Thursday, March 29, 2018


I told Brent this morning that I feel like Bruce Banner. The secret is that I'm always angry.

It's like this low simmering rage that is just under the surface at all times right now. I have a very short fuse. You want to piss me off? I could give you a list of things that would do it. And some of them will be things like, breathing.

I'm pretty sure it's menopause. He thinks it could be Trump. Which made me laugh.

Which keeps him off the list of things that will piss me off.

Seriously though, it's tough. The rush of hormones is no joke. I wake up in the middle of the night with a puddle in the middle of my chest I've been sweating so much. I'm pretty sure this is where the stories of spontaneous combustion come from.

And then because I'm an insomniac anyway the added bonus of night sweats and menopause induced insomnia means even less sleep than normal which means an even shorter fuse. It's crazy.

My mother hit menopause when I hit puberty. It was not a fun house to be in. So at least I've got that going for me. It's only attitude from Alexa that will set me off. And YES she gives me fucking attitude, you should hear her.

Listening to an interview this morning with Judd Apatow about his show on Gary Shandling and how he was always looking for ways to be zen because he needed it. Then they mentioned George Harrison and how everyone thinks of him as the quiet Beatle because of the meditation and the way he held himself, but he wasn't the quiet Beatle, he was the angry Beatle and he used the meditation and the quietness to keep from snapping at everyone. I've always liked George the best. (not even kidding there, I always have)

And the real kicker is that this is just the beginning. I've been in perimenopause for a few years now. The symptoms have really stepped up over the last year but since I haven't yet skipped even a single cycle (they are no longer as regular as clock work but the hits just keep on coming) I'm probably in for a few more years of this.

Nobody talks about it. Or at least not enough. I feel like all of the normal fluctuations women go through get just a broad brush stroke. It's a big reason why I've posted about periods and hormones and the menopause symptoms I'm starting to get. We really need to normalize the conversation around what we go through monthly, and the changes we go through as we age. Either in to puberty or when we first go on or off birth control hormones, or during and after pregnancy and when the factory starts to shut down the hormone line. Women need to know what is normal so they don't freak out when the voice in their head all of a sudden tells them to ram their grocery cart in to the dude who just stepped in front of them without even looking.

I mean, if you didn't already have a few hundred voices in your head that sort of thing might freak you out. Me? I just thought...well no wonder I was such and angry teenager. This hormone shit is not to be fucked with in me.

The problem is, as I also told Brent, I'm just as angry as I was in high school but now I can afford a gun. And he said, "And you go to the gym and lift weights so you are a lot stronger." Which made me think for a second, "But I'm not sure I could take a punch in the same way." He replied, "You wouldn't recover from it as quickly, that's for sure."

Which is true. But that doesn't mean it didn't piss me off to be reminded of it...

Just kidding.



Keep Brent in your thoughts and prayers...the ch-ch-ch-changes are a'coming!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Change Your Mind...

Listening to a podcast from "You Are Not So Smart" this morning at the gym about hypocrisy. Or more correctly about how people don't think they are being hypocrites because they don't remember that they used to think something else.

Really weird right?

But it was all about how beliefs shift and change and because memory is so flexible we don't remember that we used to think something different. We truly believe that what we think right now is what we have always thought. What we believe is what we have always believed. That we are the staunch morally certain pillars of life.

I say we in the general here. Because I'm not in that we. I know that what I believe right now would have been anathema to what I believed growing up. And because I know that I shifted so drastically then I know that I still shift now. It's actually something that I rail against here and in conversation all the time. When you learn new things you should change your mind. Disregarding facts because they don't support your opinions is horrific. People need to think more and feel less.

It made me wonder if that position was unique to people who had a giant shift in beliefs like I did. I cannot say that I have always believed the same things because I know that's not true. I know that I believed that being gay was a choice. I know that even after I started to doubt that it was a choice, it took awhile for the new belief that it's how you are born to take root. And that even after I believed that, my belief in marriage equality lagged behind. Things that nobody would ever doubt I believe in now, strongly and passionately and unwaveringly, I wavered on for a long time. There are a host of other things just like that. Spanking children for instance.

So is it just because I had a foundational shift in what I believed that I am okay with changes now? And that I recognize that we all are hypocrites sometimes? 

It was an interesting podcast to listen to, I recommend their whole series I listen on Castbox on my phone, by the way.  But anyway, this was an interesting one for sure. It will hopefully make me less frustrated when I see someone who has clearly shifted their position but is acting like they've always felt that way. I will try my best to remember that they really think they have. That they would be shocked to be presented Tim Russert style with a quote from them saying something different. And hopefully it will also open up a lot of other minds to the fact that change is good and normal. That when we know more things we believe different things.

I'm not a flip flopper, I'm a constant learner.

I'm not indecisive, I'm flexible.

When I know better, I do better. (Thank you. Ms. Angelou)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Always the Bridesmaid...

", yeah, I think August."

"What do you think about August?" Grace had caught only the end of the sentence as she joined her friends at the table.

"Shane's and Julie's wedding. I think it's going to be in August. The Save the Dates aren't out yet, but her sister said August."

Grace looked puzzled, "What? I thought they broke up?"

Angela shook her head, "Nope, where did you hear that? They got engaged last week."

"Hunh," Grace shrugged her shoulders,"It must be someone else then and I just got it crossed in my head."

Lori broke in, "Do you think she will ask any of us to be bridesmaids? I cannot afford to be a bridesmaid for anyone this year. So neither of you get engaged okay?"

And with that the discussion turned to the cost of dresses and parties and gifts and the "honor" of being a bridesmaid, not that any of them would turn down a friend, but still, it was so expensive.

"The worst is the destination wedding. Three years ago girls from college got married in Las Vegas, Hawaii and Bermuda! And it's not like you can choose based on where you'd rather go. Once you say yes to Vegas you are locked in to the others, right?"

"No, I think if it's too far away you can regretfully turn down the offer."

"Maybe you can," Angela told Lori, "But the rest of us can't."

"Why not?" Lori was puzzled, "If it's too expensive, it's too expensive. People understand."

"People understand when you do it, when the rest of us do it we lose a friend. Right, Grace?"

Grace nodded, "It's true. For whatever reason people are fine with whatever you do, the rest of us get judged if we don't go."

Lori was completely baffled, "That's bullshit. You can't expect people to pay for a trip just because you decided that your hometown wasn't worthy of your wedding. Have you seriously had a friend get mad about you not going?"

"Oh yeah. Remember Aurora, the girl I worked with at Abercrombie?" asked Grace.

"Who could forget Aurora." Angela smirked.

"She was fine. Well I thought she was fine, but yeah, she stopped talking to me when I didn't go to Los Angeles for her wedding. And I wasn't even in the wedding. I was just invited. And we hadn't even worked together for years."

