30 Before 30

Back in January, my friend Mindy posted on Facebook a list of things she wanted to do before turning 30 this year. This inspired me to create my own list, which I'm calling my "30 Before 30." Some are big; some are minor. A handful I've already completed by the time I've gotten around to composing this blog post. Here they are (with commentary).

1. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
DONE! A major thank you goes to my friend Kendra for being the impetus to get this to happen.

2. Fill up my passport pages
I have three squares left in my passport, which expires next fall. I'll need to purchase a new one by February (6 months before it expires), so that means I have about 8 months to get this done. I'm hoping to check this off the list when I go to eastern Europe this summer. If not, I might need to make an impromptu trip south of the boarder. :)

3. Learn how to make a good mojito
DONE-ISH. My friend Gino taught me his secret recipe for making mojitos when he and his family were visiting at Easter. Now I just need to practice a few times to make sure I have it right. I'm looking for volunteers. ;)

4. Run a race
DONE! I competed in the Warrior Dash (a 5K with crazy obstacles) a couple weekends ago. Sure, I ended up having to walk half the race because I tore some ligaments in my ankle scrambling down the pyramid of hay bales, but hey, I completed the race!

5. Ride a Segway
Provided plans don't fall through, I'll cross this one off my list tonight! My friend Amy and Dylan and I will be rolling around Tempe Town Lake on a Segway tour. Can't wait!

6. Buy a house.
Eeks! This is a big one. I'm slowly getting the ball rolling...we'll see what happens.

7. Plant an herb garden
The next few items on my list rely on me accomplishing #6, so hopefully that one works out well!

8. Make a compost bin
Because that's just a good thing to do!

9. Stockpile the necessary ingredients for a well-stocked bar
It seems like a grown-up thing to do.

10. Go scuba diving again
It's been a year and a half since I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I need to find another excuse to go diving again!

11. Bake bread from scratch
No bread machine allowed.

12. Put together a book of photos and blog posts from my 3 months of travel around Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia in 2007
There's no excuse for why I haven't done this already. My favorite pictures from that trip need to live somewhere other than online albums.

13. Finish putting together my video of photos from said 2007 travels
On a related note, I need to finish the project I started a long while back of compiling ALL the photos I took into a stop-action video.

14. Visit a winery with friends
I've been to one in Washington with my parents before, but I think it'd be a different experience with friends.

15. Read my grandfather's book, Pappy's Boys
My grandfather played quarterback for the Cal Bears when they went to the Rose Bowl in 1948. He helped put together this book about the coach, Pappy Waldorf.

16. Interview my grandparents
This is really just a fancy way of saying I want to learn more about their story.

17. Spend some time shooting alongside a professional photographer
I love taking photos, but there's so much that I still need to learn about controlling my camera settings, getting good lighting, and setting my focus. I'm hoping one of my photographers friends will be amenable to spending an afternoon or something, to impart some wisdom my way.

18. Go to a drive-in movie double feature
I've been once before to see a single movie. I want to kick it old school and see a double feature sometime.

19. Learn to surf
I hear there's a water park in the Phoenix area that has a wave simulator where you can learn how to surf. If that's not true, I'm going to have to find an ocean somewhere where I can learn!

20. Watch all of the West Wing
I just finished season 3, so I have a little more than half-way to go to finish Aaron Sorkin's masterful tv show.

21. Write a will
Because all grownups should have one.

22. Get my fortune told
I wonder if a psychic would be able to tell me if I'll complete everything on my 30 Before 30 list...

23. Go roller skating at a roller rink
I haven't done this since elementary school and I so badly want to go again!

24. Take a cooking class
I don't really care what the topic is. I'd just love to learn how to make something tasty.

25. Eat snails
DONE! I told a client of mine about my 30 Before 30 list, and when she heard I wanted to try escargot, she said we had to order them off the menu at the French restaurant where we were meeting. Butter and garlic make anything taste good!

26. Go see the original London Bridge at Lake Havasu
This has been on my must-do list since I moved to Arizona. I still can't believe they moved the original bridge all the way from London to crazy Arizona.

