Summer Chaos and Fall Plans

I’ve yet again failed to update Legal Nomads in prior weeks. The chaos of the summer is morphing into a busy fall, and before I leave the Canada for the next (ridiculous) month of travel I wanted to share what’s been going on.

My Food Book

The book is done. It’s DONE! Some PDFs have been sent out for review, it’s processing on Amazon now and it ought to be up by 1 October. What I’ve not talked about yet is that the book is part of a wider project, which I am excited to share soon. This is not annoyingly purposeful foreshadowing, but rather “we need to get ourselves in gear before announcing.” But soon!

I can’t say I’ve worked this hard since I wrote the New York State Bar, when I crammed 3 years of American law into 9 weeks of hell. Having learned both civil and common law in Canada, I found myself in late 2002 struggling with concepts prevalent south of the border. Amendments? What were those? I can plead them? And why don’t you guys have one criminal code for your whole country like we do?

I digress.

These last months have been equally as trying, both from a professional level and from the very alarming fact that I’ve become tired of my own words. Consequently, I’ve got so many photos and stories to share but have sat at my computer after a long day of editing thinking “I cannot form a sentence.”

Did I mention the book is done? I did. IT’S DONE! And now I can dive back into my writing, starting with some long plane rides. I read recently that a writer was, half in jest, thinking of building a writing space that simulates long plane rides.

I need that place. I am most prolific on planes.

Other plans…

August in Montreal

I’ve been spending my time in Montreal, expecting to go for big birthday dinner – first time in Montreal for my birthday in over a decade – and then climb my birthday mountain a few hours away. Unfortunately, however, I’ve been dealing with some health issues and was advised against climbing this year. So, for the first time in quite awhile I’ve had to shelve a birthday mountain. Happily I still managed to spend a quiet evening with friends, followed by a weekend at my dad’s with friends Nadia and Giancarlo, who I’ve each known for over 16 years.

To those who have asked, I’m healthy now and will hopefully do a half-birthday mountain in February instead. Thank you for the many birthday wishes on the fan page and on the Twitter – I feel well-loved!

A Ridiculous Month of Travel

My schedule is as follows:

  • September 4, to Porto, Portugal to hold a hands-on workshops about social media strategy and curation at the TBU Porto conference.
  • September 12, to Dublin to visit a friend and see Ireland for the first time.
  • September 20, to Girona, to moderate a panel with Costa Brava Tourism and Visit Jordan about building press trips for bloggers at TBEX Europe.
  • September 27, to England to see my brother and his lovely girlfriend Sarah.
  • October 5, fly from London to Iceland (Iceland Air provides a free three-day stopover, who knew?), having never been to the country.
  • October 8, fly to New York in time for the launch of my food book. Happy to report that the book will be launching at Housing Works book store in Soho, with all proceeds from the launch event (book sales and drink/food sales) going to HIV/AIDS research. More details soon.

After that, likely to visit my cousins in California, both of whom are not pleased that I keep making my way to the Pacific coast but skipping a visit to their cities.

Yes, that I acknowledge that my schedule this fall is insane. Yes, I know it is worth it as all are wonderful opportunities. I think November might involve me, a cocoon and a lot of sleep.

Some Photos from August

A non-sequitur to start: the post boxes in Canada look very different. They used to be pure red, but are now covered in postal codes, as undercover graffiti-prevention. Of course, people are just tagging the grey bottom of the post box, but still: they’re cute.

Canada Post anti-graffiti mailboxes
Things that have changed since I lived in the Canada: Canada Post anti-graffiti mailboxes

My quiet birthday did result in a lovely sunset:

My birthday sunset over Montreal
My birthday sunset over Montreal.

A discovery of tacos to remember at Grumman 78 (they were fantastic):

Grumman 78 Tacos: YES.
Grumman 78 Tacos: YES.

And some very funny birthday presents from friends who still love me despite the random animals I squee over and birds that crap on my head:

My birthday gift from my best friend
My birthday gift from my best friend Nadia and her fiance Matieu: a hand-drawn tarsier, a “life is crap” hat and……
Mints that only a best friend can deliver.
Mints that only a best friend can deliver.
Birthday presents from friends who love me
Birthday presents from friends who know me: a wooden sloth, The Oatmeal’s birthday card and a Book of Whale Insults (thank you Cheryl and Mike!)

And thanks to Giancarlo’s suggestion, the best Vietnamese restaurant I’ve ever tried outside of Asia, Pho Tay Ho. Below is their Number 38, which involves grilled pork, succulent sausage and a giant plate of rice paddy root, Thai basil, mint and other fresh herbs, with vermicelli to balance it all out. I’ve been dreaming of this dish ever since I went.

Best Vietnamese food in Montreal
Best Vietnamese food in Montreal: Pho Tay Ho, at St. Denis and Beaubien. ORDER #38. Just do it.

And right next door:

Pinhole church at Beaubien Street, near St. Denis in Montreal
Pinhole church at Beaubien Street, near St. Denis in Montreal

After that it was time for a reunion with Zach and my cousin Shira:

Exhausted by his own awesomeness.
Zack is exhausted by his own awesomeness.
Awake and Contemplative.
Awake and contemplative.
Attempted self-portrait with me and my cousin Shira
Attempted self-portrait with me and my cousin Shira

And to sit on a lawn chair and continue editing the book:

An excellent view to finish up my book
An excellent view to finish up my book, in Sutton Quebec.

The month ended with a birthday present to my mum: her first ever helicopter ride. Perfectly clear day for her too.

Helicopter ride over Montreal
My mum, pre helicopter-ride.

Pools abound.

Montreal from above
Suberbia from above.

And the city from afar.

Montreal from above
Montreal from above

A good end to a chaotic summer and a deep breath before the Fall begins.

Me and my mum. She didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.

And a final note: my book didn’t just take a toll on my wrist (which remained wrapped up in an ace bandage since it was aching so much from typing). My Macbook Air’s space bar also took a beating, as I spaced all the way through the plastic on the right side. I realize now that I only space with my right hand, and it shows. Not only did the spacebar need to be replaced but my entire keyboard too, because the piece under the spacebar was beaten down too.

Bye bye spacebar
Bye bye spacebar.

That’s the update. Thank you for following along!



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