Around the World in 24 days

Couldn’t sleep last night, so I watched Spinal Tap; I wonder what made me think that was a good idea. . .

This time on Travel Thursday, we go to a trip I would never take in another million years for a billion dollars. Someday I’ll know how to get out of my own way. . .

As usual, before I left I got a lot of advice about the places I was going, most of it by people who not only had never been there, but were repeating what I had told them!
Like in Japan:
Don’t open the taxi door. The driver will have a fit of despair, since they had automatic doors, and the driver loses face if you don’t wait for him to perform this little miracle of modern engineering. Never took a taxi. . .

Japan
In Japan there’s this twist on gift-giving where you give a friend a gift and it raises your standing in the community, so to speak. If you’re in someone’s home and you say how lovely that painting is, they’ll try to give it to you. The downside of this is that the receiver of the gift is then expected to return the favor, and even top it. This can have severe consequences if you’re poor like me. . . or, in a very extreme case, if you’re drowning, they won’t save your life because they don’t want to burden you with returning such a huge gift.
The only good thing about this is that, as a gaijin (the polite translation is foreigner, don’t ask for more than that), I was exempt from this tradition. I wasn’t even expected to know about it, which suited me just fine.
And what was this giant gift I would have been unable to return? A night with a geisha!
Okay now, a geisha is not a prostitute. She had to remove her kimono when we got into the hot tub–or whatever it’s called–to finish the massage, but I was the gentleman I always was. . . I mean, am. Take a break from your usual gutter.
But check this out: she played both piano and violin. She knew all my violin requests, and then it turned out she was one of those memory players: she only had to hear a song once and could play it on her keyboard. She did Kat Parsons’ “Miss Me,” Adrina Thorpe’s “Did You Think,” Libbie Schrader’s “Come When I Call,” Killarney Star’s “Signature,” Marina V’s “Underneath Your Sky,” Arden Kaywin’s “Over You,” Tiff Jimber’s “Doin’ Fine,” and most impressively Riddle the Sphinx’s “Lullaby.” That was almost more fun than the massage. . .

Vietnam
Nothing much to see, unless you’re into war history (did that rhyme? Poet, and didn’t. . . realize it). Some incredibly beautiful women, though, which is really all I need to make my job worthwhile.

China: Xi’an
Imagine, if you will, row after row of terracotta warrior statues, over 6000 of them, with possibly many more still in the ground. Even more impressive, they were made two millennia ago. And the most impressive. . . each of them has a different face, both in features and expression; no mass production here. Plus 200 or so archers and longbow guys. Horsies too. Some have called it “the major archaeological discovery of the 20th century.” Take that, King Tut.

China: desert
Three separate cave complexes called “Temple of a Thousand Buddhas.” None of them came close to having that many–not that I was counting–but then, according to legend, they were stolen by German and French archaeologists 100 years ago. Oh well.
One place had an absolutely Giant Buddha carved into the mountainside, three stories high. It was easy to tell, because there were stairs next to it.
On the third day in the desert the jeep I was on got a flat tire. So while the guys were fixing it, I got out and looked around. Since it’s October, it was only 100 degrees instead of the usual 120. The hills in the distance are called the “Mountains of Fire.” Why there isn’t a resort out here, I’ll never know.
No photos here, because this was boring landscape, not like the huge 100-foot-tall dunes we saw earlier, the ones that looked like they had an orange bulb inside. So I find a boulder big enough to provide some shade and flop down, after checking for scorpions and such, of course.
A little background: after the first time I heard Libbie Schrader in concert, I wrote her an e-mail about it, and besides all the wonderful things I said about her and her music, I mentioned how weird her “eagle” lyric was. Of course she wrote a “thank you” back, but also mentioned she had no idea what I was talking about, there being no eagles in her lyrics. I think the term she used was “baffled.”
So there I am under the boulder listening to this Libbie song so I could finally solve the mystery. Instead of “someone’s eagle is being fed,” the line is “someone’s ego is being fed.” Which, admittedly, makes a lot more sense, but at the same time, try to imagine what a wonderful love song it would be with my version. Almost as good as when a friend mistook Arden Kaywin’s lyric of “where dying dreams go” as “diet drinks.”
Anyway, when we got to the next town–the one that had internet but no French fries–I triumphantly reported my findings to Libbie, who promised to tell the story the next time she played the song in concert. Hope she’s already done that, but I have the sinking feeling she’s waiting for me to be in the audience so yet another musician can embarrass me live.
The last stop before leaving China was a town that had a site called the “Temple of the Fragrant Concubine.” I asked the guide if I should really go in, because I’m allergic to perfumes, and got a stony glare in return. Didn’t know humor was outlawed here.

