Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


9 Comments

When Networking Goes Hilariously Wrong

Remember when I said I wanted a stalker? Not the scary kind, the kind that would anonymously send me my favorite flowers or take a bunch of scary but really cool monochrome photos of me walking down the street.

Ok, I never said that. It was one of those things you think about but you never dare say.

I was massively hit on in the form of an email approximately 5 hours after my first networking event.

Networking, American Psycho, Humor Blog

What I thought networking would be like.

My vision of networking is slightly dated, slightly 80s, gleaned from movies like Wall Street, American Psycho, and Working Girl that came out when I was a kid.

I put on my black blazer with the Murphy Brown power shoulders, slipped on my She’s Got Legs pumps and threw a stack of business cards into my purse. I am from Chicago where business event means dress like a real estate agent. Not so in Seattle. I knew my serious suit was a mistake as soon as I walked into the revolving door to find hip chicks clad in Anthropologie sipping amber ale, their hair twisted into high buns. Continue reading

Advertisements


19 Comments

Bad Behavior at the Louvre

There’s so much to tell you all about my travels in Paris. The lights stretching over the inky black Seine, the oh-so fashionable Parisians, the bookstores, the bakeries.

But before I write my photo narratives and list of Studs and Duds, I want to discuss a disturbing new social development: the need to compulsively take photos of art. Or I suppose on a bigger scale, our need to document and share everything.

A few days before I left for Paris, I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, a multi-layer mockumentary about street art, directed by Banksy, that dude all your hipster friends are so into.

The movie tells the story of Theirry Guetta who films every waking moment of his life, from banal trips to the grocery store to his baby’s first steps. He eventually turns his focus to his cousin “Invader,” a street artist who creates these space invader mosaics:

IMG_2592

Invader introduces Thierry to all kinds of street artists. He becomes what Hunter Thompson was to the Hells Angels—an insider, able to access what others cannot. Mid-film (*spoiler alert*) the audience realizes that Thierry isn’t a filmmaker; he’s mentally ill, a hoarder of footage because his mom died when he was a kid and he’s afraid of missing moments. He has great footage, but makes an unusable film.

He reminds me of myself and my own compulsive need to document everything. But it’s not just me. It’s a lot of us. And I don’t even have a smartphone.

Exit Through the Gift Shop stayed fresh in my mind when I went to Paris. I spent hours in the Pompidou, the Louvre, the Dali museum, and then another day with my bros vanGogh and Gougin at Musee d’Orsay.

Saw lots of world-famous art, paintings and sculptures my art teacher told me I would never see.

Dali's Minotaur

That’s me and Dali’s minotaur. I didn’t realize he was patting my head.

That was cool.

This was not.

Mona Lisa in Paris

The Mona Lisa through a wall of iPhones & iPads

Long lines of people at the Louvre taking photo after photo, not waiting more than a minute to absorb the work. At the Mona Lisa, I had to stand on my toes to glance over the wall of raised iPads and iPhones. The band of zombies clicked away like we were on a safari and an elephant emerged from the brush.

Why are we in such a rush to snap, share, and go?

Is it because we’re all walking around with mini-computers and it’s so convenient and so irresistible? Or like Thierry, are we afraid of missing something? Continue reading


5 Comments

Aging Gracefully or Not Really Aging At All

Quotes on aging

To all the May birthdays in my life. There are so many of you!

i’d very much prefer staying firm and slim/to grow old like a vintage wine fermenting/in old wooden vats with style ~ Nikki Giovanni

…If I could dance that way again I would do it for twenty-four hours straight. I get sad, then I think some people never dance at all. My grandma, the youngest 83-year-old I know.

Ten… 

I never liked dolls.

When I was four, a well-meaning uncle gave me a doll and I pretended to rock it in my miniature wooden rocking chair, holding a plastic bottle to its pursed lips.

When he turned away, I tossed the doll to the floor. I can still see its sky-blue eyes staring up at me, unblinking.

I favored stuffed animals (less demanding) and as an adult, I prefer puppies to babies. But it doesn’t matter. Because by the time you’re 10, your friends tell you to GROW UP and leave the dolls behind.

Boston-terrier-life-advice-aging

You think he knows how old he is?

I’ll call her J, just in case she finds and reads this. J was my childhood friend who convinced me I was never good enough at the age I was (the same age as her).

J was one of those girls, who at 10, acted 12 and at 12, acted 16. Continue reading

friendship-expat-humor-travel-blog


6 Comments

The Art of Making Friends in New Places

For me, travel isn’t about running my hands over the walls of the Taj Mahal or zip lining through a canopy of trees in Costa Rica.

It’s the people I have met and yet to meet. It’s the friendships that have yet to unfurl.

Friends 4ever.

friends-friendships-quebec

While flying from Detroit to Quebec to work on a travel guidebook, I befriended a four-year-old. I know.  What could we possibly have in common?

Trick question. We both love pink and purple, paging through the SkyMall and making wide-eyed puppets out of paperbags. Continue reading


2 Comments

The Art of Rejection

I am writing this for anyone who considers themselves an artist and has the glamourous job of creating something, submitting it and waiting for the inevitable words:

Sorry not for us

___ (*NOT YOU*) won the You are a Writing God Fellowship.

….not quite right for our pompous-ass publication.

No matter what it says, you hear the same thing. “You: no good. Stop now.”

Reflections of/the way rejection used to be 

writing-writing-tips-how-to-handle-rejection

A rejection letter is only a stop sign if you let it be.

The first rejection slip I ever received came before I ever submitted anything, in the form of cruel words from others. Girls iced me out of the cool cliques. Boys I liked who didn’t like me and made it a point to announce it. Teachers who ignored me. Thankfully, my childhood happened well before the internet because I am quite if cyber bullying existed, it would have pushed me into crazy territory.

Getting bullied isn’t a rite of passage. It’s crowdsourced abuse.

For a long time, I feared rejection so much, all of my writing resided in my notebook or my mind. I lived inside my own head, scared to make a squeak. No standing and delivering for me; I curled up and withdrew. Continue reading


4 Comments

The Art of Saying Goodbye

expat-tips-moving-tips-travel-blogs

Elwood wondering about the next time he’ll see his friends from Quebec

Goodbye is part of life, especially for travel writers and expats. I said goodbye to a very good group of people recently. As someone who has made three big moves in six years, I should be accustomed to this.

I am not. Especially because I know I probably won’t see these people again.

The Very Good People I speak of are a refugee family from Libya (originally Somalia) who I helped transition here. I showed them bus routes and where to find jobs and taught them simple English phrases. They cooked dinner every Sunday. Heaping piles of rice and pasta with sides of bananas and salads. Never a question if I would stay and eat. They assumed and set up a plate and ushered me to the kitchen.

I worked with the family for a few months. As I watched them pack, (offering to help, but not knowing what to do), I noticed they still didn’t switch their clocks over for daylight savings. I should have explained daylight savings to them. I should have showed them where to buy rain boots and jackets. I could have done a better job as their appointed American mentor. Continue reading