Last spring, Laurie Beth had the opportunity to develop two new classes. In her special topics course on Artists as Curators, she had a motivated and inventive group of graduates and undergraduates who developed exhibitions in actual and virtual spaces. In her seminar Trauma/Culture, she had a great mix of graduate students from multiple departments to bat around ideas with her that related directly to her research interests. Continue reading


We spent the year working our way through Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now which offers ten recipes per month using seasonal ingredients. Each month, we posted a list of recipes and the first then people to claim them would meet for dinner, dish in hand. The recipes are not particularly intended to cohere as a meal but somehow it always worked out.   Continue reading


Laurie Beth “working” in Chile (reading in the sun).

We started the year in an apartment at the beach in Chile where we spent four weeks. At the time of the 2011 post, we wrote “Our routine here includes writing, reading, swimming, eating, and sleeping.” The balance of our stay was spent in a similar way: long walks on the beach to buy fresh seafood directly from the fisherman, writing most of the day, and watching the sun set over the Pacific. Continue reading


Theatre: We were disappointed by Sleep No More which has lost some of its initial charm by overbooking the shows to the point where it’s impossible to actually see the actors for the crowds. Like everyone else, we loved the puppets in War Horse but thought the script was inane. We found memorable the productions we saw in New York of February House, Pool (no water) and Luz. Laurie Beth appreciated Emily Mann’s A Street Car Named Desire. As mentioned above we saw a lot of good and/or interesting stuff in Vegas. Continue reading


Dear Family and Friends:

We are writing to you from the small town of La Laguna, near Cachagua, Chile, where we are spending three and a half weeks on a working holiday. Our routine here includes writing, reading, swimming, eating, and sleeping. We’re trying to recover from a rewarding but exhausting year that included five collaborative performances on top of full time teaching and the rest of the work involved in sustaining our unnecessarily  complicated lives.

Because we wrote to you in detail about our trip to  the Netherlands, Morocco and Spain when it happened last summer, we’ll refer to these events only briefly in this year-end summary, with links to the prior postings. You can read the full narrative of that journey below starting at this link.

This year-end summary is divided into eight unequal parts









Topping our resolution list for the year is the hope that we can find a way to reduce the stress factors in our lives without giving up doing the things that we love. We want to recuperate our volitional and pleasured relationship to the things we have voluntarily taken on. If it doesn’t sound too privileged or too touchy-feely, we realize this is as much about recovering a sense of well-being as it is about changing the way that we live.

We’re starting the year with a tremendous sense of optimism about all our proposed endeavors. We wish we had that same optimism about the world political and financial situations. Here’s wishing good fortune to all our family, friends, and the rest of the world.


Laurie Beth and Michael