Hotel Crashing, Bushtops Serengeti, Tanzania

Back when I was a nubile young woman–aka: my broke-as-hell-and-unable-to-afford-any-sort-of-vacation period–my friends and I would often retreat for into the verdant hills of Central Texas and go camping for a couple of days.

And believe me, I do mean camping. Not glamping. There wasn’t anything glamorous about it.

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Not at all like a Real Housewives camping trip. Except the rusty fire barrel. That’s fairly universal.

We’d load up our respective cars and trucks with coolers brimming with cheap beer and wine, various meats and cheeses, and foil packs of veggies to throw on a grill or open fire. We’d scrounge up a few old tents of questionable structural integrity, a couple of sleeping bags (or comforters that could be adapted into sleeping bags), a bottle of Dr. Bonner’s All Purpose Soap, maybe some bug repellant, and off we’d go to the nearest wooded area, riverside or greenbelt we could find—preferably one with a swinging rope already in place for true feats of drunken courage.

It was definitely fun, but far from comfortable.

Bushtops Serengeti may technically have what they call “tents,” but it’s about as far from any traditional camping experience as you can get.

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And it was, hands down, the most romantic place I think we’ve ever stayed.

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There are a total of 15 tents spread out across the property, and a large dining/bar/library-type tent sort of in the middle, near the pool/deck area. And what a pool! It overlooked the Serengeti plains and was just gorgeous.

We were at the far, far end of the property in tent 14 (Oribi). All of the tents are around 120 meters, are made of traditional canvas and sit atop a large wooden deck with a private hot tub and built-in seating area overlooking the Serengeti plains. We definitely made good use of that built-in sofa for reading, taking naps or just soaking in the amazing landscape.

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There was no air conditioning but the tent opened pretty completely on all sides and we found we didn’t need the A.C. In fact, during turndown service, our butler Fahldi left these adorable hot water bottles to heat up the bed and we definitely needed them when we visited in early October (3 days, 2 nights).

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Oh, do you like how I oh-so-casually mentioned the butler? Yeah, I know. We had a butler. Faldhi, who brought us afternoon gin and tonics (on a mile-long walk from the bar to our tent without spilling any of it!), took care of our laundry, ran a hot bubble bath after our evening game drive, and arranged for us to have a super romantic, lantern-lit dinner our first night at the camp. He was so, so, so wonderful.

Bushtops Serengeti is also where I learned an unexpected lesson about myself: I had no idea how food-motivated I am. Apparently, I get very cranky about a place (no matter how nice it is) if the food isn’t good. Lemala Kuria Hills was very, very nice but the food was a bit of a letdown.

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The food at Bushtops, however, was phenomenal, especially the passion fruit soufflé we had for dessert at our tent that first night. I seriously don’t know how it made the journey all the way from the kitchen to our tent while still staying so light and fluffy and intact.

(The main tent with its cool, cowhide bar and outdoor fire area) 

The staff at Bushtops were wonderful. Everybody was so, so professional and accommodating. They really went above and beyond. Juma, our driver/guide and John, our tracker, made sure that we saw plenty of lions (including large pride with 3-4 day old babies and a pregnant female), cheetahs and even black rhino, an animal that had eluded us for most of our time in the Serengeti.

(Clockwise from top left: lions mating, black rhinos, female leopard stalking a Thompson gazelle, mama lion and a baby peeking out just by her foot). 

The game drives in the Serengeti were long (generally 6:30 am to 3 pm then back out for an hour or two right before sunset) but Juma and John did everything to make the drives comfortable and pleasant, even stocking our favorite rose in the cooler and making sure we had hot water bottles and blankets for those morning game drives.

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My excellent photography skills at work again: That’s John cut off on the right and Juma cut off on the left. But look how well I captured the truck!

