Tag Archives: travel

London, trains, and boogers

17 Nov

There is a man across from me on this train with his finger so far up his nose I’m worried he might accidentally nip brain matter.

From the looks of him, it wouldn’t be the first time.

He clearly thinks lifting the Tom Clancy novel high enough covers this semi-scandalous activity.

There’s a wedding ring on his finger.

That’s a lucky lady awaiting him at home, that’s all I can say.  I bet she’s prepared some dinner, got a big smile on her face, and probably has no idea her husband digs for nasal gold on public transportation.

Wait, I bet she knows.

Maybe she just doesn’t care.

Maybe that’s what marriage is.  Not caring if your partner pokes around in various orifices in public, provided the holes in question are on their own body and not somebody else’s….

I wonder if he does that in bed.  Laying there next to her, flicking his crusty friends off the side.  Inevitably, they pile up in the carpet, a carnage of days past.  She lies there, next to this, engrossed in episodes of reality tv.

She’s probably not innocent in this either.  Any woman who lets her husband think that Tom Clancy can hide his booger fest 2012 probably has quite a few questionable habits lurking on her end of the dining table.

Maybe they do it together.  Maybe they were having problems, nearing divorce, and they decided to hit up counseling.  Maybe the counselor suggested team-building activities.  Sitting up late one night, they got to talking.  Ideas flowing, their interest in finding an activity they could share sparked something they’d thought lost.

The thought of breaking social convention via nose-picking seemed exciting.  Relatively harmless, yet still frowned upon.

Yea, I bet they discovered picking their noses together.  A secret revolting ritual no one else understands.  Maybe he’s going to go home and announce he managed to pull one over on the blonde girl sitting across from him on the train.

He’ll proudly tell the love of his life that the mystery girl across from him had no idea what he was up to.  Working like a spy, he managed to unhook the little devil from the depths of his nose from behind Clancy.

A regular 007.

She’ll tell him she got a good one in the cereal aisle of the grocery store.  Oh the stories they’ll share, this married couple.

I guess I’ll just let him keep thinking he’s pulling this off.  If it’s for love, after all, why bother interrupting.  Not to mention I can’t identify a bonus to announcing to someone that you’re aware of their activities.  It’s not like I’m the booger police after all.

Now, if he was free-farting, I might have a problem.  God help the couple that does that on public transportation for the sanctity of marriage.

Oh good, I just got to London.

Maybe I’ll let Zilla out of the suitcase to roam a bit.

Hopefully she won’t tell this guy she saw his activities.

I’d hate to break up a happy marriage after all.

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Zilla, Pabst, and Jose

10 Nov

If you’re new here, you might want to meet my alter-ego before proceeding.

Channeling her inner Houdini, she managed to escape some time ago.

Evidently, she roamed all over God’s creation with a supply of Pabst, a friend of hers, and my temperamental time machine.

They also stole a bottle of champagne, but at this point, that is neither here nor there.

She’s been in my ear all morning attempting to explain herself.  Twiggy arms flapping in excitement, stomping her tail to provide the occasional soundtrack, miming the actions of what is either an ancient tribal ritual or a story about being trapped in the middle of an Hermes sale (I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually)-regardless, she’s got a long way to go in describing her whereabouts these past months.

She wore herself out in the middle of a tale about Jose (the buddy of hers I mentioned), and so in an effort to get her to quiet down a bit, I asked her to write you all a note about how this adventure got started in the first place.

As you can see, the handwritten explanations leave much to the imagination.

Just thought you should all know that I have verified the expiration date of her rickshaw license.  Early 16th century, though it looks like she could have extended if she hadn’t missed the deadline.
She’s slowly piecing it together for me, but I’m sure I’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg.  I’m debating giving her access to my password on here, so if you see an occasional drawing sans explanation, rest assured, it’s Zilla.
Rawr.

Passports, sandwich-wrappers, and monster love affairs

7 Nov

She’s baaaaaaaaaack…….

That’s right.  After sending me on a wild goose chase that would have given Sam and Frodo a run for their money, Zilla returned this morning.

She’s been snoozing since eight, but I suspect I’ll get an answer as to her whereabouts later this afternoon.

Here’s what I know:

-She’s wearing parachute pants that are neither worn out enough to be vintage, nor from this decade.  I suspect foul-play with that busted up time machine of mine.  It would also explain the armor on her right arm, which is either from a Gladiator television prop chest, or the real-deal.

-Her passport has stamps from various countries, including a short-stint in Pakistan earlier this year, which I can assure you-I have some questions about….

