Posts filtered by tags: Laura K.[x]


 

a reading plan for 2020: the (second) year of the biography plus... more?

On the final day of 2017, I wrote a short list of books of people and topics I wanted to know more about, authors I wanted to sample but somehow never did, and unfinished reading challenges: what i haven't read and what i'm not reading (again, a post that had a fair number of comments... still hoping to restore them).**From there, I dubbed 2019 The Year of the Biography (just for my personal reading, of course). I ended up reading three massive tomes on the lives of Frederick Douglass, Jackie Ro...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Gotham, Muhammad Ali, Shakespeare, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Frank, Taylor Branch, What I'm Reading, Siegfried Sassoon, Laura K, David Wootton, Emma Goldman, Greater Gotham, Dorothy Hermann, Frederick Douglass Jackie Robinson


is my body keeping score? personal insights (plus brain dump) after reading the book by bessel van der kolk

When I wrote my beyond-rave review of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk, I purposely omitted some personal reaction and connections I had to the book. Here they are.Moving forward with my own healingOn the list of physical issues that can result from trauma, fibromyalgia is one of the most common -- along with depression, anxiety, stomach issues, and chronic fatigue. I've long ignored the connection between my past experiences and fi...
Tags: Travel, Greece, Sexual Assault, France, Oregon, Iraq, Personal, Mental Health, Ptsd, Afghanistan, Middle East, Emdr, Ontario, McFarlane, Department of Defence, CBT


"at your library" column in the north island eagle: two columns suddenly without relevance, part 2

This ran after the library was closed... and it's about a resource that can only be accessed in our branches!Ancestry Library: Your Library Can Help You Discover Your RootsMany Canadians are interested in learning about their family background. After all, unless you’re an Indigenous person, your ancestors were once newcomers to this land. Where did they come from, and what was life like there? Why did they decide to leave their original country, travel to a strange place, often on the other side...
Tags: Travel, Canada, Laura K, Canadian Culture, My Writing, VIRL, Vancouver Island Regional Library VIRL, At Your Library" Column, COVID-19, Ancestry Library, Ancestry Library Happy


what i'm reading: the body keeps the score by bessel van der kolk

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma is a famous among trauma survivors and the professionals who treat them. I can say without hyperbole or exaggeration that it's one of the most fascinating and meaningful books I've ever read.The Body Keeps the Score is divided into two parts.The first part of the book examines the brain's and body's physical response to trauma. There are essentially two kinds of trauma: the sustained, multiple traumas of childhood abuse an...
Tags: Travel, Boston, Iraq, Mental Health, Ptsd, Afghanistan, Health Care, Emdr, UCSF, Harvard Medical School, DSM, Van Der Kolk, What I'm Reading, Bessel van der Kolk, Alicia Lieberman, Laura K


"at your library" column in the north island eagle: two columns suddenly without relevance, part 1

This ran shortly before the library closed.Reading to your children is one of the best and most important things you can do to help them succeed in school – and in life. Storytimes – coming to the library so someone else reads to your children – are another important tool to build literacy and reading readiness.In the small Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) branches here in the North Island, we are fortunate to work with the Mt. Waddington Family Literacy Society, who hire and train peopl...
Tags: Travel, North Island, McNeill, Mother Goose, Laura K, My Writing, Woss, Port Alice, Life In A Small Town, Sointula, Port Hardy Library, Vancouver Island Regional Library VIRL, At Your Library" Column, COVID-19, Mt Waddington Family Literacy Society, Literacy Society


10 things on my mind about covid-19

1. Wealthy urbanites are fleeing to their second homes -- buying out grocery stores, expecting personal shoppers and home delivery, swelling vacation towns' size to summer proportions. This is the epitome of the egocentric, classist arrogance that often pervades the United States.2. In India, a planned lockdown of more than a billion people is expected to leave millions dead of starvation. As people become desperate, there will inevitably be rioting, police shootings, and all forms of rampant vi...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, India, Canada, United States, Labour, Health Care, Loblaws, UFCW, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Poverty And Class, We Like Lists, COVID-19, Brazil Pakistan Nigeria, Blogger Google


social distancing is awesome but the world has become surreal

Removed from all context, I am loving social distancing.I was very disappointed to cancel our planned vacation to visit west-coast family and friends. But other than that, I am having a great time.Reading.Writing.Practicing piano.Doing jigsaw puzzles.Watching movies and series.Walking outside.Stretching and meditating inside.Playing with our dogs. They are loving have me around all the time.Cooking. The Instant Pot is working overtime!Getting things done around the house.Poor Allan, because he w...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Personal, Donald Trump, Allan, Laura K, COVID-19