Some of my favorite Bushtop memories (besides that romantic dinner and the drives):

  • Snuggling up in blankets on our tent deck with a glass of wine and neglecting my book because I was too busy watching the clouds roll in.
  • Sundowners by the outdoor fire near the main tent.
  • Having a delicious lunch under a tree out on the plains with nothing but zebras and wildebeest off in the distance for company.
  • Falling asleep to the sound of some major rain on the tent top and our hot water bottles warming our sides.
  • Waking up that same night to the sound of buffalos, hyenas, and some other animal friends (we saw zebra hoof prints in the morning) scraping or licking the sides of our tent.
  • Lying in bed in the morning and listening to all the little bird feet running up and down the tent roof.
  • Our barman, Dennis, delivering coffee with Amarula (African Bailey’s) to our tent early on our last morning.
  • The outdoor shower. And that outdoor tub!
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Just waiting for a refill.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who was blown away by the tub. Bushtops Serengeti made it onto this list of “10 of the Best Bathtubs on Earth that are Totally Worth Traveling For.”

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Let’s have a better look at that tub.

Pricewise, Bushtops Serengeti was a far cry from my Texas Hill Country camping days. This is definitely not economy lodging–in fact, it was the most expensive of the three lodges we stayed at during this trip (2017 rates are here)—but it was definitely my favorite and well worth the splurge if you can swing it.

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Hotel Crashing: Lemala Kuria Hills, Tanzania

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I was a bit bummed out by the election results.

For a variety of reasons, I’m not going to get too far into this topic, but this post from my favorite blogger, The Everywhereist, pretty much sums up EXACTLY how I feel. Go. Read it. It’s really good. Then come back here to read about luxurious lodges in Tanzania and maybe I’ll throw in a few gratuitous cute animals, just to soothe all our souls.

Serengeti zebras
See? A baby zebra and it’s mommy. Makes everything all better, right?

It was not easy leaving Leopard Hills, in part because the place and its’ staff were just so wonderful, but also, literally: it was not an easy transit. We’d had enough foresight to rent a car and drive ourselves to Sabi Sands because we knew from our last trip to South Africa just how unreliable Federal Air (the small-plane airline that flies into Sabi Sands) can be. We didn’t want to risk it.

So, on the day we left Sabi Sands, we got up at the crack of dawn so that we’d have plenty of time for the four-hour drive from Sabi Sands to Johannesburg, where we’d catch our 1:30 pm flight to Dar El Salaam, Tanzania. I had slept horribly the night before, dreaming of dead giraffes. Then, we forgot where we’d put our Sabi Sands/Kruger Park exit pass (which was my responsibility to keep track of) and had a 5 am panic attack before we finally were reminded that we’d stored them safely in the car when we arrived five days before. And then I spilled coffee all over the front of my t-shirt (the exact same t-shirt I’d spilt coffee all over at the airport before we’d even left D.C.). Oh, and then, honey badgers. Very eventful morning.

There was, of course, some confusion at the Precision Air check in at Dar El Salaam (which I described here), but we caught our 3 pm flight to Arusha (landing at 11:30 pm). Where we had the pleasure of taking a $70 cab ride along 50 kilometers of the worst road I’ve ever been on (and I’m including unpaved ranch roads in West Texas, y’all), for the honor of spending the night in Arusha ($200 basic room!) before our 8 am tiny-plane flight to Kogatende.

In case you can’t tell, I was not at all charmed by Rip-Off Arusha.

After two full, long days of not-completely-smooth travel on sketchy-ass small airplanes, we were thrilled to see the Lemala Kuria Hills Land Cruiser at the Kogatende airstrip.

Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania
A sight for sore eyes.

(I just looked it up and it’s about 4,000 miles from Sabi Sands to Kogatende and Google estimates it would take you 52 hours to drive it. We flew and it took us about 2 days, so yeah. That checks out.)

And right away, just during the drive from Kogatende to Lemala Kuria Hills, you realize that the Serengeti is about to blow your lid off. You basically do a game drive right after you get off the plane. We saw a wildebeest crossing, lions mating, and got a flat tire, all before we even arrived at the lodge. (I don’t think that last event was supposed to wow us).

