Trap Day

To quote the wise Admiral Ackbar:

Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi

Monterey slang for the “summer” months includes the terms June Gloom and Foggust.

This week has been stunning on the peninsula. Bright blue skies and daytime temps in the mid-60’s. we call these kinds of days trap days.

Roses in Carmel. The blooms are bigger than my hand.

Premium gasoline for the TBird is about $4.50 a gallon, but it is well worth it in these final weeks of my Monterey experience.

Western flowering dogwood in Carmel. My iphone photo out the car window doesn’t do it justice.

Mindfulness, being present in the moment, has never been easier.

Posted in California, Monterey, weather, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Oregon Trail

But Leah and I did. Lyle got snakebit.

I bribed the kids with promises of gumbo and movie marathons in place of a trip to a certain National Park with terrifying cliffs and curves.

They extracted the additional promise of game night, which is how I ended up dying of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. (I’m writing this while I sit out 2 rounds with the broken arm calamity.)

At least we have a jammin’ Spotify playlist: Eddy Arnold’s Cattle Call, Mart Robbins and El Paso, and King of the Road.

Posted in California, camping, Children, cooking, family, Generation Gap, gumbo, karma, Louisiana, parks & recreation, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shake Your Boudin

Shake, shake, shake… shake, shake, shake… shake your boudin!

Louisiana boudin. It’s magically delicious.

For the last 3 years, I’ve been dreaming about my imaginary food truck called Shake Your Boudin.

It’s like Steak and Shake, but with the Cajun delicacy boudin. Ideally, I’d serve links from local favorites in 5th ward in Avoyelles Parish, Scott, Opelousas, Krotz Springs, and New Orleans, LA.

https://boudinlink.com/

I’d like to pair the boudin with ice cream sourced from local dairies like Kleinpeter Dairy (https://www.kleinpeterdairy.com/) in Baton Rouge or Flowing Hills Creamery in Belmont (https://www.facebook.com/FlowingHills/).

Anybody want to invest?

Posted in cooking, gumbo, Louisiana, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cross-Country Ragweed

I’m allergic to California. Everything’s blooming here and my immune system is in hyperdrive.

California poppies and lupines, which are 3rd cousins to the Texas bluebonnets

It’s hard to sleep if you take a decongestant. It’s harder to sleep if you don’t.

After Lyle and I hiked the 4 mile Redwood Canyon trail in Garland Park with 1,062 feet of elevation gain yesterday, I slept pretty dang good.

I used my hiking poles, so there was no stabbing pain in my knees to keep me awake.

View from the Redwood Canyon Trail, Garland Park, Monterey County, CA
Photo credit: Erin Adams posted to AllTrails.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/redwood-canyon-trail–3/photos

Tomorrow we’re planning a bike ride on the rec trail.

Photo credit: Ben Chavez on AllTrails

This has been a glorious, if chilly, spring. Much better than last year when the whole region was on fire and we had to stay locked up in the house with the windows closed during a heat wave.

Moving to California, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And it was totally worth it.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

“Don’t Take this Personally.” Four new poetry publications in Brief Wilderness–the space between.

These are amazing poems by my friend Patricia L. Meek.

https://briefwilderness.com/2021/03/19/dont-take-this-personally-by-patricia-l-meek/ Sophia’s Door 2017 BREATHE I drove a hundred miles in the rain …

“Don’t Take this Personally.” Four new poetry publications in Brief Wilderness–the space between.
Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Budget Crunch Decision Criteria

If I were The Decider at a university facing budget cuts and needing to trim personnel, here’s my hot take on some low-hanging fruit.

1st to go: Person(s) who have either (a) emailed the entire 752 person campus list-serv about a personal issue, e.g. their technological incompetence inability to find the Zoom recordings, or (b) the person(s) who replied all to such an email asking to be removed from the list.

You know who you are.

2nd on the chopping block: At the beginning of this pandemic, very few people were familiar with Zoom/Teams/GoogleMeet and could be forgiven for rambling while on mute. Now, not so much. Equally vile are all the folks who hop on a virtual meeting while simultaneously yelling at their co-habitants without muting themselves.

Oh, to be a meeting co-host and have the POWER to mute those careless miked-up goobers.

My online classes start this week, and I’m sure karma will backhand me for my impertinence and I’ll forget to record the class post-break at least twice. Or maybe I will make a slide that says RECORD THIS MEETING!

Follow me for more easy budgeting solutions.

Posted in accounting, Education, karma, Monterey, Navy, Politics, Saving Money, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hotel California

Earlier this month, we had a 3 hour faculty meeting from 4 – 7 pm (1600 – 1900 for those who use military time). Needless to say, it wasn’t good news that kept us glued to our seats after hours.

To use Randy Newman’s words from Louisiana 1927: What has happened down here is the winds have changed.

In the best of times, there are hawks and doves and no deficits. This– this is not the best of times. Neither is it the worst of times. It is, however, a time of change. A time of reflection.

As I sit in one of the most beautiful spots in the country, I am thinking about an Eagles song just now: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Which I interpret similar to John Craigie’s I am California:

So drink all my wine, cut all my trees
Make love on my beaches, smoke all my weed
I am California, can’t you see?
Wherever you roam, you’ll always want me

These past 2 years have been an incredible experience. Natural beauty in all of its aspects: ocean waves, mountains, verdant valleys, redwood forests, seasonal fruit, wildfires, earthquakes, and mudslides.

I had so many pre-conceived notions about California before I became a resident. I entertained a kind of west-coast bias that the people here don’t deserve any more than Southerners or blondes deserve their stereotypes.

Monterey, Big Sur, the California Central Coast— this is a magical place. A place where Mother Earth makes herself known, and Poseidon is forever flirting upon her shores. A place where you can steep in the stillness of a redwood fairy circle and see translucent fae wings flashing in the sunbeams trickling through the evergreen limbs. A place of plenty, where the temperate climate and rich soils produce food year round and the ocean teems with life.

Such a place.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Queen of the General Ledger

Once upon a time, when I worked at Exchange Bank, I told my boss that I wanted to be called Queen of the General Ledger, and so he did.

I have long self-identified as royalty.

Not to brag, but Je suis tres avante garde. And by that I mean I beat Elon Musk to it by a good 12 years.

In filings with the SEC today, Elon changed his title to Technoking of Tesla and his CFO’s title to Master of Coin. No, this is not fake news: https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-gets-new-title-of-technoking-of-tesla-11615813693

Follow me for more great ideas, decades before their time!

Posted in accounting, Goal setting, Louisiana, Monterey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Weekend

Sleeping in feels great until you discover that there is more light later in the day, which means you can see the inside of your microwave.

Mine looks like the aftermath of a gremlins’ pizza party.

The Gremlins microwave scene is just too gross to share.

My microwave repertoire consists of boiling water for instant grits (AM) or hot toddies (PM), so I’m unsure about how it gets so grimy. Just another unsolvable scientific mystery.

This roadside attraction just north of Monterey is much more interesting than my microwave’s messy interior.

On the brighter side, I ordered some silver polish in case I get the en vie to do some spring cleaning anytime soon. It would probably be more cost effective (time & effort) to get some stainless steel instead of using my grandma’s silver. #FirstWorldProblems

Posted in California, Louisiana, LSU, Monterey, Politics, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

House Arrest

I stared too long into the abyss… and TikTok stared back.

Why, Blanche!

Californians have been on house arrest for a year now, with no time off for good behavior, wildfires, or mudslides.

If you’re not too depressed to get out of bed off the couch, the good news is that spending at least 2 hours a week outdoors will make you feel better (https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-better-health-during-the-pandemic-is-two-hours-outdoors-the-new-10-000-steps-11613304002.)

I’m lucky that Monterey is overrun with nature: beaches, deer, mountains, forests, raccoons. I saw a bevy of quail on campus this morning.

Callipepla californica aka California quail is the CA state bird. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Click the link for more info on the CA Quail: (https://www.thespruce.com/california-quail-4690899)

Even with a dedicated writers’ night, I can’t find the mental energy to work on any of my longer projects. It seems like every time I have re-charged my batteries and am ready to commence creating, a frustrating meeting or computer malfunction or a power steering pump failure arises to drain the life from my soul.

My current strategy (until I win the lottery) is to see if I can break my tasks down into smaller bites than FINISH NOVEL & SERIES. That’s a bit overwhelming and vague.

I can commit to 10 minutes a day (which is better than no minutes a day) and maybe build from there– ’cause you know Every Little Bit Counts.

Posted in California, Continuouse Improvement, Monterey, parks & recreation, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment