Tag Archives: driving

In Which I Beg a Big Corporation to Take My Money

When I deleted Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, I wiped all the history, cookies, etc. off my devices in an attempt (probably futile) to rid myself of their tracking and crap. Until yesterday this was no big deal, but then I tried to buy a song for my Nutty Playlist on iTunes and all hell broke loose. I had to re-enter my info and every time I tried to put in my credit card stuffs, the program shut down. Fine, I said, I have an iPhone meow, I’ll do it that way. NYAAH!

I went to Apple music on my iPhone and said hai can I haz a song? They said only if you sign up for our music thingie and pay. WOT? I don’t want to pay for a whole program ~ I just want to buy a song sometimes like I do for my cool themed playlists. They didn’t care at all about my cool themed playlists. Rude. I didn’t know what to do except I did know I was going to get what I wanted and finish my Nutty Playlist and put it on a CD to listen to in my car because well I just had to! They shalt not thwart me and my OCD! (Especially when a CD is involved.)

I went to Shazam on my iPhone where I remembered it offers the option to buy a song. First, I had to play the song on YouTube on my laptop so I could Shazam it (it was “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, if you must know, which no one suggested, but I chose later after googling songs about insanity which I do not recommend because it can really flip you over the edge into severe depression). After the song was up on Shazam, the buy option appeared, so I clicked it. Next, I was flooped over to the iTunes store where it let me buy the song with my fingerprint. WOT? I didn’t have to sign up for the program? Nope. I could buy “Angie Baby” for $1.29 like I had wanted to in the beginning. I did that. I also bought a couple more songs for Nutty and also some for another playlist that had been sitting around called Dating Sucks. Burned them to CDs. Now I have two new CDs and am working on two more themed playlists. I’ll pester you guys about those later.

The coolest part is that it only took a few seconds for the song to show up in my iTunes library on my laptop after I bought it on my phone. Isn’t technology AMAZING?! Actually, one of them took like 45 seconds and I started to get angry. WTF??? The otter ones only took 10 seconds. I can’t bear all this waiting. I have things to do! OMGGG!!

I still don’t understand why Apple allows you to buy an individual song via Shazam but you can’t simply click into the Apple store on your own and buy one. That’s so weird! More likely I’m misunderstanding how to do it, but whatever… I got what I wanted. Yes, in a very roundabout strange way, but hey.

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Thwart

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Notes to Self

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Betrayed by expectations once again. Relearn. Remember. Keep the bar of wanting low. Desire little from others. Rejoice in small accomplishments and don’t agonize over failing to reach the stars. The stars will still be there tomorrow. Savor every cotton candy sunset. Nothing is more important than taking a minute to play with a kitty. Stay in the car to finish listening to a song. Jot down every poetic thought because you never know when one will take your hand and lead you to a path filled with starlight in the dark forest of the night. But don’t expect it.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Betrayed

Chasing Sunsets

OC_sunset

It’s been a good month of sunsets
Outside the conference room window,
Splashing down behind the old Hyatt–
A riot of violet, indigo, crimson.
As the days lengthen
And storms malinger,
The sky waits for my drive home,
Candy striping on my commute–
Watermelon, apricot, grape.
I stop at the fairgrounds
To take a shot of butterscotch
Streaking out of sight.
Summer will soon push them later,
After I’m inside for the night.
I tire early now;
One day I’ll see my last.
I wonder which kind it will be–
The glorious burst of final savage color,
Or a slow unremarkable fade to black?

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Wonder

Color Wheel

The first color I remember having a decided preference for is turquoise. When I was in third grade I had a plaid jumper I adored because it had turquoise in it and I could wear a turquoise shirt underneath and also turquoise socks. It was my most favorite outfit in the world. Also I loved turquoise jewelry in any form (real or beads).

Two years later my favorite color was purple and my mom did my room all in violet with flowered wallpaper when we moved to New Jersey in 1970. It was gorgeous! I also had a purple leotard I wore with a lavender skirt and white go-go boots, and this was really cute, around 1973. That’s about the time we departed for Illinois, where the official color is forty below zero.