Mating lions in the Serengeti
Right before the big (and very quick) main event. You can see she’s flirting with him.
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The other main event on our drive to the lodge.

We were met by the managers, Anita and Peter. I had already been in contact with Anita to arrange a few birthday surprises for XFE and she was incredibly helpful and gracious in every way. From what I understand, they took over management of the lodge about six months ago and there have been a few minor changes, from what I understand, including a new upcharge for premium alcohol—which was only a couple of extra bucks per drink, but still a bit annoying.

Main tent & bar at Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti
Main lodge with bar in the background. And Peter photobomb.

After getting the rundown on the schedule and amenities, we were shown to our tent, Room 12, on the far end of the camp, and it was gorgeous. Huge, comfortable bed, beautiful modern African artwork, sliding glass doors lead to an expansive deck overlooking Rift Valley with a plunge pool and outdoor shower, and huge bathroom with a giant soaking tub in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. I will say, those floor-to-ceiling windows turn out to be a bit of a negative. There’s no air conditioning in the tents and the windows really turn the room into an oven in the late afternoon.

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Here, as at the other lodges we stayed at this trip, we were told that it was high season and we had been charged high season prices. But in fact, none of the three lodges we stayed at had full occupancy on any of the nights we were there. If you aren’t going to be fully booked, maybe offer us a better deal?

The main reception/staging area at Lemala Kuria Hills is a collection of tents, including the dining tent and a large central tent with lots of nice seating areas for reading, talking, playing board games, and the long bar area on the other side. A tree-shaded deck runs along the back of the tent and leads down to a very cozy fire pit area.

The staff is amazing and everyone—from the management to our guide (Nahume) to the housekeeping staff to the bartenders and waiters—went above and beyond to make sure XFE’s 40th birthday was celebrated in fine African style. So for that, I will be forever grateful. It was a great, great night.

Guide at Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania
Our guide, Nahume, during an amazing sundowner on top of a rock.

There are, however, a couple of areas that could be improved at Lemala Kuria Hills. We thought their safari trucks had seen better days – in addition to the flat we got on day one, our truck also got stuck in a mud hole another day, and there was a super annoying, persistent and loud squeak along the pop-up part of our Land Cruiser where the joists meet the top of the vehicle. Three days in and we were hearing that squeak in our sleep.

And, unfortunately, the food was not that great. Or, I should say, the food at the lodge wasn’t that great. The food out on the bush was just fine. Simple, but fine. Most days, you’re up and out early (6 am) and you eat a bush breakfast of pancakes/crepes, bacon/sausage, hard boiled eggs, homemade granola with milk and fruit and coffee. I actually liked the bush breakfast very much. Then you’d stop midday for a bush lunch, which would be maybe some tortilla-type rollups of some sort, strips of grilled chicken, pasta and vegetable salad, some cookies and again, I liked that a lot.

Bush lunch in Tanzania, Lemala Kuria Hills

But the dinners were kind of a disaster – meats were often overcooked, sides were a bit lackluster, potatoes tasted slightly off. I probably would have just written it off as some difficulties in logistics except when we finished our trip with a two-night stay just down the valley at Bushtops Serengeti, we found the food there to be really, really excellent.

Sundowner at Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania

Still, a beautiful, friendly lodge in a gorgeous setting. Just bring some earplugs for the squeak!

Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania

5 British TV Shows to Replace Downton Abbey

A sad(ish) thing happened to Anglophiles and history nerds a couple of weeks ago: Downton Abbey ended after six seasons.

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I watched a couple of seasons of Downton Abbey, but I was not a consistent watcher, although I do thoroughly appreciate the way they would just hurtle forward in time to avoid expensive production moments. One second, a character will announce that they’ve just gotten engaged and the next second, you see a carriage/car pulling away from a church exterior and two other characters commenting on how it was a nice wedding. You don’t actually get to see the too-expensive-to-film wedding or the many months leading up to it. It’s as if nothing at all important happened during that period. Or, at least, nothing so important it can’t be explained with some past-tense, recap-like dialogue. “Wasn’t it something when Lord Twiddle-y met his soon-to-be, yet completely unknown daughter for the first time just weeks after the engagement? By jove, that was awkward. Let’s go have some cake.”

