An old schoolhouse, two feed stores, an "84 Lumber" yard, the sheriff's substation and a western wear store were the notable tenants on the main street of Lakeside, California. It was just a half-hour's drive from the beaches of San Diego, but it had the dusty half-abandoned look of a Texas panhandle town. The "lake" was a pond in the small park at the end of the road. State Highway 67 ran parallel to the two-block-long downtown, and in a faded Old West-themed plywood strip mall, a lean middle-aged man in a brown corduroy sports coat was behind his desk with his typewriter and a coffee mug full of Bushmill's, [...]
This is me—circa age six, sporting double popped collars, rainbow suspenders, more denim than is acceptable in public, and a smile. I was seemingly happy, making more money than I will ever earn again, and—look at that pose!—brimming with confidence. I was a child model. You could look just like me for $43.99 plus tax. I was pulling $55 an hour to show you how.
Mary Heilmann, 70 next year, is the woman painter that women painters between the ages of 33 and 53 talk about, because her career is what is maybe waiting for you, if you are lucky, when you are no longer a hot young thing. (There oughta be a name for that: the long, empty middle age of the lady art career when you are ignored for being of a boring age, between young 'n' sexy and old 'n' noble.) That makes this picture from her studio, from this excerpt from a new book documenting artists' studios, all the more interesting, as she has the musical tastes of a hot [...]
On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.
My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]
Brad Reedy grew up surfing in Orange County. He originally planned to be an English teacher, but a chance internship pushed him toward the practice of wilderness therapy instead. With a few colleagues, Reedy launched Second Nature, a treatment group dedicated to helping troubled preteens, teens and young adults. Four years ago, he stepped back from the therapy side to focus on outreach and growing the organization, which now has four sites in three states. As the face of the company, Reedy travels 130,000 miles a year. We met on one of his recent trips to New York.
How did you get here?
During my graduate work at Brigham [...]
I'm torn on advice. Sometimes you're given some and it matters right there on the spot. Then there's the advice that sits alongside pathetic life-as-lit, lit-as-life devices—think fantasies of watching your own funeral or accurately narrating your life as it unfolds. This is the kind of advice that, either in the moment or as memory, arrives perfectly formed and quotable, a single well-turned line that turns your life into a teaching tool for all humanity. And then there's the advice that slips by unnoticed at the time, that you cull meaning from only in retrospect, out of metaphysical necessity. How did I get here, anyway? Someone must have told me [...]
Supposedly tomorrow Leon Panetta, the CIA Director, is going to become our Secretary of Defense! And General David Petraeus, who ran our "situation" in Afghanistan, is going to become the head of the CIA! (He will now report to James Clapper, who has had so far quite a successful career, despite running into trouble over signing on to the existence of WMDs in Iraq and more recently for suggesting that Gaddafi would win in the Libyan uprising.) Marine General John Allen is supposedly going to take Petraeus' job in Afghanistan! Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon will become our ambassador to Afghanistan, [...]