Archive | September, 2010

1. Horizon Airlines plane, Santa Barbara Airport

Something about landing on the tarmac makes me feel like an international woman of mystery ... who flies Horizon.

Something about walking on the tarmac makes me feel like an international woman of mystery ... who flies Horizon.

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2. Spotted near the Danish town of Solvang, CA.

What? Just because you murder and pillage doesnt mean you dont like little umbrellas in your drinks.

What? Just because you murder and pillage doesn't mean you don't like little umbrellas in your drinks.

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I shall name all my future pets and children after you, good sir.

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Disclaimer from my legal team (a.k.a., the voice inside my head that’s see one too many episodes of The People’s Court): I heard the following story from a friend. I don’t condone any of the behavior of these parties, nor recommend it to you to try. I simply think that it is awesome, and deserves our attention and admiration.

What you choose to do with this information is up to you. (more…)

I am not an exhibitionist. I may wear my heart on my sleeve, but let it be known – my sleeve is staying right where it is. I don’t tend to show that much skin. There are a few exceptions to this rule, of course, when I have been know to throw caution (and my pants) to the wind.

Specifically:

  • Any time before the age of 3. I was young, and I didn’t know what I was doing. We’ll just leave it at that.
  • A slumber party during middle school when we mooned passing cars from the balcony. I was drunk on pixie sticks and peer pressure.
  • The incident last year at a friend’s house that is simply referred to as “the flashing of the Argosy cruise.”
  • Whenever it’s laundry day, and the only outfits I have to wear are relics from my skinny college days. These happen more than I would like to admit.

And that’s it, really. I’m far too prudish and self-conscious to reveal too much of myself in public. I haven’t been seen in a bikini in years. It’s just not something I do. So you can imagine my shock when, at the Santa Barbara airport a few weeks ago, we saw this … (more…)

I’ve been alluding to the experience of which I’m about to tell you for a while now. And I’d put it off for the last few weeks, because, frankly, I was waiting for it to become funny. After all, nearly everything awful and travel-related becomes hilarious after enough time, right? Like when my friend’s luggage was lost and she ended up wearing her 15-year-old daughter’s purple skinny jeans around town. When she finally caved and bought a replacement pair of trousers, her luggage miraculously appeared.

That’s funny.

My nightmare of a hotel stay in Ashland has not reached that point just yet (I am convinced that if I wait until it becomes funny, we will be long dead). However, my blood pressure has finally returned to normal, nearly two weeks later. I am no longer waking up in a cold sweat, no longer frantically feeling the need to pack up my bag every ten minutes and change rooms. I’ve stopped removing dog hairs from my clothing – though long after they were gone, I continued to do so, continued scratching my skin, my brain unable to accept that I was not, in fact, covered in pet dander.

Yes, two weeks after our anniversary trip to the Plaza Inn and Suites at Ashland Creek, I have nearly recovered from the experience. And with a calm and clear head, I would like to tell you about it.

And why you should not, under any circumstances, stay there. (Unless, of course, you are a masochist. In that case, go for it, because THIS PLACE WILL MAKE YOU UTTERLY MISERABLE.) (more…)

My friend Lauren came up to see me a few weeks ago for my birthday. She hopped on a plane and flew up to Seattle from San Francisco, for no other reason than to hang out. The subsequent geekery that ensued was neither planned nor expected. Lauren is from New York: she’s feisty and direct. I’d like to think that I know her – and her likes and dislikes – rather well.

And yet, and yet, and yet … When I asked her what she wanted to do while visiting Seattle, and her only response was “The Sci-Fi Museum“, I found myself quite surprised. Ditto to when Rand and I returned home from an outing to find Lauren sitting on the couch watching Serenity. People are complicated. Sometimes the girl in the leather jacket and the Brazilian blow-out is a total science fiction enthusiast. A geek of epic proportions. It is surprising and delightful, and there’s a lesson to be learned in all of it.

So on a drizzly day, Lauren and I headed out to the SFM (not be confused with the FSM). It’s adjacent to the Experience Music Project, and sadly, it feels like an afterthought. As though the SFM was something created to make the the EMP feel more robust, but not really a fleshed-out attraction in and of itself. One admission price covers both museums – but if you have your heart set on simply the Sci-Fi portion of it, you might end up feeling a little let down.

Of course, we still had  a great time …

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I guarantee you, this is the coolest anyone has ever looked in this exact location.

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Last week was a bit of a whirlwind, and as a result, I missed posting the hodge podge of links that (I hope) you’ve come to know and love. I have lots of legitimate excuses (I was packing and flying for a good portion of Friday, I was home for a whopping 36 hours last week, I was dead at the time, I was on the moon … with Steve), but ultimately, I feel terrible for not recapping all the awesomeness I encountered. So I’m repurposing some stuff from last week, and tossing in some new stuff from the last few days.

Enjoy.

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My failure to post last week may have been due to some laziness on my part. But believe me: this is far higher up on the laziness spectrum.

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The folks over at the Daily Show once again have their fingers on the pulse of the nation. The Rally to Restore Sanity (which is taking place concurrently with the March to Keep Fear Alive) isn’t just funny – it’s political theater at its finest.

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The only thing I love more than travel is time-travel. While nothing is written in stone yet, apparently Keanu Reeves has been talking about a third installment of the Bill and Ted canon. I could easily utter a thousand words that would describe my joy about this development, but really, one works just as well: Excellent.

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Sometimes, I find it’s very easy to predict what I’d like.

For example, if you took me to some sort of cake exhibition that required us to wear pretty clothes and comfy shoes, I would enjoy that very much. On the other hand, if you made me listen to “comedy” of Dane Cook while sampling flavored mayonnaise, I might pray for a swift death. I think I am uncomplicated in this manner. But sometimes, sometimes I will like or dislike something passionately, and it’s difficult to foresee.

So when my husband was driving me to Buellton, CA, because I was curious about why it was the split pea soup capital of the world (a distinction which I find equally dubious and hysterical) and he saw the signs for Solvang, CA, he immediately suggested we go there instead.

“You are going to love Solvang.”

Again, it’s one of those things that I doubt anyone could have predicted: that I would like (nay, ADORE) the cheesiness of a small Danish village in the middle of California. But I did. Of course, it helped that they had actual danishes, of the frosted variety.

The name "Solvang" means "sunny fields" in Danish. Mmmm ... Danish.

Something is awesome in the state of California.

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My name is fairly unusual. I’ve rarely met another one – so the fact that my aunt happens to have a very good friend in San Diego named Geraldine is kind of a funny thing. Especially when we’re down there visiting.

When other Geraldine’s husband calls her name, we both turn around. Ditto for when Rand calls me. I suppose if I had known another Geraldine at some other point in my life, it wouldn’t nearly be as strange … but she’s literally one of the few I’ve ever met, and the only one that’s been in the same group as me.

The other day, we were both sitting at a table at my aunt’s, and I commented that we had the highest concentration of “Geraldines” in all of Ocean Beach. I have no doubt that the claim I made was an accurate one. Because really, who on earth is named Geraldine? Except for say, someone’s grandmother, which I often hear when people ask for my name.

“Geraldine? That was my grandmother’s/great-aunt’s/great-grandmother’s name!”

I smile and nod. It’s a name that was popular a hundred years ago. So naturally, when Rand and I booked into a little boutique hotel in San Diego a few days back, and one of the girls at the front desk told me her grandmother’s name had been Geraldine, I smiled.

“I’ve always loved that name,” she said.

I politely told her “Thank you.”

“No, no,” she said. “I  mean, I really love that name. I always have.”

And to illustrate her point, she gently tugged back the collar of her shirt … (more…)