Pensive Person Recognizing Beauty:

(or at least trying to....)

Pensive Person

Pensive Person
December 05
A quiet guy up here in the Midwest, waiting to be seen. Most of the time my days are filled with sarcasm, anger, and general malaise--so, this is my inexpensive form of therapy.

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AUGUST 23, 2014 10:42PM

For Willa Cather: Start Seeing Unicorns

I sat down to read Willa Cather today. I should have known better; whenever I encounter Cather my mood is altered for days and I walk around in a fog, bumping into corners, almost walking into traffic, and losing large swatches of time to meandering

Read full post »
MAY 25, 2014 1:33PM

Roller Skating is Life: A poem

Haven't written a poem in ages.... You think I should throw in the towel and stick to essays?



Roller Skating is Life


With black laces tied tight

and candy cane striped wheels

spinning in a blur of red and white,

IRead full post »



Remeber that old game "Kerplunck"? 

A simply plastic cylinder--a bunch of thin sticks shoved in holes that go through the cylinder creating a tenuous bottom to hold up a pile of marbles threatening to fall to the bottom of the cylinder...presumably with a kerplunk.  

So… Read full post »


"Kind" and "warm" are two words one would not associate with playwright Lillian Hellman. Her acerbic personality is part of her legend, but I've always been more interested in the plays than in the person.  The melodrama of The Little Foxes, The Children's Hour, or AnotherRead full post »


Wayne Thiebaud. Yes, he paints sumptuous looking pastries and bizarre landscapes. He is splendid, but for me, at least for now, he paints my sadness. 

These cupcakes, the solitary pieces of pie on milk white plates, and full cakes on plates cut-up for the taking. A refrigerator cube sat… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2013 3:51PM

Tomorrow, I pick up the phone

See over there? Over by the wall, on the floor?  Yup, that's right. That is a towel--and I've thrown it in.  I'm going to do it. Tomorrow.  I am going to pick up the phone, and I am going to use this health insurance card for the first time in 3… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2013 1:55PM

My love of Maggie Simpson

When I was in 7th grade, I had a problem with my math teacher. He always marked me absent–even though I was in class, on time, in the proper seat. I’d confront him about the unexcused absence, and he’d tilt his head like a confused puppy and squint his eyes as… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 11:41PM

That guy, he was going somewhere--once

That guy over there, see him? He sits at this Starbucks every Saturday and Sunday. He pulls out his paperwork, puts on his headphones, and for 10 hours he scribbles and reads and scribbles some more.  People pass by, some glance at him, but most give him no notice.
OCTOBER 16, 2013 9:25AM

Why the Bike Rides Ended…

Being a late bloomer, I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 12 years old. Yet from the first day of cruising around our neighborhood, I was hooked. My friends and I would take our ten-speeds and head out to the Food N’ Fuel… Read full post »

OCTOBER 10, 2013 11:32AM

Ode to My Hipster Barista

I spend too much money on coffee I don’t want to drink.

david one

My entire life, I have never been good at doing work at home. In high school, I’d go to the library; in college, the student union; but, now in my adult life that place is… Read full post »

jack 1

In the film The Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost is a fairly laid back kind of guy. He flies around with his hoodie sweatshirt, seemingly carefree and happy-go-lucky as he creates minor havoc with his ability to create snow and ice with his magic staff./… Read full post »

MARCH 20, 2013 9:18AM

For Mr. Rogers on His Birthday




When I discovered that today would have been Fred Rogers's 85th birthday, I knew I could not let the day go unnoticed. Yet, even though Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood were instrumental in my development and continued growth as a man, I cannot find… Read full post »

JANUARY 5, 2013 9:40PM

Me and My Thunderbird


Our 1979 maroon Ford Thunderbird was my favorite car. I'm not sure what draws me to this particular automobile from the many we had in my childhood; perhaps it was the giant bench seats where I could sprawl out with my sister and the two of us could sleep on… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 3, 2012 8:05PM

My Summer of Scarves

William Least Heat Moon travelled around the United States in 1978 on the blue highways found in the Rand McNally atlas. The blue highways indicated those country highways that tend to bypass larger cities: after losing his job and getting divorced from his wife, he lived out of his van and… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2012 8:15PM

Everyone's favorite topic: Lemonade


Let's say your work sponsored a picnic where attendance was mandatory. A good time was expected to be had by all, so pratice your fake smiles.

You arrive at the picnic and everyone is there, people who have been around forever and people who are fresh on the job.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 4, 2012 6:08PM

Busy is my drug


It is a non-descript red notebook. Spiral bound graph paper, with colored-in block patterns toward the middle and bottom of the paper contrasting the scribbles toward the top of each page. 

This is where I write my "To Do" lists.

Writing these lists is not a… Read full post »



 I realize I'm late to the party. I'm not much of a joiner, never have been the social type, so I was planning on skipping the obligatory Father's Day post--leave it to the people who have strong feelings of attachment and love for… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2012 1:44PM

In defense of fiction


I may live in the country, but I'm not oblivious to the signs. 

For the past decade, piece by piece, a type of cleansing or purging of the insignificant, the trite, or the deemed unworthy. 

I am talking, of course, of the death of fiction.

First, at the Borders… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 10, 2012 11:16PM

To the graduating class of 2012

Greetings class of 2012:


As a member of Generation X, I'd like to welcome you into what has been called "The Real World."


When I was in school, we were the generation that was going to destroy theRead full post »

JUNE 6, 2012 11:18AM

On the death of Ray Bradbury



First off, I don't like science fiction. The chatter about aliens, machines of the future, and super diseases just does not strike a chord with me. When I read H. G. Wells, George Orwell, or Isaac Asimov--I reach for a razor to begin slitting my wrists (down river,… Read full post »


A wall separates them as they dress. She chooses her adornments with care: accentuating her long neck, high cheekbones, and light sprinkles across the room with the rise and fall of her voice. These precious diamonds were a gift from him. The twinkle of the jewels,… Read full post »


When I was a kid, my mother and I were at Northtown Mall in Blaine, Minnesota. One of its anchor stores was a Woolworth's, and it had a restaurant attached to it that served the best chicken tenders on Earth, mostly because they served them with… Read full post »

MAY 31, 2012 12:30PM

The Mall (part 3): Solace in Sears



After being traumatized at Boston Store, I headed to the food court to gorge myself on a pity pretzel from Auntie Annie's.  It was topped with buttery, salty goodness.

The corridors teemed with leacherous kiosk sales people: 

No, I don't care… Read full post »



Planning ahead to Father's Day, I decided I would capitalize on my mall visit with a gift purchase of cologne for my dad. He deserves it.  However, he enjoys a hard to find cologne called "Fujiyama," which sounds more like a brand of… Read full post »


As a general rule, I avoid large groups of people. The constant flux and motion of crowds takes my breath away, and usually I have to go home and take a nap to recover from sensory overload. Yet, despite these apprehensions, this weekend, I found myself at the "rich people's"… Read full post »