Or, maybe it wasn’t a cost thing at all (I mean, look at those costumes!) but rather, certain actors just not being available at certain times, or something else entirely. In any case, it’s over and lots of people are sad.

But there’s really no reason to be sad. In fact, as I discovered on my recent trip to London, there is tons of great British programming that–for reasons completely mysterious to me–have not yet made their way over to this side of the pond.

Here are five British television shows that could easily replace Downton Abbey.

Geordie ShoreLet’s start with the most obvious. Now in its 12th season, this fine yarn has been on MTV-UK twice as long as Downton Abbey was on television. This show, which is basically a British knockoff of our beloved Jersey Shore, is described on IMBd as a “reality TV show following eight young men and women as they spend a summer experiencing the highs and lows of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s party scene.” So everybody is sleeping with each other. Like, a lot.

Geordie, in case you didn’t know, refers to someone from Newcastle. And let me tell you, their accents are so thick, you absolutely need subtitles. Especially when they are drunk or yelling, which is all the time.

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How it’s like Downton Abbey: Well, like I said, I didn’t watch every season of Downton Abbey, but it sure seems like those Crawley girls got around. When we meet Mary, she’s just had a one-night stand with a Turkish diplomat, who died in her bed. Don’t even get me started on Edith’s illegitimate daughter from her married (and yes, soon dead) boss.

Four in a Bed: On the complete opposite side of the spectrum is this Channel 4 show, which is, unfortunately (or, maybe fortunately) not as sexy as it sounds. B&B owners throw open their doors and take turns to staying at—and critiquing—each other’s establishments. There’s some seriously bitchy shade thrown around in this one.

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How it’s like Downton Abbey: Lots and lots of chintz and antiques. Plus, the snark is reminded me of Lady Violet.

Come Dine With Me: Also on Channel 4. A group of five strangers, each an amateur chef, compete to host the best dinner party, each party solely for the competitors. The winner takes home £1,000. Plus there’s this wonderful narrator throwing out bad jokes and snarky comments about the competitors’ cooking and hosting abilities throughout the show.

Come Dine With Me

How it’s like Downton Abbey: There were plenty of dinner party dramas at old D.A., but the one in episode 5 of the last season might just take the award for most awkward. As far as I know, no one on Come Dine With Me has had an ulcer burst and spewed blood all over the dinner table. Although, this sore loser might have burst a blood vessel (and a shirt button or two) during his temper tantrum.

Take Me Out: This misogynist dating game show on ITV was one of our absolute favorites. 30 women compete for the attention of a bachelor. The women each have a switch they can flip to opt out of being picked by the would-be suitor during the first couple of rounds, but in the end, the guy picks the woman he’d like to go out with from the remaining women. They then go off to some hilarious fake place called “Fernando’s,” for a beach vacation. Sometimes, the episode includes an update on the overnight date from a previous match up.

Take Me Out

How it’s like Downton Abbey: D.A. was known for having some pretty quippy one-liners over the years (“Of course it would happen to a foreigner. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.”) but ol’Lady Violet hasn’t got anything on the verbal cleverness of Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness, who has coined such terms as “No likey, no lighty,” “If he’s not Mr. Right, turn off your light,” and “Come and get some Paddy love!”

The Jeremy Kyle ShowThis ITV show just beat out Take Me Out as our favorite show. It’s a lot like the old Jerry Springer show. Wikipedia has the best description, which includes the term “human bear baiting.”

It’s a train wreck involving lots of lie detector tests to determine if people have cheated, stolen, impregnated, or otherwise wronged each other. It appears that one family member will call the show saying they want their loved one to take a lie detector test to prove they aren’t using drugs anymore. Then the aggrieved loved one will counterattack by demanding that the original loved one take a lie detector test to prove they aren’t sleeping with their brother. It goes pretty much downhill from there. Results are revealed on the show and much shouting and talking over each other ensues in accents that make the whole proceedings pretty much unintelligible.

