On to the Articles!

I write a lot of articles, and this post should probably be a list of them (I try to do that monthly, but life). Instead, I’m continuing my exploration of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution comprises seven articles. I read the Preamble last week, and now I’m going to start the main text. Article 1, Section 1. Let’s roll! Continue reading

Records and Guesthouse

I can’t make it to Eistnaflug this year, but as the festival approaches, my thoughts wander to East Iceland. The tiny town of Eistnaflug has one record store – it’s a pretty good one, especially considering the size and isolation of the town. Upstairs is an apartment where press stays during the festival. I got to pass for press the first time I attended the festival, and met quite a few writers whose work I follow and respect, as well as some folks from record labels that have absorbed significant funds from my bank account over the years. I am quite fond of this little metal building in a remote Nordic fjord.

Rethinking the Blue Lagoon

The first time I went to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon was during Airwaves 2012. I entered on a press pass and listened to DJs while I soaked in the milky blue water, surrounded by lava rock. It was so cold and windy that day they couldn’t keep the water warm enough, but I stuck it out long enough to get a drink from the swim-up bar and experience each of the pool’s special features – waterfall, sauna, silica face mask. I concluded the Blue Lagoon was cool, but overpriced and over-hyped. Despite the pretty setting, the difference from normal Icelandic swimming pools didn’t justify the price.

Still, when I brought my whole family to Iceland this April, it felt obligatory. And now I’ve had to rethink my opinion. Continue reading

Preamble

Last week I said I was going to read the U.S. Constitution properly, and share the experience here. I hope that doesn’t sound like a drag, because the Constitution is one of the most important pieces of literature/legislation ever written, and it’s actually a short and pretty straightforward document. Not only that, but many of us feel like it’s under attack these days (others would argue that’s been the case for years) so I think we all owe it to ourselves to find out what we’re talking about. We should all be Constitutional scholars. Today’s homework is easy – the Preamble. Continue reading

Festival Town

Hard to believe this little town is home to Iceland’s biggest heavy metal festival, isn’t it?

I’ve been there twice now, both times for the festival, and I marvel at how well the locals handle the influx of corpse-painted drunkards. (The festival mantra “No idiots allowed” is partly responsible, I’m sure.) One of these days, I’m going to visit on a normal day and get to know these easy-going hosts.

We the People

I think by this point, everyone has to admit that the current U.S. President has never read the Constitution of the United States. But the truth is, neither have most of the rest of us. Yes, it’s his job. But guess what? It’s ours, too. If we lived in a monarchy, we could shrug and curse the powers the be and go about our business. But if we want the freedoms of democracy, we all need to get out and vote and we should know what our Constitution says while we’re doing it. So on Memorial Day, I skipped all the flag-waving (I always do) and the BBQs, and I sat down to read the Constitution. And you know what? It was interesting.  Continue reading

Creeping Thyme

I was disappointed when I found out that we don’t have to go to Iceland to see puffins because we have puffins at home, too. But I was tickled to see creeping thyme, the plant I fill cracks in my patio with, growing wild on the shores of a glacier lagoon in Iceland. The exact same plant, so far from home. How far this humble herb has crept.