Friday, January 30, 2009

Hooray for Kittens (AKA Yes, I'm Unemployed, What's it to You, Huh?)

Kitten cams...hooray! Now when I'm staring at the wall trying to figure out where it all went wrong, with one hand stuffed into a bag of Milano cookies and the other clutching a tear-stained copy of my resume, I can do this between crying bouts!

Honestly, I love kittens and this is why the internet was invented--to promote fluffballs of joy. They spend all day jumping on each other! This is the same reason I always wanted a bunch of siblings.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pictures, Pictures

We were able to save the photos! The camera, however, is DOA. And the Costa Rica pictures were done on a disposable, so let's see how that pans out...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reasons to Quote

"Lust is easy, love is hard, like is most important."

-Rob Reiner

When you spend three plus weeks with someone navigating through plates of deep fried concrete discs under the guise that they are patacones, cracked out drug hordes, Panamanian sailors, pork soup with a fine veneer of grease floating on the top for breakfast, weak beer, too-strong rum, crusty old Germans with swastika and Che tattoos, the stopped-up toilet that the entire Mondo Taito hostel shared (and its Monday Martini Night vomiting), the dive shop that insisted we go out in the rainy boat and salt-spraying ocean that immediately killed the new camera bought to replace the one stolen, the flight cancels, the barge leaves early, the bus far too late, stinking of urine, freezing cold at four AM with the radio blasting, "Me gusta! Me gusta! Me gusta!" remember stupid things like quotes and forget important things like giving your traveling partner some slack for not wanting to talk after being awake for forty hours.

Things like love can't get you through that, the rib that was nearly cracked, the Codeine tablets popped every six hours after the clinic sets you free, talking your way into getting a Yellow Fever card to get you out of the country instead of receiving the second Yellow Fever shot in ten days (that's a live vaccine, meaning they GIVE it to you a second time, what do Colombian officials care if you'll surely die from such a thing? A different Colombian official took your card upon entry and never gave it back, so they consider you WITHOUT A CARD.). Love is nothing. Love isn't easy, sure, but to really enjoy, really like someone, that's something special. To spend all that time with someone, the hards, the have nots, the bruises and broken everything, the mud and blood-spattered clothing, no money, no clue, no way out, and to come home and immediately rent Deep Cover and get hot and sour soup and spend the day in your bed falling in and out of consciousness, that is something special.

I think.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's the Stupid, Economy

Well after being gone, coming back to the cold weather and the cold job search is a ruder awakening than I'd prepared myself for. Sure, I knew it was bad...but so bad that a generally undomestic person like myself could be found with four resumes crumpled in her bag, sloshing coffee on her only pair of gloves, running to the next futile appointment, stopped short in front of the venerable Soho knitting store Purl, imagining a life inside?

Where a rainbow of colors and textures, soft knits, nubby wools and dyed cashmere bundle together, sweet-faced girls who can't wait to help you with the next stitch flip their handmade scarfs over their perfect sweaters, patrons huddle with their hot chocolates steaming on the shelf as they click together bamboo needles, and every time the door opens it's some happy new mother toting a sleeping baby and a wagging dog who's just dying to find the newest pattern for a two-toned hat...

This is paradise. Pure, unadulterated magic.

Thank you, New York City, the governmental powers that were, and the magazine industry. You have officially made me insane. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a scarf to knit and a coconut shrimp recipe to master.

Will write for food and sanity whenever anyone will have me. In the meantime, domesticate! Are you doing anything uncharacteristic in this crazy economy?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Cheating...

Mountains, highland cows, white beaches, Christmas lights and coconuts...not bad for a month where it was three degrees back home...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bad Bad Bad

I've been real bad about this blog, but I have an excuse, I swear. It's called an adventure, not a vacation, there are no frozen drinks by the pool, no all inclusive bands around my wrist and organized tours, because we went to Colombia, did you know that there is no guidebook that can be bought on Colombia but in my parents' town in Connecticut there were three copies of a guidebook to Cuba? That's right, a country we can't even visit as US citizens.

So we pay for our sins in Colombia. His camera is stolen. We get abandoned by our bus in a national park as dusk settles. The jetski sends us flying into Windex colored waters and we float to the surface, gingerly pressing for broken ribs. The sailboat to Panama changes schedules, but not their refund policy, which is none. The bus ride to the airport stinks of urine and the air conditioning is broken, that is to say it blasts frigidly upon us as we shiver at four in the morning, cowering and trying not to vomit, the bus lurching back and forth, and then at five on the dot, the driver blasts something else, screamingly loud music whose only words are "Me gusta! Me gusta! Me gusta!"