"That's insane. People are so weird about weddings. Promise me if either of you decide to do a fancy destination wedding you won't get mad if I don't come."

Angela laughed, "Nobody ever gets mad at you for not coming, though, so you are off the hook!"

"Okay, not that I agree with that, but how about if we just all agree nobody gets married this year at all? I am seriously broke and cannot be in another wedding even if it were in my own backyard!"

Angela nodded, "Well I think that's easy to promise for me at least. I haven't been on a date in ages. Grace, how about you? Did your Saturday night look promising?"

Grace turned her head sharply, "What?"

"Your Saturday night date. You said you had plans last Saturday, I assumed it was a date?"

She relaxed, "Oh yeah, that, nope, no worries there for marriage plans."

"Then we are good. No bridesmaids duties from any of us this year." Lori held her hand out to shake, "Of course now that we promise this one of us will meet our perfect match on the walk home."

Grace's phone vibrated a text notification.

Angela said, "Or that's Grace's Saturday night date begging for another chance!"

They all laughed while Grace checked her phone then dropped it in to her purse.

She didn't pull it back out until she got home.

"U up?"

She stared at the screen for a long time before responding.

"Just got home. Was out with the girls talking about August plans."

She watched the dots moving on her screen for a long time. Imagining him typing and then deleting his message over and over.

"So about that..."

Her stomach clenched and she was sure she was going to throw up. About that...

No, her Saturday night date wasn't going to go anywhere. There was a reason she hadn't told anyone who she was going out with last week. She couldn't even count the number of times he'd shown up on her doorstep swearing that this time it was over with him and Julie and she was really the one he wanted. She fell for it every time and every time she ended up like this, sick and lonely and feeling like a fool.

Engaged? He got engaged to Julie and then came to her bed for, for what? To make sure? Just because he could? Because he knew she wouldn't say no? She wouldn't even ask too many questions because she didn't really want to know the truth. No more. It was too much. She couldn't afford to be the bridesmaid anymore.

She picked up her phone again and hit a few keystrokes.
Delete Contact Information "Shane"?


Friday, March 23, 2018

Circle of Life...

"Is that a tattoo?" He asked tracing the small red lips on her shoulder.

She laughed. He would never be able to get enough of that laugh. It was like the bubbles in champagne. The promise of nectar. He smiled, she was turning him into a romantic.

"No, it's not a tattoo."

"Really? It's so perfectly shaped. Is it a birthmark?"

"A scar. I've had it since I was a toddler."

"That's an amazing shape for a scar. A perfect kiss on your shoulder."

She laughed again, "Something like that."

He drifted off to sleep. She watched him breathing, running her finger over the raised ridge on her shoulder. A kiss, she shook her head and smiled to herself.


She had been three years old when her mother took her to Ireland to meet her great grandmother. Gram was too old and too stubborn to fly. That is what she had overheard her grandmother tell her mother. At three she was not sure why being stubborn meant you couldn't fly. She was very stubborn, so everyone said, but she was going to fly.  Her grandmother was not going to go with them. She was also too stubborn. It seemed to be a family trait. They had green eyes, pale skin, and a stubborn streak as deep as the red of their hair.

Her great grandmother had not cared for her. She spoke no Gaelic. She didn't even have a trace of an accent. She was American through and through. When she would talk to her great grandmother a fleeting look of disappointment would cross her face before she could control it. She overheard her mother and Gram talking.

"She's precocious. Very smart for a three year old. But she doesn't know who she is."

"This is who she is, Gram. When Ma left for America she never looked back. We were raised to be American first, not Irish-American, she worked very hard to make sure we had no trace of her accent, nothing to hold us back or mark us as different. But I want something more for her. I want her to understand where she comes from. Where her family came from. It's not her fault she doesn't know. It's not my fault I didn't know how to tell her."

"How did hiding your accent work? Did it change who you were? Did it change who she is? Foolish woman. Wanting to hide who she is with a different way of talking."

"That's why I'm here, Gram. Please, don't take it out on your great granddaughter. I found the letters begging Ma to bring me when I was born. How it was important. I know you are still angry that she didn't. But I'm here now. We are here now. Look at her, she's yours too."


"So you're Irish?"

She had gotten used to the question. Her great grandmother had been right, there was no hiding it. She had dark red hair, bright green eyes and the palest skin. Sometimes people would guess Scottish just to be different, but mostly it was assumed she was Irish. She didn't go out on Saint Patrick's Day because people would stop her and ask for pictures, like she was Irish just for their prop. But, yes, she was Irish.

She was also incredibly lucky. The wits in her life told her she must be half leprechaun. She would smile and tell them leprechauns weren't really lucky. They were greedy. People assumed they were lucky because of the story about the pot of gold, but in the story it's who ever finds the leprechaun that was lucky, not the leprechaun. She usually left off the warning that finding a leprechaun and stealing its gold was never a good idea anyway. Leprechauns would do anything to protect that gold. Greedy. Not lucky. Greedy.

But she was not half leprechaun and did have amazing luck. She led an interesting life. Things happened for her. And when they weren't happening she made them happen. When she was in middle school she wanted to go to California. She wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. It became a driving force for her. All she wanted. Every birthday, every Christmas she would ask for a trip. Her parents let her know that that was not going to happen. They couldn't afford to take the whole family across the country like that. So she decided to go on her own. If they couldn't make it happen she would.

The next day in school a contest had been announced. An essay contest where the first place prize was a trip for four to Disneyland. She really needed a trip for six but she would figure that out later. It never crossed her mind that she wouldn't win. Afterall she had decided that she would handle it on her own and this came to her the next day. Obviously this was how she was going to handle it.

When she won the trip she was featured on the local news. She smiled her biggest smile then frowned just a touch. Enough that it was noticeable but not enough to look planned. "Are you okay?" The news lady had asked her, "Oh, yes! I'm so excited, but..." she had trailed off. "But?" The woman was starting to get teary eyed herself just watching her young face start to fall. "Oh it's just that I have three brothers and sisters for a trip for four doesn't work for us. I will have to turn it down." The local car dealership that advertised heavily in the morning news show paid to send two more of her family on the trip and even gave them a ride to the airport.

She had great luck.


When they first met, long before he asked about the scar on her shoulder, his friends warned him not to lose his head. "You're already planning vacations with this woman and you don't even know her last name!"

"I'm not planning vacations with her, I just said that I bet she would love Hawaii."

"Why would you say that to someone you just met?"

"Because it's true. I swear her hair smells like the beach. She smells like sunshine and salt water. How is that even possible?"

His best friend shook his head, "It's not. Because she is clearly wearing a perfume that smells like cinnamon bread."

His best friend's wife said, "You are both insane. She is wearing lilac."

