Posts filtered by tags: Laura K.[x]


 

listening to joni: #16: taming the tiger

Taming the Tiger, 1998Taming the Tiger is markedly different than Joni's previous album, Turbulent Indigo. Where Turbulent Indigo is dark, intense, and enigmatic, and the lyrics largely topical, this one has a light, lyrical feel, the music shimmering and weightless, the lyrics more personal. Many critics regard it as Joni's best "latter day" album, perhaps because it's more accessible. I wouldn't go that far -- Turbulent Indigo and Night Ride Home are both better, in my view -- but Taming the...
Tags: Travel, Music, France, Paris, Mars, William Blake, Joni Mitchell, Dresden, Havana, Harlem, Don, Wayne Shorter, Joni, Edwin, Isham Jones, Joan Anderson


what i'm reading: beaten down, worked up: the past, present, and future of american labor

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse is exactly what the subtitle says: a history and analysis of the rise, decline, and re-emergence of the labour movement in the United States. Although the context is American, the lessons in the stories easily apply to Canada, and perhaps globally, to labour movements everywhere. Greenhouse covered labour issues for The New York Times for more than 30 years. It's obvious that the research for Beaten D...
Tags: Travel, Florida, New York, Activism, Obama, Mexico, Kaiser Permanente, White House, US, America, Los Angeles, History, Earth, Chicago, Canada, United States


art in our new home

When we were in Salt Spring Island, we went to the Saturday Market, and I instantly fell in love with this man's work.  Salt Spring artist Lorne Tippett uses wine-barrel stays to create a hanging frame, and carves the designs from reclaimed wood. We splurged and bought one. It's not like we're spending money on anything else this year! It's now hanging on our covered deck. We hung it where you can also see it from inside the house. I love the shape of the wooden base; it echoes t...
Tags: Travel, Art, Personal, Indigenous Peoples, Pacific, Chris, Julie, Vancouver Island, Laura K, Cluxewe Waterfront Bistro, Lorne Tippett, Cluxewe


cooking with cookie!

We had a bit of excitement last week, and I realized I shared it only on Facebook. I'm sure wmtc readers want an answer to the burning question, What is Cookie up to now? This is what she's up to! She Who Cannot Be Contained must have put her paws on the kitchen counter -- I had been cooking and she was looking for morsels -- and on the way down, hit the stove, turning on a burner. The Instant Pot lid was resting on the stovetop. I was on a zoom meeting with my door shut, but Allan (who has a...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Facebook, Dogs, Personal, Allan, Laura K


billy joe shaver, rest in peace, and in music

Many well-known rock and pop musicians have died lately, including Helen Reddy, Eddie Van Halen, and Jerry Jeff Walker. More names will be coming fast and furiously as the icons of the Boomer generation age. One such death came to the country and blues music communities recently, that of Billy Joe Shaver.  Shaver's songwriting epitomized the outlaw-country ethic and apparently so did his life. He talked the talk and walked the walk. He was outlaw-country before the movement had a name.Shaver wr...
Tags: Travel, Music, Willie Nelson, New Orleans, Elvis Presley, Obits, Rolling Stone, Travels, Allan, Townes Van Zandt, Kristofferson, Marty Stuart, Mississippi Delta, Billy Joe Shaver, Shaver, Laura K


robert fisk, rest in power

  I was very saddened to hear of the too-young death of Robert Fisk, veteran war journalist, author, and truth-teller.Fisk was often criticized for "politicizing" war reporting, or for not being "objective". Most war journalists are little more than propaganda mouthpieces for the wealthy countries that invade and seek to control poorer countries, whether directly or by proxy. This highly biased view is said to be apolitical and objective, when it merely reflects the politics of the dominant p...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, France, Iraq, Bbc, Canada, House Of Commons, Ypres, Obits, Dublin, Jon Snow, Damascus, Cork, War And Peace, Sarajevo, Maidstone


11.11

 Honour the dead by working for peace. [Author: laura k]
Tags: Travel, Laura K, 11.11


what i'm reading: our inner ape: a leading primatologist explains why we are who we are

