RVHer Fulltiming With a Dog and a Dude

Does He Drink Because He’s Crazy Or

is he crazy because he drinks?~ Me

(This is not about my travels. Obviously.)

I have/had a facebook friend/acquaintance/what have you (Let’s all him Lender.) who for whatever reason(s) has dropped me from his friends twice now. And apparently he has done this to many, many people a number of times. (He was a fellow Pajiban but he has been disowned by the group for reasons that will become apparent.)

He friends you and then the next thing you know, you and he are no longer friends. The first time it happened I wrote to him, wondering if perhaps I had done something to offend him. He said no and some other shit and we became friends again. Then he decided to leave facebook altogether and go to google+ and he friended me there. Then he created a new profile on facebook and friended me there, along with some other previous friends from facebook and google. We started up a nice online friendship but it started to get too close so I explained that I can’t be anything other than friends. I guess that didn’t go over so well because not too long after that I was defriended/unfriended/what have you yet again.

OK, fine. Be like that. Your loss. But I started to hear things and it appears that Lender is losing his mind, I guess. He gets drunk, says wildly inappropriate things (“I would hit that like the fist of God,” in reference to a friend’s picture of her hula-hooping), gets defensive about them (“You…are a pretentious douchenozzle…), and unfriends people. I don’t know if he feels badly the next day and tries to mend bridges but you can only burn them so many times. After that there is no integrity left in anything.

Lender’s brother killed himself almost a year ago so I fear that my friend’s downward spiral is because of that and along with the rumors of his alcoholism, well, I don’t think any of us would be surprised to hear of Lender’s suicide in the next few months.

Please don’t think that we don’t care. When Lender was having to leave facebook because of financial troubles (being evicted and no money for rent much less internet), many Pajibans came to his aid and he was not evicted. But for whatever disturbances in his mind, he dropped and blocked those people. And others and others.

I believe he is mentally ill and needs help but according to the stories of others, he refuses to get it. No AA, no NA, no free counseling, etc. And the worst part? He has a teenage daughter who has been caught up in his online craziness so I fear for her home life. If he won’t do it for himself, shouldn’t he for her? Or do you just get so caught in your own snares and traps that you can’t see what’s going on much less free yourself from them?

He figuratively bit the hands that literally fed him. And how much abuse can friends take before they just say, “Fuck you back, Lender,” in response to his “Fuck you” when you call him on his shit?

I am afraid for him but I’m not going to try and find out what’s going on anymore. He’s a big boy. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a big bottle of booze. And big gun. And that he will leave a big mess.

The Whole Object of Travel Is Not to Set Foot on Foreign Land;

it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Hello again lovers! How have you been? All is well in the traveling asylum, save for the occasional outbursts of profanity from the Dude. (The PC to Mac switchover has not been an easy trip, so along with that and learning WordPress, and Platform Pro, and Office for Mac 2011, and Dreamweaver, and running a business fulltime, and touring NYC, and let’s face, living with the delight that I am all of the time, and living with a cat and a dog, well, other than the lots of screaming and possibly quiet, private weeping, he’s doing OK, although I fear for the Dude’s blood pressure. To sum up how he feels occasionally is this little wisdom nugget from the Dude: “The next time a person tells me I am ‘living the dream’ I’m gonna kick ‘em in the nuts.”)

It is almost Halloween and I have my decorations up and am just missing a pumpkin or two. I shall find a few and carve their little heads right up.

After a not-quite disastrous but in no way fulfilling Canadian trip, we landed in Maine for about three months. (Canada last year was a delight. Canada this year can suck it. I don’t know. The central part with Calgary and up to Banff and standing on a glacier? Wonderful in spite of the Canadian prices. And Vancouver? LOVE. But Toronto and Montreal? Not so much. I mean, it was OK. I got to see Glee! Live (shut up, they’re cute) and Montreal was cool being all French and shit but the whole trip was just lacking something.)

Anyway, we spent a couple of nights on the coast in Belfast, ME, and I had real Maine lobster and once again I can state that I…don’t like lobster very much. I don’t understand the “huzzah, Maine lobster!” hoopla surrounding it. I can’t justify the expense. It’s bland. It’s very chewy/toothsome and not in a good way. We had the whole Maine seafood experience with steamers (clams), lobster stew (incredibly bland and tastes mostly like hot milk, which *hork*, I HATE milk), and boiled lobster. I did have a lobster roll and that was pretty good but still it’s just lobster, mayo, and some celery and still pretty boring.

After Belfast we headed to Bangor to the Pumpkin Patch RV Resort. Lovely place, nice people but I have to deduct points due to them scheduling a “singer” who was actually a preacher and a homophobic one at that. If you know me at all you know that I don’t DO religion of any sort and I certainly don’t put up with homophobia and bigotry. I did not appreciate being told he was a country singer and leaving out the preacher part. I don’t know if I should link to this guy or not but here goes; Jerry Bennett. So, I was going along with his gospel music, sort of (still not knowing he was a preacher) and sort of going along with his uninspired renditions of old C/W favorites like Charley Pride’s Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ and the random Tony Orlando and Dawn ditty Tie a Yellow Ribbon, dutifully clapping basically just to make the park people feel better, like coddling really. And then he said he was going to do some of his own songs, and first up, a new one that everyone seems to love and requests as an encore. OK, first off, I find it hard to believe that anyone would choose to see this guy because that bad, bad dye job (Just For Men, Child Molester Blue-Black #10) coupled with a rather thin voice and general skeeviness would assure that I would never come back for seconds if I stayed through a whole show but when you sing a song that you wrote that is about how unnatural homosexuality is and you just need to, “…come out to the barn…” to understand, well, I’m done. I got up in the middle and walked out, hoping that the park people saw me. (I was horrified by the song for a number of reasons and then started laughing because “…come out to the barn…” and basically watch the animals have sex is one of the perviest things I have ever heard.) Keep your kids away from this one. Keep yourself away. He will bad touch your brain.