None of them realized she smelled like their favorite things.

She was lucky like that.


Gram had taken her out for a picnic. They had talked about the land. About how much Gram loved her hills. Loved the things that grew. Loved the greens of the grass and the trees and the moss. She had listened to it all. Getting very sleepy as Gram talked. Gram told her it was okay to take a nap if she wanted to. She rested her eyes for just a moment and Gram started to sing. So pretty. She drifted off to sweet music with words she could not understand.

After she fell asleep her great grandmother had taken a few steps away and watched. She thought at first that it was too late. That the bond had broken when her daughter had refused to bring her granddaughter home. But then the first white top popped from the ground, then another, then four more in quick succession. Within just a few minutes her granddaughter was surrounded by a circle of mushrooms. She had called them to her. It was not too late. She had made a faerie circle.

Gram turned and found her granddaughter staring. "What...what..."

"This is why you needed to come home. This is what your mother kept from you. Watch her."

She slept. Deeply. And as she slept she dreamt of things she had read about in stories. There was a giant golden dragon who let her climb on his back and slide down his tail. He held vines in his mouth so she could use them as a swing. There was a greedy little leprechaun watching her from the shadows but she didn't want his gold. Why would she when there were colorful butterflies to chase. So many different shades. Pinks, purples, yellows, so pretty. One landed on her shoulder and she saw that it wasn't a butterfly at all. It was a little person with wings. Sparkling in the sun. Oh, pretty!

She woke with a start and a cry. The pain throbbing in her shoulder still.

Her mother and her great grandmother rushed to her side. "Are you okay? What happened?"

She scowled, "It bit me! The pretty butterfly lady bit me!"

Her great grandmother nodded, "Pixies. Mean little things."

They looked at her shoulder. There was a small bloody mark perfectly shaped like the creature's mouth. "Let's wash that out so it doesn't get infected."

The went back up to the house and cleaned the wound. "What did you do when it bit you, darling?" asked Gram.

She looked at her great grandmother, fished one finger in to the back of her mouth, and spat out an iridescent wing, "I eated her."

"That will teach them not to mess with my great granddaughter."

She swelled with pride. Her Gram was never disappointed in her again.


He finally got the courage up to ask her to marry him. He wasn't sure she would say yes, but he knew he would never forgive himself for not trying.

She had said maybe.

He wasn't as devastated as he thought he would be. A maybe wasn't a no. It was almost a yes.

"Maybe? That's not very romantic."

She laughed, "I know. But I need you to meet someone first."

He looked shocked, "Do you have a kid I didn't know about?"

"No, actually the other way. I want you to meet my great grandmother. I want her to meet you. Then I will give you my answer."

"Your great grandmother is still alive? That's amazing. How old is she?"

"Very. She is very old. Will you meet her?"

"Of course I will. Of course."


The house looked the same, the fields around it the same, and Gram looked the same as well. "You never age!"

"I did for awhile, then I stopped. It got to be a bother." her great grandmother laughed. He shivered, it was her laugh. The laugh like champagne bubbles. This little old woman laughed the same way his beautiful love did. He thought to himself, "Blood will tell."

They spent a week with her great grandmother. They took long walks in the fields, they had picnic lunches under her trees. He listened to Gram sing the most beautiful songs and sat on the edge of his seat as she told stories. He was learning more Irish history than he had ever imagined. "When the babies were starving my daughter decided to leave Ireland and not look back. She took herself over to America and raised her family there. Never even brought her daughter to me to bless."

He was confused. She mistook what he was puzzled about, "We are a matriarch line. The blessings don't flow from the Pa but from the Ma. It's Catholic heresy that changed the proper order. Unnatural."

"Your daughter left Ireland during the famine?"

"During the starvations, yes."

"But that was in the 1800s." he looked at his hopefully soon to be bride, "Your grandmother came to America in the 1800s? How old is she?"

"Very. She is very old."

He looked at the two women sitting in front of him. "How is that possible? If your grandmother came to America in the, let's say at the end, 1860s or so that would mean she was born in 1840 and that would mean you would have to have been born before that, you would have to be 200 years old, at least."

Her great grandmother laughed again, that beautiful musical laugh, "At least. Though it is not polite to ask how old a woman is."

"How is that possible?"


She flew back to America alone. Gram had given him a drink and sung to him until he had fallen asleep. When he woke up he was in a hotel room in London with memories of a trip to England filling his head. He wouldn't remember her. His friends would assume that he was heartbroken over her refusal of his proposal and not mention her to him after his first denial of knowing who she was. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it would do.

He hadn't been the first she had taken to meet her great grandmother and she hoped he wouldn't be the last. She needed a man who could pass the test so she could pass along the line. She was hoping to bring her stubborn great grandmother over to America soon. She had a plot of land behind her house that she was sure would be perfect for establishing new roots, she just needed a few mushrooms from her Gram's garden and a blessing in song from her lips. As sure as her middle name was Mab, she wouldn't be the last in her line.


When Brent travels I lounge in bed and read before I get up in the morning. I still wake up at the same time. I just don't get up. I read. I read Facebook, I read whatever book I'm currently in the middle of, I just read. I laze about. Then I eventually roll out of bed when the drive for coffee gets too strong to stay under the covers.

And I almost always regret it. The time we normally get up and get to the gym is a rarely crowded time. When I laze about it almost always is crowded. The parking lot is full because there are classes going on, the floor is full because everyone who doesn't have to be to work by 7 or 8 is there and because they aren't in a hurry to get to work they sort of meander through their workouts and, get this, CHAT with each other. I really do prefer getting my workout done before Brent goes to work. But still when he travels I laze about anyway.

I knew I need to fill the tank this week. I was creeping towards a quarter tank and I normally don't let it get that low. And especially when there is snow in the forecast (AGAIN). So I knew I needed gas but I kept pushing it off. I needed $25 more in groceries to reach 100 points which would give me the 10 cent discount. Which works out to about a $1 saved, by the way, so that's how ridiculous it is, but still, I waited until I had stopped at the grocery store yesterday to stock up on a few things to reach that magic mark. And then this morning I went to fill up and gas prices had gone up overnight. Of course they had, Spring Break is next week and so if I had thought about it I would have FOR SURE filled up on Wednesday. But I was being slow so I didn't. Good thing I had that extra 10 cent discount, ugh.

For my goal this month I am doing a compound recap goal. I talked about it earlier. But part of it is publishing 3 blogs a week. Which is not that many, y'all, not really. But because I have made it a need to do I've been slacking. Yesterday I had every intention of writing, because I had 3 days left in the week and two blogs to publish and Saturday is a busy chopped up time day so I won't have time to sit and write. So OBVIOUSLY I would sit down and write a blog yesterday and one today and it would be done. And as the day ticked away and I did a little of this, and a little of that, and zero writing I thought, well that leaves two for tomorrow, and oh yeah, one really needs to be fiction to keep up with my 52 fiction pieces for the year goal so...