Kazakhstan
Only stopped in Almaty, a huge, dusty kinda town, but a beacon of civilization after the desert. Hey, any town that has an “American embassy” (as a bus driver in New Zealand calls McDonald’s) can’t be all bad. As some of you may remember, I was in potato withdrawal at the time.

Uzbekistan
Ever stand next to a redwood, walk around it, look all the way up, feel really small? Now pretend it’s covered with blue and white tiles, and it’s the same thing with some of the ruins in Uzbekistan. HUGE! Forget Alexander the Great or Genghis Kahn (no, not Genghis Cohen), Tamerlane’s your guy for pyramid-size monuments to himself.
Saw Lt. Kije finally, which has to be the silliest plot ever, but at least it was a comedy. Good thing I knew the plot, because it was done in Russian. Where’s Marina V when you need her?

Kyrgyzstan
What a friggin’ beautiful place, once you get outside the cities. Took a long drive alongside this huge lake that reminded me of Balaton in Hungary (ok, ok, I realize the comparison doesn’t mean all that much to you, but just go with it). Parts of the landscape reminded me of Tahoe, others of Switzerland. In some places the pines were still green, in others they were covered with snow. And other parts would give New England a run for fall foliage. Remember that poem you read as a kid, about how you’ll never see something as (something) as a tree? (Okay, I was a kid a long time ago, I’m just happy to remember that much.) I seem to know it’s unintended sequel by Ogden Nash better:
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all.
Spent the night in a yurt, which is a round hut with a hole in the middle of the roof to let the smoke out, but the thing was warm enough not to need a fire. Had the yurt all to myself, which inspired me to think that any place in the world can be romantic. . . well, not alone, obviously, but you don’t need a giant erector set in Paris or even a huge beautiful mausoleum in India to feel romantic.
Or maybe I’m just fuckin’ lonely. . .

Armenia
Almost ended up going through Iran, but found a last minute seat past it. Love the archaeological sites, and the people are lovely, but the Tehran government scares the shit out of me. And I’m a Liberal. . .
A few interesting little mountain places in Armenia, all visited in a day, and some cultural stuff in Yerevan. This was the most American-like of the places I went to, because a lot of American Armenians had returned to the homeland, probably thinking they would strike it rich somehow. You already know what happened, musically, from the last blog, which started out when I mentioned one of my faves, Adrina Thorpe, is of Armenian descent. This got the DJ really excited and he promised to play her stuff. I wonder if Adrina is going to get CD orders from there and have to figure out just how much postage it’s gonna be.

Nuttin’ but London
Because I spent extra time in Central Asia, I ended up going from Armenia straight to London, when the original plan was to go to Istanbul and then meander on back to England through Vienna and so on. I have two London musicians amongst my friends, but neither had a concert those days, so the time I wasn’t involved in photo shoots I spent trying to avoid future jet lag by sleeping during the day and trawling the internet by night. Already rather nippy here (damn, I said “rather” again).
So there’s some of the highlights, and if you think I’m going to write down the lowlights in a place where other people can read them, HA!

