Pleasures

graeters

Graeters Ice Cream

The Best. I no longer bother with ice cream, unless I am in Milwaukee, where I reverently and seriously make a pilgrimage to Kopp’s Custard. Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip is sublime and has replaced all other ice creams in my life. Unbelievably, they ship! It’s possible to enjoy this treasure anywhere. Their other flavors are delicious, too, but something about the BCC holds me captive. During the holidays, shipping makes a fabulous gift, and the peppermint, which is seasonal, seems to be an old fashioned classic that delights people.

pandora

Pandora Radio

This app is a “wow.” I entered “Life is Like a Mountain Railway,” one of my favorite old mountain spirituals. My great granddaddy, Pop Wesley, was a railroad man in eastern KY and a deacon in the Methodist Church. On his death bed, he asked my Daddy to sing it with him “one last time.” I loved hearing my mother and sister sing this when I was little. Imagine my pleasure when Pandora brought up every recorded version of the song, and intuitively found other songs it thought I might like, based on my entry! I have synched Pandora on all my Apple products and am lost in my own world of favorite bluegrass every single day.

Anthrolpologie

Anthropologie

Not just my favorite store, it's really my only store. Beautiful, whimsical, practical, nostalgic and modern, it hits all the right notes and keeps me dressed precisely as I like to be: in dresses and skirts, easy easy easy, comfortable and what I think is really pretty. At Dario's races especially, folks ask, "Where do you get all these great dresses?" and the answer is always "Anthropolgie!"Going into its stores is a wonderful experience, and the online experience is incredibly easy. Anthropolgie has generously supported my work with YouthAIDS, another reason why I value this relationship. My Mom values it, too, because she knows any little thing she picks up for me from Anthro, I am going to love!

Cornell

Cornell Ornithology

This web site is a gem, and provides easy to understand birding basics, searches, bird song identification, tips for attracting and keeping a healthy variety of birds to your area, the essentials of helping count birds, and galvanizing information about threats to the magnificent birds who make our world so rich and beautiful. Visit it today!!

lola

Lola Bonobo Orphanage, Kinshasa, DRC

In 2008, I visited DRC extensively, it was a shattering and enlightening trip. One day, when I was nearly crazy from the trauma and grief that has ripped this vast country apart for decades (5.4 million dead, mass rape and torture continue daily), in desperation I visited a Bonobo sanctuary I had heard about. Largely deforested, I needed to get out of Kinshasa and connect with nature and animals to restore my own peace of mind.
At Lola, a male bonobo solicited, meaning, he was trying to get me to play. I could not believe it. We ended up frolicking for an hour. He blessed me with an incredible experience, rare and heart-expanding. He would run, roll, sit, wait. I would imitate him: run, roll, sit. He would then laugh with unmistakable pleasure and joy. This went on and on, running, playing, jumping, and sitting on either side of the fence, fingers intertwined, kissing. He was mischievous, tender, playful, and in general, an angel from God that soothed me deeply.

Imagine my pleasure upon reading Vanessa Woods's recent release, Bonobo Handshake, and being put in touch with her by my professor, Diane Rosenfeld! I immediately emailed Vanessa all my pictures of my "boyfriend," asking with my heart in my throat if she knew him. She responded immediately: "That's Keza, and he doesn't even like people!"

I felt even more special, sitting at my desk, weeping with joy.

Here is an entry by Vanessa, with a movie about Keza's rescue and placement at Lola.

felix

Felix the Cook Cookies

Knowing a good cookie must be more than merely gorgeous, Felix uses the purest, simplest ingredients to produce a simply delicious sugar cookie, changing only the shapes and colors to suit the occasion. These are dazzling!

AcroYoga

AcroYoga elevates the connection between you and others through movement, connection, and play. Acro in Greek  means high, or elevated. Yoga in Sanskrit commonly translates to notions of union, or joining. The experience of taking flight with AcroYoga instantly dissolves fears and invites practitioners to tap into new and infinite possibilities of communication, trust, and union. By combining acrobatics, yoga, and healing arts, the practice of AcroYoga has built a community of active teachers and practitioners all over the world.

AcroYoga International was founded by Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer-Klein in 2003. They were the first to codify the AcroYoga practice in 2006. Their work culminated into not only manuals, but also cultivated formalized educational paths that have promoted the highest levels of safety, expression, and straight up fun.

Zumba

The class that started the dance-fitness revolution and changed the way we look at a “workout” forever. It’s fun, effective and best of all? Made for everyone!

Zumba takes the "work" out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you'll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Check and check.

It's a total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance, and flexibility, boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class.