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It’s a rainy October Saturday. This week under the pandemic has been insufferably dystopian, with all kinds of preposterous news. After slowly making my way through Saturday morning I manage to drag myself out of the post-workweek daze for a walk under the trees, despite the rain.
I came to the Japanese Garden because I thought it would be serene here. I’m having a bad day, and spending some quiet time alone in the peaceful environment of manicured footpaths and miniature bridges, gentle streams, colorful fish and artfully arranged rocks will help me to feel better. I’ll sit quietly in the bosom of nature like a Buddha. Everything will be ok. (more…)
Warning: long, self-indulgent travelogue and photo essay
Not entirely Off Topic
Last week I traveled to the United Kingdom to attend the Association of British Orchestras annual conference, held this year in Cardiff, Wales. I was very fortunate to be able to arrive a few days early so I could spend some time in London.
It was my first visit to the U.K., and I packed as much into it as I could. I logged 46,699 steps in those three days in London, exceeded the fare cap on my Oyster card each day with trips on buses and the Underground, saw places and relics for the first time that have lived in my imagination since I was a child, and was reunited with old friends I haven’t seen for decades. It was thrilling.
It’s a once in a lifetime event. A total solar eclipse passed over Nashville today, and the city’s population reportedly doubled briefly as approximately a million people arrived in the area from out of town to witness it. Parties were scheduled all over town, with commercial opportunities galore as eager consumers snapped up eclipse glasses, eclipse t-shirts, beer brewed especially for the eclipse, cocktails crafted for the eclipse, eclipse mugs and growlers and tote bags and ball caps and smart phone apps. Experts across the country shared astronomic data and compiled essential playlists. The Atlantic reprinted Annie Dillard’s superlative 1982 essay Total Eclipse.
What a beautiful ruin it will make!
~ H.G. Wells,
on first seeing the Manhattan skyline
Last month we traveled to New York for our summer vacation – a combination of seeing old friends and introducing our teenage daughter to the city. My wife and I lived in the New York metropolitan area for nearly 5 years in our late twenties: formative years. Our first child was born there. Although I have been back a number of times since we moved away in 1995 (several times for work) and seen old friends and colleagues before, it has been a decade or more since I saw many of them – more than 20 years since I have seen some, and since we really had the time to simply roam about Manhattan.
Have you ever had to make a tough decision?
This is a technique I have used to make difficult and important decisions for about 15 years now. This article belongs in the Sage Advice category, which I have not yet set up here on Off The Podium.
I won’t guarantee that this technique will work for everyone, however I have used it successfully many times when making important decisions about plans and changes regarding my career, education, and other aspects of both my professional and my personal life.
This is not a technique for making decisions that must be acted on immediately, under duress. This is a method for making momentous decisions that will impact your life and the lives of those around you significantly, for which you have a cushion of time – days, weeks, or months – to come to a decision.
This article is about the noble Caesar Salad, and how to make it my way. If you like romaine, garlic, and lemon, read on.
Caesar Salad has been around nearly a hundred years now. It was invented by an Italian chef named Caesar Cardini although if and when he did so is has been the subject of argument among his family and those who worked in his restaurants. Many have said it dates back to the 1920s.
I don’t remember exactly when I first started making it at home, but it was sometime in the 1990s. It was around that time that I came across my grandfather’s recipe for “Walt’s Caesar Salad” in the Bitner family cookbook.
After 8 years, Nashville’s unique and only ecumenical Buddhist center is closing its doors.
This weekend the three local Buddhist meditation groups who share 12 South Dharma Center are moving out of the second floor suite of rooms on hip & trendy 12 South Avenue they have occupied since June 2008. Nashville will no longer have a dedicated space where those interested in Buddhism and meditation can choose from several groups to sit with or experienced practitioners to receive instruction from 6 days a week.
It’s been great while it lasted.