But the beaches we've seen are unspoiled, crashing and white and the sun is very high, the mango juices are on every corner, the party doesn't stop, Colombians are on vacation too and they dance in the streets, under yellow awnings, as they serve soup for breakfast. The mountains carve out from the sea and the hills are pillows, the sky is too bright behind sunglasses and hats, the rum is strong as are our wills. We have seen things few of our friends will ever see, some will be glad for that, but we aren't like some.

We take off to Panama and the food gets better though the weather gets worse, we're in green water looking at the fish, happy to be away, even happier to be alive on a perfect beach that a dugout canoe and broken scooter has taken us to. The visibility is miles long and the waves lull, the sun makes shadows and I pull up from the surface the biggest starfish we've ever seen. Maybe the biggest one anyone has.

And then the crappy camera that he bought in Colombia, the one to make up for the one that was stolen, the one that recorded it all, is sprayed finely with seawater and breaks.

We go to Costa Rica with a disposable. Cameras are expendable. Adventures are not.

Many more stories to come, and maybe, if we're really lucky, pictures too...

Monday, January 05, 2009


Is all decaying splendor, horse carts and drug dealing kids who dance on the rooftops of historical buildings and flick cigarettes onto the glittering lights below. Thumping beats from clubs, happy throngs and short skirts, it's hot as Hell here and I am covered in backpacker marks, bruises, bites, the wear and tear where the nylon digs into my skin, where the sun burns my nose, where the streets are cobbled and I trip and slip in my flip flops.

Happy New Year and we've celebrated too long, we didn't sleep, and who would let us, long hallways and bottles of rum on the street, the group from Bogota who wants to take us to their fathers' beach house on the remote side of...somewhere, but we're running on empty, salsa screams from the corners, fried maize wafts in and we're off to a beach where the only colors are blue and white and the pink of hammocks and someone is catching fish for our dinner and we have to sleep, sleep, sleep.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


We arrive in the Bogota airport wary of the "world`s most dangerous drug", the one where captors blow it into your face, rendering you so placid you help them rob yourself, harm other people, rob banks with candy bars and frozen loafs of bread, etc. and wake in the morning or even days later without any recollection.

In fact, it´s clean, just as the Nicaragua airport was clean, and we have no trouble at all. The people are nice. The signs are easily read. The cocaine is fabulous (just kidding, you´d think the entire country was made of one big white sandcastle, but alas, that is a myth). So we start in the mountains and there is a dewy mist, cloud forest, a long walk in the cold with our sweaters bundled but our backs sticky from the journey, stray dogs follow us, we have water but nothing else, we arrive in a national park that is most treacherous, no signs, nowhere to go (down to the valley and other towns, up to the summit where no one lives, what kind of park is this anyway!!), we climb through thick jungle for hours, lamenting, wishing we had machetes, peeing in bushes and scared of animals biting our bare white butts, complaining, should we have turned left or right, was it your fault or mine, God will we be alive come nightfall? Where did the path go, where did our minds go, the visibility is less than 3 feet in any direction and any grab to a tree is a potential snake´s lair. We are dirty, tired, scared, and finally hours later come upon a sign that doesn´t mean what it says, but there are ducks and turkeys gobbling and llamas and a nice farmer who points us up the summit, says three more kilometers and we will be safe.

We descend upon a lodge, we eat fried dough and try to catch our breath, we`re served lemonade with no sugar, it`s merely lemon juice, and the llamas start eating other people`s picnics and we jump on the strongest horses in the world who slip up a forty-five degree angle slick with moss, somehow, someway we get on a van to a bus to a collectivo to a long walk home and that´s before the craze Jafakian (that`s Fake Jamacain) kicks my traveling partner because he won't follow him to buy a knife or drugs or whatever the hell he is trying to sell and I shout his name and we run in the other direction, but we aren`t scared, we are happy and safe and sleep in our sweaters because these are the misty mountains and this is Bogota and we will be spending New Year`s in a neon street party in Cartegena on the coast and have booked a sailboat which will stop on islands on our way to Panama and my sunburn has just begun.

There are many stories to tell, and even more to make...I hope you are having a Happy New Year and I will write soon!