Tag Archives: travel

Friday Crabfest [ranty rant NSFW]

I didn’t get a great night’s sleep and am feeling blah despite being on vacay, but I have found some energy to complain, yay!

First, I hate shopping for clothes in stores. Now that I’ve been spoiled by the vast selection of clothing online and the ease of clicking quickly to search for exactly what I want, regular meatspace stores drive me nutz. They have nothing but black! Is everyone going to funerals 24/7? Fucksake!

Also, I tried to find a casual beige or blue jacket or sweatshirt last night for my trip, but nopey nope. No jackets allowed. It’s summer, so stores will sell me sleeveless things only. I’m feeling too lethargic to try again this morning, plus who wants to spend an official vacay day at the maul? Yuck! Guess I’ll wear my lumpy old grey sweatshirt, boo.

Onto books. I have a lot of new books on my Kindle, which is great and all. I try to be openminded toward new ways of writing even though I’m old (and crabby) (don’t forget crabby), and I have grudgingly come to accept the multiple POV novel told in first person, even though for decades I found this utterly appalling. But there was always the first person rule about not saying stuff like “and then I died,” and it damn well applies to multi views too. Jesus GAWD how do these people get published and not me, waaah!

Okay, I would like to know what people did before there were leaf blowers. Seriously. Did leaves pile up on walkways and create big leafmonsters that swallowed up little children? Did they swirl into leafnados on our streets creating traffic hazards? I need to know what in the FUCK makes it so important for these nasty noisy machines to pollute the air every morning.

I was reading Foxnooz as I do because they have the best snake 🐍 and alligator stories, and I saw some bitching about how Keith Ellison got a pass from the liberal media on his alleged girlfriend abuse. So, I looked that up, and no he didn’t. But since she refuses to let anyone see the vid, what more is there to say? I am no fan of Ellison, btw, but this is just one more example of how the rightwing media blatantly lies to their consumers.

Finally, Del Taco fries 🍟 are not as good as they used to be, which is sad, but actually not because now after a couple experiences of meh DT fries, I’m no longer going to stop and get them for an occasional treat on the way home from work. Dunno what has changed, but the yummy factor is gone. Could be me, idk. Don’t think so because I still love Jack in the Box curly fries just the same. (I think it’s DT.) Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, there’s no JITB on my way home.

That’s all. We now return you to your regular stream of poasts about puppies 🐶 and rainbows 🌈.

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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. 😍

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transportation

This is me on a horse in Ohio around age 12. Dig my sexy socks! The boy is my cousin.

Thanks for the fun photo challenge!

Mom’s Flowered Suitcase [flash]

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I stood alone at the empty carousel. It had finished spinning out the bags from my flight and mine wasn’t among them. I glanced at the people around me–they were busily texting and briskly wheeling their suitcases outdoors toward ground transportation.

“What did it look like?” The friendly customer service rep was trying to help me find my lost bag as I waited in her office.

I was a little embarrassed. “It was small. And green. With um bright flowers all over it.”

She smiled. “Oh! We have it here. I’m sorry but it seems to have come apart a bit, so we kept it safe.”

“That’s the one.” There was no mistaking the unique floral case the rep brought out from the back. It had been shabby to start with, but now the handle was dangling off and one side was shredded. “It was my mother’s. I guess I’ve had a hard time letting it go.”

“I understand. I could tape it up as a temporary solution.”

As I watched, I thought of the broken vase and the lost earring and the other disappearing mementos. They would all be gone eventually, except for the ones in my heart.

~*~

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner #28 -2018 

199 Words

Misty Memories

Butterfly

It’s fitting on this last day of the Daily Prompt, which is retrospective, that I take a look back through the mists of time to the beginning of my blogging experience.

I started on a whim in September 2003 with Ultrablog, since my fellow writers from Usenet seemed to be jumping in. The name came about because my Usenet handle was Ultraviolet and I tried to stick with a purple motif, though the details changed. I had butterflies and various templates on blogger, and then I bought my domain ~ and I even purchased an artsy template once when I had loads of hits per day. I never monetized any of my blogs however. Too much work.

My Ultrablog topics ran the gamut. Opining on funny pieces of news, poasting about aminals, sharing family events & pics, mocking things I found online, offering up Sunday word games for fans, etc. I jabbered fairly frequently about writing and my writing progress, or the lack thereof. I was fairly open in calling out people who could have recognized themselves in my takedowns, but mostly I sailed through okay.

But I got into a flamewar over pitb*lls, which became insane, and I wanted to delete those poasts and some comment threads. I ended up ruining my comment numbering system and couldn’t get it right again. This drove me bananas. I decided it was time to archive Ultrablog and start a new, lighter blog with no flaming.

Thus was born Cats, Cupcakes & Shooze, the most boring blog in Blogville. It didn’t last long, maybe a year, and I didn’t even bother archiving it. Around the same time, my mom was dying, so I began a private blog to record my thoughts and feelings about the situation, and to get support from close friends. I still have that blog archived.

For around a year or so, I was blogless. IKR? But I was in a relationship I couldn’t talk about, going thru a divorce, still upset about my mom, etc., and it seemed pointless to start another blog when I’d have to self-censor about so many topics. I was very careful on all the other social media too. But ultimately I missed blogging too much and revved up this WordPress account and my domain name.

