Wednesday, November 30, 2005

media update: November

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary. As you can see, I got even more reading in than usual, thanks to a four-day G-less weekend.


1. Vanish by Tess Gerritsen: A mysterious woman takes a group of patients hostage at a hospital, including a police detective who's in labor...but why? Not as compelling as some of Gerritsen's previous books, but still good.

2. The Snow Fox by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer: A devastating love story set in Japan during the Heian era.

3. Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger: Okay, it's chick lit, complete with name-dropping (both brands and celebrities) and the obligatory gay confidant, but it's amusing enough.

4. Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis: This is the book that garnered a shitstorm of controversy, thanks to its theme (teenagers sometimes GIVE AND RECEIVE BLOWJOBS; I was shocked, SHOCKED); in fact, Barnes & Noble and Borders both refused to stock it in their stores. They should have refused to stock it not because of its theme, but because it sucks. Ha ha, sucks, geddit, clever am I OMGLOLZ.

5. Somebody's Daughter* by Marie Myung-Ok Lee: A young woman, who was adopted from Korea by Minnesotan parents, returns to Korea in hopes of finding her birth parents. Moving without being cheesy.

6. Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates: I hesitated to read it because of the incendiary (and, I feel, needlessly provocative) subtitle, but Oates isn't known for her sensationalism, so I decided to give it a go. A woman and her daughter, walking home from a Fourth of July celebration, are attacked; the daughter is beaten and the woman is gang-raped and beaten half to death. The "love story" in the title refers to a cop who decides that the justice denied in court will be meted out one way or another. Well-written but upsetting.

Read so far this year: 60


1. Nefertiti by Joyce Tyldesley: Booooring.

2. Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife* by Mary Roach: There's not a whole lot I can tell you about this book that the title doesn't already imply, but I will tell you that it's a must-read. Roach's previous book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, is probably my favorite non-fiction book of all time, and this isn't quite as compelling, but it's still great, especially the jovially disgusting chapter on ectoplasm.

3. The Lady and the Panda* by Vicki Constantine Croke: The true story of the Manhattan socialite who trekked to China in the 1930's and brought back a baby panda, causing a media sensation. It's both a rollicking adventure story and an utterly heartbreaking tale of a woman's fierce maternal love for an odd little creature. If you like animals even a little bit, you'll probably mist up more than once.

4. Julie & Julia* by Julie Powell: The author felt stuck in a rut, so she decided to make every single one of Julia Child's recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. This book is a feast for the senses and, at times, incredibly funny. Plus it has this great paragraph: "Because sometimes you just get a feeling when you watch someone you love fall in love---maybe especially someone who is sad, or difficult, or just for some reason an uncomfortable fit with the rest of the world. A feeling of relief, really, as if you can let go of that load you'd never actually realized you were carrying." Warning to the sensitive: the chapter where she prepares lobsters is somewhat upsetting.

5. The Dancing Girls of Lahore* by Louise Brown: A fascinating peek into the lives of Pakistani prostitutes.

6. The Friend Who Got Away: A selection of essays about the pain of a broken friendship. It made me tear up, snarl a couple of times in recognition (yes, LC, I'm thinking of you), and be extra-thankful for the wonderful friends I have now.

Read so far this year: 53


1. Stroke Material: My Fuckin' Lover by Atsuta Kotobuki: Nope, not kidding on the title. It's not nearly as raunchy as you might think, though.

2. Nana* vols. 1-10 by Ai Yazawa: One of the best explorations of female friendship I've read in any medium, much less manga.

3. Cat Street* vol. 1 by Kamio Youko

Read so far this year: 112


1. Three...Extremes: A trilogy of short Asian horror films. Box is a nightmarish fever dream about twin girls who work in their father's magic act. One of them accidentally kills the other in a fit of jealousy; weird shit ensues. Dumplings is an absolutely grotesque movie about a Chinese woman's special age-defying dumplings. You'll probably be able to guess what the secret ingredient is, but it's even worse than you might think. Never before has the mere sight of someone chewing actually made me gag. A very, very black sociopolitical commentary. Finally, Cut---my least favorite of the three---is kind of like a short Korean version of Saw, in which a man is forced to choose between killing a child he doesn't know or letting a madman cut off his wife's fingers. This movie is not for the faint of heart; Box is more psychologically creepy, but the other two are extremely graphic.

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*: I had high hopes for this installment, because the corresponding book is my favorite HP to date, and I was not disappointed; it's the perfect mix of action, humor, and pathos, and the special effects are top-notch. I was, however, disturbed by my reaction to Harry in the bathtub. As Defamer put it, the movie should have been called Harry Potter and the Goblet of Hey, They're Not Legal Yet, Perverts.

3. Love & Pop: A depressing Japanese film about the world of "compensated dating". There's a really icky scene in the porno aisle of a video store that had me yelling "EWWWW!"

4. Jarhead: Apparently war is a lot of "hurry up and wait". But damn, that Santa scene...yowza.

Seen so far this year: 43

Monday, November 28, 2005

premature ejockulator

This is how much I missed G:

I watched every minute of the Giants/Seahawks game yesterday.

Of my own volition.

Yes, I sat in front of the TV in my Giants shirt and trashy sweatpants, drinking a beer, eating generic teriyaki Slim Jims, and scratching where my balls would be, yelling at the screen every time they racked up yet another frigging false start penalty.

And they lost thanks to Jay Feely completely muffing the field goal that would have won them the game.

I will say this, though.

Thank god for the Internet, because the priceless moment when my man Jeremy Shockey (yes, I'm sure he's the biggest freakin' asshole in real life, but goddamn, can he fill out some pants. I hate to see him go, but I love to watch him leave) began celebrating and then, oops! has been captured for eternity in this hysterical gif:

G's going to need a biiiiiiiiiiig hug when he gets back, methinks.

OBLIGATORY CREDIT NOTE: I did not come up with the title to my entry; it's swiped from Deadspin.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

muchos merci

It’s that time of year when I sit down, put aside all bitchiness and uncharitable thoughts, and reflect upon the things for which I’m grateful. Continue if you’d like, but be warned that the sap index is off the charts.

  • My brother’s car caught on fire yesterday while he was driving, and even though his car is totaled and he’s going to have a hell of a time scraping up the money to replace it, at least he escaped unharmed. Believe me, I spent a LOT of time last night offering up my gratitude to whatever powers may be.

  • My wonderful family and friends, who keep me sane, focused, honest, and feeling loved. Special mention goes to my heterosexual lifemate K, who makes me laugh at least four times a day.

  • G. I don't want to embarrass him by singing his praises, but let it be known that he is eighteen shades of awesome and the best thing to happen to me since I got a 2XL for my 7th birthday.

  • Thanks to restructuring, the future of my job is unclear, but at least I’m still employed for now. I don’t make a whole lot of money, that’s for sure, but I make enough to pay most of my bills and still have a little left over for booze, candy, and trashy magazines.

  • I'm still healthy.

  • Wad got fat.

  • Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are, because those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.” I’m glad I finally learned to take this to heart.

  • I got to visit Japan again this year, and it was even better the second time around. I also got to go to Iceland and ride a pony!

  • K and I moved from our shithole apartment to a much nicer place that’s closer to work, Borders, and G…the three places I go the most. Seriously, I only have to buy gas every three weeks now.

  • I’ve got a roof over my head, a car to drive, a paycheck to cash, spore-free air to breathe, and food to eat.

  • ”Somehow, through a flip of the coin, I ended up here, feeling like somebody at the top of the heart-lung transplant recipient list. Damaged but invigorated, and fucking lucky.” (Augusten Burroughs)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

all your miracles are raw materials

I swear Papa Joe “Pimpin’” Simpson was stopped next to me today in a bright yellow convertible. I resisted the temptation to yell out my window, “You make me wanna la la!”

Which he doesn’t.

And I’m sorry, the fact that Paris Hilton has a baby monkey that scratched and bit her face during a shopping spree only makes me want one more…it just proves their intelligence! I eagerly await the inevitable “Monkey flings feces on Paris Hilton at Kitson” news item. (I love Defamer’s take on it: “The poor thing will be dead in a week from the diet of Snickers and blow.”)

Yeah, anyway, I’m bored, so on to the meme making its way around the net.

WALLET: Basic black, nothing fancy. It’s fairly new, and I don’t particularly like it because the clasp is wonky. It’ll do for now.

HAIRBRUSH: Black Goody paddle brush at home; black Goody blue-handled brush in my purse.

TOOTHBRUSH: A red Dr. Du-More. I replace my toothbrush at the beginning of the month, so I just get the cheapest ones I can find. Now, toothpaste I splurge on. Currently, I have a tube of Fructodent Orange & Lemon, and I seriously want this so bad.

