Friday, December 28, 2007

The Bad Touch

This is some seriously important shit. I love the holidays because they allow me to go back to that special time when fucking around is what it's all about. In homage to just that here are some fine lads giving back to society.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reason #11,999,221 why I love the French

I just got this gorgeous email from the Paris office of the co where I'm working.....

Why aren't we doing something as environmentally friendly and beautiful as that eh?

Friday, December 14, 2007


I'm attempting to come to terms with banality of domesticity. I am. I don't have much of a choice in the matter now do I.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Scenes from a Storm

Wintry Bumblebee

I don't even know where to start! The snow has turned me into a puffy, well-insulated nut running about Boston. I've been inspired to snap pictures all around the city - I don't even know how to begin describing the various encounters that have resulted.

First was the equally well-insulated, seemingly homeless man who was not too happy with me when he surmised he may have ended up in one of my pictures. He was yelling at me from down the street as he approached. There were a few other people around so I assumed he was yelling to them. As he got closer (and as I continued to take shots) it became apparent he was yelling at me.

" 'EY!" he hollered, dressed in midnight blue snowsuit-like puffiness and work boots, carrying a few grungy grocery bags in one hand... "CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?!!!" I turned and looked over my shoulder and back at him again. Not really able to see much with my gigantic furry black hood obscuring most of my peripheral and forward vision... "CAN I ASK YOU SOMETHING" he dared confront from the center of the snowy street to me on the sidewalk.

I looked at him and lowered my camera. "WHY R U TAKIN' MY PITCHR?" Yelled the homeless Mr. T ... again.

"I wasn't." I said flatly.


"Sir, " I said matter-of-factly, " I did not take a picture of you. I took a picture of the snow."


Hmm I thought. He's rhyming. Time to leave. And so I spun about my heel and tromped merrily down the street, only looking over my shoulder once!

Here he is, such a lovely man...

Homeless Mr. T 'n Me

And then there were the happy lesbians. I was just standing there minding my own business filming the traffic jam on the corner. The lights had changed, oh, I dunno, four.. maybe five times to no avail for those poor gas guzzling oil addicted saps sitting in their idling automobiles cursing mother nature and their lack of control over her and all the natural resources she so lovingly gives... BUT I DIGRESS!!!

Anyhoo, the scene was a relatively calm one given the circumstances, and then the ladies with comfortable shoes and no hair exited the door of their sidewalk-side apartment, took a look around and, with hands on bulky hips, proudly and loudly declared, "We live here! Haahaa, we don't have to go anywhere!" I mentioned my role in the scene and invited them to show their pride in my video... Enjoy!!!

(NB: the vid is a little long - note the traffic lights ...)

A few moments later while shuffling down the sidewalk I tipped my head down to brush the snow off the top of my hood when suddenly at my feet another set appeared, coming in the opposite direction!
"Oh," I exclaimed and looked up, drawing my ginourmous hood back a few centimeters.
"Girl!! You better watch where you're going!" Said a uh ... gentleman a few years younger than myself.
"Oh! I'm sorry!! " I sort of half laughed and shrugged.
"Girl you better look where yuh going." He stopped. "You look good ... but you better watch yusself."
Uh... awwwkward.... I feel awkward!!
"You look real good girl" he said slowly this time.
Okay! Time to go -run!!! And so again I spun around and I scurried off ...

And then there were the sitings. Like this one. No, it isn't a wintry action flic being filmed. This is the DPW man stuck, plow, sand truck and all, in the snow. Why he had to get on top of his truck to remedy the situation I don't quite understand. Be stand on his truck he did. The best part was when some winter plebe tried to back up too close and the very deep voiced Mr. DPW started yelling from atop his perch, hands all a waive,

"Don't hit my truck! Yuh too damn close! Y'ain't gunna make it!
Doghn't hit my friggin truck!! "

A final parting shot ...

Lord knows when I think of Mother Nature and all of her abundance, I think ...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hey hey didja miss me?

Though I frequently daydream about moving out of Boston to somewhere more exciting (I know I know, how could this be possible?!), the recent discovery of some Boston-centric YouTube clips made me realize I do in fact have some sort of connection to the city. My suspicion is my fulfillment comes from merely knowing there are other people in the world who find watching others to be as engrossing as I do.

This clip captures a beautiful moment when the path of two Boston personalities serendipitously cross ... Hector, who I assume is a war vet, has basically scared the shit out me numerous times - one of his frequent haunts is the end of a street I used to live on -

I wouldn't seem him, sitting there and suddenly loud machine gun noises would blast out of a dark doorway - startling me just as I happened to be walking by - and there he would be in his own little world - maybe he was channeling the crazy to scare unsuspecting passersby ...

Louie, well, just listen closely 'cause you can hear Louie before you see him...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Kaboodle

A few cute videos from Thanksgiving - DSF's sister has the cutest Magnadoodle - no wait, SnickerPoodle - aw shucks, pretty sure it's actually Malty Poo (or is that a stinky poo?). Anyway, here he is and he is sure snuggly...

Up Close with CheeseDoodle

Coming atcha fast

One more time, a bit more slowly

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thinking of Those Less Fortunate on Thanksgiving

A photographer for the Associated Press has been held in Irag for over a year and it appears the US Military will seek criminal charges against him. The thing is, those charged with defending him still don't know what he is going to be charged with so they can't come up with a defense.
Here is the story from the Associated Press on this outrageous case.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Job = Less Time for Blogging

So I'm on this new project gig and haven't been able to do the posting I would like. It's tuff! I get these great thoughts to share, or see something interesting online but then usually I'm in the office and can't dedicate the time.

Well, that doesn't mean I won't stop trying.

To all of you secular holiday celebrators, I wish you a happy time. May we all be relatively stress free.

Wired: Saddest Cubicle Contest

Oh, what a sad state of affairs for these people!! Take a look at the "Winners" ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another good one

Sing Along with Stevie!!!

Isn't She Lovely

(click and listen)

... and no, I'm not talking about me you cad! :)

--- ---- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Isnt she lovely
Isnt she wonderfull
Isnt she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love wed be
Making one as lovely as she
But isnt she lovely made from love

Isnt she pretty
Truly the angels best
Boy, Im so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I cant believe what God has done
Through us hes given life to one
But isnt she lovely made from love

Isnt she lovely
Life and love are the same
Life is aisha
The meaning of her name
Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one
Thats so very lovely made from love

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tamales anyone?

Screw the Hollywood writers... This is how a protest is done!

.... NAKED!!!

