Posts filed under ‘Travel’
A while ago I decided I would post about things that my thankfully hygiene-focused mother would never touch, at least not before a thorough cleaning.
As I was retiring my old phone for a new one, I realized that I had not posted these two excellent examples from the St. Augustine tourist shops.
You might recognize the handshake machine and the fortune teller palm thing.
Yep. She’d never touch these. And good for her.
Greetings from Marriott Renaissance in Kowloon, Hong Kong! So far so good in my travels. I know I’ve written about Shigella in Peru and Pot Leaf and Swiss Miss Packet wall-papered common rooms in a Kyoto hostal, but the first 24 hours in Hong Kong have been, actually, quite… well, fantastic!
I am here with my mother, which always lends itself to some interesting quotes… Some of the best so far:
“Now Remember, when I poke you, you’re supposed to look around for a weird-looking man.”
*”Shoot, I was too far away from you just now to poke you!”
*To the Chinese concierge: “Are there any restaurants that serve “NORMAL” food? Without weird stuff in it?”
*At the Cantonese restaurant: “No wonder everyone here is so thin.”
*At the Cantonese restaurant, after offering her some of my beef: “No, I’m sort of turned off to the whole idea of meat right now.”
So, my mom and I were leaving the Cantonese restaurant (hungry) and someone handed us a flyer for a 35 minute foot massage for $80 HK Dollars. Immediately, my sore feet smelled a bargain, so my mother and I followed this woman up this sketchy elevator, down a sketchier hall, and went into even a sketchier room with people getting their feet massaged. There was a shrine in the corner with red light bulbs and incense.
My mom was claiming she was just keeping me company, but once I mentioned that I would pay for her, her shoes came off and her feet went up on the ottoman. I stopped caring once the woman started going to town on my swollen feet for $11 US. Am I too good for a hole in the wall foot massage parlor? Apparently not.
In the mean time, we’re eating cashews for breakfast.
More to come.
JL and I were guests at a wonderful wedding this weekend. As a male, I dreaded the thought of attending said wedding. However, much good came of the event. Friday evening we were special guests at the rehearsal dinner hosted at Maggiano’s Little Italy. We mixed and mingled for about an hour before dinner and one guest, a man, caught my eye.
He was seated at the table diagonal ours so I could stare at him throughout the meal. Then, around the entree, it hit me. I didn’t know if I should say anything, at the risk of embarrassing myself. At first I thought of mentioning something to the guest next to me, as a sort of trial balloon. Instead, I swallowed my pride, leaned over to my wife and said, “That guy looks like he could be my brother.” Since she can’t/doesn’t want to hear anything I say, she responded, “He doesn’t look like Jon.” So I spelled it out, “He looks just like me. I haven’t been able to take my eyes off him all night.”
“You’re right,” she shouted. I was fascinated and totally freaked out.
JL raced over to his table and shared my thoughts with his entire table, he sort of agreed but was definitely uncomfortable.
Then, I turned to the side and it hit him too, just like Haley Mills, or Lindsay Lohan for you kids.
After dinner, we started to talk and things got weirder. We really hit it off. My twin is like 7 years younger than me, but he’s majoring in Economics and we talked about Financial Econ till the sun came up. Well, not quite, but we could have. Needless to say, a little more “me” was all the weekend needed. I had a great time, I swept myself off my feet. As we parted ways in the hotel Saturday night I said, “There goes one handsome guy.”
*Parent Trap photo from Amazon.com.
The minds at SkyMall have been hard at work to bring air travelers cutting-edge products to make life easier.
Exhibit A: The Slanket
Perhaps I don’t live in a cold enough climate to appreciate the need for a Slanket, the blanket that allows freedom to use your hands while not sacrificing your arms to the open air. For both indoor and outdoor use, you can even wear this to a baseball game to attract some strange stares. Or you could purchase these poncho covers for your whole family and keep the thermostat 10 degrees lower than usual. It’s so cool to be GREEN these days.
Exhibit B: DayClock
The ultimate insulting gift that tells the receiver they don’t have enough going on in their week to have to worry about the hour of the day, just the day!
Exhibit C: Nouveau Fireplace
What would you honestly say to someone if they had an “heirloom-quality” electric fireplace blazing beneath their DVD player? “Must shop at SkyMall!”