JEWELRY WORN DAILY: A white gold right-hand ring with six small diamonds. I can’t describe it very well, so here’s a picture:

SOCKS: Just plain white ones I buy in bulk at Target. I walk during my morning and afternoon breaks at work, and I wear socks and sneakers, and embarrassingly enough I have tan lines where my socks are.

PILLOWCASE: I have four pillows---two large ones that serve as a makeshift headboard, and two “regular” ones. The large ones have polka-dotted covers that match my bedspread; the regular ones have plain white cases.

BLANKET: A polka-dotted comforter that I bought at Urban Outfitters.

SUNGLASSES: Prescription cat’s eye sunglasses. I really need to get new ones.


SHOES: Today I am wearing my absolute favorite shoes, my Naturalizer Mary Janes. They were expensive, but worth it because they’re cute and comfortable.

HANDBAG: Black imitation Coach bag from Target.

KEYCHAIN: A freebie I got from one of my manga magazines. It has dangling kitty and fish charms.

COMPUTER: A Compaq Presario laptop. I don’t know the actual model number offhand, since I’m at work.

FAVORITE TOP: Either my Silent Hill shirt or one of my many shirts from Engrish.

FAVORITE PANTS: I don’t have any. I’m going to Old Navy tonight to search for that elusive perfect pair of jeans. I don’t think I can get away with wearing shorts much longer.

SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER: I ran out of shampoo, so currently I’m using a trial-size bottle of Ma Cherie, a Japanese brand, which I swiped from the New Prince Shinagawa last April. My current conditioner is Herbal Essences. It smells purty.

PERFUME: I am so freakin’ promiscuous when it comes to perfume. I have about thirty full-size bottles and an ice cube tray (literally) of samples. Today’s selection is Comptoir Sud Pacifique Lait Sucre, which smells like crème brulee tastes, but my absolute favorites are Molinard Tendre Friandises, anything by Anna Sui (great packaging, too), and Minnie Wilde Magic.

CD IN THE STEREO RIGHT NOW: I don’t have a stereo anymore, so let me turn on my iPod Shuffle and see what comes on. Ah, it’s “A Little Respect” by Erasure.

CAR: A 1996 Chevy Cavalier named Ariel. True, she’s not the most exciting car, but she’s paid for and she’s never given me any trouble that wasn’t caused by someone else’s (*coughjiffylubecough*) negligence or just plain old age.

IN THE FRIDGE: A leftover ham pizza from Papa John’s (seriously, I went into the biggest pizza jones last night and I just had to have it), diet Dr Pepper, half a gallon of milk, Wee Brie, and a couple of cartons of yogurt, in addition to K’s stuff.

TV: Uh…I’m not even sure what make it is, but I think it’s a Sony.

STEREO: Don’t have one anymore; I just listen to CDs on my laptop.

TELEPHONE: A cheap piece of crap. Like K, I am emotionally damaged by my years in the call center, so I hate talking on the phone any more than necessary.

CELL PHONE: Some bare bones model from Verizon. As mentioned above, I don’t like talking on the phone very often, but I figured I needed one for emergency situations. I use it more as an expensive alarm clock than anything else. I did gussy it up with cool ringtones, though: two selections from Lord of the Rings (hey, I got it during my LOTR phase, what can I say), “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors, and “The Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang.

WHAT DID I REALIZE ABOUT MYSELF? I don’t have very nice stuff.

A lagniappe for you, and one more. Please note that these are NOT safe for work…well, unless you work someplace much cooler than I do.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

and the grand finale

I woke up on my last day in Iceland and gingerly eased myself out of bed. Trudging to the bathroom, I stripped down for my shower and noticed that my ass looked like a Rorshach test. Lovely! I was also so sore I felt like I’d been beaten around the hips and buttocks with a sock full of quarters, so I was really looking forward to a six-hour plane flight.

After a large continental breakfast, R and I packed our bags and took the Flybus to the airport. We had some time to kill, so we bought snacks and reading material (two British tabloids for me, since I’d already read all of the American magazines), exchanged our money, and walked about five feet to our terminal.

The flight was full, with about three Icelanders to every American. I don’t know if everyone in Iceland knows everyone else (wouldn’t be too hard with less than 300,000 people in the country), but they sure as hell seemed to. They kept jumping up and standing in the aisles, chatting to each other and taking pictures, and the frazzled stewardesses kept having to come over and say “Please, if you are not waiting for the toilet, you must sit in your seat!”

