For my out-of-state friends, Ian tossed some small tornadoes and some rain at me and then took off to the north.  The tornado warnings were rather fun as most happened while at band practice, so five phones going off with Emergency Alerts!  None were actually near me nor did I hear any reports of damage from them.  Gator-natoes.

The storm smashed the west coast of Florida and then headed to Orlando, where my middle child lives, currently without power but also without any damage to the condo. The clock is ticking till when they show up at my home with their menagerie.  I think they'll stay put if they can get some ice, as UCF has stated that classes are back on starting Monday.   This is patently ridiculous given that there was flooding in some of the surrounding neighborhoods.  I'm talking air-boat-rescue flooding.  Some of the worse flooding was in an apartment complex that I briefly sublet in 1985, chest high at least.  If your car and laptop were submerged, I'm not sure how you could be expected to complete the semester.

My parents in Cocoa Beach also made it through without much fuss, not even losing power.  My mom slept through it.

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Glad to hear you and yours are all safe and relatively unscathed!

In the 80s my parents had a house on the canals of Cape Coral. I’m sure that house flooded badly.
Yep, Cape Coral was slammed. Lots of wind damage to go along with the flooding.
Glad you're well!
Middle child has power! The whining is down to a tolerable level.
 

The phrase "plus maintenant" in French means "not anymore" rather than the literal translation "more now".  This seems like it was invented just to create a disastrous misunderstanding of a treaty.  Apparently you can specify the opposite meaning by pronouncing the "s".

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I am nonplussed.
Add in that "ne" signifying the negative pas/plus/que/aucun/&c is often dropped in spoken French.
 

Our dog trainer, Amanda, said that we need to put Symone "on a down" more often. This means that when I plan to sit and relax or work, I should put Symone's leash on her and step on the leash. This causes Symone to lie down and relax. 
So now every morning we sit on the front porch while I drink my coffee for about 15 minutes and Symone watches the world go by. If I don't do it right after Vince leaves for work, she runs back & forth to and from the door. 

I had to buy her a special bed for outside. Her favorite part is when the kids next door come outside to leave for school. 

She doesn't bark or anything, she just watches them.  She really likes kids, but she'd jump all over them if we let her. Their faces would be thoroughly licked. 

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Probably someone should step on my leash every once in a while.
It’s the craziest thing, but the trainer and her whole company swear by it. Remove options, and they relax and go to sleep.
You helped me connect some dots. When I try to meditate lately, all I can think about is what I “should” be doing right now, i.e., “you’re so lazy why aren’t you cleaning the litter boxes.” What I tell myself is, you can fo this for ten minutes.
Now what I can tell myself is, your leash is stepped on.
 

And now: The Virtual Husky Tug Simulator. 

Ever wanted to play tug with a Siberian Husky, but didn't have time? Or a Husky? No more! Now you can pretend to play tug with a husky for a whole ten seconds. Get a simulation of the excitement and danger of the likelihood of hitting yourself in the face with a stuffed moose wrapped around a knotted rope, without bruising!  Raise your heart rate without the possibility of having your fingers nipped! It's ten seconds of fun for the whole family! 

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Love it.
Hey, I just sent you an email. :)
Don't think I got that one.
Weird. I sent it to Tommy b Goode. Is there a Tommy B Goode impostor on the Internet? Raised Eyebrow!
 

<< part of my continuing series recording memories to assure myself I've actually been to the places I think I've been to>>

Whew, California. I lived there for most of my 30's, so I could fill a book. But instead, this much shorter entry:

When I was a child I recall my father once musing about having met some people that "smiled a LOT". Like so much so you noticed and wondered if they were selling something. When asked, it turned out it was just that they were from California, and smiling a lot was normal for them. So for many years, my concept of California was that it was a place of Hollywood, hippies, and people who smiled a lot. And that it was far away - I could never quite remember the difference between Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego... all were interchangeable in my head.

When I was looking at grad schools, I did apply & get accepted to Stanford and USC. But again, California was far away so I opted for CMU in Pittsburgh instead. Slight regrets on that front. Kinda wish I would have made it to California in the early 90s. I wonder how my life would have been different.

In the mid/late 90s I first visited California and the city identities solidified. SF is the hippies up north, somewhat seasoned by Silicon valley tech. LA is  Hollywood and beaches. San Diego is smaller and warmer and the border town. I had an all expenses paid vacation in the San Diego area (some perk that came with my first husband's job) and got to experience the gas light district, Coronado island, and had an excellent massage from a woman who was the masseuse on staff for the Icelandic olympic team. Around 1995 I started working remotely for a San Francisco Bay Area software company. Though I continued to live in New Orleans, this meant occasional trips to SF. I distinctly recall walking around SF one early visit thinking to myself "I could live here" - which was a rare thought for me: living in New Orleans set my bar pretty high for other places I was willing to live.  I liked how SF was walkable, with good transit, nice climate, and flower vendors on the street.

