Archive | February, 2010

I figured I couldn’t take the piss out of my brother yesterday without taking a few moments to talk about what it means to be a gracious host. Because yes, opening up your home to someone is a wonderful and generous thing to do, but if you leave them so emotionally scarred that the cost of future therapy sessions will far outweigh what they would have spent on a hotel, it’s not at all worth it.

Here are my ten rules for making sure that your guests have a lovely vacation (and if it isn’t lovely, these rules will make sure they can’t blame you):

  1. Give them clean sheets. Not everyone has a spare bed (or spare bedroom). But even if someone has to sleep on the couch, a nice pristine sheet can make all the difference. Our host’s once graciously gave up their own bed for us, but after we climbed in, we realized the sheets had not been changed. I spent 2 hours the next day trying to wash someone else’s B.O. out of my hair. (Shudder).
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  2. Clean up communal areas. While no one expects your house to be spotless (it’s where you live, after all), take some care in cleaning up a bit before your guests arrive. Remove embarassing ointments and fungal creams from the dining room table. Secure whips and chains in the hall closet. Kindly ask your husband to put on pants. You know, that sort of thing.
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My brother just returned to the states (with his wife) from Hong Kong. They currently don’t have an apartment, and my brother is crashing on couches (both in San Diego and in Los Angeles) while looking for a new place. I sincerely feel sympathy for whoever is hosting him, because my brother is not the best of houseguests, and it’s something that no one in my family seems to call him on.

Case in point: Last visit down to S.D., my cousins and aunt were rendered nearly speechless by the fact that my brother made the guest bed he was sleeping in. I kid you not. And it wasn’t like the bed-making was recent. My brother wasn’t even around. They were just still impressed by the last time he made the bed, several months after the fact. They went on about it for hours (“He’s changed so much since getting married.” “He’s so responsible now!”). I, on the other hand, was chastised for not REPAINTING MY MOM’S HOUSE (both interior and exterior) singlehandedly. (more…)

The other day, fellow blogger and copywriter Philip posted this to his Facebook account:

You can tell hes an ad man.

You can tell he's an ad man.

I nearly peed from laughing and from sheer joy. Because “F*ck it, I give up” very often becomes my fashion motto roughly halfway through a trip. I start out hopeful. Delusional even. I bring three-inch heels and convince myself that I will wear them all over <insert foreign city here>. A few hours later, I have given up almost entirely on looking presentable, and find myself licking the stain on my sweater to determine what it was (jam, in case you were wondering). (more…)

Valentine’s Day is approaching, so I figured I’d take a moment to acknowledge some of the people in my life who I love.

Because even though she’s occasionally certifiable, I love my mom.

I like this photo of her, but shed probably hate it. Good thing she doesnt know about my blog.

I like this photo of her, but she'd probably hate it. Good thing she doesn't know about my blog.

And since I alluded to it in an earlier post, I think I should tell you about the time she yelled at Rick Steves. (more…)

It’s the Tuesday after the Superbowl. It is a day that holds a special place in my heart. Because on the Tuesday after the Superbowl, 2007, this happened:

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Dear Friends,

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am filled with the spirit of the holiday, as well as roughly 2 pounds of those chalky little conversations hearts. Consequently, I feel the need to share with you a secret: maybe I don’t hate Rick Steves all that much. In fact, maybe I love him just a little bit, and my feigned hatred just masks my true feelings. Because Rick Steves and I have so darn much in common. Behold, the top ten reasons why Rick Steves and I are soulmates: (more…)

I hate to phone it in with a “wrap-up the week” post, but since absolutely everyone else does it, and I’m leaving for Great Britain next week, I figure you’ll forgive me.

Besides, this week was kind of nifty.

First off, Congrats to my hubby’s colleagues at Distilled, for the opening of their new U.S.-based satellite. They’ll also be taking over the consulting portion of SEOmoz, which everyone is crazy excited about, and of which I have a rudimentary understanding. But I’ll drink to anything.

And congrats to the lovely Lucy Langdon (formerly of Distilled) whose article just appeared on Londonist.com this week. I’m going to assume this means I know famous people from across the pond.

Oh, and the Chinese political activist who’d been sleeping in a Tokyo airport finally gets to go home and take a bath, which is nice. One can only hope he receives a warm welcome. (more…)

The other day we were hanging out with some friends – some American, some not, and we realized that none of us were really sure what countries are included in the phrase “United Kingdom”. Nor did we know what’s a part of “Great Britain.” England, we pretty much figured out (they’re those wussy guys who tried to tax us, right?).

The point is, along with which colors indicates positive and negative charges on a pair of jumper cables, these are things that we all should probably know, but don’t (For the record, red is positive and black is negative). I figured it was best to set the record straight (for myself and others) before we actually head out Glasgow and London next week. So while our British reader (Hi, Will!) sits back and cringes, the rest of you should pay attention, because we might all learn something. (more…)