Uhm, Well, I Took a Lot of Pictures

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Marine iguana. It’s decidedly not enormous.

So you might be wondering where my Ecuador and Galapagos Islands pictures are, and I can tell you I have them. I most certainly have them.

So. Many. Pictures. 4,903 of them, to be exact, if everything has transferred properly. And that’s just the big camera.

I’ve done a run through all of the ones from my real camera, but I haven’t yet transferred the little camera. Speaking of the little camera, it really did its job and more! I got it primarily for underwater shots, and that thing went to work. I couldn’t see the screen while snorkeling (I snorkeled! I actually learned how to snorkel!) so I just pointed, squinted for the focus button and hoped for the best, and it shot its little heart out.

And it was surprisingly watertight. Not entirely, as you’ll see later with some of the photos from Hidden Beach, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.

So hopefully you won’t mind if it takes a little time to share with you the best of what I took. That pic above is probably not my best marine iguana, but I honor requests.

Eventually patience will be rewarded, and by that I mean I can’t wait to regale you with my travel tales until you’re begging me to blog about television.

One more pic for the road!

Ferry from Baltra to Santa Cruz.

Ferry from Baltra to Santa Cruz.

In or near Chicago in October? Come see “Me Inside Me Presents: Witch, Please,” on October 1, 8, 22 and 29 at Donny’s Skybox Theater at 7 pm. Tickets available at SecondCity.com.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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China in Chicago

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Warning: there is a photo below that shows the x-ray of a deliberately-created physical deformity. If that is something that is not OK for you, you may not want to read today’s post.

This weekend, I visited Chicago’s beautiful Field Museum. There’s a very detailed, comprehensive exhibit about China, The Cyrus Tang Hall of China, which was fascinating. But one part really got to me.

In a packed stream of artifacts, these shoes got my attention:IMG_9020

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It’s tough to judge how tiny they are, but they look like they were made for a doll. Three inches, is what the description said.

They were shoes for bound feet. Imagine that, a full-grown woman tottering around on three-inch long, brutally misshapen feet. Hobbled, so that her feet could resemble those of a doll.

At least in shoes.

I warn you, the next photo is disturbing, at least I found it so. This is an x-ray of a woman’s bound foot:

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I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the binding process, let alone the pain of living with bound feet. Over the centuries, the cruelty and torture women endured in the pursuit of “beauty” is staggering. It makes me sad for our long-gone sisters.

Overall, though, I highly recommend the exhibit if you happen to be in or around Chicago. It really makes you consider the people who make up the history of a fascinating country.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Getting Nostalgic Over N

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The word “nostalgia” should always be written in pink, because it, itself, implies a rose-colored glass-tinged world. Nothing embraces this idea more than the way we talk about and think about the concept of family. There’s an idea–particularly in the U.S.–that there was a time that was a golden age for “true families.” You know, the “Leave it to Beaver” kind.  Well, family’s always been a complicated, multifaceted creature.


The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz. Amazon for $10.85. The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

Nonfiction not your thing? Try Her Cousin Much Removed, or sign up for my spamless newsletter.

Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities. It’s free!

Culture Explains the World

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Blogging the letter C launched me into a tizzy of culture, as you can see from this morning’s post, and you’ll see this afternoon. The call of cultures, from broad to niche, is irresistible to me.

The thing is that culture is more than simply ethnicity or traditions. Culture is everywhere. There is a culture of the line at the grocery store, one that elicits glares at people with more than 15 items where they shouldn’t be, one that implies, but never says outright, that you should make room for the person waiting behind you, especially if they’re carrying their purchases.

There’s a culture to your neighborhood, whether you greet your neighbors or you don’t, whether you sit in the front yard or the back or anywhere you like. Even this A-to-Z Blogging Challenge forges a culture among participants, a temporary one, perhaps, but one nonetheless.

On any given day we are a member of and affected by dozens of cultures, and they aren’t simply limited to the color of our skin, or our religion or lack thereof, or our gender, or our geographical location or our age. It’s a wondrous way to view the world, because it means that, to some degree, we are connected with everyone through invisible cultural strands.

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Revisit The Skirt and the 90s with 2000 Deciduous Trees

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If you get nostalgic about the ’90s and grunge culture, take a quick time trip back to the days when dark literary magazines were plentiful (and fleeting). The Skirt only ran for four issues, but lives on through the magic of ebooks.

2000 Deciduous Trees: Memories of a Zine by Nath Jones. $4.99 from Smashwords.com
2000 Deciduous Trees is an exploration of individual experience selected from Nath Jones’s ‘90s zine, The Skirt. The writing resists losing its balance during a time when gas was cheap and no one drove slowly on the cusp of a new millennium. The voice yearns for change. But nothing can be done in a twenty-something world where one-night stands get forgotten with execution-style murders.