So, another round-the-world trip, and all I learned was that I’m too old for this shit. . .
This year (2005) I’ve been to, in chronological order, Italy (Venice, Tuscany, and Cinqueterre), London (3 times), Seattle, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Japan, Vietnam, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghyztan, a couple of hours in Turkmenistan (narrowly avoiding Iran and Azerbaijan), and Armenia. Last year it was Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Canada, Seattle again, London again, Italy (Rome this time), 3 weeks in Greece, 5 places in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Bora Boring, and Hawaii. The year before that featured places like Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Egypt, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar, Israel, and the ubiquitous London. And I haven’t been to San Diego, Frisco, or Vegas in years.

I’m taking next year off. . .

{In case you were “baffled” by all the mention of French fries in China, here’s the e-mail}
Oct 14, 2005 4:10P
Help me, I’m starvin’!
HELP ME! I’M IN A DESERT IN WESTERN CHINA AND I REALLY NEED SOME FRENCH FRIES, STAT! MC’D’s OR IN-N-OUT PREFERRED, BUT IN NO POSITION TO BE PICKY. CAN SOMEONE FED EX A LARGE?
GO FIGURE! THEY HAVE INTERNET HERE BUT NOT FRENCH FRIES! WHAT A BACKWARD COUNTRY. SIGH. . .

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: Antigonish

W.S. Gilbert
To everyone’s prejudice I know a thing or two
I can tell a woman’s age in half a minute–and I do!

In a whimsical mood today {today? How is this any different than every other day?} so here’s a little Lewis Carroll-like ditty by Hughes Mearns that would have been fine with just the first verse, but pretty good with the whole thing too. In case you didn’t get it from the text, it’s more famously known as “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

;o)

Top 15 TV Babes 2012

Subtitled: Sexiest actresses

Lord Byron: All tragedies are finished with a death; all comedies are ended by a marriage

Like on the TV shows blog, only broadcast need apply—no cable

15. Stana Katic {Castle}
Okay, Stana looks so gorgeous when she smiles. . . I can’t leave her out.

14. Sela Ward {CSI: Noo Yawk}
Still the epitome of classic beauty. . .

13. Erin Cummings
I first saw Erin Cummings on an episode of Cold Case, where she proved to be an absolutely perfect redhead. Since then her hair color has changed, but here on Made in Jersey she’s back to red, though she’d be higher on this list if it wasn’t for all makeup, heels, and attitude. Joisy girl indeed. . .

12. Missy Perigrym
No other reason to watch Rookie Blue, no more reason necessary to watch it. . .

11. Molly Quinn
Castle’s little redheaded girl has grown up. . .

10. Bellamy Young
Having seen this lovely actress for years, particularly a few episodes of Scrubs, I guess it was inevitable for her to become First Lady, even if it’s a Scandal. . .

9. Meghan Ory
Who woulda thought, so soon after the most luscious Red Riding Hood ever, Amanda Seyfried, we’d get another gorgeous crimson-draped dessert-carrying lady, this time on Once Upon a Time.

8. Rudabeh Shabazi {Eyewitness News, Channel 7}
Most likely the most gorgeous news reporter ever, and that’s saying a lot. With a special shoutout to meteorologist Bri Winkler. . .

7. Janet Montgomery
The actual Made in Jersey girl, which I find hilarious, having heard her usual stuffy-upper-class-British twang so often.

6. Jeri Ryan {Body of Proof}
If I need to tell you who this is, you should get off the internet right now; you obviously don’t know how to use it!

5. Amanda Righetti
Three straight years on this list for The Mentalist redhead.

4. Kaitlyn Black
She appears on Hart of Dixie much less often than she should, but when she does it’s usually comic genius. . . at least I think that’s what it is, I’m so struck dumb by her ethereal beauty. . .

3. Paget Brewster
Probably her last appearance in this category, with her leaving Criminal Minds again, albeit this time of her own choosing.

2. Darby Stanchfield {Scandal}
I have to admit I will never forgive Shonda for putting the most awesome redhead ever {and that’s saying A LOT} in bed with Jeremy from Sports Night, though his taste is obviously better now. And just when you think things couldn’t get better, she’s back as the Deep-fried Twinkie on Castle. . . never thought there would be a mother-daughter duo on this list. . .

