Sip, sip hooray!

With the end of 2016 approaching, I decided to take a good look at my life and at my Delta Skymiles account. I probably should have done both much sooner.

Not having enough time to change my life, I opted to focus on meeting my MQDs minimum and finding a nice city where I could enjoy lunch for less than $900 and no more than $1000 – airfare included. This situation I found myself in is commonly referred to as ‘first world problems.’ Regardless, I needed to resolve the problem.

I reached out to my Facebook friends for recommendations and, within minutes, the destination was determined: New Orleans, Louisiana and lunch at Pascal’s Manale.

As I contemplated whether or not I should travel solo, I realized it had been a while since Sleepless and I had just flown somewhere for a meal (the last time we did this was when we went to Paris – which quickly turned into Switzerland – for dinner several years ago). It was late, but I knew she wouldn’t be sleeping, so I sent her a text.

Within minutes we were booked and, a few days later, we were in New Orleans for lunch. Beginning our adventure just after midnight on 12/30, and returning just after midnight on 12/31, we managed to spend nearly as much time in the air and airports as we did in New Orleans and we loved every minute of our 24-hour adventure. We had no baggage – physical or emotional – just a desire to enjoy good food.

Within an hour of arriving in New Orleans we were dusted in beignet powder, I had spilled coffee on my one and only pair of pants and we were headed to purchase an alcoholic beverage. A perfect beginning to what turned out to be a perfect day.

We settled in at a nice pub on Bourbon street and did as most would do with only a few hours in an amazing city – penned a few postcards. Once our postcards were written we, drinks in hand, made our way to the local post office. After that pitstop, we found a great LGBTQ shop and stocked up on hats, t-shirts and the like. “Do you think they think we’re gay?” Sleepless asked as we left the shop. “I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. Two lipstick lesbians buying every pride item we could find…” I quipped.

After this stop we decided to try a Hurricane – a NOLA tradition. We gave it the old college try and, one to two sips later we did as any practical middle-aged adult would do: threw it away at the very next bar. Not ready to give up on the NOLA traditions, we ordered two Hand Grenades. After our experience with the Hurricane, we asked about the ingredients prior to ordering. “What’s in the Hand Grenade?” “We don’t know – they ship it to us pre-made, but it is all clear liquids.” Clear liquids. What could go wrong?

In true hand grenade fashion, it delivered an explosive punch. By the time we arrived at our final and original destination, dinner, we were ready to eat. To stick with the clear liquids, we ordered a bottle of white wine to complement our meal, tied our bibs, and enjoyed a little Creole food. Then, like a hurricane, we blew out of town, back to the airport, where we waited to return home and I contemplated whether or not I had a shellfish allergy.

Sleepless knows me well, and knew I was contemplating something. “You okay?” she asked. “Oh, yes, I’m fine,” I replied as I rummaged thought the seat pocket for the barf bag. “I’ll be right back,” I politely told her then, as quickly and calmly as I could, I made my way for the airplane loo.

After “painting” the loo a Creole hue, and then providing it a thorough cleaning, I returned to my seat to find Sleepless waiting for me with a glass of water and a toast, “Sip, sip, hooray!” Indeed.

Martha, Martha, Martha

With a new year approaching, many people resolve to commit to new or renewed beliefs or behaviors – go to the gym, spend less, save more, eat less, travel, quit drinking and/or doing drugs, spend more time with family and friends (Side note: These are all impossible resolutions if one truly commits to spending more time with family and friends). For most, these resolutions quickly fall to the back burner.

I’ve actually never made any of these resolutions. At least, not wholeheartedly. I’ve thought about doing a few of them (those that I don’t already do) but never moved from the place of contemplation to completion. I blame this on my upbringing. When I was a child, I attended church with my family. It was often preached that thinking was the same as doing. I was a thinker, so I had ‘done a lot’ by the time I was baptized at the ripe age of eight. Fortunately, the baptism was meant to wash away all of my sins. Fortunately, like a freshly bathed dog, I ran right back outside and rolled in the dirt; or, at a minimum, I thought about doing it. I’ve been rolling in the dirt for many years now – keeping my wolf scent fresh.

