Archive | December, 2009

Okay, so it might be that I had completely intended to let you know about my holiday hiatus, before just, you know, taking it and not saying a damn thing.

Honestly, I’m surprised more of you weren’t worried about me. I could have fallen in a tryptophan-induced coma and none of you would have noticed.

Err, sorry. After a week with the family, the guilt mode is set to high. Switching off now.

I was in California for the holiday, enjoying some quality time with the  family, trying not to pull my hair out, and, as it turns out, not getting much blogging done at all. I only kind of feel guilty for that last part, since it seems the entire internet was taking a break. In fact, except for some crazy dude who tried to blow himself up over Detroit (seriously? Detroit?), and the tall drink of Dutch water that stopped him, everyone seems to have nestled into their beds to dream of sugar plums, and that’s alright with me.

So alright, in fact, that I’m taking another week off. (more…)

… they pull me back out.

Rand and I are down in California, visiting my crazy family and trying to relax. We got upgraded on our flight down, which certainly helped, but our experiences at the Alaska Board Room left me, well … ick.

Apparently, Alaska Airlines charges an annual membership fee to use any of their board rooms along the west coast. It costs $375 to join, plus another $150 if you want your spouse to join. And, get this: even if you have gold status, which my hubby has, you can’t access the board room. Not even with a first-class ticket (which, in this case, we had). (more…)

Last week, since Rand was busy with his conference (or “conference” as I used to put it before we were married, and I liked to kid that he had a secret family in some other city), I was able to wander up and down Magnificent Mile on my own. Determined not to sit in my warm, cozy, ridiculous large hotel room at the Hilton Chicago (at one time in its history called the “Conrad Hilton”), I walked four frozen blocks down to the Art Institute, only to find that it wouldn’t open for another half hour. In that time, I took a few pictures.



Note the man in this photo. He would creep me out later.

Note the man in this photo. He would creep me out later.


When Rand and I flew into Chicago last week, it was frosty and freezing, and already dark.

Those of you who know us realize that wasn’t an excuse to sit in our hotel room while a city waits (though I wouldn’t have entirely been against that. You hear me, Fishkin?). It was a freezing, quiet Monday night, so we buttoned up and went out to explore the city.

And holy cats, was it cold. (more…)

I am going to be as diplomatic and non-judgemental as I can in this post. Which, knowing me, isn’t really all that much.

In recent weeks, Washington newspapers have been jam-packed with news of the Amanda Knox case – of the 22-year-old University of Washington student convicted of killing her British roommate while both were taking part in a study-abroad program in Perugia, Italy.

Usually, the only ties between Seattle and Italy seem to be personal ones for me. But I feel like this case has linked two places that are near and dear to me in a way I could not have imagined. I went to the UW, as did the lovely Pinguina, who studied in Rome through a similar program. My cousin’s girlfriend is attending (and teaches Italian) at the U as well.

I don’t really know what to say about the case itself except that the whole scenario sounds terribly, terribly sad. (more…)

Dear, dear, well-meaning friends,

I assume many of you will be traveling this holiday season, off to see older relatives and parents who are part of a generation that, due to fear of war, famine, or Commie takeover, have decided to never thrown anything away.

While you are visiting these relatives, cautiously maneuvering through their medicine cabinets, pantries, and refrigerators, careful not to consume or ingest products that should have been thrown out years ago, you might be taken over by an insane notion.

“I could,” you will think, in the height of your delusion, “clean out their medicine cabinet/pantry/fridge for them. They will be so appreciative.”

And that, dear friends, I will tell you now, is a terrible idea. They will not be appreciative. They will not even say thank-you. Instead, they will fight you tooth and nail, giving crazy excuses for why such items should be kept, excuses that, if you try and dissect and understand them, will make your head implode.

It’s true. I’s seen it. (more…)

When I told a few friends we were going to Chicago, the suggestion that kept popping up was The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center. The top of the Hancock Center has amazing views, and you can either go up to the observation deck (at a minimum admission price of $15) or you can get sloshed on the floor below at the Signature Room (high altitudes make you drunker quicker, I think) and just pay for drinks.

Go ahead. Guess which one we chose?

The pros: its a hot chocolate. AND its alcoholic. The cons: Its $13.

The pros: it's a hot chocolate. AND it's alcoholic. The cons: It's $13.


There are times when I miss having a nine-to-five job. Those moments are fleeting – like those rare occassions during summer vacation when you begin to long for school. They vanish almost as soon as they appear, as you tell yourself to enjoy the now, because this seemingly endless vacation of staying up late and eating microwave popcorn for dinner can’t last forever.


More than anything, though, I miss the people I worked with. I still see a lot of them semi-regularly, but it will never be the way it was when were crammed into our offices at Cranium: deliriously trying to think up taglines, hacking chocolate Santas to bits with kitchen knives and eating the carnage, rearranging the magnetic letters on the fridge to prophesize our own company’s doom. (more…)