The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric

This week’s mini-blizzard provided respite I’d been hoping for — no appointments, too cold to even think of going outside voluntarily, and streets packed with snow. I stayed in with the dogs, reading and cleaning and baking a dense chocolate cake scented with cloves [...]

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The Middle Distance 12/14/12

Last night on a downtown street, someone busted out the front passenger window of my car to dig around inside it. Whoever it was — a passerby who, conveniently, had a brick or a big rock in his hand — found a wallet stuffed with essential identification, [...]

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The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom

In her treatise on photography, Susan Sontag said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Witness any public event in the 21st century, crowd members’ arms extended outward with smartphones pointed in every direction and understand how prophetic that statement was way back in [...]

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The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman

She resides in a painting — a simple stretched canvas, unframed — emerging from a slate blue background, her hair and dress the same silver-gray. Her breasts sag low, as if from the natural weight of years.

She hung in a corner of the bedroom wherever I lived [...]

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The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke

It is nearly Thanksgiving and in the early mornings my turn-of-the-20th century neighborhood smells like wood smoke. Nights are cold, the neighbors cranking up their fireplaces and wood stoves. A deadly summer wildfire season has put the fear of God and flame in most [...]

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The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”

In a parallel life, I think I might have been a cafeteria lady, baking industrial sized trays of yeast rolls every morning in a stainless steel kitchen, ladeling out clouds of mashed potatoes and smothering them with milk gravy.
Last Sunday I spent [...]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn wonders where to best place her worry during the Frankenstorm.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn embraces the obsessive mathematics of aging.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn tugs at the long tail of gun violence and its current literature.

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In this week’s Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ruminates on the struggle for faith.

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We recently uncovered some shocking information regarding Big Something intern and recent Colorado College graduate, Jake Brownell. It turns out that the young man we know as an earnest, polite and responsible member of the community spent his youth as a gangster rapper. Well, perhaps gangster is a little hyperbolic, but he did cut a [...]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn gathers seeds from her garden and remembers the autumn of her twins’ birth.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn celebrates locavore and farmer Dan Hobbs on the occasion of his Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn sees her late sister through the eyes of a ghost costume.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn walks back into her second grade classroom.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn unearths a moment in civil rights history that happened right under her nose.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn looks through the blurry lens of a toy camera into the past.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn stares into the eyes of a toothless flasher in a dirty raincoat.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn spreads her toes across years of shoeless memories.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ties two summer films together with the unlikely string of far-fetched fantasy.

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(Cybil Shepherd, center, after winning the Miss Teenage Mephmis Pageant in 1966)

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?

What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the big city of Memphis. I didn’t know anyone, [...]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn commemorates the 5th anniversary of her son’s death in the wake a summer of difficult news.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn’s 100th column for KRCC’s The Big Something, she looks at a new book that examines the long term physical and psychic costs of Rocky Flats.

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News

AP
October 31, 2014 | NPR · The end of the World Series allows us to revisit baseball’s experiment with instant replay. Commentator Alva Noë argues it has been a success — not because it makes the game more fair, but more fun.
 

AFP/Getty Images
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Some of the weakest countries, such as Spain and Italy, are experiencing a broad drop in incomes and asset values. Deflation is a painful process that can be hard to reverse once it starts.
 

Courtesy of Dr. Curtis Chan
October 31, 2014 | NPR · If you’re like many parents, by tomorrow morning you’ll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
 

Arts & Life

October 31, 2014 | NPR · Kenneth Turan reviews Nightcrawler, a thriller set in the “nocturnal underbelly” of Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a young man who discovers the world of L.A. crime journalism.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters’ work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · A new digital platform called Simpson’s World has all 25 years’ worth of the show. FX says it is trying to cater to both old-fashioned TV fans and people who watch shows on other devices.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 31, 2014 | WXPN · The Scottish soul singer, a best-seller in Europe, plays songs from his new album, Caustic Love.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 30, 2014 | NPR · The song is the exuberant sound of a novice exploring the possibilities of alternative electronic dance music with no real rule book or manual at his disposal.
 

Mountain Stage
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Hear a live set from the banjo master, who’s long been expanding the instrument’s possibilities.
 

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