(Try this link if the above one doesn't work)

NeatO - Hot Spots in Boston

Though I'm not sure how, my websurfing today landed me on this site,

This page lists public hotspots in Boston that do not charge for internet access. Granted, I don't know how you would look this up and know to go there if you didn't already have a internet access but what the hey, maybe it will be useful to someone.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rogue Posting

SHHHH !!!! I've got this new project gig - at a huge company and I'm pretty sure the internet policy expressly forbids me to do things like THIS! Posting!!

It's me versus the corporate man!! hahahahahah!

oh no! I must go!! I hear footsteps!!

Until the next post! Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vive la Celine!

I can't believe I've never seen this video before - so Passionate! So Dramatic! So... Over the Top!

Eh, so what. I love drama.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Happiness is Psychoanalysis

This morning's topic: Weddings, Engagement, et al.

Since I became engaged, it hasn't all been bliss and budding roses. The first words out of my mouth when DSF presented me with the ring and proposal were, "It's so pretty!" but that wasn't the whole story. I was critical of the ring, even though I was quick to accept and put it on my finger. I felt happy that such a kind man would want to marry me but ...


Other things along the way have given me pause and made me question what the hell is going on here. Marriage? Me? Child of multiple times divorced parents? Me, who hates working full-time but doesn't really want to groom herself to be a stay-at-home mom either? Me, who, at this moment would rather hop on a plane to anywhere, just because that's what I like to do, rather than pick out curtain colors for my living room? Oh and by the way, I don't even feel guilty about not wanting to be a homebody - so now how are they going to keep me down if I don't even feel guilty??? Huh??!!

And what the hell is marriage anyway? I felt like an outsider to marriage. Could someone like me, from a "broken home" really be successful at this? I hate to stay in once place, physically even, so how could I stay in a marriage? The slightest things make me feel like a caged animal so... you get the point.

And what about all the other nuts in my life? I have something like five parents depending on your interpretation. It took me until this weekend to realize I will never have healthy normal relationships with them. If I can't do that, how can I have a marriage?

But I beat a dead horse. Clearly, I have doubts, issues, baggage, etc etc etc.

So, where is all of this going?

Well, for once I feel like some resolution is coming my way. Some answers even. An open discussion at the very least. Engagement and all of the things f'd up things that come with it like a sense of loss, fear, anger and confusion are ... dare I say... NORMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Where did I get hold of such scandalous information? Well, friends. Ah thank God himself for friends. Lord knows my family hasn't stepped up to help in this discussion.

"The Conscious Bride" is a book I haven't yet read but a mere hour or so reading articles on the website, has already addressed a number of emotions I've been feeling FOR A YEAR. How can something this obvious have escaped me for so long?

One of the ways the site breaks down all of these issues is to talk about the core group of people involved in the wedding and the emotional transition that each of them has to go through during the marriage process: Bride, Groom and their respective Mothers.

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

For the Mother of the Bride:
Furthermore, becoming conscious means that you recognize that not only is the wedding clearly a rite of passage for the bride, but it is also a rite of passage for the mother of bride. A daughter's wedding is often a time when the mother faces her own mortality and realizes that she is moving into the next phase of life. Jungian psychoanalyst Marion Woodman talks about the three phases of a woman's life: maiden, mother, elder. When a woman marries, she is letting go of her identity of maiden and moving toward mother. When a daughter marries, her mother is letting go of her identity of mother and moving toward the next identity. How do these statements resonate for you? Are you aware that you may be moving into a new phase of life? What feelings does this elicit?

For the Mother of the Groom:
The truth is that embedded in this great joy of human life there is also an element of loss. Your son has found a woman with whom he feels called to share the partnership of marriage. He has found a woman who meets his heart's desires and challenges him to reach his potential as a man. Even if the reasons are not readily apparent to you (and they can easily become clouded by your own feelings), the fact remains that your son is making the choice to marry. And with this choice comes the realization that there is another woman in his life that will assume number one priority. On some level, your son is separating from you so that he can transfer his allegiance onto his wife. On some level, he is saying goodbye. And, on some level, you are feeling this pain and sense of loss around this separation.

For the Bride:
Which brings me to my second point: beware of the tendency to focus your anxious energy on your fiancé. Oh, how easy it is to make your fiancé the target of all of your uncomfortable feelings. After all, he¹s the reason why you¹re in this predicament (engaged) to be begin with! When you find yourself focusing most of your negative thoughts on your partner, you know that he¹s become the target, the projection screen, for your own grief and fear. Again, take a moment to step back, name what¹s happening ­ "I¹m projecting onto my fiancé again" ­ and pull out your journal, call a friend, or write a post ­ anything to pull the energy off of your partner and onto yourself.

For the Bride:
A rite of passage also involves fear. For many women, the sadness about leaving a singlehood identity is dwarfed by the fear of marriage and commitment. Questions circle their mind like plane waiting to land. Questions like: What does it means to be married? What in the world is a wife these days? What if my husband cheats on me? What if I cheat on him? What if it doesn't work out and we divorce? But these fears have no place to land because our culture does not encourage women to feel fear before their wedding? So what happens? The fear is suppressed, she distracts through the planning, and she finds herself spinning into anxiety a few days before, or on, her wedding day. She doesn't know that fear is a normal and necessary part of her transition. How could she not feel terrified when she's stepping into the unknown?

I still have quite a bit more reading to do. There is, however, a sense of relief starting to spread over those strange internal brews I've been experiencing alone and in reaction to others, who themselves, have been transitioning through their own emotions. I've had about fifty zillion AHA moments in just a few short pages.... No wonder this process is so painful - everybody is experiencing a different loss at the same time.

Ahhh sweet relief and a calm belly......... well, until the next transition anyway...

Marcel DuChamp: Le Passage de la Vierge à la Mariée

Life, it's all about managing the transitions...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Cranky Pants McGoo or Glass Half Empty Day

I'm cranky today. :(

Still obsessed with Te Lo Agradezco (below) - just spent the last hour pouring over each syllable to perfect pronounciation/timing/lyrics, etc... Type A anyone? I just can't tolerate loving a song and not being able to sing each part of every word.

