Sunday, June 28, 2015

I have invented "The Plarf" - A Plane-Ready Scarf

Action Shot of the Amazing Plarf. Tom is a major fan of my invention.
I got a few moves when it comes to air travel. I get in my seat and make certain preparations. I remove my shoes and put on one of the 80 pairs of disposable slippers I got off that Turkish Air jet when I crawled around underneath all the seats and extracted any unopened pairs I could find in seat pockets.

Then I tie my head to my chair back with a scarf. See the photo of Tom so affixed. This is a keystone move. I amaze even myself every time I break it out. Your head will remain firmly ergonomic no matter how bloody upright your chair position or how middle your seat.

I take another scarf and tie it around my arms in a figure 8 style affair. You might not appreciate how singularly excellent this move is until you realize that passive aggressively fighting for armrest space is rendered totally unnecessary. This is my humble gift to fat-elbowed armrest desperados everywhere.

I'm like those survivalists who can make a cabin and a five-course tasting menu with only their bare hands and pocket knife. Except I don't need a pocket knife. I only need a pocket square.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Chair I Bought for Swedish Midsummer in Battery Park

I went shopping on Amazon for the perfect Midsommar lawn chair. I wanted a canopy because the sun in Battery Park will boil you like a crawfish in a pot of aquavit. The chair arrived.

Someone on Amazon said that it folded up into a "backpack." I don't see it.


Oh but wait. Who needs a convenient carry option when there is, behold, a CD holder!

I had to study these directions carefully to insure I did not egregiously install this important feature backwards.

Maybe I did it wrong. These CDs do not seem to fit. Whatevs. Even if I can't pop a little Seal into my Walkman, I will still roll up one pant leg of my Girbaud jeans, bleach my hair, rock a Triple 5 Soul hoody and get down with my bad self. While remaining well-hydrated under my own personal canopy because I suspect the cupholder may prove the best of the bonus features.

Hop like little frogs ye sunburned masses!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Scotland Highlands FAQ

Did you eat haggis?
I ate a full portion of vegetarian haggis. I asked the pub proprietor if I could now proclaim I ate haggis in Scotland and he replied, "Well ... not lawfully."

How was the weather?
They say in Scotland, you can experience all four seasons in one day. I would ammend that. You can experience all four seasons in one hour. It starts out sunny, then all of a sudden it's snowing, then hailing, then it's a torrential downpour and a 40 mph gust of wind blows your egg mayo sandwich right out of your frozen damp fingers. Luckily, the sun will come out soon enough and you'll forget everything except the sparkling heather moor and moss blanketed mountains.

Was the hiking difficult?
I broke my hiking boots and had to duct tape them together. So pretty much so, yeah. 

Do you think you lost weight after all that vertical climbing?
Not a chance.  Scottish cream porridge + poached eggs + smoked kippers + toast for breakfast. Three course dinners including whole fishes, and toffee puddings and tarts and crispies. Also whisky. In generous quantities.

Did you experience any culture shock in Scotland?
Aside from bighearted, well-intentioned and largely ineffective attempts at process management which gave me the full-on squints, I did have one big problem. Everytime I saw a building for lease with a big "TO LET" sign, I read "TOILET." Then all of a sudden I would need a pee break, or in the terminology of our Highlander guide, a "Comfort stop."

What did you love most?
The land brings out your inner rowan tree. It's a place that demands deep roots and aches with history. It reminded me how ephemeral life is. My life is.

Could you understand the people brogue-talking?
The Highlanders are well-behaved and well-enunciated when speaking with outlanders, but it was tough to eavesdrop with much success. Trust me, I tried. I wanted to know what these mysterious and kind of awesome sheep-rustling plaid-lovers  were up to.

How was the plane travel?
On the way home I sat next to a macho gazpacho golfer HVAC bro-type who spent the entire flight reading a book entitled "True Love: How to Awaken the Heart." I, therefore, spent the entire flight covertly reading the notes he scribbled in his little notebook which he hastily covered up when yelling over the seats at his bro-companions in other aisles of the plane. 

My favorite notations were the "5 Pillars of Sustaining Love" bullet-point checklist, and "***She must be trustworthy."

What did you miss most about America?