Archive | September, 2011

I have to share something with you has absolutely nothing to do with travel. Not really, anyway. It’s a little narcissistic. I hope you won’t mind.

Ready? Here goes: It’s my birthday.

I know. I’m positively tickled. I love birthdays. Entire days dedicated to eating cake and wearing party dresses. It’s not unlike what I imagine heaven to be.

I suspect I might be in the minority here. I’ve met a lot of folks who absolutely abhor birthdays, and the inevitable aging that goes along with them, but that’s something I’ve never really minded. Every year I spend on this planet, things just seem to get better. After three decades, I’m really getting the swing of things. I now listen to NPR voluntarily, and not just because I’m trying to impress a boy. I’ve become quite adept at walking in heels. As the years go by, stinky cheeses taste better and better. And the Muppets now hold another level of humor that I never understood as a child (if you haven’t experienced this phenomenon for yourself, I highly recommend you rewatch The Muppets Take ManhattanThe puns! The double entendres! A cameo by a delightfully young and handsome Elliott Gould!) Plus, with adulthood, I’ve found I’ve almost grown into my nose. Not quite, but almost.

"You like my nose, right sweetie? RIIIIIGHT?"

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“We’re taking you to the Keeper of the Plains,” I was told, and there was little elaboration after that.

“Okay,” I said. “And the Keeper of the Plains is …?”

“You’ll see.” I must hand it to my friends. They know how to create suspense.

It turned out to be a 44-foot-tall statue of a Native American man standing at the crux of the Big and Little Arkansas (pronounced “Our Kansas”, for the record) Rivers in downtown Wichita.  A raised hatchet in one arm, its headdress and fringed pants seeming to blow in the wind, the statue looms tall over the nearby bridges and park that offer views of it and the river. It is a tranquil place, but as a white American woman from a devoutly-PC part of the country, I found myself looking around and thinking, “This is cool, right? We aren’t offending anyone?”

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I am absolutely exhausted. And the reason why is so ridiculous: my husband’s been out of town for two consecutive nights, and I can’t sleep a wink without him. I know. It’s absurd. I’m a grown woman. I should be able to get a restful night’s sleep without Rand, right? But unless I have him next to me, I stare at the ceiling when I should be dreaming. Fortunately, he’s coming home today.  So while I (yawn) get ready for him to come home (yawn), please enjoy these links. They absolutely will not put you to sleep. (Psst! How many times did you yawn when you read that last paragraph?)

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Dolly Parton and Mick Jagger? River Phoenix, K.D. Lang, and Liza Minnelli? The blog Awesome People Hanging Out Together is full of unexpected pairings of fabulous folks.

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Warning: the following video is not suitable for work (or children for that matter). But if you grew up in the 90s, be sure to check out Don Cheadle as Captain Planet (once it’s safe to do so).

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Need something a little more Earth-friendly? Check out this flash mob react when someone recycles a plastic bottle.

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There was a knock on the bathroom door in the middle of the night.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I said. Which was sort of true. I was presently in the process of squatting in my friend’s old clawfoot bathtub, running cold water over my head and body in an attempt to alleviate the crippling migraine that had come over me. Migraines aren’t new to me – they strike more or less monthly (it takes little sleuthing to guess when) and render me a miserable wreck. This time, one had hit while I was visiting my friend Christine, who was now knocking at the door.

“I didn’t throw up,” I shouted over the rush of water. As though it was an achievement.

“It would okay if you did,” Christine said gently, as only women who are mothers can.

I’ve no doubts she was sincere when she said those words. Christine and I met in the seventh grade. There are elements to our friendship that are grandfathered in. Among them, she can call me Deenie (and before you ask, no. Do not even think of trying it, even as a joke), and I may vomit in the Victorian clawfoot tub of her Wichita home.

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