June 19 -why Juneteenth is important

What is Juneteenth and why does it matter? It’s a little-known part of the history of emancipation from slavery, and part of the twisted, delayed, and elusive process of African-American freedom. There are other, more historically significant dates in emancipation history:  Sept. 22: the day Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation Order in 1862 Jan. […]

Continue reading

IQ by Joe Ide

If you read IQ, by Joe Ide, and are reminded of Sherlock Holmes, you’re not wrong. Ide grew up in South L.A. and devoured the Conan Doyle stories. His creation, Isaiah Quintabe, is a young black man almost destroyed by grief and rage when his older brother/surrogate parent Marcus is killed by a hit-and-run driver. […]

Continue reading

My personal summer reading program

It’s June now, and some misguided busybody will probably tell you to get outside, be active, and soak in the summer rays. Please do not listen to them; you will only become sweaty and demoralized. To maximize comfort and optimize reading time, here are a few tips from The Laziest Woman in Town: Find a nice, […]

Continue reading

The Colorado National Monument turns 107

We can thank the great and eccentric John Otto for the Colorado National Monument; when he came to the area in 1906 and discovered the red rock canyons, he wrote, “I came here last year and found these canyons, and they feel like the heart of the world to me.  I’m going to stay and build […]

Continue reading

Happy birthday, L. Frank Baum!

If you love ruby slippers, emerald cities, cowardly lions, and wicked witches, you can thank L. Frank Baum. His creation of the fantastical world of Oz charged the imaginations of countless children when his first book, The Wonderful World of Oz, was published in 1900. The book’s overwhelming popularity with children, as well as adults, led to […]

Continue reading

May 8 is Truman Day

Harry Truman Day, that is.  My favorite modern president and the only modern president to not have a college degree, Harry Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri.  He was a selfless son who returned to the family farm to help his parents, a soldier in World War I, an unsuccessful haberdasher, and […]

Continue reading

In praise of our furry friends

Where would we be without our pooches and kitties? In a very dismal place, that’s where. Our critters are our friends, companions, walking buddies, and alarm clocks. Sure, there are the gusts of fur that drift through our homes and the occasional chewed earbud cord to vex us, but studies show that having pets can […]

Continue reading

Classic survival tales

When life seems too hard, and I want to snivel like the mope that I am, I buck myself up with thoughts of Meriwether Lewis and Ernest Shackleton. That’s right, these two legendary explorers and survivors of expedition-related disaster have been my inspiration, and can be yours, too! You must, however,  commit to a rigorous […]

Continue reading

The Terror

Supernatural horror and historical fiction may sound like an unlikely combination.  But The Terror, by Dan Simmons, is a brooding, bone-crunching thriller and a complex survival tale. Based on the events of the lost Franklin Expedition of the 1840s, which sought the elusive Northwest Passage in the Arctic, The Terror tells the story of the HMS Erebus and […]

Continue reading