Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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Just Another Manic Memoir

Just Pretty

There is beauty in the everyday.

Everyone’s doing it. Entire sections of the bookstore are dedicated to it. Blonde-woman-leaves-routine-life-for-abroad-or-the-wood memoirs. Think: Cheryl Strayed. Elizabeth Gilbert.* To stand out from other travel memoirs, you need to set sail all by yourself to Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton-style and survive something horrific like eating your own dogs or do some peyote in the desert and be able to clearly WRITE about that experience. Pen name: Huntess S. Thompson.

For the reasons above, I’m starting a new genre: the stay-put memoir. Lists of dull things we do everyday, written with a certain flair.

Consider the untold story in the soggy French fries curled on the bottom of my CRV, in the struggle of trying to get to my dry cleaner before it closes, in bagel dust between my keyboard letters. That’s real stuff. Bonus: I don’t have to do anything difficult to write it. I just keep on keepin on. It would be relatable, that’s for sure. Low-risk. Yes. Dull? No way.

Future memoir titles: 

  • Is It Weird To Smell Your Own Hair On The Bus? And Other Concerns
  • Skeptical Of Your Gluten Allergy, So Totally Sure Of Mine
  • Copywriter’s Dilemma: Having A Nervous Breakdown One Exclamation Point At A Time!!
  • Checking The Door Twice: Confessions Of A Public-Bathroom Phobic
  • Fear And Loathing On A Train. Mother + Daughter Ride The Rails Cross Country. (Read the sneak preview here).
  • Tears On My Mcdonald’s Cheeseburger. What Happens When You Get The Wrong Gender-Specific Toy.
  • Facebook Lies: That Time I Said I Had A Great Time Kayaking When It Was Actually Just Ok

Which one should I start on first?

*I like Elizabeth Gilbert.

**I’m actually headed to the desert next month (New Mexico + Texas). Where should I go? What should I do? Comment below.

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Is That a Sunset Or An Oil Painting Made By Angels?

Another round-up of Tuesday Three Things That Happened Last Week.

I. THE NEW JOB

I don't know how to describe this

This is my sister’s chihuahau with a stuffed toy in it’s mouth & it makes me laugh so hard.

After a few months of freelancing, I have a new job. A dream job if you will. Freelance writing drove me a little too deep into my own head and working in pjs was fun until I woke up and realized I hadn’t worn actual clothes in a week.

Also, sporadic paychecks from writing gigs don’t really *work* anymore in Seattle, with our sky-high rents.

I’m a writer/editor for a cool company that helps bands and shows with ticketing and promotions.  The coolest thing about it that it embodies a Come As You Are mentality, so I could probably get a forehead tattoo and they wouldn’t blink an eye.

I’m working for the man in a creative capacity without actually working for The Man. Perfect. And this is a company that REALLY gives back to the community, so that makes me feel good, especially after my whole age-33-meaning-of-life crisis. I’m not bragging, I want other dream-followers to stick it out and find the job they really want.

I get a week off to volunteer and am already fantasizing about volunteer opportunities.

Should I: 

-Rescue/name/bottle feed orphaned baby monkeys in Costa Rica? (I’ll call this one Danger and this one Milly…)
-Volunteer to find out what happened to Lindsey Lohan?
-Work the cafeteria of some fancy writer’s conference? (Hey, Toni Morrison, I slipped you a copy of my latest. Hope you like these mashed potatoes).

I’m already enjoying perks like conversations with actual humans in the middle of the day, office dogs, and air conditioning.

II. It’s Not Goodbye, It’s Bon Voyage 

Street in Quebec

Bon voyage! (These are strangers, not my actual friends).

This is a bummer: I had to say goodbye to some really good friends of mine because they left our glorious state for another.

I am super happy for them because I know that moving long distances (thrice!) has made me a better, happier person because it’s incredibly frustrating and also fun.

As much as I would like to, I can’t be like:  “no stay and we can stay like this forever and nothing will change and then you’ll wake up at 80 and regret that you missed an opportunity because your friend got all emo about you leaving.”

