Archive for the ‘Nature’ category

Quick storm

The Chisos Mountains seen from Terlingua.

Weekend recs

The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009), dir. Alex Van Warmerdam (available on Netflix Instant) Do NOT watch the trailer or read a review — all chock-full of spoilers — before seeing this movie. The pleasure is in the plot surprises revealed casually. I will tell you that it’s set in the Dutch countryside near […]

Post-hurricane jet lag reading list blues

It’s 4:30 am in New York, where I’m spending three nights before heading to Belgium for a conference later this week. New York’s not exactly on the way from Adu Dhabi to Antwerp, I know, but I have a long list of things that need tending to here and had planned for the last couple […]


Jumping off tall objects for fun: yea or nay? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you like pushing yourself beyond limits of comfort (and possibly sanity)? Do you enjoy the sound of your own panicked shrieking? Are roller coasters just not cutting it for you these days? If the answer to any of these questions […]

Alligator farm!

RB and I recently went to the world’s largest alligator farm, in St. Augustine, Florida. The name is kind of a misnomer, as it doesn’t really “farm” alligators for sale in any way. It’s more like a zoo, and it’s the only place in the world where you can see all 23 species of alligators […]

Irene’s mother

Six years and a week after Katrina, New Orleans is still bustin’ open with music and oysters and muffalettas and floats and masks and slang and cocktails and friendliness. At night the street corners spill over with virtuosic brass bands. In the “right” parts of town, you’d never know anything had changed. Just like always, […]

Oh my gawwwwwd!

It’s so beautiful!! This is the sight that greeted our own DB on his triumphal arrival upon our shores. It was followed by thunder and lightning (an extreme rarity in LA), and then, I kid you not, a hail storm. The man has power.

Views from my windows

One of my favorite features of Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish, is “The View from Your Window.” Readers from all over the world send in photos they’ve taken while looking out their windows, and each day he publishes one. I love taking a peek through someone else’s window and getting a little taste of what […]

Siddhartha on the prairie

The American midwest is the last place I expected to find Buddha. It’s too pragmatic, too meat-and-potatoes for a spiritual practice whose ultimate goal is elimination of the self. The people here are friendly, solid, circumspect, sincere. For nearly twenty years I have lived like an expatriate, shrouded in my New England cynicism and snark. […]

Survival skills

I have written before about my addiction to the show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” and my childhood obsession with the strange and compelling situations described in Strange Stories, Amazing Facts. I’m also a big fan of the show Survivor, partly because it’s fascinating to watch the conniving and strategizing that goes on, partly because the […]