The Other Site

As the last post on emeraldorange said, I've moved over to a new site. A site so hoity-toity that its editor and publisher (that would be me, the prior author of emeraldorange) calls it “an online magazine.”

There's nothing wrong with a blog but for some reason, the “online magazine” makes me feel like I've done something.

(Spoiler: I've blogged. And published some other people's things.)

At any rate, cheers and a million thank yous to the people, writers, bloggers, and creators who have followed emeraldorange in the past. If you haven't checked out my new site, Amos, here's a bit of what's been going on there:

Mike Hamm answered the question “What's wrong with the water in Mexico?

We've curated the news.

Ojijaak has written two haikus: The Crane and The Rice Husk.

There's been photography: Drinky and Drop.

We've reviewed Baker's Batch Number 5, Weller's, and BurgerHaus.

There have been the usual memory posts, random garden pics, quotes, and book reviews.

But Ed Faunce has written a laugh-out-loud funny satire: Political Awakening in the Heartland and Jessica Paullus has photographed and written about The Nun, The Lion, and the Gucci Hatman.

Leonard Pigg has decided that God hates hipsters.

And Kandice Casey has taught us how to sell our closet.

In short, there's a wide variety of stuff happening on Amos. I hope, dearly, that you will check it out. If you would like to contribute a guest blog or article (with full links back to your site), I'd love to do that for you.

And if you have any ideas on what would make a better site or if you wish to be added as an actual contributor, please let me know.

I'm convinced that the general interest magazine is not a dead thing. I suppose Amos is my rallying cry that niche blogs are not the be-all, end-all, and that there's enough space in the world for a virtual common room.

At any rate, dear (former) emeraldorange reader, that's what's happening on the new site. I hope to check in soon on those of you I'm accustomed to reading. Thanks for the past reads and follows and if you check out the new site, please let me know what you think.



Thank You. Also: I’ve moved.

Dear Emerald Orange Reader and Visitor:

I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate every one of your visits, comments, and shares. Really, truly.

But, feeling that I had outgrown the EmeraldOrange, I've started, a site I pretentiously call “an online magazine” as opposed to blog.

Maybe one day, it will be that. I hope (and my other contributors hope, too, I know) that you'll check out the new site. (You could write there, too, if you wanted, you know.)

At any rate, thank you, times a million, for visiting, reading, and commenting. I feel like you've given me good luck and encouragement and I hope that my appreciation can do the same for you, no matter how insignificant.

Cheers. But mostly, thank you.


Groundhog Day (Damn Shadow)

Groundhog Day
This morning, the rodent has seen his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. Had the groundhog peeped his head above ground in Indianapolis this morning, he would not have seen his shadow, yet I think this imaginary Hoosier groundhog would break with tradition and say, shadow or no shadow, more winter this way comes.
Shadows and varmints not withstanding, I'm going to continue scanning the horizon, seeking signs of Spring.
Happy Groundhog Day.
Image: Art gallery postcard found abandoned on a café table in Amsterdam, 2004. Artist unknown (I saved the image, but alas, have lost the postcard).


Muscari. Ahhh, Spring.


“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Related: April


Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Study Art History

a.) ‘Cause they’ll never find a job. No, really. Here’s what happens: there are a billiondy art history majors. Some of them will go on to pursue doctorates in something actually useful. The rest of them will become government sops, managers at Ann Taylor, and sundry. The other 5 will get their MFA and their PhD and teach for a living. Which will be great. But only one of the 5 will actually ever make tenure. Turns out, Art History isn’t so useful in a modern economy for the world’s temporarily remaining superpower.

b.) Because this is what will happen:


b. 1.) (ahem) They will drink potentially too much, go to the restroom and see a $10 print of Argentinian-painter-who-paints people-dancing-on-the-beach. This print will be framed, “easily accessible” (in art criticism terms), and it will remind them, every time: art is something for coffee mugs and field trips. Sure, you thought it was an excellent vehicle for understanding the intersection of religion, culture, and history; but no, it’s simply a decorative representation of attractive people cavorting on a beach. In the moonlight.

b.2.) They will then be pissed aggravated because they can’t remember the Argentinian’s name. They will then be pissed at the status quo, which determines what is “Art” and what is “artistic.”

b.3.) Because they will see that painting, in the loo, and realize that they studied the history of the decorative, not the substantial, and even though Dostoevsky said “beauty will save the world,” it’s not true. Hard work, doggedness, decency–these will save the world, not Argentinians in satin, dancing on the sand. Doubly so for those who don’t paint the Argentinians in satin. Those people will do nothing of worth except create more words. As though there weren’t enough of those.

b.4.) They will hit their heads, roughly 3.5 hours after the first drink de choix, “Or was he Chilean?”

c.) Then they’ll encounter… Suzon. (Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,1882)

c. cont.) Suzon sees all.

You should have studied bandages, corn, and STEM technologies…Suzon sees. Suzon shouts “Mill! Utilitarianism! Be Useful!”

The boy you love…he’ll never know….Suzon sees.

The regret that you daren’t express out loud when you know you’re useless and you’ve gotten it all, like, as in every-freaking-thing, wrong…you guessed it, Suzon sees.

You love…and they’ll never know how much…yep, Suzon knows your secret, you transparent tool, you.

See, Mother, Mama, you who love an Art History major, Suzon knows: when your gal–or guy– has had just a pint enough to know what a waste, that knowledge for its own sake thing, actually is, in real-world terms. Suzon knows, too.

What’s worse? c.1.) Your Art History major knows, too. S/he’s probably written a paper or two on Suzon, for goodness’ sake. So your Art History darling knows that Suzon knows that you know that Suzon knows…

And Suzon sees that, too.

In fact, your Art History darling, when she’s not splitting her limited time on the planet between wondering the best policy decisions for her actual country and the reasons for papal-imperial conflict in the twelfth century in medieval Europe, has spent her time writing 5,100 words to her professor on why he’s wrong (R-O-N-G) that Suzon demonstrates Manet’s impartiality to the world (no, of course she doesn’t: Manet was painting Suzon’s closed relationship to the world as a service employee. There’s a difference.).

And Suzon, (sigh) sees that, too.

Suzon sees every memory the Art History victim has, every disappointment the Art History Failure has inflicted on her family, society, the world.

Suzon sees every failure, hurt, and care in the eyes of the one who observes.

And, dammit, the Art History major staring at the $20 Deck the Walls version of Suzon sees that Suzon sees.

And it’s all infinitely worse from the reflection.

And that, my Mama darlings, is why you (thou) should (shalt) never let your (thine) babies grow up to be Art History majors.

When the Frost is on the Punkin

Autumn Leaves

“For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?” John Steinbeck

In honor of Autumn, October, and Halloween, I’ve been re-reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962). I usually do this because there’s something so perfectly fall-like about the first half of Part Two. “The climate changed quickly to cold and the trees burst into color, the reds and yellows you can’t believe. It isn’t only color but a glowing, as though the leaves gobbled the light of the autumn sun and then released it slowly.” And so I wanted to share this, the Millais painting, and the short list of atmospherically perfect things to dip into on a crisp October day, or better, a brisk All Hallows’ Eve.

With a nod to Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley’s “When the Frost is on the Punkin.”

For poison and pathos and the ability to stick in one’s head, “Where ha’ you been, Lord Randal, my son?” Anonymous child ballad, “Lord Randal (Randall).”

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark.”

Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman.” For cadence, but mostly for this: “The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees / The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas…”

Happy Halloween. Happy Autumn.

Image: John Everett Millais. Autumn Leaves. Oil on canvas. 1856. Manchester Art Gallery, U.K.