Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

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Re: Wanderfood Wednesday: Epicurean despot (by mark at 5/09 2:16 PM)
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29 September 2010
WanderFood Wednesday: fine dining in Black Rock City

As has been previously documented, Mark & I eat way better than the Average Burner. Because we're such foodie-geeks, we had a blast cooking for ourselves and our campmates during Burning Man this year. So it was a pleasant surprise to come across other fine dining options in our neighborhood.

Yes, people really do come to Burning Man to cook for their neighbors. And no money changes hands. If one is inclined to contribute something to these camps, in the way of spare ingredients, alcohol, or volunteering to help clean up, that's appreciated. But it's not necessary.

The Sacred Cow Grille, right next door
The Sacred Cow Grille, right next door

Literally next door to our camp was The Sacred Cow Grille, serving (what else?) Indian cuisine! Tasty and fabulous. Mark happened to make our reservation on the same night as a wedding that most of our campmates were attending, so he grabbed some random hotties to join us for the meal.

random hotties, our dinner companions
random hotties, our dinner companions

the Grille's lounge area
the Grille's lounge area

The place was decked out in oasis shabby-chic, with plenty of couches to lounge on and hot chai served as we arrived.

shiny server
shiny server

The playarific waitress came over and pretended to take our order, asking "If you could have anything at all, what would you like to have for dinner tonight?" Mark stumped her with Lobster Malabar. Didn't matter, we all got the same thing, with veg or non-veg options.

yam daal, mango chutney, tofu curry, burning naan, and tandoori chicken on top... yum!
yam daal, mango chutney, tofu curry, burning naan, and tandoori chicken on top... yum!

Another fine dining establishment, this one a few blocks away, was L'Homme Flambé. Zut alors!

L'Homme Flambé
L'Homme Flambé

We didn't get a chance to try this place out, but judging from the signage in front, it was a saucy spot indeed.

snarky signage
snarky restaurant signage

Not sure how much of this is readable, so here's a quick transcription of the snarky signage:

If you're wearing something we don't like you may have to take it off.

Not from the Michelin Guide, from some other tire company

Call 1-234-Eat Me


valet parking, hah
valet parking, hah

Who says you can't eat like royalty while out on the Playa?

Hop on over to Wanderlust & Lipstick's WanderFood Wednesday for more mouth-watering travel foodie posts.

* Photo Friday: desert eats
* Photo Friday: ab-fab, sweetie-dahling
* Photo Friday: my night with oktapodi
* Photo Friday: this is your brain on Burning Man
* browse all 2008 Burning Man pics

* read all Burning Man blog posts
* check out the Burning Man website

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

24 September 2010
Photo Friday: ab-fab, sweetie-dahling

This week's Photo Friday collection is a smattering of the two of us in our finest Burner regalia. When you have two fairly non-photogenic people, getting any decent pictures becomes a numbers game. Fortunately we had plenty of help!

on Burn Night (photo by Ember)
on Burn Night (photo taken by Ember)

like disco lemonade
like disco lemonade

getting a Celestial Bodies tatoo
getting a Celestial Bodies temp tattoo is funnnnn!

hanging out at the GBOF burn barrel
hanging out at the GBOF burn barrel

just because it's Thursday
just because it's Thursday

devilish dudes in the Mothership
devilish dudes in the Mothership

with our new Serbian friend Ana
with our new Serbian friend Ana

cycling into the abyss
cycling into the abyss

at the Temple Burn
at the Temple Burn

Full cadre of photos from our 2010 Burning Man adventure, plus accompanying stories, coming soon! Thanks for being patient while I sort through everything.

Check out more absolutely fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.