When I was 20 a Chicago coworker remarked that I wore a lot of blue and brown. I did. I’d just gone from being a college student to a full-time office worker and had a limited budget for shopping. Blues and browns seemed practical to mix-match and they all went with my sensible brown shoes and boots. Obviously I would layer over that with parkas and scarves and leg warmers, mittens, hats, yada. Still have two coats from my Chicago years because they were very well made and come in handy occasionally. One is blue, one a brownish pink.

Decades later my wardrobe expanded to all colors of the rainbow. I went through phases: sunflower yellow, lime green, candy pink, violet, and always turquoise with everything. I could wear any outrageous color combo when I was a young mom. I painted my own tee shirts and had tie-dyed leggings.

Then I returned to full-time office work and gradually began to ditch the crazy colors in favor of blues and browns again. Also, like most women, I discovered a love of black, which goes surprisingly well with some of my bright stuff, toning it down enough to be acceptable in an office. One of my favorite combos is black pants with a turquoise shirt and an ivory or beige sweater. Browns and pinks work nicely together too. I don’t wear much lime green or sunflower yellow these days. Still adore lavender and violet.

As I’ve mentioned I am simplifying my wardrobe as time goes by. New purchases are in solid colors for ease of matching. I shop more sensibly now rather than grabbing what catches my eye. Shopping online is good for this method, since you search for what you need (blue pants, forex) rather than wandering into a store and allowing yourself to be seduced by a sequined kitty sweatshirt.

One thing that’s funny though ~ through all this my cars were blue, brown, blue, brown, blue, brown. In order, just like that. The first car I owned was blue and the car I have now is brown. Yes, a constant in my life since my move to California has been my love for the colors of the earth and the sky, the sand and the ocean, from biscuit to chocolate, from ice to navy. I’ve moved from one coast to another, liked many things about Chicago, but never felt “at home” there and have never gone back to the midwest for even a visit. Although I don’t hang out at the beach much, I like knowing it’s nearby (wouldn’t want to live super close because of earthquake/tsunami, which is a win because of the price of oceanfront real estate).

Though I must say I recently heard of a writerly town in Montana that’s totally piqued my curiosity…

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Constant

Honk

Honking

Most vehicular honking is stupid and pointless. People are just expressing outrage for a fait accompli. They’re mad that someone cut them off, so they honk. They’re frustrated that traffic isn’t moving, so they honk. This temper tantrum does nothing except create unnecessary noise and annoy me. The purpose of honking is supposed to be to warn someone to prevent a dangerous situation, not to express your childish feelings. It’s okay to tap your horn to remind someone to move if they’re distracted with their phone or radio. I’ve done that and vice versa. Don’t get me started on alarms.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Honk

In Which I Force Myself to Pay Attention

Some days I get down in the grumps and wonder why X keeps happening. Depending on the day/month/year, X could be any number of things. Which is why we’re using X…

I remember once thinking that I was really unlucky with tires and got way more flats than other people. Maybe there was something weird about the way I drove, like I was a nail magnet or something? When I mentioned that to the tire guy, he said, oh, everyone thinks they’re unluckier than normal about their tires. That was pretty funny. I haven’t had a flat since (now I will since I wrote this).

There are days I think I’m in horrible pain all the time, like this morning (when I was in horrible pain from a migraine with stabby neck throbs and nausea), but that’s not true. It just seems true when I’m suffering… and then when I’m not, I forget to notice. Why? Because though I have chronic pain, it’s actually normal for me not to be in horrible pain ~ there’s a difference, and it’s important to acknowledge this. I need to notice the times I feel OK, like now, and remember them.

I’ve said I’m a magnet for certain types of people, but I’ve noticed others saying the same thing. You know the types we mean ~ the drama royals, the narcissists, the nutcases. If you’re not one of these, and even if you are, you’ve surely encountered them. After a few instances, we announce, “I must be a magnet for them!” Well, no. But our interactions with the “types” are so much more vivid than our interactions with ordinary folks that we focus our attention on the types. Hence we decide we’re a magnet. If I force myself to recall more interactions, it turns out that I’ve had many more with ordinary people than with the types. They just aren’t as memorable.

At the risk of sounding a little bit woo, I need to focus my attention more on things that bring me pleasure (writing, good health, organizing plans, etc.) and less on things that make me unhappy (flat tires, horrible pain, the “types,” etc.) It’s just common sense.

