[Editor's note: after two months of very inconsistent posting, we will now make our best effort to post every weekend, whether or not we have something to say.]
Sorry, I’m back. And to further disappoint those fans who called demanding that Zhou take over the blog: by “I’m back,” I’m referring to Kevin.
Today our goal is to disprove a common misconception about world travel. No, not the misconception that I’m bringing a full year’s worth of chili dogs and applesauce to avoid having to try foreign food. (In fact, I have taken my first baby step toward preparing myself for vegetable curry and grasshopper legs: I tried a chewy chocolate chunk granola bar. And to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.) Instead we want to assure everyone that even though we will be traveling the world, you’ll be having fun too.
When you think of hiking on glaciers in the southernmost city in the world, what comes to mind? Scenic views? Ice? Whatever it may be, I’m guessing it’s not March Madness. However, if Zhou allows it, that will be in the back of my mind as we tour Patagonia. And more generally, if Zhou allows it, I/we will miss things back here in the States.
So with no further ado, I bring you my post about less-than-obvious things I will miss while traveling the world. Well, I guess there’s a little further ado, because in honor of Oscar week (between me and Slumdog Millionaire, we now have eight combined Oscars) our presentation will be a la nominations at the Academy Awards.
And the nominees, in no particular order, are:
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that it was a State Farm commercial until I looked it up just now, but that’s not the point. There are so many things right with that commercial that I don’t know where to begin. Lebron. The Browns. The fact that it’s his first name on his jersey. The fact that it only comes on when I’m doing my favorite activity: watching TV. Not having this commercial in my life is a microcosm of other things I’ll be missing.
(2) The glare-resistant setting on the rearview mirror.
Do you ever feel like things are going well in life – great girlfriend, caring family and friends, living in the South, horrible job near a new Five Guys – but there’s just something that’s not quite right? I figured out what the something was one day two summers ago. The glare-resistant setting on the rearview mirror. And it’s not because car headlights mysteriously and magically become dimmer when you flip it up. It’s because that’s how I knew that Zhou and I would be together forever. Her glare-resistant setting is the exact same as my normal setting and vice versa, so we never have to adjust the rearview. And every time I flip the mirror setting, it reminds me of that moment in my life that everything began to make sense.
(3) Settlers of Catan.
It combines the awesomeness of Tom on Survivor with the strategery of Electronic Battleship and the ferocity of a lion on the prowl. Enough said. If only they figure out a way to have the settlers play Scrabble within the game…
(4) My Donato’s coupon.
I don’t know how long I’ve had it and I don’t remember where I got it, but it’s worth $3 off my next pizza purchase at the best pizza chain I know. It reminds me of all things American – pizza, money and cheapness. Every time I think about getting a pizza, I think about using this coupon. And then I think about the budget Zhou and I are on, and I realize that chicken dumplings from Trader Joe’s would be even cheaper. So while I eat my people’s food, the coupon continues to sit on my desk reminding me of my home country.
(5) Tying my shoes on the escalator.
My fingers shake, my palms sweat, my knees begin to wobble. What had seemed like a good idea (the escalator was so long!) just 30 seconds ago has now become a race against time. I swear I can tie a shoelace in less than 7 seconds, yet somehow I am now at the bottom of the escalator and my shoelace is even more untied than when I started. It all comes down to two choices: ditching the shoe as the lace inevitably gets caught under the escalator landing or manning up and getting my tie on. I think it’s the thrill of the competition that I’ll miss most…
There you have it. And again in the spirit of the Oscars, I’ll give you, the Kevin and Zhou Academy, the chance to vote on the winner. If you have an opinion, please feel free to express it in the poll to your right.
One other thing Zhou and I have been considering adding to the blog is a new section called “Puzzles for Postcards.” The idea is simple: we create a puzzle, and if you are the first to comment with the correct answer, you get a personalized, autographed (don’t downplay the autographs – you’ll want to hang onto those) postcard from wherever we are at that time. Don’t expect the puzzles to be easy though, as most will be crazy anagrams that will take time to solve. If no one solves the puzzle, we will burn the postcard. You have been warned.
As a teaser of what is to come as we travel the world, here’s the first puzzle. First one to respond with the anagrammed famous quote gets a postcard from… Charlotte!
1988 Olympics in Hollywood Anagram:
Trees hide limbs
The thief over my hut
Zhou wins; points per game; points last game; bingos last game (WPLB): 6; 365; 410; iNSTEAD, PRUNIER*
Kevin WPLB: 5; 365; 398; STAINER, StRAINER