Archive | November, 2009

Ladies and Gentleman, when I’m not doing a half-assed job of recounting my trips across the world with my husband, I am (removes glasses a la Clark Kent) … A COPYWRITER!!!

Okay, fine. So it’s not that exciting. I don’t pop into phonebooths and tear off my clothes at the first sign of trouble … There’s a joke there, folks. I’m not going to do the work for you.

But it does impact the way I see a lot of things. I feel a strong kinship to Peggy Olson, the secretary-turned-copywriter on Mad Men (and spoiler alert – don’t click on that link unless you are all caught up on Season 3). I hate the new Snickers ads (don’t tell me “they stay with you”, because you know what else stays with you? Genital lice.).  And I find So Sayeth the Anti-Chris (a blog written by friend and fellow-copywriter Chris Elzinga) to be all kinds of awesome. He even shares my disdain for Kenny Rogers’ plastic surgery, and my love for John Stamos. But I’ll ask you kindly not to visit his site, since he’s far more clever that I, and you probably won’t come back here. (more…)

Children seem to like me. I don’t understand why. Half of the time, I don’t really know what to do with them. I have zero maternal instinct. I was the youngest in my family, and until Valeria came along when I was six, I was the youngest of all my cousins as well. I was never even around a pregnant woman until my cousin’s wife got knocked up (by then, I was in my twenties).

But, fortunately, I have a stellar memory, so I recall exactly what it was like to be a kid, and for this reason, I tend to get along with anyone under the age of 12. They want to stay up late, get cranky if they are tired or hungry or cold or bored, and would love nothing more than to eat sweets and potato chips for dinner. I fully understand all of these impulses.

This is doubly true for Rand, who deep down is 12. Children may like me, but they adore Rand. And vice versa. This was the case with our friend Lisa’s daughter, Lily. I, myself, had always suspected I’d lose my husband to a younger woman (and very likely a redhead). It was just a little sooner than I thought.

I hope you two will be very happy together, doing whatever the heck this is.

I hope you two will be very happy together, doing whatever the heck this is.

But let’s get to how this little British urchin stole my husband’s heart, shall we? (more…)

The Old Operating Theater in London is the museum equivalent of peeling back a bandage on a skinned knee to see what’s underneath. It’s gross and icky but you can’t look away because it’s just so cool.

(I am going to sit back for a minute and hope the rest of this blog post writes itself, because, seriously, I just peaked with that analogy.

Hmm … it seems that my website is not yet self-aware, and requires me to do all the work, so I suppose I’ll just tell you about it.)

Rand had been to The Operating Theater Museum once before, and since he had a meeting with colleagues in the general area, I went by myself. This made the entire experience exponentially more creepy, though on the plus side, I was able to wander around much longer than I could have with Rand “I think three hours in a museum is plenty” Fishkin. (more…)

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself: well… how did I get here?

I know, I know – this is the second post in a very short span of time that has addressed my ever-changing financial situation, and I apologize for that. I suppose I’m having a bit of crisis of conscience. I am the sort of girl who clips coupons. Who shops at the Goodwill. Who doesn’t order wine with dinner (because, seriously, have you seen the markup on most bottles? That’s how restaurants make their money). I am not, say, the sort of person who flies business class to London. And yet, there we were, and I had to pretend that I belonged there. Rand seemed to have an easier time of it.

Sadly, he was disappointed with his poached salmon.

Sadly, he was disappointed with his poached salmon.

(more…)

They say that everyone has a twin somewhere out there. French photographer Francois Brunelle’s I’m not a look-alike project explores this concept, as he finds unrelated twins around the world and takes pictures of them together. I, personally, find it equal parts creepy and delightful.

I haven’t had the pleasure of finding my own twin, though once in college this guy yelled at me, “Hey, Gina!”. I turned, because I thought it was my cousin Stef, who at the time lived in the area, and called me “Deena”. It wasn’t, obviously, and I was so confused that I just walked away, saying, “No, sorry.” The guy looked heart-broken. “Gina, what’s wrong?” he called after me. “What happened?”

I really should have stopped – it was just one of those crazed days where you don’t think about it. Someone yells at you on the street, and you just keep walking. I suppose if I had stopped to talk to him, I might have found out who Gina was, and found my own doppelganger. Instead, lately, I just seem to be finding everyone else’s. (more…)

The continuing saga of how I made it to see John Harrison’s clock. Don’t forget to read Part 1.

In the past, I’ve gotten very stressed out while traveling, particularly when things don’t go as planned. Since starting the blog, though, I’ve found that even the mishaps are worthwhile. Though it’s completely contrary to my prepare-for-anything Type-A personality, I actually find myself to be the sort of person who sits back and laughs when things go awry, thinking, “Well, at least this will make a great blog post.”

Or so I like to tell myself. In truth, there’s still a little voice in the back of my head screaming, “YOU ARE GOING TO GET KILLED BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU ARE GOING!” (okay, so maybe it’s not so little a voice). But  I can’t very well listen to it, because if I did, I would just sit in my hotel room panicking all the time. So I blindly head out, determined to explore a city, and not let anything hold me back.

This occassionally backfires. The morning that I decided to go see Harrison’s clocks, I may have neglected to actually look up where it was. Someone told me to go to North Greenwich, so I hopped on a tube from Tottenham Station. I transfered at Waterloo, and took a second tube to North Greenwich, feeling rather proud of myself. (more…)

This post marks 1 month (four weeks) of consecutive posting. So I figured this entry had better be a doozy. And considering that it began more than 10 years ago, I suppose it is.

It begins with a clock.

No, wait. No, it doesn’t.

It begins with a book.

No, no that’s not right, either.

Let’s just begin with a chimp. Because all great stories begin with chimps. (more…)

I feel like I need to start this off with some sort of caveat about my complex and often contradictory feelings towards vegetarians. Some of my closest friends eschew flesh, which I personally find insane but acknowledge it as a legitimate lifestyle choice for others (sort of like skinny jeans). After all, it literally leaves more meat for me. By pure definition of being my friends, the vegetarians in my life are understanding and non-judgmental (I seek out in others the characteristics I lack) and consequently would not dream of giving someone a hard time for being, say, an indiscriminate, blood-slurping carnivore.

It is the judgmental vegetarians with whom I have a problem. The holier-than-thou, that-thing-you’re-eating-was-once-alive, I’m-cranky-because-I-don’t-get-enough-protein jerks who I have had the occassional misfortune of encountering. Those vegetarians suck.

I would gladly take one of those vegetarians to Borough Market, because they would FREAK THE HELL OUT.

Oh, how they would freak out. Because Borough Market is a carnivore’s dream come true. An endless stream of meats culled from all sorts of magically delicious animals, prepared in every way imaginable, and served up piping hot. For a girl like me, raised on tripe and pig’s feet, and all manner of offal that I assumed everyone else ate, it’s like the lovechild of Disneyland and a slab of bacon.

In other words, if you are in London, go, go, GO. (more…)