As a way to cleanse my brain from the perv, I decided to stalk visit Stephen King’s house. He lives part of the year in Bangor, and seeing how I am a fan from way back I steeled my will and went to his house to get pictures of his gate, alternately terrified and hopeful that he would come out and say hi.  Sadly, he did not come out to visit with me, as he did a friend of mine. I choose to believe he wasn’t home that day.

We stayed in Pumpkin Patch almost to the end of September and then went to Bar Harbor for a few days. Fun, but a bit like Key West in that it is very small, very touristy, very expensive, and very right on the water. There was an Irish pub though…

The gallery below is a mix of Stephen King’s house, one beer from Bar Harbor, and Bread and Puppet, which was in Vermont. The pics are clickable (the gallery is cutting the tops and bottoms off the pics for some reason) and have some info if you mouse hover. Oh, there are no pics of it but we went to Ben and Jerry’s. That was actually pretty interesting. And I’m very disappointed in most grocery stores for being big pussies and not carrying Schweddy Balls.

One of the funniest SNL skits ever.

So, after Bangor we went to Portland where I had a chance to meet the overlord of Pajiba, the fabulous Dustin Rowles. If you are not already a reader of Pajiba…get out! Nah, but really, you must go now. Go over to Pajiba, I mean. When you’re done here. If you want.

Portland was nice but the parks there close after Columbus Day so we had to hit the road. We are now in New York City, well, Jersey City (and at the Liberty Harbor Marina and RV park, and it is great) but whatever, and we have met up with Thoth and Lila Angelique aka Tribal Baroque, and if you don’t know them you really must. Thoth is the subject of the 2002 Academy Award winning documentary (short subject), Thoth, and Lila is his protege and together they make some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. And they are spectacular to watch in person. We were lucky enough to meet them in New Orleans earlier this year and have stayed in touch. Awesome sauce.

So far I have seen Avenue Q, Wicked (yet again), and tonight I am going to Seminar starring Alan Rickman. “Hans fuckin’ Gruber” and “Severus fuckin’ Snape” himself. Oh, and I have a front row seat. Because I am awesome. Jerry O’Connell is in it too but “Vern” from Stand By Me, or “Cushman” from Jerry Maguire? Whee.

Oh, and that whole C25K thing? I hurt my tendons in my knees so badly that I couldn’t walk for a week. No joke. Fuck running. BTW, if you decide to start running, do not, DO NOT run in those Skecher shape-up, elliptical shoes. They will jack you up.

Have I told y’all about naked Thanksgiving from last year? The talent show? I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Just remember this: A 65-year-old man, wearing an Annie costume, full red wig and all, and nothing else. *hork*

 

 

Perserverance Quote Goes Here

I looked for one or two but ugh, the WORST quotes ever. So sickly and trite and gross. I was going to go with a “hate” quote but decided to be a glass-half-full kind of person and be all positive and shit so I tried for an “atta girl,” “you go, girl” kind of thing but like said, “…the WORST quotes…”

So yesterday was my third day of C25K, which I keep writing as C@%K, and I’m going to keep that because that’s how I feel about it. Oops, that wasn’t so positive, was it? Whatever. I did the third day and had to walk through half of it because I don’t know who their test couch subject was but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t someone like me. I think they found an in-shape walker who was interested in running a 5K, sat him down on a couch for a few minutes, stood him up, and said, “Here. Do this.” It certainly was NOT someone starting from ground zero, couch firmly attached to ass for a couple of years. So yesterday I was 3/4 walk, 1/4 run but still, I went out and did it. Here’s the deal: I would rather get up and dance for an hour everyday than run this program for 30 minutes 3 times a week but there’s not enough room in the RV, not to mention the shaking that would be going on when the Dude is working, and no way, no goddamned way I am shaking what my momma gave me outside for the general public’s amusement. Fuck. That. So C@%K it is. For now, anyway.

I am on day five of Weight Watchers and they are incredibly difficult to figure out. You have to read labels but I don’t eat that many packaged foods. I cook and make up my own recipes so what the hell? I have to figure out the points value of each thing that goes in and then by the time I do that, shit, who’s got time to cook? I reckon I’ll just use WW recipes and let them do all the work. I’ll just look up all the vegetarian/vegan ones and say, “Good day.” (Speaking of good day, it is so much prettier when the Quebecois say “Bon jour.” But then everything they say sounds good because it’s in French. Like “putain,” pronounced “pu-teh, and means, “whore.” Not to be confused with poutine, which is hallelujah, Jesus! food, and is possibly made of angels, and fairy dust, and unicorn fur. It is actually french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. And it’s spectacular. And I can have it, if I use all my points. For the next four days.)