27. Visit the Phoenix Farmers Market
This is another Phoenix Must-Do item that I've never gotten around to doing.

28. See an opera
Opera seems like a grown-up thing to do, too. I either want to attend a performance put on by the Phoenix Opera, or see one of those performances from New York's Metropolitan Opera, projected live at a local movie theater.

29. See a drag show
I'm all about exposing myself to culture, as you can tell. :)

30. Go camping with friends
I've definitely been camping before, but I've never gone with a group of friends.


Why I Travel: To Make New Friends

#5 in a series.

From Budapest

I get a lot of strange looks when I tell people I travel by myself, but the truth is, I'm rarely alone. And I've never gone on a solo vacation where I didn't make at least one new friend.

When I travel alone, I enjoy the time to focus on myself. I can be selfish in just about every decision I make. Don't feel like spending another day in a museum? I'll picnic in the park instead. Need an impromptu coffee shop visit? Sure! I'm on no one's schedule but my own.

The thing is, I am a social person at heart. When I travel by myself, I need to find people with whom I can talk, share stories and laugh. So I've learned to relish small group tours and hostels.

Three years ago I was in Paris the day the Tour de France arrived for its triumphant final stage. That morning, I woke up in my hostel, walked down to the breakfast room and asked if anyone else was heading to the Champs Élysées. Fifteen minutes later, I was in the company of a half dozen new friends from various countries as we headed out to cheer on the cyclists. It felt like we were a contingent of the United Nations, sharing a bottle of wine while we shared stories of our adventures.

Through the wonders of Facebook, I have maintained friendships forged while breakfasting on mangoes in St. Lucia, gorging on pho in Vietnam, and sipping beers in Amsterdam. We share photos, wish each other happy birthday (in fact, today is Volker's birthday in Germany...happy b-day, Volker!), and celebrate life's passages with notes of congrats on weddings and new babies.

The secondary benefit of these far-flung friendships is the collection of couches I have slowly accumulated across the globe. In a previous entry in this series I discussed that one of the reasons why I travel is to visit friends. Making new friends as I travel is a wonderful excuse to have new places to visit and couches to crash on. Ahh...what a fabulous circle.

On this ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, I'm reminded even more of how important it is to create friendships with people of different nationalities, faiths, politics, and beliefs. Naive as it may be, I truly believe my international friendships are positive efforts toward foreign diplomacy. Peace, one friend at a time.


Why I Travel: To Strengthen My Skills in Handling Adversity

When traveling, I've learned that there are two words that are bound to hit me at some point:

Scheisse Happens

From Around Lima, post wedding

It is inevitable that something will go wrong. Whether it's something little like forgetting my toothbrush on a business trip (done that), or something that threatens my chances of entering a foreign country like being detained at Heathrow in London (done that, too). It doesn't matter, I've learned that somewhere along the way something will test my patience, my sanity and my creative problem-solving skills. My history is a tad demoralizing:

+ I got separated from my friends, stuck on a train in Italy and ended up in Milan instead of Venice

+ I came down with some kind of intestinal issue for 3 days in Vietnam, one night of which I spent convinced I was being eaten up from the inside out

+ Through some computer glitch, I booked an non-existent flight to Cusco, Peru; then my replacement flight was delayed due to weather, and I ended up never leaving Lima to visit Machu Picchu.

+ I somehow completely forgot to arrange for a visa to visit Australia until the gentleman at the United Airlines counter asked to see mine.

+ Most recently, bipolar British Airways has been putting my emotions through the wringer as I prepare to fly BA to Europe for Elise & Matty's wedding. Since March, the BA cabin crew has gone on strike, off strike, threatened to strike again, canceled their strike under government pressure, and now has gone back on strike just in time for my departure next Tuesday evening.

Surviving and getting through each of these hassles has helped me to learn how to work through adversities of many kinds. I've learned how to roll with the proverbial punches and take on a "this too shall pass" attitude toward various stresses in my life. That's not to say that I don't get worked up a little now and then. Happy hour with my girlfriends tonight was mixed with not-so-happy concerns as soon as I got a text from a friend telling me about the on-again BA strike. But a few deep breaths, and some positive encouragement from my friends kept me from going into stress-mode. And sure enough, when I checked the status of my flights when I got home, all my flights to Europe were confirmed to fly as scheduled.