Recently, I hosted a holiday party – something I used to do more frequently and have been thinking about doing for some time. I invited friends, a few family members, spent money, and ate and drank a lot. While some aim to put the ‘Christ’ in Christmas, I put my attention on the ‘mas.’ For those who don’t know, ‘mas’ is ‘more’ in Spanish and I’m all about more; especially if its a good thing.

After the party, I began the clean-up. I found a lot more alcohol and food than what was originally provided and I found a few more ‘gifts’: a couple of Loxitane (one was in my boot – a very European way to leave a gift), a pair of prescription sunglasses, and a set of keys.

A few days later, I went shopping and ended up buying way more than I really needed. When I returned home, I began unpacking the shopping bags and found another set of keys. I was beginning to think I was part of an unofficial key party.

I decided to research the symbolism behind keys and discovered a few ‘key’ things they represent: privileged access, freedom, knowledge, success, liberation, good dreams, authority, and power. I also learned about St. Martha and I discovered she and I share some common behaviors. She’s all about hospitality, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, respects a good broom, and is often portrayed with a set of keys.

I decided to take my research a little further and typed, ‘Who is better Mary Magdalene or Martha?’ My laptop, knowing me better than most, immediately auto populated, ‘Who is better Mary Magdalene or Martha’s Vineyard.’ Martha’s Vineyard for the win (coincidentally, ‘win’ always auto corrects to ‘wine’ and ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ auto corrects to ‘earth girls are easy’)! Martha, Martha, Martha’s Vineyard, I think I owe you a visit again. I’ll grab a set of keys and head your way.

Vic. No, Bobby. No, Vic… Wait, who, what?

Every year I have the privilege of attending a water users meeting. This annual meeting informs property owners with water rights of any crucial facts they may need to know when using their irrigation water in the summer.

The meeting is chaired by our group’s mediator and a secretary. Both of them are in their late seventies, early eighties.

Although the meeting has nothing to do with religion, due to the predominant religion in the hood, it is held in a church an starts with a prayer. I purposely arrive late to avoid that activity.

This year, after the prayer, our mediator moved right into the meeting and requested an approval of the minutes (from last year). The man in front of me quickly moved to approve the minutes, then immediately questioned whether or not he should instead make a motion. Regardless, the minutes were approved.

It was then that the mediator made a big announcement, “I’m stepping down as mediator so we need someone to replace me. I really like the secretary and she’s done a real good job all these years so before I step down I’d like to make the decision that she remain the secretary.”

The man in front of me shouted out a name, “Vic Laird.”

“Is that your name? Are you nominating yourself?” the mediator asked. “Huh, well, alright.”

“Yes,” he replied.

The woman a few seats down from him followed suit and shouted out a name, “Bobby Windsor.”

The second name appeared to be more in line with what the mediator wanted. As a result, while still in his position of ‘mediator power’ and at the podium, he shared his opinion of the second nominee.

“I just want to say I really like Bobby Windsor. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a good fella. Okay, let’s vote if you want Bobby to have this job raise your hand.”

Several people raised their hands. Others, like myself, weren’t sure who to vote for because we didn’t know the credentials (if any) of each nominee and we didn’t know Vic or Bobby. The mediator and the secretary did not let these facts get in the way of their version of a democratic process and started counting all of the hands in the air.

“Nine,” the secretary asked.

“Yes, either nine or ten,” the mediator replied then instructed, “Now, raise your hands if you want Vic.”

Several of us raised our hands, me included. I didn’t know Vic nor did I know Bobby but I felt Bobby got an unfair endorsement for just being a good fella.

The counting began again.

“Ten” the secretary said.

“I got nine or ten,” the mediator advised.

The secretary got up out of her seat, walked over to the mediator, attempted to use her hand to block sound and “whispered” in the mediator’s ear, “What should we do? We’ve got a tie or Vic won.”

The mediator looked at the meeting attendees and announced, “We’re doing another vote. This time, stand if you want Bobby.”

A few people stood up and he advised them to wait until he asked them to stand. Thus, they sat down.

“Okay, if you want Bobby, stand up.”

Several people stood up and the the mediator and secretary started counting quietly together.

“Twelve,” they excitedly announced, most likely assuming that Bobby won.