farmers concerned about harvest labour: improve working conditions, hire locally

I've read that the recent border closures, part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, have raised concerns in the agricultural sector. Farmers are worried that there will be a shortage of the seasonal workers they employ -- and depend on -- at harvest time. Farmers normally apply for workers through Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program.There are many problems with the TFW system, including a lack of oversight that opens the door for all kinds of abuses. But leaving that aside, righ...
Tags: Travel, Canada, Labour, Farmers, Central America, Cesar Chavez, United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Canadian Culture, COVID, Immokalee USA 2009 and Food Inc


in which i begin re-learning how to play piano -- using pianote.com

I'm taking piano lessons! I'm really happy and excited about it. I'm using an amazing site called Pianote, which combines traditional lessons with seamless, user-friendly technology.* * * *If you're just picking up this story, please read this. (Comments are still missing. Blogger was (finally) working on it... now, who knows.)Ever since writing that post above, piano lessons has been on my to-do list. Now social distancing has given me the perfect opportunity to get started.But how to begin? Si...
Tags: Travel, Music, Personal, Laura K


how to afford a real social safety net: tax corporations, tax the rich, reduce u.s. military spending

As waves of shelter-in-place orders sweep over the continent, Canada and the US must figure out how to support an entire population thrown into unemployment and in need of food, fuel, shelter, and in the US, health care. A brief dip into recent history provides two very simple answers.Demand corporations pay their share.The corporate tax rate is at an all-time low (for modern times), offshore tax havens are rampant, and as if that's not enough, in the US the largest corporations are now receivi...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, White House, US, Canada, Socialism, Va, Stephen Harper, Halliburton, Donald Trump, Fortune, Chevron, Justin Trudeau, Trump, Amazon Starbucks, Laura K


coronavirus exposes the darkest sides of unchecked capitalism and the gaping holes in our society

We're all struggling to take in the magnitude of coping with a global pandemic. Personally I've had to cancel a long-awaited vacation to vist family, and with libraries closed, I may soon be applying for EI. The shelves at our local supermarket are empty; we're hoping folks who did the right thing, remained calm and didn't hoard, won't be repaid with severe shortages.And of course I'm hoping that the relatively fast and decisive actions taken by Canada and my own province of BC will protect us f...
Tags: Travel, US, Canada, Socialism, Health Care, Laura K, Privatization Doesn't Work


coronavirus exposes, part 2: there is a bright side, and it's socialism in action

A reader pointed out that my previous post is very negative, and doesn't mention any of the very positive responses to the pandemic that are being rolled out.So:A prohibition on evictions. Water and electricity not being cut off for nonpayment.Student loan forgiveness. A relaxation of rules for employment insurance, and emergency funds for those who don't qualify. In some cities, free public transit. Paid sick leave. A suspension of rules about needing doctors' notes for sick days.And Every sing...
Tags: Travel, Socialism, Health Care, Laura K


in which covid-19 accomplishes what revolution, unexplained plane crashes, and terrorism could not

I've never cancelled a trip because of external circumstances. Until now.In 1994, we were heading to Mexico -- to travel through the country, not to stay in a resort -- when revolution broke out in the state of Chiapas. We went anyway.In 2001, we were booked on a flight to Ireland, two months after September 11, and less than 24 hours after a plane crashed immediately after takeoff from the same NYC airport. We went anyway.In 2017, we were finally going to Egypt, when a bomb went off in a Cairo ...
Tags: Travel, California, Mexico, Oregon, US, Personal, Canada, Ireland, Egypt, Labour, Health Care, Red Sox, Chiapas, Travels, Cairo, Laura K


"at your library" in the north island eagle: let your reading take you someplace new – part 2