Part of this WW thing is making healthy choices. Big fucking deal, right? But it is because I would far rather have a couple of Thin Mints over a non-fat yogurt blueberry smoothie, especially when you think you can drink it with a straw even though you didn’t add milk or ice and it is nothing more than 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 cup blueberries thrown in a blender and then when you get that straw and get to drinking you end up sucking out all of the liquid and you notice that it got all thick all of sudden and then you look in the glass and you have this weird curdled blueberry jelly looking substance, basically blueberry cheese. AAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHH! ::urp:: Yeah, I threw it out, wasting my expensive blueberries. Yes, I know the smoothie was the better choice than the Thin Mints. I don’t have any of those anyway. So there. (BTW, what is so hard about writing “smoothie?” The last 10 times I’ve seen that word it was written “smootie.” What the fuck is a smootie?)

Now look, people can tell you all the day long that quinoa-stuffed bell peppers with black beans and low-fat cheese taste just as good as a piece of pizza made with real cheese and pepperoni but they are lying sunsabitches. They do not taste equally as good. They taste different and the quinoa one is the better choice, and it does taste good but know that you have to make the change and the choice. I will allow myself a piece of pizza sometime but doing what I’ve been doing up until last week just makes me bigger. It is a necessary evil to make the choices and the changes. And I’m not trying to sound like a Biggest Loser coach. “Oh, I love exercising! I feel so bad if I don’t run 10 miles a day. And if I eat something with fat and sugar I just feel soooo terrible and have to flog myself after purging and taking laxatives to get that evil out of me as fast as possible.” Oh, bullshit. The lady that plays Pam on True Blood, Kristin Bauer, said this: “The other day I realized as long as I’m in this business, I’m going to be hungry.” Here’s the rest of her interview.

Of course I am not an actress but that’s just the way getting and staying thin is going to be. No more eating something because I want to and because it looks good and probably tastes amazing. See, if stuff didn’t taste great, I wouldn’t eat. I’d be happy with just taking a pill and cooking for others. I know that seems obvious about stuff tasting good but a lot of people only eat because they have to, they don’t take any enjoyment from it. I don’t know what horribly un-fun, alien-ass planet these people are from but I’m told they do exist. (I think they are a species similar to the ones who can eat the same food everyday for months. I do believe they are not human. I have years of anecdotal proof in my brother. That guy cooked and ate french fries with ketchup mixed with Frank’s Red Hot sauce at every meal, every day for about six months. No shit. This is also the same guy who when he was nine had to to have “something” cut out of his leg. The doctors were never able to explain what it was or how it got there. Alien implant? Just saying.)

I have eaten something because I was hungry and didn’t like it and wished I hadn’t eaten in the first place. I would’ve rather been hungry that eat whatever it was. So I sit here, hungry because I wasted my points on the blueberry-yogurt cheese fiasco and if I want something else I have to get out there and walk/run again, and I don’t want to.

“If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush.” -Dawn French

“The cardiologist’s diet:  If it tastes good, spit it out.”  -Author Unknown

Enough about that diet nonsense. It’s time for some funny shit. STFU, Parents is absolutely some of the funniest stuff I have ever read. It is filled with such hilarities as “Mommyjacking,” wherein a facebook update is turned around to be all about mommy. And Sanctimommy. Oh, oh, and Mama Drama! How I didn’t know about this until just now is beyond me because I love sites like this that just say what everyone wants to say. And oh holy shit but do I know women and men just exactly like this and you do too, which is why STFU, Parents is so popular, I reckon. You know roll your eyes with every post that talks about what their precious and special snowflake did, as if no child EVER, EVER in the history of EVER did that exact same thing. The tag line is, “You used to be fun. Now you have a baby.” AHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA! Go give B some love, won’t you? She was gracious enough to allow me to mention her here.

To that end I don’t think I will post anything about C@%K or WW on fb anymore, lest someone come up with a STFU, Dieters, and every post is one of mine! But this is my blog and this is what I’m on about today, and maybe for a while so visit at your own risk.

Bonus video: P!nk- U + Ur Hand. Because she looks fucking awesome in this, and it’s a great song.

Leaving out of Montreal on Thursday to cooler climes aka the coast. This heat is bullshit. If I wanted heat I would’ve stayed in the South. Thanks for the smoked meats, poutine, and French lessons. Au revoir!

 

“Exercise Is Done Against One’s Wishes and

maintained only because the alternative is worse.” – George Sheehan, American physician, author, and running enthuiast.

Well, how delightful for Mr. Sheehan and his credentials. Guess which one of the three I’ll NEVER, EVER be. If you guessed physician, you’d be wrong. There is an outside chance albeit slim that could get accepted to medical school. I can assure you I’ll never be a running “enthusiast.” And you better damn well believe I air-quoted that word. With a sneer. And derision.

You must’ve figured out that I just did day two of Couch25K. The whole raison d’etre of the program is to get yo shit off the sofa and in a few weeks be running a 5K. Not going to happen. I mean, there is not a chance in hell that I will sign up for an actual race sort of thing. Don’t care. Not competitive in that way at all. The only way I could get motivated to do that is if YOU paid ME. For sure, if they handed me some ducats at the end I’d consider it but it would have to be some pretty sweet payout.

Me? I’m just proud of myself for even slapping those shoes back on and doing it again because boy howdy, am I sore. I woke up sore, and am even more sore now. And I was pretty sure I was going to pass out once I got back in the house because my face was so red. I just keep thinking: corset, dress, cute clothes, corset, dress, cute clothes, ad infinitum.