Anywhooo, I'm totally not feeling Halloween. At All. I was so into my costume last year but this year.............. can't even pretend I care. Not wanting to join in the Outslut The Next Slut Costume Game (a.k.a. Pick A Theme, Make It Slutty And BAM! You've Got A Female Costume) thought about us dressing up as Night and Day ... felt much I like I should've graduated from an all girls college to come up with that one. DSF wasn't exactly into that one, though not as opposed to the Spice Girls costume idea I had floated for him. Another one I thought of for myself was to carry a garden hoe with a 99 cent tag - voila Cheap Hoe without all the ass-freezing, fishnets and high-heels for a body that should probably be a little more demurely dressed... I nixed busting out my past years' costumes again (Wonder Woman and 80's Madonna... is there something going on with me that slutty was Oh so fab for me in the past but now... not so much?)

None of these seemed to happened though. And now even buying an insta-costume means fighting crowds for a place that I wrote a review for... the line is down the street :(

Ohhhhh what to do. My problems are sooooo important. Pooooor me.......

Ugh, my phone is buzzing, probably someone who wants me to get into the Halloween spirit. Maybe I should go as a bubonic, puss covered, bloodsucking zombie.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Alejandro Sanz

I know this song isn't particularly new but I just loooooooove it... and perhaps Alejandro too ;)

I've posted the lyrics below in both Spanish and English.

free music


Te Lo Agradezco, Pero No

Acércate que a lo mejor
no te das cuenta que mi amor
no es para siempre
porque hay noches que se apagan cuando duermes
díselo a tu corazón
no habrá mas fuente de dolor
no digas que no pienso en ti
no hago otra cosa que pensar
acércate un poco más
no tengas miedo a la verdad

que hay cuando llegue la mañana y salga el sol
tú volverás a mi lado y gano yo
y ahora vete, vete, vete, vete
vete y pásatelo bien, por nosotros dos

no, corazón

te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte
te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
te lo agradezco corazón

pero no, tú sabes bien que
Acércate un poco más
no ves que el tiempo se nos va
da rienda suelta a lo que sientes
si no lo haces mala suerte
porque al final, si no lo ves
puede que no me escuches, pero lo diré
que hay, cuando salga el sol y llegue la mañana
yo volveré a tu lado, a tu lado con más ganas

y ahora, vete, vete, vete, vete

vete y pásatelo bien, por los dos

te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte
te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte

tengo conciencia del daño que te hice
pero al mismo tiempo no me siento responsable
de lo que pudiste pensar que fue coraje
no fue nada más que el miedo, miedo

te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte
te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte

no hago otra cosa que olvidarte corazón
por la mañana temprano y luego en las tarde, en la noche

cuando estoy en el vacilón,
no puedo na más que olvidarte, corazón
te lo agradezco
te lo agradezco pero no
te lo agradezco mira niña pero no
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
no hago otra cosa que olvidarte

te lo agradezco pero no
ya te he dejado aparte
ahora ya no necesito más de ti
yo ya logré dejarte aparte
ya estoy así estoy bien corazón no me vale
que me vengas así llorando, una vez más

te lo agradezco
tus ojos lindos, tu cuerpo bello,
lo siento niña pero no
al lado mío siempre corazón,
cuando salga el sol, yo no estaré ahí,
ahora vete, vete, vete al vacilón.


(a bit rough but the best I could find ...)

Thank You, But No

Come close, that maybe
You don't realize my love
Is not forever
'Cause some nights shut down while you sleep.
Tell your heart
There will be no more sources of pain
Don't say I don't think about you
I don't do anything but thinking
Come a little closer
Don't be afraid of the truth

Ay, and when the morning comes and the sun rises
You'll come back to my side
And then I won't...
And now go, go, go, go
Go away and have a good time
For the both of us

No, baby
Thank you, but no
Look, little girl, thank you, but no
I've already left you aside
I don't do anything but forgetting you

Thank you, but no
Look, little girl, thank you, but no
(Thank you honey, but no, you know it's no)

Come a little closer
Don't you see the time is escaping from us
Unchain what you feel
If you don't, too bad
'Cause in the end, if you don't see it
It's possible that you don't listen to me
But I will say...

That 'ay', when the sun rises and the morning comes
I'll come back to your side, to your side
With more desire
And now go, go, go, go
Go away and have a good time
For the both of us

Thank you, but no
Look, little boy, thank you, but no
I've already left you aside
I don't do anything but forgetting you

Thank you, but no
Look, little boy, thank you, but no
I've already left you aside
I don't do anything but forgetting you

I am aware
Of how I've hurt you
But at the same time I don't feel responsible
For what you could think was courage
Was just fear

Thank you, but no
Look, little boy, thank you, but no
I've already left you aside
I don't do anything but forgetting you

Thank you, but no
Look, little boy, thank you, but no
I've already left you aside
I don't do anything but forgetting you..

Monday, October 22, 2007

Disturbing: Body Burden

Okay, it's not disturbing that body burden testing is being conducted, but the results of such testing are disturbing. Body burden is the amount of a harmful substance that is present in a person's body.

I heard about this issue for the first time today through a report on I'm sure many people will be disturbed by it. The first thing I thought was, "Okay, what health implications are there for me, my future (yet to be conceived) children and my partner?" With autism and other ailments in children reaching staggering rates, I'm particularly interested in avoiding assaults to my biology that could be passed on to my children.

I tried to find places where I might be able to get such testing completed. Unfortunately, it appears this is a general impossibility short of seeking out physicians conducting research on the matter.

My next thought turned to the things I have in my home. Plastic containers, pots & pans, cleaners, cosmetics, etc etc etc. Poking around on the web resulted in some interesting finds. This tool, Skin Deep's Cosmetic Safety Database let's you search by the cosmetics you have to find out what kind of chemicals they contain. Sadly, I found that the product line I've been using for at least 10 years, Clinique, received a generally mediocre to poor score. I learned about this Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and was very disappointed to find that, even though the Compact has been signed by 600 companies, Estee Lauder (manufacturer of Clinique) has not signed the Compact. The compact can be signed by companies who meet or exceed current EU formulation standards. "Why EU standards," I asked? "What of US standards?" Well, my assumption here is that the US standards are lower. (Still working on the proof for that assumption but this reminds of me of another one of my favorite topics, the myth of the American Dream. How is it that this is still perpetuated by the way?).

Apparently, in 2003, the European Union passed an amendment prohibiting the use of carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins from cosmetics. Signatories of the Compact "pledge not to use chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects in their products and to implement substitution plans that replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives in every market they serve." Who hasn't signed? OPI, Avon, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Revlon, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever.

I did discover that the Body Shop scored alright on these charts and that they signed the Compact in 2004. Serendipitously they are located a few short blocks from my apartment. Looks like I'll be ditching my beloved Clinique Stay Ivory oil-free formula in favor something a little more face friendly.