Next up: crystals and aromatherapy.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Magnet

4AM

I watch from my window
While your tail lights vanish in the rain.
The streets smearstain
Into a red and green fingerpainting,
Flickering with the traffic signals,
As fickle as your interest in me.
Blurred and tearstreaked,
The wet masterpiece
Stays illuminated
By a cold lemondrop moon.

I know I’ll never see you again.

All the frothy promises
And cottoncandy plans
Dissolve in the morning mist.
My lips still hum from your kiss,
But I feel your vague disappointment,
Your perpetual darkness
Guarded by barbedwire.

I wander outside to feed the ferals—
Two slinky shadows, silhouettes cut from coal;
Crunchy nuggets clink into the cats’ dish.
How I wish I could make a wish,
But there are no do-overs here.
I always fail with a complicated man;
I don’t respond well to the tortured genius soul
Who needs the perfect femme fatale,
A Marilyn to his Al.

I fail with the uncomplicated too.

You told me I was nothing like her,
The ex who depressed you—
I thought that was a good thing;
But now I imagine you search
For her likeness,
In hopes of recreating some sick
Woody Allen type lobster scene,
To find catharsis
And absolution.
And though I sneer and snark,
I want to play a part
In this execution.

I gaze up at that judgy stone face,
Unflinchingly—
In my disordered state:
Jammie pants, damp coat,
Tangled mass of bedhead.
“Is it something I said?”
Yes.
I ponder this relationship chess;
I might just be on the precipice
Of finally understanding
Something,
Anything,
A small piece of this
Jagged, glassy, bloody puzzle.

“Is it something I didn’t say?”
Also yes.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Precipice

Blowin’ In The Wind

Last evening after work I headed from my office in Irvine toward a poetry meetup in the city of Orange. I had my navigator on and was listening to oldies tunes in between the directions. Nav was telling me to get on the 55 in some convoluted way, but I’ve learned not to argue with her. Just follow along, like a sheep, baaaa.

As I was driving on Warner, I noticed there was something taped low on the passenger side of my windshield. An ad? Not sure. Usually ads are stuffed under the wiper on the driver’s side to make sure you see them, plus this looked too small to be an ad. I didn’t think it had been there in the morning when I drove to work ~ surely I would have spotted it then. But perhaps not, who knows.

I remembered that the homeless dude who keeps his stuff in one of the storage cabinets at my apartment complex left a note on my car a few weeks ago thanking me for letting him use my cabinet. First, I haven’t “let” anyone do anything; I simply didn’t shriek at him to go away like my neighbor did when she encountered him. I just shrugged when I saw him and got in my car. Second, it’s not my cabinet he’s using. Third, when he left a note, it was on a ripped piece of cardboard sitting on top of my trunk, not something taped to my window. This of course doesn’t preclude a leveling up of note-leaving by said homeless dude, so we can’t rule it out.

I didn’t go out at lunch yesterday, so the note (or whatever) couldn’t have been left from an advertiser in the shopping plaza nearby. If it was from someone like that, s/he would have been sneaking around a private garage during the workday, which is unlikely, but not impossible. Someone who has legit parking privileges could also moonlight as an Avon rep or whatever and be leaving ads on cars in the garage, I guess, though it’s probably against the rules.

Or… it could have been a nastygram from someone who found fault with my driving or parking, sort of a prelude to the guy who yelled at me later in the evening for parking on a street near the poetry place without a permit. I had to get back in my car and repark on a different street. What a pain in the ass that all was, but… pomes!

But my favorite idea is this… imagine that some man has had a crush on me (shaddap! it could happen!)… he sees me in the garage at work from time to time. Maybe he he’s even been in line with me at the cafe for a coffee or lunch. Perhaps he’s held the door for me and I’ve said thank you, but haven’t really noticed him. We may have taken the same elevator together, or possibly he works on a higher floor and uses the other elevator bank. Could be he doesn’t always get to work at the same time every day like I do, but he does know my car now. He decided that the next time he sees me he’s going to say something, but our schedules haven’t meshed for a while. So, he left me a note! It was something cute, witty, with a pic, contact info, whatever, idk. Nothing creepy.

All the above went through my mind in about two seconds and I decided I should pull over and retrieve the note. Because obviously it was from a secret admirer. Right?! Yes, yes. But I was in the left lane, and before I could move to the right and find a place to stop, the note detached and blew away.

