Kinkaju-ji Gardens



When we went to Japan in 2010, we gave our then 5-year-old daughter a camera. She took this picture of the gardens at the famous Golden Temple, Kinkaku-ji. Although the temple is as stunning as promised, I was most impressed with the gardens, which are possibly the finest gardens I have seen in Japan.


Help! I Have a Samaris Question

Among many cute Icelandic things Icelandair does, like naming each plane in their fleet after an Icelandic volcano, is playing Icelandic music in the cabin before take-off and upon landing. The first time I heard the song Goða Tungl was while the airplane named Katla taxied to the gate at Keflavik Airport, delivering me to Airwaves 2012. I thought, “How cool! Björk covered Einstürzende Neubauten.” Of course I was wrong, and that’s why I need your help. Continue reading

A Song of Hate and Fear

shoponmainI watched one movie while I was sick. The Shop on Main Street was a black and white Czechoslovakian movie from 1965. The Netflix disc had been sitting on top of my tv for literally months. But the film will stay with me even longer than the disk did. Continue reading

Problems with People

ProblemswPeopleI grabbed Problems with People off of my stack of didn’t-read-before-publication review copies just as I was sliding into the infection that obliterated my entire month of November, so my impressions and memories of the stories it contains may be colored by illness. But it was a painful book to read. Let me be clear – the reading was easy. I finished the book in one evening. It was the stories themselves that were painful. In Problems with People, author David Guterson explores social awkwardness. Continue reading


SickGoodsEighteen days ago, I was ahead of my National Novel Writing Month goal; I had two weeks of blog posts pre-written to free up time for novel writing; had received nibbles on a couple pitches; and was feeling hopeful after interviewing for a part-time publishing position. My house was clean and I knew what was going with my kids at school. Eighteen days ago, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. Continue reading

A Childish Review of Director’s Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

DirChoice14BookletThe Director’s Choice repertory is always one of my favorite ballet performances of the year; I look forward to Peter Boal’s selection of modern, intriguing, challenging pieces all year. So when I found myself running a temperature of 102 F a day before I was supposed to go, I hated the thought of missing it. Fortunately, as a season subscriber, I was able to call the box office and change my dates without any fees. Unfortunately, on the day of the final performance, I was still completely out of commission, so I ended up sending my husband and daughter. My daughter has been attending the ballet for half of her life. That’s only five years of ballet, so her opinions are not necessarily the same as mine. But her opinions (lightly edited) are the ones you’re getting today.

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