1. Daniela Ruah
This woman is so incredibly attractive she’s even hot in a Marine Corps uniform, which is not easy; I knew many attractive female Marines, but they weren’t so in uniform.

Too many also-rans to list. . . which is obviously a cop-out but has to be done, or my brain might explode. . . or rather, other parts. To tide you over, here’s a recap of the previous years.

2011
15. Ghida Fakhry–Al Jazeera English
14. Stana Katic–Castle
13. Lana Parilla–Once Upon a Time
12. Madeleine Stowe–Revenge
11. Jill Wagner–Wipeout
10. Jeri Ryan–Body of Proof
9. Missy Peregrym–Rookie Blue
8. Rachelle Lefevre–A Gifted Man
7. Michelle Borth–Combat Hospital
6. Amanda Righetti–The Mentalist
5. Nathalie Kelley–Body of Proof
4. Molly McKinney–Aqua Kids
3. Julia Benson (Anderson)–Stargate: Universe
2. Paget Brewster–Criminal Minds
1. Daniela Ruah–NCISLA
2010
15. Rochelle Aytes–The Forgotten
14. A.J. Cooke–Criminal Minds
13. Melina Kanakaredes–CSI Noo Yawk
12. Emily Procter–CSI Miami
11. Leighton Meester–Gossip Girl
10. Cobie Smulders–How I Met Your Mother
9. Michelle Borth–The Forgotten
8. Eliza Dushku–Dollhouse
7. Morena Baccarin–V
6. Alana de la Garza–Law And Order
5. Heather Stephens–The Forgotten
4. Amanda Righetti–The Mentalist
3. Paget Brewster–Criminal Minds
2. Stana Katic–Castle
1. Daniela Ruah–NCIS Los Angeles

;o)

Travel Theme: Bridges

E.M. Forster: The so-called white races are really pinko-grey

It’s that time again, the latest playdate with the Ailsa travel blogging network. . . every Friday, like clockwork. This time we’re looking at ways across the river or other bodies of water; I just hope no one posts a photo of Jeff Bridges. . .

We start in one of the most desolate places in Mexico to go hiking–though you can go by pony instead–a deep chasm with only one way across. . .

michoacan rapids

A similar spectacle, albeit not nearly as remote, on the Washington-Oregon border, otherwise known as the Land of Multomah. . .

multomah

An Amsterdam icon

amster

And we’ll end at the Huntington Library, with selections from the Chinese and Japanese gardens, including the famous half-moon bridge that is no longer painted this bright beautiful color. . .

IMG_8727!!!!

IMG_8734

Huntington

{And a portion of the previous. . .}

IMG_8555!!!!

 

;o)

Travel Thursday: Rusty from Scotland and Ireland

Because I’ve been to Scotland and Ireland so many times, I didn’t notice much new, so I don’t have much of a travelogue, in that sense. This is mostly gonna be, like the Chicago one minus a president, snippets of conversations and musings on why humans are still the stupidest species on the planet, except for all the other ones.
{By the way, this blog was written under the spirit of Silverberg’s Law of Conservation of Research: Once you’ve done your research, never publish one book on the subject when you can publish more than one. . .}

We start with a headache in the security line at the airport. I’ve often banged my head against the wall of bureaucratic stupidity as regards to airport profiling, especially in the misguided belief that people who pay cash for one-way tickets are more likely to be terrorists.
Since 9/11, all hijackers are considered to be suicide terrorists; none of this “take me to Cuba” stuff is believed anymore. So if a terrorist is willing to sacrifice his life to bring down a plane, why would he bother paying for one-way? Who would save money when you’re about to kill yourself? Same with paying cash; for someone in such deep cover in the United States or Europe, they had to have a false identity, and with it comes credit cards. Again, why bother saving a false identity if you were about to die?
Okay, at least the flight itself was no big deal, and I actually slept a little. But like the last few times, things happened at Heathrow. Not like the time I had to scramble to catch a plane in Amsterdam because of a terrorist scare, but. . .
Normally it’s an 8 hour difference to Great Britain, but because we just had daylight saving time change, it’s only 7, which I didn’t realize until I barely caught my connecting from London to Edinburgh. Urgh!
Although I do have to say I was entertained by a “starlet”-type chick waiting for the same flight. Ever try this on a blonde? Especially one with an intelligence level somewhere between lawyer and coffeepot?
“Can you grab me a water bottle?”
“Sure. Diet or regular?”
“Uh. . .”
“Kidding.”
After that she started ranting about how prudish her rich boyfriend was. “I like to run around half naked. Is that wrong?”
“Depends on which half.”
That one flew right over her head too, and the rant continued to how her boyfriend never listens to what she says. . . kinda what she was doing to me, of course. {I know I shouldn’t have teased the animals, but I had to entertain myself somehow. . .}
“If he loved you, he’d listen to you.”
“He loves me!”
“If he respected you, he’d listen to you.”
She tried to rebuff that one as well, but her brain wouldn’t move. After that she got a bit quiet, like she knew I was having fun at her expense {that self-awareness was shocking in itself}, until she said, “You think I’m stupid because I have big boobs.”
“No, I think you’re stupid because you wear so much makeup when you know no man looks at anything but your big boobs.”
Hey, not like I was gonna see her later on, so why not be honest? And I’m really mad at the first asshole who called her beautiful. . . that would be a version of the truth called a lie. . .

SCOTLAND
You know, I think I understand the Scottish accent BETTER with a fever. There’s something surreal about wandering around in Edinburgh taking photos and wondering if what you just shot is what you think you just shot. . .
Not that I got much help in the medical department, especially the guy who said infections weren’t a big deal. “After all, what did cavemen do when they got an infection?”
Uh, they DIED.

Never imagined getting into a religious/philosophical argument with a fundamental Muslim in Scotland, but it happened. He was going on and on about how horrible it was that women weren’t completely clothed, then he tried to say there were parallels in the Western world, because there were parts women had to cover here as well.
“The parts of the body covered in the Western world are those parts men and women have different. But when you insist on covering shoulders, arms, legs, that both men and women have. . .”
Seems like a simple thing, but he didn’t bother arguing; guess he didn’t figure anyone would call him on it. Oh well. . .

One of my all-time fave musicians, Beverley Craven, has a new CD out, as I saw in a local store, and she describes part of her band thusly: “Gary, without doubt the best looking keyboard player. . . in the band.” Sounds like something Genevieve would say. . .

Someone a long time ago said the song “Stairway to Heaven” is like an orgasm: starts of slow and easy, builds up little by little before that big explosive final climax. But as I was listening to it, walking along a big street with cars zooming by. . . after enjoying the guitar solo as always, going through the climax, getting to the end. . . I realized there was no cuddling. It just ends with a final wail about the stairway. Not even fun in the shower. . . definitely no pizza. sigh.
And speaking of showers, of course it rained most of my time here, which is one thing when it’s 50 degrees in El Lay, but quite another when it’s 30. One girl who walked into the hotel at the same time I did was all giddy and “wheee!” about being all wet–no umbrella, no raincoat–and smiled at me. “Isn’t this SO much fun?”
“This is NOT fun. I’ve had fun before. This is not it.”
Someday I might learn to go along with things and. . . well, who knows what might happen? My relationship with this girl ended right then and there, on a not-happy note from her side.
Whereas the next night, a woman I’d met–at least I thought she was a woman when I first met her, as compared to GIRL–did something so incredibly stupid that I can’t even tell you what it was. It was so bad I actually couldn’t make fun of her. . . not much, anyway. Even she deadpanned it by saying, “What a shitty day.”
“Hey, you’re still alive.”
“Is that infamous bright side?”
“More like things can always get worse. . . or, you know, usually.”
“Gee, thanks for that!”
“Hey, I for one am glad you did it. Makes all the stupid things I’ve ever done or ever will do seem logical in comparison.”
Once again, if I learn to stay quiet. . .