-She appears to have acquired real-estate, scuba, skydiving, pilot, taxi, and rickshaw licenses.  Two of which expired in the late nineties.  One of them appears to have expired at some point in the early 16th century, but the bite marks make it hard to tell for certain.

-She has a tattoo indicating a romance has transpired between herself and what appears to be a mythical creature yet to be identified.

-Her backpack has sandwich wrappers from at least five different airports.  There is also an unopened bottle of pickles inside.

-I can’t be certain, but I think she’s lost weight.

-Her journal is hard for me to read (those twiggy branch fingers of hers to blame), but it seems she has either won the lottery in the past, is planning to do so in the future, or has drawn up an assassination plan for JJ Abrams.

I’m going to be having long chats with her in the upcoming days to get her stories and find out why on earth she found it acceptable to leave for such an extended period of time.  Unacceptable, I assure you.

Regardless, I wanted to let you all know as soon as she got in.

Obviously, we have much to discuss.

I’ll be traveling around to your blogs in the next weeks to catch up on your news.

Feels good to be back.

Rawr.

Houston, we have a leg-warmer problem.

5 Dec

Someone alert hospice care, I’ve lost my dignity.

I knew things were getting bad when I mistook my reflection for Jane Fonda before leaving the apartment last night.  I thought, ‘no matter Ry, this is part of the character.  Part of the girl named Rachel you’ve decided to portray to anyone who approaches you tonight’.

This, evidently, is my idea of a good time.

Rachel, the aspiring actress/waitress who couldn’t wait to ‘understand’ British culture.  Rachel of the no IQ.  Rachel, the blonde girl with a propensity for hair twirling, loud giggling, and repeatedly asking: “wait, what does that mean?”.  Rachel, traveling Europe with her oldest and longest friend.

Loyally at my side, Man_Shopper too had chosen a persona.

Kayti the Starbucks barista.  Kayti with the chip on her shoulder.  Kayti the indy girl full of Ani references and eye-rolling.  Kayti, Miss too-cool-for-school.  Kayti from Boston, traveling with her oldest friend-despite said friend’s irritating qualities.

She looked like a rock chick.

Dark, mysterious, sexy.

I looked like an 80s escort.

Pasty, curvy, moronic.

Seriously, I even had leg warmers.

Rachel's accessory of choice.

Granted, I had voluntarily clad myself in 80’s attire for the evening, so it’s not like there’s anyone else to blame here.

Blasting Pump up the Jam (full with video-courtesy of youtube), she and I took our time getting ready.  Hair, make-up, and jewellery choices were all discussed at length.

When we got it perfect, it was time to go.

Bellies full of sandwiches, make-up piled on faces, Kayti and I headed off to Camden town with a mission.

I desperately wanted to make a man wake up the following morning and say to himself:

“Dear holy God, I think that was the dumbest girl on the planet.  Cardboard brains.  How in the name of Manchester United was I able to stand the conversation?”

I vowed not to break character.  No sarcasm would pass through my thick lipstick.  No sir.

Man_Shopper wanted to research how differently men would react to her if she were someone else.  She has a dating blog, so this was a prime opportunity to play a different part.

I didn’t have a cool excuse.  I just love to play.

So off we went.

It never once occurred to me that no one would approach us.  My narcissim is too great for such a thought to enter my brain.

But yet…

Sadly….

That is what happened.

Operation Hot Sister was an EPIC FAILURE BECAUSE NO MAN APPROACHED US, LOOKED AT US, OR DID SO MUCH AS NOD IN OUR DIRECTION.  ALL-CAPS USE TO EMPHASIZE THE HUMILIATION OF REALIZING ONE HAS LOST ONES MOJO.

Gone.

Finito.

No characters.  No conversation.  No free drinks.  No eye-flirting.  No. Anything.

Just the two of us idiots, tequila shots, and late-night sandwiches.

The longest conversation we had with any man was at Subway when we ordered foot-longs to devour our sorrows.

So that’s it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we no longer turn heads.

I’m sure there’s an argument for karma somewhere in all of this nonsense.  Just as soon as my ego recovers, it’ll warrant further investigation.

One things for certain though.  Tomorrow, I’m gonna wear the sexy tight pants I bought today to make myself feel better.

Zilla down bloggers, Zilla down.

If you want her version of the events, click here please.

Thailand, Kid-Ginger, and my hairdressing aspiration

2 Dec

My brother thinks we should move to Thailand and open up a backpacking hostel.

I’m not so sure I’d be able to handle that much hippy.

