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It’s November, which means a lot of the Kickstarter projects I backed are shipping. Kickstarter game projects are kind of a crap shoot: most are good, a few are bad, and a select few are excellent. Mostly, I’m attracted to games with new or unusual mechanisms of game-play, or with interesting thematic content.

First to arrive, this season, is Wu Wei: Journey of the Changing Path, from Gray Wolf Games.  It had both an interesting set of mechanisms and a deep thematic content. The fact that it’s also bloody gorgeous and of the highest production quality, well, that’s gravy. Continue Reading »

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I’ve never been one for milestone birthdays, but this one is different. It feels like a milestone, and so a few days ago I decided to just go with it.

What I didn’t expect, though, was that this “go with it” approach has engendered a fair bit of introspection. I know. Shocker, right? Still, it doesn’t feel wrong to take a long look back in order to see the long view forward.

In a few short weeks, I’ll be sixty years old. Not bad for a kid who never thought he’d live past the age of twenty-six. I’m in good health, take no prescription meds, and sure, I’ve got a dodgy knee and could benefit from losing some of that IPA-paunch I’ve developed, but overall, I’m not in danger of punching my ticket any time soon.

So, I’m on the cusp of what feels like a new chapter. What have my previous chapters been? Continue Reading »

Let It In

We keep it out
shunned
banished
beyond the electric glare
past heavy curtains
behind double-glazed panes

We fear
its cold
its dark
its unspoken secrets

I say
open the drapes
shut the lights
put flame to a candle’s wick
and let it in

Invite the night inside
forget its chill
forgive its inky mien
offer it a seat
and pour a wee dram

Enjoy its quiet
the stillness of its nature
and listen closely
as it whispers
of secrets
eager to be known

Let it in

—————-

k

Moon and Cedar

Better Than

Full disclosure: I am a white, male, middle-class, soon-to-be senior citizen with liberal tendencies.

That said, I’ll tell you that I simply do not understand racism.

Oh, I understand that we humans like to draw distinctions, define the “Other” in the face of conflict. Such dichotomies make it easier to argue, to fight, to hate, to kill. I get that. Not a fan, but I get it.

But why skin color?

Continue Reading »

We Two

———

the cat and I eat twice a day

I serve her before myself

a rule I learned from a rabbi

and she finishes her meal

before I even sit down

covering the leftovers

with invisible leaves before

returning to the maintenance of her fur

or to toy with a dirty sock

panther-dragged from room to room

as she mutters disconsolate subtext

I used to think the rabbi’s rule was meant to instill

respect for our animals

a lesson in responsibility

empathy for those in our care

but now I understand

it’s merely to avoid

her judgmental eyes

———

I was missing London last week. I really felt the need to go for a visit. Luckily, I had a book in my TBR pile that was waiting to take me there.

I’ve visited London a handful of times over the decades, seen it clean itself up—from pollution, bombings, fires—seen it rebuild itself, piece by piece. I remember thinking, when The Shard started to go up, “Oh my, that’s gonna be awful,” and yet today, I look on that gargantuan pillar of glass rising above the Southwark walk and think, “Yeah, I like that. It fits.”

While I’m not always fond of London’s continually changing cityscape, one thing I adore about London is what doesn’t change. A perfect example is the ancient building that’s tucked in among skyscrapers called the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie, and the Cheese Grater. In the shadow of modern architecture is a treasure that’s been around for nearly a thousand years.

The Tower of London. Continue Reading »

Some weeks are so disjointed, so fractious, that I find it difficult to settle on a topic for my regular post.

This has been one of those weeks.

So far today I’ve written about 6,000 words and deleted about 5,950. I’ve pinballed between topics—the debacle of our political system, my 27th anniversary working in the same shop, the evolution of a short story that’s been simmering in my head, the upcoming birthday milestone that I’ll hit in December, the character of this year’s autumn display, a recipe for acorn squash soup that’s really good (and easy)—without being able to settle on one of them.

At such times, my mind can’t hold onto anything, not long enough, anyway. My attention, buffeted by gale-force winds, gets blown off course, lost at sea. Between radical changes at work, drama in the political sphere, and the very real possibility of life- and lifestyle-altering projects currently in the offing here at home, I simply cannot concentrate.

However, I’ve decided that this is okay.

Not every week is a winner.

Sometimes just making it through to the end is the best we can do.

Here’s hoping for better.

k

 

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