Thanksgiving

Turkeys, football, and construction paper imitations of pilgrim shoes and Indian headdresses, that’s where childhood’s Thanksgiving began. Oh childhood. Oh 1980s.   Then I learned about genetically modified turkeys that can’t reproduce naturally,… Continue reading

Election Day in San Francisco

One of the things I most love about meeting people is hearing about all the niches I unconsciously knew existed but had never thought about before. That decorating the interiors of boats is… Continue reading

Everything I thought I knew about China was wrong

People would cut in front of us in barely civilized anarchy, especially on the subway, where someone said they physically push you in like sardines. That was one of the prominent things I’d… Continue reading

I’m living in a movie

It feels odd, living in the early scenes of an apocalypse movie.   The toxic taste of city-spanning smoke is a seasonal normality here now, as enormous pieces of California burn in the… Continue reading

Coming home

The truth is, I have trouble coming home. On one level it’s just logistical withdrawal. I go from leading my 27 newest friends on a busy tour of some of the greatest things… Continue reading

Gratitude for Georgia

All the Renaissance masters, Roman gods, and Golden Age heroes showed up right when I needed them, no one was grievously injured, and even the weather behaved itself (for the most part). So… Continue reading

Where to start with the New Zealand shooting

When I woke to the horrible story of the shooting in New Zealand this morning, there was a flash of sorrow for the human tragedy.   Then I read more news, including the… Continue reading

Exactly where I wanted to stay in Kenya

The staff of Voi Wildlife Lodge were wonderful when I arrived with my nausea. They took care of my bag at reception, brought me a hot towelette, and offered fresh fruit juice before… Continue reading

Not puking on lizards, Kenya

The plan was to meet a childhood buddy in the train station in Voi, then catch a car to the Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary for two days of charismatic Kenyan macrofauna. Things went off… Continue reading

Julian the elephant

Kenyan rangers don’t name the animals. It’s not Jerry the giraffe or Billy the buffalo, it’s an animal to be protected against poachers (potentially at the cost of their own life). Except for… Continue reading