When we finally arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, R and I drove to Daddy-O’s house. I was really tired, since it was too noisy to sleep on the flight and I had jet lag, plus Daddy-O was in an unusually pissy mood for some reason, so I went to bed fairly early.

On Thursday morning, I woke up and found a note which did much to explain Daddy-O’s foul mood: he wasn’t able to get any time off work due to an impromptu management conference at which he had to give a speech. I had a nice long soak in the whirlpool tub, followed by a hot shower, and then I walked over to the ritzy spa about a mile from my dad’s house and treated myself to an hour-long, full body massage. Oh god, the sheer bliss! My eyes rolled back in my head and I drooled through the facehole as the masseuse worked out every kink and knot in my body. Afterwards, I was led to the quiet room, where I sat in a leather armchair with a heated wrap around my neck, flipping through magazines, nibbling shortbread cookies, and marveling at the fact that every time I put my empty water glass down, a svelte brunette appeared from nowhere to refill it.

Yeah, I could get used to the lifestyle of a spoiled [affluent Minnesota town] trophy wife, that’s for sure.

Later on, Daddy-O, R, and I went to Campiello’s in Minneapolis, where we met up with his girlfriend M and had a lovely dinner---grilled skirt steak with roasted garlic au jus, rosemary pan-fried potatoes, a glass of pinot noir, and chocolate crème brulee for me. I really like her; I hope things work out between her and Daddy-O. After two breakups in one year, he’s due for a good woman.

Friday was pretty uneventful, since I did nothing but sleep, luxuriate in the whirlpool tub, and read.

And on Saturday, we went to a local nature preserve for a long walk, followed by a trip to the cemetery to visit Mom’s marker and then out for ice cream. To my astonishment, they had blue moon! Blue moon!

Blue moooon!

As you may recall, I was stymied in my search for blue moon last time I was in Minnesota, so I was especially thrilled to find it this time around. I’ve never been able to find out what it’s supposed to taste like (the description card at the counter helpfully said, “It’s blue!!”), but damn, is it some tasty shit.

At any rate, all good things must come to an end, and after giving Daddy-O and R big hugs, I was off on yet another plane. The flight was half-empty, which meant I had a whole row to myself and could sprawl out and sleep. When we arrived at LAX, I brushed my hair, spritzed on some perfume, quickly chomped a piece of gum, and raced down the escalator and into G’s arms.

Random stuff:

Fuck you, Stavros Niarchos, you waste of sperm and egg. I don’t know what you’d call it in Greece, but in the US we call offering a homeless man money to dump soda all over himself demeaning and assholish. Use that billion dollar trust fund and buy some fucking class with it.

And great, now I’m going to feel guilty shopping at Target:

“There were two disturbing developments in the battle over straight rights last week. First, we know that Target fills its ads with dancing, multi-culti hipsters giving off a tolerant, urbanist vibe, and runs hipster-heavy ad campaigns positioning Target as a slightly more expensive, more progressive alternative to Wal-Mart. Well, as John Aravosis revealed on America Blog last week, Target's politics are as red as their bulls-eye logo. The chain allows its pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception to female customers if the pharmacist objects on religious grounds. What's worse, the company claims that any of its employees have a right to discriminate against any of its customers provided the discrimination is motivated by an employee's religious beliefs. Read all about it at and” [Dan Savage, Savage Love]

But hey, on the plus side, it’s almost Friday, which means it’s almost Saturday, which means G Time!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Iceland part 3: 10/25/05

On our last full day in Iceland, I leaped out of bed with a spryness that has been missing from my step since I was a young pup.

That's was pony time!

When we got to the Ishetar stables, we signed liability waivers and, after we put on our helmets, we were led out to the corral. I grabbed R's arm and whispered, "Oh my god, I'm so excited I'm about to pee!"

"Aren't you nervous?"

"A little," I admitted.

But all fear dissolved when the guide led a beautiful white pony with startling blue eyes over to me and handed me the reins.

I knew you'd be okay if you landed on your butt.

"Ohhh, look at YOU, ponybaby," I whispered, stroking its neck. It regarded me impassively and shifted hay to the other side of its mouth like a baseball player relocating his chaw.

The tour guide helped me up on the horse, and after everyone else was situated, we took off on our horseback tour of the lava fields. To be honest, it wasn't a very pretty area, which is probably for the best since I was concentrating on not falling off my damn horse.

