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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26 August 2011
PhotoFriday: Great Balls of Fire
the Man burns in 8 days!

I just realized I never uploaded all my pics from last year's Burn. We're not attending Burning Man this year, but in honor of the 2011 event -- which has sold out for the first time ever, yikes! -- here are a handful of characters from our camp, Great Balls of Fire (GBOF).

Mama Love, Bitchezz, Forward
Mama Love, Bitchezz, Forward

Jewellee in the camp kitchen

Forward & Crystal
Forward & Crystal are ready for the Million Carrot March

Mitch jams

Lunar is one cool customer

Codrin & oktapodi
Codrin (from Michigan) & oktapodi

Liz gets a package
Liz gets a package

one of Jon's many outfits
one of Jon's many outfits

Jim, and a bit of dust
Jim, and a bit of dust

This is but a small sampling of GBOF denizens. To see the rest of the freakburgers (and there are many), check out the full album on Google+.

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

* Burning Man art installations | Bliss Dance
* Photo Friday: Burning Man art cars, part two
* Photo Friday: Burning Man art cars, part one
* 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

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

24 August 2011
WanderFood Wednesday: summertime yum

one of these things is not like the others!
one of these things is not like the others!

Today's WanderFood Wednesday post didn't require much wandering, just a stroll out to my front yard, plus a quick trip to our local farmers' market.

Happily, I've been too busy out in the garden to do much documenting this year. But rest assured, the goodies have been rolling in! Above is a selection of heirloom squash, tomatoes, and hot peppers surrounding everyone's favorite cephalopod. Below is one of my favorite summer salads, a classic caprese, with Woodle and Black Plum tomatoes, two kinds of basil, and some heavenly mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy Company.

say it with me: om nom nom!
say it with me: om nom nom!

I had a little success growing potatoes this year, although the resulting crop was a bit paltry. Never mind, we had enough yield to whip up some roasted blue and purple potatoes with garlic and rosemary. All ingredients straight from the front yard, except the olive oil & salt.

what's taters, precious?
what's taters, precious?

Paprika, grown like other peppers, has been another fun experiment this year. I've already picked a few and once they're dried they'll be ground into powder. Until then, they make a spirited addition to the front walk.

paprika, salvia, kale
paprika, with some salvia & kale in the background

I've always been a big fan of carrots, and although they don't tend to grow all that big in my yard, I have managed to pull up a fun sampling of heirloom shapes and colors. In the salad below is a combination of chantenay, deep purple, sunshine, and cosmic carrots, plus a few types of lettuce, mustard, kale, and chard.

heirloom rabbit food
heirloom rabbit food

This has been another challenging weather year (earthquakes! hurricanes! drought!), but the front yard veggie garden experiment continues! How does your garden grow?

For more great foodie posts, be sure to visit Wanderlust & Lipstick's weekly WanderFood Wednesday blog carnival!

