Archive | January, 2011

2011, it seems, is hell bent on keeping me from getting stuff done. Last week I was waylaid by a wicked cold. I was determined to catch up this weekend, posting like a mad woman, but the internet has been down for the last 24 hours.

I know that doesn’t sound like a long time, but during that disconnected day, Rand and I nearly went Lord of the Flies on eachother (remember the SNL sketch Wake up and Smile, where the teleprompter breaks and Will Ferrell eats the weatherman? It’s kinda like that.) I am pleased to say that the internet returned before I decapitated my husband. So, we’ll file that in the win category.

The downtime (due to illness and Comcast’s incompetence) has given me plenty of time to reflect on 2010. In particular, the 10 resolutions and predictions that I made in 2010, and that (I won’t lie her) I basically forgot about until just a few weeks ago. At the risk of being way too meta, here they are, with some updates … 

  1. Resolution: I will improve my Italian.
    Reality: I’ve been making more of effort to speak Italian, and for a while I was even taking class. But those of you who know me well are familiar with my terrible attention span. I easily get distracted by … DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL LIKE BROWNIES?
  2. Resolution: I will eat one entirely new and unusual food.
    Reality: Two words – haggis pakoras.
  3. (more…)

Folks, I am still trying to shake a wicked cold that has been with me for pretty much the entirety of 2011. For those who may have contracted this heinous, heinous illness from me, I am sincerely sorry. Rand told me that once you start feeling symptoms, you are no longer contagious. I have no idea if that is true or not.

Nevertheless, this cold has slowed me down, and the blog’s been suffering, and I’m sincerely sorry. My attention span lasts about two minutes before I … HEY ARE THOSE COOKIES?

Wait, what? Anyway, check out the things that amused me during my convalescence:


The Seahawks are the only team with a losing record to ever make the playoffs. So a little ridicule is in order, right?



"You enjoy your ride? No? Too bad. You pay anyway."

Sometimes, you get taken for a ride, in every respect.

I’ll be honest: when Rand and I first arrived in Bulgaria, I was a little freaked. It was the first time in a very long while that I felt really and truly out-of-my-element while traveling. We’re usually pretty tame in our travels: we tend to stick to Europe, or countries where English is predominantly spoken. Failing that, we’ll be in a  country where we can get by on Rand’s minimal German, my Italian, or my miserable Spanish. In any of those situations, we never really feel like fish out of water.

But Bulgaria? That was another story.

I was petrified that, in this former Soviet country, we were going to get robbed, or beaten up, or swindled, or some combination therein. Fortunately, we only really got swindled, by one of the many rip-off artist cabbies that float around the city.

Before I tell you the tale, I would like to kindly note to my husband that I am not, in any way shape or form saying, “I told you so.”

Though man, if I wanted to, I totally could.



Southern California is a different world.

There are those who are compelled to tell you otherwise. They claim that SoCal is not only part of our planet, but part of our country. This is patently untrue.

After all, the laws of my country are clear.  Marijuana is illegal; llamas do not have right of way; skateboarding is a crime; no shirt, no shoes, no service. The rules that govern my planet are even less debatable: summer last three short months; time, on this earth, passes at virtually the same speed for everyone; cloudy days exist.

Southern California defies all of these rules. It would make sense, then, that the postmen in Southern California also tend to buck convention. I should have anticipated this, but when I saw this guy, my jaw dropped:


Behold: sunglasses, top hat, Dr. Martens, and classic rock blaring from his mail cart.

This dude was a U.S. federal employee? WTF?

“You are,” I said, somewhat startstruck, “the coolest mailman, ever.”

He nodded. “Yeah. I get that a lot.”

“Can I take a picture of you?” I asked.

“Yeah. I get that a lot, too.”

So I snapped a photo. And my cousin ended up shaking the guy’s hand. He permeated self-satisfaction, but not in an arrogant way. He was just a guy who was really content with his life and who he was, even if it defied the norm.

The sort of person who fits in perfectly in Southern California.


I am sick.

Like, wrapped up in a promotional Snuggie given to me after one of my husband’s speaking gigs sick. Like, contemplating which TV show to watch that won’t include too much conflict or plot development, because my NyQuil-addled brain won’t be able to follow it sick. I need to go back to bed. But I don’t want to start off the year by slacking, so, since the epiphany is still two days away, I figure I can still write about the holidays, right? At least until Thursday?

So, in honor of squeezing every last bit of life out of Christmas, here are ten pictures from our San Diego holiday trip. Enjoy.

  1. Ocean Beach holiday decor, Newport Ave.
  2. “MY GOD, you have soft hands.”

    "I work in tech." - Rand


  3. (more…)

I have much to tell you.

There are still trips from 2010 that I have yet to blog about. And photos of things that you absolutely must see. There are Dick Moves!, and museum exhibits, and taco stands that deserve mention. Also, Stevie Wonder and former President Clinton might have made cameos. All in all? It was an amazing year, and I’m not through talking about it.

But since the holidays are freshly over, and I’m still recovering from them, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you about spending Christmas with my family.

Explaining the extent of my family’s insanity to someone with a semi-functional home life is a daunting task. It’s like trying to describe a sunset to a blind man, or the merits of articulation to Nick Nolte – they may understand what you mean in theory, but that’s about it. Unless you are actually in the foxhole, on the frontlines of the crazy, you won’t get it.

You won’t understand, for example, why my mother thought it was a good idea to give both my brother and I copies of Twilight: Eclipse, The Movie Board Game, despite the fact that neither of us have ever expressed any interest in the films or books at any point in time (though, I suspect, my brother probably auditioned for one of the roles).

Of course, we didn’t exactly understand, either. And when we asked her to explain herself, she said, in between fits of hysterical laughter, that it’s like when you work for a company and everyone receives the same Christmas gift.

This woman was responsible for my upbringing.