Tyr’s Day

I ran out of calories at noon today.

There’s a slight, miniscule chance it was because I put hot cocoa powder and heavy whipping cream in my morning coffee.


This is not my photo, My plants aren’t that nice and my beverage is twice as big.

I knew there’d be consequences, but thought after 48 hours of serious dieting that my stomach had probably shrunk to the size of a peanut walnut apple.

It hadn’t.

Much like the wolf who will gnaw off it’s own paw to escape a trap, my hope is that my body will gnaw off convert its stored fat for energy. This analogy is especially appropriate today, Tuesday, Tyr’s Day.

According to Mythopedia, Tyr (for whom Tuesday is named) is the Norse god of war who lost his arm to Loki’s offspring, the giant wolf Fenrir.

This is what HANGRY looks like.

Posted in chocolate, Continuouse Improvement, Monterey, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pressure Points

Foam rollers. They hurt so good. In the age of social distancing and no personal services like massages, they’re a critical piece of firmware in my house.

It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

Lyle’s flight to France leaves pretty early this morning, so we spent the night in a Marriott hotel next to the SF airport in order to reduce my stress of driving in heavy traffic in heavy fog in the dark. And we wanted to get a good night’s sleep.

The beds were as hard as rocks. I’ve lain on gym floors that were more comfortable (6th grade PE campout that got rained out.)

I tossed. I turned. I literally slept on all the pillows.

Now I know for sure which Princess I am. No more Facebook quizzes needed.

But, here’s the thing— when I woke up this morning, the bed was softer.

Or was it?

Maybe it was me. Maybe I was so tense, so rigid, that it made resting hard.

Maybe my circumstances, my outlook, gave me the wrong impression about the reality surrounding me.

And that’s something to think about.

Posted in Writing | 3 Comments

The Glamourous Life

MONTEREY, CA. October 2, 2020. It’s 8 p.m. on a Friday night. I’m home alone, dressed in my mama pajamas, deleting over 5,000 emails from my web-based server. I think there’s a setting that will automatically delete them from the server as I delete them from my phone, but that’s a headache project for another day.

The hinge on my mail slot squeaks, and I startle at the unmistakable sounds of mail being pushed through, hitting the pine floor, and fanning out behind the front door.

At least I’m not the only person still working this week.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

It’s Never JUST the Dishwasher

A friend brought a pressure washer over to my house to eradicate the moss and mold from the brick patio in my rented backyard.

No good deed goes unpunished is my de facto motto, and we soon discovered that not only were the aluminum waterhose connectors stuck to the spigots, but the aluminum fittings on the hoseheads were also stuck, making it mostly impossible to use the pressure washer.


Unless you’re making pre-Pinterest pipe-cleaner caterpillars, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Simple Project (TANSTAASP), and even then you’ll still need glue and googly eyes.

Credit: https://smallfox.typepad.com/a_small_fox_in_a_big_worl/2008/07/crawlies.html

I should have learned this lesson last millennium when we replaced the dishwasher in the house on Letitia Street. If we made 1 trip to the hardware store in 1994, we made a dozen.

The only easy part was removing the broken dishwasher. Everything after that was akin to an Act of Congress.

Have you ever tried to get rid of an old appliance in a city? It’s not like you can just throw it in the woods behind the house or take it to an empty dumpster down an old dirt road.

This is a representative photo and not an actual photo of my yard or the yard of anyone that I know.

The moral of this story, if there is one, is a cautionary tale: it’s never JUST the dishwasher.

There are hidden costs to every action.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And for goodness sake, NEVER use aluminum fittings on brass faucets.

Posted in Continuouse Improvement, DIY Project, family, Louisiana, Saving Money, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fortune’s Favors

Fortune favors the bold, the brave, and the prepared. That’s what I’ve heard, anyways.

What does it mean to be lucky?

I was thinking about athletes today, Olympians, in particular, because they got cancelled. They were born with the right combination of favorable genetics, the drive to train to be the best, and the opportunity to discover their talents, i.e. they were born lucky.

Or, were they? What do they do when they’re past their prime? When they’re no longer the premier athlete? Who are they?

When an athlete retires, a soldier loses a limb, or a parent loses a child, how do they recover from that? How do they reach through the despair and find the will to live, to overcome? To offer life their other cheek?

How do people in Cameron, LA, rebuild for the 3rd time in 15 years? How did Jews survive Auschwitz? How?

Were they lucky?

Do they count their blessings?

I think they do. I think GRATITUDE is they answer– to almost every, single question.

Is it easy to practice gratitude? No, not at all.

Gratitude is like fiber, it is necessary. Necessary and sufficient.


Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

#Laura #Camille #RiverFire #2020

Overheard in my living room: How did we move from a place with too much rain to not enough?

Damn. Good. Question.

California is on fire. #Historic lightning storm sparked fires in NorCal and the Central Coast. It rained ash in Monterey and the air was thick with smoke. It’s been a week and the fires aren’t out.

