The Front Porch
June 13, 2012
I've been traveling a lot lately, and it's given me plenty of time to think about what I need and don't need from hotels. My list is below.
What I need from hotels:
- A light switch right inside the door. I hate walking into a dark hotel room and having to feel around for a lamp while worrying about tripping over a dead prostitute or stepping on an uncapped hypodermic needle. (more…)
June 8, 2012
A few weeks ago, two friends and I were hanging out when a rerun of Family Ties came on television. None of us had seen it in years, and we kept remarking on how unrealistic the premise was, how stuffy and cheesy. I was shocked by this, because, apart from its liberalism in the age of Reagan, I'd remembered this show as reflecting the experience of many middle-class American families in the 1980s. I'd felt like it reflected my own family in many ways: a busy household, parents who both worked, kids who played sports and took part in after-school events. But watching it as a grown man, something seemed off. Only recently did I realize why the show struck me as strange: in this age of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, the thing that seemed "off" about Family Ties is the show's portrayal of father Steven Keaton. He wasn't an idiot. (more…)
June 3, 2012
What do Elvis Presley and William Faulkner have in common? Me, apparently. (more…)
June 1, 2012
Was today the best day ever? I don't know. Maybe. Let's see.
This afternoon, I arrived in Jackson, Mississippi and headed straight for WMPN 91.3, the local NPR affiliate, where I was interviewed by Ezra Wall, host of Mississippi Edition and quite possibly the nicest guy I've ever met. On the way into the studio, we bumped into Aunjanue Ellis, an actress you may recognize from The Help and the television show The Mentalist. (more…)
June 1, 2012
The first time I ever heard of Fairhope, Alabama, I was the at the South Carolina Book Festival, where author Sonny Brewer was discussing his recently published first novel The Poet of Tolstoy Park. Sonny described Fairhope as an edenic paradise set on the banks of Mobile Bay, replete with old oaks, Spanish moss, and a thoughtful, progressive community of foodies, artists, and outdoor enthusiasts. People tend to speak in hyperbole about places they love, so I assumed Sonny was doing the same. Well, I arrived in Fairhope last night, and I can tell you I will believe every word I hear Sonny Brewer say for the rest of my life. This place is incredible. (more…)