diana's blog

japan earthquake, tsunami hits home

If like me, you have been stunned by the recent geological events that have been happening around the world, from Haiti to Chile to New Zealand and now Japan, you too might be taking stock in how interconnected we all are. When the Earth rumbles on our friends in the Asia-Pacific, we feel their pain, we want to reach out, we hope that the damage is as minimal as possible.


one world, one people

The recent astounding events in the Middle East have provided a source of information, fascination and education for those of us living far away from these lands. We have seen the struggle of people under a form of governance that is no longer acceptable to them take a stand, make their feelings known and demand change. Some have even died in the process. First Tunisia, then Egypt, now Libya. It is a cascading call of new generations unwilling to live in the same way as their predecessors.

rain or snow?

As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, I experienced the typical Southern California seasons - fire, flood, earthquake and drought. But mostly, those seasons were counterpoints to what was normally a rather continual warm and sunny climate. The sole exception being rain. There were times, as has happened over the past couple of months, where it would rain and rain and rain and rain. I've talked to family who are still there and expecting an old man with animals walking two by two into an ark. It's just downright nasty to deal with that much rain on a regular basis.

ridiculously easy and delicious chocolate chip banana mini-muffins

Now that my obsession with Bavarian style soft pretzels is on the wane, I decided it was time for another form of carbolicious treat to start my morning. There's a bit of rain outside today, so it seemed like something warm from the oven was a good idea. Then I remembered one of my easy favorites, a chocolatey banana muffin that's so simple to make you're eating the first few before the last ones are baked.

a munich state of mind...

It happens nearly every time I travel, and it always surprises me a little. Perhaps you experience it too and so will understand. Whenever I visit a new place, or one where I haven't been for quite some time, it takes me a little while to get acclimated. I hear a new language. I see people dressed in what the fashion is where I am. I see advertisements referring to local products. I smell new kinds of food and local specialties.

The Bizarre Bacon Bonanza

Okay, I understand that bacon is something a lot of people like. I get it. I love a good crispy piece on top of an egg and cheese bagel sandwich. Or a couple of slices in my BLT or BLFGT (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomato) sandwich. I can even get behind pork bellies and other forms of bacon, crumbled bacon in my salad or bacon encrusted cheeseburgers.

an unconventional book tour

Here's something you might find of interest. Chris Guillebeau, whom we've talked about with regards to our active pursuit of frequent flyer miles (by the way, we now have well over 250,000 miles accrued since embarking on Chris' Frequent Flyer Masters program, which you can see more of our thoughts about and even order here), is a trailblazer in more areas than smart travel.

global treats are within reach

I love international stuff. Food, clothing, cars, wines... I can't help it. I like things made in America, of course, but I also like unusual, exotic, exciting items from faraway places. Once upon a time, it was very difficult to get specialty items like spices from India or fabric from Greece. But as our world becomes more interdependent and interconnected, such items are becoming easier to find, whether at a store around the corner or on the Internet.

america's new pastime

Once upon a time, baseball was America's pastime. But times have changed and so have we. We love celebrities. We love good food. We love people who can cook good food and make them celebrities. I would say that America's new pastime is...food.

macadamia nuts take me away

There's something magical for me about macadamia nuts. You know them - those rich, fragrant, round nuggets of pleasure that ooze the Hawaiian Islands into your mouth with every bite.

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