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If you're here for the porn you're about to be very sorely disappointed. No porn.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Now I'm Here, Now I'm There Complete With Drunken McDrunksalot Action

We're back in the States for a few days, but it has not been without bumps and dramas.

Jim just about drove me around the bend with last second packing, He somehow managed to open each and every cabinet and closet hanging. Bins of fall clothing upended and scattered, his box of ties scattered like autumnal leaves. I got very bent out of shape because of this. I do my packing in an extremely organized fashion. I have my toiletry bag permanently packed I just toss in. I keep my clothes for the States sorted into zippered  cubes by season. Toss in the right season, toss in the toiletries and underwear and you are packed. Not so with Jim

Travel is travel. Flight from Liberia, Costa Rica to Atlanta, Georgia, smooth, completely unremarkable.

And then it got weird. Flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C. We get on the plane and the area is hit by a sudden pop up storm, high winds. So we sat on the tarmac.

As the grounded minutes ticked by I started to notice that the flight attendants kept coming over to talk to the two guys seated right behind us. Their seats were against the back wall of the plane and we were right in front of them. They kept questioning the guys, waning ot know if one of them was lucid enough to fly. His friend kept telling the stewardesses that his friend was merely 'tired' and needed to sleep.

The guy smelled like he'd been sleeping in an empty vat at the Seagrams Distillery in Seymour, Indiana, waves of booze smell wafting off him. He could not speak. He only grunted and moaned. He was 'sick' according to his friends. The flight attendants had to make the determination if he was fit to fly, and decided to let him fly, even if it was clearly he was drunker than who shot Cooter Brown.

Finally we were airborne. At first I'd just hear a moan or a sigh, but then bare feet started to creepy over, almost into my lap. He was sticking his feet into the gap between the seats and thrashing about.

About that time I started thinking about how hideously sucky it is that I've heard of folks being refused a seat on the plane for less, and the fact that Delta Airlines management passed the buck to the poor flight attendants to make the determination of fitness. That's something that they need to either standardize and maybe train the people better. They let this idiot fly, and it got much worse in a hurry.

First it was just the cursing. Between moans, groans, grunts and various rude bodily noises he started yelling words like "FUCK!" and "SHIT!". He proceeded to thrash around, stick more feet various places, kick the back of my seat and started singing. They called that thing you never want to hear on a flight, a call for "Is there a doctor aboard?" The doctor showed up, listened to the drunk babble and prescribed oxygen.

The oxygen just perked him up, and the activity increased. Then Drunky McDrinksalot started roaming the damn plane, sitting or falling to the floor with more cursing, trying to sit on a flight attendants lap, and crashing the flight attendant area.

We got the hell away from him as soon as the plane landed. He was sadly weeping on a flight attendant;s shoulder he didn't want to get off the plane because he knew they were going to arrest him. and he'd just gotten out of rehab again.

I didn't appreciate that the Delta employees didn't have him removed before the flight because it was obvious to anyone with eyes on their head that he was falling down drunk. But at the same time it's a big responsibility to put on a flight attendant.

His asshole friend walked away moaning into his phone that the airline overreacted and arrested him. Did I mention that the friend was drinking on the flight, the attendants selling him several drinks, at least one of which made it into the super drunk guy. Irresponsible.

We've been recovering from that and being stuck in a three hour traffic jam on I66. But Jim has left on his way to his 50th high school reunion and I'm moved onto the pleasant part of the trip, shopping, lunching with wonderful friends and more shopping.

Amazon sent my new computer here and it was swiped when the stupid delivery man decided to just leave it sitting out in the mail room, so I had to immediately go out and get a new computer. My old lap top has been dying for the last few months.

Today I had to hit Kohl's sales rack and stock up. Tomorrow I'm buying underwear and otc stuff at Target. So tired tonight! But so happy to see my family.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Water, Water, Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink

Water in the house. Towels on the floor in front of the glass doors/walls. Apparently when we had the back yard torn up to put in the pool and then the hot tub we messed with the natural slope and drainage of the property. When we get intense rain storms over more than an inch and hour it creeps in under the glass doors.

Put in that non-Costa Rican thing, gutters, a few months ago. Looks like we're going to have to go with a French drain all the way around the house funneling down the side wall to solve this. Just when I was hoping to have the money to remodel the damn kitchen. It's always something.

During pool installation

Pool in. Does not even look like the same backyard does it?


The House of Screws

That's the name of the place Jim went to yesterday. We laughed because that was the literal translation of the hardware store's name in Spanish. Living here is sometimes a recipe for bizarreness. Just this morning we saw a kid that could not be more than seven driving the family car while Mamacita sat in the passenger seat.

Super busy end of the week. Jim drug me to a fundraising bingo game for Terraza, the new teen center in town. I am so not a bingo player, but now Jim is. He's gone like 4 times now and last time won a bottle of wine and a gift certificate to Waffle Monkey.

How I won a gift certificate to Little Lucha's Tacos I will never know. I could not hear, I could not see the screen. Plus I'm always twitchy in a crowd. Add in the dogs and smoking and it was just not a place for me at all.

Saturday Jim went in the screw hunt. I'd only been asking him for two months to change out the lightbulb in my sewing room. I have two lamps in there, a clamp on light on the sewing table and recessed lights, but the over head one on the fan is out. Jim tried, and promptly lost most of the screws. So it was off to Santa Cruz and the House of Screws.

My father always used to call my husband 'The Nutty Professor' because he's book smart, but not a lot practical smarts. It still holds true. Hence the screw hunt.

I'd forgotten something though, today is Costa Rican Independence Day, and yesterday afternoon the entire downtown was filled with dressed up Ticos frantically shopping before the holiday.  The entire downtown was strung with Costa Rican flag banners.


Jim went in search of Casa del Empulguefas while I went to the local fabric stores, perfumerias and dulce stores. I got sweets for bringing to the States next week, perfume and enough upholstery fabric to re-cover my sofa.  I've been wanting to redo the fabric on the sofa for a long time now, but I was not seeing anything I liked that would be right. The living room is painted a vivid terra cotta orange. Finding the right fabric happened when I least expected it. I'd already decided to get batik in the States and make a quilted cover. Not now. It was only 20 bucks for enough to cover the couch, has splashing of the same orange as the walls mixed with burgandies, beiges, and celery greens. Bright and colorful enough for me, conventional enough for Jim. Enough batiks to cover it would have run over 200 bucks.





One of the challenging things about shopping in downtown Santa Cruz are the narrow one way streets so it's just better to park in one central location and walk around.

Church today was anticlimactic compared to all the recent dramas. Jim's upset that I told someone in front of him I'm an introvert, so introverted that I didn't really like bingo. It was true. Only since the stroke have I gone into the giving zero effs zone.

Friday, September 13, 2019

No Pants, No Service

I knew today would be an odd one when I got up this morning only to find Jim sprawled on the chaise lounge with no pants on. I don't know what happened there. He went out to have a swim, got partially naked and had to nap. I am teasing him that I'm saving the photos for the senility hearing. Heh.

After coffee and his waking up we went on another of our two or three times a week beach walk. We didn't go much since Jim's arm surgery and my asthma until recently. Today we got out to Playa Grande, and the estuary side was filled with surfers. The waves were impressive today so we walked the other way to Las Ventanas, past the rocks, the large rock outcropping and down to the next beach. I pushed it again, walking way too far again, and came home with trembling legs and hurting hips. I've been creeping around since.

There were tons of people out fishing in the rocks, and they were catching some bigger fish than I thought might have lurked in the bay. But you could not pay me to step out among the rocks like they were doing. Painfully spiney sea urchins live out among the shallows in the rocks. I've sat in the clinic too many times in high season seeing people bring brought in yelling with sea urchin spines hanging out of their feet. Jim and I sat on the rocks and watched the fishermen and the many pelicans.

On the way home we laughed so hard because we got stuck behind a small truck towing another truck with oodles of guys in the back of the truck being towed. They were all holding ladders and other construction equipment. Crazy unsafe, but so typical here. When we went to zoom around we got a glimpse of the towing. No chair, hell, not even a worn out bungee cord. They were towing with what looked like twine and the wires of a couple of coat hangers. I always admire Tico ingenuity, at the same time I laugh at the silliness of how they do things.

