Opera on Tap

OperaonTapOn a recent Wednesday night, while the rest of the family was upstairs reading bedtime stories, I snuck out of the house and met my friend who was waiting in her parked car on the corner. We drove to Ballard, where a meet-up of over a hundred motorcycle riders restored some of the neighborhood’s old, salty character. Drifting uncertainly through a sea of leather-clad riders and parked bikes, we found the warehouse with the letter H painted on the side.

“I think that’s it. Doesn’t the name of the bar start with H?”

“Yes, this is it. See, there’s a sign.”

Next to the door of the warehouse was a white homemade sandwich board. Stenciled in black block letters was the word, “Opera.”

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Late Bloomers

I was a precocious, Type-A, perfectionist, high-achiever child with the GPA and SAT scores to prove it. Measuring achievement in real life has proven more challenging. Figuring out what I want to achieve had me stymied for decades. And that is why I always appreciate late-bloomer pep talks like this one.

Finding the PATH

I drove to the dog park every day when my border collie was young, passing by a nondescript building with this logo on it. Like Charlie Bucket in Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, I wondered what went on inside the mysterious industrial building near my house. Finally I got the brilliant idea of googling it, and discovered that the building housed something more wonderful than Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

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Book Report: The Perfect Landscape



After several perplexing Icelandic novels in a row, it was a breath of fresh air to read a straightforward, plot-driven narrative. Whew! Icelanders still tell stories after all. Fun stories about creativity and mystery; intrigue in the fine art world. Continue reading

What the Steadfast Reader Said About Clean Reading

Last month I tried “reblogging” for the first time. Although the whole point of having a blog is to share your own thoughts, sometimes you run across something that you just want to share. Mostly, I use Twitter for that, but lately I’ve seen a few blog posts that really seemed to fit my blog more than my Twitter, and that didn’t really need much commentary from me.

This blogger isn’t on WordPress, so I’m just going to insert a link below. It’s the first I’ve heard of “clean reading” and I think she does a pretty good job of explaining and debunking the practice. I especially appreciate this statement

I do think that every now and then we should make an effort step outside our own echo chambers and explore things that make us a little uncomfortable or that we find a little bit ugly. Those are the places where we will learn the most, where we will grow the most. 

Please take a moment to read the Steadfast Reader’s post on The Problem with Clean Reading, and maybe come back by and let me know what you think. I’m a big fan of the blog No Clean Singing. After this, I’m tempted to rename my blog No Clean Reading. Would you read it?

The Children’s Book Coincidence

It's a beautiful world.

It’s a beautiful world.

Whether one believes coincidences are actually meaningful messages from a higher power, or are merely coinciding incidents, it’s hard to deny the impact they can have. In my life, impactful coincidences tend to happen at the library.

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Book Report: The Pets

thepetsNow that I have read something by each of the Iceland Writers Retreat featured authors, I am moving on to the Icelandic authors who are involved in the event. Not all of them are available at my library, but of the ones that are, the first to arrive at my local branch after I placed a slew of holds was The Pets by Bragi Ólafsson, translated by Janice Balfour and published in English by the literary translation press Open Letter.

I have to say, I’m not sure what to make of it. Continue reading