The Next One Will Actually Have Pictures

I was sitting here on my couch just now, trying to vanquish writer's block through that ancient and time-tested method of staring at the blank computer screen and wondering idly whether Alec Baldwin thinks it's as funny as I do that his girlfriend's name is Hilaria, when my gaze wandered over to the bookshelf and I saw my passport up there on the highest shelf. 

(Hilaria! Her name is Hilaria! Isn't that hilaria....ous? I can't read it in Us Weekly—wait, I mean, uh, The New York Times Law Review, that's an actual publication, right?—without pronouncing it HILAAAAAAAAARIA. I'm assuming that's how you pronounce it, isn't it? To rhyme with malaria? Not that malaria is hilarious or anything but.....hang on a second, I just need to write this down in case I ever decide to write a rap about the importance of using mosquito repellent. Words that rhyme with malaria are few and far between.)

(Hmmm. I just checked—oh, like you don't have it on your bookmarked tabs—and it turns out there are actually a few more. Bavaria, hysteria, Bulgaria? This is going to be one hell of a rap.)

Anyway, I looked up at the shelf just now and happened to see my passport there, which was something of a shock because I've been home from London a week now, and I think I just figured I'd put it away in my desk drawer straight away, but no, apparently my new storage place for the crucially important documents that allow me to get in and out of a country of which I'm not actually a citizen is on a SHELF, right on top of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and below Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette. More frightening still is that I have absolutely no memory of putting it there. And it seems like maybe I should have, right? Hang on a minute, I think I should probably just go check the toaster for my engagement ring. Oh, is that my grandmother's silver in the kitty litter?

Luckily, I did not need my passport to enter the state of Montana this weekend, which is where we traveled to see a friend of mine get married. This friend was actually once my boss, but she was always the kind of boss where you were like "damn, I wish we could be friends instead"—took us out for fancy dinners, sent us links to Go Fug Yourself, owned excellent shoes, you know the type—and then one day she got another job, stopped being my boss, started being my friend, and also (ew, I'm sorry, I know this is going to sound kind of gross) became something of a mentor to me, and you will have to imagine me saying the word "mentor" as though I were actually saying "giant flesh-eating cockroach" because I'm not sure why but it gives me the willies. Like, I mean it as a compliment and everything, but mentor sounds so Good Will Hunting when I say it, as though she were stroking her chin and explaining complex mathematical formulas to rationalize the mysteries of life, rather than giving me half-sober career advice over a Miller Lite.

Anyway, Sean and I traveled to Big Sky, Montana to see her get married, which gave us a nice little opportunity to explore Yellowstone as well, which I should really post some pictures of—once I've stolen them from Sean; we have a mi casa es su casa sort of relationship when it comes to each other's pictures, except for some reason he never wants to come to mi casa—because Yellowstone is CRAZY, and I know I should do better than CRAZY and use my actual words like an adult, but CRAZY seems to be the best I can come up with for the moment, because Yellowstone looks like the moon.

Eh, okay, I did take that one myself. But I took it with Instagram, which means it looks like the moon in the seventies. 

Look, I pride myself on living up to my favorite line in one of my favorite Lemonheads songs ever—"I can't go away with you on a rockclimbing weekend / What if something's on TV and it's never shown again?"—but the park was so huge and gorgeous and natural and immense that I started thinking that maybe I could be the outdoor type. (If pushed, I mean. And only for camping. For a day or two. First one to suggest I cut the handle off my toothbrush to make my backpack lighter changes my mind.) 

Either way, if you ever get a chance to go there, I would take it. I would also check the weather forecast before you do, because it was 32 degrees and snowing IN JUNE, but luckily I found that this didn't bother me too much if I simply thought of it as a glass half full situtation. Excuse me, a mug half full situation. You don't get many other opportunities to drink Baileys-spiked hot chocolate in the summer, after all.

(You know I wore my Off! to protect against malaria / But Alec Baldwin didn't and neither did Hilaria / So now their itchy calves are a real disaster area / Something something something something something else Bulgaria.) 

Jun 12, 2012

Half-killing myself laughing along with your rap (oh yeah, I rapped it.. like the best poetry, it was crying out to be spoken!) More! More!

Jun 12, 2012


Jun 12, 2012

Losing my mind over that rap!!!! I've never met you and you're certainly
Not my boss or mentor but as per your book recommendations from last year and your general sense of humor, reflection and kindness makes
Me wish I had a reason to meet you in real life!! Too much. Plus your house is gorgeous. And your family seems like tons of fun.

Jun 12, 2012

LOVE the rap! I'm going to bookmark Rhymezone right now and will probably not achieve anything other than making raps for the rest of the day.

Venita Michelle
Jun 12, 2012

I too was in Yellowstone this weekend! The scenery was lovely, and we saw tons of adorable baby animals. BUT! But, we packed shorts and tank tops and baseball hats because it was JUNE, as you know. So we spent a small fortune buying souvenir sweat suits. Yes, we were THAT family with matching sweat suits dotted in park emblems. The memory of our attire will haunt me forever, I believe.

Anna Louisa
Jun 12, 2012 definitely have a career as a rapper! My best friends live in Bozeman and are always going to Yellowstone - so jealous!


Jun 12, 2012

I went to Montana and Yellowstone for the first time last year and still cannot get over how gorgeous it is! I'm heading back in about a month and I can't wait! (I married a Montanan, his gorgeous home state is definitely a perk.)


Jun 12, 2012

I just lost my goose. . . I have a house guest, and every other second, I'd say, "Listen to THIS! HILARIA, right?!" (She left before the Instagram bit to take a shower; not because she didn't think you're hilaria, but because she was sick of my squealing, which is understandable.) Bravo, and also, if you want to be my mentor, you may.

Jun 12, 2012

bwahahaha, that's my new favorite song, er, I mean rap. Wait- do you can a rap song a "rap"? Probably not. Whatever, the point is I'm changing my cat's name to Hilaria. I don't think he'll mind.

Jun 12, 2012

"so now their itchy calves are a real disaster area". Favorite line. love it.

Also - Yellowstone & Montana are places I'd love to visit. We have this big list of places (which basically is everywhere on Earth) but we've separated them out to "before kids/after kids" trips. Yellowstone & Montana are an after-kids trip. What kid wouldn't want to step foot on the moon??

Jun 12, 2012

Interesting factoid: In one of my all-time favorite British serieseseses, "Brother Cadfael", there was a character called "Sister Hilaria". Perhaps a nun named Hilaria is one step funnier? Perhaps not. I couldn't wish a more ridiculous name on Alec Baldwin, who really deserves every association with ridiculously named people he gets. He's such a wanker.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 12, 2012

Marcheline: A nun named Hilaria is THE FUNNIEST OF ALL.

Jun 12, 2012

"...with red raised bumps, the size of Bulgaria" Ha! Hilaria really is the funniest name of all time!

Jun 12, 2012

Strangely, you're the third (fourth?) person I know that was in Montana/Yellowstone last week.

Yellowstone vs Yosemite?

Jun 12, 2012

Best. Post. Ever.

Jun 12, 2012

I want to say something so much more clever than "you're hilarious" but my mind is in a complete state of shock over that rap and I can't seem to conjure up any witty remarks...and seems that writers block isn't damaging your rapping abilites, lucky for us.

Jun 12, 2012

I always think I could be a camper, then I remember how much I love plumbing. Yellowstone looks gorgeous.

Jun 12, 2012

Bwahaha. Love the rap. I'm surprised my hiking/camping hubby has never suggested cutting the end of the toothbrush off to lighten the load, but that would be just his thing.

Laura B
Jun 12, 2012

I'm going camping for a week in Yellowstone this August! My husband and I are driving from the East Bay. Mostly, I'm just hoping we make it there without killing each other...

Jun 12, 2012

"That's why they both be scratchin' like DJ Ivan from Bulgaria"

Jun 12, 2012

you're hilaria...ous. that is all.

Jun 12, 2012

A nun called Sister Hilaria is funny, almost as much as Pope Hilarius. I like to imagine him slipping a whoopee cushion under a cardinal or something.

Good finish, Sheila!

Jun 13, 2012

Oh man, I totally rapped that to myself, too! But I did not successfully manage to rap it to myself in a British accent, sadly. Maybe that means it's time for another video post... ;)

Also, snow in June?! There is so much wrong with that. You're a better person than I am for being able to enjoy it at all.

Jun 13, 2012

You know I wore my Off! to protect against malaria / But Alec Baldwin didn't and neither did Hilaria / So now their itchy calves are a real disaster area / and the only place that they can safely go, is far away to Bulgaria. *High five*

The BBC showed a series of programmes on Yellowstone through the seasons, and it looked out of this world beautiful.

Jun 13, 2012

There once was a nun in Bulgaria
Whose name was so dour it would scare ya
She wanted to please
So she dropped to her knees
And was given a new one: "Hilaria"

Jun 13, 2012

It would be much funnier if Hilaria ended up with Hank Azaria. Just saying...

Jun 13, 2012

First - Yellowstone is of my favorite places...evar!
Second - I've just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You're writing is hilarious (no relation or pun intended to most recent post!), and your blog is one I come back to over and over again. Love it.
You can take a look at my most recent post here...

Thanks for writing and making me laugh!

Camels & Chocolate
Jun 13, 2012

YOU KILL ME. There are no words.

Jun 13, 2012

OMG the rap needs to go public ASAP! ;)
Also, my mom is in Yellowstone for the summer, working at Old Faithful Inn, just enjoying the scenery. She is retired and has always wanted to go back there.

deva by definition
Jun 14, 2012

I'm giggling uncontrollably at my desk right now. thank you for the laugh. Hilaria, she lives in Bulgaria, she married Hank Azaria and now calls him "Moe."

Jun 14, 2012

So I just have to tell you the most HILARIAous part of her name beng hilaria....her name is actually Hilary and she decided to start calling herself hilaria (in college i think?) after studying abroad in spain or something like that. I guess she was really feeling the vibe? One of my best friends was (hilary's) best friend growing up, and is still in contact with her now ...what I would really like to know is if Alec baldwin is aware of this fact or if her parents have to pretend it is her name in front of him?

Pretzel Thief
Jun 14, 2012

@Sheila: Yes. THIS. Brilliant.

I vote for Sheila's contribution, y'all!

Holly, that rap of yours is all that's right with the world. Thank you for bestowing it upon us all. Freakin' hilarious!

Jun 14, 2012

Hilaria might have just knocked Chlorine out of first place on my baby name list.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 14, 2012

Zoey, the fact that you have the scoop on HILARIA is the best thing that has happened to me in many, many days. THE INTERNET IS AMAZING.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 14, 2012

Stef, Pope Hilarius has just become my new favorite thing ever. You know he leaves banana skins out for people to trip on.

Sheila, your finish was incredible. Clearly we need to start a rap duo immediately. You can get things done the way I just can't.

Alison Presley
Jun 15, 2012

Okay, I no longer hold out for rock climbing. But I do think the you could enjoy the right sort of camping and adventure walking.

And agreed on Yellowstone. I think it's my new favorite national park, knocking out both Yosemite and Glacier. Blasphemy!

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