My return flights back to the States? Those are up in the air (or will they be? ba dum ching) for now. I will depart Phoenix for London, Amsterdam and Oslo next Tuesday, without the confirmation that I will be returning as scheduled. Looks like I'll continue to roll with the punches until those flights are announced on June 1. And that's ok by me. I've had plenty of practice so far.


Why I Travel: To Visit Friends

From Last Night in London

I don't need much of an excuse to travel somewhere, but my favorite is to visit friends. Taking full advantage of this excuse, the past few years have taken me to:

Boston (cousin Molly)
London (Megan & Jon)
LA (J-Dub)
St. Lucia (Meg & Jon again)
Denver (Sarah)
Brussels (Simon)
Lima (Laura & Gino)
London again (several friends)
Sydney (Meg & Jon...again)

From Brussels

Having friends scattered about this planet is convenient for someone with my sense of wanderlust. And crashing on couches is by far my favorite method of visiting a new city. I love that it mixes the freedom of solo travel with the structure of a working professional and the invaluable insights of a local. When I visit friends, I enjoy doing my own thing during the day, but relish the social company of a companion in the evening. Plus, you can't beat the price: a place to crash in exchange for salsa/Reese's peanut butter cups/Girl Scout Cookies/whatever favorite American/Southwestern treat my host requests.

From London in a Weekend

In 11 days I leave for my next friend-inspired destination: NYC to visit Sarah, Joel and hopefully a half-dozen other friends who will meet me somewhere in the Big Apple for happy hour. I can't wait to do a little adventuring mixed with catching up on each others' lives, swapping stories, and experiencing someplace new with old friends. Doesn't get much better.

From London in a Weekend


Why I Travel: Because I Love Places of Transit

From Photo Class

Airports. Train stations. Subway systems. Ferry ports. These places fascinate me. I love the comings-and-goings, the people-watching, the hubbub of movement as travelers board, disembark and hurry on their ways. This weekend my sister and I went to see Up in the Air. Some of my favorite scenes were in the various airports. I liked trying to identify the different terminals I'd been through.

From Sydney

Next time you're in an airport or train station, take a moment to observe how such hubs of transport portray themselves to the people passing through. From the architecture to the tchotchkes for sale in the knick-knack shops, I believe you can learn a lot about what locals value and want to share with visitors. The train station in Cambridge, England is positively swamped with bicycles outside. The subway system in Prague is like a city-wide art exhibit. And at 8am every day at the central train station in Bangkok, they play the national anthem while everyone in the station faces a giant portrait of the King and all hustle and bustle halts.

I just love soaking this stuff up.

From Cambridge

From Czech Republic

From Bangkok

It's best when there's a little humor involved:

From London 2007

Between my work and personal travel, I spend a lot of time in airports, so it's a good thing I enjoy them. And it's a good thing I don't get flustered by all the frenetic activity at such places, as most of my travel mishaps have happened at airports or train stations:

2003: got separated from my friends on a train in Italy, ended up in Milan instead of Venice
2007: detained in Heathrow for describing my job as "unemployed" (stupid, stupid. I should have at least said "freelance designer")
2009: purchased a non-existent LAN flight from Lima to Cusco and thus had my hopes to see Machu Picchu dashed, but got to spend a lot of extra time in the Lima airport
2009: forgot to register for an electronic visa to Australia until I checked in for my flight

I tend to collect "oops" moments in such places. At least I can get some good people-watching in while addressing the issue.

Which is it? Exit? Or No Exit? From Sydney


Why I Travel: To Take Advantage of Amazing Subject Material and Improve My Photography Skills

A trip is a great excuse to take pictures because, really, how can you resist capturing memories when the Eiffel Tower/Reclining Buddha/Sydney Opera House is the backdrop? Not only do such landmarks make great subjects, but so do fellow travelers. The adventures, foreign cultures and genial camaraderie combine to make people more open to being in photos.