Not that I wouldn’t be willing to give it a try.  I’m sure the opportunity for adventure and writing material would be vast.

He’ll report back on the situation, I’m sure.  He just left this morning, so I’m expecting an email within the next two weeks casually mentioning his intentions of marrying a local.

With Kid-Ginger, anything is possible.

Plus I recommended he read The Alchemist on the trip.  What better advice to give a brother than-hit the road, don’t look back, and go make your own journey?

I can feel my father’s expression as he reads that last sentence.  It’s bothered my parents for some time that I’ve been able to -ahem-casually suggest ideas for Kid-Ginger since he was quite small.

I can’t count the amount of times my mother has stared at him, exasperated, and muttered:

“Why, why on Earth do you keep listening to your sister?  Stop it.  Just stop listening to what she tells you to do-honestly.”

She may have been on to something the day I blindfolded him and fed him anchovy paste.  But I don’t think he really understood until nearly ten years later, when I decided to give him a ‘cool’ haircut.

I’ve somehow managed to convince three people in my life that I am capable of cutting hair.

He was my first victim.

Things were going well when I shaved off the sides of his head, and let longer red locks fall over the buzz underneath.  This was the nineties and we were in Seattle, so the grungy, mohawk potential was cool at the time.

For the record, he enjoyed the modern art on his scalp for the first week.  Like a little bad-ass, he ran across the soccer field, scoring goals while donning a look my father would later refer to as ‘white-trash chic’.

bad.ass.

If my mother  hated the artwork on his head at that point, she despised it a week later when I again came at him with scissors.  We were eating sandwiches on the porch, when I glanced at my 11 year old sibling and said:

“You know kiddo, I’m pretty sure it’s uneven.  I just need to fix it-a little, won’t take long, I promise.”

The problem with making hair even when you have no idea what you’re doing-is that somehow you convince yourself to just keep going shorter, and shorter….

and shorter….

Suddenly I realized I had turned my brother into a turnip.

uhhhh..whoops?

When my mom came home from work that afternoon, she found me outside the bathroom door, trying to console her only son on what would go down in history as Kid-Ginger’s worst haircut.

When he finally opened the door and she saw what I had done to his head, I knew I was grounded.

Hours later, after he had returned from the proper hairdressers and finally stopped glaring at me, I convinced him that it was just a misunderstanding.

By bedtime, we were friends again.

Here’s hoping he comes home from Thailand.

Wizards, fox-roaming, and a mild cocaine addiction

30 Nov

I knew she was drunk when she repeatedly picked up the receiver in the public phone booth to ask for the Minestry of Magic.

When that didn’t work, she started hollering:

“Dumbledore, Albus.  Just trying to make this damn phone booth work m’am.  Just a muggle in need.”

It was two days after Christmas.  It was cold.  My cousin and I were stalking the streets of London in search for excitement.

Being two outgoing American ladies, we managed to finagle our way into a conversation that led to an invitation for pub-crawling.

Obviously this was a good plan.

Or not.

By the time the invitation was offered, we had both consumed several beverages.  The woman suggesting this great adventure was British and judging by the manner in which she kept licking her gums and disappearing into the bathroom-I’m guessing she was a little too into powdering her nose.

But no matter, her friends were fun.  They knew a club.  We chose to follow.

It was on the trek to the establishment when my cousin and I fell behind due to her fascination with the phone booths.  Well, that and my obsession with spotting a fox.

I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out.

Wild foxes roam about London.  Seriously.

I saw one in front of the National Gallery one day that stopped traffic.  The thing was so tame it wandered up to a woman on her cell phone and started sniffing her shoes.  She glanced down expecting to see a dog, but found a red-furred carnivore lazily seeking sandwich crumbs.

So while my cousin sought out Hogwarts’ finest, I set about looking under parked cars for Robin Hood.

It took us some time to catch up to the others.

By the time we did we could no longer locate our sniffing companion.

Not that it mattered.  The club was interesting and full of characters.  I talked to a man who claimed to have seven toes on one foot.  She managed to get herself tangled up in a conversation where she attempted to convince a British chap that she was speaking with a proper English accent.

She didn’t succeed and I didn’t get a proper toe reveal.

As the club grew stale, she and I wandered back outside in search of a taxi and the warmth of our beds.  Giggling in the car, we came to the conclusion that we’d just started our own Christmas tradition.  Forget roast goose, with pub-crawling, wizard-seeking, and near fox-spotting this was true holiday bonding.

If Dickens was watching, I’m sure he was proud.