Posts

Showing posts from 2018

The Importance of Being Persistent

Image
My first rejection came in the mail before I turned ten. I had written a story about a police officer and his dog--from the viewpoint of the dog--and sent it to the New Yorker. The rejection came a couple of months later, along with a coupon for a free year's subscription to the magazine. I should have seen it as a harbinger of things to come, but I didn't, remaining blissfully unaware of my fate for forty-five years. I don't mean to imply that I've had more than my fair share of rejection, but I have had my share. Every writer does. Rejection is simply part and parcel of the business; the part and parcel that every writer hates. But it's a necessary part all the same. Every rejection I've had--after the crying and the stomping of the feet--has led to improvement. There is no better incentive to get better, to hone your craft, than the soul-sucking experience of rejection and the desire not to experience it again. The other nice part about rejection?

The Wisdom of Swine: The Top 10 Things Pigs Can Teach Us, on the #MINI

Image
There's just something about pigs that makes them fodder for expressions and idioms from all over the world. My father was especially fond of porcine proverbs, and I have included several of his favorites in my top ten. Without further ado (this being the #MINI and all.) here they are: Number 10: Happy as a pig in mud. Where's your mud? Wallow in it. Number 9: Even a blind pig sometimes finds a truffle. This explains why even I have a good round of golf once in a while. Number 8: Bring home the bacon. Not to be confused with 'bring home the soy bacon.' Number 7: Living High off the Hog. Life's short, eat the bacon. Number 6: You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, but It's Still a Pig Keep this in mind when you watch Fox news... Number 5: Don't buy a pig in a poke. I don't want to buy a pig in anything... The B-B-Q place down the street handles all that quite nicely. Number 4: Pigs Get Fat; Hogs Get Slaughtered Kee

Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz: A Book Review on the Thursday Afternoon #MINI

Image
If you have read a lot of thrillers, you will be familiar with the premise of Gregg Hurwitz's Don't Look Back : Eve Hardaway, every day woman, having lost her husband, her career, and her inner self to the tedium of every day life, goes on a vacation to the jungles of Mexico to find herself, only to become the target of a deranged terrorist determined to kill her. Sound familiar? It does, and that's because it's a working formula for thrillers; ordinary people with ordinary problems put into extraordinary circumstances. Who couldn't relate to that? The extraordinary circumstances? Here's where the problems begin. It just so happens that one of the world's most wanted terrorists lives right next to the Eco-lodge that Eve and her fellow adventurers are staying in. When Eve happens to glimpse the man--an Islamic extremist--as she uses the toilet, he goes on a mission to kill every man, woman and child at the lodge in order to protect his identity. Every

Millers All Day: A Dining Review on the #MINI

Image
Millers All Day is the kind of restaraunt that makes you want to be hungry. My wife, daughter and I were strolling down King Street in Historic Downtown Charleston and we just kinda ran into the place at a time when my wife was hungry (and therefore everyone was hungry, if you get my meaning.) So we went in. The first good sign was that queue was good and long. As I tell my patients when I'm running late: When you're going out to eat, you pull over when you see the line of people spilling out the door, and you get in the back of the line. <Patient gives confused look as to why I am telling this story> The moral of the story is that people will wait for good food. We waited. When I go out to eat, I like a place with a good vibe. Millers All Day has a real good vibe; there's a good buzz of conversation, but it isn't too loud, and people were having a good time. I like good food as much as the next guy, but I don't like places that are so reverent ab

The Sixth Extinction: A Book Review on the #MINI

Image
There are good books, there are great books, and then there are great books that change the way you think. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, is a great book that can not only change the way you think but how you live as well. Simply put, The Sixth Extinction is a chronicle of the five major extinctions that have occured on earth and the sixth extinction that is occuring right now, the so-called Anthropocene Extinction. It is fascinating subject material, made even more fascinating by the personal way Kolbert tells the story and her fluid, often humorous prose. It is so often the case with books like these that there is a moral to the story. The moral to this story: Although previous mass extinctions have been caused by forces beyond human control, such as asteroid collisions and volcanic eruptions, the relatively recent megafauna extinction and the current amphibian extinction are directly related to human activities. Having said that, Ms. Kolbert

In the Wake of the Storm: Tortola after Hurricane Irma.

Image
On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma--the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall--battered Tortola with 215 mile per winds. Six months later, my family and I flew down to see how Tortola and the other 'Nature's Little Secrets' of the British Virgin Islands had fared.  Look in one direction (above) and it's hard to believe a catergory 5 hurricane devatastated Tortola less than six months ago. Look in the other direction (below) and it isn't. 220 mile an hour sustained winds were hard on this palm grove. Neither motor boat nor monohull was spared from the tidal surge that stacked the boats at Soper's Hole up like plastic toys. Since the mangroves were decimated, a school of minnows is using this inboard boat for protection. Nature is clever. If you are trying to calculate the cost of this storm, this 28 foot inboard boat goes for about three hundred thousand dollars; it's a total loss, and there are hundr

5 Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression: The Vermont Family Doctor Says, Issue # 1

Image
It's January, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, that means short days and grey skies ,  especially if you live in Vermont, which I (thankfully) do. Short days and grey skies, in turn, have a deleterious effect on mood -- a nd that means for everybody, not just the approximately 1/3 of people at northern latitudes who meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It se ems timely, then , to w rite a post about the best ways to boost mood without medication. 1) Get your ass moving : I could write an entire  thesis on the mood effects of  E xercise  (fortunatel y for your mo od   I won't ) but it would take too lo n g and I want  to go hiking  later this morn ing.  Suffice it to say that exercise causes  your body to release endorphins, a chemical that  has the effect of reducing stress, boosting mood, and decreasing the perception of pain. The be st part about endorp hins  is that, unlike morphi ne  to which endo rp hins are related, they don't eng