Category Archives: Eye Holes (books/film)

Pre-Trip Planning: Paging Dr. McSteamy


The Funchilde International Base Camp (FIB-C) is rather a mess these days. And by mess I mean I have commandeered my parent’s dining room with my paperwork, printer, files and various electronics. This week I will concentrate on finalizing my vaccinations (International Yellow Card pictured) and avoiding filling my anti-malarial prescription (if you’ve ever taken anti-malarials you’ll sympathize).

If you’re planning your own adventures outside of the US, check out the State Department’s updated travel/health advisory(ies).

T-minus: 22 days and counting to

First stop: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl to Nassau, Bahamas.


Bell-bottom Crossing


Photo by febpanda.

If anyone is wondering what my hair looks like these days, this sign is a fairly accurate representation. Actually, this chick’s whole vibe is a pretty good likeness of me in general. I put the FUN in FUNK yall! This sign is posted outside the Royal Palace in Bangkok, I’m not sure why bell bottoms are necessary, but I can’t wait to get to Bangkok to wear some. As a matter of fact, I am going to stand in front of this sign dressed just like this woman.

I still can’t divulge the Big News, because I haven’t communicated with all of my clients yet. BUT I can tell you that the countdown to my next vagabond adventure is 14 weeks away. Time to get the shots, update the passport/visas and dust off the camera. As usual, I have about 6 months of “to do’s” that I have to complete in 3.5 months so send me some good vibes yall. The only thing more fun than planning and prepping is actually going, so I’m feeling that pre-travel high. It doesn’t help that I’m going through travel anthologies at an alarming pace. I just finished The Risks of Sunbathing Topless and Best American Travel Writing 2006. If you have any other suggestions to feed the habit, holla in the comments!

Seafood! Wine! Danger! Romance!


[1] That handsome fellow is one of my best friends, S. I dragged him away from his high powered, high paying gig to my last cooking class of the summer (Light & Easy Summer Seafood). I think he had a good time judging by the smile on his face. What do you think? Chef Joe owns Sabot Culinary and he always has plenty of wine for us to “cleanse our palettes”, the knives are extra sharp and there’s always the chance of an industrial-sized grease fire! We made grilled red snapper, grilled steak fish, grilled jumbo shrimp, anchovie crostini, grilled veggies and a vodka crab martini (you scoop the crab meat onto these little crackers). Yum. Okay, so I lied about the romance.

[2] I’m on the move yall. I finished my big summer project at my alma mater, UVA (Go Hoos!) and packed up my gear after crashing with K & D (thanks yall!) and lounging in their supercool (literally and climatically) pad, eating up all their Rice Krispies and threatening to blog about whatever if they didn’t do my bidding. They proceeded to get me hooked on Grey’s Anatomy, Trefoil girl scout cookies and D’s cooking & wine (Italian Pasta? Yes Please! Best.Egg Sandwich.Ever.? Yes Please!)

[3] I’m in Philly for one of my NY based clients for a 3 day conference. I lurve this client because I really like all of my colleagues (plus they have beer in the NY office fridge…). After this I’m headed to New England for a really cool gig that I landed a couple of weeks ago. This is a 4-6 month project which means I will not be headed back out on the road for extended vagabonding until February (post baby brother’s wedding), but it will put a band-aid on the ailing bank account after a summer of revelry (and by revelry I mean: cooking classes, beer drinking, cooking classes, motorcycle courses, beer drinking, Broadway Show, Martini drinking, 3 trips to Atlanta, 1 pretty cool date, Lawn Golf with the Nephew, Labor Day with the ‘hood, 1 trip to NYC).

[4]  I’ve been working on lots of personal projects and trying to manage and land clients so I haven’t had a lot of pure “down” time. Despite the fact that I’m a homeless, jobless, vagabond I’ve stayed pretty busy this summer. A few things that I did make time for that I highly recommend:

(a) Sarah Jones on Broadway: Bridge & Tunnel. Stunning Social Commentary. Genius Character Actor. Best. T-shirt. Ever. I got to spend time with one of my best friends from College S and her husband. They took me to a great brazilian restaurant in midtown where you literally had to walk through the kitchen to get to the restroom. So close to the chef that you could (no lie) lean over and tell him you think that steak is medium-well already. The food was off the hook as we say in the urban vernacular.

(b) The Georgia Aquarium: Quite simply the most spectacular aquarium. I recommend experiencing it through the eyes of twin 4 year-olds. They also let you touch sting rays, baby sharks, starfish and other mysterious dwellers of the deep. I NEVER thought I’d find an aquarium I liked better than Baltimore or even Boston. But there’s clearly no contest.

(c) Cafe Intermezzo: Atlanta.Ambiance. This is where Stacey and I ALWAYS go when I’m in town. The last time I visited we got all uppity and decided to try The Tea Room and ended up in a farcical comedy of ridiculous proportions wherein all I can say is that if you are going to name your establishment the Tea Room, it might be wise to actually have um, TEA?! And the charming, but clearly unstable waitress – her credibility with the wild-eyed recommendations? not so much. Cafe Intermezzo, we will never foresake you again.