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

18 August 2011
Take a break at the virtual Photo Art Café!

Today’s guest post is by fellow traveler Petra Schultze, who just started up a new project combining travel and photography: Photo Art Café.
El Drugstore in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay 
El Drugstore in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
One of my favorite student travel memories was a monthlong train trip through France. I’ll never forget the simple youth hostel above the small town of Cassis. From the train station you hiked uphill on a trail in the dry heat. But once you arrived you had a glorious view from the cliff top site over the Mediterranean. The other reward was sitting at long tables with humorous Brits sharing bottles of cheap red wine late into the night. The Brits’ humor was guaranteed entertainment that beats any TV comedy channel.
Since I attended university in Freiburg im Breisgau in southern Germany for 5 years, traveling in Europe meant just hoping on a train with a discounted youth ticket. But as a small city next to the Black Forest and sunniest spot in Germany, Freiburg itself was a worthwhile destination. One of the key practical features I remember from student days was the “Dampfross” – a bar less than 100 feet from the main lecture hall – beer aplenty and large plates of garlic “Pommes” or “Fritten” (fries) at a frugal price. Tip: if you’re in a generally expensive travel region – go where students go!
Of course a camera is one of the essentials on any packing list. My first camera as a kid was a small Vivitar point-and-shoot camera that used 110 film cartridges. Does anyone even remember those 110 film? I guess that places me in a generation that wasn’t exactly born holding an iPhone. For a trip down memory lane, this is what the film looked like.
After college when I had a bit more disposable cash I bought a manual Nikon film camera (the FM model), which I brought along on trips in the US, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe. At some point several years ago I transitioned to taking more pictures with a digital camera – currently the Kodak EasyShare Z740. The biggest decision for anyone who enjoys photography as much as travel seems to be: how much photo gear do I bring? My definite preference is for traveling light, so I am currently exploring some of the Panasonic Lumix models – known for good quality without being too bulky.
In those “too long” breaks between trips I find myself still dreaming about my next adventure. Some of the time I’m planning my next trip. But several years ago I decided to poke my traveling toes into the business side of photography – at least on a small scale. I began to make photo greeting cards and framed some enlargements – and attended a couple of local craft fairs in Virginia. And now I finally have opened my Photo Art Café on etsy!
Having grown up in DC and having lived in this area since after college, I’ve also traveled around the US quite a bit. For natural scenic beauty, the national and state parks can’t be beat: Acadia National Park in Maine, Northern California Parks that boast both redwoods and rocky coastlines, and the fantastically unspoiled Oregon – with 363 miles of public coastline which is sprinkled with numerous parks. I’ve been to this region twice now in the past few years and for anyone who wants to get active when they are no longer parked in an office chair, I recommend the book “Day Hiking the Oregon Coast” by Bonnie Henderson for lots of fantastic trail tips!
Of course overseas destinations continue to call my name. In the summer of 2009 I went on a 1-week “fair trade” reality tour to Guatemala. The trip was led by California-based Global Exchange together with the organization Rights Action. Our group of seven traveled in a van led by our fearless Canadian guide Karin and our Guatemalan driver Martin. In talks by in-country experts we learned a ton about Guatemalan history, economics and international trade. We visited weaving and sewing craft cooperatives, as well as two coffee cooperatives, and the indigenous Mayan communities near the Marlin Gold Mine.
Community House and Dorm at Santa Anita de Union cooperative
Community House and Dorm at Santa Anita de Union cooperative
At Santa Anita de Union fair trade coffee cooperative our visit included spending the night in the colorful community house dorm. We heard a history talk from a Guatemalan ex-guerilla combatant, toured the coffee plantation, and went on a waterfall hike. To read more about this cooperative, check out their website in English.
This is where your morning cup of coffee starts!
This is where your morning cup of coffee starts!
So take a break, grab a cup of fair trade coffee, and stop by my virtual Photo Art Café and stroll through the gallery while you brainstorm your next travel plans!

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

08 August 2011
Meet, Plan, Go!: meet the kickass DC panel

Meet, Plan, Go! in DC on Oct 18

Meet, Plan, Go! tickets went back onsale today, so it seems like a good time to introduce you to our stellar line-up of panelists for the DC location.

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Alexis GrantAlexis Grant is a journalist and social media coach who's writing a book about traveling solo through Africa. She left her reporting job in 2008 to backpack through a handful of French-speaking African countries, freelancing along the way. Now she covers careers and job-search strategy for US News & World Report.

Alexis writes about taking leaps in life on her blog, The Traveling Writer, and she's author of the e-guide, How to Build a Part-Time Social Media Business. A resident of Washington, DC, she spends her free time running, hiking, reading non-fiction, baking cupcakes and learning about entrepreneurship.

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Kimberly PalmerKimberly Palmer, the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back (Ten Speed Press) and personal finance columnist at US News & World Report, is a money expert on navigating adulthood. She helps young people master their own finances, from spending and investing to earning and giving back. As a young professional herself, she’s experienced the challenges (and joys) of parenthood, home-ownership, and job juggling first-hand.

