Dusting Off: Digging a Hole to China

There comes a humbling moment in every boy’s life when he realizes that digging a hole to China is impossible.

Previous attempts at burrowing a Sino-antipodean tunnel had been foiled — not by his inability to procure a plastic shovel capable of withstanding earth’s 9,800-degree inner core, but rather by a late-afternoon thunderstorm or his mother’s maddening penchant for whisking him off the beach just as the tip of a chopstick was being exhumed.

Digging in the wrong direction? 

As Robert Krulwich explains, China’s antipode, or diametrical opposite, is in fact 150 miles north of Buenos Aires. If you dug a hole from any point in the contiguous 48 states, you’d end up in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere. Sadly, only four percent of earthly antipodes are land-to-land.

Then again, if we all keep digging, we might one day meet in the middle…



On Being Gay by the Strait

Every facet of Spain’s culture seems to be firmly rooted on the Costa del Sol: Picasso isn’t just celebrated in Málaga, he was born here; gazpacho isn’t just served in Andalusía, the recipe was written here; flamenco isn’t just danced in Seville, it was choreographed here; and Hemingway didn’t just write about bullfights in Ronda, streets and children are named after him here.

“Very new” effortlessly rubs shoulders with “very, very old” in these parts, including at the Vincci Selección Posada del Patio Hotel (VincciHoteles.com) in Málaga, where my backlit bidet, at full blast, rivals the Bellagio Fountains laser light show in Vegas. It’s a little disconcerting when a bathroom is hipper than I’ll ever be. The new-meets-old is also evidenced by the Vincci’s millennial-modern lobby, which straddles a Roman wall circa 400 b.c. Seemingly every basement in Málaga, including that of the magnificent Picasso Museum (MuseoPicassoMalaga.org), has remnants of an ancient civilization on display.

 I arrive fashionably late in Torremolinos, the region’s gay capital, which I’m told “really comes alive” around 4 a.m


Your Andy Warhol Range Hood is Making You Look Silly

…for that matter, so is your Andy Warhol watch and your Andy Warhol T-shirttote bagsneakers and snowboard.

Safe to say the Andy Warhol big wheel wasn’t a hit last Christmas.

You’ve been waiting for just the right lady to fill out that Andy Warhol dress you’ve been holding on to, along with a hip, snappy alternative, if such a thing exists in the world of old-timey soup can apparel. Or the world of duvet-slash-bedside lamp combos.

Now, the Campbell’s tomato soup / grilled cheese combo is another story…




Remembering a Pioneering Female Soldier Killed in Action | ADVOCATE – April, 2016

Four days before Christmas 2015, Air Force Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen was killed when a Taliban suicide bomber drove a motorcycle packed with explosives into a security patrol she was leading near Bagram Air Base in eastern Afghanistan. It was the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 18 months, in what was supposed to be the waning days of the war. Five others were killed in the attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Vorderbruggen is remembered as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend to many.

“She’s a hero, and I hope she’s a hero to all of us, not just to me,” remembers her older brother Christopher…. 


Portrait of a Rocker

If long-lost portraits of the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan are your bag, then you’re about to open up a pretty sweet one.

Music photographer Jim Marshall reached legendary status long ago thanks to an uncanny ability to catch rock stars looking decidedly un-rockstar-like — moments after a sneeze, an eye in the mirror, watching themselves, etc. The roar tempers momentarily, just long enough to steal a knowing glance before the next bell rings.


The majority of Marshall’s collection was never published. Since his death in 2010, his longtime assistant Amelia Davis, who now runs the estate, has been digging through millions of negatives.



“He had an innate sense and a natural ability to pick a photo that was spot on and that represented the musicians,” says Davis.

“They were his friends, and they trusted him.”


Wild things run fast.