The Un-Woke Series – Texting

Please take this series with a pinch of salt and a titter of laughter…

I don’t like texting.  There, I’ve said it!  Everybody texts these days but I just can’t get used to the brevity of communication.  One girl friend texted, “Hey, girl!”  How do you respond to that and what does it mean??  I know I am incredibly aged and I can prove it – I really liked memoranda and I can write shorthand.  To be fair, I do use texts for contract work and in that fast-paced environment, texts really work. “New ETA for passenger?”, for example.  I still remember sitting in my cold hallway on the fixed landline phone, chatting for an hour to a friend.  In old American movies the phone cords were so long that you could move to another room.

Now I have to go to the grocery store to have a decent conversation.

Maria – “Hey!  How are you?”

Kerry – “Good, good.  How are you?”

Maria – “Great!  Do you have your loyalty card?”

Kerry – “Dang it!  I left it at home”.

Maria – “No problem.  Are these new popsicles good?”

Kerry – “They are SO good and low in calories”.

Maria – “That will be (far too many) dollars, please”.

Kerry – “Thank you so much and have a good day!”

Maria – “See you soon”.

Sometimes I have a three way with the bagging clerk.

Kerry – “How are you, Michael?”

Michael – “I’m FAN FAN FAN FANTASTIC!”

We all laugh.  He has been saying that every day for the last 15 years of more.

I still like emails.  You can write full, grammatically correct, sentences and not sound terse.  At college we were taught that a memorandum was meant to be brief but not rude.  An email is much the same.  An emoticon doesn’t say, “I really miss you and our time together” or “Do you remember when we went to the Wallace Monument?”  Teddy also likes to chat and amazes me that we still talk together about meaningful topics on a daily basis.

Teddy – “What is that idiot talking about!” pointing at the politician on the news.  That provokes a stimulating conversation about the world today that marks us as ‘very old people’.  Recently he snagged a bargain at the thrift store – it is a device to scan your negatives and old photos.  Now we can throw out our stinky old photo albums that are moldy and degraded.

Some conversations are so much better in person.

Teddy – “Whoa!  You were a bit of a chunky monkey in Lisbon.  What year was that?”  I went through to his study to give him a slap but then said, “Jeez Louise, did I look like that?”

Teddy – “Do you recognize this castle (in Scotland)?”  That provoked a back and forth about which of the many castles it was.  Finally, we Googled it and it was Glamis Castle which was the late Queen Mother’s ancestral home.  More importantly, Teddy’s mum performed a Highland dance at the Castle, in front of the Queen, when she was a wee lass.

To be honest the only type of texting that appeals to me is sexting.  You can say so much with just a few words. ‘Come get me, big boy’ or ‘Chase Me’.  On a very cute nostalgic note, I was madly in lust with a boy with an Australian accent in our high school.  We had no telephone in our house – alcohol is so expensive…  My friend in the next street asked me across to her house so that we could phone two boys (the Aussie included).  The excitement was tangible.  We were half way up the stairs, just like Kermit, giggling on the phone.  Then the recipient of my lust sang to me across the telephone line.

“Are the stars out tonight?  I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright. I only have eyes for you, dear….”  I had goosebumps – he fancied me too!  I wish I could say it was my husband of 40 years but it was a ‘Brief Encounter’ on the list of many boyfriends.  The Aussie formally asked me out, taught me all sorts of Antipodean phrases, also taught me how to French Kiss and then unceremoniously dumped me!!  I know – he dumped ME!  I could have dumped him by text, ‘Go Walkabout, Drongo.’

Anything but books tag

Sweet Potato and Bison casserole with brown rice

Thank you to Lisa from Life of an El Paso Woman  for nominating me for this blog challenge.  Lisa’s blog is a fun mix of music, romance and topical subjects.  I have a soft spot for Lisa because she is the only blogger friend I have met so far.  I have been struggling to write anything so this challenge is a good distraction

Q1 What is your favorite cartoon

Minions and/or Despicable Me!  What’s not to love?  Phrases that I incorporate into regular life such as “It’s so fluffy I could die!”  Everything about the film appeals to me from the forgotten orphans with retro names to their loving Despicable (but not really) Dad and their new mom.  I particularly liked the bad Minions, “Bah,” and the evil Spanish chicken, ‘el pollo diablo’

As for old ‘toons’, my favorite was always Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote.  Why do you think I live in Texas?  When I see a roadrunner, I always look up for a giant anvil falling out of the sky.

Q2 What is your favorite song right now

Camila Cabello – Havana ft. Young Thug.  I love the slow sexy Cuban vibe and her beautiful voice.  Just imagine moving your hips to this slow salsa beat on the hot sands of somewhere, anywhere, in Latin America.

Q3 What could you do for hours that isn’t reading

Binge watching some new cable series that everyone has been raving about.  There is a new British series called Liar that I sat and watched for 6 hours straight – hooked!  Then I had nightmares all night.

Q4 What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised about

I make handmade soaps with unusual shapes and scents.  One of my favorites is vanilla cupcake in a cupcake mold.  Many years ago I started a business but after making endless soapy party favors for two baby showers, my sinuses and allergies waved a white flag of surrender.  I am still allergic to the very expensive perfume oils but now just make them for grateful friends.

Q5 What is your favorite thing to learn about

Languages and real news.  I am NOT a Trump supporter but I would like to hear more balanced news stories about global events and not just bloody politics.  Working at an airport, I collect small phrases in different languages – for example, “Eet smakelijk” which means enjoy your meal in Dutch.  My bad Spanish comes in very handy at times, especially with a Scottish accent.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Q6 What is something unusual that you know how to do

Impersonations.  One of my favorites is Donald Duck.  Teddy says that the words are incomprehensible (my Donald Duck is a slow learner) but most others laugh.  In a toy shop in Grand Junction, Colorado, I had a Donald Duck competition with a Dad.  The poor child looked frightened…LOL!  The next impersonation is R rated and certainly not politically correct.  Sometimes, when I want to get Teddy in the mood, I impersonate a South East Asian sex worker. “Come on Big Boy.  You pay money, I do trick! Maybe ping pong ball?”  Occasionally it actually works but mostly it makes him laugh.  Let’s just say I am fun in bed…

Q7 Name something you have made in the last year

Soaps!  I also made a bison and sweet potato casserole, photographed above, in an attempt to get Teddy to eat well.  My cooking skills are good but my desire is lacking.

Q8 What is your most recent personal project

Does the intro page of my memoir count?  I keep starting stuff but can barely even manage to write on my blog which I love.  Anxiety and boredom, a strange combination, has been my bug-a-boo this year.

Q9 Tell us something that’s your favorite (food?), that is oddly specific

I assumed from Lisa’s blog that this question referred to food.  I like a sandwich of Dave’s Killer Organic Bread, buttered with salted chips or crisps inside it.  Other favorites are a bowl of cooked peas with butter.  My food choices reflect my Irish heritage – anything with butter on it.

And now I tag

Lana at Travelling Vegan Christian

Mohamad at Mohamad El Karbi

Evil at Evil Squirrel’s Nest

Lyn at Lynz Real Cooking

Please feel free to ignore this tag challenge 😁

Deathly Purple Rain

Prince - "Purple Rain"

Prince – “Purple Rain” courtesy of zwall.pix.com

It has been a sad week for the Houston area and now for the world with the early death of Prince, which ironically was his real name.

We were all taken by surprise by the sudden flash flooding in Houston that killed only 8 people, remarkably, but many thousands have had their lives ripped apart by houses that flooded. We seem to have only just recovered from the 10 year drought, which devastated land with forest fires, when the weather Gods has wreaked their wrath and havoc. The truth is that we just live in a time of unstable weather that will continue to affect us globally for an indefinite period. The higher the population, the more inclined we are to build on land that has flooded from time immemorial and in places where forest fires are a natural part of the ecosystem.

Houston flooding 2016 courtesy of Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle

Houston flooding 2016
courtesy of Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle

On the first day of flooding I had to go to the doctor’s office which is about a 15 minute drive away but past the overflowing containment pond for our neighborhood and then a massive reservoir for our city. It was truly a magnificent site with gallons of water flooding the forest across the road. On the way back I was concerned when I saw about 4 cars parked on the side of the road (which is narrow). I was concerned that there had been an accident and then realized these thoughtless people were taking photographs and making the road more difficult to negotiate. Every year in downtown Houston we get a drowning death in an underpass which has suddenly flooded but it looks like they are going to finally put automatic barriers at the worst sections. The city is at sea level, riddled with bayous (a fjord of sort) and endless rivers and creeks.

As usual, Houstonians responded to the challenge with their bass boats, canoes and rafts and were able to start rescuing people who were not in desperate need – the first responders were doing that. After the chaos of Katrina and the refugees from Louisiana, each evacuation facility had police to make it safe for everyone. I am so grateful that our house did not flood but it was scary watching the water rising in the ‘dry’ creek which borders our property.

I am a huge music fan but I don’t usually talk about it much on my blog but I was so shocked by Prince’s death that I wanted to write a short eulogy. Purple Rain has to be one of my favorite songs of all time but it was Prince’s persona that affected me the most. At first, I wondered if he was gay because he was happy to wear heels, make-up and unusual clothing. Nonetheless I was very attracted to him and sensed he was straight which since was confirmed. Another line in the song Kiss is “You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on” and it really resonated with me. It was during a time of sexual discovery for me and he encouraged me to look beyond what normal was. See my post about sexual fluidity. There was a period when he changed his name to a symbol and I guess this marked a period of self-discovery. It seemed a bit odd to me and I think he struggled with his sexual identity and spiritual beliefs. He gave huge anonymous donations to a variety of charities and causes and lived a private life despite the craziness of the music world. RIP.

Postcard from Nacogdoches

city hall sam houston
Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas and it is unique both because of its antiquity and the 9 flags that have flown over it. They included Spain, France, Mexico and Louisiana amongst others and this is a link to a comprehensive list http://www.pictures-of-historic-nacogdoches.com/023nineflags.html We decided that this would be a great location to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I know, I know, surely I was a child bride.. The town was utterly fascinating and this beautiful pink building was Sam Houston’s house – now the city hall sitting on the beautiful town square. Everywhere you walked there was yet another historical wall marking – it is remarkable that so many of the old buildings have been maintained and restored. It is situated in the North East of Texas, close to the Louisiana border and in the heart of the Piney Woods. The weather was astonishingly hot but not as humid as the south. I learned something amazing in the Tourist Center. Tejas is not the Spanish name for Texas but the Caddo (local native Americans) word for friend. They were one of the many peaceful tribes that were settled in Texas who greeted the invading Spanish conquistadores with friendship. It makes me so sad to think that their territory was stolen, many were killed by the spread of European diseases and moved around like cattle. I am so lucky, like many Americans, to have a little native blood to carry through the generations, bonding us all together. Nacogdoches is a college town – Stephen F Austin University. We visited the university’s Piney Woods Native Plant Center which was a small arboretum with native plants. We walked along the little stream enchanted by the Ebony Jewel Wing Damselflies who fluttered around us like little fairies with black velvet cloaks. The Ladies had bronze waistcoats and the Lords had emerald green waistcoats. Magical. Click on the link to see photos of these fairies and find out all about the oldest town in Texas.  POSTCARD FROM NACOGDOCHES