Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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Before You Share, Beware: 5 Ways to Spot a Hoax

A Hoax is a Hoax is a Hoax

If you haven’t been acquainted with this travel-related internet hoax that fooled the Guardian and Huffington Post, perhaps now is the time. Long story short, Elan Gale, the producer of the Bachelor tricked thousands into believing there was an exceptionally rude passenger on his flight and that he started sending her kind-of funny, kind-of mean-spirited notes. It’s a whole narrative that unfolds on Twitter.

The hoax was uncovered when a person came out and claimed that “Diane,” the passenger Elan harassed had late-stage lung cancer. He had to come out (+90,000 Twitter followers) and admit Diane never existed or he would have ended up on the list of 2013’s worst people. Continue reading

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Haiku Challenge, Here We Come

Weekly Writing Challenge

Taking on the Haiku Challenge. Step 1: Get out in nature.

When I saw the DPchallenge to write five haikus, I thought, “well, why the heck not?” And so, instead of doing my Thanksgiving shopping, I wrote the poems below.

In October, I went to my first-ever literary retreat on a scholarship for young poets. I find this funny, because my hair is almost as gray as it is black. Young? And when I went, I glimpsed into my future. At fifty, I am going to be the lady with yellow tights and purple hair.

While there, I attended an hour-long workshop on haiku and fell in love with the form. It’s great practice. You get rid of pesky adverbs and articles clogging up your writing and focus in on a single natural image. The instructor recommended sitting down outside and writing twenty haikus in a row.

“Be in the moment. And don’t try to make it good. That’s the fastest way to kill a poem.”

So when I saw the Haiku Challenge, I wrote these. Some of them are holiday themed. Some of them are silly. 

Haikus for You

Monday
A dusty can rolls
from the empty cabinet
Yes! We do have peas

Tuesday
A lone shoe sits in
center of a puddle that
clearly reflects two

Wednesday
Casserole charred
sweet potatoes turn to mush
but, perfect turkey

Thursday
Leaf flutters in a breeze
Plume of smoke from a chimney
The November dance

Friday
Kids run to dinner
Sidewalk shadows long and black
Gold leaves wave them by


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My Impossible-to-Escape Turkey Day Tradition

Turkey Day, Seattle

This is what November looks like here. Isn’t it pretty?

I did it. I finally made a turkey. Ok, my husband did most of, ok all of the gross stuff like stuffing it with apples and herbs to make it aromatic and piercing the thigh with a meat thermometer every hour. I participated by inspecting the meat to make sure we weren’t giving all of our friends food poisoning.

I know what you’re thinking…Thanksgiving is a couple days away.

Being nomads, we’ve never done a true Thanksgiving. We spent our first Thanksgiving married in a Shari’s Diner eating half-frozen turkey sandwiches with blobs of cranberry sauce on the side. I cried.

I vowed never to let that happen again, so for the next few years we found a fancy restaurant and dined there. Still didn’t feel right. No football, no drunk cousins, no Cool Whip? Something about the white-linen tablecloth made me feel awkward making a mashed-potato volcano. Too fancy, no family. And I cry again.

Thankfully, a friend took me in the next year, when The Husband was in Quebec and I was in Seattle. No crying and I am still grateful. Be supportive to your Thanksgiving strays, they’ll remember it.

Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Poutine

Poutine and plastic fork. Even Elwood realized it wasn’t Thanksgiving.

Then came the Quebec year. Thanksgiving isn’t a big to-do in Quebec like it is here.

First, their Thanksgiving (L’action de Grace) takes place before Halloween. That’s strange. It’s like eating dessert before dinner. And most people, at least in Quebec see Thanksgiving as a day off to cover their pools and construct their carports. Most people I knew didn’t even eat turkey.

That’s right: Thanksgiving in Belle Province is pretty much relegated to a labor-day type of holiday. Which is fine, they have plenty of awesome holidays and at the time, I thought I could use a break from American-style gorging. Continue reading


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15 Things I Am Not Thankful For

Black-Friday, Not-Giving-Thanks-Travel Blog

I am thankful for nachos. And kids who think up characters like Nacho Hippy.

I am thankful for lots of things. Number one: all of my necessities have been met since I was born. I have always had food, water, shelter, and toothpaste. And not to brag, but I have always been pretty healthy, as in never hospitalized, never had to look past the first set of symptoms on Web MD.  I have been silently expressing my gratitude for these things for years.

I also would like to give thanks to Mick Jagger and the inventor of peppermint mocha creamer*. I have been enjoying cups of minty coffee and the Rolling Stones for years now. Sometimes even together. Time to give thanks.

Let’s get to the things I AM NOT thankful for. I decided since it’s Black Friday and not Thanksgiving, it’s totally appropriate.

15 Things I am not thankful for

  1. TSA body scanners. I now have to take that shot when someone asks if a naked picture of me exists somewhere. Because I am pretty sure it does.
  2. People at the airport who scream “this is fascism” when asked to take off their belt. Sure it sucks, but please don’t hold up the line.
  3. Instagram. Stop it! I can’t tell what a normal picture looks like anymore. Fading your photo of your curtains doesn’t make it artsy. Also, I can’t take a photo with an actual glass filter without someone assuming it’s Instagram.
  4. Pencils that look suspiciously like pens.
  5. Olives. Thanks for ruining that lemon-chicken-orzo salad for me, you bitter son-of-bitch.
  6. Hipsters. 
  7. Hipsters eating olives. 
  8. Hipsters eating olives and then complaining that they’re not local.
  9. Cellulite. Thanks for preventing me from ever wearing a bathing suit in public.
  10. The illogical French numbering system. Seventy-five is like sixty-five, except instead of soixante-cinq (65), it would be soixante-quinze (75). What a backwards way to do things. Don’t get me started on 99, quatre-vingt-dix-neuf. I can never hear the “dix.”
  11. Seattle’s public transportation. Or lack thereof. I have to cross two bodies of water to get to work, three if you count the curbside stream that occurs after a big storm. There are two trains – one only goes North-South and the other is a tourist trap. I hate to complain, but I have an hour commute to a place 20-minutes away.
  12. Pretentious noise pollution. That pretentious guy at the zoo or the art museum or the aquarium. He knows you’re listening as he goes on and on about baboon mating rituals or what Monet really meant when he painted the water lilies. They need to have special opening hours for these jerk faces. Move along please.
  13. Information overload. I enjoy technology. Lightbulbs, air-conditioning, Snuggies. But the Information Age has its drawbacks. I can’t have a conversation with someone without it being interrupted by a “like” or a “tweet.” I actually exchanged my cellphone for an emergency burner & landline. I thought it would suck, but my mind feels focused and energized. As far as books, I prefer print. Print wastes paper, but consider the effect of dumping millions of electronic devices into the earth.
  14. Black Friday.  It’s a great people-watching opportunity and I used to go out every year only to enjoy an Orange Julius while watching rabid consumers scramble for the latest toy. But now it makes me sad. We’re told to be thankful one day and the next day, deals are shoved into our faces. Fun fact: I got married on Black Friday. I was a Black Friday bride!
  15. Raisins that look suspiciously like chocolate chips

* To my family, friends, husband, dog, the thirty or so people who read this, and everyone else in my life: THANK You. My life is glorious and I relish every single second spent with you.