Archive for October, 2009

It’s been a great day. I spent a king’s ransom—and then got way too wired—on kombucha. I puttered around the house and worked on my website. This afternoon, my friend Uta called and invited me over for some stöllen. Then, my friend Norine and her dog Mica stopped by. So why does my day feel […]


So Forbes.com has named Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington as America’s safest city. Never mind that I just rattled off three cities. (Does this mean we’re no longer the “Twin Cities”? I hope we’re not going to change our tagline. “The Triplet Cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington” just doesn’t have the same ring.) Anyway, the folks at […]


For the past month, I’ve been attending an advanced French conversation class through community ed. It’s been wonderful to discover that I understand everything that’s being said, no matter the topic. It’s also been humbling to realize just how far I have to go. Although I’ve worked hard to build my vocabulary—which now includes a […]


Add this one to the signs of a global economic meltdown: Iceland’s three McDonald’s restaurants will close next week. I’ve watched Iceland’s economic collapse with great interest—and great sadness. Steve and I have been fortunate to visit this beautiful, remote country twice. Both times we marveled at this tiny nation’s independent spirit and seemingly robust […]


I first learned of the Paris catacombs in a guidebook several years ago. The single paragraph describing the final resting place of some six million people was almost dismissive. But the photo of a wall—made entirely of bones—captured my imagination. My macabre curiosity was finally satisfied one gray January day, when I found myself in […]


Life really can be stranger than fiction. There’s been some buzz this week about an “illegal alien” costume that was briefly listed at Target.com. Target says the costume was never intended for sale, and that it was added to their website by mistake. Mistakes happen. Go and sin no more. But the anti-illegal-immigration groups are […]


Today my colleagues and I were treated to an afternoon of beer and bowling. I had a Guinness and marveled at my friend Tom’s prowess on the lanes (he was the leading scorer, once we got past the Pythonesque “silly round”). I ate a couple of mini-wieners and started in on a Sprite. I had […]


I was struck by a comment a friend made recently, while discussing a failed relationship: “People are like impressionist paintings—they’re beautiful from far away, but the closer you get, the uglier they get.” In a sense, she’s right. The closer we become to others, the more evident their flaws. This morning I happened upon a […]


There is no such thing as bad publicity, except your own obituary. —Brendan Behan I wonder whether PepsiCo would agree. The junk-food giant is getting some spectacularly bad publicity for its iPhone application that’s supposed to help men “score” with women. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. But I can […]


Yesterday I spent the day in Lake City and Frontenac State Park with my dear friend Pam. As always, we had a wonderful time—and an equally wonderful long walk in the woods. Here are some of the highlights from our day. We had a laugh over this not-very-helpful sign from the DNR: Then, we marveled […]