When I scroll through my ridiculously long book list, the name Frans de Waal appears again and again. I read reviews of his books, they sound appealing, they go on the list -- and there it ends. This has been going on since the 1990s, and now in 2020, I had yet to read one of his books. Finally, my reading plan (originally here, with updates here and here) put de Waal back on my radar. At Russell Books in Victoria, I found two of his books, and I put two more on hold at my library. I've read o...
Tags: Travel, Africa, Victoria, Darwin, Lolita, Peter Paul Rubens, Waal, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Frans de Waal, De Waal, Kidogo, Russell Books, Animals (other Than Dogs


first celebrate, then organize: good things that happened in the 2020 u.s. election

United States Vice Presidents After the positive result in the US election, so many of my fellow leftists refuse to find joy in the occasion. They seem determined to not admit that something good happened.The worst president in the history of the United States has been handed his walking papers. This is a good thing! Does that mean I expect anything but business as usual from a Joe Biden administration? Of course not! But will Trump's ouster improve people's lives? Absolutely it will....
Tags: Travel, New York, Mississippi, Congress, New York City, US, Joe Biden, United States, US politics, Feminism, Socialism, Arizona, Michigan, Bronx, Kamala Harris, Trump


virtual walking tours of new york city, hosted by ny times architecture critic michael kimmelman

During the pandemic shutdown, there were so many offers of interesting things to do online -- cooking, crafting, indoor exercise, art classes, author readings, and on and on. I didn't do any of it. I began piano lessons with Pianote, read books, took walks, and generally (although somewhat guiltily) enjoyed myself.One online series looked interesting to me, but I kept forgetting to do it. The New York Times posted walking tours of different areas of New York City, hosted by Michael Kimmelman. Ki...
Tags: Travel, Google, Art, New York, New York City, US, Brooklyn, New York Times, Manhattan, Times, Paul Goldberger, Laura K, Kimmelman, COVID-19, Michael Kimmelman Kimmelman, East Village Home of Punks


how to move to canada

 How to Move to Canada1. Go here: Citizenship and Immigration Canada.2. Read everything that might apply to you. Find out if you qualify, and what will be required if you do.3. Trust no other source. The process changes significantly in a short period of time. Anyone who emigrated at any other time will have outdated information. Many people think they know how immigration works. Don't take a chance. Go to the only source that is correct and up-to-date. [Author: laura k]
Tags: Travel, Don, Immigration Canada, Laura K, Immigrating And Moving


this should have been the biggest landslide in u.s. history. instead we are holding our breath.

To quote a headline I saw tonight, what should have been a landslide has turned into a nail-biter. No matter what the outcome of this election, we can clearly see that about half of all American voters have asked for another term of DJT. It is stunning, bizarre, baffling, and deeply depressing.You could perhaps explain away voting for him once. (I can't, really, but for argument's sake, we can say they didn't know, or they hated Hillary Clinton that much.) Now, after four years of this torture, ...
Tags: Travel, Hillary Clinton, US politics, Fox News, Ministry of Truth, Laura K, Winston Smith, Fascist Shift


center for public integrity: a brief history of voter suppression in the united states

This article was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C., from their excellent series "Barriers to the Ballot Box". Analysis: New And Age-Old Voter Suppression Tactics At The Heart Of The 2020 Power Struggle Making voting harder is about grabbing even more disproportionate power and delaying the impact of shifting demographics.By Matt DeRienzo, Editor-in-Chief, Public Integrity, October 28, 2020 "You will no...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Florida, UK, Texas, Supreme Court, Congress, California, Washington, Senate, Russia, New York City, America, Los Angeles, Barack Obama, Georgia


all eyes on the united states: election day and beyond: the dark side laid bare

Election day in the U.S. tomorrow. My American family and friends are all quietly freaking out. The whole world is quietly freaking out. The massive turnout through mail-in voting and advance polling are very good signs. Thousands who didn't vote in 2016 have already voted in 2020. Personally, I think it will be an anti-Trump landslide in the popular vote, and a decisive win in the electoral vote. Not that anyone should put any faith in what I believe! In 2016, I told anyone who would listen t...
Tags: Travel, White House, US, United States, US politics, New York Times, Donald Trump, Trump, Abu Ghraib, Trump He, Thomas Edsall, Bigotry, Laura K, Fascist Shift, US Regression, Election Fraud


apologies to sir elton: itch, itch, the itch is back

Remember the severe hives I complained about? That condition is now officially chronic idiopathic urticaria. Translation: long-term hives of no known cause. After struggling through our mini-vacation in Victoria and Salt Spring Island, I called the dermatologist's office and pleaded my case. They very kindly squeezed me in as an emergency, on the day we were driving through that town -- saving us six hours of driving. I later learned it was the doctor's last day before his own vacation. Thank ...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Mental Health, Health Care, Victoria, Laura K, Salt Spring Island


africans were involved in the slave trade. why do you think that matters?