As I take more photos, I continue to learn how my camera works and how to capture a great shot. I have also had the pleasure of meeting and traveling with other photo nuts who impart tips and tricks that make me a better photographer.

My recent scuba adventure provided me the chance to try underwater photography for the first time. It was equal parts challenging and exhilarating. As if I needed another excuse to go diving again, now I hunger for the chance to take my camera beneath the waves again.


Why I Travel: A Series

Remember back in the day when I used to blog all the time? Back before Twitter came on the scene or Facebook went mainstream? Well, brace yourself, because I have a series of posts headed your way that will make it seem like 2003-2007 all over again. I'm starting a series called "Why I Travel" where I will attempt to make sense of the tug that yanks me out of this country and across this planet. Here's the first:

It's in My Genes
My love for travel and interest in foreign cultures began before I ever had a passport. I have my maternal grandparents to thank for that. As the head of the University of California Alumni Association, Granddaddy led overseas tours for Cal alumni every year. And every year he and Mamu brought back little dolls from the countries they visited (pictured). The ever-growing shelf of international figurines was a constant presence in my childhood. In this way, my grandparents were my first tour guides. I listened to their stories, reveled in their photographs and treasured their dolls and other souvenirs.

When I took my first trip abroad to France in 1996 at age 14, Mamu and Granddaddy sent brochures and maps of their favorite places in Paris and beyond. When I spent a semester in London, I carted with me a token from my grandparents: a folder of pamphlets, a list of England's hot spots and my great-grandmother's personal account of the Chelsea Flower Show. They were my own personal Lonely Planet guides.

This year the roles were reversed for the first time as my grandparents sought my tips for a good time in Hanoi, Saigon, and Bangkok. It was a moment of pride for me. I was finally able, in some small way, to repay them for all their years of inspiration and advice. But I can never thank them for the fostering in me a love for travel, curiosity of foreign cultures and desire to pack up and go see the world.


My First Scuba Adventure

Breathe in. Breathe out. That's all I had to do. You wouldn't think it would be such a challenge. But tricking my brain into accepting that I really could breathe underwater took some convincing. Especially when the last time I talked my brain into such an ordeal the following happened:

A) I descended into the murky waters of Lake (un)Pleasant where I could only see about 2 feet in front of me.

B) My dive instructor, Andy, took me through (what felt at the time like) tortuous training procedures such as turning off my air supply and making me flood my scuba mask with water.

The last time my brain did anything like this, my air supply was (momentarily) cut off and my sight was (temorarily) taken away from me. Can you blame my brain for objecting to sinking below the waves? I fought that first descent; I didn't get even a half meter below water before I kicked wildly back up to the surface, nearly hyperventilating. It was a true mind game to force my brain to accept my commands to breathe slowly--in...and out...in...and out--as my shoulders, then my mouth, my nose, my eyes, the top of my head sank beneath the surface of the ocean. I was underwater, and my lungs could handle it. Finally, that brain of mine stopped protesting and started to absorb the total awe of the setting. And, oh, how great it was once I convinced my brain to cooporate, to forget about the fact that humans aren't built to breathe underwater!

Scuba diving felt like the most primative, and yet the most hi-tech thing I have ever done. Surrounded completely by water, the only thing I could really hear was the regular in-and-out of my own breathing. Seriously, how primal can you get? And how soothing. Yet this simple act, the very first thing we do without effort or thinking the moment we enter this world, requires complicated, carefully assembled devices, monitored with a computer, and proper training. There I was, 15 meters below water, and I could breathe!

Once I wrapped my mind around that little miracle, I headed off through the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, following Alan, one of the dive crew. I felt quite clunky on my first few dives; I bounced around the Great Barrier Reef like a yo-yo as I tried to get control of my buoyancy, struggled with equalizing my ears, and spent more time thinking about myself than the sights I was seeing on the reef. However, by day two of my dive trip, I had gained confidence enough to really enjoy it all.