Is your reading stuck in a rut? Do you read the same authors all the time? Do you ever search for something new (to you) and different to read? I’m suggesting a little reading challenge for readers of this column: this year, read three books that take you out of your comfort zone. In my last column, I was singing the praises of graphic novels – books for adults that look like comic books. Graphic novels bring a whole other dimension to reading by using images to convey plot and emotions.Another ...
Tags: Travel, Bruce Springsteen, Cheryl Strayed, Los Angeles, Willie Nelson, Jon Krakauer, Central Library, Chris McCandless, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Susan Orlean, My Writing, Erik Larsen, Orlean, At Your Library" Column


things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #31

One of the most frustrating and sad things we encounter at the library are people we can't help, who don't understand why we can't help them -- and who blame us. These are generally people with minimal or no digital literacy (i.e. tech skills).Here's a typical scenario. A customer cannot access their email account because they have forgotten their password. It's likely they changed the password at some point but don't remember doing that, so they're using the old password, or that they're typing...
Tags: Travel, Hotmail, Daniel, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Poverty And Class, Daniel Blake


the ptsd story i promised you

A few posts ago, I mentioned having a PTSD episode, and being open about it, in a group setting. That post seems to have resonated with a lot of people. In that same spirit, I'm sharing this.* * * *I attended a week-long labour education event, part of the CLC's Winter School. Many different courses take place at the same time, each five days long; you're with the same people all week. My group was seven people from my own local, plus three other locals from our union, about 20 people in total. ...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Mental Health, Ptsd, CLC, Laura K


blogger's backup and restore (export and import) functions do not work properly

Allan and I have spent countless hours this week trying to backup Joy of Sox and to restore posts and comments to wmtc.  I think we are making progress, but I don't know what the final outcome will be. Which is ridiculous. This process shouldn't be this difficult and the outcome shouldn't be in doubt! Blogger's backup function, through which you export all posts and comments and save them as an XML file, appears to work for small blogs with a few hundred posts and comments. Large blogs like...
Tags: Travel, Meta, Allan, Laura K, Joy of Sox


why this blog looks strange right now (updated) (upperdated)

A post was accidentally deleted -- an essay that took a while to write. Happily, I had recently backed up the whole blog. And thank goodness, as it had been a long while since the last backup.In order to restore the missing post, Allan imported the backup copy... and instead of all the posts merging, they re-posted. I think that's because they were originally posted by me, but imported by Allan, making him a new author, causing Blogger to read the imported posts as new.Now we've got to get rid o...
Tags: Travel, Meta, Allan, Laura K


why this blog looks strange right now (updated)

A post was accidentally deleted -- an essay that took a while to write. Happily, I had recently backed up the whole blog. And thank goodness, as it had been a long while since the last backup.In order to restore the missing post, Allan imported the backup copy... and instead of all the posts merging, they re-posted. I think that's because they were originally posted by me, but imported by Allan, making him a new author, causing Blogger to read the imported posts as new.Now we've got to get rid o...
Tags: Travel, Meta, Allan, Laura K


what i'm reading: the library book by susan orlean

I've been on a "books about books" run lately, beginning with Syria's Secret Library, then Robert Caro's Working, and now I'm finishing the wonderful The Library Book by Susan Orlean.Orlean is a writer for The New Yorker, which generally means excellent nonfiction. Her book about the canine movie star Rin Tin Tin has been on my List since it was published in 2011. Her 1998 book The Orchid Thief is considered a modern classic. (I read The New Yorker story that led to the book, but have not yet r...
Tags: Travel, Los Angeles, Syria, History, Orleans, Los Angeles Public Library, Robert Caro, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Books About Books, Los Angeles Central Library, Orlean, Susan Orlean Orlean


pupdate: the fence, the beach, and the cuddling that melts our hearts

It's been a while since I updated wmtc readers on the continuing adventures of Cookie and Kai.Short version: they are doing great. They are healthy, happy, and a constant source of entertainment, not to mention love and affection. But when it comes to dogs, who wants a short version?The great escape. Cookie has matured and settled in -- but she is still a wild child, and very independent. I have to lock my closet door, and if I forget she will find a shoe to use as a chew toy. Now that she knows...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Allan, Cookie, Laura K, Life In A Small Town, Kai Short


what i'm reading: syria's secret library: reading and redemption in a town under siege

Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege is a tribute to the power of books to heal, to offer refuge, and to nourish communities. It's also a tribute to the spirit of resistance to tyranny and oppression.In 2013, the Syrian town of Daraya was targeted by the country's dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Many residents managed to evacuate, but others stayed, determined to hold the historic and then-thriving town as a stronghold against the Assad regime.There, as their town was...
Tags: Travel, UK, London, Human Rights, Obama, US, Syria, Bbc, United States, Banksy, Assad, Hiroshima, Trump, War And Peace, THOMSON, Bashar


pupdate? in which i worry about traumatizing our dog who has zero recall

Cookie does not, will not, come when called.She is just not interested.At mealtimes, "wanna eat?" will bring her running. And if she's in the backyard or on the deck, the sound of the clicker and the treat jar will usually work.But at the beach, she has no intention of coming back to us.We've done the high-value treats, we've done... everything. The beach is simply too wonderful to leave. I am Cookie, and I answer to no one. Last year, on a wet, cold day, I was waiting outside the lib...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Allan, Cookie, Kai, Laura K, Kai Now


