Ant Patrol

It’s 2 a.m. and there’s an ant crawling along the edge of my laptop screen.

What Ellis gave us

I have a folder in my filing cabinet called ‘Ellis Avery’. It’s filled with my semester’s work in her Master Fiction class 10 years back, and, more poignantly, the notes she’d handwritten in the margins. It also holds several manila note cards on which she wrote abundant critiques of our writing. For me, that class […]


Summer near the ocean brings balmy air that frizzes hair and seeps humidity into crisp dry sheets no sooner than you lay them down. But it’s nothing compared to what it does to the outside of a house. After a few years of salty air, door and window sash paint separates, crinkles, and flakes. I’ve […]

The Human Side of Business

Bolos de los Perros

As a girl, Vera Cruz native Daniela Rivera ( was inspired by her dad –an architect and carpenter- to work with her hands, and her interest developed in pottery and clay figures. She makes many types of pottery – cups, pitchers, etc.– but her bolo ties really caught my eye. The centerpiece (where in Native […]

William Burroughs, Gore Vidal, and Los Alamos

Perhaps the most antithetical place on the planet to mention on or around Earth Day is Los Alamos, New Mexico, site of the development of mankind’s ultimate destructive weapon for Planet Earth. Yet that’s where I found myself a few days back, fascinated with the Manhattan Project’s beginnings, its secrecy, the lifestyles of its scientists, […]

A Dogs’ Graveyard

In the 1920s, two wealthy, avant-garde sisters from New York stopped in Santa Fe to get their hair done, fell in love with the landscape, bought several acres and created an artists’ respite called El Delirio. Amelia-Elizabeth and Martha White were the daughters of newspaperman Horace White, and they hired a famous architect (William Penhallow […]


April 1. 11:17 p.m. We’re somewhere over Kansas and climbing. I watch the speed and altitude while I fly, wondering what cockpit chatter is about, trying to put myself there to understand. I’m a nervous flier. I question every little knock and ping on a plane, have mild agita when the TV computer system has […]

This Is Not Us

When I see Cialis commercials or Celebrex ads, or other doses of retirement-is-carefree dopamine, to me the couples look like they are about 49 or 50 and have just been given silver hair for the commercial shoot. The images in articles and on retirement blogs are similar. We’re not old, we’re ‘the youth of old […]

Retirement 101 (or how to live on half your income)

When I mentioned to someone I work with that I am retiring from my job, she said “Not retiring ‘from,’ but retiring ‘to’ – that’s the new way of thinking nowadays.” Well, I have to confess that retirement planning feels fraught with potholes, as we drive toward that ultimate demise. My ‘sustainable’ income is not […]