It's truly amazing to be in the middle of a world that is so very foreign. It reminded me a bit of standing on a street corner in Hanoi, Vietnam, watching the cars/buses/motorbikes whiz by, completely clueless as to how the system works. I felt so totally out of my element, yet so totally consumed by the experience at the same time. It was all my high school biology textbooks come to life. It was an IMAX movie in 4-D. It was REAL, live fish and turtles, rays and coral, SHARKS(!) and baracuda! And I was in and amongst them. It was simply exhilerating.

I can tell that scuba diving is addictive. There absolutely no way I can let the Great Batrier Reef be the only scuba experience I have. There must be other trips, more adventures, more bio textbook pages come to life for me. I'm hooked.

Tweets from Oz

My blog has really suffered a lack of attention since I took up Twitter. Short bursts of commentary at Erica2point0 have pretty much replaced descriptive passages of experiences here on Terra Incognita. Since I knew my wifi access would be limited during my trip to Australia, and thus my Twitter access limited as well, I thought an appropriate plan of attack for sharing my thoughts and experiences in Oz would be a hybrid approach. I used my iPod Touch to write 140-character tweets that I would normally have posted on Twitter; instead of posting them immediately, though, I saved them in the iPod Notes application. Now, I present them to you in blog form. This way you can feel like you're experiencing my Aussie adventure at my side. Enjoy, mate!

30 September

Completely spaced getting an electronic visa to get into Australia. Oops! Thank God (& my sis Ally!) it processed immediately!

Fun day in San Francisco with my aunt. The California Academy of Sciences is way cooler than it sounds. I highly recommend it!

1 October

Thanks to crossing the International Dateline, the day of October 1, 2009 will never have existed for me. So trippy!

2 October

14.5 hours. Longest flight I've ever taken. Amazingly, it wasn't the excruciating torture I expected.

It's fitting that I flew through San Francisco to get to Sydney b/c SYD totally reminds me of SF just w/ a lot less fog.

4 October

Who cares about the cloud cover? Gloomy weekend on the Hawksbury River w/ friends is wonderfully relaxing.

This has been the easiest round of fighting jetlag I've ever had. Hope it repeats for my trip back.

Jon & Steveo have been navigating our houseboat using iPhone apps. This makes me smile.

Playing the role of 7th wheel. I rarely feel the urge to hurry up & get hitched, but the Tidds, Lords & Wheelers make it look fun.

5 October

Being around a boatload of Brits causes me to lapse into a weird Yank-Brit accent. Biscuit, anyone?

I've been trying to teach little British toddler Elsie an Americanism. So far, "What up, yo" sounds more like "Dudda woah".

I do not row row my boat very gently down the stream. In fact, I'm rubbish at manning the oars of a rowboat.

Finished the second Twilight book while on the houseboat this weekend. I begrudgingly got TOTALLY sucked into the story.

My goal to exercise every other day has been replaced with eating every three hours. Oops.

It's a bit disconcerting to weigh myself on a metric scale. The # looks way too small, considering all the food I packed away this weekend.

The crew has introduced me to an Aussie favorite: chips (chunky fries) dipped in mayo and sweet chili sauce. Yum!

Burned the top layer of taste buds off my tongue: a hazard of trying to eat tasty hot chips too fast.

Love the Aussie toilets that give you the choice between a Number 1 or Number 2 flush. A #1 uses less water than a #2. :)

I keep forgetting to check out the way water swirls the in opposite direction down the drain here.

6 October

It's Tues but feels like a Mon (yesterday was an Aussie bank holiday) but not too much like a Mon since I'm not doing the whole "work" thing

Brilliant! Virgin Blue has passengers board from the front and back of the plane at the same time!

There's a woman across the aisle from me on my flight to Cairns wearing combat boots, a corset & strumming a ukulele. Hm.

Despite all the prep I did for this trip, this has to be the most disorganized I've ever been while traveling.

Resolved: I will breakdown & buy a pair of skinny jeans when I get home.

I'm repeating in my mind "'Cairns' sounds like 'cans'" over and over yet that pesky "r" keeps inserting itself when I say it.

Stumbled upon a Nando's. This vacation just keeps getting better!

