Category Archives: travel

Best Job In The World

I know many of you are aware of the contest promoting a gig as a caretaker in the Great Barrier Reef, since several people sent me the link to apply. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do so, but last night I found out that a friend and former coworker of mine has applied. Beth has a background in marine biology and she has spent considerable time traveling and working abroad. She would be perfect for the job.

So, if you have a few minutes to spare, watch her video application and vote for Beth!

Hilarity Ensues?

Guess what? Infidelity is still not funny.

Yesterday I posted my opinion of a travel article featured on MSNBC promoting the best hotels for conducting an extramarital affair. In the comments, I mentioned a poster on a forum I sometimes read had written to the author of the hotel piece, explaining how very painful and unfunny it is to be betrayed by your spouse. This is the e-mail my fellow forum member sent to author Danielle Pergament, and the alleged response she received. (Note that I say alleged only because the e-mail was not sent directly to me, not because I doubt its veracity.)

Ms. Pergament:
It is unfortunate that you actually put your name on the article that appeared on concierge.com “Best Hotels for an Affair.” You and the editors who accepted it for publication should be ashamed.

Infidelity has become a joke, something to gossip about and laugh about – until it happens to you. I hope it never happens to you. I hope you do not have a significant other who would sneak off to a hotel – any hotel – to have a quick little romantic romp while plotting your demise. I especially hope you don’t have children who would become devastated by being discarded by a parent.

In the event your life is ever touched by such a heinous betrayal, please visit us at (name of site removed by request). We will be there to help you pick up the pieces of your devastated life. In fact, come visit us anyway. We would welcome the opportunity to show you just how horrible this is and what it does to people – not just the one who has been betrayed, but to the betrayer as well as the friends and family in their lives.

And the flip and defensive response she received from the author:

In fact, infidelity has been a part of my life – several times and to several degrees of horribleness. I find it unfortunate – and ridiculous – that you would presume to know anything about me. That you think the article was in any way ernest when it discussed “plotting your spouse’s untimely demise” is frankly absurd. I was no more advocating infidelity than I was first degree murder. It was clearly intended to be a joke. I’m sorry you didn’t take it that way.

Sincerely yours,
Danielle Pergament

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Well, Ms. Pergament as someone who has recent experience with this particular sort of horribleness, I would welcome some advice from you on where to find the humor in the situation. I would also love to hear more about your particular experience with infidelity, specifically what makes you qualified to be so rude and dismissive in your response to a reader who reached out to you, obviously still in pain. Assuming you have already been compensated for your work, would it have killed you to have shown your outraged readers a shred of compassion?

In case you have fabricated or exaggerated your own experiences with infidelity,or perhaps you’re approaching this issue from the point of view of the Other Woman, let me assure you that betrayal of the my-ex-boyfriend-kissed-another-girl-and-he-liked itvariety pales in comparison to the pain suffered by spouses who learn after years, and often decades, of marriage, that the person they love and trust most in the world has gone out for some extramarital fun.

Frankly, I do not see how anyone who has ever looked at their small child and wondered how they can forgive that same small child’s unfaithful parent, could find your riff on cheat suites amusing. Nor could a 70 year-old who just learned his wife of 40+ years has conducted a decades long affair with another married man. Or maybe the woman who learns her husband has been sleeping with her sister might find your pithy write up worthy of a chuckle?

When you sat down at your desk, wondering how to repackage the information on several high end hotels languishing in your research file, combing the current headlines for inspiration, what convinced you that pairing these properties with Elliot Spitzer’s dalliances and infidelity would make a great pitch? Who was your target audience?

That you Ms. Pergament, would claim to understand the horribleness of infidelity, strikes me as ridiculous.

Let me reiterate: Infidelity is not funny. Your joke is in extremely poor taste and your readers deserve an apology.

WTF is wrong with MSNBC

For running a travel article promoting the Best hotels for an affair ?

And more specifically, what the fuck is wrong with the author, Danielle Pergament, for making light of wandering husbands and wives plotting their spouses deaths?

Built in 1845, it’s the kind of house you duck into, wearing a hat and maybe those short little gloves, to rush into your lover’s arms and plot your spouse’s untimely death.

Extramarital fun, my ass.

Most disturbingly, she seems from her website to be a serious journalist, with enviable clips. Why on earth would she need to stoop so low to garner attention and hits? There is nothing remotely cute or funny about infidelity, Danielle. Nothing.