"Let's go a little faster," the guide said.


She yelled something in Icelandic, and all the horses began running. Granted, it wasn't exactly a full gallop---more like a trot---but I bit back a shriek as my fingers curled in a death grip around the reins.

Eventually, we stopped to give the horses a break, and I dismounted my steed and walked bowlegged over to my brother.

"How's it going?" I asked.

"I'm a little worried," R said, casting a nervous sideways glance at his horse. "I think mine is aggressive."

"What? Don't tell me it tried to bite you or something!"

"No, but he's moving his head a lot."

I sighed. "R, he's just curious. You and I move our heads a lot, and it doesn't mean we're aggressive."

Then I glanced down and snickered. "Your horse has a boner."

R stepped as far away as he could, and I said, "What, inferiority complex?"

When I returned to my horse, I patted its neck and it whipped its head around and ran its lips over the sleeve of my jacket, leaving a hay-scented saliva trail in its wake.

Okay, this is going to the dry cleaner as soon as I hit American soil.

Soon it was time to get moving again, and we got back on our horses and began the half-hour ride back to the stable. It was cold, and I was still a little unsteady, but it was exhilarating and I couldn't stop smiling.

But that smile was wiped right off my face when we arrived at the stable. I was dismounting my horse, and as my left foot hit the ground, I lost my balance. My right foot got caught in the stirrup, and I landed on the ground with a thud. My left hand and my ass caught the worst of it, and I lay there, enveloped in a cloud of pain and the sharp smell of horseshit.

I swear my damn pony laughed.

It could have been much, much worse, though. To wit:

  • I managed to avoid falling in horseshit, which was especially fortunate as I had only brought one pair of jeans with me, and I was wearing a jacket I'd borrowed from M.

  • Nobody witnessed my humiliation.

  • Icelandic ponies are famous for their docility. If that horse had gotten spooked and taken off with my foot still in the stirrup while I was on the ground, they'd still be scraping bits of me off the volcanic rock and sending them back to Daddy-O in a manila envelope.

When I walked over to R and told him what had happened, he was horrified. "Do you think anything's broken? Do you need a doctor?"

"No, no," I said, hoping like hell it was the case. "I just need to go back to the hotel for a little bit."

Once we got back to the Loftleider, I took a couple of Tylenol, changed into my Giants shirt, and eased my aching carcass onto the bed for a nap. When I got up, I felt a little better, so R and I walked to the Kringlan mall, had lunch, and checked a guidebook for the address of the Phallological Museum.

"No way am I going in there," R said.

"But it's a penis museum! A PENIS MUSEUM. Think of the gift shop!"

We walked about three miles downtown and finally found the address.


"Why is there an optometrist here?" I asked.

R double-checked the map. "This is definitely the right address. Maybe it's upstairs or something?"

But no...when we went inside and asked, the optometrist (obviously holding back a chuckle) told us that the Phallological Museum had picked up stakes and moved about 30 miles away.

"Okay, this is so not my day," I moaned, surreptitiously (I hope) rubbing my butt as we continued down the street.

But later on, when we were walking up the hill to the Pearl, R stopped and said, "C, look! The Northern lights!"

And indeed, there was a shimmering green curtain waving across the sky. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life; I even forgot about my aching ass.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Iceland part 2: 10/24/05

On Monday, we took the Golden Circle tour. It's a cliche to be sure, but a picture's worth a thousand words, so here's 1100 words. Mouse over the pictures for relevant info. (Please note that Icelandic has some characters that we don't, so I used phonetic spelling where necessary.)

First we stopped at the Eden greenhouse, where we saw this odd fellow.

The Kerid volcanic crater.

Gullfoss, or Golden Falls.  It was absolutely freezing here, and the walkway was icy.  We walked about five feet before we started slipping, so we decided it was best to view the falls from a safer distance.

Unfortunately, I can't remember this woman's name, and it's illegible in this picture.  When she heard that plans were underway to dam Gullfoss, she threatened to commit suicide by jumping over the falls.  They agreed not to dam the falls, and this monument was erected in her honor.

Geysir, and no, I'm not misspelling it.

Uh huh huh huh...strokkur...

Thingvellir National Park

I took this shot from a bridge.  Very Hockney.

The original Icelandic Parliament building, located in Thingvellir National Park.

Fault line

Icelandic sunset.

