Archive | April, 2010

Blerg. This marks day three of being sick, and if the blog’s been a little slow lately, it’s because I’ve been even slower. To add insult to injury, my computer also decided to get sick, and is now at my hubby’s office, undergoing a thorough examination. I hope for a speedy recover for both it and myself.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how, exactly, I’m going to leave for San Francisco tomorrow, and if the sinus pressure in my brain coupled with the pressurized cabin of the plane will somehow cause my brain to explode. I’m undecided, but leaning towards yes.

And since I’ve been doing nothing but watching reruns of What Not to Wear on demand, I can’t really tell you of anything interesting that’s been going on in the world of travel. But I can tell you that empire-waisted tops elongate your legs. So … that’s something.

And here’s some more stuff that might be helpful or interesting to you. I’m too clouded by a NyQuil hangover to assess their value objectively …

Please, Please do not read this post at work. Or around children. Or your mom. The photos included are most certainly Not Safe For Work, and don’t want to receive an email lecturing me about not having warned you. Because I just did.


Dear Friends;

Despite my incredibly foul mouth, my godless behavior, and my penchance for desserts with the word “sex” in their title, I am a bit of a prude.

No, seriously. My mother and I once had a brief talk about sex. It started with her asking me a question, and me responding with, “We are so not having that conversation.”

And that was the end of that.

I mean, I was raised Catholic. And as Stephen Colbert notes, Catholic girls either come out really repressed, or really crazy. And I fall firmly in that first category. I mean, when my doctor asks if I’m sexually active, I kind of want to tell her, “No. No I am not.” Even though I’ve been with my husband for 9 years. Because having someone think I’m in some weird sexless marriage is actually preferable them knowing I have sex (which I totally don’t, by the way).

Welcome to my neuroses, folks. There’s plenty to go to around.

You might wonder why, then, neurotic as I am, I would decide to visit something as racy as New York City’s Museum of Sex. And really, the reaons are two-fold. The first is that I’m actually able to talk and write and think about sex, in the context of something as culturally enriching and wholesome as a museum! And the second is that I think it’s good to confront the things in life that make you uncomfortable. And, boy, is there stuff in the Museum of Sex that would make anyone uncomfortable, prude or no.

I will tell you now that, after the jump, the photos get … racy, to say the least.


We’ve already established that the double-L in Icelandic actually makes a “t-l-l” sound, so it seems unreasonable that Flickr would make this claim …

Now you know how to greet people in Icelandic! Um, no. No, I dont.

"Now you know how to greet people in Icelandic!" Um, no. No, I don't.


Sorry, Flickr. But I actually don’t even know what half of those characters are. So saying I now know how to greet people in Icelandic is far-fetched, to say the least. Plus, based on my experiences as of late, I’ve found that if someone thinks you know even one or two expressions in a language, they assume you are fluent. I am guilty of this as well (see: the time I started prattling on to a girl who told me her family was from Napoli, and who, to our mutual embarrassment, later explained that she didn’t actually speak a word of Italian). So I can imagine myself typing this Icelandic expression at the beginning of an email, only to get a reply which I not only don’t understand, but which includes characters unsupported by my computer.

So how about we tweak this to say, “Now you theorectically know what it looks like when someone is trying to greet you in Icelandic via email.”

Not as catchy, but hey – it’s honest.

Note: Photography is not allowed inside the Tenement Museum. All of the pictures of the interior of the building are property of the Tenement Museum and can be seen on their Flickr photostream. Most of the exterior photos are mine, unless otherwise noted.


The challenge I’ve presented to myself before writing this blog post was as follows: tell you about the Tenement Museum. Try, to some degree, to incorporate exactly how much it meant to me. Make some reference to the current situation that immigrants now face in Arizona.

And do everything without getting too emotional.

I seriously doubt I can do that. Because here’s the thing: my family is right off the boat. As in, there was an effing boat.

This is my father. And the boat he came in on.

This is my father, at left, with his brother. And the boat they came in on. Circa 1950.



My computer, perhaps taking a cue from me, is being slower than usual. So if this post ends up being a short one, it’s because I became utterly fed-up and consoled myself with a box of Trader Joe’s chocolate covered raisins. I have excellent coping skills. Also, I realized that most of what I’m writing about has nothing to do with travel … but I suspect that doesn’t really matter, anyway.


This week brought controversy courtesy of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the guys behind South Park. Their most recent episode of the program (which was to feature Muhammad in a bear suit) was censored by Comedy Central after they received death threats from an Islamic website. The site was later hacked with – you guess it – photos of Muhammad in a bear suit (the entire site is now down). What’s worse? The dudes behind the threats won’t even own up to them. They just said that when they posted photos of a murdered Theo Van Gogh, along with Parker and Stone’s home addresses, they did so as a case study. Wow. If you’re going to have radical views, at least stand up for them. It’s what Matt and Trey did.

The major irony? Muhammed’s already appeared as a character on the show.


On a much, much more lighthearted note, I absolutely love Louis C.K.’s take on airplane travel, and how we’ve all become spoiled by technology. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t find him funny in the least.


This world map necklace from Uncommon Goods is kind of adorable. And what girl doesn’t want the world at her collarbone?


While traveling in Scotland, I saw this ad on a bus, and laughed my ass off for 10 minutes (I still have plenty of ass left. Don’t worry):

They seem to have a preference for one of the actors ...

They seem to have a preference for one of the actors ...


Which, of course, prompted this exchange …

Me: It makes total sense that they’d glorify their own countrymen over American actors. I mean, it’s not like there’s a ton of Scottish stars who make it big in the U.S. There’s Sean Connery, and Pierce Brosnan and –

Rand: Pierce Brosnan’s Irish, not Scottish.

Me: What’s the difference again?

Rand: I’m not talking to you any more.


So, since my husband’s not talking to me, I’ll ask you …

Act I: Times Square!


Act II: I think our hotel is this way!

This photo is as blurry as my recollection of these events.

This photo is as blurry as my recollection of these events.


Act III: No, wait! I mean this way!


Act IV: You aren’t taking photos of this, are you?



Convinced I haven’t alienated all of my god-fearing readers with this post, I’ve decided to run the rest off by writing about my visit to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on New York’s Upper West Side.

Prior to visiting the cathedral, my only familiarity with St. John the Divine was as the preferred name of a flamboyant gay man I once met.

But it might have been Karl.


The truth is, despite being an accused heathen and confirmed heretic, I quite enjoy churches. I think they are often pretty and serene, and if I’m able to ignore the unpleasantries that come to mind upon hearing the term “organized religion”, I tend to have a good time. Our visit to St. John’s Cathedral was no exception.

It helped that it was a beautiful day. I suppose I have god to thank for that, but really, who’s keeping track?