Dec 272010
 
An Unexpected Present on the Train to DC

Imagine you are schlepping a bulbous suitcase down the stairs in New York’s Penn Station on Christmas Eve, squeezing through hundreds of stressed travelers to board the train for DC.  Imagine you’re sweaty and cold at the same time, irritable and achy, overwhelmed and jostled, when suddenly:

HAPPINESS!

Look to the left to see the conductor who greeted us!

People of the world, how can you NOT smile upon seeing such a sweet smile, [...Read More!]

Dec 242010
 
Illegal Thai Fruit, Odd NYC Veggie, and Ghana Intensity

Exactly one year ago, I was almost arrested in Bangkok, Thailand for bringing an illegally smelly fruit onto a public train.

You can read the whole dramatic story by clicking here, but the short version is that durians (giant, monstrously spiky fruits common in Asia) smell so horrifically bad that there are signs all over public transport in Southeast Asia warning against carrying them.  And I did.  And a Thai policeman nearly [...Read More!]

Dec 032010
 
The Glow of Appreciation after 2 Years Without Winter

The resounding song in my universe since returning from nine months of travel has been entitled: “Appreciation!”

There is nothing like being away from something for a time to make you re-see it in its original glory.

That said, life isn’t always a happy-shmappy song. Right now, for instance, I’m in a nutty mood.  My daily 5:30am alarm this morning was not enough to force me out of bed fast enough to catch the [...Read More!]

Dec 022010
 
The Sexiest Buildings in Boston: Part 5

All right, so our chat about Boston architecture has taken a rather irreverent turn, with articles on the Un-Sexiest Building in Boston (about a building so infamous that a Bostonian friend currently living in the Dominican Republic said she knew what the article was about without even opening it), followed by a post on two Sexy-Ugly Buildings.

But let’s get back to pure beauty.

Gaze, my friends, upon Downtown Boston’s Custom House Tower! [...Read More!]

Nov 282010
 
A Fascinating Context Tour of Boston's Big Dig, Part 1

The first thing you must know is that Teachers frequently make atrocious Students.

We’re used to be the ones doing the explaining.  We’re used to being in control.  Our job necessitates that we move and talk constantly in order to be effective, not sit obediently and listen.

Hence, ironically, Teachers can be really annoying folks to have on the other side of a classroom.

This is to say that when a friend suggested that [...Read More!]

Nov 202010
 
Awesome Public Art: a True Gift to our Cities!

I am currently half human and half icicle due to wandering outside in Boston’s winter for 3 hours with a foolishly thin jacket, but that’s all right.

Why?

Because the reason I was outside was to go on a famous Context Tour of Boston’s Big Dig!

I am thrilled to report that thanks to the tour, my noggin is now sparkling with countless new Boston facts, and my camera now brims with 100 fresh [...Read More!]

Nov 152010
 
A Home Decorating Tip to Keep Travel Memories Alive

You’re back from traveling around the world.  Your blog has over 400 articles documenting every single day of the journey.  Now what?

There’s one tip for sure: print out those photos and plaster the walls of your new home with them to remember the loveliness of distant countries each and every day!

Now here’s the awesome part: it is CRAZY cheap to order and print digital photos with a click of your mouse! [...Read More!]

Nov 032010
 
Mystery Glittery Photo Challenge!

Hello pretty people!

So maybe this here “challenge” will be ridiculously easy for you all, or maybe it will take years for the correct answer to be guessed…

…but the simple fact is that I have just graded 300 hunks of paper (one essay test and one term paper from each of my 150 students) over the course of seven long days, and now everything is a bit hazy and swirly…

…so, dagnabbit, I [...Read More!]

Oct 312010
 
Weird Warping of Big Holidays During Extended Travel

It hit me as I was proctoring Study Hall this past Friday, gazing at the sea of sweet Boston students clad as: Lady Gaga, a bumble bee, a red M&M, and a giant Teletubby.

I suddenly realized I had absolutely no memory of what I did for Halloween, 2009.

I racked my brain.  My Vietnam visa ran out at the end of October, 2009, so I was likely in Laos on October 31. [...Read More!]

Oct 292010
 
On Mafia Wars Addiction, or: How Blogging Saved Me

Confession: I used to be a Mafia Wars addict.  Like… a REALLY bad Mafia Wars addict.

For those who are blissfully unaware, Mafia Wars is a game through the Zynga platform on Facebook which involves clicking buttons over and over (and over) again to “Do Jobs” and perform “Hits” against other players in order to gain loot and status.  It’s brainless.  It’s utterly enjoyable.  It’s magnetically addictive.

In 2009, before I left America [...Read More!]