How Ireland nearly did my head in – How guided tours get gory

Generally, guided tours aren't my deal. Something to do with not being a herd animal, and something else to do with the risk inherent in entrusting my life and happiness to a potentially overzealous herdsman whilst crammed into a minibus with any sort of mammal for hours at a time. Very few scenarios can push me to a guided tour, like fear for my life, for example, as was the case in a Salvadoran national park at night, or a desire to see more of Ireland than Dublin pubs through the creamy blur of Guinness goggles, which is exactly how I found myself on a minibus just a few days ago. ...more

And you're very right, by the way. The trips I've done that didn't go wrong SOMEHOW, well, I ...more

My Sears supervisor rocks

At a recent staff meeting for cashiers at Sears, we were told that nobody, but nobody, would get time off around Thanksgiving (Black Friday). That would have seriously ruined my plans to visit my folks in WI for Thanksgiving for the first time in seven years. But I spoke to my supervisor privately after the meeting, and he said don't worry, I can have the time off - just keep it between us. That was extremely nice of him. I told him I would bring him back some cheese from Wisconsin as a reward. ...more

Eco-Cruising: Is There Such a Thing?

My mother is taking my family and me on a 10-day cruise to Alaska. It is not the way we normally like to travel, and I haven’t been on a cruise in a long time, but we are going to try it out. I am thinking that cruises are not the most eco-friendly way to travel and I am guessing that the cruise ship lines are probably pretty behind when it comes to providing services in an eco-friendly manner. However, I am keeping my hopes up and I may be pleasantly surprised. ...more

Love Those Wildwood Days!

I am so grateful for my vacation and time away for fun and the sun. We spent a few days on the shores of Wildwood New Jersey. I had much fun: braving the crazy rollercoasters (which scrambled my brains so bad, I had a headache for the longest afterward), and I even braved a scarey ride, which had little kids coming out with a smile on their face, while I on the other hand was scared to death. ...more

If you ask them what the best things were about living in Jersey, they'd include Wildwood in the ...more

HeyY'all I'm Country

Hey y'all, I have gone completely country.  As you know from an earlier post, we have been in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania this week and we have been having a great time, but let me tell you, it is country.  When we first checked in, I asked the lady who helped us if there were any street lights on the grounds for night time vision and basically she was like, "oh no, people don't really go out at night."  I was like, "oh, ok, that's cute".  ...more

What I did on my summer vacation

I went to visit my sister before summer was officially over for me (school started last week!). She lives in Mobile, AL but we usually drive down to Gulf Shores, AL for our end of the summer vacation. We wanted to hit up the beaches before Tropical Faye, Jorge and whoever else whipped the Coastal region into an ugly flurry. So I flew to her house and we drove to Gulf Shores. ...more

The Ambivalent Vacation

Why can’t I take a vacation without taking work with me? This is a question I’ve contemplated seriously since I returned from my most recent week away. When I taught at Yale, I felt an crushing sense of obligation to my work but never much excitement. I packed my laptop, journal articles, and the most recent draft of my manuscript to satisfy the throbbing “should” that ruled my life. Those things weighed down my suitcase in the same way that my relationship to my job weighed down my life. ...more

It's not necessarily a bad thing, to confuse work with life, unless you decide that that is ...more

Interview Questions - Ask HR Wench

A reader needs some feedback: I have two questions for you that I was asked in an HR interview. I just want to know what you would have said. 1. The application deadline for a job opening that was listed externally is May 15, on May 16, an individual comes to the HR office to apply for the position--what would you do? ...more

Two Green Girls on a gas-guzzling road trip

If you're staycationing this summer, you can take a vicarious road trip by following Mary Logan Barmeyer -- National Geographic Green Guide research specialist -- and her cousin, Trish Harris via their blog, Two Green Girls on the Road. ...more

Wow, I wish I could do a trip like that again, but I think it is still possible even after ...more

Back from the Food Holiday

Well, by now I should be over my food lag, so it's back to salad plate size portions of only health foods (with the exception of the leftovers of my daughter's birthday cake-homemade and can't let that go to waste, only to waist). It was fun while it lasted, and it usually lasts a few days after the actual vacation. Being in a different diet mindset has its freedom and fun, but it also has its cold hard consequences, and that has become apparent on my scale and in my closet, with its narrowing (ironic word in this context) options. ...more