Wild Life

Smokin’ Hot: Cheech Marin on Film, Art, and Life

What pops into your mind when you hear the name Cheech Marin? The sidesplitting humor of a stoner smoking the biggest doobie you ever saw? Inspector Joe Dominguez cruising San Francisco in Nash Bridges’ über-cool, lemon-yellow Hemi Barracuda? Or do you chuckle at memories of Cheech as the debonair Ignacio Messina chasing Tyne Daly around the “Judging Amy” set? It …

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San Francisco: Two Artists to Watch

My recent trip to San Francisco to explore its vibrant art scene introduced me to the work of Vanessa Marsh and Philip Buller, two artists to watch, both represented by Dolby Chadwick Gallery. Their styles and processes are completely different but each is producing compelling work guaranteed to attract interest. VANESSA MARSH Vanessa Marsh, a California bay-area mixed-media artist, creates …

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Escaping Winter: Four Glorious Southwestern Arizona Days

The desert has always been special to me. For many the desert seems desolate and barren, but to me it is the Phoenix of landscapes, rising each spring to celebrate the season with glorious, piercing color decorating its foliage. I love the architectural quality of saguaro, the skyward reach of the century plant’s singular stretch of blooms, the barrel cactus’s …

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Travels with Sinbad: Motorcycle Journeys: Part 3

The next morning’s weather did not look promising. Around 7:30 a.m. after only a half-eaten breakfast, a nervous stomach, and a load of determination, I packed up Sinbad again, put on full cold weather layers and rain gear and headed north on Highway 550 toward Ouray. I didn’t have much experience with mountain conditions during bad weather and, not sure about …

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Travels with Sinbad: Motorcycle Journeys, Part II

And the adventure continues . . . Creede, Colorado is just as appealing as I had always imagined—a small historic mining town situated at the mouth of a magnificent red rock canyon. Strength and energy emanated from the sheer, wet canyon walls and they shimmered in the crisp air as I parked Sinbad and looked around. Wonderfully restored buildings, some upscale …

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Travels with Sinbad: Motorcycle Journeys – Part I

In Australia, the aborigines have a belief that everyone’s existence is a “songline” that runs directly back to the source of all life from wherever they wander. I love the images this concept evokes. It makes me think about each of us writing a rainbow-tinted, unique melody with our lives, a jazz fusion of trills and riffs, patterns of notes …

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BEST BOOKS I’VE READ: Pick of the litter for 2016

Each year I look over all that I’ve read and try to choose the best of the best, the pick of the litter, in fiction and nonfiction. There were so many terrific novels on my list of 75 books for 2016, that I had a very hard time narrowing it down to these eight—I just couldn’t reduce it any further. There …

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Feast of Best Books – 4th Quarter 2016

I read 75 books in 2016. When I say “read” it means I ate the whole thing—there were quite a few others I set aside because I just could not connect with the story or the characters, or they were poorly edited or, in the case of nonfiction not carefully annotated to substantiate their points. I may do a “Best …

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BEST ROADS TRAVELED: Mexico’s Las Pozas – Jungle Fantasy

Outside the town of Xilitla in northern Mexico’s Sierra Gorda, a little known surrealistic architectural masterpiece rises out of the jungle. For centuries it has been a seldom-visited region, semi-tropical and teaming with wildlife. It is also the unexpected site of Las Pozas (the pools), built by Edward James, an eccentric English poet, artist, and patron of the surrealist movement. …

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The Long Game: Elections, Cougars, and Strategy

Cougars know all about playing the long game. Am I talking about that magnificent wild creature of the West or that irresistible older woman with a reputation for dallying with hunky virile younger men (with big hands)? And what does either have to do with recent election results? I am an older woman who learned decades ago the value of …

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