I direct our readers to the New York Times (hopefully not an act of heresy) for a Miller-esque treatment of the rolling suitcase. An excerpt:
…if you are a petite, elderly woman (a demographic I am in most cases quite fond of, I promise you) — you sometimes can’t lift your bag at all. This is because those wheels have freed you from having to rely on your own muscle power, or a hired valet. You’re encouraged to over-pack to such a degree that you can no longer move your bag without wheels. So you stagger weakly under its weight until (if I see you) I assist you with it or (if I don’t) you drop it on my head — bludgeoning me with 70 pounds of toiletries.
Despite my use of wheeled baggage, the writing rings true. Even the Gray Lady can do right sometimes.
Overheard Friday night on a train from Union Station in DC. This man was allegedly talking to someone on the other end of his phone and these were two of his snippets:
“I have in my head an entire way to make a civilization work. I always study it.”
“I stay away from computer games because they’re addictive. Like a drug.”
Feeling chatty after his call, he went on to engage the three rows around him in conversation. Politics came up and he gave everyone the inside scoop that Giuliani is a terrorist and that he has two of the mob families in his back pocket, evidenced by their refusing to coordinate a hit on him that three other families were planning. Hmm. Why hasn’t Newsweek picked up on this?
Guest Post Submission: We have set up a new email address for you to submit Guest Posts or ideas for posts that you would like for one of us to write about. We’d like to hear about pop culture, food, movies, books, music, television, sports, politics or even a Limerick (a not so subtle plea to Massimo). Please send gust posts to inrareformguestpost at yahoo dot com.
IRF 2008 Presidential Straw Poll: If you haven’t voted yet, please make sure to cast your vote in our little survey. The voting is completely anonymous. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s Weekly Wrap-up.
IRF Recipes is growing slowly but surely. Please add YOUR favorite recipes in the comments section. This week I tried a new recipe which I highly recommend (compliments of my friend, Cassie). It is a Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon & Brown Sugar chips.
Links to Check Out
- TRAVEL: IRF reader, Stephanie, discovered an interesting site for all you world travelers. Among other things, TravBuddy enerates a map of all the countries you have been to. My showing is embarrassing–6%–clearly time for me to take another trip. You all go fill our your own maps and tell me your score. Which IRF reader has visited the highest percentage of the world? My money is on Heidi.
- FASHION: Last week we drew your attention to the work of our favorite Fashion Stylist, this week we bring you You Look Fab where we learn that purple is very big this fall.
- PHOTO BOOKS: LeMare’s sister, Kerry, discovered an interesting way to preserve your photographic memories. Blurb is a company that allows you to download free software so you can design your own soft or hard-bound coffee table book. No more dealing with silly double-sided tape, dye-cuts, stickers, and all that other scrapbooking nonsense I got suckered into a decade ago. I think of it as classy scrapbooking. I’m doing a Japan scrapbook first, and then I’ll move to previous trips. A good gift idea, too–Travels, weddings, cook books… Endless possibilities.
- TELEVISION: SPOTD has me excited for the return of The Office with the Season Premier trailer. I can’t wait. If I can’t have Arrested Development anymore, at least I have The Office.
Search Term Saturday
geico lizard costume: Oh my goodness, could it be? Has my October 31st attire question been solved? I just found one on ebay, but it gave me the creeps.
remains of the day lunchbox: This search has been so frequent over the last week, that Joe Miller has suggested we commission a reasonable facsimile to be manufactured that we can peddle on this very site.
massage embarassing moment: This has been frequent lately, as well. Apparently our Guest Poster is not the only one to have experienced this brand of mortification.
Flannel Shirt Boyfriend Arm Pillow: This Harriet Carter fan is always welcome back on IRF.
Golden Girls makeup bags: DO THESE REALLY EXIST? WHY DO I NOT HAVE ONE?
scott baio in speedo pics: GOOD NIGHT! Do we look like Hugh Heffner here, peddling smut?
what to do with a whiny male co-worker: I’m smiling. JL certainly learned this the hard way with Larry’s Manifesto.
*The following is an unsolicited guest post from a certain sister missionary in the California Los Angeles Mission. These excerpts come from selected emails over the last year she’s been serving.
Dill Tweedy is going to be jealous, but yes I saw Goldie Hawn over lunch last Wednesday after a trip to the Temple which I shall never forget. Her arms are taut, but softer in a way that a 60-something’s arms must be. I heard her say “Exactly.” Her voice still rings with chutzpah and force. She’s still got it everybody.
