photo by Rafael Croffi // cc
photo by Rafael Croffi // cc
Guys, I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m (slightly) less interested in sleeping on the ground.
1. T/F Breakfasts taste best when prepared on a super old fashioned gas stove.2. T/F The lighting from Coleman lanterns is both flattering and nicely scented.
3. T/F Sleeping in a queen-sized sleeping bag on a futon with my partner is both fun and romantic!
4. T/F A total lack of cell phone signal, gps, and internet is awesome and freeing! No, this doesn’t not need to be Instagrammed!
5. T/F Seeing a mother moose on your half-mile walk back to where you parked the car is a great way to start the day.
6. T/F It’s pretty nice to have a little lake all to yourself.
7. T/F I enjoy boiling water to wash my dishes!
8. T/F Outhouses are grreeeat!
9. T/F Mosquitos and wood ticks are no big deal. Complaining is for wussies.
10. T/F Falling asleep to the sound of rain, 20 miles from the nearest town is lovely.
Did you answer true to most of these statements? Then you should probably rent a yurt in northern Minnesota.
Have you ever stayed in a yurt? How do you feel about camping?
Here is my list of favorite animals:
2. Prairie dogs
(Cats aren’t on this list because they’re not so much a ‘favorite animal’ as an ‘overarching theme in my life/family member’.)
* Learning that their names are Pug Nose and Little Bean (this bears repeating)
* Learning about their favorite foods and then feeding Little Bean broccoli and apples and feeling his sweet whiskery mouth on my hand
* Just generally looking at his little teddy bear face and imagining him saying calming things to me
* Shaking flippers with him
* Watching his little nose sniff at the surface of the water
* Patting his soft, algae covered back
* Swimming in his general vicinity and feeling zen and joyful.
In April, my dude and I are heading to Tampa for a conference and mermaids and we’re also hoping to kayak the Weeki Wachee river and see even mooooore manatees. Though I imagine those manatees won’t be named Little Bean.
Have you ever swum with manatees or anything interesting animal? I’m bummed I missed swimming with dolphins in open water when I lived in New Zealand!
* Tall diving platform? Check.
* Rope swing? Check.
* Ropes strung across the hole so you can sit on them (or walk on them and pretend you’re a tightrope walker. You know. Hypothetically.)
* Smart little fox dog who leads you down the path and watches over you
* Water that’s so clear you’re not sure how deep it is and sort of have to give yourself a pep talk to jump in
We spent the next three hours as the only swimmers at the cenote, taking turns on the diving platform, and sitting on the ropes watching our shadows on the rocks beneath us. Amazing. If you’re traveling through the Yucatan make sure you stop at a few!
Have you ever swum in a cenote? And was it insanely magical?
So what, exactly, do you do in a fishhouse for 10 hours? Well, if you’re me, you
* Catch a fish and then feel really bad about it
* Put it in the ice bucket and then stress out about it
All in all, an awesome adventure. I’d totally sleep in the fish house again – but I’ll leave the fishing to someone else.
Have you ever gone ice fishing? Or slept in a fish house?
Growing up, I didn’t particularly care about movies. I spent most of my time swimming, constructing weird tree forts, and writing stories about pioneer mice families.
* The Rick/Ilsa age gap is, um, uncomfortable making. If we did the math right, his character is 16 years older than her. And she was, like, 19 when they met? Dude. Leave it alone.
* Fedoras are painfully stylish.
* Mustaches makes you look dicey. File also under: DUR.
* You seem deep when you mumble/don’t open your mouth too much.
* White jackets are extremely underrated. Dapper! Interesting!
* Sometimes you need to love someone enough to leave them alone. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ILSA.
Have you seen Casablanca? What’d you think? What are some other classic movies that live up to the hype, in your opinion?
If you didn’t know, Lolita is the story of Humbert Humbert and Dolores Haze. Humbert is a French literary scholar who is handsome, a bit emotionally fragile, and a pedophile. Dolores (nicknamed Lolita) is the flirty, precocious 12-year-old daughter of Humbert’s single-mother landlord.
Humbert falls in love with Lolita and marries her mother who is hit by a car and killed while Lolita is at summer camp. Humbert picks Lolita up from camp and after she discovers her mother is dead, Lolita initiates a sexual interaction with Humbert. The two have a sort of father/daughter/lover relationship that lasts for a few years before Lolita runs away with another middle-aged man.
I won’t ruin the ending for you because you really, really should read it.
Why is Lolita challenging?
I found myself empathizing with a pedofile. Humbert really, truly loves Lolita and when she rebuffs him he’s crushed. And who among us hasn’t experienced that?
It brings up so, so many questions. Where’s the line between love and obsession? What does it mean to be a family? Is it possible for a 12-year-old girl to sexually consent? What is the real root of pedophilia?
Also? Nabokov’s writing is dense and interesting and clever. His turns of phrase are laugh-out-loud funny and Humbert’s self-awareness is hugely disarming.
Some of my favorite passages:
Despite a total lack of evidence, I’m fairly sure I’d be really good (re: not terrible) at:
1. batting cages*
2. riding a mechanical bull
3. dancing in a tiny, sparkly outfit in a Carnivale parade
So, armed with nothing more than my hubris, a friend and I showed up at the batting cages on a cold Thursday night. Said friend regularly plays baseball, has kids in little league, and is one of those people who played varsity sports.
And you guys! I was good! Or rather “totally good enough to play on a co-ed softball team” as my friend said. Over the course of three rounds of batting, I missed 6 or so balls, which I felt was pretty good since I hadn’t picked up a bat since fifth grade.
Next up? 9 holes of golf. Which, oddly, I’m convinced I’ll be bad at.
Are you athletic? What are the things that (regardless of experience) you’re convinced you’d be good at if you tried it just once?
* Note: this is not the same as being a productive member of a softball team. I’m a terrible throw and I’m not really a team player. There. I said it.
With all of this in mind, I met two friends for dinner at the White Castle on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. I emotionally prepared myself for a dirty lobby and grease-soaked to-go bags (which is my experience in pretty much every fast food place I’ve ever eaten) and was pleasantly surprised to find an incredibly clean restaurant and super helpful staff.
Here’s what I ordered and what I thought:
How you do feel about White Castle? Why do people have such strong feelings about it?