Swimming against the grain

I work for a big fancy university. The powers that be there conveniently provide a shuttle from the thoroughfare at the end of my road straight to my office.  It’s a very lucky thing and saves me untold mental strain and dollars during hustling rush hour commutes.  But because it’s on the busiest street in … Continue reading

Opening Ceremonies & Isolationism

The Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics was a delight. From beginning to end, the game designers, producers and International Olympic Committee united to attempt something truly ambitious and profound. Instead of focusing the Ceremony on the home country, a long-standing tradition of glorious patriotism – as seen in London 2012 – and extravagant pageantry … Continue reading

Travel Tuesdays: Revival

I recently came across my Travel Tuesday stories: a short-lived weekly ritual exploring places I had been as we waited (and waited and waited) for the uncertain future to transport us to America. I felt strangely jealous.  Delighted to revisit places I fondly remember, surprised and rather chuffed at being transported by words I don’t … Continue reading

Kintsugi: The Art of Being Whole

I love the Internet. The collection of thoughts from vast swathes of humanity can make the most unexpected connections both serendipitous and sublime. Sometimes they are explicit: the public conversations of my filter bubble circling around related or juxtaposed ideas. But more often, I find my curiosity leading me down rabbit holes I didn’t know … Continue reading

In the last few years I’ve trained myself to snatch small windows of quiet. I need to recharge my batteries at least a couple times a day, and have learned to make the most of the moments I have instead of waiting for the hours I don’t. So tonight, with 10 minutes between my regular … Continue reading

Iowa

Imagine for a second the state of Iowa. Probably you see farms. Perhaps a church. Almost definitely wide open land and big skies. Even if you have never seen the endless fields of the American breadbasket, the region’s reputation precedes it, and by a wide margin. My own Iowa memories center on my great-grandmother’s attic … Continue reading

White coat hypertension. 

 I recently went to the doctor for the first time since coming to America.  It was, by and large, the same as going to the doctor in Britain: dated banquet hall chairs in the waiting room, bustling nurses, typing doctors, surprisingly old fashioned scales. But the dynamic of the thing felt different than I remember … Continue reading

Kitchen Tour

I love our apartment. I love it hard. Even if we were millionaires I’d be hard-pressed to change much about it  (excepting of course my burning desire to build a terrace hanging garden and outdoor cafe seating area on the back deck. THAT I will splurge on as soon as I am able.) Our apartment … Continue reading

Adrian.

Last summer, when we’d only just arrived, I was out exploring our neighborhood one afternoon and realized I needed to buy bread but didn’t have my wallet. I turned back toward home to grab it and on my way a kid — maybe late teens or early twenties — stopped me outside our L station. … Continue reading

American Surprises

An incomplete list of surprising things upon our return and since: People use the phrase “I like to service my clients” and “How can I service you better?” with straight faces. Texting my sister is easy because I don’t have to do any math to know if she is awake. Hardly anyone notices Bean has … Continue reading