DC March 05

I recently stumbled across some digital photos I took on a trip to DC in March 2005. “Hey!” I thought to myself, “These are better than I remember!” So now, LUCKY READERS, I share them with you. God knows why I didn’t blog them back then.

Oh, and P.S., sorry I haven’t written. This Broadway strike is killing me! I am drowning in refund requests….

I am not making this up.

My fascination regarding the strange things people buy as travel accessories has been well documented. But THIS came across my desk today, courtesy of our friends at Daily Candy, and now I say you have GONE TOO FAR.

I first thought snug and cozy thoughts when I read about the in-flight sleeping bag, but then was horrified when I saw the promotion pictures. See for yourself:

Is it just me, or do these look like body bags (especially the second one)? I just know the next time I am on a long haul, there is going to be some jackass seated next to me zipped head to toe in this inflight sleeping bag looking like extra luggage that wouldn’t fit in the hold. I mean, come on, let’s think about this logically.

WHERE and HOW would you zip yourself into this thing?

You get on the plane, everyone is jockeying for prime overhead space and trying to get themselves situated (and if you are like me, that means organizing the 5 magazines, ipod, book, water bottle, hand lotion, crossword puzzle and journal in the envelope sized seat pocket so you don’t have to reach into the overhead after takeoff. I am all about the activity bag). Do you go to the bathroom, zip in and then hop to your seat in your overgrown potato sack? I suppose that would be ideal. But my guess is that it’s more likely that you will attempt to zip in at your seat, twisting and turning and reaching and inadvertently punching your seat neighbor in the chest with your elbow while trying to get your arms in the tiny suited arm holes. Yeah, that sounds about right.

And of course, what do you do when you have to go to the bathroom? Man, I am not even going to go there. You get the idea.

So, as if this were bad enough, there was ANOTHER ridiculous item in my daily candy today. This just can’t be true. Is it? Or is it an elaborate hoax?

Flatulence Odor Control Seat Cushion

Yes, the opposite of a whoopi-cushion. You get it? You sit on this cushion and when you fart, it absorbs the smell. It’s called, I swear I am not making this up, GasBGon. I guess there were so many others who had the same thought I did upon reading about this, namely, “Whaaaat?”, that the GasBGon website appears to have crashed. But never fear, our trusty friends at Amazon have it in stock; check it out here. I am trying to ignore the fact that Amazon appears to be selling used versions of the cushion– since the only thing worse than a fart cushion in my book is a used fart cushion. You dig?

Fart Cushion. Seriously? Listen, I am as opposed to fart odor as the next person, but this just seems to go beyond the level of normalcy.

I know, I am telling you that I just know, that it won’t be long before I am on some flight going somewhere where the person next to me is attempting to zip himself and his fart cushion into a cotton body bag. Mark my words.

Love Me, Ortiz Me

This weekend Damir and I went South to check out the Red Sox play the Orioles and hang out with my parents for a bit. Traffic was insane both coming and going so it feels more like we spent the weekend on the New Jersey Turnpike rather than in Maryland with the folks.

Lucky for us though, Sunday was a beautiful day to catch a baseball game. Warm and sunny, and after the first hour or so of the game the sun went behind the awning of the stadium so we watched the game in the comfort of shade. Camden Yards is a beautiful baseball stadium which doesn’t appear to have a bad seat in the house. The only bummer there is that they don’t have enough vendors coming through the seats with drinks and food– just expensive light beer. Where are my Fenway Franks??

The game itself was a true heartbreaker. The Sox lost the lead they carried most of the game in the 8th inning, and then lost the game in the 10th on a walk-off home run by Kevin Millar (who I still love since his Red Sox days). It’s a bad loss, combined with the Yankee’s sweep in Cleveland, puts the Sox too close to comfort– only a 4 game lead in the AL East.

The 6+ hour drive home last night was a long long drive after that loss, especially sitting next to my pinstripe wearing boyfriend.

Post Party Blues and a New Resolution

Man, I had such a good time with my family in Vermont, it is almost painful to recap because I am already nostalgic for them.The early part of the week was relaxed and fun, hanging out with my super adorable nieces and celebrating my brother’s birthday. Erin and Tom’s wedding which filled the latter part of the week was perfect in every way and multiple people came to me to say that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. How can you not love a wedding reception where the new husband and wife enter the barn, yes, a barn, shimmying and sashaying to the theme of Sandford and Son?

Perhaps the shining best moment was when the sweet priest, who gave an awesome homily by the way, announced the newly married couple for the first time to the standing room only congregation and a cheer so loud rattled the walls welcoming the new union, tentative at first then growing to catcalls and howls of happiness, that two lovely people finally found eachother and sealed their relationship at the tender age of 38. The first marriage for both. It was one of those moments where time stops and everything is right.

