What I’d Rather Be Doing Today

So, nine things I’d rather be doing today? Easy-peasy!

  1. At Work. Yeah, not working sounds great to everyone dragging out of bed at the butt crack o’dawn to work sixty hours a week without taking a break to pee, let alone eat. But try not working because you physically can’t. That also means you can’t clean, cook, do laundry, do yardwork, exercise, take classes, or even follow the plot of a stupid TV show some days. And oh, yeah! You don’t get paid, but all the bills still need to be paid. Not so much fun.
  2. Lying on the beach. My name is Angie and I’m a beach addict. I need soft, white sand and warm seawater periodically, and no anti-depressant can replicate that. Our last vacation was, I think, nine years ago.  No, not getting a vacation isn’t cruel and unusual punishment by far, and things could be SO much worse. I’m just writing about the nine places I’d rather be, and “the beach” is one of them.
  3. Austin, TX. I’d love to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and grand-dog and see their new house! I’d love to help them paint the rooms and landscape their new yard. I’d love to have them take us on a tour of their workplaces, Tabby’s doggy daycare, their favorite dog park, and all their favorite hotspots. I particularly want to see that bats come out, because that’s one place I could be assured I wouldn’t get mosquito bites!
  4. Ohio. I’m dying to meet my first grand-niece, Layla. I have pictures and videos, but it’s just not the same. And it’s a 3-hour trip each way, so I can’t do it alone. And since Michael has been working six days a week to keep us afloat for years now I just can’t ask him to drive six hours on his day off. He’d love to see her, too, but his one day off is like recuperation from surgery before another surgery the next week. He needs that day for health reasons.
  5. Hawaii. Yeah, that’s a flight of fancy, right? When I cried in pain all through the flight from Baltimore to Louisville – HA! But in an ideal world Michael and I would have done so well with Nerium that we’d be in Hawaii this week for an all-expense-paid leadership conference. Of course our trip to Cancun (or was it a cruise) wouldn’t have been long ago, so we’d just be doing some quick catch-ups between seminars.
  6. Italy. While John and I were lost on the University of Louisville campus we found a big board with a bin of chalk that said, “Before I die, I want to . . .” My honest answer would have been “find my way back to my car”, but instead I wrote “go to Italy”. No, it’s not a reasonable or attainable goal, but at least three people had written something about creating peace on Earth, which kind of puts mine in perspective.
  7. in IKEA with an unlimited budget. My house needs organization so badly. I need someone pushing me in a wheelchair through IKEA while someone else stays at home for me to call with measurements and another person waits patiently to find out what size U-haul to rent. Louisville does not have an IKEA, so it’s not like I can just go buy a couple of things at a time.
  8. Touring English gardens. Not formal ones with carefully clipped boxwoods, but cottage gardens where the flowers run wild, climb the house, climb fences, burrow under walls and pop up next door! The kind where if you’re thinking of grilling thick slices of pork loin for dinner you pad barefoot out the backdoor and snip some rosemary.
  9. Scuba diving on a coral reef. I’d love to learn to scuba dive, because I could stay underwater for long periods and have no pain. I could do it in the Ohio River, but there are some seriously nasty bacteria in there and nothing much to see unless you’re fond of catfish. I want to see Nemo and Dory and all their friends. Where would you rather be today?

There were a lot of great prompts over at Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop this week. Go check them out (Tue post) and link up (Thur post)!

The Week I Got Lost at UofL

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— 1 —

John was scheduled to start a long-awaited 72+ hours at LanWar on the UofL campus last Thursday. I scheduled our group tour of UofL to end just before his check-in. Brilliant, right? Not so much. I had my big tank of a car loaded with two 17-year-olds, each of whom had a CPU, two monitors, keyboard, gaming mouse, nice desk chair, snacks and beverages, and sleeping bag and pillow. I had Adam, John’s best friend, giving me directions to the loading dock. They each filled a warehouse cart, and Adam was kind enough to call another of their friends to come transport John’s stuff in so we could head straight for the tour. The address given on the email didn’t exist, but we finally found the correct place to park. In the ten seconds since she’d given us directions and my car rolled up to the barrier she had forgotten about us, so John had to get out and go remind her to lift the gate so we could enter. Her directions were completely wrong. As in “she doesn’t know left from right” wrong. Thirty minutes after the orientation and tour was to have started John called the number given to reach the admission tour guide, told her we were lost, and asked her to call back to let up know where we could meet them. He still hasn’t head back. Thankfully, I had brought my cane, but it just wasn’t enough. We did find the student center, and John officially checked in for LanWar, but we had no idea how to find my car. We walked a bit further, until we reached a street I recognized, and I insisted we call Michael. He was almost home, but turned around and came downtown to pick us up, help us find my car, and then drop John off at LanWar so I could follow him home. Two days in bed with ice packs for me. All campus tours for us will be private and involve golf carts.