But on the more fun side, the next morning as I was going for my walk I passed by a cop mounted on a horse. The horse’s legs were white, so somebody had painted red and gold rings to make them look like athletic tube socks. Awesome.
That was also the day I got taken to some expensive grill, where the guy in the white hat–NOT a good guy–wouldn’t listen when I told him I didn’t want any sauce on the steak. I don’t care how rich I get: I want a cook, not a chef! Though I did manage to poke some fun at the stuffed shirt paying for the whole thing. I don’t know why he bothered, but he tried to convince us he wasn’t all about money by saying, as if he’d thought of the quote all by himself, “I would not exchange my leisure hours for all the wealth in the world!”
Giving me such an easy opening. . . “I would exchange a quarter of my leisure hours for a quarter of the wealth in the world.”
From there came a big argument, as if to prove the Scottish mindset when it comes to money is true after all, about how a human’s most primal drive is to own things. If he was trying to put himself in the same circles as Freud and Maslow and Adler and such, not that that’s heady company to begin with, he was in for a big surprise. After all, human’s primary drive is basically food and shelter, some kind of security. Then you get Freud saying it’s sex–or that’s just men–and the others talking about Will to Power and such, but it quickly got boring, with my only contribution being, “There’s no such thing as ownership, just control. Ownership is a temporary illusion.”
They didn’t like that.

The next day found me walking along Loch Ness. This time I decided NOT to look for Nessie, and therefore might see her/him/it, but that didn’t happen either; the monster saw through my fiendish ploy. Still, it was a much needed relief from the urban landscape. In a lot of ways, especially noisewise, Edinburgh is a lot like El Lay, and therefore the trail to Inverness can feel like Big Bear or Arrowhead. Walking along the lake, on the side that doesn’t have the highway, the silence is deafening. But not just that: the visual noise is drowned out as well. No billboards. . . it’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it yourself. Kinda like the difference between spreading whipped cream on a girl’s boobs and explaining how to spread whipped cream on a girl’s boobs. . .
Yeah, like a fart in a hurricane {And if you don’t get that one, don’t bother to ask}.

Don’t remember exactly what made me think of this–and I hesitate trying to figure it out now–but back in college I gave a porn tape to a friend on his eighteenth birthday. The guy had been so enthused he went straight home to play it, only to call me immediately after. “Dude, you gave me the wrong tape! This is ‘The Little Mermaid!’”
“That’s the right one.” Click.

Missed seeing one of my fave bands, Wolfstone, in concert by a couple of weeks. Haven’t seen them since that time at the Portland Zoo. . . but that’s another story. . . they’re so incredibly high energy, even the elephants were dancing. . .

IRELAND
In Ireland there’s a small town known only because an Obama ancestor came from there. Some local boys hit it big with a Youtube video called “There’s no one as Irish as Barack Obama.” It got them a record deal, but the label insisted that they ditch their band’s longtime name: Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys.
I know I went a long way for that, but how is that not the funniest band name ever?

As the car passed a convent (or I think they, and Shakespeare, call them nunneries), and considering I’d been reading one of my favorite authors on this trip, David Gerrold, I remembered one of the jokes he likes to tell:
Somewhere in Ireland, a mother superior is at her desk in the convent when two leprechauns suddenly pop out of thin air and stand on her desk. One of them, the smaller one, is trying to contain his laughter while the bigger one glares at him, then asks, “Mother Superior, do you have any nuns in your convent that are my size?”
Fearing the worst, she answers, “No, there are no nuns of your size here.”
That makes the smaller leprechaun burst into laughter. The bigger one smacks him, then asks, “And Mother Superior, do you know of any nuns in the whole of Ireland who are my size?”
“No, I am sure there are no nuns of your size in Ireland.”
This time the smaller leprechaun falls to the desk, he’s laughing so hard. The bigger one kicks him, then says, “And Mother Superior, have you heard of any nuns in all of Catholicism that are my size?”
“I have traveled all over the world and I have neither seen nor heard of any nun of your size.”
Finally the little leprechaun can’t hold back anymore and he hoots, “I told ya, I told ya! Ya fucked a penguin!”
I’ll give ya a little time to recover from that. . .

