I Traveled the Secret Road to Mordor

As a world traveler I am always interested in being somewhere new and getting there via the road less traveled. When I decided to go to Mordor, popularized by the Lord of the Rings vacation documentary series, I decided once again to take that less traveled road.

Steep sure, but scenic like crazy.
Steep sure, but scenic like crazy.

However mired in blur and last minute CG, I knew that the front entrance to Mordor was through the gated valley and that it was readily available to babies on the go like me. Yet as convenient as that would be I found it wholly unappealing, and I’ll tell you why.

The front gate had tens of thousands of bystanders — most with swords and mace, I might add. It’s an understatement to say it’s merely well-visited. I mean, talk about a high-traffic destination! It’s historic for sure but the view is lackluster at best considering the absentia of flying dragons and an army of Orc. So, why bother?

mordor-tallI’ve done my research and, apparently, when the area was first built they didn’t have permits to put in a battlefield. So of course it wasn’t built to code and, not surprisingly, once they had a battle the whole place collapsed (though it’s since been rebuilt by the Department of Tourism). Also, it’s my understanding that many if not most of the past tourists met their demise in the sinkhole that devoured an evil army. So if you’re looking to be part of a reenactment of those notable moments, that front entrance is your best bet. I mean, talk about excitement! (But I guess you wouldn’t be around after that to brag to your friends.)

Conversely, the back entrance is quiet and very scenic. Sure, it’s a bit tougher of a trek since it doesn’t have easy tour bus access and there are no signposts pointing the way, it isn’t littered with refreshment stands or guys selling bootlegged T-shirts. But if you’re a toddler like me wanting to experience the true essence of Mordor, this is the road for you.

Sure, my expedition team and I are tired, thirsty, and sweaty but fortunately we should reach the top within a few days. I don’t recall any other hazards to avoid beyond the apex, though I cannot be sure since I kind of slept through that part of the documentary. Irregardless, as experience serves me, even a deadly monster lurking in the shadows would be easier to deal with than a swarm of locals preying on the unsuspecting tourist.

If you promise to keep it a secret I will tell you that you might be able to find the Secret Road to Mordor at or around the Lingyin Temple, ask about the Peak Flown From Afar, Being a baby and all, I am above suspicion in letting the secret out.

 

I’m Down With Up

As I grow older my tastes and habits sure do change. I used to eat anything, now I don’t. I used to crawl but now I walk. I once would listen but now I talk. Times and tastes may change but one thing I don’t see myself outgrowing is the joy of being toted about.

Oh giddy up!
Oh giddy up!

Currently Hey Mama is too “preggers” so I have to count on Dad for my elevation. Of course I have friends in high places too, like MissLissa, Rebecca, Nave, and who can forget Uncle Jeremy. It really doesn’t matter to me who heaves my load as long as they keep on walking. I’m down with being carried and I’m always up for being up. It takes a pretty rare mood to thwart my desire of wanting to be lugged about at an altitude four times my usual highness. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this attitude. I mean, I’ve always lived this way. At one time I believed I was an airplane, can you believe that!

What does “being up” mean to me? Well, when I am sad it makes me happy. When I am happy it makes me happier. The growl of hunger is satiated, the yawns of exhaustion are immediately stymied while the drabbery of boredom is quenched. Even the sting of an unexpected bump is forgotten so long as I am up. So do you see why I am down with up? Wouldn’t you be?

 

Go-Go Gadget Doughnut Maker!

When we hopped in the car the other day, we were giddy as could be imagined. We didn’t know where we were going nor why, but we knew it would be good. The parents love us like crazy and always take good care of us, but it was even better than that. We went to go see the crazy, Seussy doughnut spewing contraption at Krispy Kreme.

After 20-minutes wait, here you see Patrick watching the dough finally roll out of the Krazy, Krispy Kontraption.
After 20-minutes wait, here you see Patrick watching the dough finally roll out of the Krazy, Krispy Kontraption.

The car usually means we’re going somewhere great. Maybe we’re going to school, which is always fun. Maybe we’re going to the store where we can often beg our way into a gumball machine toy or a ride on the Spiderman car. Maybe we’re going to the park or to gobble down more sickeningly sweetened pancakes at IHOP. You just never can be sure, but it’s always somewhere worth going.

Why do you think Baby-D gets so excited when he hears the phrase “bye bye”? He’s a simple man, but it’s a complicated theme and I take nothing away from him for loving it ever so much. Indeed, quite clearly, I love it too.

When we got to Krispy Kreme, we had no idea what we were in for. They’ve got a secret formula for making the world’s freshest and most delicious doughnuts, but they’re so cunning about protecting their secret you couldn’t even believe.

I share this knowledge with you as an insider, and only because I worked so hard to find out how they do it. It’s an insider secret, so read and enjoy, but don’t tell anyone what I’m learnin’ ya.

krispy2Left – Here you can see the doughnuts. By this point they’ve been fried, flipped, fried again, and doused to delightful deliciousness in kremiest frosting.

 

 

 

They have a machine that makes them. Seriously, there’s no Keebler elves, no master chefs, just a massive, confusing and amazing machine. It’s a go-go gadget device straight off the pages of Dr. Seuss, PhDs many non-fiction works. It’s as tall as a house, as long as a limo, and it transforms the most plain of ingredients to the most amazing of piping hot rings of delicious dough.

That’s right, the big secret is a huge machine. Sounds easy enough to understand, but you’d have to see it in action to crack the secret, as I did. I didn’t have to finagle my way into a job or sneak in under the guise of health inspector. I just walked in and looked through the twenty feet of window that exposes it to any wayward passer of byes.

That’s what’s so clever about it, they keep their secret safe by putting the machine in plain sight. Man they’re a wily bunch at Krispy Kreme.

We watched this crazy thing in action for literally fifteen minutes before agreeing to take a free sample (another clever business model, they give you something to encourage you to buy it… weird, man, seriously weird!)

It was a great trip all around. We got to watch doughnuts being made, we got to watch this 5-ton gizmo churn out a hundred pounds of doughnuts, and then we got to eat them. Oh, and we also got to drink juice, but I didn’t get to see the go-go gadget Mr. Juicy-Juicer.

Above - Once fried to a most golden perfection on each side, the rings of delighful dough are corralled to a narrow, double-file line, so they may then be drenched in frosting for our waiting chops to smack upon.
Above – Once fried to a most golden perfection on each side, the rings of delighful dough are corralled to a narrow, double-file line, so they may then be drenched in frosting for our waiting chops to smack upon.

 

Follow-up, Seattle Schools Half-Admit Faulty Testing

I’ve said it, I’ve said it again, and I’ll say it some more: this Seattle School District is ridiculously deficient when it comes to assessing special needs for children. We figured it out the hard way months and months ago, but it’s come back to light anew just this week.

See, all this time keeping me out of school hasn`t hurt me a bit.
See, all this time keeping me out of school hasn`t hurt me a bit.

Man, this school district is really terrible. Their budget is stretched tight as a high-E string on a banjo, but they swear their assessments have no bearing on it. So they say, but I just don’t know, because my own assessment is ever, forever, perpetually and ridiculously put off and fraudulently altered to meet their budgetary needs, rather than my own developmental ones.

It took me three months to get my school district transfer taken care of, and that’s pretty pathetic, but it got worse when I was scheduled to transition to the school district, which went even worse.

First of all, they took three months to get me into school in this district, and because of it, I was too late to qualify for a fast-track transition from birth-three to pre-k education. From age two-and-change until three and a half, I had less than two months of schooling, but somehow, as if by magic, I went from “severely delayed” to “average” so I now only qualify for 30-minutes of tutelage per week, instead of the twice-assessed 6-hours per week legal requisite.

So if staying home from school is so darned beneficial, I can see why they would want to force it upon us, despite the legal mandate against it. Legal mandate? Oh, don’t worry, we requested information about our legal rights from the school district from September to February, but we only got it this March, and only because of a separate test… ain’t that a kick in the diaper?

But here’s where it gets fantastic. My test, from which I asserted my own smartiness, our independent review found out that I wasn’t even fully tested, only partially so, but still denied services based on this assessment. When we found out that we were short-changed, we requested the test be completed, but two months later, no dice.

I don’t know if “pathetic-sad” is a word, but if it is, it applies to this scenario.

So we were finally called in for a final assessment from the speech lady to determine my eligibility. She had in her hands the results of my test from a million years before, and despite my developments from the time it was conducted until today, I still didn’t even meet the minimum criteria laid out… It said that 50% of my speech is intelligible to strangers, but that’s a dirty lie to say the very least. Without a parental interpreter on hand, my speech is between 0-5% intelligible.

And these are the people determining how much schooling I need? Sheer madness man, for sure!

It’s not just that I’ve only had 48-hours of schooling in the past eight months, it’s that on my two previous assessments it was asserted that I was severely delayed and seriously needed education. No, it’s much more than that, sadly. No, the really pathetic matter (for the Seattle School District) is that they insist, even as of today, that I now need only a half hour a week of special education. What, is that like a bare-bones, fiscal minimum or something?

I know I sound cynical, but it’s because I know who I am and where I stand. My role models are a pair of dyslexic parents and an older brother who is autistic. Pardon me for saying so, but there’s simply no way in hell that I’m that close to being up to speed.

I say shame on you, Seattle School District. Despite my tremendous weight as an internationally accredited journalist, you guys still don’t take me seriously. Any fool can see I’ve got understandable delays, and anybody even remotely aware of federal and/or Washington state laws will tell you, I qualify.

If you live in the Seattle School District, and have a child with special needs, I advise you do like our most recent school district assessor suggested; hire a private preschool to help your child get caught up to speed. If you are of lesser financial means, well, I guess I have to suggest you move to a poorer area where the districts actually oblige their legally obligated requirements to children or join a cult or something.

Seattle School District, we’ve already put you on notice with our last article, so you’ve been demoted from “on notice” to “dead to me.”

And that’s the word.

Above - If this ain't the face of intelligence, well, then I'm not sure what I was just talking about a minute ago... seriously, what was it?
Above – If this ain’t the face of intelligence, well, then I’m not sure what I was just talking about a minute ago… seriously, what was it?

 

Sibling Choking Apparently Off-Limits

I’ve never checked with our household bylaws or anything, and it’s fine because I still insist I can’t read, but according to the so-called parents, this “choking” action I’ve employed to assert my will is “off-limits” despite its wide acceptance amongst us brothers.

Though I`m not exactly throttling the baby, I`ve still got him in a wicked leg-lock, and I ain`t letting up.
Though I`m not exactly throttling the baby, I`ve still got him in a wicked leg-lock, and I ain`t letting up.

It’s bizarre, really. Pretty much what flies for one around here goes along the geese to the gander theory and works as well for any of the ones in amongst us. But now I’m hearing it’s not so, and it’s even more so, as I’ve been finding myself more and more with my face in the corner for actions I thought were totally legitimate.

I know I don’t like to write slam articles about anybody (except for MLB and the ever more lackluster Seattle Mariners) but this article is in sharp contrast to that. I know my right from wrong from passably debatable, and this one is as grey as my own baseball sweatshirt. I’ve been wronged here, and I’m ready to slam the powers that be, in this case my parents.

The first instance came innocently enough. I played with my brothers in our toy room until Dominic waged a campaign of toy hogging that I couldn’t stomach, so I chased him into the closet, fixed my paws about his neck and throttled him until Patrick called Daddy-O to his rescue (and my punishment). It was pretty ugly, I left marks of him, but what was I supposed to do, he was playing with my toys!

I was punished, but whatever, my fat rivulets of tears to my chin punished him worse than I suffered, so there you go.

But less than a day later we were playing in the cardboard house we have in our living room, when Daddy-O again heard a death wail and peeked in to find me once again trying to choke my baby brother. What can I say, he was trying to sit in my chair and admire my toy snake (with which I’d whipped welts onto his face and neck before being caught) and I was busted yet again.

I think this parental punishment is totally out of place, and I think throttling my younger brother is totally within my rights as a citizen of this house, not even to mention my status as a senior journalist of a well established, syndicated, news publication. Still, somehow magically, I find myself in trouble just for trying to choke the life out of my own baby brother and staff-critical junior journalist here on the staff.

If you have any say in any sort of matter, I say you vote with your forearms. Request what you will, demand what you must, and choke to death towards the balance that remains. Oh, and if you’re chosen for the jury in my case, pretend you don’t have a predisposition towards my acquittal, and then acquit me. Come on, you feel my pain right here, don’t you?

Above - I love my brother, but even more than that, I love cuddling, hugging, choking and violently smothering my brother so I can have my own way, specifically as it pertains to my possession of my, our, their and all of the otherwise shared toys... seriously, kid, just let go. I swear I'll take you down if you don't pay me my respect.
Above – I love my brother, but even more than that, I love cuddling, hugging, choking and violently smothering my brother so I can have my own way, specifically as it pertains to my possession of my, our, their and all of the otherwise shared toys… seriously, kid, just let go. I swear I’ll take you down if you don’t pay me my respect.

 

See Seattle with Your Perplexed Children

We recently set out to make our many, assorted travels more easily navigated for the convenience of our readers. Obviously we want to make our gemological nuggets of wisdom as accessible as possible, so we’ve decided to include some of our best and favorite attractions from our own home town of Seattle as well.

She`s a pretty girl alright, this hometown Seattle o` mine.
She`s a pretty girl alright, this hometown Seattle o` mine.

Seattle is a good, remarkably safe, medium sized city located inconveniently at the top left corner of the United States. It’s not so convenient once you’re here, as I am, but if you’re coming from the east coast, well, let’s just say it might behoove the nation to be a little narrower. I’m talking to you, San Andreas Fault!

If you live in Seattle or are planning a trip, here are some of the best attractions to hit upon if you’re looking to have some fun with your kids in tow. Don’t worry, they won’t be expected to run articles about it the way we did, that was our thing. We made that sacrifice so you wouldn’t have to.

Please review and enjoy some of the following articles about our favorite attractions.


Flightless Bird Conservatory All Steel, No Feathers

Man has long looked skyward in admiration of our feathered counterparts of winged flappy grace. The Museum of Flight, however, pays little tribute to God’s natural aeronaughts but focuses instead on people who fly… Um, people can fly?


Dance Class: Blah, Whatever

From the minute I first stir until the second I surrender to slumber, I make my day out of an assortment of movements. What I didn’t realize is that I could take a dance class in just that, movement.


Please Don’t Feed (me to) the Animals

Had a chance to visit the reptile zoo in Monroe today and boy was it fun. But no matter how much fun it was, I have to again insist that everyone kindly not feed (me to) the animals.


Magic Proven Real, Not Fakey At All

It was Sunday night and the parents toted us juniors to the Buzz Inn Steakhouse. We don’t go out to eat much so I didn’t know why. It wasn’t about food, this visit it was yet another journalistic endeavor. Apparently I was there to disprove “magic,” and I failed.

sea-trek
Nature Preserve Infested by Bumpy Rump o’ Buffalo

We visited Northwest Trek to take in the wonderful sights indigenous to the soppy moss of the Pacific Northwest. Fern, drizzle and skeeter-bogs were expected, but this meddling buffalo was more than I bargained for.

sea-stocker
Agri-tourism Bad for Agora-tourists

With Halloween looming ever-closer, we needed to take steps to protect our home from ghosts, goblins, witches and less-than-diligent trick-or-treaters. Jack-o-lanterns are a good first step, so we naturally hit the punkin’ patch.


Met Mr. Salmon Half Way

I’ve seen Salmon hiking up their fishy ladders, swimming at the aquarium, and chilling at the supermarket. Still I hadn’t met any in person, so when I got to take a dinner cruise, I jumped right in with both feet, a table for five, and no reservations.


Zoo Ruse Transparent

As everyone knows perfectly well, the zoo is a place for families to celebrate the captivity of many once-proud creatures of the wild. I, however, am not buying it.


Prowled for Punkins, Coerced for Candy

I know it’s four days post trick-or-treatery, and I apologize for the delay in issuing my seasonal report. It’s not laziness, there’s just been so very much to report on. It was a fantastically busy day.


Fish, Fish Everywhere N’ Not a Chip w/ Ketchup

We went out for fish yesterday and I was ready to one-little-piggy out. When we arrived at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59, I found 30,000 gilled flippery-do’s but nary an ounce of tarter sauce in sight.


Triple Pre-Halloween Introvaganza

I saw pictures of myself enjoying Halloween from last year, so I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first one ever. Still, I learn best by repetition, so I welcomed this years excitement, but more so, the triple pre-excitement.


Railway Murder Rampant, Fun

When I found out we were going to hop aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train, I was understandably alarmed. They see a dozen murders a night and nobody goes to jail, so how do they get away with murder and why would I ever want to take part?

Seattle is a really neat town. It’s green, safe, dank and full of culture and arts. Check out some of the articles above and check out this town. It has a lot to offer and we’ll keep on covering it as long as we can and as best we’re able.

 

Toddler Enters New Era of Adorability

So many of the milestones along my trek from wiggly tadpole to ornery teenager are equal parts unfortunate and uncomfortable, but every now and again comes a stage that pays unexpected dividends. I’ve entered just such a stage, and it’s a new era of cuteness, and you won’t hear me complain about it a bit.

I know, pretty cute smile and stuff, huh?
I know, pretty cute smile and stuff, huh?

It’s common for child stars to grow from a cuteness in childhood to an ugliness in an older stage of life, and that’s been a real concern of mine all along. Sure, I’ve been cute at times, some of these times chubbier or more embarrassing than others, but you just never can be sure of what the next phase will bring. Will my addition or loss of teeth be handsome or hideous? Will my advance of height make me a strapping young lad or an awkward gangly kid?

Worry no more, for my latest level has settled in, and if my polls in the world-at-large are any indication (which they are) I’m cuter now than ever before.

Look at these eyes, this smile, my bright expression and clever use of clothing. Ne’er be it for me to toot my own horn, but I’m a charming devil, and it’s a good thing too.

That rascally baby Dominic (or “baby-D” as I affectionately call him, often to the great delight of those around) has been cornering our market on cuteness, and I couldn’t let it stand. I meditated on it, prayed on it too (probably, though there’s no confirmation of it since we all pray silently for our greatest wishes) and positive-mentally-attituded myself to a new level of cuteness. I have succeeded and I have arrived.

Enter a new and more handsome Brendan.

And while I could spend days on end bragging about how cute I am — without running remotely short on material, I might add — I feel a higher calling to go out and exert this will in the world at large. No, I’m going to find a way to go out now, as it’s come to my attention that strangers feel a greater desire to reward my cuteness with toys, candy and other random prizes.

If you’re considering whether you should be uglier or cuter, I would encourage you to lean towards “more cute.” It may not make you a stronger person, but it almost certainly will lead you headlong into undue favor, free stuff and privilege you can’t get any other way.

 

Impromptu Model Shoot Goes Simply Faboo

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that I already ran this article yesterday. That’s where you’d be mistaken. You see, I disremembered that I’d penned the article so I wrote it again from scratch. Then I just couldn’t decide between the two, so here we are, Article Two:

The shots you`ve seen weren`t proof sheets, they were from my own crew.
The shots you`ve seen weren`t proof sheets, they were from my own crew.

We were out tooling about a delightful park enjoying the cherry blossoms in early bloom when this professional photographer, also out enjoying a quiet tool, asked permission to start shooting something more than a disgruntled postman. After very careful and very swift consideration, the decision was made and the shoot got under way.

I flashed my trademark smile, showed off my newly certified toddle, and gave him all the glamour I could muster. Let’s not kid each other, it was a lot. I lollied hither and thither, I giggled, I even played with rocks and froliced among the trees. The sun was falling on the horizon making the lighting ideal.

The contract payment we managed to negotiate was hefty. I demanded digital copies of all my work which he conceded to. Of course I haven’t seen them come through yet — it’s been three weeks — so I’m a bit doubtful I’ll ever get paid. I was holding off on this article until I got them but it looks like waiting is in vain.

Sadly, I don’t even know what I was modeling for! Whomever my handlers were that day, they really may want to get on the shtick. I mean, we don’t even have contact information on this guy. Though his camera was super-expensive and snappy, I suspect he may have been one of them wierdos I’ve heard so much about.

Nonetheless, I still assert that the shoot went faboo. My job is to be dashing and adorable and, despite the lack of photo proof, I know in my 6th scale heart that it worked out jasmine to a “T.”

impromptu-2-wide

 

Impromptu Model Shoot Goes Swimmingly

As much as I love to plan my day I’ve also learned to remain not just bendy but truly flexible. Like when I’m taking a bath and it becomes journalism time, I’m good to go. Life is just like that for me.
story250
The other day I rested from my work-a-day panAsian tour to take a skippy frolic. Meander time is important to keep the youth-juices flowing so I asked to do a little wandering. The next thing I know I’ve (mistakenly?) picked up a rock and I’m in the thick of a full-on glamour shoot. Apparently I (un-knowingly?) signed a contract to endorse Hangzhou brand indigenous rocks; smooth, hard, and refreshing… I imagine — I can only imagine because the parental-types kept stopping me from eating them.

The photographer was skilled and had an absurdly expensive camera. Big camera, big lens, and he even had the classic director-style baseball hat to boot. He played with focus and zoom, and even jumped back and forth to frame his shots just so. His command of spoken English was even about as good as mine, so I am convinced he was a pro.

If anything went less than super I’m unaware of it, which to me is the end-all be-all of perfection. So if you want to be your own end-all be-all of success then just go with the flow. Maybe you’re playing in the park or savoring the cherry blossoms in ridiculously premature bloom or maybe you’re modeling the latest trends in Shanghai suburban twig fashion, in any case just play along, the locals as well as the passing tourists will love it and, with the right attitude, so will you.

So, um, can I get some tearsheets of my work for my portfolio please?


Sadly, as you can see here, much of the post-production work went to PhotoShopping out the gawking hordes of admirers. Yeah, I know, chicks dig me.

 

Perplexed in Shanghai, Specifically with Kids

It seems like a good million odd years ago (and I mean really, really odd years) that I traveled to Shanghai, China with my grand old Daddy-O and MissLissa, but the pictures I’ve recently reviewed from the trip still ring as true to me as they did when I first went there, even though I still assert it was in a previous lifetime.

This is Nan Jing Dong Lu by night, but you can call it Nan Jing road west if you prefer.
This is Nan Jing Dong Lu by night, but you can call it Nan Jing road west if you prefer.

Daddy-O had a short-term contract job, so we got our passports, made sure our visas were in order, packed our bags and headed so far to the west that we landed in the East, and not just in the far, Far East, but we actually landed in a place best known as “tomorrow.” I don’t know how all this “international dateline” stuff works, but it’s none of my business as I’m not in the business of date-keeping any more than I am in the business of appointment-keeping.

Don’t act all surprised, by pediatrician doesn’t and she’s quite precisely in the business of knowing when my appointments are supposed to be. Did you not know I’d toured the Far East? Oh, I did. It was grand really. I was all of one and stuff, the locals loved me like crazy and we saw all sorts of things (I can’t remember) that changed my life and perspective forever (or so I’m told as I have no personal recollection of it).

If you want to see and read some articles about visiting Shanghai, China with children in tow (and I mean it literally, Daddy-O had to hook me up to a rig to haul me around) check out some of the many articles listed below.

 


Photo ID Troubling, Adorable1

If you’re like me I’m sure you have picture identification. Why? Because you wish to drive (legally), cash checks or cheques (also legally) or get into bars (hopefully legally, but let’s not kid each other).


Packing No Fun… Wait, Why Am I Packing?

Earlier today, during an impromptu packing session, I witnessed much of what I own being folded into suitcases. That’s when it occurred to me, hang on a second, I’m hungry.


Airline Offers ‘Peanuts for Pay’ Program

As a longstanding, if not highstanding entrepreneur, I’m always looking for a way to make a nut. Northwest Airlines has embraced me and my philosophy.


Plane Sandwich Plain Delicious

Northwest Airlines, long been renowned for their nuts and airplanes, has moved to the forefront in placating passengers with their latest potentially risky move. Sure, they have newspapers and beverages, but when you’re flying this close to heaven, now they give you a little taste of it.


Flight Promises Never to End

Stratosphere, Earth – Many of you have seen airplanes before, either on the ground of curiously suspended high in the air. I had a chance to experience one of these miraculous rattle-traptions myself, so I crawled all over it.


Experience Shanghai the American Way

If you wish to tour Shanghai, avoid the crowded tour groups or the frightening get unlost method. To truly do it right, you’ll need to do it like a real American.


Reading; It’s All Chinese to Me

With all the hype going around about this literacy thing I’ve heard so much about I figured I’d give it a whirl. Besides, illiteracy apparently looks bad on a newsman’s résumé.


Enthralled by Jade Temple, Plush Chicken-Frog

As my stay in Shanghai lengthens I’m getting more chances to get out and experience the rich history and cultural attractions the central kingdom has to offer, but I’m still a kid at heart.


Chopsticks Assist Eating, Mischief

I’m always looking for better ways of eating and improved means of making a disaster. Chopsticks, it would seem, fit both bills swimmingly.


White Baby Black Market Softens

While many international sectors are enjoying recovery, others are not fairing as well. It’s no surprise Nigerian e-fraud is down 80%, but what did surprise me was the softening of black market adoptions.


Making Time to Stop and Eat the Roses

Life can be hectic and mine is no exception. From busy deadlines to my private lessons there is so much I have to get done in the day and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough hours for all of it, but still I make time to stop and eat the roses.


Brendan Alexander, International Man of Mischief

If you’re anything like me, which I’m pretty sure you are not, you are a man of mischief. Daring, unpredictable, intriguing, and dashingly handsome. For mischief-makers ready to take it to the next level, this one goes out to you.


Running Man Interpretation Steals Dance Floor

I thought this sort of thing only happened in movies, you know, where you break out your most wicked moves and people clear a circle and just watch you go; but I was wrong, delighted, and spectacular.


Plasti-Monkey Thrills Amusement Seekers

For decades amusement park goers were subjected to the dull, humdrum entertainment of bland attractions like Six Flags, Universal Studios, Euro-Disney and cable television. Technology has really outdone itself this time as my friend the plasti-monkey can attest.


Zoo Commute a Bear Literally, Metaphorically

When I signed up to go the zoo they told me it was “a ways out.” When they said something about a “real bear,” I assumed they meant a literal one, not just the metaphorical type.


Panda Bears Panda-riffic, Mangy

Of the few remaining panda bears in existence, I have now seen one. While I had already seen a good many in plush form of various size and quality, I was unprepared for how big and mangy it would actually be.


Zoo Offers Exotic Animals, Hey Look Goldfish!

I’ve travelled couples of zoos all over the world, from home to wherever I am now and presumably back again. There are so many wild and exotic creatures to feast your eyes upon, but there is one special creature you don’t want to miss, the tiny fish of gold.


Asian Paparazzi Really Out of Hand

As a seasoned celebrity and lifelong public figure I’m no stranger to popularity, but just like has-been major leaguers who head to Japan, I had no clue what was in store for me.


Lanterns Alone Make Trip Worthwhile

My love affair with the crimson spheres began about the time I arrived. Ever since then I’ve nary missed a chance to seek them out and beg more for my own.


Yucky Food Discovered, Spinach

As a world-travelling connoisseur of whatever is put in front of me I’ve eaten everything from asparagus to zwieback crackers. In all my gobblicious endeavors I’ve never found a food I didn’t like… until now.


Accessorizing Complicated by Language, Cultural Barriers

In your homeland it’s not tough for most people to be fashionable but, when travelling abroad, it can be tricky as a weasel to do it right.


Learning Curve Steepens, Omniscience In Sight

Every day I’m getting smarter and smarterer. It’s not my fault though, I’m not even trying very hard. It’s like I’m some kind of knowledge camel endlessly drinking from the ocean of wisdom, except I’m not a camel and I don’t need as much water.


Suspect I’m Being Followed

Nobody look alarmed or act funny but, I think I’m being followed. It’s not that I have any proof and I really can’t say why I think it, but something tells me “they” are on to me.


Suspicion of Following Confirmed by Independent Audit

Yesterday — or a million years ago; I’m not sure which — I reported that I thought I was being followed. Today, thanks to an independent photographer I hired to look into the matter, my suspicions have been confirmed.


Despite Warning Child Plays with Phone, Calls China

Warnings had been made and restated but to no avail as earlier today an unbelieving child picked up a telephone and started dialing random numbers.


Chubby Is In the Cheeks of the Beholder

It seems you can’t turn a corner anymore without hearing something about how you need to be slim to be beautiful. Between the drug addicts gracing Cosmo and the mythical woman propagated by the Barbie franchise it’s no wonder we’re confused.


Impromptu Model Shoot Goes Swimmingly

As much as I love to plan my day I’ve also learned to remain not just bendy but truly flexible. Like when I’m taking a bath and it becomes journalism time, I’m good to go. Life is just like that for me.


Impromptu Model Shoot Goes Simply Faboo

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that I already ran this article yesterday. That’s where you’d be mistaken. You see, I disremembered that I’d penned the article so I wrote it again from scratch. Then I just couldn’t decide between the two, so here we are, Article Two:


Intercontinental Commuting Frantic, Boring

For anyone who’s ever worked in a city but lived in a suburb, you know how nice it can be to live near the office.

sh-down-with-up
I’m Down With Up

As I grow older my tastes and habits sure do change. I used to eat anything, now I don’t. I used to crawl but now I walk. I once would listen but now I talk. Times and tastes may change but one thing I don’t see myself outgrowing is the joy of being toted about.


I Traveled the Secret Road to Mordor

As a world traveler I am always interested in being somewhere new and getting there via the road less traveled. When I decided to go to Mordor, popularized by the Lord of the Rings vacation documentary series, I decided once again to take that less traveled road.


Road Rockier than Nutty Chocolate Ice Cream

I’ve travelled high, low, and many places in betwixt and I’ve got to tell ya, some roads are not just rocky but truly mega-bouldersome. Today I review one such road.

I know this is nearly two years old now, but it’s come back to the forefront as of late. We’ve always tried to push this matter as a book, but never knew who to contact to make it happen. As it would happen, a Shanghai newspaper has decided (as of very recently) to syndicate these stories as new and relevant to their site. What can I say, brilliance from my childhood a year or so ago is as brilliant as anything else to hit the news today.

What do you think, should I put out a book about this (which I assure you before answering, is indeed forthcoming) or try to find more global syndicates who recognize the brilliance of it?

I’ll save you the trouble of answering — though you still can Feedback at the link atop this page — and just tell you that we know how cool we are, but by “we” I mean “me” and by “how” I mean “super” and, of course, by “cool” I mean “relevant to all the world.”