I’d write more, but I’m not sure WordPress or your readers can handle the combination of expletives racing through my mind at the moment.

Auto Erratic

It has now been almost a month since a young guy plowed through a stop sign and almost totaled the Honda Pirate. A mostly auto abstinent month. Our neighborhood does not have a subway stop. We’re suburban enough to be dependent on buses or a 30 minute walk to Lechmere or Davis. Thankfully it is possible to walk to several playgrounds, the library, a few small shops and Bloc 11.

I am so fucking bored by these same urban strolls setting the tone and structure for our days. While you certainly can lead an enjoyable car free existence in Boston—I did for several years—doing so with a small child, especially a small child who is accustomed to long road trips and last minute dashes across town to a favorite swimming pool, wears thin.

Toss in the exhausting marital drama that I am unable to write more about, an exploding water heater, a laptop missing it’s “T”, a dog that shits in the dining room when I leave for 10 minutes to walk to the library, my tendency to want to be on the move, and you have one cranky, stir-crazy mother.

A weekly date with fleet of handsomeZipcars has eased the pain and boredom a little. So far I have driven a Toyota Matrix named MacDonald, had a one night stand with a Honda CRV whose name I never got, fika’d a Volvo S 40 named Schmidt, and have holed up for the weekend with Victor, a neon blue Nissan Versa.

The Matrix was spare but serviceable, with surprising pick up for such a small car. The CRV provided a bit more room, and a familiar Honda sensibility, but I felt as if I was cheating on my Pilot with a lower rent substitute. One that pulled to the left and threatened to tip over while making left turns or encountering a mild breeze.

The low-slung Swede has been my favorite so far, which should not surprise since most of my miles have come from that part of the world. While Schmidt was obviously not a full-blooded Swede, showing signs of being a true Taurus in the design details and body mass, he was stiff and powerful like most of the other Swedish tanks I have powered down the road. Schmidt also came equipped with a fancy radio system that provided song and artist info, as I impatiently spun the knobs.

Victor the Versa is fast, cheap and fun, and waiting for me to finish this entry, place my hand on his gearshift and crank his engine.

The Honda Pirate better come home soon. I’m feeling lonely and neglected and vulnerable to trading in for a new model.

Putting The Voyage Back in Mom Voyage

As some of you know, life has thrown us a few curves lately. I do not want to discuss the specific challenges here, but I need to clear my mind and hell, before prices at the pump soar past $10 a gallon, I need to hit the road again.

So, in mid-July, after my baby brother’s wedding, and Grunty willing, this not-so-young mom will once again go West. And North. And probably in circles, with shaken fist aimed at the GPS goddess in the sky.

Since we’re wandering with a bit tighter budget and aiming to camp this time, suggestions for campgrounds and slightly off the beaten path inexpensive things to see and do along a yet to be determined Northern route very much appreciated.

Free Night of Camping

If you’re down with KOA–I know, it’s kamping lite, but the playgrounds and clean restrooms are nice with kids–several locations are offering a free night of camping next weekend. I’m trying to decide between several participating locations in New England, to break in ournew tent.

Details here. You need to reserve an overnight stay for Friday, May 9th, and the following night,Saturday, May 10th, is included free. This is a fund-raising event to generate money for KOA Care Camps .

Button, button

I picked up a copy of the April issue of Parents magazine yesterday. No excuse, really. I am a bit compulsive about buying magazines, even ones that have annoyed me in the past.

Page 25 suggests that readers with “Some bunny to love”, get over the disappointment that their infants cannot indulge in Cadbury Mini Eggs this Spring by noting “…you still get to celebrate the holiday by dressing her up real cute.”

Real cute.

Yes, I know there is another rag titled Real Simple, but I have always hoped it was intended to read as two separate words.

I decided to chalk up real cute to insidious marketing copy and paged past to a piece designed to provide helpful suggestions for taking a vacation with your friends and their families.

Leslie Pepper, your content is fine, but can you explain why the young girl in the red bikini in the center of the group shot on page 192, smiling broadly into the camera, is missing her belly button? Perhaps a medical procedure is responsible? I sincerely hope magazines do not airbrush the bellies of young children.

It is irresponsible enough that the article about postpartum weight loss on page 151,shows a svelte mother struggling to button a pair of skinny jeans, in spite of her flat waist and the obvious extra material around the waistband of the pants.

Real cute, Parents. Real cute.