There’s a therapist, of sorts, on hand to help everyone deal with the lie detector results, but the real ringmaster is Kyle, who looks a lot like Craig Kilborn (most recently of the Kraft Mac and Cheese commercials). He’s very blunt, judgmental and pretty funny. He’s also prone to run backstage to confront waiting family members with the jiggling camera following him through the halls. And, at least once a show, Kyle will casually lounge on the carpeted stairs that lead to the raised platform stage, waving his handful of result cards while having a sensitive moment with some of his onstage guests and looking over his shoulder at the audience to see if they can believe what they’re hearing. Kyle also acts very wounded if he finds out he’s been lied to which is literally, all of the time.

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How it’s like Downton Abbey: Well, Jeremy Kyle is no Lord Grantham, that’s for sure. But the Jeremy Kyle show has all the drama and manufactured intrigue of Downton Abbey, just with fewer teeth and trashier clothes.

DA Done

Cracking the Oyster Cracker Code

Yes, we went to London weeks ago, and yes, we’ve been back for a couple of weeks now, and yes, I owe the world some posts about the Ab Fab time we had. But to misquote Kanye, “Yo, London, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but….” (Sidenote: I had to bookmark this Wikisite of Kanye quotes is now bookmarked. Because, let’s be honest, when isn’t a Kanye quote hilarious?)

What was I saying? Oh yeah. Kanye. Or, actually, oyster crackers and why they absolutely, unequivocally, indisputably suck.

Kanye

This tirade is actually not completely out of the blue, and is in fact, London adjacent. We had no food when we got home, so we defrosted some leftover chili out of the freezer. Now, since I’m from Texas, the only suitable accompaniment to chili in my mind are corn-based: cornbread or Fritos. Chili and corn just go together. Period.

My beloved XFE is not similarly palate-encumbered (and apparently, neither are the people of Cincinnati, where this abomination is quite common). He seems to like oyster crackers, and his reasoning seems sound: they’re small, so you can control the portions and they stay crunchy in soups and chilis.

cincinnati chili
Cincinnati does all kinds of weird stuff to their chili, including the use of cinnamon and cloves. Oh, and putting it on top of spaghetti. I believe that’s called “bolognese” NOT chili. 

But it’s precisely this characteristic that makes me so suspicious about the makeup of oyster crackers. What the hell? Why do oyster crackers stay (for the most part) crunchy?

This article gives a bit of history, and clarifies that they are a flour-based product but doesn’t really explain why they stay crunchy.

I would parry that it is because they are horrible. Tasteless, bland, horrible pseudo-accompaniments. Not even good enough to sit next to Saltines in the cracker aisle, because at least Saltines have salt on them. There’s some effort at flavor with a Saltine. Oyster crackers? Not so much.

In fact, I think the recipe for oyster crackers goes something like this:

  1. Take a plastic tub of white paste.
  2. Cook it till hardened.
  3. Top other more flavorful items with the results.
  4. Watch your saliva dry up and your tongue shrink away from the horror.

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So they are basically the equivalent of celery. No, scratch that. Because at least with celery, you can stuff that little groove with some spreadable cheese or peanut butter, making them a handy delivery vessel for some yumminess. You can’t spread anything on these stupid, mini-“crackers.” I don’t even recommend you try this, because I have and it does not go well. Those things just fly out of you pinched fingers. Plus, celery is good with Bloody Mary’s so again, oyster crackers < celery.

The other suspicious thing that about oyster cracker is that their shelf life is about equal to that of a cockroach. It’s true. We’ve had the same box of Trader Joe oyster crackers for ages. Because, how would you even know they were stale? They already taste stale and bland, so how would one distinguish a loss of quality? That very shelf life is why we recently had oyster crackers with our chili, and thus, put these odious little cracker wannabes on my radar and led to this long-overdue rant. They were just….there, like they always are, hanging out in our cabinets.

