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

StoryCorps
April 18, 2014 | NPR · In high school, Cristina Pena was afraid to tell her boyfriend, Chris Ondaatje, that she was HIV-positive. She needn’t have worried. More than a decade later, they’re still together.
 

AP
April 18, 2014 | NPR · Fed up with what they say is years of discrimination by the Shiite-led government, ordinary Sunnis have joined Islamist fighters. There are echoes of past conflicts, with a few important distinctions.
 

Maisie Crow
April 18, 2014 | NPR · Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was once considered a model of desegregation. Today, the school’s population is 99 percent black. One family’s story underscores three generations of change.
 

Arts & Life

BBC America
April 18, 2014 | NPR · Actress Tatiana Maslany talks with Morning Edition about the return of her BBC America series Orphan Black. On the show, she plays multiple roles, and advanced technology helps her pull it off.
 

Sony Pictures
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The film Heaven Is For Real tries hard to be about faith, but mostly winds up being about not bothering anybody. It’s a shame, because it’s a lost opportunity to say something interesting.
 

Meg Vogel/NPR
April 17, 2014 | NPR · On the eve of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day, let us probe the mysterious origins and unexpected ascendency of the humble candy. And to celebrate, we’ve sampled Jelly Belly’s newest flavors.
 

Music

April 17, 2014 | NPR · Aimee Mann and Ted Leo began performing together in 2012, when Leo was Mann’s opening act. Mann began joining Leo onstage during his set. Their debut album is “The Both.”
 

Courtesy of Republic Records
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The Secret Sisters’ new album, Put Your Needle Down, displays their sophisticated, timeless sound and the country-twang influences of their hometown, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
 

April 17, 2014 | NPR · A reader asks, “Will there be a place for cassette tapes in the future? What should I do with cassette tapes — especially those beloved mixtapes — that don’t have a place to live anymore?”
 

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