In 2005, after Katrina devastated New Orleans, I took a job just north of SF in San Rafael. I moved to SF and lived there until 2011. In my years there I was a city girl - goth clubs and sidewalk happy hours, wine tastings and harbor cruises. I had yet to experience the joys of the great wild outdoors - no hiking or camping for me then - unless you count Burning Man. In 2006 I was talked into my first Burning Man by my then roommate. And while I wouldn't call Burning Man "life changing" for me, it certainly has influenced much of my activities in the years since.

SF has this ambient level of zaniness that I love. It was always nice to get home from a trip and to see something like a grown man in a tutu and viking helmet nonchalantly taking his chihuahua out for a walk. No one would even raise an eyebrow. Wish more places vibed like that. 

When I make it back to California these years, I typically go to Los Angeles. I have a good friend there who throws lovely events in his house. Plus a few times I've been to "The Labyrinth of Jareth" masquarade ball held in downtown LA. Two of my favorite things to do in LA is Kura conveyor belt sushi and the Wii Korean day-spa. 

I might add some more detailed memories in the future but for now I'm closing this entry. Yes, I've been to California. I lived California. And I sometime still miss California most desperately.

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I enjoyed this. I miss California too and I've never even lived there.
So Say We All.

I first visited the Bay Area in 1993, after hearing about it from my brother who lived in the Haight in the 80s. Lived in the BA 1999-2010, went to Burning Man in 98 and 2000. Agree with your assessment of the parts of CA, noting with amusement that you didn't bother mentioning the far north; no one does (unless it's literally on fire).

In 2010 we moved to VT because the climate writing was on the wall (it also helped that CA as a state was 37 billion-with-a-b dollars in debt and their infrastructure was noticeably crumbling). I have never stopped longing for those years there, and I cry for what's happening now even though I knew it would.
For Northern flavor, I could have added a bit about that Christmas Eve I spent at my roommate's father's house in Mendocino (complete with commercial scale grow room in the basement). I was going through some lonely times and it was good to have that visit as a distraction. My roommate got his father's dog a dog-shirt that said "Bitches Love Me'. And he also got his father a shirt saying the same thing. Dad's girlfriend was not amused. ...We drove home on Christmas and found a bar still open in the Haight, and joined the other sad sacks drinking cosmos and pretending it was just another day... Life is better now.
 

Good lord, it really has been almost a year since I posted here. Wow. I have 27 drafts here in OPW land, which is both amusing and pathetic. I'm slowly starting to think I have ADD. (I can hear you all saying, "Ya think?")

Lots to report, which is also to say hardly anything to report.  This is gonna be a boring post. 

I should be at Burning Man now, but I tested positive for Covid after Beatlefest (Beatlefest was August 9-13), and it kicked my ass... so much so that I couldn't do my usual pre-BurningMan prep. I was really disappointed to sell my Burning Man tickets, but it was the right thing to do. Anyone who says Omicron is mild can smooch my 'ttocks. It wasn't easy, and there was a day there where I thought it might be hospital time. The good news is that out of 40+ musicians involved in a week-long music festival, only two people got sick, and I was one of them. Oddly, Matt never got sick, and we shared a bed for pretty much the whole thing. 

I also had Delta in November 2021, and while that bout wasn't a treat by any means, Omicron was harder in many ways. I lost taste/smell with Delta and had a pretty high fever for several days, but Omicron was quite different: a low-grade fever that was on and off, and a headache that was so awful that I spent the better part of 5 days with a knee sock tied tightly around my head like a tourniquet to hold my skull together... and then I had a black t-shirt over my head for a few days because any and all light hurt my eyes and head (including my phone) I only ever had a migraine once in my life back in the 90s (it was a reaction to a prescription), and this felt like that. Ooooof. 

I tested positive on the 15th, and finally tested negative on the 23rd, but I waited until I had three negative tests under my belt before feeling like it was safe to emerge. 

Like my Delta experience, it feels oddly good to have a few weeks of immunity. 

I find that I'm sometimes having a hard time finding my words... moreso than usual. It's frustrating, and unnerving. I didn't have that experience with Delta. 

I also can't believe I've had covid twice; I feel like it's a moral failing or like I was careless. I tested every day leading up to BeatleFest, I tested before leaving the house for the theater each night, I ate well, I wasn't stupid, I masked up... I never shared a mic with anyone, I had my own platform on stage with plenty of room around me.... so I dunno. 

Anyway. 

This post is all doom and gloom, but things are otherwise good.  

Matt and I have been playing a lot of disc golf, which I suck at but also really enjoy. It's been cool noticing improvements. I got my first birdie (one under par) yesterday! Wheeeee! 

This time of year is always a bit bittersweet... I know we're going into the cooler months and I know winter is around the corner which I Do Not Like. But I bought I neat sweater that I'm excited to wear. (It's the little things.)

