Thursday, May 31, 2007

Destination - Shoe York

Danielle emailed me today with a link to this story. I have no idea why...


May 24, 2007 -- It's enough to make Imelda Marcos run for election in New York.
This summer, Saks will open a gigantic women's footwear salon that will take up an entire floor of its flagship Fifth Avenue store, feature 10,000 pairs of shoes - and even have its own ZIP code.
It's the first time in history that the U.S. Postal Service has issued a ZIP code plus four for a floor of a building, or allowed a business to dictate an alphabetical ending: 10022-SHOE.
All the gimmicks are likely to send women scuttling to Saks for slingbacks after the eighth-floor store opens in mid-August.
Not only will they be able to sift through thousands of pairs of designer shoes in the 8,500-square-foot showroom, but sip coffee at a luxury chocolate shop.
The eighth floor, to be renamed 10022-SHOE, will also have a dedicated elevator and extra staff to handle shoppers.
Well-heeled women can get their designer footwear repaired at an on-site cobbler. There will also be a VIP room for private shopping.
"Really, it is an enormous amount of space. There are probably bigger shoe floors, but this is going to be really big," said Saks' senior vice president of marketing, Terron Schaeffer.
On top of the showroom space, another 9,000 square feet will be dedicated to a stockroom and storage.
Hearing of the new shoe space, Si-Yeon Kim, a 36-year-old Manhattanite who's a dedicated shoe shopper, said, "I think I'll just live there. I'll move right in."


Now, I did not get to visit Shoe York, since it does not open until this summer. I only visited NEW York, but Shoe York is now on My List. That story reminded me of another New York trip, where I did pay a little visit to the Saks shoe department and, while browsing, happened to look up and see none other than Miss Natalie Cole.

She was not carrying her microphone. And when I say "look up", I'm not exaggerating. She is TALL! Probably 5'10 without Saks shoes on. So I picked up a velvet D'orsay pump and turned to her to ask if she thought that style was Unforgettable... No, no, no. I didn't do that. But I wanted to. Seeing celebrities is always so odd, since I don't expect them to be right there. Especially not right there in the shoe section where I'm browsing. Hopefully I will see her again, possibly in Shoe York. If I do, I really WILL ask her the Unforgettable shoe question - I'm sure she never hears stuff like that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Prefer "Climate Change"

Whatever is going on with the world, climate-wise, "Global Warming" has become such a hot-button, reaction-inducing phrase, that I'm starting to feel like it's politically incorrect. "Climate Change" has a much nicer ring to it, and sounds like it might be a string quartet that you can hire for a wedding ceremony.

I keep hearing people say they don't "believe" in Global Warming. Like it's a leprechaun or something. Whatever you do, or don't believe in... have to admit that we are a pretty messy people, and we produce a lot of garbage/waste, and a lot of pollution. I mean, just go sit in your garage with the door closed and turn on your car...oh wait, no, you shouldn't do that. But really, think about that for a second. That air is NOT clean.

Traveling, sadly, creates lots of air pollution with all the driving and the flying and what have you. Our company just added a Carbon Offset program, where we're going to be offsetting the small-ship expeditions that our clients are taking. Isn't that nice of us? We want to be considered "Carbon Neutral", which sounds like the alternative band that plays at the reception, after Climate Change finishes their minuet at the wedding.

This link is a permanent feature on my blog, but just in case you haven't visited yet:

Oh, by the way, I did the Carbon Offset thing for my flight to New York, and round trip it was only $12. It is almost too easy. I spend $12 on a Grande Non-Fat Chai and an egg-salad sandwich at Starbucks.

The best way to minimize impact on the environment would be NOT to travel at all.

I would rather sit in a garage with the door closed and the car running. Yeccchhhh.

The Diet Coke thing reminded me...

how much I totally love this commercial. The song is one of my absolute favorites (Oakenfold - Starry-Eyed Surprise - get it on iTunes), and how much fun is roller skating???

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What else can I eat...

Those posts about chocolate made me hungry. Or, at least made me still want to discuss food. Sometimes I will get very specific cravings (and no, not necessarily monthly cravings), for very specific foods. Or very specific restaurants. What completely pains me, is when the craving is sharp and gnawing, and it is something like this:

"Oooh! I totally want to go to lunch at Tortilla Coast today - I'm positively craving those strawberry & lime swirl margarita pitchers, and a quesadilla."

Sounds great, no?