It is such a weird thing. I love making a list and checking things off. I love ending the day knowing I've been super productive and done a lot of things. I love making a difference in a day. But I will spend a whole day reading random news articles or surfing odd TV shows or just daydreaming and have none of those things to show for it. Why do I do it?

Why do we all do it?

The number of things we do that are not in our own best interests. We know we should eat better than we do. We know we should be more physically active than we are. We know we should be nicer to people than we are. We know we should do more to help people that we do. We know that there are so many ways that we could make ourselves and the world around us better but we don't do them. Why is that?

The best things in life are rarely the easiest. We know that, right? But at the same time why would we want to struggle constantly? I mean I am always reframing things to make them enjoyable. My baseline is happy and I make pretty much everything a game to make sure I'm having fun. Even the goals and subgoals and minigoals and macrogoals are all just part of a giant game I'm playing to collect stars. But wouldn't it be great if we could figure out a way to stop self sabotaging, to stop skipping the things that are good for us, that are the best for us and just do our best all of the time?

I have no idea how to actually do that, or if I even want to, because the truth is, I love laying around in bed reading a book. I love easing in to the day. I love staring out the window daydreaming. And who knows, if I gave all of those things up I might turn into a giant super motivated stress ball who was accomplishing a lot but having no fun at all doing it. Maybe it's the balance that is important. Maybe all of the shoulds aren't as important as we think they are. My friend Megan says, "Don't should on me and I won't should on you."

I don't know what the actual balance is between doing only things that are good for us and productive and doing things that are maybe not so good for us but feed our souls and recharge our batteries. But what I do know is that this totally counts as one of the two blogs I need to write today.

(Insert big cheesy grin here)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Middle of the Night Ideas...

I had one of those dreams last night that I was aware of while it was happening and the part of my brain that is aware of my dreams was sure that this was a great story and I was really pleased to have a good bordering on great idea for a short story. Maybe I would even save it and use it for a submission piece next month. It was that good. So when I woke up I pulled out my phone and opened Notes and started typing away. And went...what? None of this makes sense. I stopped and thought about the dream again, trying to grasp what it was that had seemed so brilliant and finally gave up. It's not great. It's not good. It's not even coherent.

It happens. A lot.

There is just a classification of ideas that you get that are only brilliant in the middle of the night. Dream ideas for stories fall into that quite often. There are also things that seem great at 2 AM when you're drunk that don't really work out well the next day when you think about them again. That could have just been me, and probably a good portion of the reason why I don't drink much and I rarely stay up late. It's just better for everyone.

But then I got thinking, what are the other things that we hold on to and try to make sense of that, even if they technically aren't, are really middle of the night ideas that just need to be let go.

This past weekend I posted something on Facebook and one of my ultra conservative friends commented on it. I didn't engage because there was no point in it. We do not see the world the same way. As in alternate universe differences. His response to my post was just a confirmation of it. Such a different way of viewing the world I thought to myself, "Really? You see all of this information and THAT'S what you get from it? Well, now I know who is believing the stuff that I think, 'who is believing this stuff?' about." But the trick is that I know he is just as puzzled by what I believe. He cannot believe that I see all of the same stuff and don't come to the conclusions that he does. We both believe the other is full of middle of the night ideas that make no sense. And though logically I know he has to believe what he says, I also cannot work out the logic he uses to believe such clear nonsense. So I don't engage.

Which leads me to one of the big barriers to life right now. We are all really divided. Everything is tribal. We vilify the other side. If we don't vilify them we consider them to be idiots. I made the decision and keep making the decision to keep writing about what I think even though I know it will not change minds. I know it's all just another layer for people who think the same things as I do to wrap themselves in, but I decided to do it anyway. But I also made the decision to try my hardest not to fight with people about things that will not change.

I did it with guns after Sandy Hook. Though the kids in Florida gave me some hope so I commented about it more this time, but I still won't argue with anyone who is a Second Amendment FOR LIFE! person. I just won't do it anymore. They are going to have to come to some recognition of the well regulated part on their own. I'm tired of running in to that brick wall and having someone else's beliefs papered over what I am actually saying. I was tired of no change happening and each time I made suggestions on ways we could actually regulate the guns we have being told that confiscation wasn't going to happen. Seriously. It's exhausting to have to keep re-reading what you are writing and trying to figure out where you said what they are telling you that you said only to discover that nope, you didn't say that anywhere except in their heads.  So I stopped.

Which is really hard. Trust me. When you see someone post something stupid like, "Criminals don't follow laws." or "There is nothing that could have been done." or one of my favorites, "they would have just used a knife!" (I've been stabbed twice in my life and if I had been shot by an AR-15 or any other high-velocity gun in those two spots I would have died so yeah) There are a lot of times I want to send a PM to the person who is arguing and give them better arguments. But I don't. I close it down and walk away. There is no reaching someone who does not want to be reached. For instance you aren't going to convince me that your want of an AR-15 to play with is somehow what the Founding Fathers were talking about when they wrote The Second Amendment in the first place. (I'm not arguing, it's my blog, I'm talking)

But there are so many things right now. Pretty much everything that Trump does or does not do. Local politics. Regional politics. National politics. Things that never used to be considered political but somehow are now. We think this so we are right. You think that so you are evil. We have Stars on Ours....

It's all a bit crazy.

Middle of the night ideas.

So how do we change? Can we change? I'm trying not to fight with people as much. I'm trying not to post on public posts, even from friends, if I think the original content or the comments are too negative or have gone sideways. I'm trying to keep my level of disgust in check. But I'm not staying silent. I'm not going along to get along. I'm going to continue to post my opinions on things. I'm going to keep being a little surprised when someone that I know believes something I can CLEARLY see is nonsense. And then I will keep trying to remind myself that somehow they think the same about what I believe.

But I still don't know that anything changes. Except we keep getting more polarized. We keep finding excuses to stick with only people that agree with us. Because, let's face it, listening to someone espouse an idea that you not only disagree with but find repugnant makes it pretty much impossible to keep a good thought about them in your head. And I think we are all so tired of fighting. But instead of stopping fighting we are just spending time with people who think the way we do. Which is also a bad middle of the night idea. With no differences there is no change. And with no change we stagnate. That's not good for anyone.

So I'm not sure what to do here. I guess we will have to see if we wake up from this bad dream and realize what a bad idea it has all been.

Friday, March 16, 2018

What were you thinking?

You would think that being able to read minds would be a great skill to have. You would think that if you couldn't do it. If you could do it you would realize that it's a horrible thing to live with.

