Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: The Year In Review

It's that time again, Folks! You know. Where I brag about stuff I did all year!

Remember 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013?

2014 began with a trip to Japan and Hawaii.


Big Island

And then Miyo ran away. Boy we sure do miss her.

Somebody somewhere made a huge mistake:

I sold my house.

And then my appendix jumped ship:

Nowheresville, Wisconsin

Brad and Angie got married.

Correns, France

I got SUPER into canning.

I finally got that broken blood vessel removed from my face.

I made a bunch of videos for my profile on a popular dating site, but nobody took the bait.

My mom got breast cancer.

My fanny pack fashion trend finally caught on with the celebrities. (I TOLD you it would.)

I refilled my prescription for my "Herpes on the nose" medicine.

I went to Africa.

Still no baby and still no boyfriend. I'm taking even fewer showers so I'm not sure if that status will ever change...OH! I bought a house! But I already did that twice this year and never actually closed and so we'll see if this one sticks. More to follow.

2015. The year of turning 38 and going to my 20-year high school reunion. And (of course) (obviously) getting a baby and a boyfriend. Fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My 15 Hours in Kenya

On the way from Seychelles to Mozambique, I had an overnight layover in Nairobi, Kenya. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to leave the airport because of visa requirements. Sarah's friend from Nairobi was traveling and so she couldn't host me, and so I sent out a couchsurfing request just in case. The woman who responded told me that I could just pay $25 for a "transit visa" and leave the airport no problem.

However, she couldn't host me either because although she lived close to the airport, traffic is so bad that it would have taken me two hours to get to her place and two hours to get back to the airport and there goes my good nights' sleep. 

SO -- I had no plan except plan B: Sleep in the airport. I have done this. It is no fun. 

On the little bus that takes you from the airplane to the airport I met Jackie, the nicest person in the whole world. She told me that I absolutely had to get to the game park and then physically walked me through customs, (VIP line - she's a diplomat), and then waited for me to go to the bathroom which included brushing my teeth and washing my face, brought me out of the airport, arranged for a taxi service to take me to the game park, then to a famous restaurant called "Carnivore" (think Fogo de Chao) and then back to a hotel near the airport and THEN in the morning from the hotel to the airport. I keep forgetting to email her a thank you note. This reminds me I GOTTA DO THAT.

Everything went pretty swell, except traffic IS really bad and so we got to the game park 10 minutes too late and they wouldn't let me in, no matter how hard I told them that I was from Minnesota and we don't have elephants there and I only had one night and all I got was a mean mean lady saying "it is impossible."

So my poor driver just took me to an animal orphanage instead, and that was really really fun because there were lots of cute kids there and we played and played.

And my driver taught me how to speak Swahili...the important parts anyways:

Jambo - hello
Mishkuru kutana nawewe - nice to meet you
Asante - thank you
Tuko salama - we are ok
Kwaheri - goodbye
Tafhadali - excuse me
Sina pesa - I don't have any money

I am in this picture -- can you find me?

Check this out. The older boy was running back and forth and the lions were copying him! I about died at how cute and awesome it was and then his little brother and I got involved and the driver took a video. Pretty cool.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Still There...

Remember when  I paid a guy $100 to write my name in my dad's garage floor (small and out of the way) and instead he wrote it in mile-high letters?

Well it's still there and don't tell ol' Hal but I feel a little bit bad about it -- 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Favorites: The Pusher

New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story originally appeared December 29, 2012:

Summer and I took an overnight sleeper bus to return to Istanbul from Cappadocia, Turkey. After an exhausting couple of days there, we were really looking forward to putting on our eye masks, taking sleeping pills and waking up in Istanbul the following morning. So we hunkered down in our assigned seats, in the third row from the back on the left-hand side.

Summer was awakened by the attendant, who asked her to move her seatback into the upright position. She complied at first, thinking that the man behind her needed to get out or something, but after she realized he was just sitting there, she reclined again.

I fell asleep shortly after but then the attendant woke ME up, and proceeded to tell me to sit up. I said "No! I'm sleeping!" because I've ridden enough buses to know about the guy behind you who thinks he can tell you you can't recline, but doesn't have enough guts to do it himself and so he calls the attendant over to tell you. On a sleeper bus. Forget you, you tattletale jerk. It is my right to recline! I am an American! Summer got involved and we tried our best to fight the situation. The attendant didn't take 'no' and he didn't take our temper tantrum for an answer either, and forcefully moved my seat up and then left the scene. I screamed after him, "this is a sleeper bus!" in vain.

