Happy In Bag

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Instant Expert

I vaguely recall using a travel agent in the pre-internet era. "Book me a flight to New York," I'd bark. "And find a cheap hotel on Times Square." Expedia and Priceline just aren't the same. I offer my reflexive impressions of Venice at my long-neglected photo blog today.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Luxury Brands

Here in the wheat belt it's not uncommon for drivers to pull off the road to admire picturesque abandoned barns. Venice exudes much of the same crumbling charm. Rather than raccoons and opossums, however, many of the decadently dilapidated buildings of Venice house retailers like Hermes, Gucci and Prada. The Bridge of Sighs is wrapped in a Bvlgri billboard. A giant Lacoste ad denigrates Piazza San Marco. It may be the prettiest city I've ever encountered, but I have no intention of ever returning to Venice.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Non Capisco

There was no shortage of crying, begging and yelling on the streets of Italy last week. Italian panhandlers, peddlers and pickpockets have nothing on me.

While I'd hoped to seamlessly blend into Italian society, I didn't even begin to fit in. For starters, the Italian people are remarkably good looking. They're also fashion-conscious and slender. That's three immediate strikes against my potential assimilation.

And while I'd studied the gorgeous language for weeks, my fluency evaporated the moment I landed at Fiumicino Airport. This was partly due to the surprisingly aloof nature of most of the people I met. I expected bear hugs and smiles. I was met with cool indifference instead.

Friday, March 12, 2010


In spite of all outward appearances, I am not Lil Wayne's new cellmate. I am, however, embarking on a brief break from blogging. I hope to return refreshed, inspired and loopier than ever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Here's the question everyone's going to ask: "How does BRGR compare to Blanc?" After previewing the brand new upscale hamburger joint BRGR yesterday, my quick, politically correct answer is: "They each have their strong points." What interests me more is finding a way to get in on the action. The Prairie Village shopping center that's home to BRGR has been in dire need of a fresh dining option. An exceedingly pedestrian Mexican establishment next door does huge business. Barring kitchen disasters and atrocious service, BRGR represents a license to print money.

Friday, March 05, 2010


Recieving a USB turntable for Christmas has been a mixed blessing. After spending decades accumulating thousands of units of prerecorded music, I'd finally embraced the utilitarian advantages of MP3s and cloud computing. Now that vinyl is back in the picture, I'm one of those guys again. I've rejoined the ranks of grown men who compulsively flip through stacks of albums at retailers like Love Garden. Pathetic.

Monday, March 01, 2010

For My Own Safety

A light pole spoke to me as I was wandering around Loose Park the other day. It told me that my activities were being monitored. (I love you too, Big Brother.) Maybe lots of light poles advise passerby that they're being watched, but this was the first time I'd heard the message. I wonder if the person who discarded a used condom directly under the pole knew he was on camera.