When I travel like this, I feel like I'm doing what I was MADE to do.

Took a quick night class about the history & life of the Great Barrier Reef when I got into Cairns. So glad I did. Learned lots!

Did you know (DYK): the Great Barrier Reef is 1/2 the size of Texas!!!

DYK: Nemo is an anemonefish. Get it? An aNEMOnefish.

DYK: if Nemo's mum had died in real life, his dad would have changed sex to become female, & Nemo would've matured quicker to mate w/ "Dad".

DYK: coral is made up of calcium carbonate, which is essentially limestone. Interestingly, coral is an animal, not a plant.

DYK: coral is naturally white in color. It gets its pretty hues from the algae that live on it.

DYK: the first color to disappear from the spectrum as you descend in the water is red.

7 October

Australia really is a dry country. There are several patches of brush fire outside of Cairns as we head out to sea.

Wow. Just surfaced from my first dive. This is going to require a proper blog entry. 140 characters won't cut it.

Three dives in. Favorite sight so far: an awesome green turtle. Have also seen stingrays, giant clams & some really amazing fish.

I haven't seen any sharks so far, but several others on the boat have. A couple even spotted a barracuda!

I was really nervous about doing a night dive and almost didn't go, but now I'm so proud of myself that I did it.

It's not a true adventure out on the open waters until you use a seasick bag, right? Well, consider this an adventure now. ;)

8 October

My underwater camera only goes 10 meters down, so I rented one for one of my dives. Underwater photography is TOUGH!

End of Day Two on the dive boat and still no shark sightings for me...

I'm the slowest eater ever; always the last to finish my plate. Or maybe I just talk too much during meals? ;)

Don't know why but I get a kick out of hearing Aussies say "Good on you" instead of "Good for you".

9 October

I saw my shark!!!! And 3 barracuda! AND a rare eagle ray! Totally worth the 5:45am wake up call.

Just came up from my last dive of the trip. Saw another shark! And joined a green turtle for his lunch. Love this scuba stuff!!!

I snorkeled for the last dive since Queensland law says you can't fly if you've dived in the past 24hours. It just can't compare to diving.

Total number of dives in 2.5 days: 10.

I am so hooked on scuba. Got a 10% off voucher for my next booking with ProDive. Hmmm... Do I really need to go home?

I'm off the boat but still feel the room rocking around me. I'm hoping a couple of drinks w/ my dive friends tonight will counterbalance me.

Um...not sure if the drinks counterbalanced me or unbalanced me. Either way: fun night out with new friends.

10 October

Ugh. Slept funny on the hostel bed last night & now my hip is all out of joint. Please don't tell me I'm becoming an old lady already!

Woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was underwater watching fish swim by.

Glad to see that my gaydar gets reception across the Pacific. :)

Somehow I made it all the way through check-in, security & boarding at the Cairns airport w/o ever showing my ID. Not exactly comforting.

There's too much Comic Sans in Sydney!

Pretty sure I've never had so many cups of tea as I have this week with all my Aussie & British friends.

11 October

Kookaburra sighting! It was sitting right outside Megs & Jon's back window!

Sun finally came out for the afternoon of my last day in Sydney.

Lunched w/ Jo & her parents at Ripples, the restaurant at the Olympic pool, looking out over the Harbour Bridge & Opera House. Lovely!

I think nearly every conversation I've had w/ friends this week has included a discussion of America's abysmal vacation policy.

2 weeks of holiday is just not sufficient!

12 October

Wish I had brought my big backpack instead of my huge suitcase. I find it much easier to handle.

Props to the United check-in agent who didn't charge me for my overweight bag!

It looks like everyone's boarded the 13.5-hour flight to LAX & so far no one's joined me in my row. Can this be true?!?!

Score!!! 3 seats all to myself! Maybe I'll treat myself to a glass of Champagne & pretend I'm in first class. ;)

Bugger. Another man has joined me in my row. There goes my glass of Champagne.

Tip for anyone flying out of Sydney: get a seat by the window on the right side of the plane. You get an awesome view of the Harbour!