“Now stand up if you want Vic.”

As they began to reach “twelve” the mediator made an announcement, “I think some people stood up twice. Let’s table this for now. Who would like to approve the minutes?”

“We already approved the minutes,” Vic, our frustrated mediator candidate, informed him.

“Oh, alright then,” the mediator replied and decided to let the water manager from the city have some floor time; most likely in an attempt to buy some time between voting.

The water manager shared the same information he shared last year and the mediator proposed another vote.

“Okay. Stand up if you want Bobby.”

“I don’t understand what we’re doing. I thought we already voted,” a meeting attended said.

“Not really,” the mediator replied.

We had clearly voted, just not for the person he had in mind.

As people stood up the mediator and the secretary counted and reminded them to not sit down until they’re told to sit down.

“I think I see some people in the hall,” the mediator noted. “We want to make sure they vote.”

The people in the hall weren’t interested in voting.

“Well, that definitely looks like twelve or 13,” the mediator told the secretary.

“If you want Vic to do it, stand up and everybody else sit down. No getting up if you’ve already voted.”

The whispered conversation between the mediator and the secretary continued until they announced, “Looks like nine. Bobby is the winner!”

And that is how neighborhood democracy works. Perhaps they should try this highly effective, completely accurate method for the Presidential election. Oh, wait, they already do.

Bit of a row…

On My Terms recently invited me to camp with her and her family in the Teton National Forest. I graciously accepted the offer and asked how, exactly, they were camping and what I should do to prepare.

She informed me they would be renting a cabin and a few cabin tents.

“We can have a campfire and camp grill at the cabin tents,” she informed me.

“Do the cabins have loos?” I asked.

“Yes and heat,” she replied.

Wanting heat and others to prepare my meals, I immediately got online and reserved myself a cabin with two double beds, a twin bed, a desk (for penning letters), a toilet, bathroom sink, a shower, and a heater.

At this point in the game I was traveling alone but I figured someone would eventually decide to join me on this adventure. If they didn’t, On My Terms had alluded to the fact that, should cold air ensue, she would probably be joining me in my glamping establishment.

About a week away from the departure date I received a text from Har asking if the invitation to camp was still open. It was indeed and with that a mini high school reunion was set to take place in Colter Bay Village.

After a very long drive to the forest (we were following On My Terms who appeared to be driving there via Google’s terms) we made it to the village and, eventually, retreated to our sleeping quarters.

Har and I slept quite well and were more than ready for a day of adventure. We brewed a pot of coffee, grabbed the pot and walked up to the cabin tent where On My Terms and her family were preparing breakfast.

After a lovely camp meal we decided to give a canoe a try.

On My Terms, a regular in the canoe, had hoped to be assigned to the back of the canoe but the boys at the dock would have none of that. She became the bowman, Har was directed to the stern and me to the middle.

We began rowing and within just a few minutes rowed right into a docked boat.

“Jesus Christ! Have neither of you ever rowed a boat before?” On My Terms shouted from the front.

“I’m Greek,” Har said and added, “We’re not even supposed to camp.”

“No need to get into a row over a row,” I quipped.

Due to the lack of synchrony and my strong desire to take photos, I refrained from rowing and making further comments and, instead, I focused on documenting the occasion. Besides, anyone who rows knows that, just as there can be too many cooks in the kitchen, there can be too many paddles outside of the canoe.

My decision did not go unnoticed.

“Are you even paddling?” On My Terms inquired.

“No, she isn’t,” Har quickly replied, most likely relieved to not have On My Terms questioning her work.

“I’m documenting,” I replied and snapped another photo.

This did not deter On My Terms from her self-appointed position of captain.

“Left. Right,” she barked. “Why the fuck are we not going straight?”

“Do we need to get you a shot or a cigarette?” Har inquired.

“What you need to do is to get rowing straight. I can’t believe I’m the only one in this canoe who knows how to row. I should be in the back,” she snapped and then muttered something.

“Have you ever heard of undercurrent? It’s a real thing,” I advised, then took a selfie.

After a while we were able to better coordinate our efforts and, when we weren’t contending with undercurrents and large wakes, we rowed quite well together.

