Archive for May, 2011

May 10th, 2011


Outside the thunder is turning over and over and over; the light is palest gold. Tiny tender green buds are brightening the tree outside the window. Last week it snowed and today it’s in the 80s, the air hot and heavy. It’s a glorious time of year.

May 9th, 2011

» ways not to get my number


There are many, many ways to not get my phone number. Here are a few of them:

  • Stand very, very close and breathe boozily in my face.
  • Step in front of the guy I’m chatting with. Assure me you have no idea who that dude is.
  • Explain, apologetically and very seriously, that your friend is very drunk and you’re just out to make sure he gets in a cab okay. For the third time.
  • Introduce yourself by putting your hand on my ass.
  • Tell me about the two minor league baseball teams you own, and how much better they are than the one I like. Also, explain how you’re touchy about the subject of Hooters, and how it is really just a chicken wing joint.
  • “I have an MBA. And a PhD. And a nice penis.”
  • Sidle up behind me and start sneakily dancing with me. Do not smile or speak; do grab at me.

By now you might be thinking It’s tough to be a dude out there — what can we do?! I can’t speak for all the ladies, but I advise politeness, confidence, and sincerity. It’s all in the delivery — which is why “You have awesome boobs” doesn’t appear in the list above. Still won’t get you my number, but everyone appreciates a little nicely-delivered flattery. I also appreciate it when guys buy me drinks (who doesn’t like that?), but it doesn’t obligate me to anything, and not doing it doesn’t lose you any points.

When in doubt, choose politeness. If you have a sister or close female friend, maybe try thinking how you’d like to see guys treat her, and do that. And save practicing your more advanced techniques for later in the evening.

May 6th, 2011

» toilet seats

You guys. Either you’re in for the most amazing revelation of your week, or you’ve been holding out on me and we need to have some words.

Apparently, there are two kinds of toilets in Japan: squat (holes/drains in the ground basically), and completely amazing. Imagine a regular western-style toilet. Now, on it, imagine a seat with a sensor; when you approach, the lid opens. When you sit, there’s a little deodorizing spritz in the bowl, and the seat warmer switches on. And the music or sound effects — you get to pick, because there is an SD slot in this toilet seat. When you’re done, you consult the remote control on the wall to activate the bidet. There’s regular spray, and gentle wash, and one “for the ladies” — all with adjustable pressures. And then there’s the dryer. And when you stand, the lid closes itself. Apparently for the gentlemen there are aiming lights.

I never would have guessed such a toilet seat existed. What other frivolous wonders of the world am I totally unaware of?

May 4th, 2011

» London 2011

Before I went to London, my mom gave me this amazing Moleskine London city book. It’s 3.5″ x 5.5″ (small enough to live easily in my camera bag), and has maps of the city and lots of little blank tabbed sections: an invitation to write your own guidebook. I love making lists, and had a lot of fun keeping this different sort of travel journal. There’s the daily weather commentary, the record of everything I ate, a list of everywhere I went, people I met, my mood at any given moment, interesting things I saw & heard, questions I was left with. I can’t wait to page through it in a year or so to be transported right back to my week there.

The one thing I really wish I’d brought was a pedometer, or a fancy-pants GPS route tracker or something. I walked a lot. I’d already known that I like to walk, and that walking helps de-stress me — but I guess I’d never really thought about it much, never examined it. Just, sometimes I walk, or pace a lot around home when I’m anxious. Evidently, given the opportunity, I will more or less cripple myself walking. Halfway through my first full day I’d blistered both of my feet; I spent the rest of the trip walking anyhow. It did force me to slow down a little, to something more resembling a normal person’s pace. It also encouraged me to take time to eat, and to sit in coffee shops and gardens with my book. Anyway, it was good. I think I should incorporate more deliberate walking time into my life.

I was in London April 9-16. Normally this is about the time I’d post here saying I had a wonderful trip and really owe you a detailed series of posts with pictures, and won’t it all be lovely — but you see how long it took me to finish Bali, so this time I’m doing something different.

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May 2nd, 2011

» 24 Books: April 2011

Parts of April really sucked, and parts were pretty damn awesome. At least I chose good books (and credit to Kim and Allison, who recommended the first two, respectively).

  • The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
  • The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly, read by Steven Crossley
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Patrick Süskind

2011 Book Count: 18
January: 6
February: 2
March: 7
April: 3