This time the Dude went with me, and when I told him we were at the half-way mark he had the same reaction I had yesterday: “WHAT?! Half-way?!” Uh huh. Not so easy is it?

Oh boy, and you know what I had for lunch? Arugula with six green olives, three black olives, and a spritz of lemon juice. (It is actually really tasty and only about two Weight Watchers’ points but that was all I could manage to lift. Apparently this whole jogging thing makes EVERY-FUCKING-THING HURT!)

I am supposed to do this C25K thing three times this week so I reckon I’ll take tomorrow off. Just walk no jog.

I’ll end with a quote I much prefer: “I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.” – Joan Rivers


 

“College Is the Best Time Of Your Life.

When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?”  ~David Wood

Yeah, that has nothing to do with the kind of homecoming quote I was looking for but it made me laugh so I’m keeping it.

OK, so new template, new blog entry, new me (soon, I hope), but still returning to my blog.

Anyway, I decided to start Weight Watchers (WW) online and Couch25K (C25K) (That is couch to five K, btw.) today because I needed a change in my life and in for a penny, in for a pound, a journey of a thousand steps starts with one…, whatever, all those sickly platitudes. I know that the last entry said I shouldn’t care but I’m tired of the judgment.

Now, let me just say right up front that I don’t run. I’ll repeat that: I. Do. Not. Run. Maybe if I were being chased by a bear or a guy with a sword, or a cop dressed as a clown, then I might get the urge to move, but even then I might just say, “Fuck it. Gotta die of something.” Also, I have some jacked-up knees, bursitis in my right hip, and my balance is so bad that I can just fall over for no good reason, or if there is lint on the rug. But, since a number of friends have had success with C25K and didn’t die from it I thought I’d give it a shot. Let me also tell you that I have no intentions of running any goddamn 5K. I am only doing this to make my ass look good and to wear cute clothes again. Any other benefit is purely secondary. Longer life? Sweet. Better health? Bonus. Back into the skinny jeans? Fuck yeah! THAT’S what I’m talking about.

As far as the WW goes, well, another friend started on it a few months ago and is now almost 30 lb lighter, and if I’d started when he did then I would be almost 30 lb lighter now but I didn’t so now I’m not but you gotta start somewhere. Right? Again. Better health? Whatever. Tight skirts? Why, thank ya, don’t mind if I do.

I put on a pair of gray leggings and a gray t-shirt, two bras because I don’t own a sports bra, because, come on, why would I, and my tennis shoes. I was pretty self-conscious about the leggings/no shorts thing but decided that I would not give a shit because I’ll be gone in a few days and not see these people again anyway.

I had P!nk as my soundtrack because I love her, love her style, love her attitude and she has a smokin’ hot bod so she can be thinspiration (not the scary pro-ana thinspiration, for the record) for me. Also, as it turns out, she really likes a 4/4 beat and I can walk at a nice pace to her stuff, and then cut-time it on the running parts.

Here’s how it works: You hit Go, there’s a little “ding” then a little voice says, “Warm up,” you start walking. Awesome. Let’s start this bitch. I started walking to Who Knew, which was a nice warm-up piece, walked over to a parking lot, and then the little voice, a guy, said, “Run.” And I did. At least as best as I could given that my happy fat ass doesn’t like to run. At all. Ever.

I had to run for 60 seconds, and the first time was not a problem, because 60 seconds? Big deal. Then the guy said, “Walk,” so I walked for 90 seconds. Beautiful. The goal is to do 5 minutes of warm up, 20 minutes of jog and then walk, and then another 5 minute cool down.

All was well and good until the third “Run” command, and then my nose started running, and I’m starting to breathe hard, and my legs are already tired, and then ahhh, “Walk.” Then “Run.” Then repeat but treble the runny nose, the breathing hard, and the painful legs. Then I heard this little jingly sound, and I thought, “Hell, yeah, I’m done! Hallelujah!” But oh no, that sadistic little bastard said all nonchalant-like and shit, “Half way.” HALF-WAY?! Oh fuck me! And fuck you too, little C25K voice guy! “Walk.” Fine! I’m walking. (I hate you. I hate you.)

By the end of the 31 minutes, I was hot and sticky (thank god it was only 77 today or I’d be dead), and my legs were jelly. I wanted to hunt down voice guy and rip his nuts out through his throat. Supposedly I do this three times this week and then move on to week two but I think that might be overestimating my ability by a lot. I will move on when I’m darn good and ready, mister C25K man! (I plan to update this blog every time I run, which should be three, four times a week. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we?)

Back in the house and time to start charting everything I eat, and I know that will get old pretty quickly but has to be done.

See, I bought this beautiful corset (in red) to use as part of a costume but I can’t wear it right now and I’d like to be close to being able to wear it for Halloween, and if not that then New Year’s and if not that, Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is about seven months away and it will get here whether I start a new-me program or not. Also, I own a gorgeous, gorgeous Ralph Lauren Purple Label orange linen dress that I have never worn. And I spent way too much money on it to not wear it. I will wear that sombitch next summer, if not sooner. It is shear and bias cut and deadly.

