August Travel Round Up

Every day felt like thirty in August. Each morning I woke to a new tragedy, political crisis, natural disaster, or the president siding with literal Nazis. There is so much to unpack in August that cannot be done in a single blog post. I will limit my thoughts to a few perceptions. 

First of all, what happened in Charlottesville was absolutely terrible. A young woman lost her life because she stood up to oppression, bigotry, and hate. This was not a free speech issue or a history lesson. This was naked hatred. However, this is not new. As tragic as the loss of Heather Heyer's life is, why did it take the loss of a white woman to get white people to pay attention to violent racism in such large numbers? Think about that. 

Second, I saw numerous tweets by fellow travel bloggers in the vein of "Twenty Reasons to Why Charlottesville is the Place to Visit" or "How to Spend 48 Hours in Charlottesville." What the fuck? Are you so desperate for likes, follows, and views that you will capitalize on a tragedy like that? To me, it's no different than Trump wearing a USA hat that he's selling while visiting Texas during one of the nation's worst natural disasters. It's gross. 

Instead of trying to get more people to visit your blog by capitalizing on the death of a young woman and the media attention hatred and bigotry get, use your platform for donations for families suffering from Hurricane Harvey, or for a charity that you support. JJ Watt is raising money here that will go directly to victims of the hurricane. Other charities you can donate to include a campaign by Michael Skolnik, the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, and there's always the Red Cross if you're willing to overlook their past mismanagement of funds. 

Alright, rant over. 

DESTINATIONS VISITED

Astoria, Oregon

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Carpinteria, California

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HIGHLIGHTS

Visiting all my friends (okay, not all but a good few) this month. Walking along a beach with natural tar dripping out of rocks was pretty awesome. That's about as good as I can do right now. 

MOST POPULAR POST

See all the reasons why Milwaukee is cool

MOST POPULAR INSTAGRAM

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People thought this picture of Stockholm is pretty cool. It has me longing for cooler weather. 

WHAT I READ

As a continuation of my quest to read more literature by women and particularly women of color, I listened to The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor on my way to Astoria, Oregon. A prequel to Who Fears DeathThe Book of Phoenix is a futurist magical realist text featuring the rise of another powerful African woman. This time the woman is a genetically modified human who transforms into a phoenix. Fleeing the scientists who want to use her as a weapon, Phoenix flees to West Africa. I particularly enjoyed Phoenix's descriptions of Ethiopian food, one of her favorite (and mine) cuisines. If you like science fiction or magical realism, vivid but not overbearing world building, and strong character development, then check out The Book of Phoenix. 

I'm currently reading Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford. Though Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald were fascinating people, the book reads a bit like a Ph.D. dissertation. In fact, I think it is based on the author's Ph.D. dissertation. The topic is interesting enough to keep me going a little longer. 

WHAT I WATCHED

I can't believe there's only one season left of Game of Thrones. Overall, I found the season disappointing. Even though I'm a shipper, the chemistry between Jon and Daenerys is decidedly lacking. Unlike previous seasons, season seven focused on action, not character development, and plot intrigue. As cool as dragons are, I miss the excellent acting behind Lord Tywin, Olenna Martell, and Catelyn Stark more than ever. 

What I'm wishing for? Bran to reveal to Jon that he's a Targaryen and for him and Daenerys to just say fuck it and make a baby. I want us to see Melisandre in Asshai because what is over there anyway? I want her to come back and consult with Bran because those two need to have a prophecy gathering. Jaime or Arya should kill Cersei. Daenerys will be killed in childbirth. Sansa and Tyrion will renew their vows and then Sansa will kill him once they become King and Queen of Westeros. Jon will die defeating the White Walkers, or Khal Drogo will come back to life and kill him. Tormund and Brienne will rule the north of the wall. 

Enough with the predictions.

Oh, and Bran Stark is the Night King.

COMING UP IN SEPTEMBER 2017

I'm heading to McCloud Falls with a couple of friends this weekend. After that, I don't know what is in store.