No. Tortilla Coast is in Washington DC. But my salivary glands think we are closer than the 3000-ish miles, and are flexing in anticipation of the lime half of the frozen margaritas. I have no idea why I do this to myself.

By the way, the picture does not show the strawberry half - it's probably on the other side.

I have a frequent, recurring cravings for food at establishments that I recurringly frequented when I lived in certain regions:

  • Sub Shop subs (Columbia, Missouri)

  • Ruttles' cheese curds (Ames, Iowa)

  • Obrycki's crab cakes (Baltimore)

  • Au pied du cochon's Croque Monsieur (Georgetown, DC - although I could do without the smug waiters asking me to repeat my order numerous times, just for a good laugh at my French 'accent' - cut me some slack, it was always 2AM when I was ordering this)...

  • Kimchi Kimbap at that little place with no name across from the school where I was teaching (Seoul, South Korea)

And one of the 2 main reasons I fly back to Chicago: Portillo's Hot Dogs. (The other reason is the Cubs. Wrigley Field also has some noteworthy hot dogs, but Portillo's are really the best.)

Beef Hot Dog - $2.09 With everything includes: mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers piled onto a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun. I only get the mustard and relish, and then put ketchup on it (which is apparently very un-Chicago of me, but whatever, I grew up in the suburbs). I garnish it with the accordian fries and a chocolate milkshake. And a Diet Coke - you know, to balance out the calories...

The longing is excruciating.

So I just need to learn to shift gears to the local eating channel, and focus on all the stuff here in Seattle that I eventually crave when I'm out of town for prolonged periods of time:

  • Cactus's butternut squash enchiladas, and mojitos

  • Nameless Korean place's Kimchi fried rice

  • Red Mill's burgers

  • Elliot Bay Pizza Co's pepperoni slices

And a Diet Coke - you know, to balance out the calories.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Oh Happy Chocolate Day

I'm not sure what my horoscope had said for March-May of 1994. I was doing a study-abroad program in Dunedin, New Zealand, and if the horoscope recommendations had anything to do with watching what I ate...

There were fish & chips, cheese & onion sandwiches, giant quesadillas (you know, New Zealand quesadillas), full cream ice cream (think Hagen Daas x10), and then there was Cadbury.

I could not make it through a week without a package of Cadbury Squiggle Top cookies, and the Cadbury bars were everywhere. It was all just so new and exciting and FATTENING. But who cared? My friend Katy and I kept telling ourselves that for our final 2 weeks, we would be hitchhiking, from the South to the North island, and eating only bread and water. That would have been true if "bread" meant "chocolate muffins", and "water" meant "beer".

But before we reached the final 2 weeks, we had one of my Happiest Days EVER. We took a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, in Dunedin.

Our tour was scheduled for noon, and I made sure to "train" by not eating anything before our arrival. I was too excited to eat anyway - I mean, it was a chocolate tour!!!

So they introduced us to the Cadbury factory at the entrance, with a tray of assorted Cadbury chocolates. Then, during the film about how Cadbury was started, they passed around another tray. Twice. Then we continued on the tour of the different floors. On each floor we were given another selection of chocolates. By the second floor, Katy and Ondrea were like "OH God we feel sick", and were refusing their chocolates. Until I jabbed each of them sharply and hissed at them not to turn down chocolate! I put their pieces in my pocket, since I wasn't finished eating my share yet. There were three floors to the tour, and I will admit that I was chocolated-out by the end of the tour. But what a great day.

My June 1994 horoscope may have predicted that none of my pants would fit that month.


My May horoscope, courtesy of, says:

" month's end, you may decide you want to lose those extra ten pounds that you have been carrying around. Lose them by being more active and by watching portion sizes, as well as by cutting out food you know isn't good for you."

Number 1 - that is not a prediction, that is common sense advice.

Number 2 - "at month's end" I went here:

And went for a family brunch, and ate this:

And then there were peanut butter brownies at the food mart/gas station where I stopped on my way home.

Those dumb horoscopes are always wrong.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lake Titicaca

Yes, it causes 11% of pre-teens to giggle. And 100% of me to giggle. When Card, Kerry, Janelle, and I decided to spend 2 weeks in Peru, I said we HAVE to go to Lake Titicaca. I was hoping they would have t-shirts...

We took a bus to Puno, Peru, which could only be described (by me) as a shithole. Forgive my language, but I just couldn't think of another word that suited it. Here is a shot from our scenic walk into town. It was just gross.

