Archive for the ‘Attempted humor’ Category

My blog-pal Anthony has a great memory, because this morning he reminded me of a post I wrote three years ago. With apologies to those for whom this is a rerun, it at least explains why I was more excited about the heat-sensitive eclipse stamps than yesterday’s actual eclipse. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I admit it: I feel […]

On my desktop sits a folder called “funnies.” Some of its contents date back to the earliest days of the internet, so I no longer remember their source. The internet circa 1973. I had a lot fewer bookmarks back then. But no matter: Whenever I’m having a rough day, the “funnies” file always brings a […]

Fail harder


I read an article a while back about Johannes Haushofer, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University who wrote a rather unconventional résumé: rather than tout his accomplishments, instead he listed his failures. “Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible,” Haushofer wrote. […]

One of our favorite pastimes in Minnesota is talking about the weather. This isn’t because we’re superficial or boring; rather, it’s because our weather is so darned interesting. Last Tuesday is a perfect example. The day started gloriously, with bright sunshine and blue skies. I wanted to be outside — but since I was already […]

In spite of my best intentions I’ve struggled to update my blog lately. There’s much news to share, but little time — so I’ll just give you the big headline: After much soul-searching, Esteban and I have decided to move to Patagonia. Esteban has been fascinated with Patagonia since 1998, when my parents gave him […]

Where do you turn for photographic inspiration? Flickr, perhaps? Or Instagram? Not me — not anymore. I turn to online auctions and classified ads. I’ve gained a bit of weight recently, for reasons I don’t understand. So in spite of some unfortunate past purchases … … I’ve been shopping for cheap-yet-more-or-less-presentable Pants In A Bigger […]



I usually struggle when my parents ask what I want for Christmas. I truly don’t need anything — and increasingly I don’t want anything, either. But last year was different. “I’d love a Fitbit,” I wrote my mom, “just the basic one, please, in a size small.” This represented a big reversal for someone who […]

This little snippet of “poetry” made me laugh out loud when I saw it in George Takei’s Facebook feed. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the original author, but RESPECT. Fontplay by yours truly; Image via

Last weekend I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to have a walk around Como Lake in St. Paul. One of the ways you can determine the temperature in wintry Minnesota — apart from timing how long it takes your extremities to freeze solid — is to listen to the snow. Really! When it’s […]

On Sunday, an estimated 1.3 million people marched in Paris — the largest gathering since the city’s liberation from the Nazis — to show their solidarity and support for free speech. Some 40 heads of state led the march, and La Marseillaise echoed through the narrow streets once again. All very historic stuff. But the […]

According to Google, we have a fourth major religion! It doesn’t offer any festive holidays, but at least it’s easy to convert: Simply click “save as,” and then choose “PDF.” Happy holidays, friends.  

I admit it: I feel a bit nerdy confessing I collect stamps. I’m not sure how it all started, but I think it’s my father’s fault. He used to travel a lot for work, so he had friends all over the planet. And occasionally these friends would send us a letter, like this one: Within […]

While I was out walking early one morning, I had a thought: “What if I keel over, or get chased by wild dogs, or am hit by a car?” (Because I think about these kinds of things during my morning walks.) “Perked up African dogs” courtesy of the World Wildlife Federation “Even if someone found […]

At a recent happy hour, one of my co-workers ordered a glass of wine “because wine makes you skinny.” Curious, I asked her to explain. “I read that people who drink wine have smaller waists than people who drink beer or who don’t drink at all,” she said. I don’t doubt for a second that […]

Although I’m increasingly disenchanted with social media, occasionally I still get to see one of my friends’ posts. This one caught my eye today: Curious about the source of all this priceless advice, I Googled “How to feel miserable as an artist.” *PING*! Up popped illustrator Keri Smith’s wise and wonderful website. Clearly, she’s done […]

Quickly, off the top of your head: What’s the most powerful punctuation mark in the English language? If you chose the exclamation mark, you have a bright future in (bad)vertising. I learned this from my creative director: “If you’ve written something well enough, you don’t need exclamation points.” And also, “They’re the equivalent of shouting.” […]

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed at work so I haven’t blogged much lately. In spite of this fact, I’ve still managed to pick up a couple of new subscribers — including (drum roll, please) His Holiness, the Dalai Lama! I’m tremendously honored by His Holiness’ visit, but astounded that he actually took the time to […]

Today, 80 percent of the world’s inhabitants will invoke some long-lost connection to the Emerald Isle as an excuse to drink Guinness and wear green. But I’d rather celebrate another of the great Irish exports today: the incomparable Irish wit. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

After months of wading through hip-deep snow — and enduring a mind-numbing 50 days below zero (Fahrenheit!) — I’m happy to report the start of The Great Thaw of 2014. For once, I don’t mind slogging though the sloppy slush. And because it’s warmed up enough that I’m no longer worried about my nostrils freezing […]

“Impossible!” “No way!” “You’re full of it!” That’s how acquaintances usually respond when I tell them I’m an introvert. After all, I have no qualms about talking to random strangers. I do alright with public speaking. And I’m blessed to have many wonderful, cherished friends. But the truth is that although I may greatly enjoy […]