I wish I took advantage of fresh summer vegetables this season... I look at Annie Mollo's meal posts and I wanna drive up to Vermont and eat everything. :)

I miss my friends very much; I just haven't had a chance to see my peeps and I would like to do that. 

During my recent covid haze, I had an idea: Maybe the time is right to sell my house, get rid of all of the excess nouns in my possession, and go check out other cities. My house has been good to me, but I never really wanted a house and only bought it because everyone told me it was something I was supposed to do. I'm tired of doing things that other people tell me to do. I'm not getting any younger here, and Matt and I wanna live places that aren't Delaware.  We have no concrete plans or anything, but it's fun to think about. 

In other news, Dad is now 82 and he's doing great. He's found a groove and a routine that works for him. He misses Mom (we all do), but I think he's also enjoying being a bachelor. He never lived alone ever in his life, and I think it's good for him. 

Lastly: After Mom passed, I got myself a therapist and HOLY CRAP she's awesome. It's all self-pay, but it's pretty reasonable. I'm grateful. 

OK, this is a boring post. It'll be more interestin*

I love y'all. 

I'll be back*

--

* I didn't actually stop typing mid-sentence... my phone just randomly starts deleting words. Good times. 😁 It's all part of the, um, "charm" of using a 2017-ish phone. La la la!

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Not bored. Nope. Glad you’re back.

Your second bout of COVID sounds harrowing. Do not want. Cannot really avoid indefinitely. Argh. One of us had a five day headache this week but tested negative.

I get the moving bug too. It comes and goes. Where we land, nobody knows. Or everybody knows, so far: Philly. Has a lot going for it.

Hanging out with friends sounds good.
Also not bored! Nope! So good to see your words across the screen.

Covid is a gd mystery. Who gets it? Why? How bad? How long? How contagious? It's all over the map. Consistency isn't really a Thing with this virus. I hope your thought fog burns off soon.

Yay for disc golf! We have a nice course within walking distance of the house and I've YET to play. I don't know what's wrong with me; need to get on that. When you say you got a birdie, don't you mean BIRBIE?

I'm glad to hear your dad is finding his groove. I hope he finds fun new adventures.

About houses... yeah, I've always been a reluctant home owner, and this house? We've been here 12 years and it's the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my ENTIRE LIFE. Makes me itchy. Both staying put and also being responsible for this big structure and the land around it. But then I look at the housing (shortage) situation that is basically everywhere and think, well okay at least I'm not living in a tent--because there is, like, NO PLACE to buy OR rent, or if there is I wouldn't be able to afford it. But gawd I hate having so much stuff.
Been 15 years here, and I feel you on this so much.
I’m so happy that you’re on the mend.
Good therapists for the win! I found a fantastic one, although he's $$$, but: I'm worth it.

Glad you're on the mend, Birmingham will be there next year (I'm actually considering a return, but...have lots of mixed feelings), and: come visit!

Also: Frostburn 2023?
We have a lot of things happening in common. Good to hear from you, kiddo.
 

Our son married his sweetie, who wore a dress made by my sweetie.

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Fabulous!! Congratulations, Papa.
Congratulations! That dress is fabulous. Best wishes to your family!
Congrats!
Heartiest congratulations!
AWWWWW

Very lovely indeed.
Congratulations to the happy couple! And lorrrrrrdy, that dress is gorgeous!
 
 

I did a little experimental thread over on my Twitter stream. I wanted to encourage a couple of things - namely audience interaction and I wanted to provide them an actual reason to share the thread.

Simply put: I provided a series of polls for folks to vote on to determine how I constructed a monster.

Here's a link to the thread in case you're curious.

The results to the first poll (bipedal or quadrapedal) was:

The second poll was what kind of terrain the creature spends its time in. The audience chose subterranean so I added digging claws and narrowed the torso to make the creature more wedge shaped.

The third poll was how many heads the creature has. Crowd said 2.

And the fourth and final poll was what kind of tail to give it (or to give it none). The crowd picked a long straight tail with a club end.

After the final poll, I finished the tail and posted it and then felt like I should go ahead and paint it. Since I was already in an experimental mode, I took the sketch, blurred it a bit, and then mixed the sketch lines in with the digital paint layers. The final results are at the top of the post.

Here's the process video if you enjoy that.

I really need to get back to the work for my Patreon page, but this was an excellent little experiment and I plan to do it again in the near future.

This is the character I'm currently working on for Patreon:

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That was clever twittering.
Thank you sir! I rather thought so.

The key, to my way of thinking, is to actually give people a reason to be invested rather than mindlessly echoing "Please like and subscribe and share with your friends BECAUSE REASONS."
And what are you calling the crowd-sourced beastie?
Rob 8/14
I like it!

Though here's a question - should it get two names given the two heads?

Also, do they read as different personalities?
Currently open for discussion, and taking suggestions!