Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Rather than devote our resources to making sure that children don't have to sleep in cars, we instead create a $95 doll in order to explain the homeless epidemic to our kids? This is just plain offensive.

Shame on you, Mattel.

*snap* *clap* *stomp*
Thursday, September 24, 2009
In preparation for our vacation, I downloaded some movies onto my iPod. I don't sleep well (or really at all) on planes, so I knew I would need to have a well-stocked arsenal of distractions at the ready. On the way to the airport, I realized that I didn't transfer them correctly onto my iPod and they were, therefore, not available to me.

Cut to this past week, when I decided to watch them during my daily commute. I cued up Zorba the Greek, knowing that my timing rendered the movie woefully irrelevant (given that I was in Chicago, not Greece) but WHATEVER. I was curious.

Simply put, it was easily the strangest movie I've ever seen in my entire life. In the battle of oddest movies ever, it easily takes the crown from runners-up like Heathers and Magnolia. You know what? I'll let you see what I'm talking about:

Bizarre-O, right?! Discuss amongst yourselves.

Things That I am Loving This Week
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheddar Jalapeno Tortilla Combos - it's a mouthful! Literally! OMG YUM**

* Photo credit: Bath & Body Works
** Photo credit: Candyland Store.Com
*** Photo Credit: Huffington Post

In Which I Put Off Blogging By Posting Photos
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Look, over there! Something shiny!

Click here to be taken to my Flickr set. I only uploaded about 1/3 of the total volume of photos taken - you can thank me later, k?


At Day's End
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
One of the nicest things about vacation is that you can relax at the end of the day, and assess the general situation, with a minimum of anxiety and stress. There are no mouths to feed, no bills to pay, and no outfit to choose/lay out for the following workday. There is only quiet thought. (and if you're lucky, a Bacardi & Diet Coke awaiting you)

Here are my daily snapshots of my vacation evenings, in order. Some are, admittedly, more relaxing than others. Click to enlarge.

Day 1: Hot bath, red wine, wind down from long flight(s) - Athens

Day 2: Feet up after long, hot day of touring, enjoying the view - Athens

Day 3: Lovely dinner in the grotto at Daphne's, near miss of thunderstorm - Athens

Day 4: Cocktail on the balcony, overlooking the Athenian riviera. Quiet, lovely. Ouzo is Sean's (I hate that stuff) - Athens

Day 5: Reading on the terrace of our room - Mykonos

Day 6: Reading (another book! one book a day = best part of any vacation) and laughing, watching Monk reruns. Mykonos

Day 7: Aboard the high-speed ferry from Mykonos to Crete, pounding anti-nauseals and hoping for the best

Day 8: Escaping the sun in our room, pre-dinner cocktails and an unreal view - Elounda, Crete

Day 9: Aegean Air, yet another book, headed back to Athens

Day 10: Mid-day-night-who-the-hell-knows-what-time-it-is, another book! - somewhere over Greenland, en route to Chicago

And on that note, I'm off to bed. It's the end of the day, you know.

Homecoming Queen
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Oh man. I am bushed, people. That was seriously a trip for the history books - which I will probably be blogging about for a long time because there is so much to say! Greece is a country that defies description. I seriously don't know if I have the words in my vocabulary to describe it - and since emotions are intangible, you'll probably have to settle for photos.

Long story short? You should go there. You should go there NOW.

I'll be sifting through my 12 gb of photos (!!!) and putting the ones that don't suck onto Flickr throughout the week. Until then, you can revel in this cellphone picture I took in my cube this morning, displaying my glorious tan. Obviously, I was pretending to be on the beach.

(Seriously, it's the tannest I think I've ever been. And I had 55-70 SPF on at mostly all times. That grecian sun is no laughing matter.)

(Also, I am wearing a tank top that you cannot see in the photo. Just in case you were thinking something crazy.)

Ελπίζω να έχουν ασφαλή ταξίδια*
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Tonight, Sean and I fly to Munich where I plan on awaking only long enough to toss back a good beer before embarking on our connection to Athens. This vacation has been much talked about in recent days, due in part to the fact that I cannot believe that (a) it's September. SEPTEMBER! Wth?!, and (b) that this trip snuck up on me faster than a guinea pig on the lam. (Have you ever seen a guinea pig run? Those little furballs are lightning fast, I kid you not.)

(omg! what's with the parentheticals, Jamie?)

(and the guinea pigs? we're talking about Greece, not Ecuador!)

Seriously though, I am beyond excited to see this country. It's definitely always been on my bucket list and I am so grateful to have an adventuresome partner with whom to share the experience. Our vacations are always memorable, and this go 'round, we've actually scheduled in beach/rest time! I can't wait to just sit. Plus, I don't think I've ever been to a place with water this clear and blue. (Maybe Belize, but I was working so I didn't exactly enjoy it)

(ommmmmgggggg the parentheses! they are back! i am an addict!)

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend - I'll be back in a week or so dragging jars of olives, my sunburned self, and undoubtedly many awesome memories behind me. Take care.

*Greek for "safe travels" which I certainly hope we have. Bon voyage to any of you that are also traveling!

Reading/Struggling to Truly Understand
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
What if all the ads and all the whoreoscopes seemed to imply was that if only you were narcissistic enough, if only you took proper care of your smells, your hair, your boobs, your eyelashes, your armpits, your crotch, your stars, your scars, and your choice of Scotch in bars - you would meet a beautiful, powerful, potent, and rich man who would satisfy every longing, fill every hole, make your heart skip a beat (or stand still), make you misty, and fly you to the moon (preferably on gossamer wings), where you would live totally satisfied forever.

and it goes on... and I become more perplexed, wishing I had some internal context of the 1960's to which I could refer...

We had more in our lives than just men; we had our work, travel, friends. Then why did our lives seem to come down to a long succession of sad songs about men? Why did our lives seem to reduce themselves to manhunts? Where were the women who were really free, who didn't spend their lives bouncing from man to man, who felt complete with or without a man? We looked to our uncertain heroines for help, and lo and behold - Simone de Beauvoir never makes a move without wondering what would Sartre think? [ed:...] Timid in their lives and brave only in their art. Emily Dickinson, the Brontes, Virginia Woolf, Carson McCullers...Flannery O'Connor raising peacocks and living with her mother, Sylvia Plath sticking her head into an oven of myth. Georgia O'Keefe alone in the desert, apparently a survivor. What a group! Severe, suicidal, strange. Where was the female Chaucer? One lusty lady who had juice and joy and love and talent too? Where could we turn for guidance? [Ed:...] Almost all the women we admired most were spinsters or suicides. Was that where it all led?

I like the goal of this book. I'm just not certain I'm liking how she chooses to portray her ideals, how she narrates the character development. Hmm. I might have to finish this, and revisit it later. The subject matter is, all at once, incredibly relevant to my life, and also totally irrelevant. Very odd.

Hello, Mellow
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The vacation countdown has begun, and like any normal getaway in my world, the countdown is mostly comprised of multiple to-do lists strewn about like remnants from a ticker tape parade in Times Square. The stress level is suitably high, and it will be a miracle if I arrive at the airport on Thursday night with any remaining good mood in my body. I bring it upon myself, what can I say? I would rather leave town knowing all loose ends are tied, than come back to disorganized chaos. I bring it upon myself. I know this. Moving on.

As part of "Operation Calm The Hell Down STAT Or Else," I put together the following playlist this morning. I will be listening to it on repeat (and most likely, also on a beach somewhere soon) and repeating something trite like "Serenity Now..." That, or I'll just find me another one of those umbrella'd cocktails.

Jamie's Vacation Playlist: Version LaidBack 2.0

Life in a Northern Town Sugarland
Tempted Squeeze
Mykonos Fleet Foxes
More Time Needtobreathe
Another Sunny Day Belle & Sebastian
We Belong Together Gavin DeGraw
For All We Know Carpenters
People Get Ready Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions
Black Flowers Yo La Tengo
Close to Me The Cure
Wait For Me Moby
Let My Love Open the Door Pete Townshend
Cold Out There Jon Hopkins
Lanterns on the Levee Kate Campbell
In the Waiting Line Zero7
Look out Any Window Bruce Hornsby
How Sweet it Is Marvin Gaye
Clocks Coldplay
Blue Ridge Mountains Fleet Foxes
Close Call Rilo Kiley
I'll Be There Jackson 5