Archive | February, 2013


I never imagined myself to be the sort of person who’d go on safari. It’s just not in my genetics. I don’t really like the sun. Large animals frighten me. And I don’t look all that good in khaki.

Plus, I have very short legs, and I’m not particularly good at running. If things went awry (and if a lifetime of watching situation comedies has taught me anything, it’s that things will go awry), and my entire tour group found themselves running for safety, I can guarantee you that I’d get picked off.


This is Joel.


I have found that there are times when I am traveling with a group that someone needs to use the bathroom.

That’s probably not all that surprising, huh? You are probably thinking, “Um, yes, that happens to all of us, genius.” But I’d hope that your takeaway is that I am real and approachable and relatable and not just a stater of the obvious.

Even if, you know, I try to be relatable by totally stating the obvious.

“Cupcakes are awesome. Travel is great. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ROMANCE.”

Wow. I think I just summed up my blog (and my life) in three sentences. I feel weirdly satisfied. And also kind of empty. I should probably eat a cupcake.


Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa.


I’m not a plant person.

I suppose that’s far better than not being a people person. Or not being a dog person. Or a cat person. (For the record, I am two of the three. I’ll let you guess.)

It’s not that plants and I have a bad relationship (except for blackberry bushes. Those assholes hate me), it’s just that we aren’t compatible. I shouldn’t be around anything that depends on me for nourishment, yet will quietly die without so much as a scream or a whimper.

The only house plant that we have is a poor, limp … you know what? I don’t even know what kind of plant it is. It’s a poor, limp, long-suffering green thing named Nigel.

I did this to him.


But after a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, just outside of Cape Town, I started thinking that maybe, maybe I could be a plant lover. Or, at the very least, a plant liker. Or maybe just less of a systematic plant-murderer (for Nigel is the sole survivor in a veritable chlorophyll-tinged bloodbath).



Whenever I see someone who has succumbed to something incredibly touristy – whether it be the people running around Disney World with those invisible dogs on leashes, or anyone drinking beer out of a boot – two things go through my head:

  • That is so incredibly cheesy.
  • I … I kind of want in on that.

The only exception is when I see white, middle-aged women returning from the Caribbean with dreadlocks. I want no part of that, except to possibly pull them aside and, as I vigorously try to unplait their hair, counsel them against whatever other bad decisions they are about to make.

“Not even Bo Derek could pull this off,” I’d hiss. “AND SHE’S BO-FRIGGIN’-DEREK.”

It would be a public service.

But other than that exception, I find myself torn between being annoyed by the gimmick while I’m simultaneously seduced by it. And sometimes, despite my reservations, I fall for it.


I’m sorry that blogging has not been regular. Life has been crazypants (I think that’s the technical word for it). I promise, things will normalize after next Wednesday.

Why Wednesday? Because that’s when I’m speaking at Ignite Seattle, and the crazy monkey on my back that keeps screeching and pulling my hair will finally be caged (or euthanized. Whatever).

If you are in town, please consider attending.

I’m off to go practice my talk. You enjoy these links.


This might be the most meta Tumblr, ever: Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food. Despite being guilty of this myself, I laughed.


I might be a day late on this, but they’re still magical: Wes Anderson valentines.



I have a problem with mixing up beauty and goodness. I am fully aware of how bad this is.

I mean, I’ve seen Snow White, guys. I get that the evil queen can be both hot and, well, evil.

But I still have trouble getting my head around that fact. I just can’t get past the fact that something can look one way, and be totally different. (For the record, the converse is not true for me: I don’t assume that everyone and everything ugly is evil. Even though I’ve had some I’m-wearing-sweatpants-today-and-I’m-in-a-rotten-mood moments that would affirm that idea.)

Sometimes beautiful things belie their horrible true selves. That’s the case with Robben Island. I know that awful things happened there. The relics remain: the narrow cell where Nelson Mandela spent the better part of two decades, the limestone quarry where he and other prisoners slowly went half blind as they worked in the searing sun.

But, in spite of all of that? It’s still incredibly beautiful. And that’s a hard thing to reconcile.


There are times when I have trouble accepting that I am, in fact, an adult.

Despite having voted in THREE presidential elections, consistently writing grocery lists that don’t include candy, and being carded approximately NEVER, I still  can’t wrap my head around this whole “adulthood” thing.

I’m fairly certain that someone fudged up the math, and we’ll soon find out that I’m actually about 12 or so. And while that revelation would be somewhat comforting, it would bring forth a whole bunch of problems, too (for example, Rand and I have been together for nearly a dozen years, meaning that we started dating when he was 22, and I was, um … zero. Making him, in a rather literal sense, a cradle robber. Also, let’s be fair: I’d look really terrible for 12. Like, I’d have to be a serious meth-addict in order to look as old as I do and still be in middle school. Like non-stop meth. Meth meth meth meth meth. Frankly, that sounds like a lot of work. And meth-smoking.)

Still, being 12 would explain why I can’t stop giggling when I see things like this:

I mean, come on. YOU GUYS. IT SAYS LABIA.  (more…)

I swear, whoever put these up was just trying to spoil all my fun …

Honestly, making a spot off-limits to humans is tempting enough. But declaring it “Penguins Only”? THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE.