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!



48 thoughts on “Summer Chaos and Fall Plans”

  1. Do you know how long you’ll be in New York? We might do a week there in october too.

    and CONGRATS on finishing the book! Can’t WAIT to see it!

  2. Two half-birthday hillocks? 4 quarter-birthday knolls? There are plenty of options, I’m sure.

    You did good stuff here, I will admit. Time well used. And huge congrats on the book. Can’t wait to see it!

  3. great plans, Jodi! Very proud of you, especially after knowing that all proceeds from your book will go towards HIV research =)

    And YAY! you’re finally visiting Iceland. It is a fascinating country–and you will regret only being there for 3 days ;) I got a free 6 (or 7?)-day layover with IcelandAir though, so you may want to check whether you can make your stop a little longer. Trust me, it is well worth it!

    great photos, as always. Happy you are back =)

    – Maria Alexandra

    ps – sad you didn’t post the awesome underpants photos on your blog, though ;P

    1. Hi Maria! It’s actually proceeds from sales at the launch party itself, not the sales of the book. So for those who purchase books at the launch, or those who buy drinks at the launch – all of that will go to charity, 100% of it. Thanks for the well-wishes!

  4. I always love your updates, and your photos. That shot of clouds over Sutton Quebec, is amazing. Love the unusual shapes.

    And I had to look at that picture of “Pool Abound” for quite a few seconds to make sure what I am seeing is right…:)

    Glad to hear you had a fantastic summer and look forward to following your next month! :)

  5. Congrats on your book again and hopefully back to a less hectic schedule or not?

    Your photos made me miss my family and Montreal. Especially PHO soup Pho Tay Ho.

    Pho soup in California is damn good too. Especially in San Jose where there lies the biggest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. I digress.

  6. Huge congrats on completing and sending off the book; it’s a massive achievement and I’m sure there are more than a few of us who can’t wait to get our hands on it.

    Enjoy the travel (and planes)! And enjoy England if you can, although I daresay we won’t be providing much sunshine for your visit!

    1. Thank you! I hope for some sun – it would be great to see Ireland outside the rain, though I can deal with Chelty being rainy as I was able to see it in the sun last year. Have a great week!

    1. I know we talked about this while wandering the porticoes of Bologna, but I love how connected you two are to your family as well, and moreover that you feel grateful for those connections. I hope our paths cross again soon!

      1. Me, too! Would be a joy to see you again :) Also: silly to admit, but I finally had enough wifi to watch your book launch video today. Fun to hear your voice again. We’re headed to SEA on the 22nd – can’t wait for our first tastes of the street food… In the meantime, hugs to you, and enjoy Ireland!

  7. Congratulations on the food book! That is really awesome. I hope to write a book someday. I have no idea on what exactly yet but know it will be travel related.

    Your schedule sounds crazy but fun. I look forward to your presentation at TBU and hope to get a chance to actually chat this time!

  8. Congrats on the book. Busy is good, especially if tempered by the occasional nap.

    I can’t believe you did Bar exams in 2 countries. After passing the Pennsylvania Bar, I was quite determined that I was never sitting for another. Not only does each US state have its own criminal and civil codes and common law, they also all have their own licensing exams.

    I agree that writing on airplanes is awesome. Safe travels.

    1. I actually never took the Canadian bar as I already had a job in NY and the bar in Canada was a year PLUS a year of being a stagiere, whereas in NY it was 9 weeks then full salary ASAP. So I chose the “how to save for travel faster” option – NY!

  9. Many congratulations on the book. I can’t wait to read it either! Glad to know that you’ve had such a fun and productive summer, despite the problems, and even more glad to hear that you are now back to full health…’re certainly going to need some reserves of energy in the weeks ahead!

  10. …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.”

    I can relate. I’ve been back in the US for more than a year, and I haven’t fully recovered from my year spent travel blogging. Still trying to re-find my voice. Hope you find yours.

    1. I think it’s the opposite for me: I’ve never lost my voice; in fact I think I’ve found more of it. But I was just physically and mentally weary of writing – it was the act of writing, not what to say. It comes and goes, though. There are definitely times when I lose my ability to craft a post, and others when all I want to do is write. Best of luck finding yours again too, and hi to Ms. Soleil.

  11. Looks like a fun travel time. I actually wanted to go to Porto and Girona but my travel schedule is booked until early December. Mine will be chaos as well. I am actually writing this in Toronto, after an event filled flight from Dublin including a stop in Montreal.

    As for your taco, is that a poutine taco? That’s exactly what it looks like! Glad you are feeling better and have fun on your travels!

  12. Excited to hear you are coming to Ireland Jodi, pity it is not this week as the weather is great at the moment. Hope you enjoy your time here!

  13. Cool to read this Jodi and congratulations on completing the book and happy belated birthday. Can’t wait to read the entire book! By the way, I think I space only with my right thumb too!

  14. One Criminal Code. Sounds like a Socialist Canadian Idea. Do you have any idea what that would do to billables? Keep talking like that they’ll stop you at the border.

  15. Hope you have a wonderful time in Dublin, Jodi. Hope you’ll love my home. Let me know if you’d like any recommendations for things to do/see/eat. C

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  17. Hi Jodi,

    Your travel itinerary is awesome. Dublin is a charming city, compact, and vibrant.

    Can’t wait to read your next travel stories.

    Cheers !!

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