Tag Archives: driving

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ40: Control Freak

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How much control do you believe you have over your own life?”

Not much!

Now, that might strike some as a strange response, given that I’m sort of a control freak, but I think some of us CF types are that way precisely as a reaction to how little control we actually do have.

I mean, there’s really nothing I can do about so many things. Natural disasters come when they will, and sure I can have some bottled water and flashlights on hand, but I doubt those will help me in a real crisis. I don’t have the resources to create an underground bunker, assuming you can get to one in time and can last out whatever thing. What do you do in said bunker if you have a heart attack and need a doctor? Do you kidnap one and bring him with you just in case? How about surgery and meds?

Unnatural disasters are pretty much the same thing. I drive defensively, but there’s always some idiot blasting out of nowhere ~ and indeed one hit me and sped off three years ago. You try to plan for the “black swan,” but the one that appears is often not the one you modeled. I stay home a lot to avoid people and accidents, but a while back I fell in my bathroom and cracked my head on the tub.

Shit happens, and it keeps coming. I was contentedly living in my cozy apartment when the owner decided to switch things up, brought in a management company, and raised the rent 25%. Nothing I could do. Moving is expensive; housing in SoCal is insane. Leaving the area for a cheaper one… and hope to get a new job in my late 50s? Umm. I do feel trapped like a mouse.

How do I cope? Obsessively arrange my paper clips and shoes. Make sure all my socks are folded the same way. Keep items at right angles. Create lots of lists so I can cross things off. This all gives me the illusion of control in a chaotic world. But I know nothing is really in my control and that sucks.

(I am not seeking advice. Thank you!)

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

One-Liner Wednesday

Maybe it’s my tinnitus, or just aging in general, but I’m finding it so lovely to be in silent spaces. My office is usually pretty quiet and I appreciate that. I don’t always play music in the car; sometimes it’s nice not to. I enjoy a white noise fan at home, and I don’t need background music or the din of TV voices to lull me into believing I have company. I’m very grateful for peace and silence.

~*~

Written for One-Liner Wednesday

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Mystery Questions!

I would like to extend a big thanks to the very funny and lovely Beckie for giving me this award. Thank you! There’s so much to enjoy at her blog ~ quotes, poetry, insights, cute birdie pics, etc. I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t yet.

Like many bloggers, I’m happy to get noms and awards, and I’ll answer questions as I have time, but I don’t create new questions or tag others. Thanks for understanding!

“The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Wow! 😻 And these are Beckie’s questions.

1. What are your aspirations in life?

– To continue working as much as I can, writing as much as I can, spending time with family as time permits, taking care of health and home, and doing good things.

2. If you had $5000, what charity would you donate it to?

– The SPCA.

3. What is your favorite kind of music to chill out to?

– Oldies rock.

4. How would you rate your experience on WordPress?  1 being lowest, 10 being highest.

– 7

5. Have you gained real friendships through blogging?

– Real meaning in person, no. Real meaning people I chat with via email outside of blogging about other things, yes.

Okay, now I’m going to include questions from Di that she opened up to all. I thought they were good ones, and that’s no surprise as Di is another blogger whose posts I enjoy daily. I hope you’ll go visit if you haven’t already.

1. Are you an only child? If so, do you wish you had siblings? If not, do you wish you were?

– I am the only child of my parents. But I did find out when I was 25 that my mother had another baby, a girl, when she was 20 that she gave up for adoption. I always wished for a sibling, particularly a sister. My mother did not want any contact with her though, so I respected this, until she and my father passed on. Since then, I’ve been trying to find my half-sister, with no luck. It makes me sad because she did reach out to my mother first, and was rebuffed, and now I have no way of finding her, assuming she’s alive.

2. Do you do your main shopping on the internet?

– Everything but groceries.

3. What kind of vehicle do you drive?

– Toyota Corolla.

4. If you were a colour, what would that be?

– Ultraviolet 💜

5. How many awards has your blog been nominated for?

– I haven’t kept count!

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Revelation [flash 271]

Flying car

“Everyone is staring at us, Mom,” Julie complained. “I wish we could have found an inconspicuous way to travel to the Emperor’s birthday party.”

Her mother’s face settled into obstinate lines as she gazed at the road flying by. “You’re the one who didn’t wake up in time for the skytrain. Besides, this is the safest way to travel. Why do you care what a bunch of streeters think?”

Julie shrugged. “You never know who will remember later.”

