Saturday, December 20, 2014

Annual ManualInternship

Bike World
Posted October 08, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Lifting to failure — part 1

The big man in the tight singlet dips his hands into the chalk. His gaze is elsewhere. Fingers spread wide, he brushes his callused palms back and forth letting the white powder fall back into the tin. Smooth as silk. His legs forced bowlegged by the shorts and knee wraps,

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Posted October 01, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

The Frog King

The young girl sat on her dad’s shoulders. Waiting. Not a muscle moved. Fidgeting is apparently not allowed at such heights. The rest of us stood on our toes, dancing back and forth, trying to get an early peek. After a while, we began to envy the young girl. Her back

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Posted September 24, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

‘For everything there is a season…’

There’s a man. And there’s a man. And there’s a man. Yup, another man. Of course, one more man. And there’s a… hold it, my goodness, it’s a woman. It’s not a shabby crowd in which to hang. Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, Fabritius, Steen. To tell your mom that your painting

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Posted September 17, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Shouldn’t we pay for them to plug in their coffeepots?

“Listen.  This is not complicated.  Just turn on some music.  Any music.  And listen.” Hmmm… this is different. “Close your eyes while you’re listening to this music. This is a contest for yourself. You can let your mind think whatever it wants. You don’t have to be at school anymore. You can go wherever

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Posted September 10, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

And the rain keeps falling

The rain is coming down so hard there is nowhere for it to go but up. Water washes over the roads and creates small ponds at intersections making you hesitate about driving without a life jacket. Will your car actually float? Is this a good time to find out? The

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Posted September 03, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

The demise of shame

Shame is the first to leave the room when the years come calling. No kidding. And this is after shame seemed like such a steady companion. A trustworthy sidekick. There it was, lurking in the corners when you messed up in the workplace, or in relationships, or with your kids.

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Posted August 27, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

How did you spend your summer vacation?

The blank white paper sitting on the laminate desk glares back unhopefully. Of course, the early morning fluorescent light doesn’t help, nor does the scratching sound of other pens. Your classmates busily write of north woods adventures, trips to Okoboji, the awesome water park ride at Adventureland. Perhaps if you turn

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Posted August 20, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

The train station interviews

Maybe buildings aren’t just brick and mortar and wood and stone and paint and tile. Perhaps they absorb all the life that scuffs their floors, and gives voice off their walls, and pushes at their revolving doors. Sort of like that crumpled shirt on the bedroom floor that smells of

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Posted August 13, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Included in the price of the ticket

“Don’t stare,” our mothers instructed, as they pulled one arm away from whatever caught our fancy. This parental technique, always hopeful and always coming from a good place, was always a disaster since our remaining limbs and extended necks then swiveled in the other direction, away from our fast-walking, arm-yanking

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Posted August 06, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Perhaps it is time to draw attention

Quiet is the only sound to be heard in this old neighborhood. Until a distant bird starts to chirp. Softly. Ah, and there’s the ever-present squawk of a seagull. Demanding attention. Irritating. No different than that scolding squirrel in your own backyard. Tossing the husk of an acorn at your

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