There was a time when outside commentators were heard on public radio, kind of like OpEd features in newspapers. (You remember newspapers, right?) I did a series for KPLU that was picked up by Northwest Public Radio and played across the region. The pieces won a First Place award from the Press Association. Not making it to the next step was one of the many "almosts" of my life – the station was pushing to take them national, but NPR stopped having guest commentators right about then. Ah well, the broadcasts were fun to do, and I still like the texts, so here they are.
Heliophobes & Umbraphiles
I’ve been reading a book that’s got me looking at how I explain things to myself. And how everybody else does. The book’s called Learned Optimisim and one of the fascinating things its psychologist author says, is that we each have a style of explaining events and phenomena to ourselves—and that style can either do us in or keep us going. ...more
In re Hill v. Thomas
The public misogyny of recent times is nothing new, y'all. For those of us who remember the Clarence Thomas hearings, we've seen it before...
Out of all the coverage of the recent gender war in the Senate Hearing Room, some images and words just won’t go away. Like the observation that women all over the country were reporting flashbacks to their own experiences with men in the workplace who didn’t have work on their minds. ...more
All Fools' Day
When I realized that my life's work was finding Joe Campbell's Holy Fools, I did this public radio commentary...
I know April Fools is a day to be silly, but I’ve got to tell you that this day has taken on a different, “non-silly” meaning for me.
When I see a capital F on the word fool, I don’t think of silliness, I think of power. Danger. Spirit. ...more
The Sun, the Moon, and an Elevator
Back when hot flashes were a thing with me and my peers...
I get into this elevator in Seattle and one well-dressed but perspiring woman points to the younger well-dressed woman with her and says to me, “Tell her! Tell her how bad hot flashes are.”
A lot’s been written and said about our national litigiousness, a sue-their-socks-off attitude that says: if your life takes a bad turn, it’s somebody’s fault and you should present that somebody with a whopping bill for your pain and suffering. People nonchalantly assume that it’s only the insurance companies who get hit, but the companies pass the costs on to all their clients. You end up paying for those big settlements. ...More
Before a major astronomical milestone, this tribute to Galileo...
Are you ready for the Big Bang on Jupiter? We’re about to watch huge comet chunks plow into the back side of that enormous planet—at 140,000 miles an hour. Nobody’s ever seen such a thing. A first. A truly cosmic event. ...More
Back when my guy was mountaineering, I did this piece on Pacific Northwest Public Radio ...
Here in this upper left hand corner of the US, we are set apart by mountains. They stand tall to the east and the west, defining our place in the world, giving us our sense of being particularly blessed. ...More
I rented a video of Room at the Top the other night–you know the one with Lawrence Harvey as a poor young man hellbent on moving up in post-war England, and Simone Signoret as the “older woman” he loves and leaves for a young heiress? I settled in for a major cocooning evening, watching a great old broad play out a doomed love affair. ...More
- Fathers’ Day is coming. You forgot. You remembered. You’ve sent a card; you sprung for a present. You’re going over to see him. He lives too far away. You’ll call him. He died recently. He died when you were young. You love him. You hate him. You can’t figure him out. You’re mad at him and you don’t want to hear about Fathers’ Day. ...More
There’s been a lot of press lately  about the Information Highway, about how we’re all going to be able to summon the world onto home computer screens—you’ll be able to pull in any movie you want, any news, any book, any work of art. You’ll be able to shop any store in the country. And never leave your home. Wow. ...More