“Later?” Her mother laughed. “You’ll be protected. You have nothing to worry about.”

“You can’t promise that,” Julie muttered, as she pulled her silky knit scarf around her face, hoping to hide her identity.

“Honey,” her mother sighed. “Who do you think has protected us all this time? Given us a beautiful skyhome? Sent you to the academy?”

“My father obviously!” Julie rolled her eyes. “I wish he’d return from his mission to X9 so I could meet him finally.”

“I lied to you,” her mother admitted. “Your father isn’t on a mission and you have met him. Many times. You’ll be seeing him today.”

Julie stared at her. “The Emperor?!”

“He is your father.”

Suddenly, the vehicle stopped moving and sank to the ground, as if deliberately sabotaged by the emperor’s maintenance men. The car was immediately surrounded by streeters out for revenge against a piece of luxury when they barely had enough to eat. Julie began screaming.

The doors burst open and Stan the retired Star Lieutenant motioned them out. “This way. Quickly. I have a safe ship waiting for you both.”

Could they trust him? Did they have any choice?

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 26

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Location [socs]

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Where the hell am I?”

That used to be a common thing I’d say in the car before GPS devices. I have no sense of direction whatsoever. It’s kind of weird too because my parents were both great with directions, especially my dad (he loved maps), and my daughters are also good. But the whole innate positioning sense of where the hell I am and what I need to do to get to where I want to be… well, that gene just completed skipped over me. Whoosh!

Actually not only in the car. I can get lost in a building just as easily. Which way to the exit / bathroom / elevator? Idk. I have to do the routine several times before it’s stuck in my brain. Other people seem to recall it after one trip. If I’m in a new location, I’ll generally choose the wrong way every time even though odds are I should be right half the time. Nope.

But luckily I have my phone now, always fully charged and ready to tell me where I parked and how to get back home from the cat food store. 😻

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

No Vacancy [musical fiction]

No Vacancy

My daddy was no Elvis, but he sure liked singing along to the King’s music as he wandered from town to town, hitching rides on boxcars, destination Bangor, Maine. Sometimes he’d do a couple hours labor and make enough to buy a cheap motel room, no phone, no pool, no pets, but he had enough for a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of cheap whiskey.

That’s how he met my mom. She worked in the liquor store across the street from that motel in Bangor, and it was the end of her shift. They chatted for a while outside and ended up back in his room.

“You do this a lot?” he asked.

“Only a time or two,” she said.

They had their rendezvous, and he hopped a train the next day. Six weeks later, my mom discovered he had left her a present and tracked him down. She found him at the end of Lonely Street, called her daddy to meet her, and they knocked on his door.

“You’ll marry my daughter or else,” my grandpa said as he waved his gun at my daddy.

“Yes sir,” my daddy said. “Go find a minister and I’ll get dressed.”

But instead of getting dressed, my daddy jumped off the roof, which is why they call it the Heartbreak Hotel.

My mom went back home to her parents, and that’s where I was born, but she was never happy in Maine again. We began to wander like my daddy had, staying for a time in various small towns while Mom found a little work, and then moving on again.

We traveled around the midwest and back; by the time I was in high school we were living off aid because employers didn’t care for my mom’s perfume: eau de booze. That winter of my junior year we were staying at a crappy motel halfway between Erie and Pittsburgh, when one Tuesday I got home from school and couldn’t wake her up. She’d mixed a bottle of sleeping pills with her gin. She was my mother and I loved her, but she put me through hell. I grabbed my things and got out of there before the authorities could take me from the Bittersweet Motel.

Then I began my own journey and some of it’s a bit hazy in my mind right now. I know I headed west; the East Coast had nothing for me but heartache and pain. I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to end up on that desert highway, cool wind in my hair, but the important thing is that I got here. I knew when I saw her in the doorway as the mission bell rang that I had found my way home again.

There’s plenty of room at the Hotel California. They have a nice courtyard where we dance every night. There are mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice… honestly, it’s pretty fancy, and I’ve never received a bill. I’m not sure where my car is though, since I can’t find a door to the outside, but I’ll look again tomorrow. I’m tired now.

~*~

This post was inspired by Jim @ Mindlovemisery along with the following songs:

“King of the Road” by Roger Miller

“Third Rate Romance” by Sammy Kershaw

“Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley

“Bittersweet Motel” by Phish

“Hotel California” by the Eagles

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Fun While It Lasted

Roller Coaster

I was an adrenaline junkie for some years, off and on, though if you met me now you wouldn’t think so. Like many, I thought I was invincible, and/or that I was so special an angel or whatever was looking out for me in particular to ensure I remained on this side of the veil.

