art, music, travel

Art Brain

Last week, a lawyer told me that the mayor of Berlin has declared it an artistic hub, and that immigration authorities should treat artistic visa applications kindly. The city is drawing artists from all over the world for its financial support of the arts, affordability, and the broad and varied arts scene. It is not […]

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alcoholism, homelessness, recovery, relapse, road trip, Uncategorized

Relapse

My landlord went crazy sometime at the end of June. To tell the background of my summer homelessness would mean attempting to articulate the irrationality of human behavior. Does that sound vague? It was meant to be; partly to spare the landlord in question, and partly to spare myself the wrath of publicly declaring one […]

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berlin, expat, Uncategorized

Stray Cats (Notes from Berlin)

My first floor Tucson apartment was infested with stray cats. At night I heard them scratching, screaming, fucking beneath the basement floorboards. They made stray cat nests next to the heaters and swaddled cat-babies in the alleys. The ghetto-living was punctuated by a shattered window next to my bed, which looked starkly into a dusty […]

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crime, Uncategorized

Street Fight

A couple weeks ago, I rear-ended an Audi, a mini-van, and a Mexican guy in a Neon. Not in separate accidents: at the same time; a four-car-pile-up. It was near the same intersection where I saw the train suicide a couple months ago, about ten minutes after another car was smoked by a passenger train. […]

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alcoholism, recovery, relapse

My Break-Up With Booze in 12-Steps

Arguably, my longest relationship has been with alcohol. This was almost natural, since I went to high school in Wisconsin where we started constructing beer bongs before we could drive. As a fourteen-year-old, I remember a friend’s dad mixing me hot toddies at the bar in the basement (which also functioned as a taxidermy studio). He […]

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motorcycles, travel, Uncategorized

The Writing on the Wall

I once dated a guy because he rode a Ducati. At least, it seems now, this was his most attractive feature—also, the one that makes the relationship seem appropriate upon reflection. It was college and Joe was my first real “motorcycle boyfriend,” so I took complete advantage of the fact that we were living in […]

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travel, Uncategorized

Getting There

In travel, I have learned to appreciate the act of “getting there,” the inherent differences in modes of transport, the adventure of self-navigation, and the disorientation of arrival. Air travel, while having the transcendent feel of lift-off, always comes with the most complications: organization of liquids, security, timing, shoe-removal, passport control, customs, general airport racket […]

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