Tom the Cat

Language acquisition sometimes feels like the cartoons of my youth, where Tom the Cat steps on the rake and gets smacked in the face. Again. And Again. And Again. Verbs blur, words disappear, and people grow facial hair as they wait for me to finish a phrase. And I do the same maddening exercise, day … More Tom the Cat

Mi Adiccion

As a native of Arizona, I always declared, as a point of pride, that I would never have a Kokopelli in my home. I don’t really have brewing animosity for the flute-playing Native American symbol. But I did have scorn for those who embraced it. The booming software industry of the late 70s brought families … More Mi Adiccion


“Ella,” my friend said, pointing at me, “Es perfectionista.” Everybody nodded. My friend was referring to my need to speak Spanish perfectly, but it applies to most aspects of my life. I’ve always been a fan of straight A’s, tasks completed, and beds made. Which is precisely why my path led to Spain. Life is … More Perfectionista

Stone Bridge

I play a game with my Spanish friends fairly often called, “Explain Nancy’s Family.” It’s complicated, and involves many hand gestures. “Mira,” I say, holding out my hand in an approximation of the States, “Es Estados Unidos.” I point to the farthest left corner—Seattle and say, “Mi hermano.” I go to explain (and point) to … More Stone Bridge