To visit Lake Titicaca, you must go to Puno. There is no way around it. Yechhhhh. But the lake was beautiful, and we hired a little boat, and a captain - complete with fedora and leather jacket... take us to the very cool Isla Flotantes (floating islands), which were like tens of feet of matted reeds, that people actually live on. The Uros people, to be exact.

It was just crazy to walk around, and think "I'm a mere seconds away from just popping right through these reeds into the cold lake water".

The Uros people were basically going about their business, and immune to our charms, as they see many many annoying American tourists on a regular basis. Many annoying tourists, asking to be photographed on one of the crafty reed boats.

It's Official - I'm 12

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It should not have surprised me that Rich was so troubled by the Brazil post photos. This is how he prefers to dress:

Full-body coverage is not enough for Rich - it must be full-body and full-face. He is very modest. So modest in fact, that this was our most recent email dialogue:

Send me that photo of Daredevil - Adult Large (referring to the Halloween costume) and I'll make you REALLY pseudo-famous.

RICH (who sent the photo, faster than I could request it):
Where is my picture? Not up yet

Go read the Onion headlines.

But I didn't send them my picture so I don't think I will see it up there. When will I see my picture?

You are making me laugh really hard, and I just ate a delicious Trader Joe's Chicken Quesadilla. Stop it now.

"Trader Joe's Chicken Quesadilla" sounds like a weird euphemism for a way the Mexican Mafia kills people...please inform me ASAP as to when I will be "on-blog".

I should point out that "ASAP" is one of my least favorite acronyms used to encourage haste. Keep using ASAP and you will get ASLAP - honestly. But I'm okay with "STAT", or "Tout de Suite". Make a note, Daredevil-Adult Large.

*How this is travel-related: Rich works for one of our partner shipping companies. He has been to Antarctica too. Probably while wearing Daredevil-Adult Large.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cover Yourself! In Antarctica

My poor, innocent (oh, please) friend Rich sent me this brief email today:

"There is now too much suggestive imagery on your blog now. I’m not comfortable reading it anymore."

He was, of course, kidding. Kind of. But to get him back into the Trust Tree I told him I would write about my Antarctica experience, and all the photos would show everyone in parkas. Even the Brazilian women (okay, there weren't any Brazilian women on my trip, but there was a woman who teaches belly-dancing. No photos of that, Rich, I promise).

Unlike Portugal and Brazil, Antarctica was not on any of my lists. "Interested In" List, "Want to Go" List, "MUST Go Soon" List - none of those. It just sounded cold and boring. So in October 2004 when my boss said "we're sending you to Antarctica" my response was "ohhhh, hmmm" with my lips pursed tightly together and my eyebrows raised (Drunk-Debs-style).

And I thought "oh crap, this means they won't send me to the Galapagos until next year". Yes, poor me, I know.

They put me on the cheapest trip we worked with, on a Russian ship that carried 110 passengers. I mean, the per person cost of this trip was $4500 (which is 'cheap' by Antarctica trip standards). I am fancier than that, and felt unfairly cheated, as my coworker Joy was scheduled to go on one of the cushier ships (polished brass, and highballs and $8500 per person). Hmph. Haven't they seen my shoes?

Logic would have told me to ask myself " many people your age want to drop $8500 for a 10-day trip?" That's right. Not when they can go for half price.

I met 8 co-travelers, between the ages of 21 and 45, whom I loved hanging out with - that is really rare in any situation. The other passengers ranged in age from an 8 year old Japanese boy, traveling with his older brother and mom, to a stuffy British couple (I believe the gentleman wore an ascot with his tweed coat) possibly in their 80s. Sailing to Antarctica is really a remarkable and unique experience, but I probably would have whined and complained about it if I had to hang out with Sir Stilton Cheese the entire 10 days. Instead the 9 of us did stuff like this:

I discovered that I didn't mind the cold so much (it was warmer than Chicago winters), and that I LOVED penguins. I also discovered that there was a Black & White photography feature on my boss's camera. By accident. We were all sitting in the lounge, reviewing our on-shore photos, and I was like "aw MAN, my batteries must be getting low - the color is terrible on these". Yeah. It's nice to be the least digital-savvy person on a trip like this.
In all fairness - to me - I was taking photos of snow, ice and penguins...

During the day we would take little dinghy boats to shore and watch the penguins making their nests - by stealing rocks from other penguins - or hike around, or go sledding (just on our snowpants); and at night we would eat phenomenal meals, lovingly prepared by our chef from Papua New Guinea (who knew?), and then develop indigestion from laughing hysterically about whatever topics were being discussed. Like Whitney's dream she had just awoken from, which was really more of a nightmare for her. In the dream, she realized that she couldn't speak or hear or see. She looked at us, in all seriousness, and said "I had lost my powers!". Love her.