Ok, enough about exercise and shit. Last month I was in Toronto at Indian Line Campground, which is a nice enough place. Kind of rustic, quite a few tent campers in our area but pretty good. I got to see Billy Elliot, which I loved, and not just because it’s a musical. “Carousel” is a musical and I hate it. “Cats.” Cats! Hated it. Oh my god, how I hated it. One good number, “Memory,” (Memory starts around the 3:49 mark. Feel free to skip to it. I’m showing the Tony broadcast because that was the first time I saw Betty Buckley sing, and she blew my 15-year-old brain to bits. The power out of that little bitty body. Dang. She’s Texan, y’all. Whoo!) and the rest is shite. BTW, that one number? Is about the cat dying. I did not know that until I saw it. Fuck that. I can’t listen it to anymore because it makes me sad.

Anyway, I also saw Glee! Live!, which was a lot of fun and I was only 12 rows from the stage. And I saw Zoe Keating again. You remember her. I told you about her last year, which I believe was only two or three posts ago because I suck.

I had my first root canal in Toronto, and all I can say about that is thank god for anesthesia, the good kind, the kind in a vein. I can handle anything you got as far as stuff to my face and teeth but long ago I heard that a root canal was the worst thing ever and it has become thisclose to a phobia for me. So I got some good shit, was completely aware of what was happening to me, and did not give one bit of one tenth of a shit about it. I highly recommend dental anesthesia. I should also say, “Floss your teeth, kids. Every day. Not once in a while. Not once a week. Every day, at least once.”

We made friends with the guy next door, Paul, and he introduced us to some female travelers who were delightful and I was sad to see them go. We met Carly and Sam(antha) from Australia, and Julia from Germany. Ladies? You are welcome to visit, anywhere, any time.

But here is the cool story about how small a world it really is: (backstory) Once upon a time my mom worked at a place called E-Systems in Garland, TX. E-Systems was (is?) a defense contractor and my mom worked as a technical writer then proposals specialist for them for, oh, 20+ years, and when she was made redundant ended up at a place in Rockwall, TX (where she lives, and has lived since 1989ish) called L-3 Comcepts. She has been with them about five years now.

One day at Indian Line the Dude came over and asked if I’d seen the fifth-wheels with the Texas plates. “No,” I replied but I was of course interested because 1) It’s always nice to see American plates when you are in Canada, 2) It’s always nice to see Texas plates when you are anywhere outside of Texas, provided, of course, that you ARE a Texan or hold Texas dear for whatever reason, and 3) It’s always especially nice to see when 1 and 2 go together somehow.

It being laundry day and all, and laundry being pretty much my chore, which I don’t mind because it gets me out of the RV for a while, and some public solitude is always a nice thing, a respite, if you will, I went down to the campground laundromat, saw a car parked out in front with TEXAS plates, walked in and asked the only person there, “Are you ‘Texas?’” And she said, “Yes,” and to use a Texism, we got to talkin’.

We do a little jawin’ about RVing through Canada, and how we like the park, and I say that I’m from Texas. And she asks where and I give the whole spiel, which goes a little like this, “Well, I was born in Baytown, outside of Houston, and lived there when I was little, and while most of my family is there I grew up in the Dallas area where my momma is. She is in Rockwall, which is just east of Dallas.” And she said, “I live in Rockwall.”

Well, hell. I almost said, “Get the fuck out!” but I didn’t because my momma raised me right and I’m not about to cuss in front of a woman who could be my momma. I thought it but I said, “Nuh uh! Where?” Turns out she lives in the neighborhood we started out in.

I tell her all of this, and we marvel at the coincidence, and exchange names. She is Susan and we continue with the conversation, like you do, about how we love Texas, and how big Rockwall has gotten, and how glad we were that the city council wised up and let beer and wine sales in and thank god for the Kroger, and how nice it is now that they have remodeled, and how great it is to not have to drive 30 damn minutes into Dallas to Dolphin Road, or all the way out to McClindon-Chisholm just to buy some damn beer for the party, and even though they opened Mobil City (Sigel’s! Represent!), it was still a bitch because, damn! It was always so crowded.

That convo peters out and then she asked what my mom does. Is she still working? Have any hobbies, etc? I tell her that yes ma’am, my mom is still working and has a terrific job with a place right down the street from the house, called L-3 Comcept. Susan says, “I know L-3. The company I work for gets volunteers from there, and every year L-3 sponsors one of our families.” (The families that have a hard time with making ends meet, which are more and more everyday, thank you so very fucking much Shrub and your hell-bound cronies. But I digress.)

Whoa. Another coincidence. Now it’s time to tell her mom’s name because they obviously have some folks in common. Susan doesn’t recognize my mom’s name and she tells me her last name and her husband’s name, Larry and Susan Lazinski. The only “Lazinskis” in Rockwall. We talk about defense contracting for a minute and then she says that Larry worked outside of Rockwall in Greenville for a few years at, and I say it with her, “E-Systems.” “Yes,” she said, and before that in Garland. At this point I just put my head down on the washer. “My mom worked there for over 20 years.”

We were both just flabbergasted that not only were we Texans in Toronto, but Texans from Rockwall in Toronto, but Texans from Rockwall in Toronto whose family members worked at the same places. We made a plan to meet the next day for cocktails, and I went back to the RV, called my mom and asked her if she knew Larry Lazinski. “Yes, I know Larry. We worked together quite a bit at E-Systems. Oh, and I just thought of him yesterday because I got the Habitat for Humanity flyer.” Turns out Larry is quite involved with HfH, and my mom worked on a build.

This is a tiny, tiny planet, y’all. And, I have a standing invitation to dinner with Susan the next time I’m home.