You want to scream at teenagers who think this way. You’re not special! You can die at any time. You’ve just been lucky so far. But of course they aren’t going to listen; they’re teenagers. Duh.

One of the tamer ways I found excitement was by seeking out the newest, largest roller coasters within driving distance. One theme park my high school friends and I went to was in Gurnee, Illinois, which in 1978 debuted the Tidal Wave (it had been in operation at other Six Flags’ parks). This wasn’t a complicated RC to the naked eye, though it was a sophisticated engineering marvel, just up, loop, and down. No biggie, right? 🤣😂😱

We went on that thing as many times as we could, in between eating burgers and fudge and going on other loopy doopy rides. Did I get sick, dizzy, or nauseated? Nope! Did my back, neck, or feet hurt? Nah. Did I pass out, fall off, or die? Um no.

Time passed. I moved to California. My head began to hurt all the time. A date took me to Magic Mountain and we went on a coaster, but I didn’t feel good afterwards. I took my kids to Knott’s Berry Farm with another mom and we all went on a tame ride and my neck ached from the bouncing. I began to avoid rides completely. They just seemed like something I’d be better off not doing.

A few times in the past several years I’ve been to the Orange County Fair (where I’m going today, btw, and let us hope there are no shootings or stabbings), and friends have occasionally persuaded me to go on rides. Turns out, I don’t enjoy them any longer at all. I feel no joy in that adrenaline rush I once did.

I guess I have changed, in one area anyway.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF9 ~ Road Trippin’

Friday Flashback

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on August 2, 2018, a mere year ago.

Travel Musings

In theory, I’d love to travel to a bunch of cool places ~ England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, etc. ~ but practicalities always quench my wanderlust. First, the cost. Second, the time. Third, my migraines. It’s not only long plane flights that mess with my head, but everything about changes in my environment ~ food, sleep, weather, etc. ~ are pain triggers as well. I also don’t like to leave my furbaby. Right now, it’s an emotional challenge for me to go away for more than two nights in a row, but luckily I have a trusted friend to come over and take care of Gatsby.

I thought I had blogged about my idea for a post-retirement (and post-kitty) epic U.S. trip, but apparently I only discussed it on Facebook. My previous plan was to take train rides from the Pacific Northwest across the country. I’d see Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, etc.; then onto Chicago, Philly, and NYC; up to Boston, Vermont, NH, and Maine; down to DC, Nashville, Atlanta, and New Orleans; over to New Mexico and Utah; smoosh Yellowstone in there somewhere… basically see lots of new places, plus old friends (and meet friends in person with whom I’ve been corresponding for decades). But I’m not sure this is a good plan any longer, given the state of railroads these days. Dunno if I want to drive thousands and thousands of miles alone when I’m old, but…

I have this fantasy that after I retire (and after my kitty has rainbow-bridged), I could get rid of most of my stuff and do this epic trip in a comfy vehicle. But still… so much driving! Oww, my neck hurts just thinking about it. After the trip is over (three-four months, who knows?), I could figure out where to resettle in California, in a less expensive area away from the coast.

Be nice to visit Canada at some point too. That reminds me: I still haven’t bothered to get a passport after all that fuss to finally obtain my birth certificate. Yes, I am legal! I know, it was iffy there for a while, lol. But all this road-trippin’ is only a fantasy. It’s not like this crazy vacay would be cheap ~ I’d need to stay in a lot of motels and buy a lot of snadwiches. Not to mention gas!

The furthest I ever go these days is the Bay Area, which luckily is fabulous, and not only because my awesome daughter lives there with her awesome fiance and their awesome puppy. But mostly because of that.😍

A Chewy Post [socs]

Chewbacca is the name of a Star Wars character and that’s pretty much all I know about Star Wars. I saw the first one. That’s it. But once I dreamt or hallucinated that Darth Vader was made of fire. I told people that, and they said I was nuts, and he is not made of fire. Okay. But I really did have a vision of it. There is a black car in my parking lot, a Dodge or something, with the license plate VAAADER, and that’s clever. But driving sucks and I wish I could just take a convenient bus or choo-choo train. So tired of traffic, insurance, the DMV, and parking problems. Blargh. 😜