I secretly plotted to just recline again when a little time had passed. But I could feel the man behind me pushing against my seat. I tried time and time again to recline, but could not. This is going to sound like an exaggeration, but it isn't: Two hours passed. He kept pushing. I was unable to sleep of course. One, I was sitting straight up...and Two, I was really angry. I continued trying to recline, but that man pushed my seat forward for a full two hours.

Somehow, I felt strangely satisfied. Yes, even pleased that he was having to use so much force to prevent my reclining. The joke was on him, you know? Plus, I knew he'd have to get up and pee at some point. So I bided my time. Summer and I just could not believe it was happening. She reached up to snap a photo, for revenge:

Evidentiary proof. Look at his crazy eyes!

Eventually he did have to pee, and when he did you better believe I reclined my seat ALL the way and slept like a baby (in his lap) for the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The "Renee"

I want to preface this post by stating that I don't think it's funny.
But at the same time it's so so so so so funny.
My mom wanted to go hat/scarf/wig shopping before she started her chemo, and so Kelly and Kasey and I scheduled a trip to the Mall of America. We started at Nordstrom and looked at every single hat and scarf in the place. It was really emotional, and the sales girl kept coming around every five minutes to see if we "found what we're looking for" and finally Kasey pulled her aside and said "will you please leave us alone? CANCER" and then she did. Sounds mean, but we were just trying not to cry, that's all.
Anyways, after we left Nordstrom we were in the hallway walking to the wig store and my mom stopped in her tracks. She started to hyperventilate. The four of us did a group hug and we cried and cried right there in the hallway. And then when my mom felt ready, we collected ourselves and continued on. It was awful.
And then we got about the business of wig shopping.
They had some really nice silver wigs and this is the one we settled on. The "Renee".

We asked the lady (and by lady I mean a 16-year-old girl) if we could try it on and she showed my mom how to stick both her thumbs in the front of the wig and instructed me to pull the back of the wig around to the back of her head.
Kelly was standing in front of my mom and so she was the first to see what it looked like. She burst out laughing. Like really hard. Immediately tears were running down her face. Still standing behind my mom, I scolded her silently. "KELLY", I mouthed. "STOP IT YOU JERK." I couldn't believe how she was behaving so soon after my mom broke down in the hallway and we all cried together. Kelly turned around and doubled over and kept laughing. She couldn't stop. "I'm sorry. Look." she could barely get out the words.
So I came around the front.
My mom had put the front of the wig way too far forward and so the wig hair was coming straight out of her eyebrows.
The "Renee"?
...more like The "Rod".

Oh, how we laughed.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Terror in the Skies

Nothing like realizing you're going home tomorrow to make you go "oh, I should really write about this trip." I've been busy people, living life!
Taking terrifying propeller flights from tiny cities in Mozambique to even tinier towns, for example. The beach in Mozambique where my friends Mark and Annie were a few years back is called Tofo. It's pronounced like Tofu for some strange reason but I don't judge because I call Roosevelt Rooooooosevelt, as you'll recall.
Anyways Mark and Annie described this place like a paradise and such a lovely break from grueling overland travel through Africa in such a way that made me really want to go there. You can scuba dive with whale sharks and manta rays, you can surf, you can have $5 lobsters on the beach, etc.
The only problem with Tofu is that it's a nine hour bus ride from Maputo (pronounced Maputu) and that's like 9 hours in Africa-hot weather, with 100 people in a 15 seater bus. And so I decided it would be better to just take a flight from Maputoto to Tofo.
The only Mozambican airline is called LAM (owned 50% by the president of course) and the South Africans have nicknamed it "late and maybe". In fact my flight to Tofo was delayed by four hours, and the only reason I knew that is because the woman checking me in sort of half-mentioned it off the cuff after she had taken my bag. The Maputo airport was quite a confusing place, actually. I tried to get some wifi so I could call some friends to take me for a coffee on my delay but nobody will let you use their wifi, not even LAM after they delay your flight for four hours. The LAM lounge is called Flamingo. It's for business class only and it's completely empty. I weaseled my way in there, even after the rude woman told me that it would be too dangerous to let me sit in the lounge because "what if I have to leave my desk?" She kicked me out after ten minutes but the wifi wasn't working anyway. ANYWAY I basically sat in the airport for four hours without wifi or even a book because they took my bag and then I had to take this plane and OMG it was scary:
Never a good sign when the cockpit is open to the rest of the plane. No word on whether the pilot wore crocs.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Random Random RANDOM

I can't even believe this.


