It’s almost mid September, and for every self-respecting, semi-literate Germanophilic Baltimoron — like myself — that can only mean one thing: It’s time to celebrate not one but two holidays: Der Tag and Oktoberfest. The latter, of course, is a wildly popular, mammoth festival held in Germany to promote Bavarian culture and its greatest contributions… Continue reading How to Host Your Own ‘Mencktoberfest’
I’ve said it before (for instance, here) but it bears repeating: Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. I love everything about it, from the mythology to the mashed potatoes; from my family’s adherence to our culinary traditions (like this regional requisite) to the outlandish reinterpretations I’ve encountered elsewhere (like this ghastly gallinacean); from the nearly non-secular… Continue reading Sacre Bleu! The Best French Beers for Thanksgiving May Be Made in America
Each week, I attempt to introduce you to something new — a song I’ve heard or a band I’ve fallen for, a beer and food pairing that I’ve enjoyed, or a poet or writer that I know about but you may not. In the latter category, it seems, I have been focused mainly on the deceased,… Continue reading Tell Me Again, Hayden…
In our house, we are celebration opportunists. Holiday hedonists, so to speak. Festivity freeloaders. Promiscuous party-makers. Jamboree joiners. Etc. In other words, we honor and participate in just about every traditional fanfaronade that pops up on the calendar. No matter what religious or cultural affiliations are ascribed to it, as long as there is food and… Continue reading Go Bavarian for Chinese New Year
Flummoxed. Faltering. Discombobulated. Inarticulate. Dumbfounded. Dumbstruck. Nonplussed. Tongue-tied. Tight-lipped. Laconic. Hushed. Speechless. In other words, dear reader, Scribbleskiff is at a loss for words this week. I’ve been so busy again, getting caught up in the rigmarole of regular life, managing (and being managed by) the important things, that I’ve been unable to get carried… Continue reading Let Others Say It for You, Say It Best
No one likes to fail. And yet everyone does, every once in awhile. Falling flat on your face is part of being human, though rarely is it anything but terribly embarrassing and painful. I have enough self-respect (well, enough left these days) to know that not trying — a nonattempt, so to speak — is… Continue reading Of Poems and Promises, Meatloaf, Memories, and the Pleasures of Failure
In December, a young man’s fancy doesn’t normally turn to thoughts of nature, or to the arousing (and consolatory) effects of it. Not in the usual, “greeny flower” ways, that’s for sure. That’s a spring thing. No, common thoughts of nature this time of year usually involve strategies to avoid it. Sure, snowstorms in a… Continue reading Poetry Picks to Suit Your Better Nature
Sometime last year I wrote about one of my favorite annual autumnal activities, escaping to the imaginary village of Sleepy Hollow and visiting for awhile with its spooky, kooky inhabitants. It’s a ritual I look forward to each year, as summer begins winding down and the natural world puts on one last great display of… Continue reading Edgar Allan Poe Died Here. Let’s Party!
This is the Christmas Eve tradition in our house, as I’m sure it is in many others across the country: before heading off to bed, the children write a note to Santa, set it next to a plate of cookies and carrots, and then settle in by the fire to hear someone read “A Visit… Continue reading What to Read on the Night Before the Night Before Christmas
I’m a big fan of Halloween. As a kid, I loved getting dressed up in a costume. Coming up with an idea, pulling together the various pieces and accouterments, occasionally teaming up with another fanatic — it was all great fun. And I not only relished what I looked like on the outside, but I also enjoyed playing the… Continue reading Apples, Pumpkins, and Stouts — Oh My!