Based in the Washington, DC area, Palmer has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, CNN, and local television and radio shows across the country. She has also written for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune in Tokyo as a Henry Luce Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from Amherst College. She can be reached at www.generationearn.com.

- - -

Coley HudginsColey Hudgins is mercurial, impatient, temperamental and often moody. On the other hand, he's passionate about stuff he likes, creative, non-traditional and loves taking risks. Hudgins has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. He lived and worked in Sierra Leone in the ’90s in the middle of a civil war where he ran a commodities business exporting coffee and cocoa to Europe. He's run roadblocks in Liberia manned by drunk soldiers, traded cigarettes for safe passage to a coffee farm at the end of a barrel of a stoned teenager’s gun, and was once arrested and threatened with a severe beating by a Nigerian solider for taking photographs at a military landing strip. The $100 bill he kept in his sock for just such an occasion saved the day.

He used to be a partner at a large public affairs firm in Washington DC but chafed under the authority and routine. The daily grind of wearing a monkey suit and witnessing the griminess of the Washington political scene didn’t help, existential crisis ensued, and he sold the house, car and most of the family’s possessions and moved to Panama with wife and two young children where he lives today. His day job consists of running a small consulting business while traveling hither and yon building his personal investment portfolio. Hudgins also co-founded the blog TheResilientFamily.com to catalog his experiences living, working, and investing abroad and outside of what most would consider the mainstream. The goal is to hopefully instill in others the excitement, confidence, and ultimately peace-of-mind that comes from radical self-reliance and living and traveling abroad.

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Kinnari PatelKinnari Patel graduated from the University of Maryland in Physiology/Neurobiology. Before beginning med school, she took a year off to visit India, her homeland. This led to a decision not to pursue medicine and instead she went on to work in internet technology for almost 10 years, for companies such as Marriott and Conde Nast Publications. After surviving the rat race in NYC and the economic downturn in 2008 she left to travel the world. On her journey she explored Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Boliva, Chile. She also spent a month in Nepal volunteering at an orphanage and traveling through Tibet. She lives a spiritual life, practicing meditation and yoga, and believes in self realization and making life choices that fulfill your own personal truth. Currently, Kinnari is the owner of Be Healthy Vending, a company that provides natural, healthy food options to schools and gyms in the DC metro area, a cause she is very proud of. And, as always, she continues to realize her bliss.

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Nancy BeargNancy Bearg has a distinguished career in national security, leadership, and human capital, primarily in the government and non-profit sectors.  She is a founding partner of Reboot Partners LLC, which conducts individual and corporate workshops and consults with corporations on Reboot Breaks.  The four Reboot Partners principals authored the book Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break on the whole process and benefit of taking sabbaticals. (April 2011, Beaufort Books).    

Ms. Bearg’s former positions include National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States, National Security Council staff member, and non-profit President/CEO.  In her current consulting career, she applies her extensive experience in practical and innovative ways to non-profit, for-profit, and academic endeavors. She holds a BA from Willamette University in Oregon and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.  She teaches a graduate course on leadership at George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC.

- - -

Wish you were here? Meet, Plan, Go! on Oct 18

Join us on October 18, in DC or one of 16 other locations throughout North America, to:

    * MEET inspirational speakers and like-minded travelers in your area.
    * Get motivation, contacts and resources necessary to PLAN the trip of a lifetime.
    * And start taking concrete steps forward to get ready to GO!

Meet, Plan, Go! on Oct 18 - buy your ticket today

Stay updated on the latest happenings by following MPG on Facebook and signing up for the Career Break newsletter. In the Twitterverse, follow @CareerBreakHQs and watch the hashtag #meetplango.

* Meet, Plan, Go! ...it's baaaaaaack!
* follow Meet, Plan, Go! on Facebook
* sign up for the Career Break newsletter
* meet 2011 MPG hosts
* information about all 2011 locations 

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