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Cheeseless, or How Much I Love My Mother

A confession: I love cheese. I’m almost Dutch that way – it’s not really a meal unless there’s a cheese product involved. I am happiest standing at the kitchen counter dipping pretzel sticks into flavored cream cheese. In fact, that’s what I had for lunch the other day.  I think about most food (outside of cookies) in terms of whether or not it can be considered a cheese-bearing vehicle. I …

the things they carried (with thanks to Tim O’Brien)

Tim O’Brien has a fantastic book called The Things They Carried, about the talismanic objects that Viet Nam soldiers carried in their rucksacks.  We all carry things with us – things to remind us of the people we love, things to ward off danger, things to bring luck (and things to keep the baby quiet in Tar-jay, to amuse the restless fourth grader in the backseat, to bribe the recalcitrant …

Out of Africa II: The Search for Carnage

On our safari drives through Amboseli and the Masai Mara, it seemed as if we were in a beautifully tended wild-life park. In the Mara, fields of tall grass ripple into the hills and umbrella-shaped acacia trees dot the horizon, and in Amboseli, on a clear day, the snowy tip of Kilimanjaro creates a postcard-perfect background for grazing elephants. We frequently felt like we were roaming through some artist’s rendering …