The statementIf you are exposed to any bigoted, right-wing media or social media -- whether by misfortune, sport, or a delusion that you must counter their arguments -- and someone raises the subject of slavery, you will doubtless see on this trope. They were sold by their own people.Africans sold other Africans.Slavery began in Africa, and was imported to the new world. In fact, you might hear or see some version of this any time racism is mentioned. Or as a complete non sequitur. It appears ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Africa, Time, Americas, US, History, Canada, Arizona, Ethiopia, Manhattan, Indigenous Peoples, Alberta, Black, Joe, Northern Europe


what i'm reading: all my puny sorrows by miriam toews

I've just finished reading All My Puny Sorrows, the haunting, heartbreaking, hilarious, and life-affirming 2014 novel by Miriam Toews. It's difficult for me to write about fiction. I don't like to describe plots, because for my own reading, I hate knowing plots in advance. I really enjoy letting the story unfold the way the writer intended. So I generally end up writing about themes -- which for many readers is not at all helpful.All My Puny Sorrows is about the family love, especially the bon...
Tags: Travel, Mental Health, Canada, Margaret Atwood, Winnipeg, Toews, Miriam Toews, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Canadian Culture


a little story about learning to play piano

Recently I was unable to play piano for three weeks -- a combination of the unbearable hives (now about 75% gone!) and being on vacation. Since beginning Pianote's "Foundations" course in March, for four months I never missed a day of practice, and after that never missed more than the occasional day, one or two days per month, maximum. So being away from the keyboard for three weeks, I thought I might forget everything! Really, I thought I might be starting over from day one.The first day,...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Laura K


"you guys": change language, do no harm, but can we please leave space for learning and growing?

First reactions: the language police I've recently learned that calling a group of people you guys may be considered insensitive to transgender people. My first reaction to this was an inner eye-roll, and thoughts along the lines of, "Oh come on, that's going too far." The same reaction I had to learning that the word crazy is not to be used -- in any context -- because it's insensitive to people with mental illness. Why are people policing my language this closely? Is this really important? W...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Chelsea Manning, Becky, Bradley Manning, Bigotry, Laura K, Lgbt Stuff


international safe abortion day: abortion is healthcare

September 28 is International Safe Abortion Day , a day to reflect on how many women around the world do not have control over their reproduction -- that is, do not have control over their lives.  Abortion is the sine qua non of women's liberation. Without the ability to choose whether and when to have children, women are slaves to their reproductive organs, and to the governments that control them. We would all prefer contraception to abortion. But, like abortion, contraception is not u...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, Supreme Court, Reagan, United States, Feminism, Abortion, Reproductive Rights, Health Care, North America, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Roe, Guttmacher Institute, Hellerstedt, Laura K, Whole Woman 's Health


what i'm reading: love: possibly roddy doyle's best book

Love, the latest novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle, is a miniature tour de force. It's a story where seemingly nothing happens, nothing that you could really call a plot. Two men who have known each other a very long time, but haven't seen each other in many years, are having a pint at a pub. It's familiar Doyle territory. Roger Rosenblatt, reviewing Love in the New York Times, writes:When I tell you that Roddy Doyle's new novel, "Love," is about two 50-ish men talking well-oiled talk in a pub...
Tags: Travel, New York Times, Doyle, What I'm Reading, Roddy Doyle, Laura K, Roger Rosenblatt


interspecies love: it's been too long

I've been stashing these in a folder, but it's been years since I've posted any! I don't know about you, but I could sure use a break. [Author: laura k]
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Laura K, Animals (other Than Dogs, Interspecies Love


ruth bader ginsburg, rest in power

  These highlights of Ginsburg's decisions and dissents on the SCOTUS are a joy to read. I used two sources, and decided to keep the overlap. Many highlight the reason she was affectionately known as the Notorious RBG.United States v. Virginia, 1996In United States v. Virginia,  Ginsburg  wrote the majority opinion that would serve as a milestone moment for women’s rights and university admission policies. The case challenged a policy by the Virginia Military Institute that barred wome...
Tags: Travel, Health, Florida, Texas, Supreme Court, Congress, Washington Post, Virginia, Disability, US politics, Feminism, Labour, Reproductive Rights, Obits, George W Bush, Bernie Sanders


