Archive for May, 2009

Acorn bread

30May09

I wish more people would write down their life stories — or at least a few stories about their lives. My two favorite storytellers are my husband and my dad. My husband Esteban’s stories remind me of Mark Twain. They’re full of humor and mischief and wisdom. They’re grounded in deep personal history, the kind […]


In September of 2007, Esteban and I set out on our most ambitious trip to date. We’d never been to Italy before, so we wanted to get a taste of several cities. Our original itinerary called for Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. Although we discussed flying into Rome, we were concerned about the cost. So […]


On this date 56 years ago, Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1953, Everest was so remote that it took five days for this news to reach the world. Today you can see the view from Everest on a webcam. How […]


Headline blues

29May09

Sometimes I miss being a copy editor. There’s nothing quite so exciting—or dangerous—as writing a headline on deadline. One night I was working on a local story about a terrible accident that had killed two people and severely injured another. My headline accurately summed it all up. Better yet, it actually fit in the very […]


I saw a guy doing tai chi today. He was by himself, in a dress shirt and suit pants, moving in slow motion on my office building’s front lawn. He didn’t seem to notice the steady stream of traffic on the street, or the stares from passersby. I stared at him, too. At first I […]


Today’s award for the weirdest achievement in genetic engineering goes to the scientists at the Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Kawasaki, Japan. Not only have they succeeded in breeding marmosets with fluorescent feet, but for the first time ever, a fluorescent mama marmoset has passed the trait on to her offspring. Experts say the […]


One of my favorite things about living in Minnesota is the weather. Today, it’s cloudy and 51. Tomorrow will be sunny and 75 — or so we’ve been promised. Two weekends ago, it was in the 40s. And last week we almost hit 100. This time of year, it’s not at all implausible to wear […]


I’ve signed up for another triathlon. I’m 10 years older and 15 pounds heavier since my last race, so I’m not expecting to medal (as if!). I’m sure that at some point I’ll dog paddle, walk next to my bike, and that I’ll seriously consider crawling on all fours. But that’s OK. Two weeks into […]


Here’s the first installment in a long list of “grammar gripes:” the misuse of the word “literally.” Earlier this week, I overheard someone say, “… he was so mad, his head literally exploded.” Umm, no. I don’t think there’s ever been a documented case of someone’s head literally exploding from anger. Or of a pitcher […]


I’ve spent most of the morning sorting through the 3,000-odd photos I shot on Esteban’s and my trip to Paris last January. I’ve waded through only about 100 so far—probably because I’m obsessed with my new Photoshop “sketch” action. (It’s amazing what you can do with a few filters.) Here are some of my faves: