Somewhere between…

In case you’re playing along at home, there”s been a mild blip in our travel adventures.  Something about a general strike in Greece?  Our flight from Lesvos to Athens was canceled this morning. 

We won’t know until about noon if the 6:00 pm overnight ferry will sail.  That’s the only chance for us to make our flights out of Athens to our respective continents tomorrow.

So we sit and read and surf in a harborside cafe, awaiting news.  We are somewhere between “mildly fucked” and “up the ass without a courtesy spit”.

Sort of like “The Amazing Race”, without the supermodels and camera crews.

We will improvise, adapt and overcome.  In the meantime?  Another cup of coffee…

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Update:  The ferry sailed  from Mytilene on time.  We were on it!  We’d booked 1st class passage, giving us a cabin to horse around in over night.  Ferry docked briefly at the island of Chios around 10 pm, and then we sailed overnight to the port of Athens.  No problems with the strike – but i almost created a problem with a rather adorable bartender on the ferry…

My flights went on time, and i was home after about 24 hours of ships, planes, trains and automobiles.  nursemyra arrived at her short stop in asia, and dolce – who had a grueling wait in Athens (flight left about 12 hours after ours), followed by a REALLY long transit – was en route to South Africa. 

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Birthday Kyk from A Broad

Before i even started blogging, i was reading the blog of this weird guy in Cape Town, South Africa.  He was an engineering type, but had a history of doing community theater – and writing scathing observations on both…

He had a format change*, and has been writing a three-panel webcomic for the past few years.  And i am continually amazed at his efficient and scathing exploitaton of the english language .

Happy birthday, kyknoord, you sexy bitch…

* Not unlike a sex change,  i suppose… perhaps a teeny bit less messy.

triple corset friday

With a bit of assistance from the proprietress of our apartment, we were able to collect photos for Triple Corset Friday.  Be sure to check out the corresponding photos over at the incredible edible nursemyra’s place, and dolce’s blog.

i was somewhat unprepared… fortunately, there was a convenient fig tree on the property… So i guess it’s “Fig Leaf Friday” for me.

(and no, i’m not knocked up.  blaming the dress for that illusion.  we’d have to name it “Houdini Jesus” at this point…)

Theft

Maybe five or six years old, the kid was pretty lousy on the accordion.  He was singing along – “Oh, How We Danced on the Night That We Wed”.

He was positioned along the walkway to The Acropolis, with a few other street performers scattered along the path.  i looked around for an older sibling, or an adult shill, but he was – at least for the moment – working alone, with the coin box in front of him.

Digging through my wallet, i collected change and dropped it in the box, which is a nice thing to do before snapping a picture. He then politely gestured toward my camera – i figured he wanted to see the photo i’d just taken.

As i knelt down to hand the camera to him, my “paranoid” gently turned on… Not that my camera is worth much, my internal alarm went off that the little dude might make a run for it.

Playing “what if” in my head, i figured i could probably snag him by the ankle from where i was kneeling if he dove into the hedge behind him.  i showed him the picture i’d taken. He then expertly flipped my camera out of ‘display’ mode, and snapped a shot of me…

That got him the rest of the change in my wallet.  Not only am i a sucker for a cute kid, i have a fondness for entrepreneurs of any age…

Flat Earth Society – Redux

If anyone had told me a few years ago that i’d be packing up my knickers, jumping on an airplane, and meeting a woman from Cape Town, South Africa – whom i’d never actually met – and another woman from Sydney, Australia for a two week holiday in Greece?  i’d have said “you’re fucking out of your mind.”

But it’s 10:30 pm on a Sunday night in an Athens hotel room, and they are just tucking into bed in rather close quarters, as we pack up to head out to the island of Lesvos in the morning.

Although there is a natural amount of anxiety in a blogger meet up, there can be a tremendous amount of anxiety in actually camping out with people who – to the rest of the universe – appear to be strangers to you.  For two weeks.  In another country.

In practice? 

The. Most. Natural. Thing. In. The. World.

i got in first on Friday morning.  Dolce arrived later that day, and nursemyra appeared last evening after some travel complications.  We probably haven’t shut up – other than during periods of sleep or poolside decompression – for three days.  We are visiting a place considered to be part of the cradle of civilization – and it is tremendous – but it has been reduced to almost a backdrop for deepening personal connections.

We are three rather smart, strong, independent and incredibly fucked up women*.  And we are sorting shit out.  Through stream of consiousness conversations, laughs, tears and a bit of Mythos beer, gin and tonics and amazing food.

Three women, from three different continents, meeting up on a fourth…  If anyone had told me a few years ago that i’d be party to such a gathering?  i’d have found it incomprehensible.

Small world, innit?

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* “Fucked up”?  Vastly different ways, nothing debilitating, but we are – as all humans are  – wrangling with a multitude of personal demons.

Dig deep. Think about it.

Burgled this astonishing graphic from sledpress, who found it here.

It’s remarkable in the amount of information and perspective conveyed.  A picture in this case is worth a few thousand words – but i can’t help cough up a few anyway.

Please take the time to scroll down and really look at this. You won’t regret it.

– Deepwater Horizon starts at sea level. 

– As you continue to scroll, try to comprehend the difficulty of operating at depth.  Having just barely tested the waters of recreational diving, there’s an assload of prep required just to dive to 100 feet.  Working with complex mechanical systems at 5,000 feet deep?  Incomprehensible.

– The folks who were screaming “Drill, Baby, Drill” are now howling that the President must do something, perhaps get “more personally involved” – like dive down there himself in a submersible crafted in record time from re-programmed arts funding and plug the leak with his own children? Suspect they still wouldn’t be happy.

– Heartbreaking devastation to the environment, and economy of the gulf coast. Lives disrupted, ecological damage with unknown ramifications. That’s obvious.

– Simple solutions? We’ve all got ’em. Saw an article on CNN today about a kid who came up with a great flange-replacement solution. Cool video, taken by his dad. Appreciate the thought, but try it a mile deep, in the dark, with about a gazillion times more pressure than the garden hose you used to demonstrate your solution…

Bottom line:  You can’t have it both ways.  You want oil?  You want gas that costs $2.95 at the pump? It’s hard to get, and there are risks.  What are you willing to give up to prevent the need for such high risk oil exploration?

There is no simple answer to our dependence on fossil fuel.  We’re pretty much screwed either way

I’m not quite dead yet…

Clearing my e-mail before bedtime, i was rattled by the appearance of this obviously targeted pop-up advertisement on my screen:

Senior people?  Oh, for fuckssake, i’m only 48…  Do i look like a senior citizen?  Doesn’t that start when you’re, like, sixty or something?

Granted, when i turned 47 last year, i started telling everyone i’d turned 50.  My logic is bullet proof.  Once you reach 47, you are no longer in your “mid-forties”.  You officially enter your “late-forties”, and if you tell someone you are in your “late-forties”, they will assume you are a lying sack of shit in denial, and are really fifty. 

So why not go ahead and round it up?

The idea of an on-line dating site for folks over 50 is fine.  But why is their sample chat so damn lame?   “Do you like movies?”  “Yes, all types!  Care to join me?” says the suave and debonair* “LadiesMan”.  Yeah.  i can’t wait to get my hands on that piece of studliness…  When i’m in my 50’s i can damn near guarantee i’ll be a bit more direct – why waste time with small talk, when the clock starts to tick a little louder?

LadiesMan:  Hi!  I like your profile!

50sGal:  You have any medical problems?  Heart trouble?  Un-corrected ED?  How are your teeth?  Latex allergies?

LadiesMan: Would you like to see a movie with me?

50sGal: [offline]

Got this in an e-card from a friend, and this is probably a little closer to where my mental state lies at the moment.  i had one helluva birthday weekend, thankyouverymuch!  This rolling stone ain’t gathering no moss.  At least not yet…

* pronounced “soo-AH-veh and de-BONE-er”…

What? You thought it was MINE?

A couple weeks ago, this lovely vehicle made an appearance in the parking lot at work. 

Invariably, at least six people stopped by my office that day to ask if i’d acquired another vehicle for my fleet… 

What?  Me?  Would i drive a shit heap like that?

Oh… wait…  Right…  i guess i deserved that…

No place like it

The first time i saw the place, my jaw dropped.  It was HUGE!  Five bedrooms?  An extra kitchen downstairs.  Full dining room, with hardwood floors through the entire upstairs.  There was NO WAY that this was going to be my home – it was amazing!  More house than i could have ever wanted…  “We’ll NEVER be able to fill it up*- we don’t have enough stuff!”
 
That feeling washed back over me as i watched the face of the young woman, carrying a baby, as she entered the home for the first time since she and her husband offered to purchase it from me.  Her jaw was very nearly on that hardwood floor.
 
When i moved to “The Barbie Dream Condo” almost two years ago, i kept the old family home as a rental property – waiting for the housing market to recover at least a little.  The house represents my savings, and i wanted to optimize the cash out of it.  The tenants moved out last weekend, and i put the place on the market again last Sunday.  On Wednesday morning**, i was stunned when my realtor brought me three offers…
 
Reviewing the offers over coffee that afternoon, i grilled him about the people who wanted to buy the house.  He described the young couple with five kids (four under the age of 10 plus a 21 year old from a prior marriage), who are currently living in a very small three bedroom home nearby.  He even remembered to check my most important criteria – yes, they have a dog!
 
Sure, i wanted to know their credit scores, ability to come up with the down payment, and timing (whether the sale would be contingent on the sale of their current home).  But it was the five damn kids that sealed it for me.  And the dog***.
 
It was a great house for our family.  A closed neighborhood with very little traffic, it was safe for kids to ride bikes.  Trees.  A creek full of crawdads and tadpoles.  Good neighbors. The kind that look out for each other, without getting nosey – a delicate balance. 
 
After i accepted their offer, The Boy and i decided to drop by and walk through it – he was headed back to school, and wouldn’t have a chance to see it again before closing.  Twenty years of memories.  Scrapes on the concrete ledge in the garage where The Boy perfected edge grinds.  The artsy-fartsy light switch covers in The Girl’s old bedroom.  The ceramic tile in the kitchen, installed by my niece’s first husband – as he tried to earn money to pay his legal fees after his arrest.  Goofy stickers on the dartboard in The Boy’s old bedroom. 
 
As The Boy and i drove home, he said “That chapter is closed.  Nice to have seen it one last time.”  It’s almost closed for me, too.  If all goes well, that will happen Tuesday morning, after the paperwork is completed and i hand over the keys and garage door openers. 
 
It brings me tremendous pleasure that there will be little kids in that home.  And a dog. 

yep. that was our car...

 
* Stumble  forward 20 years.  We filled it.  And then some… dumped a couple tons at the garage sale.
 
** Happy fucking birthday, by the way!  It sold in three days.  My advice:  listen to your realtor.
 
*** The husband told me it’s a Doberman, who is afraid of climbing stairs.  She’ll either get over it, or spend a lot of time downstairs!

If we couldn’t laugh…

Another birthday.  Just a little over a week into June, and it’s already been a long month.  Despite some difficult moments over the past few weeks, my kids came through with another epic birthday card.

Note: i am not - at present - a grandmother.

Inside view:

For reference, my son has signed all cards with his first and last name since he was a small boy.

The presentation was topped off by them both rubbing their bellies: “Hmmm…. feels like a little soccer player” and “Guess who’s fireman wasn’t wearing a hat?”

Thanks, kids.  You turned out ok, despite my piss-poor parenting skills.  i’m a happy ol’ lady tonight.

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane…