The Lost Art of Personal and Civic Responsibility

Just when you think society has reached an all-time low, society seems to say, “Hold my beer.”

Just when you think society has reached an all-time low, society seems to say, “Hold my beer.” Or, in the case of the stellar individual I’m about to describe, perhaps it should be, “It’s all your fault for not holding my beer.”

I just read an article entitled, Woman Who Got so Drunk at Concert That She Blew up a Home, Causing $15 Million in Damages, Is Now Suing the Concert Venue. After reading that, I had to struggle to keep from banging my head on the nearest wall. Honestly. The chutzpah of this child. (Well, she’s 26 actually, but she’s certainly acting like a child.)

To summarize, it seems that Daniella Leis, from Ontario, is in a bit of a pickle. She decided to go to a Marilyn Manson concert at the ironically named Budweiser Gardens arena and then she got wasted. Well, she’s a grown-a$$ woman and can do whatever she wants, right? But your right to be an idiot ends the second your choices put other people at risk. (That goes for anti-vaxxers, too.)

On her drive home, she went the wrong way down a residential, one-way street, and crashed into a house, breaking a gas line. Smelling the gas, first responders had to evacuate the entire neighborhood and shut off the gas and water service for same. 15 minutes later, the house exploded, and the resulting fire engulfed and destroyed three other houses as well.

Are you freakin’ kidding me????

The explosion threw burning debris 600 feet. That’s scary. I don’t know about you, but I’ve usually lived within 600 feet of a whole lot of other houses. I have no idea which ones use gas, though, and it would be impossible to know how many stupid, irresponsible drunken idiots are passing by those houses at any given moment. This is why personal and civic responsibility are so necessary.

Due to her own poor choices, Ms. Leis could have been killed, or she could have run over others during her drunken commute, or the people in the neighborhood that found itself unexpectedly ablaze could have been killed. It’s a pure miracle that the incident “only” resulted in seven people being injured.

On the scene, Ms. Leis admitted her guilt, and eventually she wound up being sentenced to three years in prison and three years of having her license to drive suspended. But now, having had ample time to sleep it off, she seems to be having second thoughts about her plea. The whole catastrophe wasn’t her fault after all, she says. At least, not entirely.

She’s is now suing the company that served her alcohol at the concert venue. She says they continued to serve her alcohol even though they knew she was drunk. Eventually, they kicked her out without determining how she would get home. She claims that the vendor should have taken steps to ensure that she didn’t go past the legal limit, and that she wasn’t driving herself home.

For a start, none of the innocent victims, and no one at the concert venue, forced the alcohol down this adult’s throat. She chose to take that first drink. And while she did get increasingly impaired, she continued to make that choice, and as a 26-year-old woman who knows her own proclivities better than anyone else does, her choices were informed ones.

Is it anyone else’s fault that she didn’t know when to stop? Do we honestly believe that this was the first time that she drank to excess? C’mon.

Knowing what path she was about to stumble down, she could have brought a designated driver with her like a mature adult would have done. She could have asked someone to call a taxi. She could have taken the bus, although I can hear all the bus drivers on earth as they collectively groan at the prospect.

At what point did it become socially acceptable to forfeit all personal and civic responsibility for our actions? Ms. Leis is making it sound as if she handed herself off to someone else the moment she took the first sip. Her guardian was supposed to be whomever happened to be in her vicinity. It’s as if she’s the human equivalent of a library book that just got returned to the library. “Here, total stranger, I’m placing myself into your hands. I bequeath thee all liability for any actions I take henceforth.”

If that’s an actual thing, then kindly wear a sign so I know to avoid you. I refuse to take responsibility for the strangers around me, especially if they’re adults. The world is not your babysitter. Grow up.

The lawsuit might hold water if she had been 15 at the time, because I’m sure Canada also has laws that prohibit selling alcohol to minors. But this woman was an adult who chose to make a fool out of herself at a concert, with catastrophic results. She needs to suck it up and suffer the consequences of what she has done.

I’ll give her this much: she most likely did not intend to cause 15 million dollars in damage when she went to the concert that night, but that’s where she finds herself now, mired in a mountain of civil suits that she brought upon herself. I hope the judge laughs this counter-suit right out of court. Ms. Leis should be ashamed of herself for even making the attempt. It only reinforces the fact that she has pathetic judgment.

In case you haven’t guessed, I hate alcohol. Here’s why.


Say It With Me: Birds Aren’t Real

It kind of makes sense if you think about it hard enough.

A few months ago, I was at the grocery store and I spotted a young man wearing a T-shirt that said, “Birds aren’t real.” I was intrigued, but then, as often happens with me, I got distracted by something shiny. I soon forgot all about it.

Then, on the way to work recently I was listening to The Daily on NPR. (It’s a fascinating podcast. I highly recommend it.) On this day, the topic was “A Movement to Fight Misinformation… with Misinformation.” And it was about the Birds Aren’t Real movement.

After learning more about it, I have to say that I am hooked. If you go to the Birds Aren’t Real Website, you’ll find the following description of the movement:

“The Birds Aren’t Real movement exists to spread awareness that the U.S. Government genocided over 12 Billion birds from 1959-2001, and replaced these birds with surveillance drone replicas, which still watch us every day. Once a preventative cause, our initial goal was to stop the forced extinction of real birds. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful, and the government has since replaced every living bird with robotic replicas. Now our movement’s prerogative is to make everyone aware of this fact.”

If you go to the page that describes the movement’s history, you get a detailed manifesto. It describes a federal conspiracy to root out communists that ran amok, and has been getting even more amok since 1947. It explains that we entered the Vietnam war to have access to the aluminum that we’d need to make these drones. It reveals that Trump wanted to build a wall not to keep immigrants out, but to keep live birds out. He was relentless in this pursuit.

There’s also a lot of cool merchandise, called “Truther Gear” you can get to spread the word. Slogans such as “Pigeons are liars”, “If it flies, it spies”, and “Bird watching goes both ways” are some of the very popular selections.

The movement has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook. Its founder, Peter McIndoe, was surprised how quickly it took off. But not so surprised that he wasn’t willing to quit college and hop on this feathered gravy train. Who could blame him?


Breaking character for once, he spoke to the folks at the Daily, and said that one day he noticed a protest and a counter-protest going on. It was full of chaos and absurdity, and neither side was listening to the other. He decided to add to the absurdity by contributing some of his own. He made a poster that said Birds Aren’t Real, and footage of him earnestly shouting about a “birdemic” at that rally soon hit Youtube.

Followers now call themselves the Bird Brigade, and have started showing up at protests to speak their mind. They showed up at Twitter headquarters to protest their logo. They’ve done rallies on college campuses. (Campi?) They showed up at an anti-abortion rally, waded in amongst all the pictures of aborted fetuses (feti?) and made so much noise and had so much fun that the anti-choicers finally left in sheer frustration.

I love that they are diffusing hate with comedy. I love that they’re smothering misinformation in even more misinformation. This tweet just about says it all:

If you join this group. You’ll learn all sorts of useful information, such as the fact that you really need to avoid seagulls, because they’ve recently been upgraded and can now steal your credit card information by just looking at you. You’ll learn that those chem trails actually consist of poison gas used to get rid of the last of the live birds. And did you know that bird poop is really a liquid tracking device? No wonder it seems to gravitate toward our windshields. Big Bird is watching you.

Those who don’t join the movement are called “Cheeple.” They are told, “You’re either with us or you eat worms.” So be warned. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.

McIndoe theorizes that this movement is so popular with his fellow Gen Z members because, having been born between 1997 and 2012, they have known nothing but political chaos and unrest. They’re feeling isolated, longing for community, and they have an intense desire to have some semblance of control over their lives. These feelings are exactly why most people buy into a conspiracy, and if you insist on doing so, I can think of no better conspiracy to buy into than Birds Aren’t Real. (And incidentally, if you’re into Facebook, join the Bird’s Aren’t Real Facebook Group. It’s hilarious!)

Because, you know, it kind of makes sense if you think about it hard enough. 😊

I hope that the Bird Brigade is descending upon the trucker rallies in Canada. This group of anti-vaxxers and haters have befuddled Canadians. Ninety percent of the eligible Canadian population has been vaccinated, and they don’t understand why anyone would want to be so selfish and foolhardy as to not do so. But these rallies are going strong, because they’re receiving funding from the radical right in the US. The protests soon filled up with confederate and Nazi flags and other symbols of hate. And, of course, Fox News is exaggerating the size of their presence and influence.

In fact, the Canadians are so unamused by this that all the unions in the country recently released this joint statement:

“What we have witnessed on the streets of Canada’s capital over the past thirteen days is something different altogether. This is not a protest, it is an occupation by an angry mob trying to disguise itself as a peaceful protest.

