Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Escape the cubicle

Sean Carman Archive

Sean Carman

Under the Anchorage Sun

November 23rd, 2008
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C. –

I have seen a headline reporting that Sarah Palin has scored a $7 million book deal. I’ve also been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love.” So when I saw the Palin headline I thought: What if Sarah Palin wrote her book in the vein of Liz Gilbert’s memoir? What if Palin’s book, meant to be an insider’s account of her political 15 minutes, was instead written as a confessional memoir of a mid-life crisis, a journey of self-exploration in an exotic locale? (more…)


Sean Carman

Do the Right Thing

November 17th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

I never got Alberto Gonzalez. The way he sat there, in those Senate hearings, and told the Senate Judiciary Committee that prisoner abuse wasn’t torture until it caused the failure of a major internal organ. It wasn’t so much that he said those words with a straight face, but that he did so without showing any trace of human feeling. To watch those hearings was to be both fascinated and appalled. Appalled at his words; fascinated he could say them with so little apparent care. (more…)


Sean Carman

Life Lists

September 1st, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

Amy Bryant’s post about life lists — her response to an an article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about neurotics 20- and 30-somethings attempting to complete lifetime to do lists (”No. 115 - wear hemp shirt to sitar concert”) — got me thinking. What would be on my life list?

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Sean Carman

Three Weird Things

August 22nd, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

One

On Friday, as I step off the bottom of the escalator at the U Street Metro station, I hear a woman screaming. She is not just talking loudly, or shouting. She is screaming. Her voice sounds desperate. It breaks as if she’s close to tears. She is saying, “I’m trying! Lord knows I’m trying! God knows! I’m trying! I’m trying but it’s so hard! You don’t know how hard it is!”

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Sean Carman

A Palimpsest

August 9th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

This month, Maud Newton asked her readers to write about their favorite book stores. I wrote an essay about Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, D.C., but after Maud posted my essay I saw more clearly the point I had been trying to make. So, what follows is a revised version of my essay. I’ve just started Gore Vidal’s memoir, so I’m going to borrow from him and call this a palimpsest, a revision that still leaves traces of the original behind.

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Sean Carman

In Praise of the Poker Report

July 27th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

In St. Petersburg, Russia, four gypsies stop me on a footbridge that spans a stone-walled canal. They shout in Russian and lift me up. I think maybe I’m going into the canal, which would be bad, but then Stephen Elliott lunges into them, demanding they put me down. After they run away with my wallet Steve makes sure I get home safely, and he also stays up with me until I calm down.

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Sean Carman

Sarah Vowell Was My Soul Mate

June 16th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

The year was 2000, I was reading Sarah Vowell’s essay collection “Take the Cannoli,” and the coincidences were flooring me.

Sarah Vowell had grown up in Bozeman, Montana, in a house full of guns with a father who was a member of the National Rifle Association (“Shooting Dad”).

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Sean Carman

Boswell in London

May 30th, 2007
by Sean Carman

Washington, D.C.-

At the time of his death in 1795, Scottish lawyer James Boswell, author of The Life of Samuel Johnson, was considered a literary one hit wonder, a kind of 18th Century Buffalo Springfield. At that point the “Life” was Boswell’s only publication, and everyone just assumed it was the only thing he ever wrote.

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Sean Carman

Ghosts in the Machine

May 9th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, DC-

Pike_place_market

The government agency I work for let me spend six months in Seattle before I officially moved there, and during that time something dented the passenger side door of my hatchback Honda Civic.

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Sean Carman

Blocked!

April 25th, 2007
by Sean Carman

WASHINGTON, D.C.-

I’ve never had writer’s block. I can’t always write a strong enough piece for a website or anthology when I’m occassionally asked, but I never end up with a blank page (knock on wood). My writing problem is more that I have a difficult time writing something other than that specialized form of prose that so easily flies from my fingers, the literary genre known as “mortifying dreck.”

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