Now, about the rest of the toxins in my environment ...

More reading:
Oct 11, 2007 Boston Globe: Lead tests raise red flag for lipsticks

Sunday, October 21, 2007

International Baby Day

It was only a matter of time until I started posting baby videos...

Here are some global babies.

Karaoke Baby

Hollywood Baby

This one starts a little slow but gets better a the song goes on... :)

Metro Baby

Pious Baby

Jolly Baby

Brainy Baby

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Alcoholic Blogger Dork

Yes, that would be me. Okay, I'm not really an alcoholic but somewhere in the infinite wisdom I possess, I found it justifiable to split two bottles of wine with my former roommate last night. Effectively each drinking our own bottle.

Today has been a relative disaster. Unable to rouse myself to any passable state before 2pm, I had to cancel a hair appointment. I don't even want to go into all of the gory details of what was taking place during the time I was supposed to be getting pampered by my French stylist, Francis. ("frawn cease" for those of you who care). Suffice it to say, I only managed to be at peace with three small pieces of tofu and a quarter cup of Sprite. This modicum of success came only after I was forced to implement a tofu eating strategy. I cut small slices and ate one, slowly. Then, I set my microwave timer for ten minutes. Once a full ten minutes passed with relative calm, I gave myself permission to pursue further consumption. Like this, I managed to take 30 minutes to eat three very thin slices of tofu.

You know you're a dork when after getting sloshed on wine in a chic bar, all you want is to tell people about your blog. Ouch. That is a cold harsh reality. I was surprised to be so... committed but then again, what I love about blogging is how much you get to talk about yourself so maybe this is not so inconsistent after all.

The alcoholic part comes in the form of pissing off DSF rather profusely by insisting I speak to all passersby on the way home and ask them the all important question, "Do you think the Sox will win or lose tomorrow?" Now, I know I have a problem when I don't give a rats ass about sports and I need to talk to cab drivers and whomever else to get to the bottom of this question. The results of the survey were in favor of a loss. I'm thinking this is because people assumed I was a fan (who else but a Red Sox fan could be capable of such jackassedness right? I mean, it was a Wednesday night...). Put out by my insistence they answer the question in some fashion their answer necessitated falling on the side of whatever answer would be negative in my eyes. Maybe. Or maybe they really thought the Sox would lose.

So, though I had the brilliance to combat the nausea with Dramamine, I'm feeling rather dull now (don't you think it's ironic that the word drama is embedded in that name - like, it actually says, "Drama, mine." My drama. How fittingly ironic. What a cruel joke. Eh... I deserve it). By now you're probably thinking DSF is a saint, and you know what? I'm pretty sure he is. He even has the same birthday as Pope John Paul. Put that in your all knowing pipe and smoke it bitches.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good Shite from Across the Pond

Inneresting conflict at the crux of law, technology, and jurisdiction : US & France

Universal Challenges the Legality of Deezer, a Free Streaming Website

"Universal Music has denounced as illegal the use by Deezer, a free on-demand streaming website, of songs from its music catalogue and has asked for their removal from the website. Although Deezer had recently been launched after reaching a deal on royalty payments with a French collecting society representing music artists ..." more

I love Deezer and hope they live.

This Post is for You

This article is fabulous. "Being Multilingual becoming more essential" - Boston Globe, 10.17.07

I dedicate this photo to all the people who have scoffed at me over the past ten years, and to those who still do, for majoring in a language in college and for studying abroad. I also dedicate this photo to all of the xenophobic colleagues I've had the pleasure of working with in the past. Specifically to the one who said they "hate it when people come this country and they can't speak English," knowing full well that is the case with members of my immediate family.
F off.

(sadly the Blogger photo upload function isn't working at the moment... )

Monday, October 15, 2007

Whoa.... this is too much: Microsoft Surface

Very cool very cool very cool technology that I want to have right now!!!

Tool for Egocentric Travelers

I love this nifty tool from Trip Advisor. You can pinpoint all the locations you've been to on a map and then sit back and tell yourself how astute and fabulous you are for having traveled to them. It is also a great self help tool for the times when you've got wanderlust but can't get a fix.

In case you are wondering how astute and fabulous I am... which I know you are... see below :)

Have to point out the obvious here. When my glass is half full, I see all the places I've been. When it's half empty, I see all the ones to which I haven't been... Africa? South America? Far East? :( :( :(

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Important Things to Know: Smoots

If you've ever traversed the Mass Ave bridge and wondered what the hell all those paintings on the sidewalk meant, then this post is for you.

Here is an explanation worth reading:


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Side splittingly funny

Ha ha... cannot speak... must watch...


I just had the unfortunate experience of hearing something strange, only to realize it was a fly... I turned my head toward the sound and realized it was buzzing around my light. I then realized it had flown into the light fixture, outside of my line of vision.

All was said and done in a matter of moments when there was an abrupt cessation of noise and a well illuminated puff of flysmoke ...


R'uh R'oh: I'm never going to leave my house again

This is exciting and scary.

33 Ways to Watch Free TV Online

They did leave out which I may or may not use ...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yay! Here's one for the Guidebooks!

I know that ever since my post stating the BBC bought out a managing stake of Lonely Planet (here) you've been chewing your fingernails to rather unattractive bits. I know the future of travel guidebooks weighs heavily on the minds of most Americans, especially given their propensity to seek out many viewpoints before jumping to shallow and baseless conclusions ... okay, that was a little mean ... but anyway...

Because I am aware of the angst ridden nights so many of you have spent and what great good this will do for so many, I happily report at least one person, other than myself, still finds guidebooks to be superior to travel websites.

Here is a great article (Testing Out Wikitravel) discussing two interesting emerging travel sites, wiki travel and

Personally I think what Wiki Travel is trying to do is a wee bit ridiculous as I assume they intend for people to use this for the majority of their travel needs. Wiki Travel needs to choose its identity as this is a huge undertaking. Are they a guidebook or an encyclopedia? The answer matters very much both for how the information should be organized and how people will physically use the material, which is very relevant when traveling.

I suppose it is possible to use the internet for a trip, provided you either:
a) have a computer & internet connection at your disposal during the majority of the trip,
b) don't mind constantly going internet cafes, or
c) can print out all of this stuff and bring it with you.

You had just better make sure you print out where the internet cafes are located if you go with b.

I read through some of the information on Paris and actually, it wasn't terrible but there is so much detail - too much? I dunno - I like detail - it's just hard to think you will want to print all of this out. Not to mention this project has been in the works since 2003 and it is not anywhere near usable. A good guidebook would say all of this much more concisely.