If you still check in on this blog, thanks. I will keep you posted. By the way, my knees and hip are yelling at me. Thank you so very much Exercise! Pffffffttttt to you, and a big middle finger salute!

Talk to you tomorrow or the next day.

The Invisible Woman (Who Takes Up Too Much Room)

This entry is all over the place. I’ve tried for a few hours to make it gel but it just doesn’t want to. Bear with me.

“Everybody is unique. Compare not yourself with anybody else lest you spoil God’s curriculum.” — Baal Shem Tov

“In the scenery of spring there is nothing superior, nothing inferior, flowering branches are by nature some short, some long. – Zen Proverb

“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” — Les Brown

“Think highly of yourself because the world takes you at your own estimate.” — Author Unknown

I like those. They reflect the dichotomy that is my self-view, and my self-esteem that fluctuates way more than my weight. I used to refer to it as having two different mirrors: There was the mirror in my house in which I looked gorgeous. And then there was any mirror in public, which reflected the “real” me, the one that was fat and ugly and undesirable.  I have a very hard time distinguishing between what is real and what I perceive to be real, at least as far as my outer self, so be warned.

I’ve been skinny. I’ve been fat. I’ve been skinny. And now I’m heading to the fat side again.  I suspect that I will teeter toward the skinny yet again in the next year or two.  Because my life is dynamic and fluid, not static. But I live in a world where my Philly neighbors remarked on my 15 pound weight gain after quitting smoking.

This is really hard for me to write and I don’t think any of it will be poetic, and I’m pretty sure it will ramble but whatever.

I read that bullshit “article” by Maura Kelly of Marie Claire (Please say that name with a sneer and go and read that POS and then come back.) and was as horrified and grossed out by it as she is by “fatties.”

God damn, I swear. My blood pressure is rising and not because I’m fat, you fucking bitch. My blood pressure is perfect.  My last physical was aces. I don’t have diabetes. Ooo, OK, breathe deep. Deep breaths. Oh, please feel free to write to Marie Claire. Many did, but the Editor in Chief couldn’t care less and there doesn’t seem to be any fall-out. I do wonder if Maura had written “Should Jews Get a Room,” or “Should Black People Get a Room” if she would still have a job.

Here’s the thing: It is because of shit like that that I am ashamed to see family and friends that I haven’t seen since I was skinny. I don’t fucking count or deserve happiness because I don’t look like Victoria Beckham. Or do I not I give them enough credit to think that maybe they actually care about me for me, not the way my ass looks? But then again I have friends and family that are constantly dieting and comparing cousin to cousin, friend to friend, and talking shit about those that gained weight, unless of course it was because of pregnancy and then that is allowed, but only for just a little while.  Best get back to that pre-baby weight to be valid!

To be more acceptable I had the gastric bypass and looked fabulous, I thought, for a while. (Quite a few people said I was way too skinny.) And now the weight is creeping back but it is nice to not vomit every day or feel that weird, unexplainable pain in my left shoulder that I would get from not eating. But then again it would be nice to put on a sundress and not feel self-conscious. But wait, I felt self-conscious even when I was skinny so what’s bugging me, really?

Why is that being skinny is so wanted, even when it comes at such a price as rearranging your guts and being anorexic or bulimic? I went with a friend to New Orleans once, and was feeling good about myself…until I decided that I wanted to flash the people on the balcony for some beads. (I mean, why the hell not? It was a beautiful night. The weather was great. Everyone was happy.) I went to flash a balcony and just as the shirt went up I noticed the guy next to me look at me with disgust. Disgust? Really? Needless to say I was hurt, and worse I was suddenly embarrassed. Embarrassed to be me and ashamed to have put others through the grossness that was my body.

I don’t know, y’all. I’m mostly positive, though my mood runs cynical sometimes. I try to be on time, and almost always am. I try to compliment others not only on the things they didn’t choose, like their looks, but also their intelligence, kindness, etc. I can’t tell you left or right, even though I can read the hell out of a map, never get lost, and can tell you north, south, east, or west. I have beautiful eyes, and rock short hair like no one’s business. Can’t tell a joke, though. I’ve traveled. I am open to almost anything. I am weird yet square. I can get cranky as fuck. I cry very, very easily. I am super sensitive. I love to drive on highways and drive fast and yell at other drivers. (“OH! Oh, nice, dipshit! JEEESSUUUSSS Keee-RISTE! First day driving, dickhole?!) I love my mom, my brother, my nephew, the Dude, my furry kids, my friends, my family, cooking shows, “Giant,” sparkly lotion, good shoes, cheap wine.

Why is my worth based on my weight? I’d like to adopt the last quote as my mantra.

Anyone want to say it with me?

The Redwoods

Alrighty then!

Tuesday, being my RV-versary, meant that a celebration was afoot. I think the Dude and I managed a perfect date for us: Music for him, Food for me. That is not to say that he doesn’t eat and I don’t dig on music but we find our pleasures in different forms. I see/hear/taste/smell/feel poetry (?)  in food. (Of course I am not alone in this. The shocking amount of cooking/foodie shows, websites, apps, magazines, etc, is a testament to that.) He has an encyclopedia of music in his mind and can hear things I can’t. Where I hear a pretty melody or sweet three-part harmony, he hears that and the under and contra and [insert other-musical-terminology-that-I-don't-know-that-parallel- food-words-he-doesn't-know here]. Just different.

