Tuesday, July 27, 2010

globetrotting: the dealio

I'm heading to Germany and Belgium on Saturday to see my oldest friend in Milwaukee get married to a German, visit with family friends, and spend some quality Meghan Time. I also anticipate having some excellent adventures, because that's how I roll.

Here are the highlights that I'm looking forward to:
  • Getting the tour of the "real Belgium" from actual Belgians
  • Beer Island! Seriously, there is a boat on the Rhine. It goes to an Island. On this Island, there is a Biergarten. You drink there until you're ready to go back.
  • Seeing my dear friend marry her Prince Charming in an actual castle. Even though I don't believe in romance for myself, it's nice to see it can happen to other people.
  • Doing nature-y stuff in the Black Forest, as well as eating Black Forest cake and looking at cuckoo clocks.
  • Meeting new friends from across the globe.
  • ??? - Putting myself out into the great unknown, satisfying my wanderlust, and letting the universe be my guide.

globetrotting: privacy settings

Last weekend I was at a party and we were discussing the pros and cons of posting your vacation stories online, since apparently Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern will be watching the internets to plan a heist of my home. I kinda feel bad for a thief who would find no television sets, a five-year-old dying laptop, IKEA furniture, and a bunch of Victorian novels. And now that I'm planning a "use up your perishables" dinner on Friday night, there's not even going to be anything in the fridge.

Sorry guys.

In all seriousness though (Mom & Dad), I do have my friend and neighbor Jason watching my place while I'm gone. I also live in a very confusing building, where my friends can't even find my apartment half the time. I know my next door neighbor and everyone in the building kinda watches out for weirdness.

Message to thieves: Really, don't waste your time.

globetrotting: ah, customs

In advance of my trip I flipped through my travel journal before I packed it. It contained many gems and inside jokes from my India trip, several of which I emailed to my travel buddy Jason.

I can't resist however, sharing with you this hilarious scene from customs in Newark. I completely forgot about it, probably because I was exhausted and recovery from having parasites invade my digestive track on the flight back.
Scene: Customs purgatory in Newark. Flights from Delhi and Israel in line. Winding toward us is backpacking hippie juggling hackysacks. New Yorker couple behind me.

NY Guy to Hippie: "That's the best thing I've seen in 12 hours."
Hippie: "Oh thanks, if I wasn't afraid of airport security I also have balloon animals in my bag."
NY Guy: "Pardon me?"
Hippie: "Balloon animals. You know...dogs, elephants...but I had a run in with security once."
NY Guy: "Oh, um, okay, take care."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

art attack: my "mini" summer gallery night

It's hard to believe it's been a quarter of a year since my epic adventures at Spring Gallery Night (photo above depicts the first of what would be many beers). I'm definitely toning it down for summer, have to watch my spending for my impending Europe trip and am running the Sausage 5k early Saturday morning.

There's a ton of awesome shows around town, including one in Bay View and the Urban Ecology Center that I can't make it too, so if you have the time, check them all out.

If you want to stalk/look at art with me, here's a handy dandy map of where I'm going to be (click the markers to find out when, also zoom out for the full view):

View Summer Gallery Night 2010 in a larger map

Again, for those not into interactivity, here's the schedule:

5:30P: Dean Jensen Gallery
5:50P: DeLind Fine Art
6:10P: Pfister Hotel Lobby Gallery
6:45P: Peltz Gallery
7:10P: Caggio Gallery

Thanks as always to the awesome folks at the Art City blog for making Gallery Nighting a decipherable experience.

Oh, and if you don't get enough art on Friday, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you make a trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum for the Milwaukee Artist's Marketplace on Saturday from 10-5. This is one of my favorite events of the year, and even though I may not be able to buy more than a $10 painting this year, there ARE $10 paintings and all sorts of awesome stuff by local artists. Worth the trip down.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

a meaty decision

Today I made a decision that will change the course of my life.

BIG NEWS? Well huge news. Huge like a sausage news...get your mind out of the gutter.

I've decided, after 15 years, that I am going to reintroduce red meat (in small amounts) to my diet. I'd been saying for awhile that I'd probably make the switch when I was pregnant, but since that's not happening any time soon (knock wood!), I think it's appropriate that I do it before my trip to Germany at the end of July. I know when I traveled in Austria & Czech Republic it was a headache and challenge to find food, and I can imagine Germany is going to be the same. PLUS, I really do want to be able to fully experience my friend's wedding and I know the sausage platter is going to be a big part of it. (I'm still sticking with the chicken for the main course though!).

In the last 10 years I've begun to define myself as both a foodie and a traveler, a wannabe Anthony Bourdain...without the whole New York kitchen thing. Having self-enforced dietary restrictions has proven, well, restricting. Part of having an open mind about the world, is having an open culinary mind. I'm considering my decision one on the path to enlightenment (although I'm sure some Buddhists may disagree).

Why the decision today? I've been thinking about it for awhile, but my coworker asking if I wanted to try some of his special spicy roast beef was sort of the final straw.

I also feel like I'm a point in my life now where I have control over my eating habits more than at any other time. I have a balanced diet, love vegetables, cook most of my meals, exercise regularly, so introducing a little extra fat into my weekly intake isn't going to make me gain 60 pounds back. If it does, I can cut it out again.

However, there are so many WISCONSIN-based things I'm looking forward to trying that my virgin tastebuds haven't ever experienced: burgers from Sobelman's & AJ Bombers, a beer soaked tailgate brat, Comet's Free Bacon Basket, Usinger's & Klement's Sausage, Honeypie's pork fries, venison during hunting season...

One thing I do know I'll be avoiding: McDonald's and other fast food...if I go back to red meat it's only going to be quality.

So when's the big day? I'm selecting Thursday, July 15. I know I'm going to be violently ill, so I've scheduled all day Friday (except for a hair appointment) and until a bachelorette party on Saturday to recuperate.

My decision is already getting the thumb's up. I think Brooke put it most bluntly: "it will be nice for us because we won't have to plan stuff around you!"

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