Here's is what it said regarding English speakers in the city.

English Speakers
For most people English is something the Parisians had to study in school, and thus seems a bit of a chore. People helping you out in English are making an extra effort, sometimes a considerable one. Younger people are much more likely to be fluent in English than older people.

Complicating things a bit more for visitors from North America is the fact that the French generally learn British English, as all in the European countries, in the "received pronunciation", aka "the Queen's English". Since most people in the US speak in this manner one will need to put effort into avoiding all slang and speaking clearly.

Likewise, the French taught in schools in English-speaking countries tends to be written French which is quite different from spoken French. Indeed, French spoken by native English speakers tends to be really hardly understandable by the French - do not be offended if people ask you to repeat, or seem not to understand you, they do not act out of snobbery. Keep your sense of humour, and if necessary, write down phrases or place names. And remember to speak slowly and clearly.

So, if it's your first time in France you will have some problems to understand what people are saying. They talk very fast, swallow some letters and make it all sound like beautiful music. So unless you have an advanced level and can at least sort of understand French Movies you should also assume that it will be difficult for people to understand what you are saying. Your French will grow when you have been a while in this amazing country and a glass of red wine will surely help the language to flow.

When in need of directions what you should do is this: find a younger person, or a person reading some book or magazine in English, who is obviously not in a hurry; say "hello" or "bonjour"; start by asking if the person speaks English (even if he/she's reading something in English), speak slowly and clearly; write down place names if necessary. Smile a lot. Also, carry a map; given the complexity of Paris streets it is difficult to explain how to find any particular address in any language, no matter how well you speak it.

What you should not do is this: stop a random person in the métro (like, say, some middle-aged hurried person who has a train to take), fail to greet them and say "where is place X or street Y". This will not go down well.

Now if you do speak French, remember two magic sentences : "Excusez-moi de vous déranger" and "Pourriez-vous m'aider?" —use them liberally - especially in shops; they will work wonders. However, in the parts of the city that tourists frequent the most (Tour Eiffel, Le Louvre, Champs-Elysées), the shopkeepers, information booths attendants, and other workers are likely to answer you in English, even if your French is advanced. These workers tend to deal with thousands of foreign-speaking tourists, and responding in English is often faster than repeating themselves in French. This is not the case in the rest of the city.

Little Mosque on the Prairie: Episode 2

Episode 2 Part 1:

Episode 2 Part 2:

Episode 2 Part 3:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

ooooh - check this out "Little Mosque on the Prairie"

New Canadian show (somewhat new). A satire like this is long overdue.
Here is a short CNN story on the show. I've posted the first episode below that.

Episode 1 (part 1):
note: Annoying commercial to contend with for first 2 min

Episode 1 (part 2):
note: commercials included around 5:30 - 8:37

Episode 1 (part 3):

Episode 1 (part 4):
note: commercials thru 4:08

Great flic - 2 Days in Paris

Just saw this film tonight - love it love it love it. One of the few films I would see again and the first film I've ever considered buying.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hangovers and the Goodness of People

With so much in the press about sadness and badness I thought I would take a moment to emphasize the goodness of people. This will likely be to the chagrin of Dear Sweet Fiancé ...

DSF (get tired of typing it all out, plus adding the accent mark is a real pain in Blogger...) and I may or may not have been way too drunk last night ... and DSF may or may not have forgotten his laptop bag (with his work laptop in it!) at the bar ... the second bar that it is... When the realization came to him amid a morning hangover my first thought was, "Crap they're going to mad at work when they find out your laptop got stolen because you left it in some bar." He called but of course most bars aren't open at 9am and so he was stuck leaving messages.

Imagine my surprise when I came back home shortly thereafter, armed with a day's worth of hangover remedies, to find that a dear friend had actually had the lucidity of mind to take it home after we had left! (thank you by the way CEW!) Further surprise came just moments ago when the bar called back and apologetically told me that they hadn't found the laptop - boy were they relieved when I told them what happened.

Maybe I'm too much of a cynic (or maybe I've just been stolen from one too many times!!) but I wasn't feeling too optimistic this morning - I'm glad I was wrong. I love it when things like this happen and remind me the goodness of people is alive and well in the world.

Drunk Posting

Is drunk posting as bad as drunk driving? The likely answer is no.

What do you post when your drunk? Not much. My creativity is zapped, my hands feel like i have plasticine in them adn my view includes dear sweet fiance prostrate and snoring. Not exactly the stuf of great posts. Ugh.. it's taking me forever to type. I keep having to delete typos and it takes f'n forever.........blha..............................


Friday, October 5, 2007

Boobs in Englandland

A little trip to the land where quid doesn't mean you just forgot the "s."

I admit it. I was an NKOTB fan, a cheerleader, would've liked to be born Jewish, and now, the most startling revelation of all... I love the Spice Girls. I'm sorry. This is who I am and if you can't love all of me then I'll have no part of you, no matter how much it hurts to say goodbye.

Now, on to my point. The point is that this video makes me want to reach out and hug Geri (yes, we're on a first name basis... jealous?). Maybe it's the fact that she has great hair which she openly admits come out of "boughtl," maybe it's the fact she oh so subtly glosses over a direct response to the assertion that she's making pounds of cash (no pun intended!! aha!) but really, I think it's because she says, "boob" without batting an eyelash and sends a shoutout to "anyone who's got their boob out" while watching the show. Even though I nearly puked the one time I bought fish and chips in London, I still kinda wanna live there.

Thanks for the shout out Geri!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Travel Deal

Okay, I think I need a 12 step program to hep me cope with my travel addiction. My fiancé asked if I wouldn't mind respecting one small rule, that is to pay off the last trip before we go on another one.

What!!! You mean put practicality before a trip??? I dunno... sounds so... mature. Not sure if I can commit to that. [Yes, I hear your collective groan.]

The truth is that in order to save face and prevent him from thinking, "She is completely out her mind! By what cruel twist of fate did I get myself into this - this woman is going to make me penniless and yet I'm not sure I can find the strength to quit her... " Yes, in order to prevent things from going down that ugly path I agreed and, because I value my relationship, I actually agreed with just a small squirm of discomfort, instead of the out and out knock down, drag out fight that I fantasize about from time to time. That style of fight would be justified in my warped mind by the old "it's no good keeping things bottled up, gotta get 'em off your chest" philosophy, which I would of course manipulate to my advantage as a further justification of taking it from a simple expression of emotion to a dramatic display of defiance against those thousand injustices which one must defend themselves in this heartless and chaotic world.

