In January…

I Read

  • A 750 page book (The Way We Live Now, review to come) which I really enjoyed. A great way to kick off the reading year.

I Marveled At

  • Renee Fleming singing in Lyric Opera’s final performance of Verdi’s La Traviata. She was incredible. The perfect combination of rich, pure voice and passionate acting. Baritone Thomas Hampson was also amazing.
  • The exhibition Maps: Finding Our Place in the World at the Field Museum, an impressive display of 100 important maps, spanning from 1300 BC through today’s GPS. This diverse collection explored the many incarnations of a map, incorporating history, science, geography, social history, exploration, and art. There were maps drawn by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Lindberg and Ambrose Bierce. Maps made out of sticks to chart the swells in the seas around the Marshall Islands and a map of Greenland’s coast carved from a piece of wood. There were gorgeous Japanese maps from the Edo period, a map of Lewis and Clark’s journey made by a member of the expedition, the map of British and French territories in North America presented to King George II, and Captain Cook’s chronometer! Unfortunately…the exhibit closed last weekend

I Whacked the Heck Out of a Plastic Baby Doll

  • Learning first aid in a class on infant choking and CPR. I pray I never have to use any of it.

I Said Goodbye to a Dear Fuzzy Friend

  • Handsome Zach, one of the finest felines you could ever hope to meet, passed away two weeks ago. Zach would have been 20 in March and that yowling bundle of personality had enough spirit in him for three cats, until a damned inoperable tumor developed this past fall. I’d known Zach since he was a kitten fresh off a horse farm in Indiana. He popped right out of the basket, marched around—I was in grad school then (a lifetime ago!) and sharing an apartment with Karen—and he made the place his own in about five minutes. He eventually went to live in Chicago but I saw him all the time and he often came to visit, staying with me when Karen would go out of town. Two weeks ago, Karen had to make that difficult trip to the vet with Zach, and Jen and I went with her. It was obviously the right time, but it’s still so hard to do. Zach was a wonderful cat and he’s greatly missed by us all.

3 thoughts on “In January…

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Zack–brought tears to my eyes because I had the honor of knowing him too. I know how much he’ll be missed. However, each new cat brings a unique personality to enjoy.

  2. 36 arts and culture organizations in and around Baltimore are participating in the Festival of Maps, can you believe it? I’m so excited about all the fun things happening in Baltimore from performances to showcases to exhibits. I can’t wait to see participants like Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery Children’s Museum and so many more. Everyone should join in on the fun for Baltimore’s Festival of Maps . One really interesting part is called Maps on Purpose. A group called Art on Purpose worked with the various neighborhoods of Baltimore to map how they saw their world. The results are all varied and all great statements about the value of community.
    Go to for more info and to see videos of the curator talking about the festival.

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