Musings

De Poezenboot, KattenKabinet, and “The Last Pet” at Tot Zover, Amsterdam

I’m in Amsterdam, up to my neck in Dutch vocabulary, learning the language. Although free time this trip isn’t plentiful, I did manage to slide in several engagements. SEE ALSO: ALL ABOARD THE POEZENBOOT Popped by KattenKabinet hoping there’d be a resident cat or two. There was indeed. SEE ALSO: PREVIOUS VISIT TO KATTENKABINET Went to a very interesting exhibit…

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Mittens

Mittens

Two weeks before Mark and I were scheduled to leave for our trip to Africa, our cat Mittens developed some diarrhea and vomiting. She had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease 8 years ago and has been receiving medicine for it ever since, and has done amazingly well. Her main symptom has always been vomiting; diarrhea was something new. I…

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Mission Rabies Volunteer missionrabies.com

Mission Rabies Ghana – Chapter 1: A New Mission

Last year, I had an amazing experience volunteering for Mission Rabies and participating in their vaccination drive in Goa.  I blogged extensively about it (start here), allowing me to joyfully relive the experience as I went through all my photos from the trip. Traveling has always been one of my pleasures in life, and being retired has afforded me even…

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"Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives" by Walt Odets

Quick Book Review: “Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives” by Walt Odets

A very dense, but enlightening book that discusses the difficulties gay men have faced, and still face, trying to live their lives productively and authentically in the face of intense trauma and discrimination. He focuses on the stigmatization that gay men experience early in life, and the shame, self-doubt, and isolation that results from being seen as different from the…

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Nostalgia-Vu and Soupy Sales

Nostalgia-Vu – A “reliving reminiscence;” A feeling you get when you return to a personal memory from your childhood triggered by taking part in it present-day. A great example is going to your high school reunion. It’s a remembrance from years past, while also taking part in the present-day version. I live in New York City, fairly close to Macy’s. …

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"Your Favorite Band is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life" by Steven Hyden

Quick Book Review: “Your Favorite Band is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life” by Steven Hyden

This is really a book about pop culture, and the author has made a pretty good career as a writer on the topic.  Addressing pop culture through these music rivalries was very entertaining.  As a fan of classic rock and alternative music, I really enjoyed the chapters on Oasis vs. Blur, Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton vs. Jimmy Hendrix,…

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"The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap" by Gish Jen

Quick Book Review: “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap” by Gish Jen

The author is better known as a novelist, but she’s written this non-fiction exploration of the divide between Western and Eastern culture. She basically divides West from East by how the self is seen. Western people are characterized by individualism and self-esteem, compared to Eastern people, who are flexible and interdependent. In the West we value uniqueness, while in the…

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"Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink" by Elvis Costello

Quick Book Review: “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink” by Elvis Costello

A long, detailed autobiography by a performer I’ve always liked, even though I haven’t kept up with his career. Elvis’s father was a very accomplished musician, and I enjoyed hearing about Elvis’s musical upbringing, and his early years at Stiff Records and on the punk scene. Elvis has very broad musical tastes, and he describes encounters and collaborations with George…

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