“We have seen an occupation of city streets and parks, disrupting workers, businesses and residents. Frontline workers, from retail to health workers, have been bullied and harassed. We have witnessed noise attacks keeping families up at all hours. We have seen right-wing extremists spreading messages filled with racism and intolerance, flying the Nazi and Confederate flags, alongside other symbols of violence and hate. We have seen organizers not only demand the end of all public health rules, but also call for the overthrow of our democratically elected government.

“The leaders of this occupation include people who espoused Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic and racist hate on social media, organizers of the notorious far-right yellow vest protests, and people spreading extreme conspiracy theories and calls for violence. This is an attack on all of Canada and not just the people of Ottawa.

“Canada’s unions stand together, unequivocally opposed to these vile and hateful messages and condemn the ongoing harassment and violence against the people of Ottawa.”

This statement from the Canadian Trucking Alliance makes it clear that they don’t support this protest either. Calling this a Canadian Trucker Protest is really rather unfair. The vast majority of them are not involved. There is only a tiny lunatic fringe who aren’t carrying on with business as usual.

This obnoxious protest is actually a practice run. They are learning how to create the type of chaos that will disrupt a democracy. They want to see how far they can go without getting arrested as they did on January 6th. And by “they”, I mean the financial backers of this debacle, with their nefarious agenda. The truckers are merely guinea pigs in this experiment.

Here’s hoping that Birds Aren’t Real shows up and holds up a big old feathered mirror to the truckers’ absurd faces so they can take a good look at themselves and withdraw with whatever is left of their dignity. Nobody is buying what those birdbrains are selling. Just ask the Bird Brigade.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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There’s a Hair Freezing Contest? Sign Me Up!

Take THAT, boredom!

My life is officially complete. While wandering aimlessly through cyberspace on the day of this writing, I came across this CNN article, along with some really amazing photographs. You really should check it out.

It seems that deep in Canada’s Yukon, so remote that it’s 18 miles North of Whitehorse, which is already as remote as most people ever dream of getting, there is a place called Takhini Hot Pools. They must have the most talented Public Relations person on earth, because they came up with a Hair Freezing Contest. It would definitely take something this outlandish to get me to patronize this place, and now it’s on my bucket list.

Winners of this contest’s various categories get $2000 (Canadian, it’s safe to assume, because you can’t have everything), plus free soaks at the hot springs and a 12 punch pass (as if I’m going way up there 12 times.) Still, I bet this contest has increased patronage quite a bit.

For this frigid hairstyle to work, you have to visit the pool on a day when the air is at least as cold as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrrrr. The pools themselves are around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, so once you take the plunge and completely wet your hair, you just stick your head above the waterline and wait for it to freeze. Even your eyebrows and lashes will freeze. It looks pretty amazing.

The sad news is that this business is currently closed. It’s a combination of the pandemic, and the fact that they’re building a new and improved facility, which will be called Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs. They claim it’s coming soon, but they haven’t yet provided a specific date, and I’m sure COVID has thrown construction off schedule. But I have high hopes that this contest will be back up and running in some future winter. Something to look forward to.

I love how creative we humans can be. It seems that the more isolated we are, the more imaginative we become. Take that, boredom! This very human quality gives me great hope for society moving forward.

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Happy Boxing Day

What the heck is Boxing Day, anyway?

Every year in December, sooner or later, I happen to glance at a calendar and notice that it designates December 26th as Boxing Day, usually with “U.K., Canada” in parenthesis after it. But what the heck is Boxing Day, anyway? I’ve always wondered, but have been too lazy to find out up to now.

I’m ashamed to admit that until extremely recently, I assumed it had something to do with the sport of boxing, and I always found that a bit jarring for the day after you’re supposed to be celebrate Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men. But I’d just sniff and say, “Well, those crazy Brits, you know…”

It turns out that I got it all wrong.

According to Wikipedia, there are several theories about how this holiday came about, but the most popular one seems to be that it was a time for the upper classes to bestow a box of money or gifts on their servants. The poor servants, of course, had to stick around and serve their masters on Christmas Day, so they were allowed to go home and see their families the day after. The rich people, probably to assuage their mild guilt for having treated these servants abominably all year long, would give them a gift to share with their families, pat them on the head and send them on their merry way, with the expectation that they’d be back to scrubbing by the day after.