We spent 10 days sailing through some of the most incredible scenery, and observing some of the most endearing wildlife, and I got to experience it with a small group of warm, funny thoughtful people who made me laugh.
Back at work, during Joy's "fancy trip" recap, she informed us that she was the only person on the trip under the age of 70. God bless the budget trip!

In the immortal words of Rap Artist, Nelly:

"I like the way the light hit the ice and glare"

I'm pretty sure he was talking about Antarctica.

The passengers from Joy's trip would say "Nellie Olsen is singing now?"

Brazilian Grande

When traveling, I do my best to support the local economies. That's just the kind of philanthropic girl I am. Supporting/shopping, potato/potahto.

Things I bought in Brazil:

  • Multiple caipirinhas

  • Snacks - this great peanut, carmelized sugar snacky thing - I still have dreams about it

  • Skimpy red dress (skirt/top)
As I mentioned previously, when traveling, I like to blend in. In Brazil, this skirt/top thing was blending. In Seattle, it is glaring, and if I wore it outside of my apartment, I would likely be arrested. This was one of those purchases that absolutely does not translate "back home". But, as traveler/shoppers know, it is very easy to be lulled into the false sense of attire-familiarity, and think "This is GREAT, and I will absolutely wear it at home!" Stupid foreign-shopping goggles. I imagine the shopping goggles look something like this:

And another purchase that would be likely to get me arrested:

  • Skimpy red bikini - "skimpy" is the only flavor that Brazilian bikinis come in. Even when you try to buy a little more coverage by purchasing a Grande (large) bottom. No such thing. I think Grande in Portuguese just means "the side ties are longer, but your ass will still be quite visible". This is pretty much the size of my Brazilian Grande bikini.

It is, unfortunately, not the size of my American Grande booty, and I did not look anything like that on the beaches of Brazil.

Luckily, for everyone, Herb has this habit of chewing on straps, and strings on garments. Needless to say, beaches everywhere (and the spectators at Hi Five's pool) are safe from my Brazilian Grande, as the straps have been carefully gnawed off by a concerned citizen.

Shop carefully, travelers. Shop carefully.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Speaking of Brazil

My Portuguese Next-Blog Neighbor (who moved) may, in fact, have been Brazilian. They do speak Portuguese in Brazil, and it sounds just as good.
Some of the things Brazil has going for it:
1) Gorgeous language
Não este som grande?

2) Gorgeous Rodrigo Santoro

3) Capirhinias

4) And, of course, the women:

I was on the Semester at Sea ship, sailing from Havana, Cuba to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Or, as I remember it, from Mojitos to Caipirinhas. Sailing with me were roughly 500 college students. College students are occasionally known to succumb to peer pressure.

There is an ancient maritime tradition of shaving the heads of sailors, when crossing the Equator by ship. Semester at Sea offers this (voluntary) tradition up in the spirit of travel and camaraderie. On my particular trip, there were approximately 20 girls who decided to join in this tradition.

There was much sobbing after the ceremony hubub had died down, and many wails of "I just got so caught up in the moment!". And most unfortunate was that our next port of call was Salvador de Bahia.

My initial reaction to Brazilian women was plain and simple: "Wow, they are like Walking Sex". They were all breasts, hips and hair. LOTS and lots of hair.

Now, two weeks prior to this, I had been to the hairdresser and done one of my Locks of Love donations - meaning 10 inches lopped off. When we arrived in Brazil, I wanted those 10 inches back, and THEN some. When I travel I like to try to blend in as much as possible. Blending in, in Brazil, means hair. I could not imagine being one of those 20 college girls, walking around with naked-scalps (and the requisite dangly earrings, so as not to feel completely masculine).

