True Blue.

Arriving early on a Friday and departing on a Tuesday afternoon turned out to be the exact right amount of time for a first visit to Iceland. I was over being crammed into minivans for hours-long drives for day trips. I wasn’t sure how many more times I could walk up and down Laugavegur, Reykjavík’s main drag. And I was ready for the sun to set at a sensible 8pm (and for it to stay down for more than four hours.) But before saying “verið þið sælir” to the Land of Fire and Ice, I would make a stop at one of its most notorious tourist attractions — Blue Lagoon. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.

Monday offered yet another day trip—this time about 2.5 hours southeast of the city—to hike on a glacier, walk along the black sand beach at Reynisfjara on the edge of the northern Atlantic, and to see a bunch of waterfalls. Booked again through Nice Travel, we began our day with a hike up onto Solheimajokull, a small glacier cap nestled next to Eyjafjallajökull, an active volcano that may sound familiar even if you can’t pronounce its name. (Eyjafjallajökull was the volcano that erupted a few years back, wreaking absolute havoc upon transatlantic air travel for weeks.) Of course, this would again involve spending a lot of time in a minivan. 

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Madame X.

I’ve got a lot more to tell you about Iceland, and I will finish doing that shortly. But first, a quick shift of gears…

As is commonplace every couple of years, Madonna recently put out a new album. And then, as also is commonplace every couple of years, I shelled out hundreds of dollars to go see her in concert. I’m gonna break down my thoughts in three parts: the album itself, my process leading up to the show, and my review of the show itself. Read the rest of this entry

A Horse with No Name.

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After a solid night’s sleep, Saturday began slowly with a full pot of coffee in my room and some skyr and a pastry to take the grumble out of my belly. Reykjavík is a relatively small city of about 120,000 people spread over 105 square miles. For comparison, the island of Manhattan manages to cram about 1.6 million people into 33 square miles. So, 300% the size of Manhattan with about 7.5% the population. Read the rest of this entry

Ice Ice Baby.

After a bit of a dry spell, I was fortunate enough to do a fair bit of traveling during the summer of 2019. So, since this is allegedly a travel blog, I suppose I should blog about my travels. (For clarity, I’ve also been traveling extensively for work the past year or so, and there’ll be more to come on that.) But in no particular order, let’s talk about some of the places I visited. For starters, I went to Iceland! Spoiler alert: it was amazing. In fact, I’m going to break this up into multiple posts because there’s so much detail to cover But first, let’s start with “how.” 

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Nana.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of my Nana. And while I’m not particularly sad or anything (in fact, I’m still kinda numb and shellshocked, which is probably worse and cause for an entirely different conversation), I did have this compulsion of sorts to try to put all of this into words. As I struggled to put together an opening paragraph, I went back and re-read what I had written to read aloud at her funeral and… well… I think I already kinda nailed it. I don’t feel like there’s anything that I can say now that I didn’t say then, even during this point of reflection. So instead of trying to cobble together some somber, depressing recollection, I offer again this celebration of one my favorite people ever… 

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Ménage à Trois.

If I have the money and the time off and the right opportunity presents itself, I will travel at the drop of a hat. Taruan, not so much. Having jetted off on my own on quite a few occasions, I have a good sense of what and how long it takes to plan a trip. Taruan, not so much. Having not had the luxury of taking an elaborate Christmas trip since going to India in 2012, I was adamant that we go somewhere for the holidays in 2016, particularly given that we both had the time off. Taruan, not so much. After making an strong argument for wanting—no, needing—to travel (he would describe it as throwing a temper tantrum), he relented and I began planning late in the summer of 2016 for travel during that Holiday break.  Read the rest of this entry

Geronimo.

There is no better way to celebrate another year of your life than by completely and totally putting that life at risk.  Read the rest of this entry

Build Your Own Monster.

As I kind of expected, the Harvey Weinstein scandal has led to more and more victims of sexual wrong-doing feeling able to come forward and tell their stories and identify the perpetrator. I personally cannot imagine being the victim of something that not only gave me some unwarranted burden of shame, but that I also felt I could not speak up about. So hats off to these brave women and men that are helping erase a stigma that never should’ve been there to begin with and, more importantly, for bringing to the table the topic of what is and isn’t cool the it comes to sexual interactions with another human being. …that is, if it can actually be a conversation.  Read the rest of this entry

Before…

When things don’t quite seem to be going they way they should, I often think of a little anecdote that my old friend Cindy shared with me years ago. Many, many moons ago, she had gone to see Styx (the band) in concert. (So, this is probably early 80s.) The scheduled time for the start of the show had long since come and gone and the crowd was beginning to get understandably restless. Eventually, lead singer Dennis DeYoung, clad in a tight, white jumpsuit of sorts, stormed out onto the stage. He grabbed a mic and addressed the crowd in a surprisingly lispy, “gayish” voice only to exasperatedly say “Excuse us. Everything’s all fucked up right now!” and stormed off of the stage with the same lack of fanfare with which he appeared. (I assume the show went on at some point.)

I’m not sure if it’s the ridiculousness of the story that stuck with me, or Cindy’s way-too-flamboyant delivery of “everything’s all fucked up right now” when she’d tell the story (her hands on her hips, shaking her head and flinging her long blond hair, emphasis on “fucked up,” sounding like an angry Charles Nelson Reilly), but a year after the biggest gut punch of an election day that I’ve ever lived through, I desperately need someone in Washington to come out and admit that, indeed, “everything’s all fucked right now.” …though I could probably do without the white jumpsuit.  Read the rest of this entry