and let others do for you: interdependence, and the strength to be vulnerable

"I find it really difficult to ask for help." I've heard many people say this. I don't know if I ever said this myself, but as a teen and then young adult, I definitely tried never to ask for help, and seldom would allow myself to accept any. When I needed help of any kind -- physical, financial, emotional -- I would feel uncomfortable and deeply indebted, for relatively small actions.In New York City, where, like millions of New Yorkers, I didn't own a car, if someone gave me a ride home, I wou...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Personal, Mental Health, Ptsd, National Parks, Bob Dylan, Harvard University, Dylan, Mississauga, Brooke, Miscellaneous Blather, Laura K, Brooke Ellison Ellison


why this blog looks strange right now

A post was accidentally deleted -- an essay that took a while to write. Happily, I had recently backed up the whole blog. And thank goodness, as it had been a long while since the last backup.In order to restore the missing post, Allan imported the backup copy... and instead of all the posts merging, they re-posted. I think that's because they were originally posted by me, but imported by Allan, making him a new author, causing Blogger to read the imported posts as new.Now we've got to get rid o...
Tags: Travel, Meta, Allan, Laura K


listening to joni: #12: dog eat dog

Dog Eat Dog, 1985 Front Cover We've reached a milestone: a Joni Mitchell album I don't like.No, that's a cop out. It's not merely that I don't like Dog Eat Dog. It's that Dog Eat Dog is not good. It's a really bad album.All musicians, all artists, create clunkers sometimes -- especially if they're experimenting and expanding. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, David Byrne -- musical giants all, and all have released albums that aren't very good.And although it ...
Tags: Travel, Music, Joni Mitchell, Joan, Cmi, McDonald, Michael McDonald, Wayne Shorter, Joni, Christopher Cross, David Yaffe, Laura K, Rob Tannenbaum, Listening To Joni, Dog Joni, Kenny Loggins Enough


"at your library" column in the north island eagle: let your reading take you someplace new

Let Your Reading Take You Someplace NewMany of you already appreciate the joys of reading. Reading transports us to other worlds and lets us vicariously experience other lives.Reading helps us feel less alone, knowing there are other people who struggle with the same issues we do.Reading helps us explore questions of ethics, morality, spirituality, politics, and culture.It's been shown that people who read have more empathy and compassion than people who don't. That makes sense, because when we ...
Tags: Travel, Reading, Graphic Novels, Anne Frank, Anne, George Takei, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Jarrett J Krosoczka, Wuthering Heights, My Writing, Vancouver Island Regional Library VIRL, At Your Library" Column, Dick Hamlet, Nel Yomtov Hey Kiddo


help nominate tommy douglas as the face of the next $5 bill

There's a movement to put the face of Tommy Douglas on the next Canadian $5 bill. Wouldn't that be wonderful?And wouldn't it be a kick in the pants to those who seek to privatize our health care system?Go here to nominate Tommy Douglas. [Author: laura k]
Tags: Travel, History, Socialism, Health Care, Tommy Douglas, Laura K, Canadian Culture, Privatization Doesn't Work


how do you hold a fork and knife? or, in which i discover my table manners are american

As a child, I was taught to use a knife and fork like this: fork in left hand, securing what you want to cut, knife in right hand, cutting. Put knife down, transfer fork from left hand to right hand, put food in mouth. Repeat.My mother drilled this into me and my siblings. My family was not overly big on table manners, but taking that extra moment to put the knife down, and transfer the fork before putting food in your mouth, was considered a critical lesson.I recently overheard two people -- Ca...
Tags: Travel, Continental, Miscellaneous Blather, Laura K, Canadian Culture


solidarity with wet’suwet’en land defenders and their allies on the frontlines

Thank you to the Wet'suwet'en people who are courageously defending their land for the greater good of us all. Thank you to the Kahnawake people who are courageously blocking the rail lines in solidarity.Thank you to the non-Indigenous allies who blocked the main highway on Vancouver Island, and disbanded only under threats of violence from racist thugs.Thank you to every person who attended a solidarity protest in cities across Canada. It's inspiring to see that protest has moved to full-scale...
Tags: Travel, Environment, Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, Trudeau, Vancouver Island, Laura K, Canadian Politics, Kahnawake