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And we’re off!

Pack light! Pack light! Everyone has told me to pack light and that does not mean I should catch a sun beam in a jar and ferry it across the ocean with me. I have taken these warnings to heart, and disregarding any concern for stinkyness or being caught wearing the same pants twice, I have packed light. Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl became my light packing hero after I read this post where she traveled to Madrid with two small bags.

It was there I first heard about packing cubes. I was perplexed by Laurie’s statement that she could pack more in her luggage with those little square bags. It seemed illogical because by bringing the cubes she was carrying even more stuff around, but then Rick Steves recommended it too. So I bought some packing cubes that were not technically cubes by the mathematical definition of the term, and what do you know?! They were right! It’s hard to explain why they work, but instead of trying to smoosh a lot of stuff [...]

Have guidebooks, will travel

If I had known how much preparation goes into planning an international vacation, I’m not sure if I would have decided to jet off to London and Paris on a moment’s notice. However, the plane tickets are booked and the Eurostar train pass is purchased, so it’s full speed ahead and damn do those hi-speed trains go fast!

I have 9 days left until my departure and the last two weeks have been a crash course on how to travel. For instance, make reservations early. I kept putting off making reservations until I had time to read the guidebooks and suddenly it was less than 3 weeks before departure and OMG I NEED TO FIND A PLACE TO SLEEP THAT IS NOT A PARK BENCH. I spent a whole day in a panic trying to find a hotel that wouldn’t bankrupt me or give me bedbugs after reading that the Paris hostels were maybe not the best. Similarly, I kept putting off buying my train ticket through the chunnel from London to Paris until I could [...]

Without a wink or a smile

I have a compulsive smiling problem.

When someone gets on the elevator with me, I smile. When the bagger hands me my groceries, I smile. When someone opens the door for me, I smile. The only time I don’t smile is when someone at the grocery store says, “Hey, why don’t you smile for me?” and I want to stuff arugula down their throat, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

I think this is a female thing. I also think it’s a desperate-need-to-please-others-and-be-liked thing, which I am working on getting over. I listened to a RadioLab podcast recently about the nature of laughter which revealed that we often laugh when things are not funny. We laugh as a social function to let people know, “Everything’s ok! We’re all friends here!” I think smiling is the same way. I smile to let people know I am not a threat. Please don’t give me trouble. Smile, smile, smile.

It is hard to stop smiling. I find the corners of my mouth being pulled up by invisible marionette strings. Don’t do [...]

Take another picture with your click, click, click, click, camera

Here’s a photo of me and my mom at an awards ceremony.

And here’s a photo of me with Maggie Rodriguez on the set of The Early Show.

What’s that you say? You can’t tell that’s Maggie Rodriquez? You wouldn’t be able to ID my mom in a line-up? Why yes, that’s because my camera SUCKS!

The Canon PowerShot SD1000 was affordable and is easy to carry around because it’s the size of a pack of cards. (It cost me a lot less than what Amazon.com is listing it for. Don’t know what that’s about.) Sadly, 1/5 of the time the pictures it takes look like Vaseline was smeared on the lens of the camera. It’s a testy little device and it takes some training to learn how to push the button halfway to focus and then take a photo. I know about its quirks, but if I do not get a new camera in a month I’m going to have a lot of blurry photos of me standing in front of Big Ben and the Arc [...]

I see London, I see France…

This is not about my underpants.

Last week an e-mail was sent to everyone in my office announcing a one-week furlough this quarter. My coworkers were understandably depressed, shoulders sagging at their desks, wondering how they’d get by with one less week of pay.

This is when I exclaimed, “I’m going to Europe!” and my boss almost spit out his Coke.

“Are you serious?” he asked, half laughing.

“Yep!” I said. And I was. I am.

I have always wanted to go to Europe. My brother lived in Italy for a semester in college. My friends have taken trips with their French classes and Spanish classes. Other friends have gone backpacking in Ireland and gotten drunk in London and eaten chocolate in Switzerland. And still I have never left the country.

I have always wanted to go to Europe, but I’ve never made any plans to go to Europe. Partly this was because I was poor and in debt in my early 20′s. But partly it is because I never took the initiative, never got off my ass and made plans.

When [...]

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing - NYTimes.com
I tend to stay at home a lot, but 21 days stuck in my apartment would drive me crazy.

Buy Experiences, Not Things - The Atlantic
Money can buy happiness if you spend it on experiences, not things.

The Man Who Smuggles Trader Joe’s into Canada
I'd heard of Pirate Joe's before but this article gives a real in-depth look at it.

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European Vacation

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