We got home just in time for me to finish festooning our newish black suitcases with ticky tacky stickers to avoid what happened when we flew in December. There were at least ten identical suitcases as ours and someone walked off with mine during the change over from international terminal to the national one. Not again! I have some crazy fun stickers now, the Waffle Monkey, the taco stand, the bakery that is "Breaking Bad" themed.

Late afternoon. Worship team rehearsal. We talked about what happened this weekend with Mr. Z. I told the team I was considering quitting, and why. Mostly because of my health, but it does not help when people act like he did. I have had to exam my own heart about why I'd joined a team after years leading worship and saying I was totally done, look at my own motivations. Not the most comfortable or easy task.

But this evening has held it's on bit of madness. When I drove up to the house, through the metal gate after using the electronic gate opener an uninvited guest darted in. One I had difficulty evicting. A half grown Golden Retriever that decided I was his new best friend. He kept nipping my hands and feet trying to get me to pet him before I got him lured out of the gate, and snuck back in myself. I am so allergic to dog fur, but this guy was so so extremely cute and playful.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It's Been 18 Years?

I guess you know by now what today is the anniversary of. It's kind of hard to avoid. I've already had to put up with Jim's conspiracy rant on 9/11 this morning. Told him to shush, tell it to his fellow conspiracy pals.

A friend of mine was talking about that day today on her Facebook feed and it got me thinking about that day. I did originally have it up on my old blog, that awful day. I was still firmly part of my old church and there were some surreal moments of that day involving the church.

I got up that morning with Jim, at 4:45 am, and prayed after he left. It was a beautiful sunny gorgeous day in Northern Virginia. After getting the kids off to school and doing a few loads of laundry I sat down with my coffee in front of the tv to fold clothes and watch the news. It was shortly after the first place had hit, and no one was sure of what had happened, if it was just a tragic accident.

Abandoning my coffee and laundry I watched, horror struck when the second plane hit, realizing in that moment that this was no accident, pilot error or mechanical failure. This was deliberate. I tried calling Jim in D.C., on his job and he didn't know what I was talking about. Then the third plane hit the Pentagon.

The rest of day was me sitting in front of the tv weeping in front of my lap top. The phone lines crashed on the East Coast, I could not call Jim. Watching as all mass transit was stopped from going in or out of D.C., watching as thousands of grim faced federal works streamed out on foot after they were all ushered out of their federal buildings and tossed into the streets.

One of the most disturbing things about that day was the rumors that were given credence and endlessly repeated on the D.C. television stations. Things like a plane had been spotted heading towards the Capital Building (Jim worked Capital Hill adjacent) or that the State Dept was fire bombed and a host of other bad things that turned out not to be true.

At the same time I was fielding phone calls from Indiana and Louisiana, relatives wanting reassurance that Jim was safe, reassurance I could not give them because I had no idea where he was in the midst of all that madness.

The other calls, not so nice. A few from fellow Possum Creek members that were concerned. I heard the sad news that one of our members had been scheduled to work that flight that flew into the Pentagon and that no one knew if she'd been on it. The pastor and several friends stopped by to see how I was. I wasn't really in the mood for company, talking for for a few minutes, getting prayer and sending them on their way. All that was nice, in retrospect. What sticks out as awful is that Tom and Tina Smith called repeatedly. Tom angrily attacked me, insisting I must know the fate of my husband. He called so often that by this point the pastor had to tell him to stop it.

Tom made a hard day just that much harder.

The kids schools both called, wanting to know if someone would be home for the kids. They called the families of all students who had at least one parent working in Washington. I thought that was actually pretty sweet and caring, to make sure the kids were going into a safe environment if something awful had happened to their parents.

Just about the time the kids buses showed up and dropped them off Jim came home. Never have I ever been so happy to see him before. We cried and hugged with the kids. Everyone just grateful to be safe and alive and together.

Jim had been rudely dumped into the streets with the other federal workers with no way to get home. He ended up with a guy he knew from the commuter train, and they ended up taking a convoluted trek home involving catching a bus, then a MARC train, getting well clear of D.C. before that man's ex wife picked them up and gave them rides to the train station commuter lot where they were both parked.

If there's anything I regret that day it's that it robbed us as Americans of our sense of safety in this world. Perhaps it was just never safe and we mistakenly thought it was.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

There's a CRAB in my Swimming Pool!

