Tag Archives: travel

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

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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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~*~

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

Portland Memorial 2015

I’ve been a blogslacker lately and I don’t have an excuse. Today’s prompt word search brought up this photo from my trip to Oregon, and, as it turns out, it’s only a few days late for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It was a very sobering experience to pay my respects at the memorial.

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Roots

10 Years After

Exactly 10 years ago today I flew to Maui with my husband and children. I still have the children, though they are adults now ~ two beautiful daughters, smart, kind, good people, successful college grads, and fully employed. I no longer have the husband.

Sometimes I think about an event and say to myself aha this is the moment my marriage really ended, even if it hobbled along for years after that. Hindsight is so awesome, right? There are times I believe my marriage collapsed in in 2001, 0r 2004, or on this trip to Maui in 2006. But who knows.

I’ve visited Maui twice (and the Big Island on another vacay) and loved it so much. What a gorgeous piece of paradise. But as my regular readers know, I don’t enjoy extensive traveling, and so I probably won’t go back again. It’s a long plane flight (for me) and it’s expensive. Takes a lot of planning. Etc. I don’t like to leave Gatsby either. It’s important to me to spend at least a little time with him every day. I feel something’s missing when I don’t.

As I age, a new feeling has begun to coalesce: I can like things, even love them, and not ever have to own them or experience them again. Forex, a house. Sometimes I think, oh gosh, I’ll never be able to afford another house and I “should be” sad about that because isn’t that the American dream, to own a house? But I ponder that more and realize, no, I actually don’t want the burden of home ownership again and I’m happy I’ve had it a few times, when I was younger and had more energy (and when my mother was around to help)… that’s enough. Living in an apartment is easier.

The couple times I did stand-up comedy were fun and I’m glad one of my friends highly encouraged me to try it initially. People seemed to be a bit puzzled that I wasn’t going to do a third routine, but all I wanted to do was prove (to myself) that (1) I had the confidence to go up there in front of a live audience and (2) I possessed a bit of talent to get a few laughs. I accomplished these objectives. I had no need to continue.

A serious destination vacation, such as a trip to a beautiful island, is also something that shall have a happy place in my memory box and not be an item on my “bucket list” (such as it is). What lurks on that mysterious list anyway? When I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

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Portlandia!

Diane and I went to Portland, Oregon for a few days ~ it was so much fun! I love this city. The vibe was so mellow and friendly. Everything was clean. Great place,  fab food, beautiful gardens… wanna go back someday. ❤

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Wordless Wednesday

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