Et Voila Madagascar!

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Madagascar_baobabs

I recently came back from traveling through Madagascar. It is an amazing country with an amazing history. Some tidbits:

  • Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, and separated from the African continent about 135 million years ago
  • Over 40% of the population does not have running water or electricity, and 69% of the population lives below the national poverty level of 1 dollar a day
  • Once colonized by the French, there is still a huge French influence there and most of the population speaks both Malagasy and French, c’est super, non?
  • They have 103 species of lemurs and are home to over two-thirds of the world’s chameleon species, I mean if you can find them! And 6 of the 8 world baobab species are there too

citroen

Citroens are their taxi vehicle of choice! Et voila!

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The Shame Shack

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In May 1999 I took part in a volunteer mission with a non-profit organization called Airline Ambassadors. My BFF Anne was a flight attendant for American Airlines. She signed us up with three other friends, making up a total group of 26 flight attendants and friends to trek through the Himalayan region of Nepal, delivering medical and school supplies to orphanages. Being an over-preparer for trips, I went trail running twice daily to ensure that I was in the best shape possible. I also bought extensive camping supplies, including iodine tablets for water, to prevent any type of water-born illnesses.

I’d be damned if I was going to get sick on this trek. Anne and I put the iodine tablets in our Nalgene bottles daily, making sure to only use that special water to drink and brush our teeth with. The porters even assured us that all the water they cooked with was boiled for purification, guaranteeing us further safety. But what we did notice, was that the porters washed our dishes in stream water, which was not filtered. Continue reading

The Side Effects of Binge-Watching TV Shows

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battlestar-galactica

I didn’t even know binge-watching was a term. I thought I was just blazing the trail by being super productive and watching entire seasons of a popular show on Netflix in a few sittings. I kept thinking about those poor saps who watched one episode a week with commercials, then left with a cliffhanger.

My first victim was Battlestar Galactica. My good friend Ferris told me for two years how great this show was but I didn’t believe him. Out of sheer boredom I gave it a shot and boy was I hooked. I was staying up until 3am during the week, watching five episodes a night, with red wine of course. But the next night I always had to rewatch the last episode because I’d fallen asleep. I heard cylons flying above my apartment at night. I downloaded the BSG soundtrack for my gym playlist. I used the word frakking. I wanted to be buff like the rest of the fleet. I wanted to wear dark khakis, be Starbuck’s bff and save the universe together. Continue reading

How I Acquired Carrie Fisher’s Pillowcase

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Wrote this story in 2010, and now that my BFF has passed away, the truth can come out…

bffflightattendantA long long time ago…well actually a little over three years ago, I’m minding my own business at home, folding my newly laundered Star Wars sheets when my cell phone rings. It’s my BFF! (Can be seen in above photo on the left…)

“Hey how’s it going?” I ask. I always pick up when it’s her. Let’s just call her Ham (Her initials mixed up) so I don’t accidentally implicate her in this story.

Oh you’ll see. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye To My Best Friend – Anne Hurley Obot

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Last Wednesday February thirteenth, my very best friend in the world, my BFF, my Anne, suffered an aneurysm and died. She left behind a loving husband, a precious three year old son, an incredibly loving family of Hurleys, and a slew of amazing friends from around the globe. I’ve known Anne for thirty years since we were classmates at Westlake High School. We used to say we were hetero life partners and even had to convince our neighbors when we lived together that we weren’t gay. We loved each other that much. She was beautiful, she was a ham. She stole Carrie Fisher’s pillow case on a flight and gave it to me for my birthday.

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We hiked Half Dome in Yosemite on our birthdays one September. We stayed up a bit late the night before polishing off some serious wine, and celebrated afterwards with more wine, and pizza.

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The Year In Woods – 2012

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Happy New Year everyone! I selfishly had so much fun writing last year’s Woodsy recap that I thought I’d sit down, have a tasty beverage,  and reflect on all the events that took place, or I took place in, “wink wink” this last year. I also welcome the challenge of only being able to pick a few select nuggets out of all that excitement! And away we go….

Instragram

So in January, I rediscovered Instagram. I signed up for it when it first launched a couple of years ago and just didn’t get it. Facebook, Hipstamatic, Tumblr, Flickr – it’s all too much!! But I decided to give IG another chance and was instantly hooked! I felt like an amateur photographer – I looked at everything around me differently, imagining different filters, angles, and wondered “Is this IG worthy?” I spent this year capturing moments, places, people, thoughts. I followed friends and others who’s lives I admired, dogs I adored, cars I coveted. My friends became annoyed with me constantly on my iphone like a teenager. Instagram is like a window into your world that you’re willing to share with others. I think it can be amazing. Facebook for me became a thing of the past until they bought Instagram – that was a bummer #bigtime. Continue reading