I can see why this holiday never caught on in the U.S. While we have pretty much identical and outrageous income inequality, we would never admit this publicly. We certainly wouldn’t celebrate it. All Men here are supposed to be created equal, after all. The fact that we cling to this myth is why we don’t get a handout every December 26th. Yay us.

But Boxing Day has evolved over time. As fewer families had servants, Boxing Day turned into a day where you would relax and spend time with family. I’m told by a Canadian friend that it was also known as a day when you passed on gifts you don’t need to people whom you think could use them. You might slip a discreet envelope of cash to the postman. It also became a time to watch and participate in sports, and a time to raise money for charities.

For a while, it was also a big day for fox hunting in Britain. For the uninitiated, this was dressing up in finery, tearing up the countryside on horseback with your buddies, as a pack of your dogs chased down and wore out a poor unsuspecting fox for its ultimate demise, for no good reason other than that it was tradition. I mean, it’s not like people crave fox meat after all. But fortunately, that sport has been banned. Now people still do the riding bit, but without the killing bit, which must look just as appalling even without the blood.

For an equally gory take on Boxing Day, check out this article, which describes what they used to do in Ireland. There, it was known as St. Stephen’s Day. Good old Steve was apparently stoned to death for believing in Jesus. So what did the Irish decide to do to commemorate this man? A group of boys would go out, stone wrens to death, and then carry their little bodies from house to house asking for money. I’m glad that tradition has fallen out of favor. But much like with fox hunting, these Wren Boys still do the parading about town bit without the crushing in the birdie’s little skulls bit. Go figure.

I wish Boxing Day had ended there. But no. In recent years it has turned into a time to take advantage of sales, with the same kind of horrifying frenzy of consumerism that we Americans indulge in on Black Friday.

This transformation mirrors that of society at large. First, your betters throw you a bone. Then you passively celebrate, perhaps with a macabre twist. Then you trample your neighbors to buy things that you can’t afford and don’t really need. Because Capitalism is just wonderful. ‘Tis the season.

Happy Boxing Day.

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A Celebration of Light

Don’t miss this spectacular event!

One of the things I’ll never get used to here in the Pacific Northwest is that there is nearly 8 hours less sunlight per day in the winter than there is in the summer. In Florida, the difference is only 4 hours. But that means that people here really appreciate the daylight when they have it. It can’t be taken for granted. There is a definite morale change from summer to winter, and with it comes a lifestyle change. People seem to hibernate here in the wintertime.

Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that Vancouver, Canada, our neighbor to the north, has a three day celebration of light each summer. The funny thing is, this celebration takes place at night. That’s because it is a fireworks competition.

Each year, three countries are chosen to put on a fireworks display over English Bay on three separate evenings. These displays are set to music, and they’re judged. They’re always spectacular. The event comes with food trucks, too, and usually draws about 400,000 people per night.

This year, India, Canada, and Croatia competed. Canada, the home team so to speak, won. Croatia won the people’s choice award. (Click on the country names to see full Youtube videos of the events. They’re incredible.)

I was lucky enough to experience Canada’s effort, and I must say that it was, without a doubt, the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw at least 5 types of fireworks that I’d never seen bfore. They were wonderfully creative, surprising, and delightful.

If you’re ever in the Vancouver area in late July, early August, don’t miss the Celebration of Light. But please don’t bring your dog. If I lived in Vancouver, I’d probably take my dogs and leave town during this event. War veterans might want to give it a pass, too.

But everyone else… wow. Just wow. Three cheers for light!

Celebration of Light 2019

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Vancouver for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The food… My God, the food…

I just love Vancouver, Canada! I’ve visited once a year since I moved over to this side of the continent, and I suspect that will be a long-standing tradition for me. It’s a ridiculously short drive from Seattle, and it feels familiar and exotic at the same time.

It’s such a vibrant big city, full of art and quirkiness, and you hear so many different languages on the street that you genuinely feel that you’re at a cultural crossroads. Each neighborhood has a different style and personality, which makes it a great deal of fun to explore. And the food… My God, the food…

I’ve been a visitor in this fair city enough times to have discovered several dining favorites. What follows are my picks for all three meals of the day.


Le Petit Belge. I stumbled upon this little restaurant because it was a short walk from my hotel. It got quite a few bonus points for also serving delicious food in a delightful setting. This place makes very light, flavorful Belgian waffles, and offers a variety of toppings. I tend toward the sweet toppings, such as strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate, mixed fruit, or ice cream. But they also offer savory toppings such as prosciutto, asparagus, salmon, avocado, cheese, and bacon. In addition, they serve other breakfast fare such as eggs, omelets and breakfast bowls. And you get to eat these delectable things while sitting in their cute little dining room and watching the city’s denizens walk by. A great Vancouver experience.