— 2 —

We did see a lot of campus that can’t be seen from a car, and it’s lovely. Beautiful old buildings, mature trees, gorgeous caladiums, and art installations that weren’t too pretentious. Lots of benches and plush grass for lounging between classes, and a ridiculous number of squirrels. One had a paperclip earring and his cheeks so full of food he barely had time to give us a glance. There’s an albino squirrel on campus, which struck me as a good sign since there was an albino squirrel on our street until some speeder flattened him a few years ago.
During LanWar John lit out for a dinner break with a friend, and they found great sushi on-campus. In fact, from a driving tour Michael gave me Tuesday, it looks like a lot of the newer dorms have restaurants and shops on the first floor. Just bop downstairs in your jammies and get Chinese food? Bagels? Ice cream? Getting my Master’s might not be such a bad idea after all! When I dropped John off he was dead-set on living at home and commuting to a college in town. Now he’s thinking dorm life might be the way to go (and I agree!)

— 3 —

John is not a follower, but also refuses to be a leader because he feels responsible for the performance of anyone on his “team”. It’s a battle we’ve fought over and over, but the truth is he has no problem taking the lead and producing a fantastic project with people who are as serious about their work (and play) as he is. He has no patience for those who are no-shows, don’t pull their weight, or aren’t fully committed to an exceptional product. This includes school projects, marching band sectionals, even just-for-fun stuff. So being in a special VIP area during LanWar (near the servers and with a private sleeping area) was pretty exciting for him. Nearly 500 people in the cavern they had created, most of them older than he was (I took a quick peek and saw one man already fully engaged in gaming with white hair down to his waist).

— 4 —

Sadly, the private sleeping area (just floor surrounded by cardboard, but better than under the tables tangled in cords) was a bust. John got tired after about 24 hours, and picked up his pillow and sleeping bag to go take a break. Upon entering the sleeping area (occupied only by a large man in a bathrobe) John said he was hit by “the stench of BO and shame”. He’d previously suspected robe-man of being a weaboo (in the most negative sense of the word) and said he and everyone else in their area slept under tables, on top of huge cables covered by electrical tape.

— 5 —

BTW, if you do not know what a weaboo is please do not look it up on Urban Dictionary. Never go there for anything if you can avoid it. This guy evidently enjoyed anime porn. But here’s what is now seared into my brain from the Home page of Urban Dictionary:

When a person ejalculates while playing the game “Pokemon go.” This usually occurs near spawn points of legendary/rare Pokemon.

Kevin is that Mewtew??

Kevin: *pokemon goos self*

by Swaggyswoog July 28, 2016

— 6 —

I’ve moved up every single doctor’s visit I could move after my husband threatened an “intervention” the night before our thirtieth wedding anniversary. I’d already taken my ten o’clock muscle relaxer, though, so I told him he and John would just have to do it without me unless they were willing to wait until 2 a.m. when the muscle relaxer started to wear off and the back and neck pain woke me up. He backed off. I called the next day and bumped up everything I could. The only thing I couldn’t move was my psych appointment, which is in late September. When you call your psychiatrist’s office and say, “I’m having some issues, and I need to be seen sooner rather than later” that’s one speciality that should work your ass in. Seriously. I saw my primary care doc today, and he added a new blood pressure med and congratulated me for obviously staying out of the sun all season. He’s Indian and has lovely skin. I went straight from his office to the tanning salon and asked for the bed with the newest bulbs they had.

— 7 —

Here’s the latest from John’s theater job: Evidently their largest theater was full of “old, drunk women” watching Bad Moms when the fire alarm started malfunctioning. They had to evacuate everyone until the fire department checked it out, but a couple of rows of women had to be forcibly removed . . . by my son!! He said there were a few husbands there, looking embarrassed as they ordered a dozen wines in Bad Moms cups for the entire row, but it was almost all women. Since he’s seventeen I asked, “When you say ‘old’, do you mean my age or a bit older?”

John replied, “Absolutely not. Think of an elderly tortoise on chemo.” My youngest has a way with words. I like to think that comes from me 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Very Important Post

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— 1 —

I’m writing this on Wednesday, hoping it will post by Friday morning. I use Dreamhost for my blog and email, and I’ve never had a problem with them until now. I lost access to my email on Monday, and it’s been a very trying week. I thought I’d finished “defining myself” (Part I and Part II), but now I’m narrowing my focus. I’m a writer. There are many other aspects to my life and my personality, but I am a writer. Not a blogger, not a salesperson, no longer a nurse. I am a writer. First novel coming out before the end of the year. Follow me on social media and you won’t miss a thing.

— 2 —

My eldest son called me the other day (cue Hallelujah chorus). It was the first time we’d heard from him since sometime in early May. No, he didn’t call on Father’s Day. Seeing Michael that sad was incredibly painful. I was so very, very close to sending an email asking what we’d done to offend, anger, or insult our son just twenty-four hours beforehand! It’s just one more example of how waiting on God’s timing is always better. I talked his ear off, quizzed him about everything except what toilet paper he was using, then passed him off to Michael. After a few minutes I let John know his brother was on the phone, and he sped downstairs to the studio to wait his turn. Then Aaron set us all up with an app called GroupMe, where we can share the everyday nonsense that really keeps people in touch! And it’s been wonderful!

— 3 —

john ksparks
John had his Senior pictures taken this week. We had a mini-session with a fantastic photographer in La Grange, which was perfect. John hates to have his picture taken nearly as much as I do, so he was much more relaxed with a thirty-minute maximum! Then he had his picture taken at school for the yearbook. All senior girls in drapes, all senior boys in tuxes. I just made the appointment, since I certainly couldn’t complain about his picture. Mine got me a threat from the assistant principal to “make my Senior year very difficult.” I suspect his year was more difficult than mine since I had a great time and I made sure he had to hide 600 pennies on his person during graduation. And I’m not sorry. Misuse of power is always bad, but exponentially bad if the victim is a teen girl. The fact that I just took it as a challenge proves Mr. Akers didn’t know me as well as he thought he did.

— 4 —

Thursday John and I will tour the campus at the University of Louisville. It’s just a casual group thing. We’ll see dorm rooms, classrooms, the student center, etc. No meetings with the marching band director or with instructors in Computer Science or Asian Studies, no “come to Jesus” with the financial aid people or the Speed School admissions people. Of course it will be raining cats and dogs. But I consider that a good sign, since when Aaron fell in love with Morehead it was during the storm of the decade and we couldn’t even make it home without stopping to wait out the storm.

— 5 —

Remember the cute birdcage I bought when my local Hancock’s Fabrics went out of business? Well, now my Muse and the Wine Fairy are roomies, with shell beds, flower pillows, and leaf coverlets. They both seem very happy, BTW, so if you have writer’s block maybe it’s time to bribe your muse!
fairy habitat

— 6 —

Normally it’s Winter that is toughest for me to get through. This summer has been pretty awful, though. The barometric pressure is bouncing around like the ball in a Disney Sing-a-Long, and it’s cause for celebration when I have feeling in all four extremities. I’m taking a cane and extra meds for the UofL trip.

— 7 —

I’m spending an hour a day (four 15-minute chunks of time) searching for scholarships for John. It takes a few clicks to weed out the ones for which you already are enrolled in college, have not survived a car crash that was fatal to someone, or have not read a particular little-known book. But “every little bit helps” as a young relative once wrote me in a thank-you note after receiving $50 (no gifts given since then, clearly) so I’m bombarding him with scholarships he needs to apply for. If I’d had the internet when I’d been a high school senior I’d have gotten a full ride to an Ivy League school!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!