Archive | January, 2013

Street crossing in Downtown Milwaukee.


The main drawback of communicating mostly through sarcasm (if, indeed, there is any) is this: on the rare occasion when you are sincere, people don’t believe you. They think you are being a snide jerk, and the more you try to convince them otherwise, the worse it gets.

This happened time and again whenever someone asked me what I thought of Wisconsin (and of Milwaukee and Green Bay and the stretch of highway in between).

I answered them honestly. I loved it.


I am in South Africa. It is nearly 7 in the morning, local time. Rand is breathing softly in the bed, and outside the winds are so strong, they are shaking our hotel room window.

Yesterday, I went on safari. I giggled, and it startled an elephant.

I’m going to say that again, because it might be one of the greatest sentences of my life: I giggled, and IT STARTLED AN ELEPHANT.

There is a lot going on this week. We’re going to hike and kayak and explore and haggle and shop and eat candy bars that aren’t available in the states. But, sadly, there will not be a lot of blogging going on while I’m here (there will be a few Milwaukee posts going up sporadically, when I have a few moments and an internet connection).

I’m sorry. BUT THERE ARE PENGUINS. I can’t sit in front of my laptop while there are penguins walking around.

I promise, I’ll tell you all about it when I get home. If you can’t wait that long for a fix, I will kindly direct you to the archives. There are three years of posts to meander through, if you haven’t already done so (but be warned: it takes me a few months of blogging before I hit my stride).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go hug a penguin. Not sure if that’s allowed, or what. But I’m gonna do it.

See you next week.


Before we dined there, we had trouble discerning what Blue’s Egg was. The menu was eclectic and high-brow, but the setting (in a small strip mall) suggested a casual diner.


In truth, it was both – that blissful mix of homey and familiar, strange and exotic. Plus, there were cookies topped with bacon.



My husband is a non-believer.

I don’t mean to say he isn’t religious. At least, I don’t mean to just say that he isn’t religious. There are lots of things that Rand doesn’t believe in or ascribe to. Here is a short list:

  • Tarot cards
  • Palm readers
  • Any type of healing that involves crystals
  • Putting sugar in your tea/coffee/booze
  • Using coupons
  • Pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher
  • The afterlife
  • Taking vitamins
  • Holding your breath while driving through tunnels
  • The existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, or any other awesome and totally real creature
  • Listening to the nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach
  • Obeying the GPS

He’s perfectly respectful of people who do believe in those things. I’ve never heard him ever disparage the views of those who think differently than he (as long as those views aren’t intolerant in and of themselves).


“Um … you have something on your face.”


I have some shocking news for you.


Are you sitting down? Have you cleared all breakable objects from your immediate proximity? (Because you are going to wail and fling about when you hear what I have to say. Seriously). Also, if you have a beverage, I sincerely suggest that you swallow your current sip before reading my news, unless you wish to do a spit-take all over your monitor.

Okay, all good? Here goes:


There’s a fog over my town. It’s been here for days. It hangs outside my window this evening, and will be there tomorrow when I wake up. Everything has been transformed by it. People vanish into and out of the mist; I don’t recognize my street, have trouble picking out the outline of my home.

It leaves me unsure of what to do. Should I go out and explore this strange new world at my doorstep? Or continue to enjoy the warmth of my home and the comfort of my pajamas and – oh, look! I still have some cookies left from that batch I baked the other night.

I guess we know how this will end. (Spoiler: I’m going to nibble on a biscuit or three. You enjoy these links.)


If you haven’t seen Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s intro to the Golden Globes, watch it immediately. Trust me: you need more of them in your life.


Ah, the waffleizer. Where different foods are placed in a waffle iron to determine, um, … if they’ll waffle, I guess. Because … Because AMERICA! Yeah.



There are moments of my life that are so perfect, so ridiculously wonderful, that eloquence fails me.

You’d think that those would be the times when words would come most easily. But when you are surrounded by poetry, it is incredibly hard to create more of it. You simply look around, stupefied, and think, “Heh. This … awesome. Life … good. I … happy.”

That’s what happened one night when we were walking along the river in the Milwaukee.

Yes, Milwaukee. (I will kindly ask that you not look so surprised.)




It’s funny how quickly the bizarre becomes normal.

How things that are strange and weird become familiar and every day. So that after a while, we forget that they’re even all that strange, until someone else points it out to us.

When we first moved back to Seattle from Florida, nearly 20 years ago (good heavens, the years. They are slippery little suckers, are they not?) my mother and I were faced with an odd problem. Our home felt far too empty. My brother had gone off to college, so it was just the two of us, living in far more square footage than we’d ever known.

We dealt with the problem in the usual way: we bought a mannequin.