For lunch, I suggest two possibilities.

If you’re looking for a casual and filling meal, and are not averse to fried seafood, then you absolutely have to check out Go Fish. It’s a little outdoor establishment on the banks of False Creek. Their menu is simple. Eat your crispy cod, salmon or halibut, fresh off the dock, with the delicious fries, or try their Tacones, all while gazing at Granville Island, just across the way. The only down sides are that they are closed on Mondays, and since the seating is outdoors, you’ll want good weather for this dining experience.

If you’d prefer something healthier, I highly recommend the Granville Island Public Market, which is open 7 days a week. You’ll be overwhelmed by the variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and your mouth will water when you contemplate the abundance of desserts. You can also pick up fresh baked bread, cheeses, and meats, and create your own picnic, right on the spot. Or if you’re feeling lazy and want someone else to do the food prep for you, there’s an international food court with some wonderful options. After you’ve eaten, you can shop for unique gifts amongst the stalls that are overflowing with handcrafted art.



I discovered this restaurant on my most recent visit. Since Vancouver is known for its seafood and Asian cuisine, and since I had enjoyed Go Fish for lunch, I asked my hotel concierge for his recommendation for a Chinese restaurant. Without hesitation, he recommended Peaceful Restaurant on Seymour Street. (They have several locations. That just happened to be the nearest one.)

Oh. My. God. This turned out to be the best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten. It made me want to move to Vancouver, just so I could eat there once a week. Specializing in very flavorful Northern Chinese cuisine, this place has gotten several awards.

I was anxious to try one of their noodle dishes. You have a choice of “hand-pulled” noodles which are thick and round, or the “knife-bladed” which are, of course, flat. I had the stir fried beef and veggies with hand-pulled noodles, and my goal in life is to fill my above ground swimming pool with the stuff, and just dive in every night at around 5pm. Dear husband had the Peaceful House Stir fried noodles with spicy seafood and pork. The menu is extensive at this place, and the Dim Sum gets raves as well, but we didn’t try it this time around.

At the end of the meal, dear husband practically had to peel my fingers off the door frame and carry me away, kicking and screaming in protest.

Incidentally, they have franchising information on their website. If someone in Seattle takes them up on this opportunity, I will kiss that person on the lips, on camera, at the top of the space needle.

I have no idea why I left Vancouver. Please remind me.


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Glacier National Park, Montana

Climate change waits for no blogger.

I’ve been wanting to see Glacier National Park for many years. As the glaciers are rapidly disappearing, I feel as though time is of the essence, so I planned a trip for this August. (Climate change waits for no blogger.)

Just my luck, a few weeks before our visit, the park caught fire. The western portion of the park is STILL closed, as of this writing. I can’t even begin to tell you how profoundly disappointing that was.

And yet, even greatly reduced in size, even smoky, Glacier National Park caused me to fall in love with it. When we woke up on day two, after the rain had poured down all night and the temperature had dropped to 35 degrees and all the mountain peaks were covered in snow, it was even more stunning. I’m so glad we went.

It didn’t occur to me that there would be so many gigantic, gorgeous lakes. (Duh. Glaciers do melt and carve the landscape.) And on many of them, you can take boat trips. There’s also horseback riding and rafting in the park.

None of which we did, because we had three dogs with us. While dogs are allowed in the national parks, they are not allowed on any of the trails, and technically they’re not supposed to be left unattended. They were quite comfortable in their cozy dog beds in the SUV, because heaven knows it wasn’t hot, but we didn’t think it was a good idea to leave them for more than 10 or 15 minutes. So we did a short hike to the beautiful Baring Falls, and then visited every overlook and visitor center that we came across. (I was once told by a park ranger that 99% of all visitors never get farther than the overlooks, so hey, we were still ahead of the game by taking that one, gorgeous hike.)

We also didn’t go to the portion of the park that extends into Canada, again, because of the dogs. We hadn’t gotten the right paperwork for them. But we got so close to the border that my phone assumed I was roaming. That counts for something!

