Monday, January 28, 2008

Eat Me, Pray for Me, Love Me

My instinct is to hate this blog. Reading it generates the same "ugh" feeling I got after taking in a few pages of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love." (Truth be told, I didn't hate the book, just Liz's pig out across Italy. Her determination to successfully meditate at an ashram was much more fascinating to me.)

Why all the hate, you ask, especially since I'm about to embark on my own similar journey?

Well, I'd like to think that it's only partially because they got the recognition or scored the book deal before I did. Mostly what bores me is yet another story of a glamorous Manhattan media-type who takes off to some far off land because she got dumped/dumped someone/thinks she deserves more both psychologically and spiritually than what her current living situation offers.

Enough already! These stories are on the fast-track to Clichéville and smack of self-importance. It bothers me that such quests have to be wrapped in a cloak of spirituality and tied with a bow of meaningfulness in order to appear purposeful. Come on, kids, lets call these journeys of "self-discovery" what they really are! Exercises in self-indulgence! (As evidenced by The Lost Girls' media inquiries page and Gilbert securing the book deal for EPL before she embarked on her trip). Unless you're going to Africa to give malaria shots to orphans or to Peru to help rebuild a city after a devastating earthquake, the trip ultimately helps no one but yourself, no matter (or perhaps in light of) how many copies you later sell.

This is true even of my own experience. People often ask me, "What prompted you to move to Spain?" and for a while, I had trouble answering the question, because the truth sounds so selfish, and no one wants to sound selfish.

But simply put, I'm moving to Spain because I can. No psychological crisis necessary. Although a book deal would be nice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Exclusive! Media Use of Exclusive is Spiraling Out of Control

A magazine I used to work for tended to get a little out of hand in its pursuit of the "exclusive" slug, tagging it on items as meaningless as some exec saying they might maybe do something about that thing soon. But none of that matters, because this Us Weekly "Exclusive" takes the cake, and makes me so happy that I am not required to be that inane for a living.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Signs of a Frequent Flyer

JEOPARDY! is not my game. Usually I'm a Wheel watcher, mostly because it requires less thoughtful effort. But this week, I happened upon JEOPARDY! and managed to kick ass in one category, "Landing at JFK." I got every question right, and while I was elated at first, my usual stupidity in every other category quickly set in, which made me feel less smart and more like a female version of Tom Hanks in "The Terminal." You are what you know, I guess, and so, in an effort to keep that feeling of smart superiority going, this quiz here is meant to determine whether or not you are enough of a quick-thinking frequent flyer to hang with me. No cheating!

For $200:
Located at Terminal 3, this company with a Greek letter as its name offers 1,500 daily flights.


For $400:
This airline at Terminal 4 was formed by the Irish government in April 1936 and has been in the "Aer" ever since.


For $600:
Now at Terminal 4, this company's first flight, from Amsterdam to London on May 17, 1920, was letter perfect.


For $800:
This Terminal 4 company was founded in 1984 by Richard Branson; over million people flew it by the end of the decade.


For $1,000:
On February 20, 2007, this Terminal 6 airline introduced its "Customer Bill of Rights."


I'll take friends that score $1,200 or better, Alex.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mice on a Plane*

First poop, now this:

"Chinese inspectors found eight mice, dead and alive, on a United Airlines flight [from Washington, D.C.] to Beijing after the airline reported the stowaways to local quarantine officials upon landing Sunday afternoon, Xinhua news agency said."

I'm not so concerned about mice on a plane, per se. They're kind of cute, minus the tails; and really, any diseases these rodents might bring are just China's karmic retribution for shipping us all those lead-tainted toys this holiday season. What gets me is that these mice, both dead and alive, were found (among other places) in the pillows supplied to flyers for their comfort.

I happen to have two of those neck pillows made for flying (basically the frequent flyer's equivelant of fanny packs) and when Jay and I were packing for Scotland, I asked if he wanted one. He declined, replying, "Why would you lug that around when they give them to you on the plane?"

At the time, I couldn't think of a viable reason for such geekiness, but now, about a month later, I have one, and it will forever be my excuse for flying with those lame-ass looking things.

* yes, its an obvious title and I'm certainly not the only one to think of it, but I'm feeling especially uncreative today.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So this is the new year

...And I feel somewhat different. Mostly, hungover. But, in other news:

• I severely fell off the vegetarian wagon New Year's Eve, thanks to another of Jay's stupendous stylings in the kitchen: these delectable little ham croquettes (pictured here). Yes, they look suspiciously like Jay's famous risotto balls, but these croquettes are on another level. Never have everything I usually avoid ingesting tasted so great: meat, cheese and milk, all wrapped up in fried panko break crumbs. Never fear, I'm back to my veggie-eating ways as of today.

• Spain is happening, people! Most of you know this, but for those of you that don't, Jay and I are moving to Seville for three months beginning in March. Just for the hell of it, really, but largely because of this. All are welcome to come visit and I suspect I'll see more of you making the six-hour transatlantic trek than I did when I moved an hour away to Queens.

• As I mentioned before, I've quit my job. People have asked why I would quit a job that allows me to travel the world on someone else's dime and the answer is two-fold: Mostly, it's in preparation for Spain, but also because some times the dream jobs are, in actuality, nightmares.

• So! I begin life as a freelance writer in the next few weeks. All of your well wishes (and leads) are mucho appreciated, as are your encouragements that all will work out. I promise to do my best to remember to brush my teeth and shower every day, even though I may not leave the house. In the coming months, you can see my words in Zink and starting soon, I'll also be a regular contributer to HotelChatter. Plus, a shamelessly self-promoting web site is on its way.

Feliz ano nuevo!

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