Category: First Person


The Electrifying Aretha Franklin

I can’t say for certain when the first time I ever heard an Aretha Franklin album was. Her music was simply always there, in the the same way that Ella’s music was always there. I was weaned on her music, and to it.



Today is Wendell Berry’s birthday. He’s 84. May his 85th year on this planet be a bountiful and invigorating one. Maribou elaborates on her feelings about his work, inside.


Lessons in Parenting, Baseball, and Optometry

I felt so disappointed for my son in his inability to excel at baseball. I had simply concluded that he lacked talent, and that was that. Of course, I would cheer him on and encourage him as long as he was interested, but, I assumed, the writing was on the wall. I pigeonholed him as “not an athlete”, just like me. Knowing now that it is quite likely that his vision was at least partially to blame for his trouble is a humbling reminder: our kids are not just small versions of ourselves.


An America Unknown

The story of an American dreaming of an America from abroad.


America, the Awesome

Burt Likko has one of those sorts of problems that really aren’t such bad problems to have.


The New Girl

Introducing lawyer, liberal, and new Ordinary Times staff writer, Em Carpenter.



A partial setlist with autobiographical fragments.


Putting on Airs?

Saul learns his class position in the art world.


the receiving end

Please don’t defend Roy Moore. At least not where I can hear it.
[CN: more or less the same as yesterday’s feature, to which this one relates. Relationships with a very large age gap, where one partner is a teenager. I was personally very upset by one sentence in here, but because of how very well it articulated something the author criticizes, a thing that my father also wanted and shouldn’t have wanted – a thing that another old man I know who is on trial right now also wanted and shouldn’t have wanted – not because of anything explicit. The essay was more than worth the resulting flashbacks, but I was grateful to have been warned before I read it. Can you have a trigger warning for insight? (Don’t get distracted into debating that in the comments, please.) — Maribou]