Wooo. All this was inspired by that damn Travelzoo email I get every Wednesday at 11 am tempting me with the latest and greatest in Travel. Tempting me with its evil, cost conscious ways. Deceiving me, seducing me... "Come little one," the newsletter says, "Come and fulfill your heart's desires! It's time for another voyage my pretty!! And your little
fiancé, too!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!! You are mine!!! Alll mine!!! AHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

No STOP! Leave me you evil witch of air travel!! Leave me you disgusting vulture of culture!! I can't -- I must fight your wiley ways! I must be strong! By the power of my skull I will not let you in - you vicious temptress of low fares and airline wars!!

And then... at last, there are the first signs of peace. I begin to breathe calmly, slowly. I look back through my digital camera, trip receipts and restaurant cards. I check my frequent flyer points again. It was real. I did travel, maybe even multiple times. I check my bank account. Oh yes, I took a trip. With the undeniable truth of my luggage tags and half unpacked suitcase staring at me from across the room, I regain a sense of a purpose. It was all real and it can happen again. I WILL GO on another trip!!!

Now ... back to that business plan ...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Damn, the world changes fast

I saw this on a site called flux and it took me forever to figure out what it said:

!'M W@!+!N6 4 U 2 COM3 @ND G3T !+....WH@+ R U W@!+!NG 4* ! !

Dear Sweet Fiance is telling me that that this is actually "l33t speak" which is used by hackers/mega geeks who want to use a secret language to avoid having what they are saying detected by whomever's website they've put it on.

He even indicated to me to check it out here:
Wiki on Leet Speak

Apparently, those who are into videogames also love to use it because they think it's cool to be able to write something really incomprehensible to another person.

Hmm, I guess this assumes one is using a videogame in which you type to other people.

Just the fact that I have to write a blog entry about this is evidence of how hopelessly out of touch I am with the times!! OMG! Help!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Guidebooks on the Go ....

Oh, gasp. I was loathe to accept that the magnificence of good guidebooks could be threatened by technology - even despite the fact I do most of my trip planning on the internet and I found the laptop infinitely helpful on my trip last week.

And, I was even more loathe to think that Lonely Planet should be bought out by the BBC!!!

But alas, it is true. The BBC now has a controlling stake in one of the few media I still believed held an objective viewpoint. I have to admit it. I didn't use Lonely for their information on travel... ever. And even their guidebook in Miami was rendered somewhat ineffectual when compared to what we found online. And yes, I have used Trip Advisor over and over and over again. Yes, I have an account there and have marked my "traveled to" locations with great zeal (which reminds me I have to add Miami).

It is a true sign of the changes in technology and travel when Lonely Planet goes digital. Though I fear the BBC will change it, I am thankful for what the balanced guidebook itself did for independent travelers everywhere ...

Perhaps this new model will lend itself to more accurate reporting on things like websites and phone numbers. Let's hope the BBC doesn't adopt the dirty practice of accepting compensation for recommendation.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Miami Vice

Tubs and Crockett we are not, but go to Miami and be bad asses (sp??) we will.

Since I won't be posting during this week, I just wanted to leave you with a few special images. This way, you'll still have the option to reminisce in your mind after you've hit refresh for the 50th time and are overcome with deep sadness at the realization that I really meant it when I said I wouldn't be posting this week.

More Miami Vice fodder for your internal musings. Melanie Griffith, what is up? Sometimes I think it's a shame that she's had so much surgery. On the other hand I think, eh, I'm a bit bored with my face already. By the time I'm her age, it could be fun to approach a new day at the plastic surgeon's office with that "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of attitude. She's goes in looking one way, but halfway through the surgery, the doctor can choose - butt chin or cheek implant? Pouty lips or permagrin? When she wakes up, she giggles with surprised delight at who she has become!! Never ever the same thing twice! Then again, maybe this is just the unavoidable outcome of a life full of red Ferrari convertibles and cigarette boats.

Before and After ... oiy!!

Btw, if you speak German and are psycho, then this is the site for you: - they claim they are "Die N. 1 Fansite!!!!!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jenna Six

I always complain how there are never enough facts in media coverage for me to decide how I feel about a particular issue. The Jenna Six story is one of them.

Here's what I'm reading right now to try and at least shed light on the very small fact set that I know.

Timeline of the "Jenna Six" Case


This is the final painting of Frida Khalo's life.

Diego Rivera said it was only after she died that he realized the power of her love.

This is the final painting of Diego's life.

Source: Viva la vida
Source: Las Sandias

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Speaking of Foreign Things

Here's a fascinating video of Joan Collins, country dancing and singing.

I kid you not.

Most Pretentious Award: ParYorkers

Paris, New York, Wall Street and all - who's the fairest of them all? Do you love NY AND adore Paris? Do you have difficulty choosing between a Hamburger and Steak Tartar? Is it Frites or Freedom Fries?!?! Sick at the thought of deciding which boeuf is better?

Stop your chain smoking right now! The remedy for your bi-metro angst has arrived!!

The aptly named airline L'Avion, (airplane in French) caters to the "ParYorker" (pear eee ...) That's right. Life doesn't have to serve as a constant reminder of your lack of jingoistic commitment. You can have a new beginning. You can pledge allegiance to the bleu blanc rouge.

From the site:
Etes-vous un Paryorker ?
Être un Paryorker, c'est être un Parisien installé à New York ou un New-Yorkais à Paris, ou juste une personne qui voyage entre les deux villes pour son travail, sa famille, une passion, et surtout, son plaisir !

Are you a Paryorker?
To be a Paryorker is to be a Parisian residing in New York or a New Yorker in Paris, or just someone who travels between the two cities for their work, family, passion and above all their pleasure!

Wondering who the hyper-chic are? Meet them here

Oh, God, how thankful I am for this relief. I have suffered under the tyranny of loyalty to a single sovereign. My affinity for cultural superiority and small apartments finally has a name.

Liberté, Egalité and Justice For All.

The Best Kind of Obscenity

Okay, what the helllll is going on in airfare right now? I just read a special being run by Spirit Airlines that will pay you to fly.
Yes, pay you to fly.

Homie say what?

Here's the offer I see on travelzoo - I've booked a jillion flights through the zoo so I know it's legit. I just wish I had a reason to book a flight in Feb by midnight tonight to the locations they list.

