Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhen I moved to Seattle, one of the first things everyone said to me was, “Oh, you’ll be so close to Victoria, you can see Butchart Gardens.” But Seattle has plenty of distractions, and I seldom had the time to head up to Canada; when I had the time, I didn’t have the money; when I had time and money it was winter, and before I knew it I had lived in the Pacific Northwest for 20 years and never been to Victoria. When I finally corrected that situation in June, Butchart Gardens was my first priority. Continue reading

The Pongal’s Over

pongalcowBefore there were blogs, I spent a quarter studying sustainable development in southern India. I maintained an email distribution list of friends who wanted updates on my travels. Many nights involved entertainments of the herbal or alcoholic kind; there were roof-top full-moon parties and midnight swims in the ocean (the garbage floating there was harder to see in the moonlight); some evenings were spent on planting plans and composting toilet design. But occasionally, I sat down at a computer and wrote about my adventures. This is the continuation of one of those stories, in which I celebrated the Tamil holiday, Pongal.

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Book Report: The Orenda

OrendacoverWhen Joseph Boyden’s latest book, The Orenda, finally became available in the U.S., I read it that week. But I haven’t written about it until now, because I didn’t know what to say. It was a hard book to read, and even harder to process. Continue reading

About Time for Victoria, B.C.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter 20 years of living in the Pacific Northwest and saying, “One of these days, I should…” I finally did. I took the clipper to Victoria. We planned a trip the travel industry likes to call a “City Break,” just a couple of days to explore a single city, usually on the weekend, although we went midweek. It was also a bit of a “Girls’ Getaway,” although the girls were my mom and my two daughters instead of a bunch of girlfriends, and instead of hitting malls and spas we aimed for gardens and afternoon tea. But even though my travel plans never seem to conform to industry standards, Victoria managed to exceed expectations. Continue reading

Happy Pongal

fabulous-rangoli-designsBefore there were blogs, I spent a quarter studying sustainable development in southern India. I maintained an email distribution list of friends who wanted updates on my travels. Many nights involved entertainments of the herbal or alcoholic kind; there were roof-top full-moon parties and midnight swims in the ocean (the garbage floating there was harder to see in the moonlight); some evenings were spent on planting plans and composting toilet design. But occasionally, I sat down at a computer and wrote about my adventures. This is one of those stories. Continue reading

The Bookslut Gets Surreal

VaroBioI really do want to offer you dear readers reblogs that are simple, but I must share the posts that I find most interesting. Once again, I want to share with you something the Bookslut had to say. I wanted to share this untitled post because it includes one of Remedios Varo’s pictures, and she is one of my favorite surrealists. She also talks about how the women in the surrealist movement are overlooked, which I never knew because Varo was my entry point for the movement.

Another reason I wanted to share this post is that I wrote about the VIDA count this year, and about how it inspired me consider my own reading habits. But I didn’t do anything as systematic and intelligent as the Bookslut, and I think more of us should try her rational approach to creating equity in our own education.

I hope that you will click through to read this post from the Bookslut blog, and maybe even come back here and share your thoughts.