Archive | June, 2010

Things happened this week! Pertaining to the world of sports! I vaguely understand what they are! But let’s celebrate with horrible cakes!

The New York Times has a great little debate on why Americans just aren’t that into soccer …

I came to my own conclusions after watching part of the Italy/Portugal match. The reasons most Americans don’t care about soccer is this: soccer is very, very boring. And please, don’t tell me it’s not – the correct response from any soccer fan should be “and baseball isn’t?”

And they’d be 100% right. But baseball is a boring sport we’re familiar with.

Still, things could change – despite the fact that nothing happened during the game I saw, I learned something: I can get emotionally invested in anything. Anything. And right now? I’m invested in Italy. And maybe even the U.S. a little bit, too. Forza (red, white, and) Azzurri!

And apparently this dude is emotionally invested in something, too. Power to you, you brave, brave man.

In other news …

You’ve probably heard of the flight attendant who filled in for a sick first officer on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago earlier this week. Fortunately, the captain of the flight was not out-of-commission. And if he had been? Well … just check out Slate’s Explainer column on whether someone can be talked through landing a jumbo jet.

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Who knew the peanut lobby was so powerful? The Department of Transportation is considering banning peanuts from planes, as they can be hazardous or potentially fatal to people with allergies. The last time they considered doing so? Congress responded by threatening to cut their funding. (Salon’s Ask the Pilot)

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Eiffel Tower + sunny day + 8mm camera = WHOA.

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Crack open your “HOLY CRAP THAT’S HORRIFYING!” files for this next one, folks: Apparently Southwest Airlines workers intercepted (and later turned over to police) three rubber totes full of human heads at an Arkansas airport. I understand that weird stuff gets flown around the world all the time – and the heads were headed (heh heh) to a medical research facility. As weird as it sounds, that all makes a lot of sense. What creeps me out is that the heads were traced back to someone’s personal residence. Eeep.

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You owe me one.

Because Tin City sucks ass. And now you know, so you will never, ever have to go there. Not that you would. But if you found yourself starving near Naples, Florida, and your husband innocently said, “Hey, that place looks interesting,” you could unwittingly end up spending the better part of an afternoon there. And it would be somewhat awful.

I know. It happened to me.

As you know, from my tedious and extensive but nevertheless sporadic coverage of it, we were in Florida a few weeks back. We covered a lot of the state. A lot of it. This was mostly due to miscommunication, and the fact that my cousin, while lovely, tends to make plans without actually consulting people first. So while we landed in Ft. Lauderdale (where he lives), he thought we were landing in Orlando, so he planned a trip to Disney with the kids.

The result? We ended up driving three hours in the middle of the night through Florida. I do not recommend this.

My husband at a Denny's in Plantation, Florida, in the middle of the night. He is unhappy.

My husband at a Denny's in Plantation, Florida, at 10:45pm. He is unhappy.

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I know nothing about children. I’ve made this claim numerous times, but I feel the need to reiterate it, just so we’re clear: if you handed me an eggplant and a baby, I would obviously be able to tell them apart, because I’m not a moron. But if you asked me what to do with the egglplant and the baby, that’s where problems would arise. I would know exactly what to do with the former, and no clue of what to do with the latter (presumably, babies should not be salted to remove bitterness).

While reading through Christine’s tips for traveling to theme parks with children, and Deanna’s advice on how to survive trips with a little one, I realized something: they are effing brilliant. Because they’re so far beyond the “what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-this-baby” that they’re actually able to dispense some seriously helpful advice to those of you who may have little ones.

But I can’t do that. So I’d like to speak to those of you who don’t have children. Those of you who, like me, have no idea what to do with children whatsoever. Who are absolutely mystified by them. This post is for you. Because a few weeks back, we went down to Florida to visit my cousin and his wife, and their three children, and the entire week was a revelation. And I’d like to share some information that will be worthwhile to those of you who are as clueless as I am about kids.

Below are my ten tips for childless couples visiting children. Those of you who are parents, be warned: you will probably quietly shake your head in embarrassment at my ignorance.

  1. Children are scared of stuff.
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    Well, duh, right? As a child, I was afraid that there was something living in the toilet, and if I didn’t hop off it immediately after going, it would bite me in the ass. This is not what I would call a “logical fear” (wrote the woman who insists on having at least half a tank of gas in her car at all times in case of a zombie apocalypse. No, I’m not kidding). So I figured my cousin’s kids, who are kind of brilliant, would not be scared of silly fictional stuff. WRONG. We went on a ride at DisneyWorld that included real (but controlled) flames. They freaked. I found this shocking.
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    These are the flames which caused the little ones to go apeshit. Fortunately, Rand was there.

    These are the flames which caused the little ones to go apeshit. Fortunately, Rand was there.

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I think I might have to categorize this next story in the “this sort of crap only happens to me” file.

Here’s the thing: I refer to children as munchkins. I always have. It’s literally impossible for me not to. I even refer to my friend’s son as “Munch-munch”, a derivative of munchkin.  I’ve always been a little way of this nickname – as I once told Rand, I’m absolutely petrified that I’ll call a child “munchkin” in front of a little person.

“Oh, please,” he said, rolling his eyes. “That is not going to happen.”

You know where this is going, right?

We were in Florida, visiting my cousin’s kids. We had taken them fishing.

My cousin’s youngest calls my name.

“What is it, munchkin?” I reply … just as a little person walks by.

Sigh.

I’m just going to quit talking in public.

A few of you might remember my experience at Stew Leonard’s a while back: one of the employees freaked out when I tried to take a photo of the inside of their store, which I felt merited a Dick Move! post. Apparently photos are not allowed inside of their stores.

Which, I’m sure, is why there are roughly 500 photos of the inside of Stew Leonard’s on Flickr.

This put me in a rather foul mood – besides which, I wasn’t really clear on whether or not I could take photos inside of the store. So I sent a complaint email to the company via their website. Shockingly, they replied. And then I replied back. And they replied again.

I was going to include the entire exchange in this post, but it bored even me, and I’m an active participant in the whole thing. I consequently figured it would put the rest of you in a mild coma. And I don’t want to be responsible for that. Instead, I’ve decided to divide the whole thing into six brief chapters.

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This week’s guest post comes from Naomi, a.k.a. The Gastrognome. Longtime readers (hi to both of you!) may remember my previous proclamations of Naomi’s awesomeness. She is a brilliant food blogger, an absolute riot, and she’s not too hard on the eyes, neither.  If the opportunity presents itself to share a meal /drink/ dirty joke with her, I strongly suggest that you take it.

All that, and she’s been awesome enough to share her tips of how to swing an awesome vacation (in this case to Cabo) while unemployed. This is definitely one to bookmark, kids: the economy kind of blows right now – employed or no, saving a little cash never hurt.

It’s also been way too long since she and I have hung out, so I’m going to turn the last bit of this intro into a guilt-trip. After all, she’s too busy galavanting around the world to call me. Or email. It’s fine. I’ll just sit here. Alone. In the dark. Waiting for her to call …

Cough cough …

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Hey folks! It’s Friday again, and for those of you keeping score at home, it’s still gray everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. On the plus side, this week was far better than the last one, and instead of deaths and depressing stories, I bring you fun videos, hauntingly beautiful photos, and a chance to make fun of my brother.

So kick back and relax, because it’s sunny somewhere.

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This week Delta sent unaccompanied minors to the wrong cities! I smell a movie starring Christopher Walken as a curmudgeonly old flight attendant and Jaden Smith as the kid who teaches him to love again. Or something.

And, because they really seem to think that bad press is better than no press (news flash: it’s not), Delta decided to make headlines again when they destroyed (and refused to replace) passenger James Lawrence’s bike. What’s worse? Lawrence is raising money to build much-needed dams in areas of Africa by completing 20 half-Ironman races … and he needs his bike to do that.  (Update: Looks like Delta wizened up and is going to try and remedy the situation. Looks like they might have learned something from United, who broke musician Dave Carroll‘s guitar. Carroll’s response? Write a catchy tune about it that immediately went viral.)

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In other news, The New York Times has banned the word “tweet” from all of their articles. I assume it’s because an editorial meeting turned into a boxing match when someone suggested the past tense of to tweet is “twat”. Personally, I’d have punched them, too.

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Can you draw New York city? From memory? On an etch-a-sketch? Neither can I. We should be friends. (via reddit.com)

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While Rand and I were in San Francisco, we actually had a day (gasp – yes, a whole day!) where he wasn’t glued to his computer, working on projects of which I have a dull glimmer of understanding. We asked a friend (and SF resident) how we should spend the day, and since we’ve already done Alcatraz and a handful of other touristy sites, he suggested Sausalito.

Like the cookie.

Naturally, we were both sold: Rand, because he loves having time off to explore new things, and I, because I love chocolate chunk anything.

I will tell you now: Sausalito is sorely lacking in the cookie department. It is clearly a case of false advertising (I should have expected this, given that there were no Mint Milanos in Milan). Still, it was a pleasant day trip from SF.

Sausalito is located in Marin county and is not, as I had previously assumed (in what could only be described as a drunken haze) some sort of island. I would like to take a brief moment to once again reiterate that geography is kryptonite to my Batman (and come to think of it, I’m not so great with analogies, either). It’s a short ferry ride from downtown, and catching the boat is quite an awesome experience, as it meant we were some of the few people in the San Francisco Ferry terminal who were actually going somewhere.

Plus, the ferry terminal itself is pretty lovely.

Yay! Dork love!

Yay! Dork love!

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