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Depression

“I Can’t” because Depression Lies

March 25, 2017
Maple Leaf

Charles Dicken’s introduced the classic Tale of Two Cities with one of the best opening lines of all time:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…

I could really use an introduction like that for this post. The Spring Equinox has just passed and I should be busy dusting off my neglected Bucket List. We picked an “easy” item from the List as a warm-up. Monica and I are leaving for Venice to eat pizza in St Mark’s Square. I’m supposed to be practicing my Italian. At least enough to say, “Hello, Domino’s Pizza? Yes. We would like to order a large Supreme pizza please.”

 

Instead, I’m losing a battle with this bastard of a companion who is determined to keep me imprisoned. I refer to him as “Eddie, my inner editor,” but his clinical names are depression, anxiety, and PTSD (Eddie is far more palatable, right?). Continue Reading…

(almost) funny, Tales from the Trail

7 tips GUARANTEED to make the most of your bear encounters

March 19, 2017
enjoying bear encounters

I smelled them long before I saw them. It wasn’t the flailing arms and hurried pace of a pair of day-hikers dressed in bright t-shirts and shorts rushing towards me that got my attention. It was their laundry detergent. Tide. Maybe Cheers. Either way, it was delicious enough to break the hypnotic spell that comes from hiking 20+ miles a day for more than two months.

“Hey!” the husband shouted. He was a little out of breath. “Hold up. There’s a mama bear and her baby cub back behind us.” The wife, also excited but a little triumphant, held up her cell phone. “I got pictures!”

Yup. I thought, Definitely Tide.

Continue Reading…

Sketches

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday- now with bonus words

March 15, 2017
The colors of Joy

Happy Hump Day y’all. You doing anything special to celebrate?

Some of you are stuck filing TPS reports; or studying for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT or whatever acronymated entrance exam you need to ace to get into grad school; the busiest of you are feeding, shuttling, counseling and cleaning a herd of crazed animals that happen to share your last name.

Then there’s us. Bleary-eyed from an all-nighter spent staring deeply into our laptops, hoping for a meaningful connection with our muse. PJ’s and teeth in need of serious scrubbing. We, we merry band of bloggers, we know how to usher in the mid-week festivities. Might I suggest a soothing after-breakfast nap to go with that morning breath? Go on… you’ve earned it.

But before you nod off, I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that I’m ready to share. Don’t worry, it’s not so exciting that it will make falling asleep any more difficult. And I’ll need a few sentences to setup, so you have plenty of warning before the big reveal.

Continue Reading…

Tales from the Trail

Want to hike like a Ninja? Better check with your Trail Mom first.

March 12, 2017
Miss janet

I’ve seen the movies, so I know all about Ninjas. These solitary creatures move unseen and unheard from destination to destination, accomplishing impossible feats with superhuman agility and stamina. For big moments that require every last ounce of awesomeness, there’s even a blood-curdling battle cry.

Those of you with experience in the outdoors probably already know that Ninja-ing is exactly the same as long-distance hiking. Sure, the metal cups, poop shovels, and Crocs dangling from our 40lb packs tend to make a racket when we stumble over rocks and roots, but if no one is around to hear it, it’s just as good as silence. And we all know that those bi-hourly Snickers breaks aren’t pauses to catch our breath or contemplate the sanity of climbing the mountain in front of us; we’re just giving the mountain a chance to submit to our greatness before we show it who’s boss. Our battle cry (which is sure to elicit a reaction from even the most hard-hearted): “Crap! Where the hell did I leave my toilet paper?”

I understand if you have a few lingering suspicions about your ability to join the elite ranks of Ninja-ing hikers. If it weren’t for the timely advice and encouragement of the Appalachian Trail’s Sensei, I’d probably be right there with you. Continue Reading…

(almost) funny, Bucket-Lister Pro-tips

I am sorry for myself, I no speak in this language very much

February 12, 2017
Bucket-Lister

I don’t know about you, but I got into the Bucket-Lister business for the perks. Trying new things, traveling the world, and immersing myself in cultures most tourists don’t have time for. The pay isn’t great, but you can’t beat these benefits.

 

And I was a natural. I avoided food poisoning from meals that roamed around on the table, filled a passport or three with colorful stamps, and maintained a respectable frequent-flyer status.

 

I even mastered the international Bucket-Lister language. Initially, communication was mostly an intricate series of hand and arm signals that would make any Air Traffic Controller proud. It wasn’t pretty, but I could get a taxi, directions to a restaurant (usually not the one I was hoping for), and a hotel room. However, fluency evaded me until I discovered the real Rosetta Stone. With this handy tool, I rarely had to resort to embarrassing peeks at Google Translate, or flail like a duckling trying to find its momma in order to get my message across.

 

What is the Bucket-Lister’s Rosetta Stone? Continue Reading…