Archive for August, 2011

My Mac has become increasingly sluggish over the past two weeks, so I wasn’t entirely surprised today when it took more than three minutes to boot up. I verified the disk permissions, tested the start-up items, and rebooted in safe mode. Alas … none of that helped. The next step was to make more room […]


I first went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in about 1979. Here’s my sole surviving photo from that adventure: From left to right, my sisters Lara and Regi, my mom Carolina, and my Grandma Iris. I (very) vaguely remember enjoying the spectacle, but that’s about it. So it’s kind of surprising that Steve and I […]


I woke up today thinking about Chautauqua. Since 1874, people have come to this beautiful spot in upstate New York to study, paint, make music, dance, meditate, read—and relax. The 12-week-long personal-growth extravaganza features a different theme each week, and every day brings at least one distinguished speaker. (Jane Goodall, Fareed Zakaria, Al Gore, Ken […]


I don’t know anyone who loves sailing more than my friend Patrick. So when he invited me to spend a day on his sailboat with our mutual friend Andrew, all I needed was a time, a slip number, and an assurance that the vessel was structurally sound. As I boarded, I wasn’t sure what to […]


My friend Tom (aka., “The Blogfodder”) has been at it again. Today he sent me a treasure trove of great reads—including some good advice, should I decide to become a busker: “If you can’t be original, be good.” (I couldn’t help but think of my pal Rudy McLeod, who is both original and good.) I […]


I used to spend entire days at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts when I was a freelancer. Not only did the museum offer free Wi-Fi, it was also usually quiet as a tomb. Plus, there was something so inspiring about gazing at those priceless paintings as I looked for just the right word. So this […]


I used to be a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Sometimes I’d repair broken bats and squirrels and turtles. But mostly I’d feed orphaned babies—Eastern cottontails, usually. I have no idea how many animals I saved. But I know for a fact that I killed one last night, and I’m heartbroken. I had dinner with my dear […]


The United Nations is calling it one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades. Almost 11 million people are suffering, a quarter of Somalia’s population is displaced, and an estimated 10,000 people a day are dying of hunger. Scores of others are battling malaria. The pictures are heartbreaking. Tyler Hicks, The New York Times via […]


I’m not beautiful. In fact, I would describe myself as a “plain Jane:” not repulsively hideous—but nothing to write home about, either. Don’t believe me? Here are the cold, hard facts, courtesy of Anaface.com: OK, so 7.45 out of 10 isn’t that bad. Still … if Daniel S. Hamermesh is right, my poor horizontal symmetry, […]


Back in January I committed to post every day, with the following exclusions: I reserve the right to not post something under any of the following conditions: flu and/or flu-like ailments; writer’s cramps; regular cramps; travel; computer issues; Internet outages; power outages; bunions; blisters; inclement weather; nice weather; disorientation as to time or place; alien […]