Orthodox culture-lovers: Start your engines

Important 2017 info if you’re into high-culture, low-culture and all the cultures in between. Three to save the date for. Big fun. Big thought. Church services included. Be still, my heart. As we know, the whole world has gone in big for popular culture. That can be talking about literature, philosophy, film, art– you know, all the high-brow stuff — but also blockbuster movies, must-see TV, comic books — the every-man stuff. Personally, I’m…

Sticks and stones

It may seem out of step to talk about insults during the season that is supposed to be about good cheer and “peace on earth.” But that’s what we get, I suppose, for having Election Day come so close to the start of Advent. Or specifically, this Election Day. Election Day, 2016. Because this one has been, to use a grandfatherly expression, a pip. From start to finish, it was unlike anything…

Advent, traditions and an update on a TSOG ‘classic’

Well, here we are. Advent started yesterday, and now begins the Church’s second-biggest countdown of the year. If you’re like me, you are a bit amazed to find that it’s that time already. It’s a little humorous, given that the Advent fast always comes on exactly the same day every year — no need to look up ‘date of Christmas’ on the internet like you do with Pascha. How is it that…

Farewell to Clementine

“A dog is better than I am, for he has love and does not judge.” St. Xanthias I’m taking a break from big-thinky stuff today to reminisce about a good dog who passed away yesterday. Longtime fans of This Side of Glory (assuming they’re both still alive) will remember the days when I used to post about my hound-dog Clementine. When we moved from the Missouri country life, we had to leave her…

One fine Father’s Day

I wrote this some years ago back when I sometimes encountered wildlife by chance while walking my dog in rural Missouri. My location has changed and someone else is walking my girl Clementine these days, but thoughts about my dad on Father’s Day stay the same. Walking the hounddog Clementine in the June heat is a bit of a chore, so I waited until she was really fussing at me before I put on…

What about zombies?

Did you ever have one of those times when you turned around and suddenly everyone was wearing a fashion or saying a certain catch phrase and you had no idea where it came from? That sort of sums up me and the zombie apocalypse. And by “zombie apocalypse,” I don’t mean the world takeover by the undead — I mean the fact that we even THINK about such things. Suddenly, zombies are everywhere…