Ten Years After…

As i procrastinate forge my way into the new year, it occurred to me that it was ten years ago that i wandered into the blogosphere. As a recently divorced woman with an emptying nest, and inspired by a real life friend who was a blogger from the early days, i put a toe into the blogwaters.

10th birthdayFar more disciplined (and less distracted) back then, i generally posted daily – a concept that boggles my mind. That was before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram were available to serve as host platforms for oversharing of the mundane aspects of daily life.  Short blasts, mostly reflecting on my days, i would dig in deep and hoark up something difficult about once a week.

People showed up. i followed a few people, commented regularly, and was honored and astonished when they would stop by my virtual trailer park and leave a comment or two. And they stayed – some of you crazy folks have been hanging around from nearly the start. Others have wandered in for a bit, and wandered off. Even though i’ve been far more sporadic of late, i still see the occasional first timer.

Initially, i expected this to be a somewhat masturbatory activity – spanking my keyboard in solitude. By the end of the first year, i’d made some virtual friends in the blogosphere. In my first year of blogging in 2008, i decided that flying to Europe to meet up with a couple of them was a grand idea – and i did so. Learning much from that trip, i did it again in 2010, meeting up with my two besties from Australia and South Africa and having quite an adventure in Greece for two weeks.

Despite wondering if i would end up abducted, robbed, or skinned, it has all worked out fabulously. The people i’ve found through this blog – and those who have stepped from the realm of the virtual to the real – have been good people, people i am glad to have as part of my world. Those i’ve never managed to meet in person, remain just as real to me.

Somewhere along that path, i stopped considering my blogmates as virtual friends. They are just as real to me as those i see on a regular basis.

From the outset i planned to write for myself, and kept this blog disconnected from my ‘real life’. i do not hump this blog to my friends to drive stats, and it continues to humble me that those who wander in and read are doing so based solely on the words that i spew into the ether…

On this 10th Birthday for The Trailer Park Refugee, i thank you for showing up, commiserating, and taking the time from your day to reach out and connect with a strange woman stranger that may only seem to exist inside of your computer, or tablet, or phone. i assure you, i am real.

The path i’ve wandered for the past decade, documented on this ol’ blog, brought me here… And i’m good – damn good – with where i’ve landed. What will the next 10 bring?

Beats the fuck outta me… but let’s go!

Here’s to a grand year ahead for all of us!

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30 Days – Part 2

With communal accountability, i was able to make some very gentle adjustments to my habits over the past 30 days.  Re-discovering my ability to focus on reading honest-to-god BOOKS, I’ve cleared three and a half from my reading pile, while re-wiring some of the focus-neurons in my brain.  

In addition, this “seven hours sleep/night” thing has worked wonders – except when it hasn’t (largely driven by opportunities to stay out too late playing with my little friends).  i can now go to bed before 11 pm, and awaken without too much drama at 6 am – and as a result, not wind up dragging my sorry ass to the office late.

Thanks to bob for orchestrating the “accountability” portion of the game – a very clever experiment. We’re going to do it again!  i enjoyed tracking the progress of my partners in self-improvement across the globe.  

The idea came from a TED talk, which is really about trying something new, not just doing little bits of self-improvement tweakage.  But it also emphasizes small, sustainable movement…. So i kept it small…  

Round 2 starts on Monday, 15 August, and if any of you are so inclined, stop by our tracking blog, and let bob know you want to play along!

With another bit of travel in the middle of this one, i needed something portable again.  Not yet ready to tackle learning a language, or anything of substance, i’ve decided to target something that has simply started to annoy the shit out of me.

My arms. They are starting to look like Mom’s.  Which used to whap me in the head when i was a little girl, scampering* around the kitchen.  

Call them what you will – “Bingo Wings”, “Auntie Arms”, “Nanna Wobble”, “Sugargliders” – they suck.  And i am declaring war on mine. 

Using The 100 Push Up Challenge as a model training program, i am committing to 30 days of the program.  Also committing to posting a weekly photo of my flaps.  Not in a corset, mind you.  There is nothing sexy about arm flaps.

Since that’s a 3 day/week activity, i’ll throw in something for alternate days for my ass.  Squats, that is….  Not “sitting on it”.  No photos of the backside, however… even i have my limits, and will spare you the arse shots.

Rather than count on just the communal accountability this time, i did something quite stupid last week.  i have a young engineer on my team who is a former Marine.  He is a rabid distance runner, and is in great physical shape – always encouraging the rest of us to “Move!”  He also shouts “Drop and give us 50!” when someone shows up late for a meeting…

At a group meeting i mentioned to him that i would be starting a push up training program – and that by Christmas i would be able to drop and give him at least 40.  On my toes. And asked him to hold me to it…

Let’s hope my shoulder holds out…

pic found here

 

* “Scampering”?  Did i ever scamper?  Even as a small child?

Double Corset in the Windy City

This has been too much fun… Taking advantage of the goofy decor in the hotel suite, we were able to do a double corset shot with the head of William Shakespeare in the background. 

This “self-portrait with 10-second timer” thing has proven to be a bit of a challenge, however… this one catches nursemyra doing a last minute rack adjustment…

We had better luck with the set photographed by the orange chaise lounge.  Red leather corset purchased in Chicago, and my powder blue lace rig found in an East Village thrift store.

nursemyra has posted her photos from the Chicago session here.  Love the one of her sitting across the lounge chair! 

We had a blast.  Our NYC tourguide, unbearable banishment, was an absolute delight!  Meeting Shrink Rap and alone…with cats?  Delicious!  We giggled our way through Manhattan, fueled by margaritas!

And our local host in Chicago was none other than rassles!  She is so much fun to hang out with, i’m just going to have to come back!  Suspect that we could find all kinds of trouble under the right circumstances…

Corset Friday – New York Edition

Bright lights, big city, and another chance to have a corset-themed slumber party with the lovely nursemyra!  Girls on holiday…  i can’t begin to tell you how much fun it is to do this with the mistress of Corset Friday!

Given the location for the photoshoot this morning, finding an appropriate backdrop proved to be a challenge.  Our borrowed flat is something of a Buddhist retreat – and assuring that no spiritual icons accidently appeared amongst the corsetry was important…

There are other properties in the apartment, however, that appear to have no direct spiritual connection.  Such as this lovely stuffed puffin.  We have no idea why he is there, amongst the Buddahs.  But he is adorable….

nursemyra also has her photos up here… We’ve had a rather entertaining morning, as these posts are both going up from the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library!

Yes, we are silly old broads…  But we are having a blast!

Hooray, hooray! We’re on our way!

My summer holiday starts today! 

This year, instead of lazing about on the Aegean, it’s off to the bright lights, big city!  i have the amazing good fortune to be meeting up with the incredible, edible nursemyra for adventures in NYC and Chicago!

This blog was for personal therapy.  Still is.  Over time, i was astonished at the by-product of writing – personal connections that developed with others… through comments, e-mails… and the sharing of words across continents.

The lumpy, shy girl from the neighborhood grew up and learned to say “What the fuck, i’m in!”  Caution?  Whazzat?  The adventures began when i decided to travel to Spain* to spend a week in the company of women i’d never met. 

Since that time,  i’ve had many blogger meet ups — and with only one unpleasant surprise along the way, i think it’s gone very well!  Culminating in a successful holiday in Greece last summer with the lovely dolce, and nursemyra, i’m quite comfortable scooting off again with my lovely travel mate from down-under!

For what it’s worth, we’re both packing lingerie and cameras…  a ‘double corset’ could happen.  Or not.  Because those photo shoots are a lot of work.  And we’re feeling pretty lazy… 

There will be books, and friends, and museums, and theater… and perhaps a few things more!  i’ll be posting updates on my 30 day challenge here, but otherwise, i expect to only be out and about in the blogosphere sporadically.

Happy July, y’all!

—————

* Let alone, post photos of myself wearing only the barest essentials…

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…)

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?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Trippin’

Another roadtrip.  This one a combination of certification, business, and pleasure…. 

On the front end of the trip to become “rescue” certified as a diver, threw in a stop in Crystal River, Florida – a chance to snorkel with manatees.  It’s always a crapshoot, the number of manatees skulking around in the warm, brackish water is a huge variable. 

With the dive group, we rented a pontoon boat today for our adventure.  i saw an astonishing number of large, lumpy, sluggish and stupid creatures in the river.  A few manatees, too. 

There were many humans in the mix, and as we tried to snorkel in a “low disturbance” manner, not everyone in the water understood the concept.  i was even hit by a woman in a kayak, and another kayaker whacked me with a paddle in a narrow channel.

The snorkel adventure allowed a chance for the dive group to get familiar with each other, and do a bit of pre-certification bonding.  One gent – who impressed me with his massive cranial density during our political discussions at breakfast – made a noble attempt to pull a beer can from the water.

Thinking that if he missed it, i could somehow fish it out with the oar, i realized after the photos appeared that it looked like i stood ready to kill the can, should it attack.   Or possibly thwack him on the head.  But hey, you gotta support a noble gesture in any form…

The highlight of the day, without a doubt, was the opportunity for a meet-up with a blog friend.  Lynn, of Trippin’ with Rip, was willing to throw her amazing pup, Django, in the jeep and make the long trek to meet for lunch. 

She is delicious and sweet and saucy and genuine….  Truly one of the warmest humans i’ve met!  It was fabulous to put a voice and a face to the words, and we’re plotting opportunities to do it again!   There is no pretense with Lynn, and it was sheer pleasure to spend a few hours over lunch making the personal connection.

 

And no, i’m not really that tall.  She is a sharp cookie, and busted me for standing on the curb…

Tomorrow starts dive certifications – and i’ve threatened to just randomly start rescuing strangers to earn bonus points.  From there?  i’ll be headed somewhere else for a week long business trip…  Onwards…