While staying a night in a farmhouse in Ireland. . . it was well past midnight and I was sitting on the balcony, cruising the internet while breathing in the fresh air. With one window I was checking out my usual websites and e-mails, but I had another window open to listen to Leah West’s website player.
So just as I look up at what I think is a shooting star, Leah sings,
“If I could get the moon to land
Here in the palm of my hand
First I’d round up all the stars
Then I’d go and lasso Mars
And Venus too
And Jupiter. . .
And Saturn with its pretty rings . .”
After all, who doesn’t love an astronomical love song. . .?

And while reading one of David Gerrold’s books while driving through the Irish countryside–I wasn’t driving, of course–I happened to look up at a field of cattle just as I got to the part in the book that says: A cow doesn’t have a life. It has lunch.

I have a new hobby: writing limericks! Yes, I got the idea in Limerick, Ireland. Wrote 3 in 20 minutes as soon as it occurred to me.
Limerick #1
Always when traveling in Eire
You must have knowledge of building a fire
Even if you’re a fan of the rain
It will cost you a surfeit of pain
If your best friend isn’t a dryer!
Don’t worry, I’ll spare ya the rest. And I just realized I coulda used that on the gal in rainy Scotland.
Now I want to write a love song–not just a limerick–called “Sweaty for your Love,” then a sequel, “Sweaty FROM your Love.”

No, Jimi, I did not go to Blarney. . . or I guess that’s better for the song, right?

People always overreact or call me a liar after I answer their question: where have you been in the world? I do so hate being called a liar, though I do realize why most people do it: they’re so used to lying themselves that they can’t accept someone who doesn’t, because as long as they think “Everyone does it!” it makes them feel okay about doing it. But once that illusion is shattered. . .
That conversation basically ended with her yelling, “Don’t pretend you’re not like every other guy!”
“About as much as you’re like every other bimbo.”
“Fuck you!”
“You have neither the looks nor the money.”
My fault; you really can’t argue with someone that stupid.

At least on the flight back I had a fun conversation, based on something in the last of the four-part (so far, hopefully) David Gerrold series I was reading: “A baby makes a noise and gets a warm tit in its face. This life lesson is so profound we spend the rest of our lives searching for the right noises to get more.”
Have fun thinking about that for a while. . .

;o)

UCLA Gymnastics photos

Photos from the UCLA gymnastics meet on Sunday the 10th that I finally got around to posting. . .

Coach Wooden

Coach Wooden

Breast Cancer meet

Breast Cancer meet

Dashing Dana

Dashing Dana

Lichelle head over heels

Lichelle head over heels

Mattie. . .

Mattie. . .

Olivia flying

Olivia flying

Vanessa all twisty

Vanessa all twisty

Vanessa split

Vanessa split

Dana's hair landing

Dana’s hair landing

dramatic leg pose

dramatic leg pose

Dana coming in for a landing

Dana coming in for a landing

Danusha flex

Danusha flex

Miss Val watching Vanessa tumble

Miss Val watching Vanessa tumble

Miss Val smirking at her own choreography

Miss Val smirking at her own choreography

Vanessa with her patented "reverse worm"

Vanessa with her patented “reverse worm”

Olivia wondering where the floor is

Olivia wondering where the floor is

 

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: Being Poe-etic

It’s Tuesday, so it must be. . . you know the rest. And if you have one functioning brain cell, the title told you what this entry is about.
So, do I put in the Raven? Too long. Annabel Lee? The Bells? Lovely, but a little oversweet. Then I thought that, since we’re still technically close enough to Valentine’s Day for another love poem. . . so Helen, wake up and listen!
As an armchair archaeologist, the last two lines of the second verse are what do it for me. . . and guys, I can assure you they work, if the woman you’re crooning them to is smart enough to understand. . .

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

;o)