in which i implore the goddess of antihistamines to smile upon me

I am so grateful to be home, and to have several more days off before returning to work. All four of us are happy to be back. What a joy and a privilege to have a home that I love! Seeing the dermatologist in Campbell River on the day we were driving through town was an even bigger stroke of luck than we knew: it was the last day before the doctor's vacation! I would have had to wait another two weeks, in addition to another six hours of driving.Dermatologist:1. Ordered a whole whack of blood te...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Campbell River, Laura K


cpmvfsgu days 8 and 9: monday and tuesday on salt spring island; whether or not to leave a negative review for an airbnb

I've spent the last two days reading, blogging, scratching, and occasionally eating and sleeping. There were other things to do on Salt Spring Island, but I was too uncomfortable to do anything. It was very nice to have uninterrupted time to read and write.Tomorrow we'll take an early ferry to Crofton, drive up to Campbell River, take care of our appointments, then head back home. * * * * I've had a long running argument by email with the host of this cottage. I'd like to leave a negative r...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Complaints, Tripadvisor, Travels, Consumer Issues, Vancouver Island, Crofton, Campbell River, Laura K, Salt Spring Island


"fine. biden. but this is bullshit."

  I've said it before and I'll say it again: Donald Trump is the single greatest gift the Democratic Party could ever hope to receive. The Democrats have finally achieved their most sought-after position: every thinking person must now vote Democrat, no matter what. They can now run whoever they want with whatever consequences that will have, because the alternative is an existential threat to the country itself. Both parties, of course, have always been an existential threat to other countries...
Tags: Travel, Asia, White House, US, Dnc, Joe Biden, History, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton, US politics, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Ohio, John Kerry, Biden


cpmvfsgu day 7: salt spring island (sunday)

Today's big news is that the GP Dermatologist in Campbell River will see me on the day we are driving through that town, on our way home. Which is two days from now! I'm so relieved I could cry.I called and pleaded my case -- to be honest, just a simple explanation, I didn't need to exaggerate! -- and also explained we would be passing through town in a couple of days. The scary part was waiting to see if they actually had the referral. I suppose if they hadn't, I could have corrected that with ...
Tags: Travel, Oregon, Personal, Travels, Allan, Vancouver Island, Campbell River, Laura K


cpmvfsgu day 6: salt spring island (saturday)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times? Perhaps not as dramatic as all that, but yesterday was a tale of two days, for sure.We had a leisurely morning -- well, when you barely sleep, all mornings seem long -- and drove the dogs over to Salty Dog, the local daycare and boarding spot. When I made the arrangements, Jaime was the opposite of every doggie daycare place I've spoken with in any city. She was so totally laid back. Whatever day, whatever hour, just come on by. She didn't ask...
Tags: Travel, Art, California, US, Personal, Ireland, Egypt, Travels, Allan, Maude, Sophia, Jaime, Vancouver Island, Laura K, Ganges Ganges, Lorne Tippett


cpmvfsgu day 5: victoria to salt spring island

I am having the surreal experience of looking through photographs of the wildfire devastation in Washington State, Oregon, and California, and seeing the names of towns where much of my family live. They are all personally safe, and as of right now their homes are intact. It's very scary, both in the immediate and the larger pictures.My own personal surreality continues, my skin covered in red welts, scabs, and bruises. (Bruises from scratching; my skin bruises easily.) I've learned that chronic...
Tags: Travel, New York, California, Personal, Vancouver, Victoria, Travels, Allan, Ndp, Cookie, Ganges, Vancouver Island, Crofton, Saanich, Kai, Swartz Bay


cpmvfsgu day 4: victoria

I slept more last night than I have since the hives started, and this morning felt halfway human for the first time in months. I took Cookie and Kai for an early-morning walk on the harbour. There are few things I love more than a paved, accessible, waterfront walk. (On our first trip to Vancouver Island in April 2018, I was in love with a very special such walkway in Sidney, not far from here, that is also studded with public art.) The Victoria harbour is beautiful, and/but full of expensive-lo...
Tags: Travel, Washington, Oregon, Victoria, Washington State, Travels, Allan, Bay Area, Sidney, Vancouver Island, Munro, Campbell River, Laura K, Greater Victoria Public Library, Russell Books, Jam Cafe