Unfortunately, our lack of coordination presented again when we pulled the canoe ashore to consider new seating arrangements. On My Terms stepped out, then I stepped out at the same time Har was stepping out. Sadly, Har got dumped into the water.

“Jesus Christ, have you no canoe etiquette?” On My Terms asked me, rhetorically.

I apologized and wished I had my camera out at that moment. To have documented that would have been amazing.

After a short break we returned to the canoe and, despite initial desires, assumed our same positions.

We made it back to the dock without further incident—we did actually take a bit of a wrong turn, but that’s what being in nature is all about.

“I can’t believe we finally got our shit together just as we are returning the canoe,” On My Terms stated.

“Rowing with new partners is like sex with a new partner,” I said. “The first few times are a little awkward. Once you get to know each other, and can better coordinate your moves, it ends.”

And with that, we returned to a task that, for the most part, does not require coordination or a long-term commitment: drinking by the campfire.

Pilot Episode

Like so many artists, Tree and I have been discussing a show idea for years. We’ve even gone so far as to purchase wardrobe for our pilot episode, scouting locations and identifying guests.

The wardrobe/outfits have been sitting amongst many of my other costumes in my costume box/room.

Every so often, Tree will inquire as to when we are actually going to pull them out, try them on and produce our episode.

Tonight, after a few glasses of wine, we decided to pull them out and put them on.

Sadly, he wasn’t pleased with the fit. I, however, could not have been more pleased. Thus, I pulled out my rollerskates to compliment the outfit and put Awkward–resident director of photography—to work.

So, without further ado, here is a pilot of our pilot episode.

I’ve no doubt this show will take off. Maybe not as quickly as Tree took off his flight attendant attire, but in time.


It’s been a while since TooStalky—a guy who frequently stops by my house and yells, “Lisa, Lisa” (which, by the way, is not my name)—has made his rounds.

The other day, MiniMe and I were sitting in the front room when we heard this, “Lisa, Lisa. Hello. Open the door. Hello.”

“Shit, it’s TooStalky! Close the blinds. Lock the doors,” I told MiniMe.

We did so and successfully avoided having to say, over and over again, “We don’t have any work for you right now.”



A few days later he returned and, as luck would have it for him, I was hanging out on the stoop with Rated R and Live Longer.

“Lisa, I need some work,” were the first words out of his mouth.

“Hi. I don’t have anything for you to do right now.” I replied.

“You need mulch,” he advised.

“I can do that myself,” said I, proudly.

“I will trim your trees,” he then offered.

“I can also do that myself,” I advised.

“You’ll cut off your arm. Come, let’s go take look,” he said and started walking toward by back 40.

As we walked he asked, “May I tell you something? You don’t get mad?”

“Sure,” I said knowing that with a disclaimer like that whatever he was going to tell me was probably going to upset me.

“You look fat,” he flatly stated then attempted, again, to convince me I should hire him.

I, politely, replied with a big fat “NO!”

Get Down

I love a stage. I like looking at them, being on them, setting them, the presence they provide—I just love them.


So, when we were leaving a concert the other night and there was an opportunity for me to get on the stage and enjoy a lovely photo shoot, I leapt on it—literally and figuratively.


Music was playing, there was just enough backlight, it was perfect.


Rated R pulled out her phone to take a few pictures when one of the stage hands yelled, “Get down!”


I threw down a few solid moves and replied, “I am getting down.”


“Not that kind of down,” was his response.


Just like that, he stole my five minutes of fame–which reminds me of a great electro pop song, 5 Minutes, by Mainframe…shiny objects.


Thus, within a matter of seconds, I got down. Twice.

Getting down before getting down.
Getting down before getting down.


I struggle with nice things and, if I’m being completely honest (which I am most of the time, sometimes), I am the reason I can’t have them.


My phone is a perfect example. Regardless of the brand or ‘durability’ of both my phone and my case, I have a knack for putting them to the test—the beta test. Unfortunately, I’m doing this after I’ve purchased the product so most companies don’t care about my insight. They only care if I’ve purchased insurance.


In the early months of my purchases, I often opt for the insurance. After a year or so, I cancel the insurance because I feel like I’m just flushing my money down the toilet at that point.