After the bus dropped us off at the hotel, we walked downtown to the Kringlan Mall, where we admired the beautiful clothes in the windows and the unbelievably attractive people walking around. I swear, Icelanders all look as though they've just stepped out of a shower; they're living Lever 2000 ads.

We walked from the mall to the Pearl and had dinner in the snack bar. I had a small poppyseed roll with ham, cheese, and butter; it was quite good, although not particularly filling, so I plumped for a small piece of cake as well. Then R and I went out to the observation deck and stared at the glittering lights of Reykjavik until fatigue overcame us, and we tromped back down the hill to our hotel.

Iceland part 1: 10/22/05-10/23/05

"Are you sure you want me to drop you off at the curb?" G asked.

"Yeah, that's fine," I said, leaning over and hugging him as best as I could. "I'm going to miss you."

"No, no, no, not allowed. You just go ride your pony and trek across the fjords and have a great time. I'll be here when you get back."

One last hug and kiss, and I stood on the curb with my suitcase, rubbing my eyes as I watched him pull away.

The flight to Minneapolis (for some reason, there are no direct flights from Los Angeles to Iceland) was completely uneventful. I arrived at the airport about five hours before my flight to Reykjavik was set to depart.


I managed to keep myself busy, though. I had Burger King for lunch, read pretty much every magazine in the English language, and racked up over 160,000 points on Ms. Pac-Man before I trudged off to the Icelandair terminal, dragging my suitcase behind me like a balky pet. My brother arrived about fifteen minutes after I did, so at least I had someone to talk to.

The flight to Reykjavik was as sucktacular as the previous one was pleasant. I had the aisle seat, and the other two seats in my row were occupied by a little boy and his father. I had to keep getting up to allow the kid egress...once during meal service. During MEAL SERVICE, for chrissakes! I really enjoyed balancing my tray of food and "silverware" and can of Coke when I got up; that was a treat and a half. I don't know which was better, my constant game of musical chairs or the wet, hacking cough of his father.

When we (thankfully, blessedly) arrived in Iceland early Sunday morning, R and I took a shuttle bus to the Hotel Loftleider. Our room was small but serviceable, although it suffered from the same problem every European hotel room (all three of them) I've ever stayed in had:

I love my brother, but I don't looooooooove my brother, if you know what I mean.

Yes, this is what the Europeans consider two beds. True, there are indeed two separate mattresses, and they each have their own sheets and comforter, but they share a box spring and, as such, it might as well be a single bed. I guess they figure if you're close enough to someone to share a room with them, then you're close enough to share a bed with them. I regressed to childhood and pointed at the crack between the mattresses, saying "This is MY side. You can't cross over YOUR side!"

We had a little time before our first tour began, so we freshened up and then headed down to the lobby to catch the bus. Our first stop was the Kjarvalsstadir Art Museum, which wasn't exactly my cup of tea, followed by the Asmundur Sculpture Museum, which had some interesting works.

Uh huh huh...he's plucking himself.

Hallgrimskirkja Church:

Uh huh huh...a big organ...

This statue of Leif Eriksson is right outside the church.

After the church, our tour bus took us on a ride around the center of Reykjavik before hitting our last stop, The Pearl. The Pearl has a little bit of everything: an extremely expensive restaurant, a snack bar, an artificial geyser in the lobby, and a museum.


Finally, the bus took us back to our hotel and we had just enough time to grab our swimsuits and towels for our next tour, which was taking us to the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spot which is 100-110 degrees throughout the year. The water is filled with mineral salts, silica, and blue-green algae, and it's supposed to have healing properties. I don't know about that, but man, did it feel good. Of course, I didn't have my glasses on, so I staggered around blindly until I found a good spot to sit and squish my toes in the silica mud.

When it was time to get out, I went into the locker room and stripped off my swimsuit just in time for three of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen to walk by. Seriously, they were so perfect I think they were genetically engineered in a secret Umbrellaesque lab outside of Reykjavik. One of them regarded me with what I (in a fit of paranoia and low self-esteem) took as pity, and I wanted to fling my arms across my naughty bits and moan in a John Merrickesque voice, "Don't loooooooooook at meeeeeeeeeeeee!" I managed to refrain, though. I showered and got dressed and went outside to try to get a few pictures, but the steam fogged up my camera lens and this is honestly the best shot I could get:

Blue Lagoon or Silent Hill?

I met up with R in the lobby and we took the tour bus back to the hotel, where I plunged headfirst into a deep, dreamless sleep.

[To be continued...]