Archive | June, 2011

This man is a god:

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What’s that? Er, no, I’m sorry. Not the man in foreground. The man in the foreground is my husband. He has many lovely attributes, of which “god-like” is not one. He is charitable and kind and good, and he often smells fantastic. While he is one of the best humans I’ve ever been fortunate enough to encounter, he is still human.

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This week, my husband and I were supposed to be in France. We are not (it is a loooong story, and one which I will share with you later this week). As I was preparing for our visit, I tried to figure out when Rand and I might be able to pop into the Louvre for a few hours. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my travels, it’s that museum opening hours are a fickle mistress. They follow no rhyme or reason and vary from city to city and country to country (hell, they vary within a city).

So I was pleased to find that the Louvre was open on Sundays, which is when we were free! Hooray. But wait … what’s this?

Wait, what?

For reasons I can’t explain, this positively cracked me up. Apparently, even when the Louvre is open, some of the rooms are closed. Fair enough – perhaps they were putting in a new installation? Or maybe it was a security measure?

Nope. None of those things. Instead, the justification absolutely slayed me: “The museum does not have enough staff to keep the entire museum open every day.”

Forgive me, but that is hilarious. I can just imagine the exchange:

“Monsieur! We do not have enough employees to keep all the rooms of the museum staffed!”

“Well, then, close the rooms!”

“Um … Wait, really? Shouldn’t we should simply hire more people?”

“Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find people with the correct mix of ennui and irreverence to work here? CLOSE THE ROOMS!”

“Oui, Monsieur.”

 

I love it. I positively LOVE IT.

I have a confession.

Remember yesterday? I mean, if you don’t, that’s fine (but we should probably address that, because it means that you either need to have your hippocampus checked, or you’ve been having way too much fun without me). Anyway, yesterday I made some rather bold statements about how Covent Garden was just a cheap rip-off of Pike Place Market, and how Londoners were just Seattle wannabes.

I might not have entirely meant all those things. It might be that a few of those words were uttered in jealousy. Because while no place in the world will ever compare to the overcast paradise that is my hometown, London has one thing that Seattle lacks: a stellar underground public transportation system.

It’s not to say that Seattle hasn’t tried. We have. And we’re getting there. But still, deep down, I’ll know this: no matter what we come up with, it will always pale in comparison to London’s Underground.

Because the Underground is a thing of magic. Is it crowded? Sure. Hot? Absolutely. And in the past I might have been aggressively approached or cursed at by my fellow passengers. But those issues aside, it’s remarkably organized, efficient, and will get you anywhere you want to go in the city for a ridiculously low fee. Even a girl like me (who literally got lost on her way to the grocery store this morning) can navigate it with aplomb.

It is this deep rooted affection for the Underground that prompted me to visit the London Transport Museum. If you are a fan of public transportation (and come on, who isn’t?) or just city planning in general (Um, hell yeah!), or if you just love mannequins in bad 70s wigs (Guilty!),  I suggest you go. The museum has all of that, and more.

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I love playing the part of the Ugly American.

The way I figure it, if people are going to judge and hate me without knowing me, the least I can do is have a little fun at their expense. The best part is the look on their faces when they realize I’ve been messing with them.

“Wait, wait, wait … you voted for Obama? Then why did you say America needs to blast all non-Aryan people off the planet? Oh, god … were you being facetious the whole time?”

Deeeelightful, I tell you. And so, in that spirit, let me tell you why the shops at Covent Garden are totally like the Pike Place Market, and how they obviously copied the idea from us here in the States.

Now, those of you who like to toss around facts when attempting to prove a point will note that Covent Garden was around a few centuries before the Pike Place Market, to which I will cleverly respond, “U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!” And to that display of awesomeness, there is no response.

I wandered through the market on a rainy Friday morning, trying to kill time until the London Transport Museum opened (which, ruthlessly, was not until 11am. In my jet-lagged state, I had been up FOR 7 HOURS by then). It was pouring, despite the forecast predicting only intermittent showers. Seriously, we in Seattle invented that.

Also, notice the colors on the British flag. They totally got those from us, I bet.

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Thank you all for your kind words, retweets, comments, Facebook likes, and support today. It’s been truly amazing, and I really feel humbled and undeserving of all of the attention I’ve received.

I mean, I not saying I don’t love it. I’m just saying … it’s all a little overwhelming, and hard to process. I’m kind of speechless (which, for me, is saying something.)

Anywho, this little guy (text NSFW) sums up how I feel about the day: (more…)

Okay, so it’s a little early for a year-in-review, right? I mean, it’s June. But hey, that apparently didn’t stop Time Magazine from writing up the best blogs of 2011 … and, um … apparently I made the cut. Believe me: no one is more surprised than I am.

I mean, secretly I always hoped people would find my blog useful/interesting/entertaining, but I was also convinced for a long time that Dustin Diamond was actually Beastie Boy Mike D‘s little brother. And I am still absolutely positive to this day that Duran Duran actually sings “Mysterious Ways” (please do NOT tell me otherwise.)  The point is, I can’t trust my brain.

Fortunately, having an unreliable brain doesn’t seem to be a road-block to blogging . Judging by my crazed fellow travel bloggers out there, it might just be a requirement.

So, while I try to calm myself down from all of this crazy excitement (Seriously. This. Is. Awesome.), I’ve compiled a list of my top posts from the last year (and beyond). Of course, they’re my opinion of what my top posts have been … and you know how unreliable that brain of mine is.

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The Danish Village of Solvang. (A brief exchange between myself and my husband as we walked through the streets of this central California town – Me: “Can we move here?” Rand: “No.”)

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My experience with the new TSA screenings. By the time you read this, getting on a plane will require a pelvic exam.

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Horrific Temptations and the Golden Gate Bridge. How spending time at the most suicidal spot on the planet makes me crazy introspective (I’ve since concluded this was due to a contact high received from being downwind of Berkeley).

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Edward and I have inherited a tendency from our dad. I’m not sure if it’s a conscious one (I know for me, it’s not. Hell, I’m doing it right now).

Our faces, at rest, are usually scowls.

It might be that the opening for our ocular nerve is abnormally big, thus letting in too much light and making us incredibly sensitive to sunshine and the brightness makes us cranky (I am largely making that up. Though my ocular nerve is abnormally large. I suspect it was an evolutionary tactic aimed at drawing attention away from my butt). Or maybe it’s that we don’t have the greatest of eyesight, so we’re constantly squinting. Or perhaps it’s that we’re always just a little bit pissed off. Whatever the reason, we often roam streets looking angry, or upset, or a wee bit murdery.

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Is it possible to have senioritis if you are not a senior? If you, say, aren’t even in school? Or, hell, are unemployed? Can you claim that you’ve got a case of the devil-may-care let’s-party-all-the-time affliction that hits soon-to-be-graduates when you live a life of leisure? Huh? Can you?

No. Obviously not. I mean, not without incurring the wrath of your readers, right? (Seriously, you over there. Put down that pear-shaped voo-doo doll. I know that’s for me).

But here’s the thing: I am feeling the lure of blissful laziness that taunts me every June. I want to lie in the sun (but I live in Seattle, so let’s go with “lie in the not rain”), drink a margarita, and just enjoy life. And while I ponder doing that on this lovely day, you ponder these links. And when you’re done with those, consider joining me for a margarita, okay? (And by margarita, I mean cupcake. I’m sure you understood that).

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An Egyptian blogger who normally wears a hajib writes about her experience venturing out without one. The most remarkable thing is how unremarkable she feels. (via the lovely @legalnomads, who I was fortunate enough to meet this week, albeit briefly).

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The good news? Uncle Scott is back from the dead. The bad news? This necessarily means he’s a zombie.

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