I really can't believe it .


I'm in Cape Town. Last night I flew here from Mozambique with a connection in Johannesburg. I got on the bus that takes you to the plane and saw Selwyn, a man that randomly had dinner at my house six years ago. Apparently he had been working in South Dakota for the last seven months and was just about to arrive home from a connection in Atlanta.


I felt so bad because I was so excited to run into him that I kind of ruined the tearful reunion with his wife and two kids.






Sunday, December 7, 2014

La Digue

Sarah and Lydia and I made a little friend when we were having our sunset swim by the rocks...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hal-isms, Vol. 57

"Chip Morton? Or Johnny Depp?"

"The whole world is so tough until they have to hold their poop. Then they find out they ain't so dang tough."

"Now, Kady, if I said 'there's a moose' is that stereotyping?"

"Women these days are too dang independent. Well, they don't need ya."

"I love everybody. It's just my nature. It's a free-flowing thing."




Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sarah and Lydia

In Seychelles, I met up with my old friend Sarah. She lived with me way back in like aught six or seven for just a couple of months, and then headed off for an incredible adventurous life in which she lives in Dubai and works as cabin crew for Emirates and wakes up in a different country every couple of days.
Seriously jealous of her life and I might be tempted to join her, but Emirates has an AGE LIMIT and I exceed it. By quite a margin. Frowny Face.
Anyway, Sarah and I have been talking about meeting up for years but it just now worked out when I invited myself on her weekend getaway to the Seychelles. She and her friend Lydia from Dubai hopped an Emirates flight and arrived on my third day. Together we boarded a ferry and headed off for La Digue island, home to the most amazing rock formations.
That's Lydia on the left and Sarah in the middle.
Lydia and Sarah are tanned, gorgeous and fun. They've been bronzing their skin on their rooftop pools in Dubai while I've been bundling up against zero degree weather back in Minnesota. And so I was a real stick-in-the-mud, I tell ya, with my sunblock and hats and umbrellas and long-sleeved shirts and "not going snorkeling" (remember my gigantic sunburn from snorkeling in the Maldives?) but we had fun anyways:




Sunset in Seychelles



A Confusing Place


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


The only other American I saw in the Seychelles:

(Fold up cane.)

She and I represented our country quite well, don't you think?


Monday, December 1, 2014

Morning Run

When I first got to Seychelles, my body clock was so off that I was waking up at 4:30 in the morning. There was nothing to do but start my day. My Airbnb was across from the ocean of the east side of the island and so I was able to watch the sunrise every day. Sunrise is significantly more boring than sunset in my opinion. I can't explain why I think that; I can only say that I've never gotten bored watching the sun set, but I sure got bored waiting for it to rise. I just kept thinking that somehow my dad would be so proud if he knew I was up that early. But, just as a tree falling in the forest probably doesnt make a sound if nobody is there to hear it, me getting up early in Africa is of no significance to ol' Hal back in Minnesota.
"Papa, can you hear me?" (Yentl)
After sunrise, I would take off to a beach on the south of the island for a nice run. The tide is a little high in the mornings and so it was a fun obstacle course to jump over and duck under the trees on the beach.
One time I ducked, but not far enough because my face ran right into a sticky spider's web. It was gross of course, but I didn't freak out until a few minutes later when I saw this:
Maybe you can't tell but that spider is like AFRICA HUGE.
And then I would go for a little swing...
The sand was super soft and squishy, which made for all kinds of soreness in my calves the next day.
Look at this cute little lonely manta I saw from the beach:



The first day, I ended up at some rocks that would have had to be climbed over and through and wouldn't you know it but just when it was time to run over and through them a man who was collecting bottles and cans appeared and went in there and so I didn't feel safe. Instead I ran up to the road to go around, but I was barefoot and so ouch! I ran to a hotel entrance but they WOULDNT LET ME IN because it was private. And so I ended up running for about a mile on the narrow ouchie road for no reason. And then I wanted to climb through those rocks to show that dumb hotel who was boss but I was too scared of the man. And so I didn't. I went for a swim instead. A wonderful refreshing swim in the shade before the sun came out. After that it was only 9am and so I went back to my room for a shower and then out for breakfast and then was back to my room by 2pm.


And then I slept for 15 hours.


I did that two days in a row. Lived my whole day from 5am to 2pm and then slept until the next morning. It was so delicious.



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