Archive for December, 2009

As the oh-ohs (2000 – 2009) wind down, it seems fitting to consider how much our lives have changed over the past decade. It’s mind-boggling that some of the technology we now take for granted didn’t even exist back in 2000. (I still remember my friend Derek showing me his shiny new iPod in early […]

I’ve spent the day emailing far-flung friends and talking to loved ones on the phone. Outside, the snow continues to fall—although it hasn’t yet turned out to be the snowpocalypse we’d been warned about. Maybe tomorrow. Anyway, in honor of the holiday I thought I’d offer up this rerun of sorts. I wrote this little […]



Yes, a local radio personality actually used that word yesterday to describe the winter storm that is approaching the Twin Cities. I’m as excitable as the next person when it comes to winter storms—after all, it’s important to make sure that you have enough tea, soup, beer and cheese to survive until the plows dig […]



Today I heard the news—on the radio, in the papers, and on the Web—that Hobbit Travel is (temporarily, they say) shutting down. As each news outlet broke the story, I felt a pang of complicity. I used to be a customer of Hobbit’s. When Esteban and I went to Britain for the first time in […]

Esteban and I are huge fans of trains. They’re efficient, safe, and much more convenient than airlines — which can sometimes strand you for hours. In 1997, Esteban and I had a terrible experience with Vueling, a Spanish regional airline. Toward the end of our grand tour of Italy, we’d booked a quick hop on […]

Evangelical preacher Oral Roberts died today. My friend Lynny attended his school—which, predictably, is named Oral Roberts University—so I went there once for a weekend visit. I was impressed by the range of programs the small school offered, and by their holistic approach to education. I was also amazed to learn that the university’s lavish […]

Today I tackled two of my most dreaded seasonal tasks: Culling my Christmas card list, and entering an ever-growing list of birthdays into next year’s Filofax. (Here’s the latter, in progress:) One of the things that makes me dread these tasks—apart from the fact that they’re labor-intensive and boring—is that every year I’m confronted with […]

Made in China


Once the darling of bargain-crazed Americans, China has of late hit the public-image skids. Remember the melamine-tainted pet food? And the drywall that mysteriously tarnished and corroded nearby metal objects? How about lead-contaminated children’s toys? All made in China. Acutely aware of its own tarnished image, China is embarking on a U.S.-style ad campaign to […]

The office was all abuzz yesterday with the news that a major snowstorm was headed our way. “I heard that we’re going to get pounded,” one of my neighbors said. “They’re talking up to 10 inches,” said another. Not so much, as it turns out. Mercifully, the first big snow of the season dealt us […]

There’s so much going on around the world today. Protests are again erupting in Iran, and rioters in Greece continue to mark the one-year anniversary of a teen’s killing. 110 nations’ leaders are converging in Denmark to talk about global warming, and Tiger Woods’ mistresses are *ahem* coming out of the woodwork. But today I […]