The end.

secret-admirer

Blurry

blurry

This is one of my early cell phone camera photos, taken with my Moto. I loved that phone because it was so easy to deal with. It had internet access, but I couldn’t do “too much” internetting on it, or it would get overwhelmed and shut down. That was fine though. There was certainly enough time to stalk people and rabbit-hole down links from my laptop at home; I didn’t need to be doing that when I was out and about. But I can now with my Samsung Galaxy 5. Great.

The G5 also takes much better photos. Well, sort of. If I get everything right, then I end up with a perfect photo. But since I don’t understand 90% of the feechurs, and can’t be bothered trying to figure them out because there are people to stalk, links to follow into rabbit holes, books to read, pomes to write, socks to alphabetize, etc., I end up clicking away stupidly and getting pretty much the same variable quality photos as before on the Moto. Lots of blurry kitty faces half-turned away, basically.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m much happier with the Samsung now and wouldn’t go back. Once you have more technology you don’t want to settle for less. I have multiple ways to get in touch with my kids, for one thing. Actually, that’s the main thing.

But this pic is still a fave. I like the colors and the composition; it reminds me of the hectic pace here in SoCal. Most of us are not “laid-back” as people elsewhere think we are, lazing around on beaches, not working, chilled out. We are forever rushing somewhere, usually in our cars, and totes stressed. I used this pic as the cover photo for Gatsby’s Facebook page. Because of course I have a page for my cat. ^..^

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Blur

Crafty

crafty

 

I’m trying to remember the first handmade thing I created, in response to today’s “craft” prompt (which could be interpreted as boat or beer, but I’m not going in those directions). It was probably one of those ridiculous summer camp pencil holders made out of a frozen OJ can with glued-on popsicle sticks and covered with paint and glitter. Did anyone ever use these things, or just dump them right in the trash? This would have been when I was 6 or 7 years old, when we lived in Sleepy Hollow,  NY. We were there two years and both my parents worked full-time. One summer I went to camp with mean girls and the other I stayed with a grumpy old lady and her idiot grandsons. Both were horrible experiences. But I digress.

When we moved to Longuyland my new friends were into beads, so I made a ton of beady necklaces and bracelets. My mom saved some of them and possibly one of my daughters kept a few for sentimental value. This would have been when I was 8-9.

When we moved to New Jersey my mom made a giant house for my Barbies out of moving boxes and wallpapered it to match my room. We shopped for accessories to make rooms for the dolls, and she taught me how to knit and crochet so I could make teensy blankets and rugs for them. Later I turned it into a harem, but that’s beside the point. Well, there’s like one Ken for every 20 Barbies ~ Mattel must have foreseen this. Anyway, creating little dollhouse items was my crafty obsession around age 10.

In Jersey, my mom got very into DIY and sewing, so I tagged along and ended up learning some too. I embroidered a denim shirt for home ec and put together an outfit to model at the end of the semester (that I secretly took home at night for my mom to fix up on her sewing machine). I enjoyed that a lot and continued doing needlework after the class ended, buying kits and learning new stitches, making pillows and pictures. Mom and I made candles for a while too.

I stuck with the sewing type crafts for many years. When my girls were little I painted tee shirts. That was a lot of fun and the shirts came out great… I was thinking of starting a biz, until I overdid it and could no longer move my thumb without excruciating pain. Nixed my cake decorating career also. I switched to creating fancy photo scrapbooks, which became my obsession for the next several years. All along I still did the needlework, but as I aged I found I had less patience for it and nowadays have no interest in the detailed “art” type pictures, though I still would like to learn to knit and crochet (I’ve forgotten how). I know there are a million vids ~ maybe I’m not motivated enough yet.

One of the main problem with crafts is that they’re expensive. I priced out how much it would cost to knit a poncho (my ultimate goal)… and depending on the style it might be about 3x more than just buying one! I may do it anyway. And going down the bead path again (occasionally tempting)… yikes! I spent a ton of money back in my scrapbook days… and my tee shirt biz would no doubt have been a tax write-off. 🙂

Yesterday I wanted to go to an antique crafty show near my apt, but there was nowhere to park and I was trapped in the lot for few minutes, which was super stressful. ACK DRIVING ISSUES AGAIN. Anyway, I was happy to escape with my life and car intact. Will try again another time, another place.

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The Daily Prompt: Craft