Iceland Day 5: Catastrophe

Iceland Day 5: Catastrophe

After running Björk’s built-in space heater for a few minutes Monday morning, I was able to convince myself to wriggle out of my sleeping bag. I shortly discovered my first serious snafu of the entire trip. Despite the switch being on the lowest setting, my little icebox had been acting as a freezer. Two Cokes and one beer had exploded overnight. I must have been sleeping like a rock. And so, my first productive hour of the day was spent in the back of the…

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Iceland Day 4: Kevin Gets Naked

Iceland Day 4: Kevin Gets Naked

To pick up my camper van on Sunday morning I had to walk to the bus station and take a 45-minute ride back to the airport, only to pick up ANOTHER shuttle and get to the rental agency. But after that and the usual stack of paperwork, I was finally introduced to her. Now, y’all may know that I always name my cars after female solo artists—Fiona, Tori, Cher, Florence, and so on. And so, uncreative though it may be:…

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Iceland Day 3: Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!

Iceland Day 3: Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!

After enjoying many fun beverages and cool people at Friday night’s improv afterparty, I woke up chilly but well-rested at 8:30 Saturday morning. I’d previously learned that the “oldest pool in Reykjavik” (I don’t know how to verify these things) was just a block from my apartment. So I threw on my layers, walked over, and paid a $9 entry fee to soak alongside the locals. I sank into the 42-degree water (yes, that’s in Celsius) and listened quietly to their friendly Icelandic chatter, failing…

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Iceland Day 2: I Think the Swans Stole It

Iceland Day 2: I Think the Swans Stole It

First, some terminology: The Ring Road is the big drive. The Golden Circle is the little drive. Confusing I know. Today I took the little drive, splitting a car rental with two Brits (Phil and Katy!) and two Swedes (Peter and Daniel!) to visit some of the best views in Iceland within spitting distance of Reykjavik. It was still overcast when I left the Airbnb—24 hours and counting with no sun—and walked across downtown to the car rental. I picked…

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Iceland Day 1: Sü-Sü-Süssúðío

Iceland Day 1: Sü-Sü-Süssúðío

I slept terribly on the overnight flight from JFK to Reykjavik, occasionally peeking out the window in hope of seeing the northern lights. There was an orange smear of sunlight growing on the horizon when our 737 dipped into a thick layer of low clouds over Iceland. Seconds before touching down, we emerged out the bottom, and I got my first glimpse of the country—mottled soil and rocky coast, all shades of gray this early in the morning. As a tour…

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“Interstellar” is Dumb

“Interstellar” is Dumb

In 2012, I decided that I would visit Iceland in 2017. Yes, that’s ridiculously far in advance. I like planning things. Just ask my parents about our trip to Disney World in 8th grade—there were dot-matrix-printed spreadsheets. But, five years is enough time to plan a serious trip. And now, sure as the Mayan apocalypse, the time has arrived. I’m flying to Reykjavik on Wednesday morning, spending the weekend at the Iceland Improv Festival in between sampling the tourist attractions and local cuisine. Then on Sunday…

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My date with Natalie

My date with Natalie

Today is the 11th anniversary of the most successful April Fools’ prank I ever pulled. Thought I’d document it here for posterity. I was (really) visiting friends in Cambridge, MA, and my flight landed in Boston on the evening of March 31st, 2004. The next morning, early on April 1, I sent the following email to all my friends back in Austin: Howdy folks, Landed in Boston alright – it is miserable crappy weather here, which will make me oh-so-happy to…

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17 courthouses and a couple of babies

17 courthouses and a couple of babies

(This is a blogpost about my courthouse trip. Here are the pictures of the courthouses themselves.)   The first leg of my roundabout trip to Nashville had one interesting aspect that I forgot to mention in the previous blogpost: I shunpiked. This is a word I just learned, but it’s perfect. In the hopes of a more interesting drive, I deliberately skipped the direct route (in my case, Highway 290) and for long stretches used its predecessor, Highway 20. Shunpiking…

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Lots of courthouses, is what I’m saying.

Lots of courthouses, is what I’m saying.

I’ve got an interesting Thanksgiving week ahead. Goes a little something like this. 1. Driving to my mom’s in Nashville, and visiting my aunt and uncle west of Houston en route. If that sounds circuitous, it is: I’m taking a deliberately-roundabout route to get there so I can knock off 17 Texas county courthouses on the way. To wit:   2. Spending three days in Nashville. My mom and her wife always have a Big Gay Thanksgiving for a bunch…

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Review: Pley, the Netflix for Lego

Review: Pley, the Netflix for Lego

I am Will Ferrell’s character in The Lego Movie. I’m not proud of it, but it’s nothing new—even as a child, to the frustration of my mother, I used my Lego sets as model kits to be assembled, not tools for pure creativity. Today I’m a true aficionado of Legos* and although I constantly marvel at the creative output by Lego fans around the world, my own collection sits largely unused, carefully sorted into an enormous card catalog. Others might…

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