I was just thinking about this!
An incomplete list of uncool things I genuinely enjoy:
Snyder’s Hot Buffalo Wing Flavored Pretzels.
All of the soundtracks from The O.C. (They still make me, in Tumblr speak, feel all the feelings.)
Putting on old episodes of The O.C. when I have mindless work to get through.
Watching, rewatching, and rewatching again Love Actually, The Holiday, The Thomas Crowne Affair, Sideways, and old Gilmore Girls episodes.
Proper punctuation and capitalization (and italicizing the names of titles - hey-yo!)
Sitting. For, like, a long time. Sitting in the car on a long road trip. Sitting on my ass in a lawn chair reading while everyone else plays frisbee. Sitting on the floor in stores, on sidewalks, on windowsills. I think the fact that I get to sit down is partly why I like research better than teaching high school. I’m secretly a lazy bum.
The Twilight Saga. (Remind me to tell you sometime why I think these books are more feminist than people give them credit for. Or don’t. I’m probably the only one who thinks that’s interesting.)
I have to admit that sometimes I like shopping on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Musicals. Rent, Hairspray, and Wicked especially.
I really like that new Justin Timberlake song “Mirrors.”
Florida beach towns, Florida souvenir shops. I honestly think I like my trips to Siesta Key even better than I like trips to more trendy places like Costa Rica or Spain.
New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.
I prefer these super soft iced cookies with sprinkles (the sprinkle color changes based on what holiday is coming up) my mom gets from Kroger’s to fancy pastries I can get at Chicago coffee shops.
Jay’s Potato Chips.
Coffee. (All these grad students I work with walk around meekly sipping their super healthy cups of hot tea. I just can’t get into it.)
The last line of the national anthem.
The scent, still, of Bath & Body Works lotions.
Blogs. (Does anyone else get embarrassed when they tell people they have one?)
I think the thing I like best about traveling is pretending for a couple of days like I live somewhere else, like I have an entirely different life. And this weekend I was able to experience that to an even greater degree than normal. I attended a conference up in the Twin Cities (which I looooove) - “going to work” each day certainly makes you feel more a part of a place. Plus, Kevin and Molly were able to drive up with me!
So instead of staying in a nice-ish B & B and going to art museums or on a long run or out to eat for every meal, we settled into a very simple, very dog friendly hotel (motel even, maybe?), found dog friendly patios, and spent our mornings chatting with Minneapolans and St. Paulians at dog parks.
It’s not how I’d want to do every trip, but it was a pretty awesome experience! I felt like a true Minnesotan for a couple of days. And I was so proud and relieved at how well Molly did. Didn’t tear up anything at the hotel (even when we left her alone for a few hours), did great in the car, no accidents, no barking…she seemed to really like her little vacation, and I’m excited to know we can cart her along in the future!
Anatomy of a great night in New Orleans:
We ate dinner at The Commander’s Palace. I had a Strawberry Flip, a Sazerac, risotto, and strawberry shortcake. It was one of those three-hour meals that fly by - the food and company and atmosphere were so good.
Then we headed to Frenchmen Street. The first bar we stopped into (mostly because it charged no cover) had an incredible band playing a combination of 60s music and New Orleans jazz. And they had go-go dancers. And when the band broke a burlesque show started. Seriously, seriously only in New Orleans.
After that we wandered a few blocks and came upon a little art show. While my friends shopped I had my palm read, which I’ve never done before I think mostly because the tiny piece of my brain that remembers being a fundamentalist Christian youth grouper tells me to say no to witchcraft. But it was New Orleans and it was midnight and there were white lights strung everywhere and incense and I was all alone and the girls who were about to get their palms read had to run to the ATM. So I sat down with Miss Norah and heard some hokey things and some things that hit a little too close to home (or maybe just close enough to home) and I cried a little bit in front of strangers and that’s all I want to say about it. Except that I’m going to live to be at least 92 and she hugged me at the end. And fifteen minutes later she charged bimsk twice as much as me - weird.
I think at some point I drank an Abita Jacomo…maybe a little bit during the go-go dancers, a little bit on the street, right before the palm reading.
Then ao0oga and I got hungry and ordered tater tots and ate them, also in the street.
Then we caught the Young Fellaz Brass Band at another bar just a couple of blocks away. (And a young fella my friend and I had met over our first NOLA lunch was there with his trumpet! Small town.) I nursed one last Sazerac and left the building to stand outside for just a bit because I knew the night was coming to an end and I just wanted to soak up a couple more minutes out there.
Finally, I successfully resisted the urge, at 2 a.m., to go dancing because I knew I wanted to get up for a run the next morning. It was a hard, hard choice, but when I heard they ended up at a place playing techno music I knew I had gone home just in time. (Nothing against techno…but it would’ve killed me if they’d have ended up at an awesome live jazz place or something.)
It was an amazing evening in an amazing city that never fails to bring out the night owl in me. And all to celebrate my favorite bachelorette - hope you had as much fun as I did!