We made reservations for five at Yoshi’s for dinner and a show, the show being the absolutely out of this world, ridiculously, outrageously creative and talented Zoe Keating. We had originally planned to go with Tracy from ZenNomads, and Chris and Cherie (Technomadia) but due to Technomadia having a true nomadic moment (they are going to spend the winter in St. John because the opportunity came up and there was no reason not to go), they had to find some buyers for their tickets. Chris posted a notice on some board and [redacted, I'll call him J.] chimed in that he would LOVE to buy the tickets! So Chris put the Dude and J. in touch, and boom, Tracy, the Dude, J., J’s friend, and I were going to meet at Yoshi’s and then see Zoe.

We had a ridiculously early dinner res (5:30) but that worked perfectly. J and J’s friend walked in just as we did and we were escorted to our table. J is a psychotherapist and wee and big-eyed and just as into music as the Dude. In fact, they have such similar tastes that the Dude threw out a name (Colleen) that J almost fell out over. So there was a good match!

Since Yoshi’s is, surprise, a mostly Japanese restaurant, the menu reflected sushi, sashimi, and mostly shareable small plates. We all ordered two to three dishes a piece but I zeroed in on a roll called Japonese. That roll, though Japanese in origin, and evocative of Central Mexico in taste profile, looks like a Mondrian on the cross-section. (See? Artistry in food.) J’s friend, who is gorgeous and charming and as it turns out is in Shortbus, closed his eyes to enjoy this sushi roll. I quite enjoyed and appreciated his appreciation and enjoyment of it.

After dinner, and with an hour to spare, J and Shortbus excused themselves for a walk, leaving the Dude, Tracy, and I to our own walk. Tracy and I giggled over yet totally appreciated a Kid-n-Play 80s throwback walking with SuperFly dressed in a silvery blue suit, while the Dude checked business on his phone and grabbed a muffin. (Blueberry, fools, not a euphemism.)

Time to get back to Yoshi’s for the show. The three of us got there first, grabbed some snacks and cocktails, J and Shortbus arrived and then it was time for Zoe.

Shocking. She has no definition. In very simple terms, Ms. Keating is a cellist. BUT! A cellist who plays with herself. (Stop it. Don’t be childish.) She is her own orchestra. In that as you are in the audience, watching her play, she lays down a few bars of something and it is recorded and repeated in her computer and through the speakers while she records the next layer, and the next layer, and so on and it builds and you have an orchestra she plays with. It truly rattles my brain and while her CDs are gorgeous you can’t get what you get in person because it is different every time. (She made a comment to same on Tuesday, lamenting that as much as she liked her CDs they were only the moment she recorded them, and that she is sad during some performances because she loved that version of a composition and knows that she can’t repeat it.) I hear movie scores in her music and would not be surprised if her biggest recognition doesn’t come from an Oscar nomination.

The show ended and as we drove home, as Tracy and the Dude conversed, I interrupted to say, “Look at that.” The moon was so beautiful. As we made the few miles home the huge quarter moon was a saturated shiny brick color, and as we continued on to Tracy’s place, the moon grew larger. After we dropped her off and headed back over to the coast to Pacifica, and the moon reflected the fading brick shade and as the moon climbed and grew smaller the color became less reddish but didn’t fade so much as folded over to silvery red and then a silver moon shone.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…

and next year’s words await another voice.” ~T.S Eliot

Last night I celebrated my RV-versary at Yoshi’s where I had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had and I’ve lived in Japan, laughed my ass off with a friend that I got to know better even though I met her in April, had dinner with a Shortbus actor, saw a cellist play with herself (not what you think), ate dirty stones (not what you think too), flirted with a pimp (maybe not a pimp, but that outFIT?!), and saw one of the most beautiful moon risings I’ve ever seen.

Want to know the rest? See me tomorrow…

“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.”

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. ~Mark Twain

Helloooo? Knock, knock. Anyone home? Probably not since I haven’t written anything in months and months and why in the world would anyone be here? My fault. My apologies. (And my thanks to Caskie Stinnett for the title quote.)

Well, this seems as good a day as any to get back on that blogging bandwagon since today is my anniversary. I took possession of the Chieftain one year ago today. After three long days on the road from Philly to Florida, we got into Tampa on October 12th and a couple of hours later we were moving into the RV.

We spent six weeks at Lazy Days RV Center, boondocking for most of it and then spent the winter in the Keys. We lit out of Florida in February, headed up to Georgia then to Tennessee then to Louisiana. Then in April while we were in Texas we decided to upgrade from our ’03 Winnebago Chieftain to an ’05 Tiffin Phaeton, which required that we head right back across Louisiana, which we swore we’d never drive on I-10 again, to Alabama. (I love New Orleans, I really do, and I love the French Quarter RV Resort but damn, Louisiana, you need to earmark some of your recovery money for your sections of the interstates. I damn near rattled all the fillings out of my head.)

After picking up the Phaeton and spending a couple of weeks getting it organized we had to head to Canada for some classes. We drove back across Louisiana to Dallas, said “Hi” to my mom for one night, maybe two (I can’t rightly recall.) and then up to Oklahoma to see the Dude’s family.

After OKC it was straight up I-35 to Kansas then over to 29 to skirt along Nebraska and Iowa and then we took a left at Sioux Falls on I-90 to make one long-ass drive across South Dakota. We took a slight detour to see Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument, and since we had a little extra time drove to Devil’s Tower.