See it here

If anyone books a flight, let me know how it went.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blogger Play

If you don't already find endless distraction online or are looking to refresh your repertoire, I recommend Blogger Play.

It's a "never-ending stream of images ... just uploaded to public Blogger blogs" and I have to prevent myself from visiting it because I'm finding it as addictive and instantly gratifying as anything else I've ever become addicted to and gratified by online.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Le Weekend

What a great week. Besides enjoying birthday dinners, spa treatments and presents, the weekend brought a reunion of sorts with friends I've had for more than two decades. We hauled ourselves up to Maine. And it was truly the way life should be.

Kennebunkport Center lent itself to some good eats. The boys sampled steamed clams while the girls opted for the divinity of Ben and Jerry's.

Ogunquit provided a new twist on that old classic, environmental friendliness.

Once we arrived at Wells Beach, it was hello sand and bye bye shoes.

Later, the boys got to huntin' themselves some Herbert Walker Bush.

The serenity of the beach washes over us.

We came, we walked, we got sandy feet.

Momma and her gestating bun take a stroll.

The triumvirate discovers the frigidity of Maine's September waters.

Weary and satisfied from a day's worth of Tom Sawyer impressions, the troupe lazily returns to civilization.

Decade Four Celebrations: Presents!

Though the presence of good friends may have been presents enough, these were a welcome surprise :)

Decade Four Celebrations: Chapter 2

The fun continued Friday night - dinner with mum and then a show...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Scared to be Excited

What about writing?
Could this be a match?
A "fit" as they preach in corporate speak?
Want to do it. Feel fulfilled by it.
Not sure if this is where my talents lie.
Have to try.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Thank you to everyone who came for making my birthday very special.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thirty DOES Feel Different!

I shed a little tear this morning when I realized my twenties are over. I know, I know, such a statement is likely to give my elders a knowing chuckle - I'm okay with that.

It wasn't one of those depressed, pathetic tears. It was more of a sentimental one. I really never believed my twenties would be over. I think when you're in your twenties, or at least when I was, you sort of just think they are eternal. I know nothing is permanent but for some reason, I've always had a lot of trouble anticipating the landscape of life very far into the future.

I can honestly say this morning I contemplated what I've been doing for the past ten years and thought, "Okay, here is beginning of a new chapter; perhaps a more self-assured and thoughtful one." My goals, beliefs and choices have really become my own. Not ones for which I seek approval from others.

For me, the reality of limitation seems to have sunk in. Certain things will not happen. It is clear. I will not be a pop star by the time I'm 25. I will not have children or be married by thirty (duh). Unless something drastic happens, I'm not going to be filthy rich and my debt won’t go away just by virtue of ignoring it. These things may sound obvious to wiser folks out there but when you're looking at life from age 20 you believe literally anything can happen.

Lest you think these limitations are depressing, I would like to point out I actually find them comforting. It's like some organization has been dropped onto life and I now know where to direct my energies. Prior to this time, I wanted so many different things I would run in any direction at the hint of great possibility.

I spent my twenties exploring and exploring and exploring. I always felt I should try new things, travel the world, meet new people, see plays, learn new dances, try new foods, get fired ... ahem ... I wanted to exhaust the world of the unknown, rather than just sit still. I didn't much care to hear what other people had to say about something like graduate school or learning a new language. I wanted to experience it for myself and really understand it.

There was a tradeoff to all this, I’ve learned. Constant change and running in all these different directions came at a price. I haven't exactly impoverished myself but my financial net worth is a bit in the red. I’ve made mistakes; some were due to naïveté, some to arrogance and others to impulsiveness or impatience. I've hurt some people. I've even hurt myself. There are some things in my past I wouldn’t repeat. I would’ve been a little more forgiving of others and doubted myself less, but, you know, I really feel like I did the right thing learning about the world around me.

Age may just be a number but experience can only come from well, experiences. By seeking out the world I learned lessons I didn’t anticipate. I love that.

I know that I'm only so knowledgeable in a world of near infinite wisdom and information. The past decade has taught me the importance of humility and discipline but I know in other ways I am still searching. Spiritually, I'm still looking and contemplating. In my relationship, I constantly work to be better and relearn bad habits that are second nature to me. When I read this passage again in five years, or even just a month, I cannot know what I will have learned or from what perspective I will come.

What I do know is that I accept the passing of my twenties. I know my attitude toward the future is just that – my attitude, my choice. It's like I've got this sense of owning my life, of being responsible for what my life looks like. I'm not looking at life and asking myself what I should do when I grow up. Instead, I'm telling myself what I want my life to look like and not compromising on taking the steps needed to get there.

I am in control and ready to roll. Bring it on Decade Four.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Predictably Uninspired on the Eve of the Big Three Oh No

Boo. The weather sucks today. Rainy, cloudy, dark, pretty much all day.

And now the sun is going down.

I think the weather has had a pretty strong effect on my mood today. Of course, there is that one other factor... tomorrow is the day... Black Wednesday.

The drama.

Why is it that, on a day when you're a bit glum, you place a glass-half-empty interpretation everything possible? It's sort of like 12-18 hour regression into teenage angst. I'm too fat, I'm too in debt, in the wrong place in life, etc etc (okay, I didn't worry about debt when I was a teenager... but it would've made my moodiness more substantive don't you think?)

I'm going to go watch internet TV and eat chocolate.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My mistake.

Someone pointed out an error in my last post "Northwest Airlines - civil liberties?"

I should've rechecked the heading and the first paragraph as I mistakenly referred to this story as involving Northwest Airlines when it should've read Southwest Airlines.

This was a bit sloppy as I did actually refer to the airline correctly later in the post. In my effort to respond quickly and thoughtfully to a story, I overlooked a bit of quality control. Let that be a lesson to me. Thanks to the anonymous poster who took the time to point it out.

I've left the post in its original form.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Northwest Airlines - civil liberties?

I've seen some coverage on the Today Show and on CNN about the young woman who was nearly kicked off a Northwest Airlines flight for wearing revealing clothing.
The Today Show

Now, the media's first instinct seems to be to ask, "Well, was her clothing too revealing?" But, I find that very question frustratingly shallow. It makes me ask, "Too revealing for what and according to whom?"

Too revealing for someone three times her age that may not be accustomed to short skirts? Or perhaps who used to wear short skirts and no longer can, so they go about harassing younger women because they are jealous?

Too revealing for a Christian? A Jew? A Muslim?

Too revealing for the mother of teenage boys to let her sons sit next to this woman?