Yesterday afternoon we drove down for a walk on Playa Granda. Not a soul in site. Our own private beach. I just wish there was a more direct route. We live something like a mile and a half from the ocean's edge but if you go due west to the beach from the house you'd quickly run into swampland. It's a ten minute ride taking a giant circuitous route.

The surprising thing was the lack of all people. No one, not even the guy that usually collects parking fees. Only the lady with the taco stand.

Meant to only do a quick 30 minute walk but ended up clocking in at over 90 minutes, dragging my exhausted self back. I'd started walking and ended up going almost to the end of the beach by the estuary, hitting up Shell-topia, a stretch of the beach with the most shells. Something about the way the land curves and the cove waves, and the cross hatching waves from the open ocean causes shells to pile up in one spot.

I get distracted by the shells, the tiny hermit crabs, the large red legged crabs sunning, the sand dollars and so many other things that I forgot to turn around until everything started to hurt. But it is a big improvement considering today was the one year anniversary of my stroke. I recovered slower than I would have liked, but I learned something. Rest when you need to. I never did before.

Early bedtime after a long soak and a couple of tylenols last night.

Today was the usual running about, shopping, visiting the art supply store for more canvases and some roving wool. Mechanic for a quick cheap repair of a noisy part on our ancient Honda CRV.

Tonight just after dark Jim went out to do his swimming laps and started yelling. He'd discovered an intruder in the pool and for once it was neither frog or iguana. It was a crab, something like six inches across. Red legs, cobalt blue body, scuttling around the bottom of the pool. No idea how it got there, like I said we're a mile and a half of swampland from the beach.


Monday, September 09, 2019

Post Assholes

Poor Cindy had to listen to me bitch, cry and moan about Mr. Z last night. But it was good. By the end of the conversation I was so over it. I did drop a note to someone in leadership about his behavior, not just yesterday, but the almost solid year of watching him subtly try to undermine everything at this one particular church.

Next time I'm back to my plan, asking for a piece of his hair when he tries to stir the pot and when he asks why pointing out it's for his voodoo doll.

Haven't posted as much lately because I am incredibly busy. I'm doing all the graphic work, and setting up the website for Jim's new business idea. I've done a pile of interviews for various news organizations working on a  pile of projects. I'm in talks about podcasts, a podcaster with a true crime slant wants to talk about the Carol Ann Cole cold case.

Plus.

Drum roll please..........
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I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If, and I mean if, it all works out I should have a hardback published book on the market within the year and a follow up the next year. I cannot tell you the topic yet except to say it's a long time project that started as a series of articles at No Longer Quivering.

So I'm devoting several hours every afternoon to the project, writing, expanding on a theme, explaining, and developing what I've gotten on the subject so far.

Why am I being so secret squirrel on the topic? Because when this comes out it's going to piss some folks off in law enforcement and government.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Assholes

Why do so many people connected to churches have to be such enormous assholes?

Mr. Zillionaire, the same guy that tried a few months ago to manage my moods, showed up. I knew he would, just like I see his fingerprints all over the recent church split. I knew last week when Jenn jumped on the team leader and what was said that Mr. Z would show up to gloat. He did.

When he showed up, I was flipping the bird behind my back. The drummer saw and laughed, not knowing the who or why. I didn't enlighten him.

Felt a little guilty, right up until Mr. Z started making fun of me, pointing and mocked me for how I hold my microphone. Shitty.

When the service was over I made sure to stay the hell away from Mr. Z. But he chased me down, and the conversation went something like this:

Z: "You were really off key today. Really shitty!"
Me: "Yeah, it happens."
Z: "And what was the deal with your microphone because I could not hear you."
Me: Eyeballing Mr. Z thinking how does he know I'm off key if he cannot hear me? "Hey, when you see me pull the microphone away and I'm mouthing t he words it's because I am going off key. thanks for your input!" before walking away to ask one of the Clonies if she can do your hair for a special occasion. You're happy to talk to a Clonie, who are really sweet when you're not talking about deep things.

I fumed worse while watching Mr. Z kissing ass, talking about his new church, and organizing a lunch to tell others about his new church.

I refuse to play..