We got back on 90 and stayed on it until Billings, Montana. We stayed a couple of nights, missing the big tornado by one day, and then took 87 to Great Falls where we caught our final US interstate, I-15, which took us to the border crossing at Coutts, Alberta.

We spent a few hours waiting to get cleared for Canada and the final leg began. We had god-awful torrential rain the entire time from Coutts to Calgary. That damn rain was coming in sideways and it was fucking cold and the animals were freezing and we were freezing and the only other drivers on the roads were truckers. We had a schedule to keep and we were by God going to do it.

Finally, Calgary. We stayed for three weeks and then it was off to Vancouver. But we took the scenic route up north and went through Banff and Lake Louise and up to Jasper where we stood on an ice floe from a glacier. That was awesome.

After Jasper it was down to Kamloops and then over to the Pacific Border RV Park, about thisclose to Blaine, Washington. We were there through July and in fact, had July 4th in Canada and I could actually throw a rock and hit Washington. But I didn’t as I didn’t wish to go to prison or start an international incident because I hit a Border guard.

After Vancouver it was down to Washington where I had a chance to see my best friend from my freshman year in high school and a friend from Dallas that I hadn’t seen since, oh, ’95-ish?

We left Washington and went on down to Oregon and I saw some more old friends and then off to California.

We stayed in Santa Rosa for a week then we spent five days in Bodega Bay and then went to San Francisco, which is where we are now. We will be here for another couple of weeks and then it’s down to LA. After that it’s all open. We have no set plans after LA. Could be heading to Florida. Could be heading to Texas. Might stay in San Diego. Who knows?

After one year in an RV, living with the Dude, two cats, and a dog, I reckon we’re doing OK and are going to make this work. As far as I can remember we’ve only threatened to leave each other a handful of times, which considering that there is really no privacy and no doors to slam is pretty good. I don’t think we’ve fought any more or less than we did in a brick-and-mortar home.

So, there you go. One year of travel, condensed to a few paragraphs. It’s a whole new year, which means a whole new set of adventures and this year, I promise to write more than once every few months.

Off to Yoshi’s for sushi, cocktails, and jazz!  Happy anniversary everyone!

No, I’ve Never Been Arrested, Asked to Leave a Country, Etc

Ok, we’re going to do the blog equivalent of speed-dating. I will set my alarm for three minutes and I will type what I can–WITHOUT going back and correcting typos and grammar FUBARS, mind you–and then switch to the next town/topic. Ready?

::bing:we left Oklahoma we made it to Auburn, NE, where I saw the biggest deer ever bound past the RV. Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument are really, truly awesome. And kind of freaky because shockingly large things with…faces…are. Freaky.  After those South Dakota “must sees” we took off to Devil’s Tower and it is also truly awesome and still just as freaky. I think it’s because of the whole “Close Encounters” thing but who knows.

OK, after that we went to Billings, MT, I think. We were two days ahead of the tornatdo. Montana is gorgeous. I was scared out of my mind by a trip around the

::bing:we left Mt and sopped for gas at the border. I bought some lottery ticets and go my money bak and froze my ass off in and out of thes tore. Good god, it’s June. we went to Calgary. The trip was horrifying because it was raingt sideways and we got rain in the RV so bad taht I ahd to put papaer towels in every window. And we alomst ran off the road but it was exciting and scarey and it took, for ever but we made it to clagary and

::bing::Calgary is really falt. As flat at Dallas but preittier becahyse the mountains arein the background.  We went to dinner at the Calgary tower but it was os fucking hot in there (not AC and no blingfs on the windows) that the experience kind of sucked even if the dinner was pretty good. The mosqutioes are huge. big as horses and maean as hell.

We left Calgary and headed to Banff. We stayed in Canmore, and went to a beautiful place for lunch on Canada Day, and went o a place in Banff where I had a gorgeous charcurtie platter of duck, sausage, cheeses, etc. I also reode on te tra m to the top of the hill and almost vomited from the swaying the of the tram. The view waw gorgeious but oh, so scary.

Left Banff and wetn to jAPER. sTOOD ON A GLACIER AD DRAK GLACIER WATER THAT WAWS FROM SNOWS 150 YEARS AGO. i LOOK LIKE THE UNIBOMOBER IN MY HOODIE. IT IS SURREAL TO BE FREEZING YOU’RE ASS OFF IN JULY. I MEAN, REALLY, WHO STANDES ON A GLACIER? THE DRIVE FROM JASPER TO OUR NEXT STOP should’ve been easy but damn, an RV ::bing:

very difficult. we had reservationd for a place that told us that they had 50 amp and wifi but they had a dirty connection 30 amp on a two-pringed outlet and our comp;uters crashed to we headed out after an alreeay long day (8 hours) to  boonddaock atg a little town ourside of Kamloopds.

::bing: Kamloops to Vancouver is a scary ass drive of brakeing., not braking, stepp grades up ahead, jesus christ, where the hell is our cell coverage, wifi what?, slow down!, woo  prettyk, thank ya jesus for getting through the mountain,s no that’s not it,

::bing: Wow, I really like Vancouver. the wifi sucks it. Damn it, I need to be in teh statats. Cananda is 5 yeas behind Amercia. Whales! Shoes~! I can’t wait to be in America. fireworiks!  Best Chinese food I’v hea outside of Singapore, which isn’t Chinea. Lots of homeless. not as perfect as I thought. oLYMPICS! i STAYED RIGHT THERE.

::bing: