Who Comes Up With This Stuff?

Several months ago, I came across PBS’s “Great American Read” quiz, encouraging visitors to see how many of these “Great American Reads” they themselves had read. I have to admit I was puzzled by this list: it contained an awful lot of the dusty old classics of yore — things our English Lit. instructors insisted…

A Home for Big Kitties

While we prepare and ponder adopting some new furry friends of our own, we visited one of our favorite sanctuaries over the weekend. Valley of the Kings is a non-profit big-cat rescue located in southeastern Wisconsin, near the towns of Darien and Sharon, close to the Illinois border and only a short drive from Delavan…

Safe Spaces and Why We Need Them

There’s been some discussion in recent years about safe spaces. Women-only, People Of Color-only spaces that allow those folks to get away for a few minutes or an hour, to decompress and refresh. Arguments have been made for years that these spaces are unnecessary: that they are a drain on resources, and create an exclusionary…

A Simple Gesture

For the last two years, I’ve been using Facebook to spread a little bit of joy. Facebook, for it’s MANY faults, does have a few useful features: one that I’ve found particularly handy is the birthday feature. A line-item on the right side of the page tells me that “Person X plus 4 other people…

An Unknown Debt

I’ve been thinking lately about encouragement, and how seldom we as a culture are willing to give encouragement to others. I suspect much of that ties into toxic masculinity: the idea that people without sufficient skills or confidence to succeed deserve to suffer isn’t new, but seems popular these days. I’ve been thinking about this…

This Place Is A Zoo!

I’ve been thinking about zoos a lot lately. What started it all was a whiff of nostalgia: one of my all-time favorite commercials EVER, created by and for the Detroit Zoo circa 1982, showed up on YouTube. It was later modified to be a general-purpose zoo commercial run on national television in the US, frequently…

Behind The Purple Door

On June 11 I attended an event at Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Every two years or so, they try out a bunch of new flavors, and sell tickets so people can sample them and then vote for their favorite. For $10 (in advance: $12 day of) you get 12 tickets and a…