equal … Read more

How I Cook a Pork Chop

Here’s how I cook a pork chop. It’s a mix of methods I’ve collected over time. The basic outline is: Use good meat Salt and wait Sear, roast, and rest Meat It’s a cliché, but you really do need to start with good meat. Most often I walk down the hill and get bone-in loin … Read more

In Praise of “In Praise of Shadows”

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃, 1933) is a book I wish I’d read before visiting Japan in 2017. Something I didn’t understand until reading Tanizaki’s book is that empty rooms weren’t empty. On entering the interiors of some ancient temple buildings I recall thinking the rooms were bare, stark, even unsettlingly empty in a way … Read more

Ballad Measure, Emily Dickinson, and Gilligan’s Island

Ballad measure, or common meter, is a stanza of four lines. The 1st and 3rd lines have 4 beats and the 2nd and 4th lines have 3 beats with a silent 4th. Here’s Emily Dickinson in ballad measure: Because I could not stop for Death –He kindly stopped for me –The Carriage held but just … Read more