Category Archives: Places

On Lock

Dear Dorigen,

We were not prepared for these strange days of sequestering for Coronavirus. Being at higher risk, I still didn’t actually think to work from home until a single day before my company suggested it for all employees, and then just a few days later the offices were closed officially and we are all working from home.

As someone who much prefers to go into the office than work from home, I have taken a lesser-worn t-shirt and started adding tally marks for every day of this unsettling lock down. I don’t wear this shirt very often, because when I do, I inevitably get the comment that I look just like Velma, from Scooby-Doo (my brunette bob, black glasses, and snarky looks don’t help).

Thanks again for the PJ bottoms; I am now in a non-stop-rock-block of day to night pajamas bottoms with work shirts (just in case I need to dial in to meetings with video). Although, in the beginning of the lock down for about an hour each day I would put on jeans, so that Pete and I could aimlessly walk over to Walgreens again and pick up whatever we forgot the day before – laundry detergent, drier sheets, deodorant, toilet paper (thank goodness) coffee, peanut M&Ms, etc.

Last weekend we naively went to Whole Foods to stock up on Against the Grain frozen pesto pizzas, which were absolutely sold out, as were all other grain-free frozen foods. Instead, we picked up what we could find – a sack of frozen salmon, sardines, cans of coconut milk, cans of artichoke hearts, black olives, cheese, ginger, and a bag of lemons. We have since been able to get a more substantial grocery delivery and this morning at 6am we went to the store and picked up more sardines. Now that Illinois is nearing 300 cases, we are officially staying home as much as possible

So, while we work and live at home, in our free time we are catching up on laundry and getting creative with the cooking. Oh, and I did yoga the other day.

How are you and the family getting though?




Hi Dorigen,

I had a lovely Labor Day weekend with you and the family in Milwaukee, where, of course, the 115th Harvey Davidson Fest blazed through town. I figured a biker fashion recap would be in order, but all I wanted to do was part the cascading leather fringe, pluck off the grips of bushy fox tails, and roll up those weathered T’s to expose and stare at the many, the proud, the glorious biker bellies.

I see bellies as a confidence. When I was in High School, my gut was making its presence known and I remember wanting the world to embrace it. As a teenager, I conceptualized a pair of pants with a heart on the gut, which could be circled when placing your thumbs in your pockets. I imagined strutting down the runway with a crop top, thumbs in my fashion-pants pockets, showing love for my stomach.

I appreciate the belly story you shared. When grandma was pregnant with dad, she was running errands on Mitchell Street and, as she walked with her big, pregnant belly, the elastic on her underwear snapped and fell to the ground. As the resourceful, unembarrassed, and comically brilliant person that she was, Grandma picked up what was left of her underwear, nonchalantly placed them in the nearest mailbox, and quietly continued with her errands.

This weekend, while spectating at the Biker Rally, I wanted to swaddle my ears and my entire body, exposing only my belly-staring eyes, because of the sound, that deafening, body-vibrating sound of revving motorcycle engines, which felt like guttural growls of hunger; hunger for the road and the wind, I suppose, but also clearly hunger for being seen and heard and felt by everyone. It was invasive, but those sitting bellies were glorious.

Sending love directly from my belly,


P.S. I got so much peanut butter on my puff sleeves last week that I included a jar of Jif in my daily outfit catalog.


FASHION and STYLE Paris report

Hi Dorigen,

While we were in Nashville, spotting pedal pushers and a lot of orange, our Aunt Anne was in Paris, soaking up the fabulousness.


Here are her brilliant and enlightening insights:

FASHION and STYLE Paris report. Female hair styles for teens/20’s beachy hair; no highlights! 30+ short hair and not styled but “wash and wear”. Men sport 2″ or longer hair; little evidence of shaved. Dresses/skirts are knee-length or longer. Skinny jeans rein for both sexes. Parisians seem to have the skinniest, longest legs so they look fabulous. Rare to see heels; flats are all the rage and/or strappy shoes. Must have straps around the ankle. Men seem to love the suede slip-ons. The latter aggressively embrace style; that’s why there are numerous men’s boutiques. Me? I look like a tourist.

I love this woman.


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Water Parks


Please explain a water park.



Water parks are a wonderful thing. 

Do you remember “J’s Amusements Park” in Guerneville, CA?  It was deep in the middle of the tallest woods and across from the best pee-wee golf ever.  The park had a questionable water slide with mild (pre-teen “lifeguard”) supervision.   It was wonderful.

Most recently I visited the other water park of my childhood – “Noah’s Ark” in Wisconsin Dells, WI.  Under new management and because I am now in my 30’s, the experience was unfortunately lackluster.  Half the park was closed and we ran out of things to do in just a couple hours.  Our last visit a few years ago lasted two full days and resulted in a deeply earned sunburn. 

Still, water parks, are one of my favorite vacation options.  Every single water park, regardless of when it was built, is a trip back to the 80’s – lots of neon, frivolity, and teenagers.  While I could do without the teenagers (I have recently decided than anyone under the age of 32 is the worst), I love this nonsense world of decadence and splashing. 


Team Building


My bowels are filled with dread as I prepare for a 2-day work retreat. I wouldn’t mind so much if it had the possibility of being something like this:

But it’s going to be two full days of poorly conceived powerpoint presentations in a crappy hotel in Connecticut. What is the worst work-related activity you’ve had to be a part of?



Girl, I am all for team building.  Um, my senior high school camping trip ended in my group winning the team building award, and I think it was in large part to me publically apologizing to a girl I was mildly rude to my freshman year, for jumping into the lake from my canoe to help teach best rescue techniques, and for using the plastic bag that held our props for the talent competition as a hair piece, because we ran out of props. 

I will trust-exercise anyone under the table. 

These events are an excuse to do ridiculous things with people that can otherwise be intimidating or annoying.  Have fun.  But to answer your question, the worst work related activity that I have had to endure is sharing a large bathroom.  Ugg.