Anywho, for the 4th, the Mexicans went wild! Another reason to drink, play loud mariachi and fire to boot! Fireworks are actually illegal. We just had a stirring lesson this past Sunday in Relief Society about Integrity (ie honesty). The teacher acted like we were about to delve in to something to give us shame, like gossip. She said “This is a hard subject, so we are going to read straight out of the manual.” Note: This task is difficult seeing as literally four people in the rama are legal. Everyone else uses false papers, different names at work, and they all drive illegally, and allow their children the same privilege. The class was great. The trouble was the teacher was illegal too, lessening the power of her stirring remarks, “How many of us bought illegal fireworks and used them on the fourth of July?” Oooh.
Doting Younger Elders
i am afraid there is a strange elder who has a bit of a thing for me, as pointed out by my companion. He is always trying to get me to teach him French (hello, we are all learning Spanish right now…). he sat next to me at the Home Town Buffet on Saturday between sessions and I made the mistake of responding to my companion’s prods that I should marry her 19 year-old brother with “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” Which I believe I stole from a rapper. Anywway, the eager young elder quickly wrote this quote down in his planner. Great.
i must dash, but first, i have to tell you the funniest invention that my former district leader taught me: Ghetto cake. You take any boxed cake mix, or bread mix for that matter, mix it with just enough water so that it makes a thick paste that does not slide off of a spoon when tipped downwards. you then microwave the mixture (about 45 seconds for 1/4 c. of ghetto cake). The result is significantly lower calorie (no oil, no egg) cake that is cooked instantly and very easy to make. I thought this would be fabulous at a party. Individual cakes in cups for people, topped with fruit, frosting, whatever. It’s ghetto cake. you do what you want.
A few favorite less-active moments from this past week…A sweet, obese less-active boy toddled in to the front room at the end of our lesson with his Mother to say, “Mom? I was thinkin’, could we get some tater tots? And some SPAM?” This sweet boy is a good 100 over.
Another moment, with our favorite narcissist, Miguel. After another rambunctious lesson with hi and his wife, (We asked him to name something that he likes about her, he couldn’t respond…), I shook his hand and said “Muchas gracias Miguel.” The little gnome said “Muchas gracias Senor.” He then paused and looked away. His wife and my companion were dying laughing, and I said in a raspy tone, “Gracias.” I hope that this is the last time that my gender shall be confused…
i wasn’t goin to share this story, perhaps this is against my better judgment, but it has never happened before and it SHALL NEVER happen again, so I here goes… I often follow my companion in and out of traffic, much like a goose following the head pin goose. Last Friday, my compaion whirred through an interesection, and I got caught behind some cars turning right, wiating for a gang of misled youth to cross.
By the time the light turned green, I sped off, supposing that Hermana had waited at the next intersection. hermana had not. Thrree minutes later I had a funny feeling. We had been on our way to visit Ana Silvia, an investigator. Resting at the side of our local major road, I realized that Hermana was no where to be found, i knew not Ana Silvia’s address. I felt vulnmerable and dark.
I took off down the next street, and pulled over to a phone book. i then realized that I did not know Ana Silvia’s last name. Ten minutes had passed. Where on earth was Hermana? By this time, i was inwardly vomiting, feeling susceptible and disgusting. I panicked, then thought of an appropriate course of action. I decided that the safest thing to do would be to go home, and wait to be contacted. I sped home, entered the apartment, locked the door and called Ana Silvia’s house. Little Angie, Ana Silvia’s daighter informed me that no, Hermana had not arrived.
Twenty minutes later I got a phone call from a ward member who did not speak English. After an exasperating few sentences, he said “Don’t move apartment!” Fifteen minutes later a frzzled Hermana called me. She had stopped, bawling, at a ward member’s house. she had called that President’s Assistants to inform them of my missing state. They told her that they were on their way (to do what I am not sure). hermana told me that she would come home immediately. When she got home we embraced, both terrified and panicked. She called the Assistant to the President and told him what had happened. Elder Allen openly laughed at us, and threatened to put our tale in the Clam Chatter news letter for the whole mission to guffaw over. We were not amused. We both decided that we never ever wanted that to happen again. Hermana now frequently turns around to make sure I am behind her.
The people here call me GRANDE. I am at least six inches taller than everyone in this town. In the mornings we jog. P.S. I have found a companion who will go for 45 minutes with me! Heaven! I jog in a fuschia outfit and when I randomly and aerobically punch the air in front of me, the Hispanics do not know what to do. People openly stare at me.
From Palos Verdes to Maywood, CA
Dad: Expect my bills to now read “McDonalds, A&W, and El Ceviche Loco.” No more Trader Joes. We go to the Logorio.
On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, this is a passed out, hung-over honeymooner’s foot resting on my lap. What would Miss Manners say about such a hideous act?
The main benefit of being single is not having to touch men’s feet.