Archive | July, 2010

It may be on account of the 95-degree heat (which, for us Seattlites, is enough to cook our brains) but I am knackered. Honestly and truly beat. I can’t even figure out what I did this week to knock me so sufficiently on my ass, but needless to say, this week’s round-up is more than a little sleepy. I sincerely hope you will forgive me, since, let’s face it: most days, I’m awesome. Plus, I blog every single day! Can I get a “what-what”?
Note: I don’t actually know what “what-what” means.

Anywho, on to the week that was …

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My aunt loves to send me forwards, usually consisting of photos of animals hugging one another. I’m not saying I mind, but I was delightfully surprised when she sent me this video of Italian kids giving away free hugs.

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Cough-cough. Excuse me. I’m just a little hoarse. (via reddit.com)

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Sabina Lohr of Solo Female Traveler encounters “squeaky sand.” No, really. It squeaks. (My theory: it’s possessed by the souls of a thousand deceased mice.)

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If there’s one thing I understand, it’s being in a funk.

Recently, several of my friends have found themselves in funks, for varying and legitimate reasons. And consequently, it put me in a bit of a funk (did you know that funks are contagious? Bet they didn’t teach you that in sex ed. Stupid middle school health teacher).

One of my friends is moving to Baltimore for graduate school (I’m resisting the temptation to watch The Wire, which I’ve never seen, because I know that after doing so I will want to lock her in my bathroom for fear that something bad will happen to her). I hate it when people leave Seattle. It’s silly – I’m hardly ever in this town, but I strive to keep a high concentration of people I love in just a few places. I like to tuck them safely away, and then, like so many other things in my life, I start to take them for granted.

Until one day, they tell me they’re leaving.

And suddenly I think of all the hours spent in front of my computer instead of in their company (ahem). I think about the birthdays I missed, the parties at which I didn’t show up, the phone calls I forgot to return.

And I feel like a heel. Hence, the funk.

It seems that the times I see a person the most are just when they’re about to leave town. Suddenly I rush to make up for lost time, to squeeze every ounce of life out of our interactions. (more…)

The Fourth of July just passed, and as my husband and I stood watching fireworks with a couple of friends, I got to thinking a bit too heavily about what it means to be an American.

No, I wasn’t drunk. Nor had I ingested any sort of chemical that would cause me to wax poetic over my own cultural identity. But when you’re surrounded by folks who’s grandparents or parents or great-grandparents hail from vastly different places, it’s a strange and interesting thing to think that we all fit under the same big star-spangled umbrella. It’s a warm and happy thought, actually (provided you don’t think about the plight of Native Americans. Then, the warm and happy feeling dissipates pretty quickly and wonder if heading to the casino will assuage your guilt. It won’t).

My thoughts were made more complex when I asked my husband why he considered me “Italian.” For the record, I don’t, nor have I ever, described myself this way. I generally say, “My family’s Italian” (when I’m not saying, simply, “My family’s nuts.”) But I describe myself as an American. I was born here. I grew up here. And yet Rand will, on ocassion, say, “My wife is Italian.” (more…)

I started this blog roughly a year ago. It’s tough to say the exact date, because I posted a few articles that I had lying around on my computer, guessing when I had written them. Consequently, I’m not sure when my blog’s exact date of birth was. It’s even harder to figure out if you assume that a blog’s life starts at conception.

Because I really don’t know the day I came with the idea of this blog. (Also, there’s a joke about cyber-sex somewhere in there, but I don’t have the willingness to come up with it. Yeah – I’m lazy like that).

But I know that sometime around the Fourth of July of last year, things started to come together. So this blog’s birthday, I’ve decided, is somewhere around that time.

And … well, it’s been a year. And I realize that I owe a few people some thank yous.

  1. My Guest Bloggers. You all rock. Every single one of you. I’m not going to lie – there were times when I was worried. I doubted a few of you. After all, we may be friends in real-life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your humor and intellect translate to the online world. Hell, I didn’t even know for sure if you were literate. You could have pretended to read all those books. But you legitimately took time out of your crazy days of being moms, lawyers, resident historians, photographers, all-around bad-asses, and any combination therein (a.k.a., bad-ass lawyer moms), to blog for me. And I love every single one of you for it.
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    Mindy - this is the best photo I could find of us. It was 95 degrees that day.

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  2. My Twitter followers. There are now over 1,000 of you. And relatively few of you are spam bots with profile pictures of Britney Spears look-alikes doing heinous things.
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Mindy has, under no duress or guilt, agreed to do one more brilliant blog post for all of us! Thanks Mindy! (P.S. – as soon as the post gets 3 comments, you’ll get your dog back, as per the terms specified in our ransom agreement).

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Dear Everywhereist Readers,

Wow. I’m back. Now I know Geraldine’s just taking pity on me. But I’m not going anywhere. And if you’re not either, relax. There are many books that use travel as a metaphor or plot device to entertain you, my beloved home-bound readers. In literature, sometimes “road trip” or “journey” or “travel” are used as code words for “voyage of self-discovery” or “brisk plot.” Cool, huh?

So let’s say you’ve read all the classics of travel writing, like On the Road or even Bill Bryson or Elizabeth Gilbert (and let’s be honest, if you are a female between the ages of 18 and 65, chances are you or your best friend has read Eat, Pray, Love). Don’t despair. There are plenty of interesting and new (enough) travel-themed books you may know about. Yet.

Here are a few I’ve enjoyed, and a two I haven’t even read. Yet.

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It’s 56 degrees! And raining! Yesterday, I made soup for dinner. Hooray for summer in Seattle (in all seriousness, if I don’t get some sunshine, soon, I’m moving to California. And I hate California).

As for this past week, I’m not gonna lie: it’s been a mixed bag for seemingly everyone but me (my week was downright delightful). Some people have amazing news (new jobs! New apartments! New babies!) while others I’ve talked to have had a rough time of it (some big uncomfortable changes and nasty breaks). Accordingly, this week’s posts are a bittersweet mix of sentimental, silly, and at times even snake-y. Hopefully they’ll either sustain the good mood you’re in, or cure what ails ya. Enjoy.

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The blogatrix behind Brooke vs. the World has written a great piece about the strange, lonely melancholy that occasionally accompanies us on our travels. It’s incredibly easy to relate to, and will have you wondering, “Is travel all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows?” (My answer: No. But it’s still worth it).

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An illustration of the never-ending struggle … between donut and bagel.

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It’s Canada Day! I’m sure many of you have donned your favorite sweaters and maple-leaf long-underwear and are headed out to enjoy a summer’s day on one of Canada’s many beaches, possibly while listening to the musical stylings of Bryan Adams. For those of you unable to make it out to a chilly northern beach (seriously, it’s a whole country north of Minnesota – think about it) – I present my top reasons Canada (and Canadians) are awesome.

  1. Socialized medicine. I love how we’re at eachother’s throats about this issue, thoroughly convinced that if we pass socialized medicine in our country, it will instantly signal the end of days, and everyone will become bankrupt because they’ll have to pay for elective plastic surgery for illegal immigrants. Canadians, on the other hand, sit quietly on the other side of our shared border, wondering what all the fuss is about, breathing maple-syrup scented air into their healthy lungs.
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  2. Poutine. For you those of you unfamiliar with this heavenly concept, it’s french fries, topped with cheese curds and veal demi-glace. It’s also proof that if there is a god, he might just live in Montreal.
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    Mmm ... fries-cheese-gravy.

    Mmm ... fries-cheese-gravy.

    Photo courtesy of sashafatcat, via Flickr.com
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