(d) Books: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World. Both written by smart, funny women. The first a memoir of sorts, the second a journalist’s contribution to educating us clueless Americans about such baffling international issues such as: the reason behind the East Coast/West Coast Rap-esque battle between Israel and Palestine (my analogy, not hers), Why we give Egypt $2.2B/year to buy arms from the US, etc. but trust me, she’s funny. Don’t be skared/skairt/scared.

(e) Film: Little Miss Sunshine. Hands down the best film of the summer. Funny in a Tina Fey meets David Sedaris/Augusten Burroughs tragicomedy kind of way. You WILL laugh, You WILL cry. So just go ahead and fork over the $2,237 or whatever it costs to see a movie in your neck of the woods.

(f) Family. I enjoyed my parents and nephew so much this summer. I tried to spoil them all rotten. I hope I succeeded. I still have some loved ones I want to bear hug and spend some time (Hey Momma D! Sharon D! Anil, etc.) with but I guess this was a good start.

I’m Glad That I’m Me


A funny girl from Canada recommended “Running With Scissors” a few weeks ago. I had heard great things about Augusten Burroughs’ writing, and many critics compare him to David Sedaris. Now, Sedaris is one of my top 10 favorite authors of all time so I was a little skeptical about this, but I have to admit Burroughs tells a story that is like stumbling across a horrific accident: you can’t help but watch while holding your breath and thanking God that its not you. Funny, endearing, frightening and upsetting because it is a memoir…this one ain’t for everybody, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, bring it on. What are some of your favorite books or books that you recommend?

PS – Happy 30th Birthday to my favorite sister!



A regular commenter on this here blog recommended this book to me about a month ago (Thanks S!). I picked it up and couldn’t put it down, it is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was the perfect band-aid for my return to reality blues-a mix of travelogue and Oprah-esque self-discovery (from a male perspective). The premise is that one of the brothers gets dumped literally days before his wedding, but since everything is paid for, the jilted groom and family have a party anyway. The groom-not-to-be takes his brother with him on the already paid for two-week honeymoon, and it takes them on a two-year journey around the world. He falls in love with himself, his brother and la pura vida (the pure life) and you probably will too.

Honeymoon with my Brother: A Memoir 

Cuernavaca: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


I was deathly ill for the trip to Cuernavaca, so I don’t remember much but here’s the run down.

The Good: Because I was quarantined for three days, I had ample time to finish reading The Chronicles of Narnia (774 pages!), 100 Years of Solitude, and The Memory of Running (a new personal favorite).

The Bad: I had such a bad fever that I had to put on every item of clothing I had brought with me when I went to bed. I haven’t had a fever like that since 1977. It was that bad. A Canadian nurse that we ran into said there was some type of virus going around.

The Ugly: I sweated through ALL of my clothes in two days and had to stumble around in my exhausted stupor to find a llavanderia (laundry) to have all my clothes washed when my fever broke (3 days later).

When I was finally fit to move among the living, I caught up with Andrea and Jorge at the local spot on the Zocalo only to find that I shouldn’t drink because of the virus. So I watched everyone else drink the (literal) buckets of beer served at the expat hangout. Jorge and Andrea were with 5 others that I didn’t know but was quickly introduced to as the “third amigo” I feel bad saying this but this bar was my least favorite place we had ever been to and I realized it was because it was PACKED with Americans! I mean there were even a dozen African Americans in this place, it was like little Chicago up in there. Fortunately Andrea got us the hook up (yet again) and this dude gave us wrist bands for free drinks before midnight at the club down the street if we made it there by 10:30.

The Good: Andrea’s hook up got us free drinks and we didn’t have to stand in the line outside!

The Bad: Jorge’s idea to spring for the VIP lounge and a bottle of Jack Black at a club whose tagline is: “The Sunny Place for Shady People.” There was no way anything good was going to come of this.

The Ugly: Getting dry-humped and kissed by a VIP interloper (Edgar, pictured above), who I then determined to be rather cute and fairly intelligent so I quickly foisted him off onto Andrea. They made a connection and hung out for the next 3 days until it came time to say tearful goodbyes and she cursed the city of Cuernavaca and its men.

*Bonus: What the hell kind of dance is that Jorge? 



Some of yall (all 3 of you who are reading this) know how much I love Malcolm Gladwell (aka My Baby’s Daddy). The NY Times has profiled him and my love grows stronger every day. I met him in 2005 when he came to speak as a Batten Fellow. I stalked the event planners so much (and impressed them with my knowledge of all things Malcolm) that they allowed me to drive him around for the afternoon. He was amazingly gracious, a gifted orator and a total cutie pie what with all that “absentminded professor hair”.  I read Tipping Point in 2003 and finished Blink a few months ago. He’s inspired a rash of books that “create a highly contagious hybrid genre of nonfiction, one that takes a nonthreatening and counterintuitive look at pop culture and the mysteries of the everyday” Here’s a little bit of the reason why I’d walk over hot coals to bring him cold water: Continue reading infatuation