The funny thing about this was, there was this Brazilian soap opera character who had recently undergone chemotherapy, and had the naked scalp. So everywhere these college girls went, the Brazilian people would shout out "Cristina!" or "Carolina!" or whatever the character's name was, and when the girls figured that out, they thought it was pretty cool.
Cause it's okay to be voluntarily bald if you're famous.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Portuguese Next-Blog Neighbor

If you're checking out someone's blog (or, okay, indulgently scrutinizing your own blog), you will notice that there is a link at the very tippy top of the page that says "Next Blog". And like a hidden crawlspace door in someone's attic, I HAD to see what was there. So, from my blog, I clicked on Next Blog, and arrived on this cool page that was all in Portuguese (this photo is of Sintra, Portugal, you know - for authenticity). Now, this blogger may actually be in Brazil (and I can't post any of my photos from Brazil, because they are not in digital format yet, but I did think of it!), and I am going to spend a bit more time with next-door blog, and try to figure that out. (wait for it)

I should explain that I have been madly in love with Portugal since around 1996. For no real reason. I didn't actually make it there until last May, but had been dying to go for, well, eleven years! I bought these sandals in Lisbon:

And after spending time in Portugal, and Brazil, and watching some of Rodrigo Santoro's movies...

I am even more in love with Portugal AND Brazil, and all things Porgtuguese, and I have decided that Portuguese is absolutely the most beautiful language ever - with all the shelash, coombshlash sounds. Can you tell I don't speak Portuguese at all? Anyway, isn't that weird that my next-blog neighbor posts in Portuguese? I thought so too.

Well, I thought it was weird, until I tried to go back and visit with my Portuguese-speaking Next Blog Neighbor, and he had moved. Apparently the "Next Blog" changes all the time. Dammit!

I really liked the idea of having someone blogging next door, who I could check in on from time to time. You know, borrow some sugar, maybe learn Portuguese... não é importante.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Everyone's New T-Shirt

A shout out to Julia - I found this:

You can get it here:

And you can wear it as much as you want, but you are still going to have to read my blog. You don't have to care about it. You do have to read it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Indulging My Obsession - it's the Season Finale!

There is plenty of Office-ophilia (my word) at and Kathie Lu-huuuuvs The Office. Indulge away. Oh, and incidentally, my old boyfriend Bill informed me - today - that Dunder Mifflin is based on Bill's old girlfriend's dad's paper company. In Scranton, PA. I am 4 degrees separated from Dunder Mifflin. Awesome.

WATCHITWATCHITWATCHITWATCHIT - wow, that starts to look funny after a while...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Office! The Office! The Office!!!

This is a little mucky, the frame shows up twice, but the video works:


America's Next Top Model - at least THEY are traveling...

While the dust continues to collect on my passport, I am presently sitting on my arse, engrossed in "America's Next Top Model" - Cycle 8. I love this show. I am just so proud of that Jaslene, the way she was flushed from even making it onto Cycle 7, and then came charging back and is now - HOLY SMOKES - in the Top TWO! She. Could. Go. All. The. Way.

Jaslene is, as Tyra Banks never tyres (wink) of saying, the "Fierce" Latina in the yellow belt. Claro que si, chica!

Thankfully, the girls are at least in Sydney, Australia (one of my "still need to get there" destinations), so I kind of feel like I'm traveling...I am really grasping at straws here.

This is the finale episode, so by the time I'm finished writing this, they will have decided Who Is America's Next Top Model. I have been watching this show since Cycle 1, and it just keeps getting better. They do makeovers, they have photo shoots, they get to play dress-up...the whole show is exactly like my living room, when I was 9 years old. The only thing that was different was that in my photo shoots, it was just me. Tyra wasn't forcing herself into every shot.Can someone please explain why, during the finale episodes, I cry EVERY time they do the runway walk-off? I think it's all the music and the great clothes, and the Fierce walking. I also think I may need some therapy. I should also point out that I consistently cry during every episode of The Biggest Loser. Which is kind of the polar opposite of America's Next Top Model.

Oh my God, Jaslene just won.

Aaaaaaaaand I'm crying again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Heart New York

Even though it's still in the same country as Seattle, New York city is still a full 5 hour flight away. And that's TRAVELING.

I arrived at stupid, far away JFK on Wednesday at 5:30pm - yes, perfectly timed to coincide with some heavy traffic into the city. Did you know that you leave JFK, drive for a good 15 minutes, and then pass LaGuardia airport? Yeahhhh, that's annoying. At least they don't have one of those billboards reading "If you flew into LaGuardia, you'd be leaving for the city NOW (not 15 minutes ago)".

I spent the hour reading about my Rights as a Taxi Rider, which included the Right to Direct the destination and route used; the Right to driver who knows and obeys all traffic laws; and the Right to a Driver Who Didn't Yammer on his Cell Phone in Arabic the ENTIRE time. Over the 5 days I was in the city, I noticed that all of the taxi drivers are as phone-chatty as I was in high school. Who are they talking to? I thought men hated talking on the phone? Are these guys talking about how they saw Jeff Whyte walking down the hall between second and third period, and he ALMOST made eye contact, and how they're super excited to wear their new satin bubble skirt to the dance tonight, and they hope their parents don't impose a stupid early curfew for no reason, because then how are they supposed to really have a good time at the dance, knowing they'll have to leave early, and Julie Stachowicz's mom said she could stay out until midnight...What was I talking about?

