Archive | June, 2011

Ugh.

I might have overdone it on cupcakes when I was last in New York. I know: those words sound blasphemous, don’t they? Even as I try to type them, my fingers burn a little. If I attempt to utter the phrase, “I’ve had too many cupcakes” out loud, it sears my throat. Clearly, my body does not want me to admit to it, but admit to it I must: there is such a thing as too many cupcakes. Very simply, if you eat more cakes than you spend days in a city, you will get yourself into trouble.

And that is precisely what I did.

Of course, I regret nothing. After all, I had to fulfill my journalistic obligations, which were, to the best of my understanding, to eat every single cupcake I came across.

Yup. Every single one. If I saw a cupcake, I bought it. In New York City, where the homeless population has largely been replaced with bakery trucks (seriously? Movable cupcake repositories? I think I dreamt that idea up once in fifth grade. I never thought it would actually happen), such an endeavor is dangerous one. Even if you try to set up strict guidelines to avoid consuming enough sugar to take down an elephant (like, say, only eating cupcakes that directly cross your path), it’s still a risky game. After just a few blocks, you may find yourself in the throes of a diabetic coma, nonsensical babble pouring forth from your frosting smeared lips.

 

I was more animal than human.

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But I pressed on, in the name of … I don’t know, science? Yes (that sounds far better than “gluttony”). Here are my findings:

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I’m swamped – positively swamped. But I’m kind of thrilled about all the things I have on my plate: loads of travel, and hopefully some delicious desserts, too. So while I try to track down an elusive (but supposedly amazing) ice cream shop, please enjoy a collection of links that I’ve gathered from the last week (and yes, I promise to tell you all about the ice cream, once I find it):

I’m enjoying the work of graphic designer Jack Crossing immensely. It’s stark and gritty, but not without heart.

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The opening credits of The Office recut to look like a 90s sit-com. Makes you realize just how much television comedies have evolved (and how much they haven’t).

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You save me from myself, babe.

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I owe my husband a thank you. Without him, I might have gotten cholera, or bed bugs, or lord knows what else.

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Sign on the wall inside at the Churchill War Museum.

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The strangest thing happened to me that last time I was in London: I went to a museum dedicated to Britain’s role in WWII. And I liked it.

I know – you’re thinking that you can’t have read that correctly. “She must have meant cupcakes,” you think. “Or possibly Jeff Goldblum. She just got the names woefully confused.”

Which is a fair assumption, because were there museums dedicated to cupcakes or the equally-delicious Mr. Goldblum, I would be a lifetime member. But no, that is no typo – I went to the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms  (known collectively as the Churchill War Rooms), and I truly enjoyed the experience.

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I cannot tell you when my friendship with Deanna began. It can probably be traced back to a single tweet, sent long ago, but I couldn’t say for sure. The details are lost to time – I can only say that at some point we started talking, and one day I told my husband that I had made a friend through the internet.

He looked at me warily, and reminded me that the girl I had been talking to, the one so full of moxie and so quick with the clever retorts, might have been an elaborate work of fiction. I kept this in mind when I found out she and her family were stopping through Seattle, and wanted to meet up for lunch.

“She might be a balding man named Herb,” I told myself. “He might think that Kate Hudson is a talented actress, and he might enjoy Stephen Colbert unironically. ” It might be an awkward, unmitigated disaster.

It was not. She was exactly who she claimed to be, and more.

By the end of the afternoon (one largely spent quoting Anchorman) I realized that I could no longer refer to her as “a girl I’ve been talking to online”, but simply started calling her “my friend Deanna.”

She’s recently moved across the planet from me. Though I’ve only met her once, though it really shouldn’t make a difference, this saddens me. I’d love to sit down, have a slice of cake with her, and laugh about how Weinergate is quiet possibly the best name for a sex scandal, ever. But since I can’t do that, I asked her to blog for me, and lovely girl that she is, she said yes. So enjoy today’s post. It was written by my friend, Deanna.

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I love London. I’ve heard people complain that it’s too big and heartless, the locals too rude and impersonal, but I’ve never gotten that impression. I find the city vibrant and welcoming and a little quirky, and that goes double for most of its inhabitants.

And coming from the-perpetually-damp-Seattle, I can laugh when people complain about the weather there. “What’s that? It’s been raining for 2 straight weeks? WELL SEATTLE HASN’T HAD SUN SINCE 2009, SO SUCK IT.”

Plus, really, how can you complain about a town with entire stores dedicated to selling Victorian-themed sex novelties? Answer: YOU CAN’T. Here are ten photos from our trip to London (and neighboring towns) that might give you an idea of why it’s one of my favorite cities, rain or shine (though it’s usually rain).

  1. Weather indicator, the Churchill Museum. During WWII, signs like this one would hang on the wall of the Cabinet War Rooms, from which Churchill directed the war. Since the war room was in a windowless bunker underground, it was the only way to tell what the weather was like above. I just love how it can sound so British with just one word.
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    Note: "Fine" weather in London usually means it's raining.

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  2. Looking down Bridge Street towards the Parliament Clock Tower. Confession: I recently learned that “Big Ben” is not actually the name of the clock tower, but the name of the bell inside it. About 20 years after everyone else did.
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    Also, I nearly wandered into the street to take this, but thought better of it. Shocking, right?

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It’s been a week.

I really don’t even know what to say other than that. I, the gal who always has plenty to say about virtually every topic (whether I have a clue of what I’m talking about or not), have been left utterly speechless by the events of the past few days. Since the Time article came out on Monday, I’ve seen a surge of traffic, comments, Twitter followers, and so many damn well wishes.

I have no words.

I mean, besides thank you.

And just to show  you all that the more things change, the more things say the same, here’s a list of time-wasters for your Friday. Enjoy. I’m off to Vancouver for the weekend, but I’ll be back on Monday, with more stories from London, New York, and Boston. I hope you’ll all join me.

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Terrence Chang’s long-exposure photos of planes taking off at San Francisco airport are a quiet reminder than air travel really is magic (well, magic and physics, but still).

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The entire collection of SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skits can now be found on Funny or Die. As someone who regularly uses the term “mongrel idiot” in polite conversation, I could not be more delighted.

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The Colonel puts a secret ingredient in it that makes you crave it fortnightly.

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There are times when the universe likes to remind you that it, and not you, is in charge.

And the reminders are not entirely painless. They’re reminiscent of the love bites my cousin’s dog gives. You think you’re playing around, and then all of a sudden –

“OUCH.”

You make it through intact, but still – it’s shocking, and it stings a bit, and it reminds you that the universe is not kidding around. And this past week, the universe nipped us. Big time.

In truth, we might have been asking for it. Life was getting just a little too easy. A little too fun. And maybe, just maybe, we were starting to take it for granted. And so the universe, in an effort to keep us humble, to remind us of how lucky we actually are, decided to remind us that it was still there.

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