The Grand Pre-Birthday Vacation Part 1

Reflections from yesterday and this morning

I really don’t like to travel even when everything goes right. Did you know that there are really big racoons living in satellite parking at OIA? There are. I was wary of exiting my car but I finally found enough courage to proceed to the shuttle bus. Dear driver, I didn’t need an apology, it was the gaggle of ingrates traveling Southwest that expected you to park the bus an inch from the gate in that traffic. Hey, you let me off at the right terminal and lifted my suitcase off the bus. Job well done!

SeaBands are amazing. I don’t care if it is psychosomatic hooha or sound science based on pressure points. They got me through turbulence, other passenger vomit, an epic diaper blowout and airline air freshener certain death.

I want to be rich. I really like overpriced hotels, expensive dinner and stunning views. I need to remind myself that on my dear teacher’s salary this is the once in a lifetime, or at least once in a decade adventure. I will not get to repeat this every break. I will not get to repeat this every break. I will just keep repeating it until it sinks in.

How do you get the mental, “I should” messages ingrained in the brain to turn off? I am not talking a departure from ethical and moral behavior, I am talking the stupid things, “You should leave the sheers drawn over the window,” and “You shouldn’t just sit in your hotel room.” By the way, I had breakfast, outside in 100 degree heat, saw evaporation rate that was utterly amazing. Was trying to reset my internal clock. Walked 2500 steps before adjourning to my room. Of course the young man in the elevator said he was just on his way to bed and marveled at us who were up.

Mountains are amazing. I should google what I am looking at. My grandmother’s horror at my lack of basic geography is real. I blame fifth grade. The other class learned the 50 states and we learned the Canadian provinces and capitals.

O was amazing. I was in the splash zone. It was okay. They need a behind the scenes video of how they do that show. If I go to YouTube I am sure to find one. But it was great. I am sure there was so story about finding true love for all or something amid the acrobatics and aerial feats. All I know is it was mesmerizing. And impossible to take it all in during just one performance.

I need a synonym for amazing.

Are those orange Lamborghinis parked over there? I am gazing out of the window and looked at something beside the mountain. Oh, sitting by the storefront that says exotic car rental? Yes Dear, well spotted.

The 20something in the elevator last night said he saw more brides in the hotel than he had in his entire life. Think he was a bit nervous. I am guessing she was his girlfriend. But someone else pointed out that yesterday was 7-7-17 so all those numerology minded folk probably wanted to get married.

More later…

Going the Wrong-Way in the Grocery Store

slice of lifeAm I the only one?  I feel like I am the only one that routinely gets caught circling the grocery store, unable to escape.  Allow me to explain.

On a recent trip to the store I needed a card, bread, a can of soup and pet food.  A really easy, simple trip, one would imagine, and yet I circled by the same bewildered stock person at least three times.

I picked out the card first.  This was a bit of a hassle because their selection was too good.  They had a card for every possible circumstance and I didn’t really know that many details but I eventually found a suitable generic yet sincere sympathy card.

Then I went to the pet food.  No problems there.  With two cats anytime I am out where I can pick up more food I do.  Onward to get bread.  Now, I live alone and feel very guilty about wasting food, so I have almost quit buying loaves of bread because I can’t possibly finish the bread before it molds.  But I was craving a grilled ham and cheese so I had to have bread.  On the way from pet food to bread I passed the refrigerated section.  I saw the cheese and thought, when was the last time I used cheese?  It may have been a while, better get some more.   Feeling happy I thought of that I march on and realize I have completely missed the bread aisle.  In my defense, the bread used to be more toward the front of the store, but then I should disclose that was probably three years ago.  Oh, the bakery is close, maybe I will find suitable bread in the bakery.  Onward, a great loaf of bread in my cart.  Oh yes, back to the soup.  At least it is only one aisle away.  Can of tomato soup and a spare.

But wait, I’m not done.  I make tomato soup with milk.  Not only have I quit buying loaves of bread because they go bad, but I have also quit buying half gallons of milk, because they go bad.  Milk is on the other end of the store near the cheese as you might imagine.  So back I go again.  The same earnest employee I told I didn’t need help the last time by is still there, at least he didn’t even offer assistance this time.  It is obvious that I am a lost cause.

But as I walk back toward the front to check out I wonder why no one else ever seems caught in the vortex.



I live someplace between these two images.  I actually own the pink change purse, as a kind of benevolent brain-washing.  It hasn’t really worked though.  I know that change happens and that I need to be okay with it, I am just not.  I resonate so much more with Sheldon.

Today I will go to my new seats at the Daytona International Speedway.  Yes, I am one of those NASCAR fans.  Did you catch the part about new seats?  This wasn’t a planned upgrade, like when I had the perfectly awful seats on the backstretch that were so badly designed you couldn’t see any racing action, and it was an additional two mile walk to get to the “privilege” of sitting there.   I upgraded to the front stretch as soon as I was offered the chance.  One race, no one even took my ticket stub.  I guess they knew that no one would even try to sneak in back there.  Seriously, no one was manning the gates to take tickets.  I paid for that ticket!  I digress, as usual.

No, I didn’t plan this change.  They are renovating.  My old seat is no more.  I am on the same level, same general area.   But I had those seats in Petty Tower, section S, 3 and 4 since they were built.   Probably a little closer to the flagstand now, but still, it is different.  I had a well established routine and now it is changed.  And lets face it, they aren’t the seats Dad sat in with me.  And the wonderful gentleman from England quit coming with his family so there were different strangers sitting in seats 1 and 2.  And there will be a new usher.  For at least the last half-dozen years we have had the same usher.  Her daughter works with media for the Speedway so she has wonderful stories.  Had wonderful stories.  Well, probably still does, I just won’t hear them.  And what if the new usher is lazy.  Won’t get rid of the drunk seat surfers.  You know, those obnoxious people who usually travel in large packs and believe they deserve better seats so sit in any open seat available.

Oh, and they changed qualifying for NASCAR.  I must admit I haven’t even watched it, except for the weekly clips of the mishaps.  Sigh.  I really hate the image that all NASCAR fans care about are crashes.  For the serious race fan, qualifying was how you determined which car was good.  Seeing each car, alone, on the track for two laps gave the fan a lot of information.  But then, I went to qualifying at Watkins Glen with Dad.  It was a long day.  A really long day, but any day with him tended to be long.  You either became a fan or died of boredom.  Might as well learn to hear differences in engines, watch the lines the cars took, figure out how much faster the second lap would have to be than the first to qualify at the front.  But one of the announcers explained that qualifying was too long for the “young fans.”  So they made changes.  Sigh.  They will miss a lot.

I really wish I could be in the Change is Good camp today, but I must agree with Sheldon.  Change is never fine, they say it is…but it’s not.

Happy Birthday

No, it is not my birthday, but one of my favorite stories is how I got my name, Anne Marie.  Well, you see I was supposed to be Michelle. Actually, I was supposed to be Michael.  My mother was sure I was going to be a boy.  I was a surprise after all.  Mom had been told she couldn’t have kids and my parents had been married a little bit and, yep, surprise.  Time to sell the pool table so the baby can have a room.

This, of course,  was back in 1967 when fathers paced in a waiting room, smoking cigarettes and apparently watching TV while their wives gave birth.  I was born after Dad had been watching That Girl, hence I was named Anne Marie.  Mom wasn’t thrilled.  In fact, I rarely remember her using my name.  I was Casper, or some other nickname. Grandma liked Anne Marie but in one of the few fights I ever won with her, I decided about the age of six that I was Anne not Anne Marie.  Probably because I had announced that I got my middle name from my aunt Marie and was promptly told I was wrong.  Aunt Marie was cool, she walked around with a transistor radio in her back pocket and was always carrying a barn cat.   After that I was just Anne, but I still like the story behind my name.That Girl