At first, I poasted only poetry, song lyrics, book reviews, cupcakes pics, etc. But then in the summer of 2011 my divorce became final, and a few months later my unspeakable romantic relationship crashed. After that, I felt freer to poast as I pleased, with very few limits. That said, I frequently delete poasts I don’t like having around, but that’s my own choice. Only once I deleted a few poasts upon request.

People gravitate to personal stories ~ I know I do. That’s how we connect with strangers on the internet, by glimpses into each other’s lives, shared interests, mutual points of caring. I don’t want to read some blogger’s opinion on the news headlines. Boring! I said this all the time on Facebook ~ why are you peeps regurgitating CNN at me? I know how to read the news. I’d rather hear about a fun new restaurant you found or something cute your dog did, or even that you stubbed your toe, so I can offer sympathy.

I always tell myself to poast more about writing and read serious writers, but I enjoy so many things that I keep adding “non-writer” bloggers to my feed anyway. I add bloggers who mostly poast photos of flowers. I love flowers! And kitties! And sunsets. And doggies scampering on beaches. And travel stories even though I don’t travel. And philosophy. And movie reviews. And comedy! There are so many wonderful things to love in this world. But if you poast dark sad twisted poetry, I’ll probably love that too.

Fifteen years of blogging, more or less. Wow.

I think we’re up to date.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Retrospective

If You Don’t Got It, Flaunt It

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I’m going to indulge in a bit of neenerism for a moment and flaunt my “single and not looking” status. Why? Because lately I see so much drama both online and off regarding relationships and dating that it makes me extra double super duper glad with sprinkles on top that I’ve been staying uninvolved. Not to mention that the older you get, the more difficult it is to mesh with anyone in a romantic context.

When you’re young and you meet someone 180 from you, you’re all like, ooh cool, he’s different and interesting, yeah I want to learn about his culture, eat new foods, travel to new lands, adapt to a new philosophy, yada. But when you’re old and you meet someone who goes to sleep a half hour later than you do, you’re like, whoa whoa whoa, this will never work, bye now.

I mixed up flout and flaunt many decades ago, and someone gave me a helpful reminder: She flouted the rules and flaunted her boobs.

I haven’t forgotten since.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Flaunt

You Are The Product

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How many times have we read that lately? I actually read it a long time ago and it made a lot of sense. Who the hell gives away anything for free? We always knew our eyeballs were being sold to advertisers, or we should have known. And of course it isn’t only Facebook ~ insurance companies, credit bureaus, Google, etc. all have your data. Sometimes you’re the product even when you pay for the privilege, like on Match dot com. Isn’t that a kick?

Several years ago I was searching for a fun Google map I had created of all the places I’d lived and traveled to, maybe a couple years prior to that. I was just poking around, as you do, wondering if it was gone forever, when I blundered into my total location history since the beginning of time. Whoa, what? I thought I’d deleted all that! I had a big sad as I emotionally revisited the restaurants and hotels I’d gone to with the man who broke my heart… and then I deleted my location history permanently up to that point. Well, I think it was permanent. Who knows? No biggie, except I don’t want to see all that ever again. I know the gobblement and Google and Russia and some creatures on another planet have it. Whatevs.

Oh, I found the fun map. Whoopee.

Some peeps on the Book of Face used an ad blocker, which I’m sure was very clever. I never bothered with that. But it turns out FB was still able to gather gobs of data from your phone logs and your friends’ profiles too. You could be locked up tight, but they could still sell you to people based on stuff your friends had public. Plus anything you “liked” was up for grabs to create a shadow profile of you to package and sell. One of my friends said she liked incorrect things to throw THEM off the scent. Maybe that helps. I have to say that my ads were pretty inaccurate as is. I didn’t hide my true self, and yet I was shown very few tempting ads all those years ~ where were the adorable kitty tee shirts, the romance novel 4-packs, the c00kie cutters, the stitchery stuffs? I saw loads of ads for real estate and spa trips, things I could never afford. I’m assuming they, whoever THEY are, figured anyone in Orange County must be wealthy. Wrong!

I’m not going to bother linking to the scary articles that tell us how much FB and Google know about us because we’ve all read them in the past week. Plus you can easily find them yourself if you haven’t. For me, though, FB was the least necessary of the bunch and the easiest to jettison (along with Messenger and Instagram). And yes, I’m going to keep talking about it as much as I want to, pffft. I do miss some of the interaction with FB peeps, but I accept that’s the price I pay for reclaiming a huge chunk of my free time.

*

I watched an interesting movie on Prime yesterday called Paperback, kind of a writers’ movie and also a movie for the romance-cynical. No spoilers just a rec!

Chihuly on Catalina

Here are a few of the extraordinarily beautiful Chihuly pieces we saw yesterday at the Catalina Island Museum, where they are hosting an exhibit for a few more weeks. There was also an interesting short film on the history of Catalina and a brief bio of artist Dale Chihuly too.

(Made a collage in Google photos ~ fun!)

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High Tea

I’ve always loved tea, and one of my most treasured memories is when my eldest took me to high tea in Pleasanton at The English Rose in 2015. Everything was so beautiful and perfect. We had the most lovely time together. Here are a few photos from that day.

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Tea3

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Tea

Seattle 2012

I survived my fear of heights to visit the Space Needle with my daughter in 2012. That was pretty awesome.

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But the best part of the day was our visit to Chihuly’s glass garden nearby. I had never seen his work in person before. Incredible.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Survive