Archive | November, 2009

Something is going on. It might be a conspiracy. It might be a plot to control the minds of the young, all across the globe. Or maybe it’s just a catchy tune or three. But for reasons I can’t quite figure out, I keep encountering children who insist on celebrating ABBA‘s entire catalogue. It’s all at once frightening and magical. It’s enough to have you saying, “Mamma Mia!

Too much? Sorry. I was going to go with “S.O.S.” That probably wouldn’t have been much better, right?

It started in California last Christmas. My cousin and his wife instructed his youngest to sing “S.O.S.“. And before I could clarify what was going on, little Laney was standing in front of us, shaking her little groove-maker and singing the song, in its entirety.

Then her older sister joined in.

And then, what the hell, my mom did, too.

This frenzied display is courtesy of Benny, Bjorn, Frida, and Agnetha.

This frenzied display courtesy of Benny, Bjorn, Frida, and Agnetha.

- (more…)

The Tower of London, and most specifically, its warders, have been in the news a lot lately. In 2007, the first woman, Moira Cameron, was appointed to the post of Yeoman Warder (a.k.a., Beefeater) at the Tower. The warders guide visitors around the Tower, and tend to its ravens (as it’s believed that should the ravens ever leave the Tower, the Tower and the Kingdom will collapse). It’s a fairly prestigious gig, and you get to live on the Tower grounds. All in all, fairly awesome, especially if, like me, you are all for women busting up the glass ceiling.

Unfortunately (there always seems to be an “unfortunately” doesn’t there?) two Beefeaters were recently suspended, and a third is under investigation, for bullying and harassing Yeoman Cameron. Allegations include vandalizing of her locker and uniform, as well as the “defacing” of her Wikipedia page. That latter bit fascinated me, because it is, as my friend Rachel would say, ”a first-world problem of the now.”

The point is, the whole thing sucks, and I feel for Yeoman Cameron, and wouldn’t mind giving those three Beefeaters a kick in the sirlions. But all of this sexist harrasment aside, the Tower of London is awesome, and I sincerely suggest a visit. I know, I know – it’s touristy and crowded, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. (more…)

Yes, I realize that isn’t a proper parody of the Star Trek tagline. But I can’t put a split infinitive in a title, can I? Not that that stops me from using them, but … well, whatever. Saturday was Halloween, and I’m of the firm belief that Halloween should always happen on a Saturday, because it makes things infinitely more wonderful. Either that, or November 1st should be a national holiday. I really think I’m on to something here.

But on to more important things … Like, what do two crazed travelers do for Halloween? Dressing up as tourists is just a bit too predictable … Instead, we decided to step it up a notch or two on the dork scale.

Rand was a nameless red-shirted ensign. I was girl-Spock. Guess which one of us is going to be vaporized first.

Rand was a nameless red-shirted ensign. I was girl-Spock. Guess which one of us is going to be vaporized first.

- (more…)