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Do these look appetizing to anybody?? “No oils, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no flavor. Total waste of chewing.” 

I’m happy to report that no oyster crackers were ingested during our actual visit to London, but a bunch of other English deliciousness was so we’ll get back to that during normal, non-ranty blogging days.

 

When Life Hands You Lemons, Use Them as Weapons

Crazy year. Still one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written. And I still think lemons make a perfectly acceptable weapon.

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Poe Communications

At work a few weeks back, we did this exercise to kick off a brainstorming session <insert eyeroll>.

We were supposed to visualize a lemon, and then write on a piece of paper all the things that you could do with a lemon.

My new boss, Tina, filled her whole page with very practical, Hints from Heloise type stuff: “use the juice to clean windows,” “use the rind on a stinky garbage disposal,” “use it to lighten your hair in the sun.”

My old boss, Kevin, also filled his whole page, but he took a more philosophical approach, suggesting that you use the seeds to grow more trees, and more lemons.

I wrote down four things:

  1. Throw it at coworkers who make you sit through brainstorming sessions.
  2. Use it as a sidekick for a nice, frosty glass of sweet ice tea.
  3. Make a tiny, bitter jack-o-lantern.
  4. Squeeze the juice in someone’s…

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Friday Links: Panda Poop Edition

It’s been quite a week. The days are getting so much shorter, which has made getting up to go to the gym at 5:30 am so much harder. The weather’s been weird, or, actually, typical for September — brisk one day, hot and humid the next. On Wednesday night, my metro train got stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes and then all of the evening rush-time passengers were offloaded at the next crowded station. There are a lot of changes and upheavals going on at work, creating a lot of uncertainty and confusion.

I’m looking forward to a weekend of wine, bad television, a nice nap, and maybe even some non-artistic sushi. Here’s hoping next week is more … consistent, shall we say?

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  • I love sushi an inordinate amount but I don’t know if I’d be able to eat these little artworks, especially the embryo in the womb one. Little too meta for me.
  • As you may have heard, the panda here at the National Zoo had a baby two weeks ago and, of course, there’s a panda cam, which would normally cause me to snort derisively. But this 52-second video of Mei Xiang cradling and washing her baby is pretty damn cute and quite soothing. (Hope she doesn’t mistake him for a piece of sushi)
  • In slightly related news, panda poop is magical and our next source for renewable energy.
  • “Death does not extinguish resentment.” The long term effects of child abuse are perfectly illustrated in this unusual obituary.
  • I’ve not yet had the privilege of flying them, but Singapore Airlines has the most expensive first class product out there. It’s not even fair to call it first class, it’s so beyond that. Those clever folks at Buzzfeed have come up with a listicle of 16 things you could buy instead of a $13,000 ticket.
  • Speaking of travel: XFE has certainly made use of Twitter as a way to get the attention of airlines, but this guy took it to the max, buying a promoted Tweet to express his displeasure with British Airways’ customer service.
  • This pleases me immensely. Cats in tiny paper hats.
  • And with that, I think we could all use a nap. Luckily, there’s an infographic for that. Because we’ve all been doing this whole napping thing wrong.
How To Take The Perfect Nap
 

 

Links: Naked and Afraid of Sharks Edition

Hope everyone had a great weekend. My personal master-of-the-remote XFE and I certainly did. I suppose you heard that we’re having a heat wave up here in the Northeast, so we did the safe thing, and spent Sunday lying on the couch with a couple of pitchers of watermelon-mint-tequila-aqua-fresca watching the first four episodes of Naked and Afraid. Let me tell you: I was Clothed and Stressed Out. That show is nuts! (Pun: INTENDED)

naked and afraid

While we all ponder why exactly the contestants have to be nude, let’s peruse this bounty of links provided by the Internet, shall we?

