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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

Sometimes, I wish I was an artist. February reminded me of that. Between an afternoon at the Van Gogh bedroom exhibit at the Art Institute and coming across this gorgeous painted travel journal/blog/store, I just kept thinking, "I wish I was better at art." I've always been really involved in the arts. In high school I was in dance, choir, drama. I'm a photographer. I'm a writer. I work in opera. But drawing and painting? No. Not at all. I guess you can't be good at everything. I guess. Two years ago I did take a drawing class. I wasn't terribly good...

  It's hard to ever really declare something as "done." Usually things come to a point where you've "done enough" or where anything else you do is really just nitpicking or when you're just so over it you can't do any more. It was like that when I launched my new site last year. It came to the point where I'd "done enough" to go live, even if the site was far from ready. I just couldn't put it off any longer. Yes, even still, I have a laundry list of things I need to fix and, yes, I still have...

I didn't particularly love Koh Samui the first time around. Nothing against it, it just wasn't the most memorable place. But that's where I ended up for my last few days of vacation in Thailand. I was having a terrible time deciding on where to go, what to do, and was second guessing everything. I had every intention of going somewhere new, somewhere I hadn't been before. But, when it came down to it, I just wanted to go somewhere easy. Somewhere with a beach. So, I chose somewhere I could fly to. Truth was, all I wanted to do with my...

If you walk about a block and then turn right and walk another two blocks, past the woman selling fried chicken and meat on a stick from a cart, you'll find the closest 7-Eleven. If you turn left at the sleeping dog, right at the temple, walk a few blocks, turn left again, walk another block or two more, you'll find my favorite spot to get khao soi for lunch. Before you get there, across the street and a few doors down, there's a good place for a massage and a couple of funky boutiques. If they're open on that particular day,...

I have a buy-once philosophy: I don't like spending my money on things that I know will only be temporary, that I know I'll want to replace eventually or upgrade. Sure, things wear out, things break, things go terribly out of style, not much lasts forever. Things, sometimes, have to be replaced. But the key phrase there is "have to." There's a difference between replacing something because it no longer functions and replacing something because it wasn't what you really wanted in the first place. Replacing a placeholder. I try only to buy things with the intent that I'll have...

I'm single. Very very single. Truth is, I've been single for a long time: I broke up with my last actual boyfriend in 2003. No, I didn't misplace a one there. I said 2003. He's now married and lives in the suburbs with a kid and I'm totally happy for him and all that crap. And yes, if you've been reading for a while, I have had my share of "relationships." But those have been mostly men I've met while traveling, temporary things, the longest being two weeks and the shortest probably a few hours. They weren't boyfriends, they weren't actual relationship...

There's a smell to Asia. A mix of lemongrass and coriander and durian and mango. A mix of incense and sweat and fermented meat. Something like that. It's a scent that's enhanced with the sticky humidity. Intensified. It's a scent that's just there, saturating the air. It was a comforting, familiar, smell when I arrived in Bangkok last October. I could breathe in and know I was back in Asia. I was back. If only for a two-week vacation. It was odd returning to a city I hadn't been in for three years, returning to a country that meant a lot to...

What I did in January What did I do in January? Not a whole lot. I've been trying to save money so I haven't been going out much. Plus I still have a huge to-do list full of things I didn't accomplish on my Christmas break. But, I have been blogging! I'm really proud that in January I consistently posted two posts a week. I now just have to keep that up...

It was my first time in Europe. My first time out of the country. I'd tagged along on my friends' three-week backpacking trip - eight cities in six countries- a pace that now has my quivering. Paris was our last stop. And, like many American girls who had never traveled before, Paris was my dream. The Eiffel Tower was my dream. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of romance and beauty and all things European, up close and in person, was my dream....