* browse all 2008 Burning Man pics
* read all Burning Man blog posts
* Burning Man website

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

20 September 2010
In a word: confidence
Meet, Plan, Go! DC a grrrrreat success

Policy's Liberty Lounge hosts Meet, Plan, Go! DC
Policy's Liberty Lounge hosts Meet, Plan, Go! DC

Nearly 100 Washingtonians gathered on Tuesday September 14, to discuss travel hopes, dreams, fears, roadblocks at Meet, Plan, Go! The energy in the room was phenomenal, and our stellar panel provided lots of solid advice. The recurring theme for the evening: have confidence. Whether it's during the planning phases, while trying to explain your trip to friends and family, or during your re-entry into the workforce, the more confidence you can summon, the more successful your experience will be. And the reverse is true, as Sherry Ott pointed out in a recent post: travel will give you back that confidence in spades.

spirited audience participation
lots of questions for the experts
spirited audience participation

panelists speak to a packed house
huge round of applause to our DC panelists!

Rich talks about using ATMs abroad

Rich Carlson of Ameriprise Platinum Financial Services encouraged us to "plan out how much you think you'll need to spend on your trip, then double it!"

Kathleen: travel builds valuable career skills

Kathleen Duffy of the GW School of Business advised the group to not be ruled by "practical" experiences only. Even creative trips can yield valuable career skills when you return to the workforce.

Tara discusses WWOOFing and working abroad

Tara Cavanagh of InterExchange gave advice about finding work abroad, including targeting countries with less Visa restrictions (like Australia) and WWOOFing.

Nicolette: have conviction about trip's purpose

Nicolette Pizzitola of Compass Point Associates cracked us up with stories of her family's reaction to her career break ("you're killing your mother!") But she also provided sage advice about projecting, with bold assurance, the reason behind your trip.

Stephanie warns not to overplan

Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-Something Travel gave us a sanity check about not overplanning. Be flexible! After all, they have computers in other countries.

And Kate Chandler of Away.com, moderator extraordinaire, kept things moving by feeding juicy topics to the panel and taking audience questions.

Jennifer & Tim of STA travel give out door prizes
Jennifer Apple and Tim Fegan from STA Travel were on hand to provide travel advice and help us give out door prizes. Yay, prizes!
yay, prizes

A few of my favorite tweets of the night:

@nicpiz: Fabulous night at #MPGDC - what an amazing group of global nomads, world citizens and free spirits - thank you all for showing up!

@adamkarlin: A big trip shouldn't be seen as a departure from, but continuation of what you should be doing w/your life.

@RichCarlson3: Loved @statravel's comment that the amount of preparation needed is inverse to the amount of time you'll travel!

@ctilley7: If a prospective employer can't appreciate your travel break, perhaps they aren't the best choice!

@gogastronomy: Cool, I just won a book: Two Laps Around the World @ #MPGDC. Exactly what I want to do. Fate?

@pulpologist: What about travel fatigue & trying to cram in too many countries? @20sTravel: be flexible & don't be afraid to go slow.

@weekendretweat: Learn languages with tv, in churches & bars....bars usually have American music :)

@JohnicaReed: #MeetPlanGo Tip: Just like students should study abroad, adults should take travel sabbaticals. Makes you more interesting.

@jtemplerobinson: Talk about your dream with confidence. It is a shift when people get that you are going to get your life out of it.

a lively panel discussion
a lively panel discussion

Special thanks to Jim Bourg for taking these awesome photos; to Mark for being such a great booth-babe and working the reg table like a pro; and to Marilyn Terrell & the Nat Geo folks for sponsoring the extra chairs.

And, finally, much gratitude to our spectacular sponsors, who made this event possible across 13 simultaneous locations:

Briefcase to Backpack Three Month Visa

BootsnAll   Career Break Secrets gap adventures GeoVisions Globejotter Tours Hostelling International Mango Languages National Geographic  STA Travel  Unconventional Guides Your Sabbatical

* view all posts and recaps from MPG events
* keep the discussion going on the
Meet, Plan, Go! Facebook page
* be sure to sign up for the MPG mailing list to stay on top of future announcements
* check out the
Career Break Boot Camp, coming in January 2011

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

17 September 2010
Photo Friday: my night with oktapodi

Mama Love & Oktapodi during daylight hoursToday’s guest post is courtesy of the always-delightful Mama Love, who took a brief but eventful sojourn around Center Camp with Oktapodi during Burning Man 2010. I’d originally intended to just post the pics, but thought you might want to hear about the adventure in her own words, and get a small taste of what it’s like to meet and greet the public when accompanied by America’s favorite bath toy.

the artwork that started it allThis night at Burning Man started out like no other night, which at Burning Man is how every night starts out. I found myself in the area called Center Camp waiting for something to happen. I was looking at an art piece when my friend Forward told me “Mama, that should be your refrigerator magnet”. I needed a photo of this to make his statement so. I found my sweet Sonia and requested the use of her camera to capture the moment. As I walked back towards the art piece, I realized that I had a little hitchhiker with me: my ol’ friend Oktapodi. Oktapodi and I had shared our 2008 Burning Man experience in a very intimate way, but that’s another tale, and yes there are documented photos of our love! On this particular night, I felt Oktapodi was searching for some human burner connections.

oktapodi and the lantern
He and I decided to take a swirl around Center Camp to fulfill his need.
We started by energizing his soul with the lantern light.

who doesn't love some electrolytes?
This seemed to dry him out a bit and luckily we ran into this extraordinary creature who was willing to share her straw of magical electrolytes with him. 

oktapodi in a California Threesome
He became so excited he jumped into the middle of a California threesome. A video was also taken, and can be purchased at www.Pulpology.com for a nominal fee.

ooga-shaka, ooga-shaka
Oktapodi’s thirst was not quenched by this interaction and he moved in search of warm flesh over wooden clothespins. Next thing I knew he was being fondled by a pair of cavewomen. 

lusty and dusty!
He was insatiable and this is when I found him squeezed in between these two dusty-lusty women. 

A little taste of burner love and he was inspired to attempt manifesting his dream girl, Barbie. 

He ended up with a Snowbound Burner instead but I don’t think he was disappointed. 

distracted by shiny objects
It didn’t take him long to move on to the next shiny thing… He attached himself to the backside of a girl in the marching band. 

trombone!leader of the band
There was a competition going on and he jumped from the trumpeter to the hat of the very perplexed conductor. The chase was on! He is a very fast little cephalopod. 

oktapodi learns about the 10 Principles
Just as Okapodi reached the edge of the dome with The Man and the free playa in view, he was snatched by the green-painted, dreadlocked crossing guard. He read Oktapodi the Ten Principles of Burning Man and instructed him to go forth and radically express himself. 

oktapodi makes some art
Oktapodi immediately began putting sticks together
to create a reef to share with all of Black Rock City. 

everybody poops
The night was young but the siphon was full, so a quick stop to the Okta-porta-pottie was in order. 

cephalopod love
Mama Love and Oktapodi still have that spark!

Check out more fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.

* browse all 2008 Burning Man pics
* read all Burning Man blog posts
* Burning Man website

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 2 comments
10 September 2010
Photo Friday: this is your brain on Burning Man

Technically I've been back in the "default world" for several days now, but am still shaking off the dust, literally and figuratively. As usual, this includes wading through the huge pile of photos and stories. Just to give you a little tease, in honor of Photo Friday, here are a pair of random pics from this year's Burn...

my brain still feels like this

some of the cool kids from GBOF camp
some of the cool kids from GBOF camp:
Mama Love, Forward, Crystal, Bitchezz, Pringles, Emily, and yours truly

Check out more fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.

* browse all 2008 Burning Man pics
* all Burning Man blog posts
* Burning Man website

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
08 September 2010
Guest post on Briefcase to Backpack

Briefcase to BackpackWe're still making our way home from Burning Man (I'm typing this from 10,000 feet, courtesy of some free WiFi coupons I got at TBEX... thanks Gogo Inflight!) and you can expect many many many stories and pics in the weeks to come. In the meantime, though, I wanted to invite you to check out my guest post on Briefcase to Backpack: "Letting Go: Making Other Plans."

Thanks to Sherry & Michaela for giving me the opportunity to post. And big congrats to them for getting coverage in USAToday's travel section about Meet, Plan, Go! The nationwide movement marches on!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 1 comment