I became supremely emotional when it was time to drive away and make our way back to Long Island. The kind of emotional that dissolves into incoherent and inconsolable sobbing. So much circled in my head, it was hard to wrap my arms around the escaping rebellious emotions. Sadness to waive goodbye to my sweet nieces who will each likely be a foot taller, or more, before fates manage to bring us together again (will they remember Auntie Terra?), sadness that my family continues to dissect and bisect in ways I had not predicted, joy over the perfection of the week and my happiness for Erin and Tom, and stress about returning to New York, my home, which still holds so much uncertainty for me (a brand spanking new job. Again.)
I have to resolve now, here and now, that I must be more proactive at finding more ways to reunite with my family. They are such a loving, fun and dynamic bunch! I cannot sit by and just let another 3 years pass before seeing my loving brother, sister-in-law and their sweet girls again. In my father’s toast to the bride and groom, he paid homage to the family and I am honored beyond words that he referred to me at the “glue” of our clan. Repeating this now, days later, still makes my eyes swell with fresh tears. Our family is tough, we all live in different states now, that span all angles of the country. Somehow I have to find away to sew the seams of those distances. If not for them, as a collective group, then for me and my personal relationships with each individual.

But How?

I don’t exactly have a situation that allows for house guests, so it is up to me to cover the distances. In a new job where both time off and compensation not exactly what one would hope for, I have to get creative. *Sigh. Solutions are elusive, so feel free to offer up suggestions. But I am determined.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the week. The other 200 are loaded to my flickr account:


I am leaving today for Vermont; my sister’s wedding is next Saturday! Man, I am so excited about all of this, you would think it is MY wedding. It’s likely the only vacation I will get this year, so I better make the most of it. In fact, I am lucky to be taking any time at all given I have been at my new job all of one whole week.

So, I am off until next week when I will have a full report and tons of pictures!


Lately it seems as though the Universe is trying to point something out to me. The problem? I have no idea what the hell it is saying. Like my universe just started speaking in foreign tongues. Or like those dreams I have when I have to yell and scream something out but remain muted for some unknown reason. Actually no, it’s like the Universe rings my doorbell and when I get up to answer it, there is no one there. As if the Universe has turned into some bratty next door neighbor. I am trying to listen very hard, but it’s to no avail. WHAT? What is it? Should I be doing something different or am I not doing something that I should be doing? Is something bad about to happen? Or good? Or should I get a puppy? *Sigh.

I will just hang out and keep waiting for the message to get straightened out.

I haven’t written since Vermont, mostly due to some craziness at the office and a bad cold that has kept me down. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

The church where E. is getting married in July
(damn power lines ruin the shot) 
The Round Barn, Reception site of E’s Wedding
At the Schoolhouse Market
watercans and license plates

This weekend my honey and I are off to Pennsylvania’s countryside for Penny’s wedding. Yipiee!

No Rest for the Weary

I am back from my whirlwind trip to Dublin, Newcastle (Northern Ireland not England) and Belfast. It was a fantastic trip. Beyond the great scenery and my thrilliness (new word for you there!) of just being in Ireland was having the chance to connect with some really awesome ladies in my industry.

First there was S. who is also a President of a tour operator here in the Northeast. It was great to have the chance to speak candidly with another woman about the challenges and benefits of being a female manager in largely male dominated organizations. She and I will definitely stay in touch and I am glad to have someone to call when I need some professional advice from someone on the outside.

Then there was L., a fun and lovely woman from South Africa. Johannesburg to be exact. We were on the last leg of the trip together, she works for a tour operator there in Joburg. Funny how you meet someone and can immediately connect with them. If we lived closer I am sure we would instantly be great friends.

Meeting these lovely ladies makes me all the more nostalgic for my old groups of girlfriends who have all seemed to dispersed in the winds. I have not done a good job of getting out there to make new friends here in Long Islandville, and that is definitely something I now realize more than ever that I need to rectify.

I got a few good pictures on the trip and do love the new camera which will certainly get a lot of use this summer. Here are a couple of favorites (full set on my flickr account):

The beach at Newcastle
Flowers peeking out on the Antrim Coast
Rock Columns at the Giant’s Causeway

More of the Giant’s Causeway

The Awesome pool at the Slieve Donard Hotel

Just when I thought I could take a bit of a break and spend some time at home with my honey (who has been severely neglected between time away and jetlag making me oh so cranky), I am off again on Friday for a girls weekend with La Mamma and my sister for some wedding hoopla. Perfect timing for Mother’s Day!

Ireland Bound

Tomorrow I am shooting back across the pond to Ireland, where I will be spending the next week. I am 2 nights in Dublin, 1 in Newcastle and 2 in Belfast. I am looking forward to the highlight of my trip, a 2 day journey through Northern Ireland where I will be visiting one of the places high on my places-to-see list, the Giant’s Causeway.

This strange natural phenomenon consists of about 400,000 interlocking hexagon shaped basalt stone columns that lead straight into the sea. Legend states that once upon a time a giant, Finn McCool (don’t you love that name?), built the causeway to serve as a bridge to Scotland so he could fight his nemisis. The Scottish side of the causeway on the island of Staffa also has similar shaped stone columns.

In preparation of this great trip as well as other fun events coming up this summer, I splurged on a new camera today. I am super excited about my Canon S3 IS! Keep an eye out for new photos coming soon!


I love Edinburgh, but to be fair, I knew I would. I expected the city to be cute and quaint, but instead I find it rather proud and majestic. Craggy. I haven’t seen much of it, sadly, as I have been stuck in a convention center most of the time I have been here. But that which I have seen I adore. It makes me long for the days living in Europe and wonder if I can convince Damir to move to Europe with me some day. Once married I would imagine I would even qualify for a coveted EU passport, eliminating all of the pain in the ass immigration stuff I had to go through when in Holland.

Alas, I am dreaming of life along cobblestreets, stone houses and flower stalls.