It takes a lot for me to make friends (I’m a giant weirdo), especially here where the social scene is a maze of passive-aggressive invitations to happy hours followed by passive-aggressive refusals.

Sigh. Here we go again.

III. I WAS HERE FIRST

THIS does not do justice to the amazing sunset last night.

THIS low-res iphone photo does not do justice to the amazing sunset on Sunday.

Everyone and their brother is moving to Seattle and judging by Saturday’s packed summer fest, my neighborhood is the quartier du jour. It both pisses me off (I WAS HERE FIRST!! SECOND) and amuses me.

When I moved to Seattle eight years ago, this was the reaction from most of my friends:

I’d never leave Chicago. You know it rains there, every day right? And they don’t even have a basketball team. And the suicide risk is high. You might as well move straight into a mental hospital because those clouds are gonna drive you nuts. 

[Drops bags off, looks out window] OMG this place is amazing! Is that a sunset or is that God’s hand coming down to personally bless this place because it is the most.beautiful. in the whole world?

The view from my roof

Proof it’s not a fluke: last year’s winning sunset starring a rainbow ribbon cloud. 

Even with my awesome new job, I cannot afford rent that’s much higher than its current $1,600 a month for 700 sq.ft and I’m terrified I’m living in the next San Francisco.

And with all the new condos/traffic/pedestrians darting into the street, my neighborhood feels a little less like MY neighborhood.

I’ve lived here on and off since I first moved to the city, when it was uncool amongst my hip writerly coworkers who (then) lived on The Hill and thought White Center was too dangerous and West Seattle too suburban.  I live on a peninsula and get to hang out at the beach pretty much every day so, I’ve been pretty happy.

Does wanting to join an anti-development coalition make me old?


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My Résumé, the Mad Skills Edition

Skill #105: Finding spring before it actually begins.

Skill #105: Wildlife spotting.

Let’s be honest. Resumes aren’t meant to show off our real skills. You know the unseen stuff, the stuff your boss never includes in a performance evaluation, but probably should.

I’ve listed mine below, just in case you want to hire a drum-miming-broom-dancing-popcorn-making writer.

And so you don’t think I am bragging, I’ve listed the stuff I am not so good at. Comment below with your own mad skills!

My mad skillz résumé: 

  • Balancing a 600-page-plus tome on the treadmill as I run

-Drum miming as I run
-Imagining myself in an action movie as I run

  • Interpretive broom dancing

-Car dancing
-Elliptical dancing

  • Creative theme party planning
    My latest: Turtleneck & Chains (Inspired by The Lonely Island’s hilarious hit single. It’s BYLB. That’s Bring Your Light Beer).
    Previous: Nautical Night. Or I Think I’m On a Boat.
  • Dawson’s Creek Trivia
  • Popcorn making
  • Recognizing relatively obscure Biggy Smalls songs
  • Doodling Venus flytraps in the margins of my notepad
  • Deconstructing every nuance of My So-Called Life
  • Moving cross-country/international (3 times and counting!)
  • Finding freakishly good new snacks at Trader Joe’s
  • Identifying a good doctor by their magazine collection. (I.E. You’re a Doctor & you want your patients reading Web MD Magazine? GTFO.)
  • Making fairly elaborate quesadillas.
  • Jump roping.
  • Sweeping
  • Occasionally dice games & poker. I don’t play often enough to find out if I am actually good. So we’ll list this as a maybe.
  • Sprinting through airports
  • Finding the best pizza in any neighborhood, city, or small town
  • Picking hotels

Things I need to work on:

  • Balancing my mug of coffee in the car
  • Parallel parking. Spent most of my life in or close to various metro areas. Still not happening.
  • Eating produce before it gets moldy
  • Remembering reusable grocery bags
  • Dressing for the weather
  • Holding those handles on the bus for long stretches of time
  • Walking in heels, uphill/downhill. I firmly believe Seattle’s massive hills were the impetus for grunge fashion.
  • French accents.
  • Trapezing. Because you actually have to move your body when you trapeze. Who knew?
  • Carrying lots of stuff and arranging it properly before trying to open the door
  • Driving small cars, like FIATS
  • Finding my keys