Janine had been able to read minds her entire life. Because of her gift she quickly understood that most people were truly awful. It wasn't just the big horrific things that she heard people thinking, things like murder or rape or theft, it was the myriad of small petty things. The constant judging and ranking of everyone around them. The difference between the thought in their head and the things that they said. She had only met a small handful of people whose inside and outside voices matched. Those were the really kind ones, or the really mean ones. Only people on the extreme edges ever matched.

The really mean ones she steered clear of, like most people do. The really kind ones she was attracted to the strongest. Because they were there easiest to manipulate.

Janine was also a truly awful person.

She liked to believe it was because she had spent her life hearing what the world really thought. That would make it very hard for anyone to maintain their optimism. It really was awful to constantly hear what the world really thought about everything, but especially what they really thought of you. But she suspected she would have been a truly awful person anyway and her gift just exacerbated the situation. The truth was she was good at being bad. And she really enjoyed it. She thought, well actually she knew, that most people would be the same if they had her talents.

Janine had used her gifts in a variety of ways but when it came down to it she was a con artist. She usually made her living as a psychic medium. The fact that she was a real psychic made being a fake medium very easy. People thought about what they wanted you to tell them. They held the names of the dead in their minds. They told you what answers they wanted to hear. Yes, Uncle George is happy. Yes he wants you to feel no guilt at all over cheating Cousin Susie out of her inheritance, she was a nasty piece of work anyway. No he will not tell you where the hidden cash is, he hid it for a reason after all. Death did not make Uncle George any more helpful.

She could drag a willing client along for months or even years. They got to be dependent on her. Asking her for advice on everything. Sometimes the spirits were right, sometimes they were wrong. But they always knew the exact right things to say to keep the money rolling in. Janine was highly sought after. She had quite the reputation. The Amazing Randi had even tried to debunk her. He wouldn't admit that she was the real deal but he did have to admit that he couldn't figure out how she was faking people out. She had been very impressed with the levels he went to to trip her up. He had planted false information on the web that would have come up if she was doing pre-research on her clients. The problem was that lies stood out like a bright light in a mind, with the truth hiding right behind it. All she had to do was move his curtain to the side and see his truth. After the fourth or fifth time she did it she saw the smallest kernel of belief in his head. Then he convinced himself that it was all a trick that he just hadn't figure out how to do. She had smiled at him then and said, "It's not."

After that her reputation just kept growing. She was a "proven psychic medium" now. She was no phony. Her client list kept growing. She had assistants who handled her schedule. Since she had to see everyone in person and couldn't do things via the phone or the internet like some others in her line of work people sometimes waited a year for an appointment. They flew in from all over the world to see her. She was making a lot of money. A lot of money.

But she was incredibly bored. There had to be more she could do with her talents than just this. Though it was profitable it was so time consuming. And it wasn't like she could train someone else to handle the day to day operations while she just supervised. Though there had been many people who had come to her to learn her ways. Other con artists who recognized talent and wanted a piece of the pie. They always left disappointed. And pissed off. How dare she not share the wealth.

She had been thinking of new things to do when Candice walked in to her meeting room. Candice was a new client. She was there to find out if her dead husband had been cheating on her. She was pretty sure he had been. There was a lot of evidence that showed he was. Really she knew he had been. But he was dead now and she wanted to think good things about him. Well not about him so much as about herself. People didn't understand how much being cheated on changed the way you thought about yourself. She had always had a really strong sense of self worth and finding out he had been cheating on her had destroyed that. She had suddenly felt worthless. It was devastating. But maybe she was wrong. She hoped she was wrong. She was going to find out for sure.

All of that hit Janine in an almost solid wall of thought when Candice walked in to the room. The other thing that hit Janine was Candice's net worth. Her husband was a wealthy man but that was nothing compared to what Candice herself already owned. Janine's entire business empire wouldn't cover the tax bill on Candice's estate in one year. Suddenly Janine was a lot less bored. Her mind started spinning with the idea of becoming Candice's personal medium. Living like royalty. All of that money backed with all of that insecurity? It was a ripe juicy plum just waiting to be picked.

"He loved you, but he was intimidated by you."

Candice hadn't even sat down yet when Janine hit her with that. Candice's hand flew up to her throat, "What?"

"I'm sorry. That just came in to my head as you walked in, how rude of me. I'm Janine St. Clair, how may I help you?"

"No, that's what I am here for. I wanted to see if you could speak to my husband, my late husband, but of course you know that, you're a medium why would I ask you to speak to my husband if he were still alive. I'm sorry, I'm just flustered. Is he here right now? Are you already talking to him? How did you know to contact him?"

"He is here. He is with you. He can't bear to leave you while you are feeling so..."

"Insecure. It's okay, you can say it. He always said he hated how insecure I was. How needy."

"He's sorry about saying that. He didn't want you to feel badly, he wanted you to understand how you did not need to ever feel that way."

Janine spent the next hour soothing Candice's fragile ego. The whole time picking her way around her thoughts. Selecting bits of information to use for a follow up. There was a lot of good stuff about her mother in there. No wonder Candice was so needy. What a cold woman she had had for a mother. Where was her father? Oh yes, so much there as well. This was going to be easy.

And it was. Within a few months Candice had moved Janine on to her Malibu compound. The guest house Janine was living in was nicer than her own place a few miles inland. She also had an apartment in the luxury tower Candice stayed in when she traveled to New York for business. She couldn't bear being too far away from Janine for too long. Janine officially retired. She was fine being a pampered employee of Candice. A spoiled lap dog, as her butler thought of her. She had barked at him and he had gone three shades of pale.

After six months Janine started to expand her influence. Candice no longer just counted on her for soothing her ego but brought her to business meetings. She took only Janine's advice on who to work with. Who to invest in. Who to trust. Candice was completely dependent on her advice. That's when Janine started to play with her. She set up an offshore account and started to siphon money from Candice's accounts. Passwords were childsplay. She also started to accumulate blackmail material. Give Janine an ultra wealthy individual and Janine would find you their dirty secrets. Tax evasion, affairs, illegal business dealings. There was always something, and Candice was no exception. Janine collected her information.

Once she had everything she wanted from Candice she set up her killing blow. She arranged for Candice to invite the women her late husband had been sleeping with to tea. All six of them. Candice had suspected he had been sleeping with one other woman, but never this many. And never would have guessed that he would have chosen people in their social circle. But he had. Janine had found them through the year. Remembering him fondly when they would run in to Candice someplace. None of them realized that they were not to the only one as well so this was going to be fun on a lot of levels. Getting them all in one room had taken a lot of manipulating and planning. Planting ideas for fundraisers and charitable events that they all would be able to work on. Bringing all of their expertise with them. These were accomplished women. Business owners, CEOs, CFOs, leaders of boards. So much success in one room. So much to ruin.

