Where I Go: Seeking Peace on the Upper Slopes of Mount Shasta

How Cycling (and Tandem Biking) Has Made My Rural Northern California 'Neighborhood' Home

“Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California.”
—Joaquin Miller, from his 1873 autobiographical novel, Life Among the Modocs

When you move to a new neighborhood, you scout it out. It’s all a matter of staking out territory, getting comfortable in your new surroundings. If you’re in the city, your early forays on the streets might lead you to that perfect pastry at the corner bakery, the savory brick-oven pizza from a …

Where I Go: Stress Baking | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Stress Baking

When It All Becomes Too Much, I Remind Myself to Be Patient and Wait for My Next Loaf to Rise

It’s July 2020, and San Diego is in a heat wave, but I don’t care; I’m baking bread. I can’t force fools on the street to wear masks, or stop the president …

Where I Go: L.A.’s Arboretum, Where the Peafowl Hunt You in Packs | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: L.A.’s Arboretum, Where the Peafowl Hunt You in Packs

Butt-Dancing Birds Have Become My Pandemic Icons

When the pandemic fell upon the earth, my husband Andrew and I went to the L.A. Arboretum. Few other Southern California locations remained open after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued our …

Our Favorite Essays of 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Essays of 2020

This Year, While We Were Stuck at Home, Our Contributors Brought the World to Us

2020 was not a year that went as anyone expected. Amid a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a defining presidential election—not to mention the murder hornets—it’s been an unprecedented …

Where I Go: Foraging for Wild Mushrooms  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Foraging for Wild Mushrooms 

Chanterelles in the Market? $24.99 Per Pound. In the Forest? Priceless 

Sandwiched between shitakes and oyster mushrooms, I spot them: the golden treasures of the forest. Piled indecorously in a standard box that fits a standard shelf, they’re selling at a …

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly

In Praise of TV-Watching, the Pinnacle of Evening Entertainment

I wish I was watching TV right now. When I’m not watching TV, I like to reflect on all the previous times I’ve watched TV or look forward to the …