Yay! My fickle seat mate has changed spots again so I DO get the row to myself. Just in time for beverage service!

Never mind RE: Champagne. Apparently it really is only for first class. A mini bottle of Cab will have to do.

Water in the bathrooms on my United flight circles clockwise, the northern hemisphere way. Wonder if it goes the opposite way on Qantas. :)

Goal: attend my workout boot camp 3 hours after landing in PHX. That means it's time to catch some Zzzs now.

Got sent to 3 different security checkpoints at LAX. So unorganized here!

Back in PHX. 1 load of laundry done. 2 more to go. But first: off to boot camp! This will be interesting.

Oct. 12, 2009, has been the longest day of my life. Literally. From midnight to midnight, today will have lasted 42 hours for me.

Back to work tomorrow. Really wish I could take another day off to recover, but I have to be in Denver Wednesday. Back to the grindstone.

Overall: one of the best vacations EVER.


Funny Sentences in My Inbox, version 12

I'm going to ease back into the blogging realm with a new edition of Funny Sentences (Without Context) in My Inbox. Enjoy.

So yeah, now I'll have to go unspread the word.


Personally, I believe that this printer is plotting against us and though it has won this battle, the war rages on...BTW ­ just in case the printers do eventually win, let me be the first to put it in writing that I welcome our printer overlords and look forward to their benevolent reign.


Macs are largely immune to these problems so those of you with Macs can continue to feel smug.


we are in luzern switzerland and will be home late the 30th. < i am reachable by my cell phone right now but would be best to start after i am back if possible. Thursdazs and < mondazs are great weakdazs for me and weekends . < this kez board is hard to manage...sorry..


One of my friends is in charge of hiring an intern at his (non-journalism-related) job. This is a cover letter he got. From a grad student.


i saw ur post about a intern on the [company] website. if u are still looking for someone id like that job.

see ya,
[his name]"

Apparently this gentleman has a degree from loltech. I weep for humanity.


If you require wireless access today for whatever reason, please contact [that guy] or [this guy] for support. We can set up a series of smoke signals and carrier pigeons to provide rudimentary connectivity until we have the problem permanently solved.


How often do you get to say, "There's a kid in a gold boxing robe next to a chick singing Mariah Carey?"


The recruiters at Glacier were more than happy to hire anyone who could speak rudimentary English and had basic motor skills. Luckily, I fit the bill. Two weeks later I was on a train from Chicago to Glacier Park with 3 boxes clothes and only a slight idea of what I was getting into.


But will there be a good crowd?? Lots of cute boys for the single ladies? That is important. Maybe moreso than the food.


My golf game turned out much better than I thought, in that nobody died.


I have tried to study Spanish and am feeling overwhelmedo and very stupido


Uhm....your royalties will consist of complimentary air and sunshine....at least once every other leap year. Does that work?


As far as I'm concerned the state of Oklahoma is only good for musicals and tornadoes (aka I'm still in denial).


There is nothing more depressing than calling the unemployment office and having the cheerful automated voice tell you, "Due to high call volumes, you must call back Tuesday. Goodbye!"


My dog's name is Bob. If you shout M-I-Z during the games, he will bark Z-O-U. I'm not sure he likes having "big cats" on his collar most days, but he gives it his all on game days. :-)


But what if I don't wanna pull the president's face off ... ? :(


I can think of two stories (the spitting cobra or the horny elephant...), in particular, about nearly being eaten / smooshed (three if you count the time I was chased off site by a lion - not really as dramatic as it sounds, and four if you count the time I chased a lion - also not very dramatic, nor intelligent, but necessary at the time, I assure you...).


My specialty is geeking out over numbers and data and research.


If you're in the market for a great TV stand that has glass doors, a deep drawer and doesn't talk during your favorite shows, keep reading. If not, you're done. Thanks for your time; I'm sure you have other emails to read.


I'll be sneaking out a little early this afternoon to catch Barack at ASU. Pending an invitation to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, I'll be back in the office bright and early tomorrow morning.


You probably noticed that the two photos I sent yesterday looked amazingly similar. The technical term for this condition is "human error."