It seems like I’m always in a fantastic mood whenever I cross the continental divide. I’d do it again and again if I could. I’d also love to get a closer look at the buffalo I saw on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, which borders the park. I wasn’t expecting such a huge herd. There were at least a hundred, which is even more than I saw at Yellowstone. I was so glad to discover they were there. I could imagine a time when they covered the entire prairie.

I was left with a tantalizing taste of this awe-inspiring park. I hope to go back again someday. When I do, I won’t bring the dogs, and I’ll focus on the Western side and Canada, and I’ll take that boat trip and go horseback riding. Something to look forward to.

So do I suggest a visit to Glacier National Park? Heck yes! Again and again! In the meantime, you can help preserve this valuable natural resource by donating to the Glacier National Park Conservancy at

Here are some pictures we took, to whet your appetite.

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Civil Trade War

So now Trump thinks Canada is a security risk? Oh, come on. Those people won’t even jaywalk at an intersection. Seriously. There could be no cars for miles, and they’d still patiently wait for the crossing signal.

Trump imposing tariffs on Mexico, Canada, and the European Union is like walking up to your three best friends in the school yard and punching them each in the throat. Just ‘cuz.

As if we weren’t already convinced that this man is an idiot, he now decides to do something that has absolutely no upside, even for him. But oh, yeah, it certainly has taken our focus off of Russia, hasn’t it? He does like to stir shit up.

Smoke and mirrors. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The next election can’t come fast enough.

For some reason, though, a lot of people don’t quite get (yet) what a global pissing match Trump has just set off. So let’s scale it down a bit for easier comprehension.

Let’s say the Governor of Maine doesn’t like the Governor of Georgia. So Maine decides to impose a tariff on all peaches. This means that it gets a lot more expensive for Georgia to get their peaches to consumers in Maine. This causes the Governor of Georgia’s head to explode, and he says, “Fine! We are now putting a tariff on Lobsters! Take that!”

Well, messing with Lobsters in Maine is like touching the third rail. This cannot be borne! So Maine says, okay, now we’re going to put a tariff on airplanes. (You may not know this, but Georgia’s top export is airplanes.)

But hold on. Airplanes are also the top export in California, Arizona, Washington, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, and Connecticut. So they all sit up tensely and blink, too. What’s going to happen next? They all start looking around to see how they can hurt other states who might hurt them. Everyone is poised for battle.

That’s really how the civil war started. Only back then, the commodity was slaves. Not only won’t we buy your slaves, but you can’t have them either. And before we knew it, hundreds of thousands of Americans were dead.

This trade war? Worst idea ever. Thanks, Trump. Way to go.

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My Book is in Another Library!

During my last trip to Canada, I stopped in to visit the Vancouver Women’s Library. I’ve blogged about this great organization before, and I remain very impressed with their mission. Because of that, I was really excited to add my book, A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude, to their collection. They’ve invited me to do a book reading at some point. I am waiting until my second book is finished. (And I’m making slow and steady progress on it, so please bear with me!)

So now my book is officially in two different library systems in two different countries. I happen to know it’s in other countries as well, including Mexico, Argentina, Great Britain, Germany, and Australia. People have also sent me pictures of my book on their nightstands, vacation cabins, and various book shelves, and it always makes me smile.

One person even donated my book to a Little Free Library, so I’m sure it’s been on some interesting adventures. I also gave one of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, a copy. I’m sure it got abandoned in either his hotel room or the airport, but still… he touched it!!! Another interesting adventure.

Here’s a recent pic of me visiting my book in the Renton branch, just south of Seattle, in the King County Library system. (Because, yeah, I do that. More often than I care to admit.) I would be really honored if you added one to your bookshelf or requested that my book be included in your library system as well. You’d have much more influence with your library than I would. Just sayin’.


Emily Carr, Canadian Modernist

Emily Carr (1871-1945) is one of Canada’s most renowned artists. I am embarrassed to say that I’d never heard of her until I stumbled upon a permanent collection of her work at the Vancouver Art Gallery a few years ago. I’m so glad I did. It keeps me coming back.

She was a native of Victoria, British Columbia, and is best known for her paintings of the forests of Vancouver Island, as well as the totems of the First Nations people of the area. When I look at her work, I see lush greenery, and the type of natural majesty one only sees in Canada. Clearly, she had a deep and abiding love for the natural world.

Her paintings make you feel tiny, a little bit nervous, and yet somehow welcome at the same time. You can almost smell the fresh air and feel the moisture on your skin. You want to explore.

I encourage you to check out her full body of work, but below are some teasers to whet your appetite.

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