July 29, 2014

Wash Post: Dylan Thomas’s Wales


“Listen to (his most famous poem) from a child’s point of view,” Annie says. “His father wouldn’t give Dylan the words he needed like ‘well done’ or ‘I’m proud of you.’ The work between father and son wasn’t finished.”

American Way: Ultimate Tequila Tour

Tequila barrels on a burro at Herradura hacienda.

Over the course of two whirlwind days in Tequila and one in the highlands town of Arandas, I visit eight distilleries with Julio Bermejo.

Art collector Jack Leissring: Eyes need to see this stuff

“Every piece I’ve ever purchased is because of an emotional response,” Leissring says, tapping a fist to his heart. “I have some big names, but that’s immaterial to me. This tendency we have to adulate some and ignore others is a tragic flaw.”

Adriena Daunt Leaving Single Malt Curlers

Adriena Daunt is leaving the Single Malt Curlers at the end of the band's 2014 worldwide tour.

Singer, tambourine player Adriena Daunt announced she’s leaving the Single Malt Curlers.

Gambling column: NBA title futures


If they stay healthy and new addition Andre Iguodala plays to his potential, the Warriors have a legitimate – if not huge – chance to go all the way.

Making a living as a freelancer

Editors have always appreciated brevity, but today space is tighter than ever. Try to keep stories under 1,500 words, 2,000 tops. A 750-word story has a much better chance of selling than a 2,500-word piece.

The Bird Men of Mazatlan: Cliff divers wait for tide to come in, Mariner

In the fall of 2009, Mariner magazine asked if I’d go to Mazatlan to write about the cliff divers there. I’d watched cliff divers in Acapulco during the ’70s on ABC’s Wide World of Sports but didn’t know they were still plunging into the sea. I spent three days with the divers, who – if […]

Cowboy Junkies keep it fresh


In the early 1990s, Cowboy Junkies lead singer Margo Timmins performed just for me.

Abolish the one-game playoff in baseball

Rainbow over the SF Giants ballpark.

Here’s the larger issue with adding a one-game wild card playoff: it cheapens the 162-game season.

Fed ruling may clear path for legal poker


A bunch of guys in a big room playing poker: a typical scene but one that could have led to jail time for its operator. Until a federal judge said game on – here’s the story I wrote for the SF Chronicle. – By Michael Shapiro, Sept. 6, 2012 Anyone who has played poker even […]