Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tray tables up

Hello from London! So far I have been stressing out over the whole "needing a place to live" thing, wandering around Kensington being jealous of millionaires with private gardens, and completely failing at avoiding jet lag. My standard procedure is: (1) sleep at least an hour on the plane; (2) do not fall asleep at all until 8pm on the first day; (3) go to bed at a reasonably normal time on the second day. Basically the point is to follow the local rhythms as soon as you arrive. This time I (1) did not sleep on the plane; (2) fell asleep as soon as I was let into my hotel room at 2pm; (3) stayed up until 4:30am on the second night. So it's been going great.

This all translates into more posts for you, though, because I have been reading a lot in my extreme stressed-out/jet-lag-ness. First up: the magazines.

I have written before about my need for magazines on a flight. This time, I had three, all with a cover price of $4.99 (jeez, magazines have gotten expensive, huh?). Here is the very scientific rundown I composed for you during the flight.

Why? My mom got me a subscription for this as part of a Groupon deal. I get the logic: a magazine about Chicago, I then lived in Chicago, it's not rocket science. However this magazine is really not for me. It is for people who care about "movers and shakers" and which obscenely expensive restaurants are most trendy. Anyway, I threw the latest issue into my bag on the way out the door because hey, it's a long flight.
Top cover stories? "494 Top Doctors"; "Gangs and Politicians: Relationships you need to know about"
Best part? I liked the profile of a local auctioneer who claims to be "really into taxidermied animals" right now. Also, the page about non-alcoholic cocktails was kind of interesting.
One-word summary: Blerg.
Can you expand on that? This magazine has no relevance to my "lifestyle", and not just because I don't live in Chicago anymore.

National Geographic Traveler
Why? I'm a traveler! I picked this one out because I hadn't read it before and it sounded like it might give me some inspiration for pleasure traveling. I hoped for some good travel tips and entertaining stories.
Top cover stories? "Return to Venice: Unlocking the mysteries of the world's greatest masquerade"; "Island of Zen: Exploring Japan's Shikoku"
Best part? I liked the little two-page spread about Portugal. And the pictures were predictably pretty.
One word summary: Disappointing.
Can you expand on that? I guess there are travelers and there are travelers. I like to go places and see things; it seems like a totally natural way to spend time and money to me. But I don't consider it a part of my identity, per se; and, it turns out, I don't particularly care to read about other people's vacations. Plus, that Venice article? It was about a middle-aged woman who goes every year to dress up as Charlie Chaplin. Man, talk about things I don't get at all.

Cooking Light
Why? I bought this on my way to Orlando in the fall and ended up keeping it and trying some of the recipes. I just really liked the design, the number of ideas, and the general approach to food.
Top cover stories? "25 Healthy Chicken Dinners"; "Best Light Chocolate Recipe Ever"
Best part? The chicken feature is really good; I've got dog-ears on the Pomegranate Glazed Chicken and a Chicken and Chorizo Stew. Mark Bittman has a recipe for "Farotto" (risotto with farro instead of rice, geddit?) with butternut squash and hazelnuts that sounds great. And of course all the chocolate recipes...
One word summary: Yum!
Can you expand on that? Once again, this title prove itself a winner, and I am resolved to only buy makeup/fashion magazines or food magazines for the plane from now on.

I should have two, possibly even three, books to post about soon, what hey.


  1. "So it's been going great."

    I LAUGHED, woman, laughed!

    It's weird that you're 6 hours ahead of me. Also that you're in the land of Neato Stuff That Says What-ho.


  2. I loved this -- I love your comments and the format and the magazines you picked. Good luck with the jetlag -- I'm still shaking off my jetlag from a trip to California (I'm in Boston), but that's not nearly as bad as what you're facing!

  3. I'm mortally offended by Alice's English stereotyping up there, and to it I say TUT. And also TSK. But also, mainly, I too can only read magazines on flights, it's so odd! Cooking Light sounds super amazing and, you know, yummy!

    I hope you get acclimatised to London-time all soonly, and, you know, drink lots of tea and go rambling and meet the Queen because that's obviously what being in England's all about *frowns at Alice some more*.