  • I’m just so genuinely happy that this exists. And it’s in Alabama, of all places. I present to you, the Prancing Elites.
  • Unfortunately, this Cynthia Rowley gold wetsuit being hawked on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is already out of stock. Question: Would a gold wetsuit promoted by Gwynnie make me more or less attractive to sharks?
  • This other wetsuit maker thinks they’ve got something to repel sharks. Not nearly as exciting as the Cynthia Rowley option.
  • Speaking of sharks, Discovery Channel’s new commercial for Shark Week had is pretty damn hilarious.
  • This amazing collection of vintage travel posters from the Boston Public Library will totally keep you busy for a while. With this heat wave, Antarctica is looking pretty good right now.
  • What else looks good? Beer. Any type so long as it’s cold. I just noticed the date on this beer map is kinda old, but I don’t care. There’s no expiration on beer. Well, actually, I think there is. But everyone knows expiration dates are just a suggestion.
  • In case you’re ever stuck in a room with one and don’t know what to say, here’s a list of things Texans like to talk about. Although, I’d argue that everyone likes to complain about how hot it is outside. And George Strait IS a badass. Everyone knows that.
  • Carrying on the Texas theme: 34 Things Austinites Love. 11 and 12 crack me up. I would just combine numbers 10 and 13 and say “floating down a river of queso” is my favorite thing. And I did just wait in line for four hours for Franklin’s brisket about 3 weeks ago, so obviously, that’s spot on.

I think I saw that Austin thong guy in those last two links on Naked and Afraid. He sure looks familiar….

Austin thong dude

Life. Blergh.

Sorry, kids. No post this morning. A very long day at work coupled with a complete metro commuting hell meltdown and no cabs meant I got home very late last night. I barely had time to eat and watch the most recent Real Housewives of Orange County before crashing.

Speaking of RHOC, this is how Petunia chooses to watch the show:

tv toons

 

Legs akimbo, bits a’ showing.

unbelievableHere she reacts to Vicki’s shouting from the mountaintops (literally) that she has not had multiple partners. Petunia finds this hard to believe.

I promise, a real post tomorrow.

 

Friday Linkages: Why Not?

I’ve never tried one of these link roundup things before, but there’s just too much for me to tackle in individual posts. My adult-guardian-for-life XFE will be going out of town on a work trip this weekend, so I will, of course, hole myself up in the house, eat too much cheese, and watch too many hours of whatever new show Andy Cohen has dreamed up. Or, maybe I’ll put on my big girl pants and venture out for cicada-cocktails. You never know. Have a good weekend!

You Know What Makes Everything Better? Cat Videos

It’s been…a…challenging week around here.

The weather has been abysmal — cold and rainy yet humid and gross. Requiring one to wear a coat and/or sweater and/or scarf, then carry some combination of those items during the afternoon, only to put them on again in the early evening. I constantly smell like layers of slightly sweaty wet wool. So pleasant.

I’ve also been trying to get up at crack o’dawn to work out with my personal-trainer-for-life, XFE. He’s really into this fresh new hell called “Metabolic Effect” that takes place at 6 AM.  It’s “metabolic” because it revs your metabolism through non-stop, complex movements with weights. The “effect” is that I want to kill my personal-trainer-for-life, but find my hands too sweaty to properly grip his neck and squeeze.

Also: I went to Gap for some lunchtime pick-me-up shopping and somehow, against all Internet spamming gods, I did not have a single coupon from Gap somewhere in my email inbox. How is that even remotely possible? Ann Taylor, Banana and Gap email me coupons at least twice a day on a regular basis, but the day I need to go shopping? No. Oh, but I do have a Gap Outlet coupon in my inbox. W. T. F.

Work has been….well, let’s not talk about that.

There just are not enough hours (or wine) in the day.

I know some kitty cats who feel my pain. Sad cats. With diary entries.

 

Cheered me right up. Especially the first bit about the black pants. And the food dish. And the water bowl. All of it, really. It’s exactly what I imagine Petunia thinks of us.

Happy Friday