California Wildfires 08/26/2020. Source: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/

Meanwhile in Louisiana…

Hurricane Laura approaches Louisiana as one of the strongest storms in history. “Unsurvivable storm surge,” per the Weather Channel on Cameron, La.

Cat4 Hurricane Laura approaches the Louisiana coastline. Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/26/us/laura-evacuations-covid-19/index.html

Historic catastrophes during a pandemic… which means that emergency evacuation shelters in neither state could open to capacity. During #HISTORIC #catastrophes.

What a day when your choices are burn/flood/tornado or catch the covid?

“Damn. We’re in a tight spot.” ~O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?

What a mess. Yet, like the command center during the movie Apollo 13, I feel that it is also our finest hour.

Emergency personnel, from firefighters on the ground, to helicopter pilot with their buckets, sheriffs’ deputies calling on citizens to evacuate, to airplane pilots flying through 150 mph winds, ANSWER THE CALL.

Neighbors, relatives, strangers– volunteer their homes, time and money to help those who are suffering.

This is my America.

These are my people.

#Laura #Camille

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment


A weird thing happened on the way to the beach. Today, for the first time in the 445 days (2020 is a leap year) since I moved here, I wasn’t agog, amazed, or aghast at the fact that I live in California.

I didn’t even take any pictures at Asilomar, so you know it’s getting real.

It’s official. I’m a HipNeck (hippy redneck).

Obligatory beach photo (taken last week when I had not yet assimilated).
Posted in California, Leap year, Louisiana, Monterey, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cost-Benefit Analysis

This is a post about hair. My hair, specifically.

I love this movie.

My hair’s long– not Crystal Gayle long, but messy bun on top of my head long, and I like it like that. Or, I did, until the virus shut down all the beauty salons, and I discovered the truth.

My hair is gray. Not Emmy Lou Harris gray, but more Kathy Bates in “Misery meets American Horror Story.”

Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Roanake

The time and money I spent on my hair, I deemed worthy, pre-robot vacumn.

I love Scooter. He eradicates all the dust bunnies under the beds and does a phenomenal job eliminating the beach sand. HOWEVER… I spend several minutes a day cleaning the hair off his roller brush, which significantly reduces his efficiency.

This isn’t my hair, but when Leah and I lived in that Baton Rouge apartment, the vacumn roller looked just like this, but with blonde hair.

My frustration with this whole situation makes me just want to shave it off a la Britney Spears, but since my hair all fell out in 2015, I know this isn’t the answer.

What is the answer? I don’t know for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion the answer is my least favorite… Patience.

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

The 800th of March

In less than an hour, it will be August 1st, or as Lyle calls it, the 800th of March.

Family Vacation, rated R-style.

It’s not a secret, divine or otherwise, that CV-19 can cause a girl to drop her basket.

These accents will sho’ nuff make you want to hurl.

Just about the time I think I’ve wrangled this octopus, some kind of geriatric complication arises (numbness in leg, then foot, then hand), and I’m in time-out for two weeks.

Geriatric is perhaps an exaggeration. Reality is that right now is likely the mid-point of my life. I can’t imagine another 50 years with these same knees, which is weird, because I can imagine a lot.

When I think about the technological changes over the last 25 years, it boggles my mind. I started college with an electric typewriter, and reluctantly progressed to WordStar, Excel, and pivot tables. In graduate school, I wrote SAS programs on punch cards and sent email over 2400 baud modems; now I can wireless video-chat from anywhere in the world.

Where might we be in 2050? The moon? Mars? Arcturus?

Will we be capable of regenerating our own tissues and repairing aging telomeres? Can I live as long as Methusaleh? Transplant my brain or download my consciousness to my 20 year old body?

Would it be a blessing or a curse to have a 70 year old mind into my lab-grown 20-year-old body?

It’s kinda like the lottery jackpot– maybe it’s good, maybe it isn’t; but, I’d sure like the option of deciding my ownself.

Posted in Writing | 3 Comments

Embrace the Suck

Some Green Berets park their bicycles outside my campus office, and I’ve stood in the lunch line with some Navy Seals. These close encounters clearly make me an expert on Special Forces, especially the lingo.

110417-A-5937M-004 U.S. Army Pvt. Charles Shidler crawls through mud searching for the next covered fighting position during training for individual movement techniques at the Camp Ravenna Joint Maneuver Training Center in Ravenna, Ohio, on April 17, 2011. The technique is one of more than 200 common tasks that Shidler and about 3,600 other soldiers assigned to the 37th brigade must complete before they deploy to Afghanistan this fall to support Operation Enduring Freedom. DoD photo by Sgt. Sean Mathis, U.S. Army. (Released)

Granted, I’m not physically crawling through mud while people are shooting at me, but the extended work at home and associated closures (beaches, parks, gyms) has been difficult for me.

I know how fortunate I am, and it has still been hard.

What seems to have been a critical turning point for me was accepting that things aren’t going back to normal anytime soon, if ever. Also, planning for the future (football games, vacations) is out the window.

I’m being hit over the head repeatedly with the idea that TODAY is the only day I have.

Posted in Writing | 3 Comments