They sat down to tea and started planning. Janine put her hand to her head and closed her eyes. Candice noticed right away, "Are you okay?"

"Yes..." Janine whispered and looked around the room at all of the faces, "Yes, I just..." Then she did her best trying to hide what she was feeling expression. "I just think I should get some fresh air. I..."

The women around the table began to get nervous. They all knew what she was, but had assumed that if Robert had been going to talk to Janine about them he would have done it much earlier. They had all heard the story of Candice and Janine's first meeting after all. They figured they were in the clear. Then the shift started to happen. The women around the table noticed that the other women around the table were just as nervous as they were.

Janine swooned again. Then she could no longer hold back her shocked expression. "I just...All of you?" She said with disgust dripping from every word. "He won't shut up. I'm sorry. He just won't shut up." She looked toward the CFO of the largest Talent Agency on the West Coast, "In your office? Really?" Then she shook her head, "You really let him do that? While your kids were home?" At this the small pretty blonde next to her covered her mouth in shock and horror.

Candice was started to figure out what was happening. The pain and horror was spreading across her face. The realization that her husband HAD been unfaithful to her after all. And not with one woman, but with all of these women. And they had all thought they were something special. They had trusted him just as much as she had. It was devastating.

Janine thought about her hidden assets and the ruin she was going to leave here for someone else to clean up. She thought about her next adventure. She had bought a beach house in the Cayman Islands to go with her stolen funds. She was thinking she might start a new religion. That seemed like fun. She really was a horrible person. As she was planning her escape Candice was making her way toward her. She grabbed her by the shoulders.

"Robert? Are you listening? I can't believe I trusted you. I never should have trusted you!" Candice cried in Janine's face, trying to reach her dead husband.

Janine shrugged her off, "You're right. You never should have."

Thursday, March 15, 2018


You all know how I love my goals, my sub goals, my mini goals and my stretch goals. I like to feel like what I am doing is reaching for something. Like I'm moving toward things, even if I don't appear to be doing much different to a lot of people. In that vein I've been doing a monthly goal this year along with my yearly goals. January was to cook dinner 3 times a week, February was to do a Spanish lesson 3 times a week, March is to cook dinner 3 times a week, do a Spanish lesson 3 times a week and publish a blog 3 times a week. Excluding the first week where I gave myself a little smaller target since we were going to be gone for half of it.

Basically March is reinforcing the January and February goals (which I met, by the way) while making sure I get some blogs published which fits with my yearly goal of posting 156 blogs total with 52 of them being fiction. I think sometimes that's necessary. The reinforcing part. I pick up and put down a lot of things so sometimes I do something then walk away from it and don't go back, even if it's something I really want to do. So March is for reinforcing.

April is going to be another monthly goal in service of a yearly goal. That whole print submission thing. I want to submit 3 pieces by the end of the year. April marks the first third of the year gone (EEK!) so April's goal is to get something, anything submitted someplace. I'm pre-sweating it, but I will get it done. I love my stars too much to not do so.

Along with those things I'm also researching cutting the cord for our cable. Not really something I'm excited to be researching but we've been talking about doing it and Brent is way too fucking busy at work to do it so I am. There is a ton of stuff to look at on one hand and on the other it's not actually easy to compare because they (cable and different streaming services) know that a lot of us will just revert to easiest as the setting instead of least expensive. My head starts to hurt after about a half hour of it all so I can see that their nefarious plans are working.

I'm also starting to make some head plans for a visit from friends at the end of the month. We have one friend who will be here almost a week and another two who will be in for the weekend. The reason they are head plans right now and not more is that it's right at hockey play off time so if the Hawks are playing at home that weekend I will be taking everyone to a playoff game or two, if not we will be doing something else. That and some of the things we had originally talked about we can't do due to the massive forest fires last summer. But I'm thinking tulip festival, Coast, Mount Hood possibly depending on weather, Saturday Market, Japanese Gardens, Zoo, drive up to Multnomah Falls for a peek from the parking lot even though the hike is know nothing much just a few options...

Also making plans for an August trip around my birthday with the boys to LA then staying there and visiting with friends who will be taking an August trip for a birthday remembrance. So excited for both halves of that trip. Love going to new places as a family, and we don't get to do the whole family thing as often anymore, and seeing someone I haven't seen in years after that as well as meeting an old friend face to face for the first time. Hugs are well overdue in that situation.

AND making plans for Fall football trips already. Looks like we are going to do three games. One of them I was on the fence about because it can be really cold already at that time of year, but I am trying not to be such a baby about the weather and let Brent enjoy it some more. Though it's beginning of November, not end, so I am still being a bit of a baby.

We are also already talking about next winter's trip. We are thinking we might hit Mexico or the Caribbean instead of Hawaii. Someplace the water is just a touch warmer that time of year. It's hard to do though, since we love Hawaii and seeing the whales, but we also really loved being there in the summer when we could walk out and snorkel at 7 AM without a chill. The older I get the more I appreciate not getting a chill first thing in the morning. (Baby)

Sometimes plans start but don't finish. I almost went to London last weekend. The game I played years ago was celebrating its 10th Anniversary and there was a big meet for players. I had dismissed the idea of going since I no longer play but as people I am friends with started talking about going I considered going just to see so many of them in one place. My friend who is visiting here at the end of the month gave me the dates and encouraged me to go. Another friend chimed in with the DOOOEEET! and Brent, of course, said do whatever you want to. I joked that if the margarita hadn't worn off I would have gone. But it's really true. Brent looked at flights during dinner and I looked at them when we got home. Points was the way to do it, but even then it was all of my points plus a good chunk of money and I would have been leaving a few hours after we got home from Hawaii and flying a LOT of hours for a couple of days and...well once I slept on it I realized it was probably something I should have planned a few months earlier when I wasn't even considering doing it but could have afforded it a little better.

It was the right decision. I would have been exhausted and there were a lot of people there. I love about 10 of them. Like about 15 more and have no idea who the other 100 are since I don't play anymore. It would have been a lot of energy to take in. I would have loved parts of it, been so excited to see a few people and look in their eyes. And I would have hated parts of it. There is a low level of drama at all of those things that is always tough for me to process. It's taken years for me to understand that about myself, but I do, and I'm good with it. So it was the right decision. (the secret to being happy about your life is to tell yourself that the decision you made that you cannot change was a good one.) Someday I hope to see a lot of those people face to face. But just in smaller groups where I can actually spend some time one on one with them and talk. Those have always been my favorite parts of the meets I've been to anyway. Going to the Empire State Building with just Kathie and Glenn gave me a chance to get to know them in a way that dinner with EVERYONE did not. Walking to get coffee in Toronto with Nadine let me learn about Stacey in a way that I never would have otherwise. Corrie and I driving through Buffalo and crossing the border together is a great story, and then picking up Free Healthcare/New Shoes was the best.

And then there have been the chances to meet people in small settings away from big meet ups altogether. Visiting Dana in Phoenix and having dinner with her in a sports bar during March Madness gave us a great funny moment that we would never have had in a big crowd. So I will say that small groups are best for me. Dinners, lunches, coffee dates, even a wedding with a gorgeous bride and an adopted brother. So as I make plans I need to make sure I keep in mind how much those small moments mean. And keep telling myself that big groups exhaust me because when I see the pictures I want to reach through the screen and squeeze everyone (probably good for them I wasn't there) but more importantly, I want to talk to them. To hear their voices, to learn something about them I didn't know before. To see in their eyes what or who is really important to them.

Plans. Make some.

Monday, March 12, 2018

It's a Matter of Trust...

"I never should have trusted you!"

"You're right! What the hell were you thinking?"

"I thought maybe you were ready to act like the grown up for a change. But apparently not."

"Why would you think that? That's a stupid thing for you to think. When have I ever shown any signs that I was ready to act like a grown up? Or that I even wanted to act like a grown up? Never. That's when. Ne.Ver."

"One of these days you will have to be responsible. I won't be here forever."

"You're right you won't, but that doesn't mean that I have to responsible. There is always someone out there who wants to be responsible."

"You think I want to always be responsible?"

"Yeah, I do. You always like being the one in charge. It's part of  who you are."

"I am the one who is in charge and responsible all of the time because you aren't! Because if I don't take charge we end up in situations like this one! I don't WANT to be responsible but you leave me no choice."

"Really? That's what you think? Because I think you like it. I think right now there is a big part of you that feels smug. That if YOU had just handled it all everything would have been fine."

"It would have!"

"See? But you don't know that. You might have forgotten something too. You just think you know it would have been perfect because that's how you see yourself. In charge. Responsible. Perfect. Taking care of big of fuck up me. I'm doing you a favor really."

"A favor?"

"Yes, a favor. You need someone to take care of so you take care of me. And I'm really not that bad so you get to act like the grown up but there isn't really that much responsibility to it."

"You're not that bad? You think that? You think you can take care of yourself just fine?"

"Yeah. I do. I mean mostly. The big stuff anyway."

"So explain this."

"This wasn't that big of a deal. Not really. That's your problem. You think everything is big stuff, when it's not really."

"You think this isn't big stuff?"

"Not in the grand scheme of things, no. You are alive right? You're breathing. You have food, you have water, you have clothes and a roof over your head, everything else is small stuff."

"That's how you view this? Small stuff?"

"Well, yeah, of course. How else would you view it?"

She looked around at the expanse of ocean around them. Remembering the moment their oar floated away and then sank because it was not tied to the kayak. No land in sight. No radio because the backpack it was in was also not secure to the kayak and sank at the same time as the oar. Hearing the echo of "Yeah, I've got this." which apparently did not mean the same thing as she thought it meant.

"Not small. Not small at all."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Drama Free...

"I never should have trusted you!" She screamed and started to storm out of the room.

"You're right. But you did, so really this is all your fault." He seemed almost bored.

She stopped and turned. That was not the answer she was expecting. She had been expecting him to follow her and plead for her forgiveness or explain how it was all a misunderstanding. Something contrite. But not this.


"What, what?"

"What do you mean this is all my fault?"

"I was agreeing with you. You said you never should have trusted me, and you were right, you shouldn't have. This is what it feels like to be right. Is this your first time?"

Her eyes got very wide. "Excuse me?"

"Is this your first time being right? You seem very unsure of how to behave right now."

She actually was unsure. There was a pattern that should have been followed. She got mad, he apologized, then did something to make it up to her, she forgave him until the next time. It was a cycle that she had played out in almost every relationship she had ever had. Her friends called her a Drama Queen but she preferred passionate. If a relationship wasn't passionate what was it? So she tended to find men who would fit her pattern. Passionate.

This time she had dated someone who hadn't really fit that mold. She had loved it about him. And her friends were so impressed with how grown up this relationship seemed compared to her others. No shouting matches in bars, no big scenes at dinner with friends. It was all very drama free. She had thought that she really liked this new relationship style. But now he was sitting there unphased, like it wasn't his fault at all. When it clearly was. He had been flirting with another woman. Well, flirting was mild, he had been pursuing another woman. And not even hiding it very well.

"You were going to cheat on me. I am not sure how that is my fault."

"Going to cheat on you? When did we become something that was cheatable?" He looked at his hands and reached out for hers, "I don't see any rings. I don't recall any promises. You pursued me when you knew I was dating other people. I am not sure how you thought that was anything that changed."

"Because we started dating! We have been going out for months! How could it not have changed? I don't see anyone else!" She was starting to find her footing again. Feeling the righteous anger build.

He shrugged his shoulders, "I don't remember ever telling you to stop seeing other people."

"You didn't have to! I shouldn't have had to! We were seeing each other multiple times a week! You were staying over here on weekends more often than you weren't! We were obviously exclusive! You cheated on me!"

"It's not obvious. You are assuming that because it's easier to stay in one bed than move in the middle of the night it meant something more than I like getting an extra hour of sleep. And you're closer to downtown than I am. It's just easier to stay here than trek out to my place. I like you, don't get me wrong, but we never made any promises to each other. You putting something else on me that I didn't ask for is your own issue."

"You need to get out."

He slowly got up and started to gather his things, "Okay."

"Okay? That's all you have to say is okay?"

"I am really beginning to believe you have no idea what you want. You told me to get out, so I am getting out. What do you want me to do? Refuse to leave?"

"Well, at least act like you want to stay."

"Why would I want to stay? You are mad and yelling and carrying on. This isn't a great place to be right now."

"Do you not care about us at all?"

"Sure I care. I've been having a good time with you."

"GOOD TIME? That's all this has been?" She was fuming again.

"Yes, a good time. Shouldn't that be the goal? To have a good time? What in the world are you looking for? A bad time? A miserable time?"

"I want to be more than a good time."

"What else is there?"

This stopped her. Her last relationship had ended because they weren't having fun anymore. Neither one of them were having a good time. It was all too much drama all of the time. And the one before that ended the same way. And the one before that. They stopped being a good time. And now she was mad because he only thought of her as a good time and that wasn't enough either. What did she want?


She sat down on the edge of the couch. "I don't know. But something. There has to be something more."

"God, I hope not."

She looked at him like she had never seen him before. And she was realizing that she hadn't. Not really. She had done to him what she had done to every relationship before him. Just slotted him in the empty space and made him what she wanted him to be. She needed a mature, drama free, grown up to have a stable relationship with just to prove that she could do it, so she made him that. But really she had brought home a selfish, inconsiderate jerk, just like always, but just showing it in a different way. Not that she bothered to look. "Hunh."

"Hunh?" He was clearly puzzled for the first time all morning, "What do you mean, hunh?"

"I just figured out that it really wasn't you. It was me. I never knew you at all. You're kind of an asshole."

He laughed at this, "Am I?"

"Yeah, you really are. You knew that I would assume we were dating exclusively, don't act like you wouldn't. But you never bothered to say anything. You liked being able to stay here, and have sex with me, and go to the clubs that I can get in to that you couldn't. You're an asshole. Don't get me wrong, you're really an attractive asshole and you're adequate in bed, but you aren't all that special."


"Yeah, adequate. It's enough for a good time. Not great. Wait! That's it."

"What's it?"

"You asked what else there was, that's what else there is. Great. Not good, great. I'm looking for great."

"Okay...." He started to sit back down.

"Oh no, you still need to get out. You will never be great. So you should go find someone who is satisfied with good enough."

He laughed and shook his head, "Alright. You're crazy, you know that right?"

She smiled back at him, "Actually I think for the first time in a long time I'm not."

She followed him to the door and locked it behind him. She went to her desk and started to make a list:

Drama Free-but not an asshole

That was a good start on her way to great.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Okay, we're back.

Hawaii was wonderful. I think that's standard right? Hawaii is just wonderful. Even last year when it rained almost the whole time it was still wonderful. This year it was a little windy but it's still wonderful.

I didn't do my old normal pack it full vacation. We went for a little longer, we did a lot less, we just relaxed. We're trying to find the balance between just enough and too much. I think this time it was probably a little too little, but part of that was weather related. We discovered that we prefer the summer water for sure. Now to decide if we trade water warm and calm enough to snorkel off the beach whenever we want to for whales. No whales in the summer.

I love whales.

BUT...I also love being able to snorkel without a chill.

So we are balancing.

Speaking of balancing...

We tried Stand Up Paddleboarding this time. I changed it to Sit Down Paddleboarding after the third time I fell. I wish the guide had taken pictures of the falls, they had to have been spectacular to see considering how they felt. I'd go up...then BOOM right back down. Once I ended up sitting on the board, the other two times I hit the board then bounced into the water. I'm not graceful, but I really thought I might be able to do it. Nope. We will probably give it another try at some point. Even sitting on the board it was a nice way to spend the morning.

Our guide was a nice kid. Originally from California. Moved to Utah in middle school. Went from being one of only two blond kids in his school (his brother was the other one) to being one of a "everyone looks like me." Culture shock for him. He graduated high school early, then went to college for a couple of years and dropped out. It was a religious college in Utah...He decided he didn't want to be that religion, it wasn't a good fit for him. He stressed about telling his parents and then found out that they didn't hold the belief anymore either. They were just letting him come to his own decisions about it. Which I thought was remarkable. We talked about it a bit. I think he was amazed that we knew what the college was as soon as he started talking about it, and that we understood things like his family not being able to go in to the church to see a family wedding. There is a big family reunion this year with the other side of their family and it will be the first time they will be together with that group since his core left the church. He's a little nervous about it. I know more too. Like his trip through New Zealand and Tasmania and his roommates and what he is going to be doing for work this summer. People tell me things. I'm a pretty good listener.

People just want to be listened to. That's a good thing to remember in life. Nobody gets listened to enough. If you can make some space to listen to people you will learn all sorts of things and they will feel pretty good about their time with you. Be a good listener.

We went kayaking again. We were hoping to kayak with whales but there weren't any around when we set off. We waited for a little bit then went snorkeling instead. We really like snorkeling and snorkeling off the kayaks is great. You can get out to places that aren't super crowded. We were a little bummed to find out another group found some whales, but only a little considering how far out they kayaked to them and how far south they got blown coming back. The tour was supposed to be over around 10 and it was closer to 11 by the time they got back. Considering how gassed we were at 10, with a snorkel break from paddling, I cannot imagine how tough that would have been. But if we go back and try again we will go a little earlier in the season. The whales are coming in earlier and leaving earlier lately. Probably something to do with that non-existent climate change.

We did see whales on a whale watching tour. We saw competition groups. Which we had never seen before. Basically one female and a group of males showing off for her. Head lunges, tail slaps, breaching, jostling with each other in the water, it was pretty spectacular. Gorgeous sunny day as well. Which led to a pretty solid sunburn for both of us. I normally don't get sunburned because I wear sunscreen when I even think about a sunny day, but we used a different brand and it was not good. We are in the process of switching over to a zinc only sunscreen, reef safe, you see. And the hotel gave us a bottle of their zinc lotion. Since it was too big to take back we thought we would use it up there. I should have stuck with the the stuff I brought. Oh well, live and learn! Even with a little extra pink on my face and ears...well purple on the ears but because of that I bought a new hat, and it's a really cool hat so it all worked out okay.

We went on a snorkel tour to the northern beaches. But it was too windy to snorkel up north so we went down south, to a spot that ended up being too windy to snorkel in so we came back up mid-island to another spot. Snorkeled there for awhile. We actually snorkeled with sharks for the first time, well the first time we were aware of them anyway. Too bad we weren't made aware until after we were out of the water. The photographer got some great shots of them, but I wish they would have called us over to see them. I would have loved that. We were supposed to go to another location for more snorkeling but the wind was too much so we went sailing instead. All things being equal I would rather snorkel.

BUT good news on the boat front, no seasick issues. I took dramamine AND wore my sea bands, but I'm still counting it as a win. I seem to be okay on REALLY large ships and catamarans. I'm really relieved by this because taking a boat out to snorkel or to whale watch is my favorite part of these trips.

We went snorkeling off of a couple of beaches, it was a little cold and the surf was a little rough, but it was good snorkeling once we were out in the areas. Saw some new for us fish. That's always fun. No, I don't know what they were. The shiny ones, and the purple ones, and the one with that thing on his face...that's the way I describe them to Brent later. "Did you see that one that did that thing like this?" That's what he usually gets on the beach. We also saw a few turtles, or excuse me, honu again. We've seen enough of them now that we are kind of nonchalant about it. Which is amazing. Oh yeah, we snorkeled with turtles today, no big deal...

We ate well. Really well. Oof! We had some fun drinks. We got yelled at by a crazy man on the beach about stealing his cabana. Then we got apologized to by a contrite man who strongly resembled the crazy man when he realized his mistake. We spent a lot of time relaxing and reading by the beach or on our lanai or in the rocking chairs next to the lagoon.

And then it was over.

Super fast.

Even though we were there for a week it seemed like we had just arrived and it was time to go.

It was wonderful.

But Hawaii always is.