Here Goes – The Rush of the High Seas

  June 2, 2005  Thursday Alright, charge the coin-operated computer up in Zambia, because this is probably going to a long email, but I will start from the beginning.  That would last Friday, the 27th.  Id had just gotten off the ship from beginning gone all week and enjoying your messages before driving home to,…

The Seventh Day

written May 21, 2006   This morning I slept until 9:30 (well, I was in bed til then, but thinking for most likely half an hour, just lying there).  Finally I made myself get up and take a shower, to feel fresh for my day “off,” finishing just in time to make it to the…

Lord of the Mosquitoes

written September 28, 2006   While bobbing around the Gold Coast in 200 tons of tin, four months out to sea… What shall become of man when perpetually bored, and how far are we away from breaking off into our rival tribes?  The answer may surprise you.  These ship walls may be steel and not…

Loosed Upon Caledonia

written February 27, 2006   Scotland has so far been little more than a tease to me, the slightest sliver of the country yet exposed, my time on the soil a mere few hours.  Today would be different, I knew it, and the rest did not matter.  Before the day was out I was to…

44: An Oral History of the Election of the Barack Obama

The Forward to 44: An Oral History of the Election of Barack Obama Studs Terkel died one week ago tonight. I heard about it on NPR radio the next day while driving from from Alton to Edwardsville, Illinois. An interview with Studs was being replayed on the air, in which has was describing one of…

Hitting Unpause: One Sailor Waits No Longer

The following interview was conducted December 1, 2008, part of a series of discussions called “44,” with people of varied background about their reactions to the 2008 election of Barack Obama. This interview is with Jeremy Gordon, at the time a student at Rutgers University, and a former member of the United States Navy, who…

On the Moon, and Out of Lemonade (Anything But Tranquil)

written March 2, 2006 This is me, trying to relax, unbinding my mind knotted, as my body is carried hither in yon upon the Atlantic Ocean, living cargo in a luxury naval frigate. Which makes me wonder: what do those already in a tropical paradise visualize to shake the wrinkles from their nerves? I might…

The Modern Jalapeno Popper

written February 11, 2006 Neil Young said in a recent issue of Rolling Stone that writing is all about being receptive. A song, he explained, can appear to him fully-formed, if only he is patient. In that way he receives songs more than writes them. If he is stuck for a lyric or stanza it…

Land Ho!

written February 18, 2006 The misty slopes of a rolling, green island slowly emerged this morning from its hiding place in the horizon. The exact name matters not, as I tell my story, other than to keep my fingers firmly attached. Punishment for “Leeking Information by Bottlyd Message” may not have been enforced since 1751,…

“Crazy in My Happiness”

written June 2010 In my Navy days my home was the size of a pine box.  I know what you’re thinking; I’m slyly comparing my past shipboard sleeping arrangements to the grave.  But in this case I was envious of the dead- at least they did not have to endure other sailors’ toxic socks and…