Results From Tutankhamen’s Tomb:


I swear to Beysus, if they find Nefertiti’s mummy in that dinky tomb, I am going to be in a constant state of losing my shit until I can get back to Egypt. I won’t be able to get into the tomb, but I have to be there to experience the insanity. One of my wishes in life was that I could be around for a major Egyptological discovery. Just think of how wonderful Egyptomania was in the past century? Banks, theaters, homes, and graveyards were built all over Europe in an ancient Egyptian style. I love seeing things of that sort in Paris, but that’s mainly because of the Napoleonic excursion to Egypt. I’m off topic… Think of the excitement that would have taken hold when Howard Carter announced his findings at the Winter Palace? I’m covered in goosebumps right now at the thought. JUST THINK IF I WAS IN THE SAME TOMB AS NEFERTITI! I’ll just scream. I just did. I will scream for hours into the night. I’ll never get over it. Even if it isn’t Nefertiti and it’s just an empty room…HOW THRILLING! How many other tombs have secret rooms???? What is there? I’m gagging. The announcements come out in November, and I am on pins and needles. PINS, reader. NEEDLES, reader.

Hand-Me-Down Flatscreen:


Yesterday, I was given a flatscreen television that I have no use for. I already had one in the kitchen and a giant one in my lounge. I thought I might put it into storage and save it for my library upstairs, but then I remembered that I wanted to have an oil painting of myself holding my deceased cat, Tiger, looking like the lord of a manor with Paris out one window and the Great Pyramid out the other of the sumptuous backdrop. So that was out. What was I to do with it? I sat and stared at the 47-inch television hatefully. Just more junk to fill my house. But then it struck me. The genius idea. The masterpiece of consumerism. The epitome of first world stupidity. The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever decided to do. Well, that’s not true, but it’s close. I am going to hang it in front of my bathtub. I will be able to soak in the tub and watch Murder, She Wrote. I really want nothing more out of life. I need to get rid of the old wallpaper first, though. That room is in desperate need of renovation. It’s hideous. I love a contrasting pattern, but I’m not crazy about a dozen contrasting patterns in one room. It becomes a bit much. Like…A LOT MUCH. So, I shan’t be luxuriating in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne and Angela Lansbury any time soon. But it’s happening. My home will someday be the hotel I long dreamed of.


Lens Cleaner:


I am blind. Not Helen Keller blind, but some days I think I’ve got to be close. The world is a blurry place for me, and so I live in the constant hope of getting LASIK, but then I decide it’s more important to fly to Africa or save up for Saint-Laurent boots…and can you blame me? It’ll happen eventually, but in the meantime, I will suffer through with fashionable glasses and contacts that make me feel as if I have sandpaper in my eyeballs. I wash my glasses regularly, and I thought that they were clean and that the blurry vision I suffer through is normal. But then, in one of the classrooms I work in, there was a bottle of lens cleaner, so I decided to spray some onto my glasses. I wiped it off. Dramatically, I raised the lenses to my face. Then I gasped. Children turned to look at me. I saw their faces for the very first time. I never knew how beautiful and clear the world could be. It’s glorious. My life has been forever changed by a promotional bottle of lens cleaner from an optometrist in Ankeny. Bless those doctors, whoever they are. I immediately ordered a bottle off of Amazon — three actually — and will never be parted from clear vision again. I wonder what I’ve missed all the years?



Nothing in the world makes me feel more alive than the knowledge that in a certain number of days, months, seconds, and hours, I will be going somewhere. I know I have a decent life here, but there’s so much more to the world than Iowa. I am lucky to be well aware of that. I’ve been to all sorts of lovely places, and I bring a bit of that home with me. My house has touches of Paris and Luxor. It feels like a southern plantation in other rooms. It doesn’t really go together…but that’s why I’m redesigning. I’m off topic. Trips are the greatest things that have ever happened to me. When I first discovered that I was an independent lady of means and took myself off to Orlando for Spring Break, I learned so much about myself. I credit that trip with a lot. I’ve never looked back. Spontaneous trips to Chicago, Paris, Nice, California, DC, New York, and more have followed and without them I probably would have lost my mind many years ago. Travel makes me happy, and I think it makes others happy, too. I hear so many nice things about my travel writing that it makes me feel that I might have touched upon my life’s purpose. Of course, one can’t just become a travel writer. You have to travel. You have to practice your craft. You have to submit articles. You have to become knowledgeable and a resource so that others will trust your opinion. I’m well on my way, but I’m no Samantha Brown, yet. Not yet…but I’m coming for her job. In a nice way. I’m not a jerk. (I have a dream travel show, by the way, if you’re reading, Travel Channel. Picture it: Me and Joanna Lumley bopping all over the world. She’s an international symbol of grace, and I should be, and together we would have the best time drinking yak milk in Peru, tangoing in Buenos Aires, riding camels and cruising down the Nile with our mutual friends in my favorite country — hey Hassan and Yasmin. It’d be delightful.) This long introduction is only going to say that I will be going to New York City next month for four days to see an exhibition on Middle Kingdom art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m so excited that I think it cleared my sinuses. That’s not a joke.




There was a time in my life when I would say that autumn is my favorite time of year. What wasn’t to love? Pumpkins are all over the place, the humidity is swept away, you can wear chunky sweaters, cider is routinely imbibed. There’s nothing bad about autumn. But then I changed as a person…well I didn’t…climate change changed me. Now instead of having four distinct and interesting seasons, Iowa has two and a half. Five months scorching, five months frozen, and two nasty drizzly things in between. None of them are pleasant. October has only just started, and I’m already freezing to death. My Apple Watch just notified me of the weather — convenient thing — it’s only forty-five degrees right now. It was in the upper eighties on Monday. This kind of crap is not good for me. I’m already feeling ill and irritable. I’m so annoyed that I can’t write any more.

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