Pick-A-Day

May 2020
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Archives

Whatchamacallit 43: Erzulie Freda Ritualized Vodou Doll

For those of you who have Zoomed / Google Hangouted / WebExed / GoToMeetinged with me, over my shoulder there has been Erzulie Freda, a vodou doll I bought in New Orleans.

It is today’s Whatchamacallit after a friend asked about it during cocktail hour earlier this week.

The bottom of the work is […]

Whatchamacallit 40: Siapo from (American) Samoa

The work above – siapo – comes from my visit to American Samoa (which I did while visiting Samoa) in April 2015, a stop on my eastward around the world vacation.

The paper is made of mulberry bark. I wish I could remember what it feels like because, in theory, this paper (in larger […]

Whatchamacallit 8: Longboard Beer

This is a six-pack carrier for Longboard Beer – which I drank when I visited Hawaii in 2014.

I’ve not really treated this with much respect: it sits on top of a bookcase in my living room collecting dust. But I look at it from across the room and it brings back memories of […]

父 or how I’ve twice led people to Google unexpected things.

One of my friends has started studying Japanese – and after the first lesson, she informed me that the Japanese word for “father” is Chichi.

Which led me to speculate, out loud, “I wonder where Chi Chi LaRue got his nickname.”

“Who is Chi Chi LaRue,” she asked.

“He was a famous golfer when I […]

My 2017 Western America Tour: Cheerful Colorado History (Not)

When initially planning my trip, I had envisioned going from the Great Sand Dunes to Laramie, Wyoming, taking the mountain route: The Rockies are a dramatic backdrop and there are lots of trails to hike and things to do.

The problem was, I couldn’t identify anything specific that I wanted to do – and instead […]

Eclipse: One heavenly body in front of another…

Last Monday, like many other people, I found myself in the path of totality – in my case, Glendo, Wyoming.

Glendo, population 200, is the first real city (ha!) one encounters driving north along I-25 from Cheyenne that was in totality. Thus, this is where we, and 20,000 of our closest friends got off […]

Where I’m not staying because they cancelled my reservation: Radisson Hotel Cheyenne

The Radisson Hotel Cheyenne: Cancels Reservations Because they can.

Normally I would not choose to visit the US during August, but this year, I am. Like thousands of others, I want to see the eclipse on Monday, August 21st.

But a wrench was thrown into my plans by the Radisson Hotel Cheyenne after they […]

Stateside in November…

After Cape Town, I headed north and west – flying from Johannesburg to Washington Dulles. Non-stop it is 8,134 miles; one-stop (without getting off the plane) in Accra makes it a mere 59 miles further – but the trip takes a very long time.

Perhaps the only building at Virginia Tech that is made […]

It’s starting again…

Back in 2004 when I moved to Germany, I constantly had to explain George W. Bush and explain why it was he was (re-)elected president. Much of the time my new friends and colleagues sought to understand how such a great country (like America) could vote for such an idiot – Republican behaving badly.

In […]

If I had 100,000 US Dollars…

While visiting my Mom, back in October, I visited my favorite Denver coffee shop – the one where the regulars at their group table haven’t changed in over a decade.

Although the regulars were regular, the fact is the coffee shop appears to have lost its edge, and the baristas working in the morning had […]