Too revealing for, as Southwest so aptly puts it, families?

Too revealing for an old man? A middle aged man? A young man? A gay man?

Too revealing for a misogynist? Too revealing for the owner of a strip club? A nudist? A doctor? A lawyer? A musician?

Who? Who is this skirt too revealing for? I don't understand this justification.

On behalf of whom is Southwest speaking? Southwest flight attendants? Even the ones who were cheerleaders in high school or gymnasts or who wear swimsuits?

What is the standard of dress one is expected to hold when flying? Pants? Skirts no higher than two inches above the knee? This is like Catholic school uniforms all over again!!!!!!!!!! And goddammit, I hope someone tells me the policy before I violate it!

The government requires airlines to have a policy on how to compensate passengers who have been delayed. Does it also require airlines to have a policy for what to do when a passenger is inappropriately dressed? What is the standard of care and airline must meet?

Is the airline considered a public or private institution? Don't airlines rely heavily on the government for subsidies? So, it's been awhile since I was in law school, but is it possible that this is a violation of her civil liberties?

Something like this goes beyond the question of whether a woman is being held to a different standard than a man. It clearly goes beyond whether or not this woman's skirt was "too" short. (See above - who's definition of "too" are we using for that question?) It reminds me of racism and racial profiling and general ignorance.

It's nothing new, of course, that those who are different can make other people wary. It's this very characteristic of human nature against which the law protects those in the minority. It's not clear to me that a passenger complained about this woman but let's say that's what happened. Ignorant Passenger complains to Air Steward. Air Steward takes Victim aside. Victim is humiliated by Air Steward and allowed to stay on flight.

Looks like we've allowed IP and AS to pass judgment on V. Seems just one step up the slippery slope from allowing other IPs and ASs to pass judgment on other people they don't like - they might be smelly people, ugly people, fat people, people who don't like peanuts, people with bad skin, with a different color skin, who speak a different language, who wear non-Christian religious symbols (this is America after all) blah blah blah and so on.

Alright, I've beaten this horse to death.

Just trying to do some critical thinking in a land of sensationalist, shallow media coverage :(

Slightly tangential is this interesting article about how NY is trying to implement a traveler's bill of rights. Not sure how much progress has been made. Unfortunately it doesn't address clothing :)
NY article

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hanging Tough

A discussion I had earlier this evening with a friend got me feeling a bit nostalgic. Here is an image that brings back tween memories I had all but forgotten...

Source: Wikipedia

I'm live!!!! Check it out!! Wheeeeee!!!!

Here's a pub I've been accepted as a contributor for. One step closer to an actual travel writer. OMFG. I am high.

Not For Tourists Boston

(scroll down to the Boston contributors)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Neato - Flat Screen As Art

If I had a flat screen and a wall that wasn't already not recessed (or made out of brick for that matter), then this would be cool.

Check out part two of this funky design here


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Astronaut Vignette


Wow, super cheap fares on Spirit Airlines

You have to book by midnight tonight - but some of the fares are as low as $1. That's nutz.

Cheap Fares on Spirit

Cool travel tool but is it worth using it to book?

I just found about a cool travel tool -

How It Works:
You type in a location and it tells you how much hotels in that area cost. I checked against a recent deal I got on a trip to Miami SoBe (yes, going back again!) and found at least one hotel that was cheaper for the same dates than a rate I recently booked. Sample Search Results - Miami

I do like how this tool gives you a sense of the greater picture. Once you select a hotel you can also compare hotel rates by season by hovering your mouse over a nifty bar graph. I stayed at the Wave Hotel last month and checked it out here. The description here is consistent with what I know about the Wave.

Making the Purchase:
To purchase, I was taken to a third party website, I actually had the option choose a lower rate than what had shown on Farecast. Purchase Page

Taxes and Fees:
Here's what the purchase page said about taxes and fees.
Hotel Tax is included in this amount. Additionally, in order to guarantee your room and guarantee your room for late arrival, a non-refundable deposit of $25.00 is included in this amount and is charged at time of purchase. This deposit amount will appear on your credit card statement as Alliance Reservations Network, Phoenix, AZ ... This fee will be subtracted from the total amount shown [above] and you will pay the balance of $508.50 to the hotel directly.

Not sure how I feel about the $25 non-refundable deposit.

1. The Sales and Occupancy tax is 13% in Miami Beach so it looks like you're paying $25 just for using this booking service.

2. The $25 "deposit" doesn't appear to be credited towards your hotel bill either. The hotel deposit policy is "1 NIGHT ROOM AND TAX WILL BE CHARGED AT THE TIME OF RESERVATION".

I don't know if you will always have to pay this fee when using Farecast as the third party reservation sites vary by the hotel that you choose. It may be worth it if you get a really cheap hotel. Otherwise, it seems a little misleading to call the $25 a "deposit." Also, last time I checked, hotels don't give away your room just because you check in late. I'm pretty sure you get charged a no-show fee or the cost of one night's stay. What is more, I believe if you are delayed and notify the hotel you are still coming that they will hold your reservation!!

Neat tool but not impressed by the $25 fee or the explanation for it.

Peter Pam

I don't know who this is but damn she looks funny.

Source: gofugyourself

Monday, September 3, 2007

My Friend and Seaweed

Well, rather than keeping the celebration to one terrifying day, my new decade is being heralded in already. Yes, in anticipation of the BIG THREE OH NO, a dear pal treated me to a spa day this Labor Day weekend.

First disclaimer: I love my friend. She is very neat. I love her presence and her presents.

Continuing along then ...

Just wanted to touch on the spa treatment situation. Here are some interesting tidbits.

1. My entire naked body was painted green - front and back - by a man.
Yes, I was invited to completely disrobe in a dimly lit room whilst soft music played in the background. Subsequently, a man whom I had never before met, painted me head to toe with a brush. This happened in the middle of the day on a normal city street.

2. Did I mention I was naked and painted green by a man I didn't know?

3. It took over an hour.

4. My skin smelled like ambrosia (nothing like seaweed).

5. Most of the clients who frequent this salon are men. Need I emphasize that they were all quite handsomely groomed and clearly utilize the services of an expert waxer?

6. Due to the sexual persuasion of my treatment-giver, the enjoyment was likely one-sided.

7. I want to do it again.

"Can't Let It Die" or "More Fun with Miss South Carolina"

Well, who knew that Miss South Carolina would be the gift that keeps on giving?! As Labor Day draws to a close I find myself presented with this quippy little number which gives me a good chuckle.

Merci C.E.W.