Category Archives: travel



If it weren’t tough economic times I’d use this supa-cool UK-based travel agency to send me on an exotic adventure into the bush somewhere.


Like a sponge.


Over the course of this past week in Portland I traded in my yoga pants for jeans and put on a real bra exactly twice, and that was to walk 2 blocks to see movies (Beauty in Trouble, Czech dramedy, eh; Tell No One, French psychological thriller, oh so good!) and drink beer in the daytime dark at the Living Room Theater in the Pearl district (pictured). Between said movies, I… watched more movies on DVD, thanks to a sister with “industry” connections (Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader… something else good I can’t remember), downloaded a bunch of new music (new Killers, Carla Bruni and Horse Feathers, old Magnetic Fields, Miles Davis and Mates of State among others considerably more embarrassing), read a boatload of magazines, finished The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Ilosa and started Seven Types of Ambiguity, a 600 page tome I’d picked up and put back a dozen times since it came out and finally decided to tackle thanks to long lines and the conveniently located Bargain Buys stack (damn you Powell’s and your strategic merchandising)– in short, did little but play tennis, hang with the fam, and soak up a ton great film, music and reading material and it felt good. Makeup didn’t touch my face, my hair went dirtier than usual, even my ears got a break from being ravaged by cheap earrings. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about though? When else can you be a complete slob if not in the comfort of your family over the holidays in a northern, gray city after having your emotions put in a blender on puree?

And then.



Glorious, brilliant New York! What’s not to love?


Shock and awe, brimming with promise.


Kelly and Jacob turn 61 and celebrate with mealy shrimp, government issue cod and Soviet Union potatoes at an unnamed Chinatown/Lower Lower East Side eatery.


Ohio time warp– $1.75 gas!! (and that was the pricey stuff!)



Good times and sweaty night terrors had by all in the George W. Bush room at the Golden Lamb Inn.


No better place for unintentionally euphemistic or otherwise random and wacky signage than the heartland. There’s a sad dearth of it in Manhattan. Like babies and old people.

What I’ve been doing since I’ve been gone.

I went home.


I helped launch Ben 3.0.

I got pink eye.

I got robbed.

I fell in love with New York all over again.

Still going….

I had 2 more best friends bite the dust– I mean get engaged.

I went to the Interesting 2008 conference and learned that laughter is related to our fight or flight response.

I went to the After Nature opening at the New Museum and got very disturbed.

I rediscovered the power pop awesomeness that is Nada Surf.

I went to Venice, CA to see my lil’ sis. I went to Seattle a few times.

I saw Man on Wire and wondered where my singular passion was (again), I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona and wondered why I’m not waiting tables in the south of France like I always said I would, I saw Batman IMAX and wondered what took me so long.

I signed up for a public speaking course at NYU, yet another example of me inflicting pain upon myself for the sake of….????

I got in the pitiful habit of eating 3 meals at my desk.

I lost sleep over the possibility of layoffs following the demise of our biggest client Wamu.

Which brings me here….

Don’t try to hide.

I’m writing this post FROM THE AIRPLANE. The time has finally come for WiFi everywhere. The plane used to be the only place I could escape into a truly analog world– I’d read a stack of magazines, half a good book, write until my hand cramped up, not have to worry about anyone trying to get in touch with me (‘Sorry, I’m about to get on a plane to Seattle, be in touch in 6 hours!’)– what sweet relief! Now there will be no reprieve from hyper-connectivity and carpel tunnel syndrome. Today is a sad, sad day for us all (she cries after paying $12.95 for the privilege….).

The trouble with bicoastiality.

Just returned from a weekend in San Francisco and I gotta say, it was SO GOOD to be back in that godforsaken city. Somehow the incessant wind was refreshing, not annoying, the bland, blue-sky vibe soothing, not boring, the travel by car liberating, not confining. Is it just a case of always wanting what you can’t have? Grass is always greener syndrome? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was there for a wonderful weekend (‘end’ being the operative suffix), and that we spent it at our most romantic getaway spot 3 hours north of the city, driving up, down and around 101 in our beloved beat-up old Saab, “blissed out” at the lithium-charged nudie hot springs, and cozied up at our favorite neighborhood sushi bar, feasting on chef’s choice with the chopsticks they keep for us behind the bar. Oh, and passed out at an airport Comfort Inn, but that’s a story for another time.

Favorite Things…


1. Jose Gonzalez at the Fillmore. Just magical.

2. $150 cross-coast one-ways. (The other side of that coin: hour and a half taxi rides to JFK, missing your flight, hour and a half taxi rides to Brooklyn, rebooked and subsequently canceled flights on 2 different airlines the next day, getting stopped at security, finally securing a middle seat in row 96 and finding you’re #30 in line for take-off).

3. Call Zingo, a new concept in designated driving. Fully-insured, attractive (Flash intros don’t lie) drivers arrive at bar of your choice on COLLAPSIBLE MOTOR BIKES, stick the bike in your trunk, drive you home, expand the bike, and scoot off to their next client, all for a $20 base charge + mileage. (Awful logo but) neato website to boot.

4. Then We Came to an End by Joshua Ferris. Catch-22 meets Office Space at a bar and runs into American Psycho on their way back to her place. I can’t read a chapter without thinking of the “goddamn fucking shitty paperwork” cartoon that gets me every time (“One hundred forests must be cut down!”) so basically I can’t go a page without laughing my face off. I can’t find it on the internet but will scan asap.

5. A mid-morning weekday walk to Tennessee Cove in Marin with the sage and lovely Nicole Burke.

6. “Ocarina” by Birds and Batteries. Best when consumed while flying through the San Francisco hills in 15-year old stick-shift Saab with sunroof open and windows down.

7. WiFi at Farley’s (but still no free refills).

8. 2 words: Lonni’s Punani.

9. 60 Minutes and Sunday Sushi. The ultimate aphrodisiac tranquilizer.

10. Um, um…!