Archive | April, 2012

It is almost May. I’m slightly alarmed by this. Not just because the year is zipping by, and I’m wondering how I squandered away all that time with so little to show for it (Whither the sample chapter of the great American travel memoir, Everywhereist? Whither the clean laundry you were going to do?), but because I am coming up on another anniversary.

Soon, I will have been blogging for three years.

THREE YEARS. Yeah. Having been out school for well-over a decade, and unemployed for a good shot of time, too, I’ve found that only my blog’s arbitrary birthday that provides me with any opportunity for reflection on the events of the last few years.

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We weren’t cool enough for The Woodsman Tavern, and we knew it. We’d found ourselves at the Portland restaurant at the recommendation of our friend Matt. We’d tried to go to Broder, but it was a Sunday morning and they were mobbed. Matt explained that The Woodsman had just started serving breakfast. We could probably get in.

But he warned us: it was a hipster Mecca (this sketch from Portlandia sums up the vibe there quite well). And my husband and I? We are not hipsters. Not by a long shot.

So we faked it.

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Souvenir: Accomplished.

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I’m not big on souvenirs. At least, not in the traditional sense. Rand and I are on the road a lot, and if I purchased every delightfully tasteless memento I encountered, we’d long ago have been buried under a pile of snowglobes, novelty beer bottle openers, and tiny resin sculptures of bears in swimming trunks. Which, for the record, doesn’t sound that bad. “Crushed by tchotchkes” is up there with “asphyxiation by cake” and “cuddled to death by kittens” on my list of preferred ways to die.

Don’t think that we’re models of self-restraint, because frankly, we have very little (lest you think I am lying, hear this: I just devoured a slice of coconut cake the size of my head and I wish I had more). Rand hates accumulating stuff, and my pragmatism outweighs any sentimentality I might otherwise have: “If I buy this, I will eventually have to dust it,” is how I usually talk myself out of purchases while on the road.

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Dear Deutsche Museum,

I like you, I really do. You are at the top of my list of attractions to visit in Munich. I had a ridiculously fun time roaming through all of your exhibits and halls, and I became acutely aware of how little I know about … well, everything.

In particular, I enjoyed the Astronomy exhibits. I mean, really, what’s cooler than space? The answer is NOTHING.

NOTHING IS COOLER THAN SPACE.

So I geeked out, pressed my nose against the cases that held old telescopes, marveled at actual pieces of a real space station, and had a grand old time, right up until I saw this:

How do you say "WTF" in German?

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UM, WTF DEUTSCHE MUSEUM? THERE IS A GIANT SIDEREAL SWASTIKA HANGING ON YOUR WALL. HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE THIS?

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When I was ten or eleven, my mother took my brother and me to see Universal Soldier in the movie theater, at my brother’s request.

For those of you unfamiliar with this specimen of early-90s cinematic glory, here are some fun facts:

  • It is rated R.
  • It involves a terrorist plot … at the Hoover Dam.
  • It stars not only Jean-Claude Van Damme, but also Dolph Lundgren (psst- you should totally check out that link to Mr. Lundgren’s personal site, because it is DELIGHTFUL).

If you are playing along at home, I’ve just given you at least four reasons why you should not let a child see this movie. But let’s not judge my mother, because she really did her best, and (despite being totally desensitized to violence and suffering a crippling fear of most national parks) I turned out okay.

Please consider this the next time you can’t find a babysitter and really want to see a low-budget action flick.  Your kid will probably be fine! He or she may even grow up to be an unemployed travel blogger!

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This is Anton.

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Anton’s life is miserable.

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Folks, it’s the 20th of March April. Yup. It’s 4-20. While I’m sure many of you are celebrating this Friday in completely wholesome, legitimate ways (like going to the movies and eating cupcakes), I suspect a few of you are going to spend it on slightly-less-legal endeavors (after which you will likely go to the movies and eat cupcakes).

In either case, I’ve comprised links that should be entertaining for all of you, regardless of your state of mind. Enjoy!

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I am giggling over David Armand’s miming of popular songs. His interpretation of “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles is delightfully absurd (via blog reader Angie).

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Pop heroes and villians added to turn-of-the-century photos. Huh. I never realized how Victorian a stormtrooper could look (via blog reader Will).

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Angel wings and drinking vinegar with soda water.

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Pok Pok, for a lot of people in the northwest, is probably old news. When I first visited it a little over a year ago at the recommendation of my friend Jessica, it was still relatively obscure. The repetitive name did not hang on the lips of northwest foodies like a whisper to a lover, did not elicit knowing nods like it does now.

When I first went to Pok Pok, it was far less known.

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