Tag Archives: Essentials

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Hi.

Remember me?

I know, I know. It’s been a while. Given how regularly I blog, I’ve been weirdly absent for the last few weeks. I’m sorry. It probably looks like I’m having an affair with another website, and I promise, that’s not it. Except for my flirtations with Zappos, I remain as committed as ever to this site. I swear.

I’ve just been busy. And traveling. And doing a bunch of other things that I will tell you about at a later date (promise). (more…)

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If there was anything I could tell my younger self (besides to maybe consider getting an MRI on your head sometime before the age of 30), it would be this: don’t fall for artistic types.

I would finally learned my lesson when I was 20 or so. No more musicians, no more painters. Even graphic designers and guys who played guitar on weekends were on notice. (more…)

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I can hear them.

Their shrieks and cries reverberate against the stone walls. They are far enough away that their wails are less ear piercing than normal – I wince at them, but the noise alone is not enough to render me immobile (as I know it can in closer proximities). Occasionally, I hear the muffled moans of one of their earlier victims (they seem to be dragging him along for sport).

I must keep going.

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The other day I did an excellent job of keeping my mouth shut while a distant in-law explained to me how television was bad for children. The comment had been prompted by my admission that I’d spent the morning watching Yo Gabba Gabba with my nine-month-old nephew.

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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.

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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.

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I have a little bit of psychotic episode every time I go to an aquarium.

Part of me is thinking, “You should not be here. You are in some amazing part of the world that few people get to visit, and you should be out seeing unusual and unique things and not staring, slack-jawed, at the same fish you could see at any aquarium, anywhere.”

But a slightly larger part of me is thinking, “OMG. FISHIES.”

And that part always wins out. It’s why I visit so many damn aquariums. How many? Well, enough that I don’t tell you about all of them. That’s right, kids: I keep some things to myself. Like the fact that I’m an aquarium-loving nut.

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Fortunately, even non-giants are allowed to explore the area.

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While we were in Northern Ireland, I decided that we needed to visit the Giant’s Causeway despite not really knowing what it was. When Rand asked, I replied with the rather vague and not-entirely accurate, “It’s a big rocky thingy. Um … with giants.”

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