Okay, so I spent the first two nights playing catch-up with my sweet little Ellers, who was my very first roommate in college. She put up with a ridiculous amount of crap from me then, and STILL lets me stay with her when I come to town. AND she agrees to have a shot of awful Irish Whiskey, when the Old Town Bar on 18th doesn't have Jim Beam. She is a champ.

On Thursday, Ellers had to work, so I indulged my cultural side (she doesn't get out much), and went to the Met Museum, and my new favorite place, the Frick Collection. When I move to New York, THAT is where I'm going to live.

LOVE it. Then I spent the remaining two nights tormenting my girl Staci, her boyfriend Rob, and her roommate Adrienne:

I met Staci on safari in Tanzania, and we also spent hours and hours walking around Shanghai, China, so it just seemed really normal for us to walk around Manhattan for hours on end as well. Except this time Staci was our tour leader, and I kept asking "where are we NOW?" every couple of blocks. I know those neighborhoods all just run into each other, and they all have different names. When I took the pink building picture, we were in SoHo =) Staci also humored me when I wanted to walk 20 blocks out of our way to go to the Loehmann's on 16th & 7th. I bought shoes.

We went to the Comedy Cellar on Saturday night, which was completely hilarious. Colin Quinn was one of the comics, and he was totally bombed, but still funny. He was also wearing a North Carolina sweatshirt, which NancyJane would have loved. Staci and I polished off the weekend with a Sunday brunch with my cousin Lars and his girlfriend Sarah. Lars paid - he is also a champ. And New York is awesome.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Packing for NYC

This is what I want to pack:

This is what Herb wants me to pack:

Saturday, May 5, 2007

My Bible and my Hot Pocket

Wow, for a blog called "TravelGretta", there haven't been any posts about travel - save those exhausting armchair trips that I took with the Discovery Channel. I have been painfully aware of the lack of travel activity, and then my friend Jon was kind enough to remind me of it on Saturday night, right before he threw an ice cube tray at me. I just haven't had any trips to write about. What to do. What to do.

Since it's Sunday and all, I'm going to look to the Gospel According to Patricia Schultz - aka "1000 Places to See Before You Die

Card got this for me, and I refer to it on pretty much a weekly basis (and really, not just on Sundays). I use it as a checklist. I love making checklists and checking things off. There is just a very satisfying element to this, and it makes me feel like I've accomplished something - anything. Sometimes I'll just make a list of things like "wake up, eat breakfast", if I'm anticipating a truly lazy day. I refuse, however, to make a list of things I've already done, in order to have things to check off. I mean, that is ridiculous. It's a thin line.
This Book is like the Grand-daddy of all lists (that someone else kindly made for me), and it is my job to complete it. I will continue to use this an an excuse for not doing anything else productive. Who has time to learn to cook, get an advanced degree, do the laundry....I have a VERY big list of Things to Do. I will still, however, have time to nurture my obsession with "The Office", as I just download it onto the iPod and watch the episodes during my flights =) I'm an extremely dedicated obsessor.
For some reason, when I talk about my iPod, I adopt NancyJane's Southern accent, and it comes out like "Mah ahPod", which, for some other reason, sounds like "Hot Pocket" to my friends. So they think I am 1) madly in love with my Hot Pocket, 2) have seasons 1&2 of "The Office" on my Hot Pocket, 3) have created mixes called "Running", "Roadtripping", and "Napping" on my Hot Pocket.

Anyway, The Book reviews nearly every place on Earth, and categorizes them as follows:

*Middle East
*Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands
*USA & Canada - and I was going to say "otherwise known as North America", except I forgot about Mexico
*Latin America - I know, I always forget that Mexico is part of North America, because it fits so much better with the other Latin countries. It is all about what makes sense to ME.
*The Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda

The only two sections that are completely sans checkmarks are the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It is killing me. Too daunting to tackle those this year, as all my vacation days are accounted for. I'm going to placate myself by going to the New York City section (pages 677-688), and working on completing a few more tasks during my visit this upcoming weekend. I plan to catch up on a few episodes of "The Office" - Season 3 on the flight to JFK, you know, on my Hot Pocket.