Most recently, after canceling my insurance, I decided to go ahead and flush my money and my phone down the toilet. Luckily it was only urine and I was able to retrieve it quickly. I did my best to wipe off the residue and then stuck my phone in rice. In the process, a grain of rice got stuck in on of my ports and, although my phone was somewhat working, the charger adapter no longer fit.


As a result, I was forced to purchase a new phone. I’ve been eligible for an upgrade for many months, but I really like my case and haven’t been able to find it for new models. My case was great. It flipped open from the bottom and I could easily store and retrieve three cards: ID, debit card and, most important, library card. I love this feature because it didn’t require me to use a purse but many of my friends and others expressed concern that if I lost my phone, I would lose my ‘life. Seems a bit drastic.


Luckily, many phone case manufacturers are on my side and I was able to find a case similar to the one I had owned and grown to love. I purchased a new phone, added the insurance, popped it in my new case with my three cards.


A few days later I went shopping with Live Longer and, for some reason, brought my purse and my phone. We checked out the jewelry, purse, shoe and clothing section of the store and when I found a pair of capris that I could not live without I reached into my purse to find I did not have my phone.


I checked the dressing room—empty. Another customer tried calling it—crickets. Live Longer searched her car—popcorn (she found a few pieces under her seats).


We decided to retrace our steps starting with purses. Live Longer dialed my number and we immediately heard a faint ringing. Amazed and excited we started rifling through the purses. At the bottom of the pile was a small ringing messenger bag I had ‘tried on’ because I thought it would be nice for traveling. Wanting to make sure it met my needs, I put my phone inside to ensure it would fit. Then, after walking around with the purse on me for a while I determined that, even though it was only $15, it wasn’t something I had to own. Thus, I tossed the purse into the pile—phone and all.


I didn’t really feel like I lost my life but I did come to the realization that this one act may result in a lot of pursecution.

Not My Arm…

As a human with unimpaired vision I am easily able to see what’s happening with my body as I age.


Like most, I can be pretty critical of myself. For example, the other day I wondered why I wore the size 8 bikini when the size 6 provided far more opportunity for my ‘girls’ to benefit from the sun. Then I remembered pool Zumba.


Sunning aside, I regularly have to make life-changing decisions related to my body and my attire. For example, should I wear a sleeveless shirt or should I cover my biceps with a nice cap sleeve? These are my struggles and they are real.


Today, I opted for sleeveless and proudly took my biceps out on the town to participate in a paint nite/day party.


As often happens at social events such as this, photos were taken and shared on the World Wide Web. This gave me the opportunity to immediately visually reminisce about the event. As I did so, I became a bit preoccupied with my arm.


“My arm looks really big in this picture,” I told Beaner and added, “I need to work out.”


She took a quick look at the photo, shook her head, laughed a bit and provided some honest feedback.


“That’s not your arm,” she advised and went on to inform me that the arm I was seeing actually belonged to Live Longer.


I took another glance, this time zooming in, and realized she was right. That wasn’t my arm.


With this newfound information in mind I threw caution to the wind, picked up my glass of wine with my ‘that’s not your arm’ arm – being sure to show off my great bicep, and enjoyed another calorie or two.

Missed Opportuntity

I don’t always Zumba, but when I do, I quite like to do so in a pool.


I realize this location tends to draw more of a mature audience but I’m glad to be the immature one in any group.


This last Saturday, I had the privilege of pool Zumba with a new instructor – new to me, anyway (this was only my second class this season).


I had taken measures to ensure my swimsuit did not reveal any of my bits or tits; specifically, my tits. Previous experience at pool Zumba had ‘revealed’ to me that the excessive bouncing and jumping up and down was not necessarily suited for a bikini.


Thus, I purchased a well-supported tankini.


As the class progressed, it was proving to be a wise purchase.


The same was not true for the instructor. Although she was not wearing a swimsuit – because they stand outside the pool to teach the class – she was wearing a low-cut top and one of her her girls was very interested in being seen.


As she would jump up and down her nip would slip just a wee bit. Every now and again, however, it was like the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII, minus the pastie.


So, for those who think pool Zumba is only for mature adults, please note, you are correct and, clearly, not attending is a missed opportuntity.