People read travel stories about places they have never been in order to vicariously experience a trip they could never take themselves, or else as a form of research for trips to places they might someday go. I’m not sure if it is as common to read travel books about places you have already been, but I like to do it. It’s a weird combination of vicarious adventure, excitement over shared experience, and a bit of schadenfreude as the reader gloats over any of the author’s mistakes the reader avoided. Continue reading
One recent morning as I was second-guessing a paragraph for an article I was about to turn in, I stepped into the shower, and my glasses fogged up. ‘Good grief,’ I thought to myself as I dropped my glasses into the bathroom sink where it was relatively drier, ‘I’m turning into one of those absent-minded professor dads from the Disney movies.’ Continue reading
Not long ago, my friend Jennie Locati invited me to participate in a “blog hop.” I’ve been friends with Jennie for longer than I care to remember, but we lost touch for many years. When we finally reconnected, I was pleased to discover that she is still as smart and interesting as I remembered. I’ve tweeted and reblogged several of her WYS Words posts before, because she often has valuable things to say on topics I like to talk about.
I was honored to be invited to join her blog hop, and being included sent my page views through the roof (to quote the WordPress alert message). Jennie’s blog hop was such a positive experience that I decided to keep it going, although it pained my introverted rejection-phobic heart to do it. Continue reading
Oscar was built like a tank and smelled so rank you knew when he’d entered the room. A row of welts rose on your skin wherever he touched your face. At the end of a week, I couldn’t let him go. Continue reading
When 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
Before 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.
When 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
After 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
Before 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
I 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.