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Showing posts from November, 2013

Day 331: What You Can See From Space

Last year, for those who may not know, I went on a holiday to the States. (Have a look in my archives for days starting the tenth of November for a blow-by-blow—I know you haven't got anything else to do!) I'm quite—how shall we put this?—um, 'anal', I suppose. And so I am still trying to get days from last year written up on this blog instead of letting time flow it's organic course. Oh, well. Acceptance of one's foibles is a good thing, isn't it? Foibles are what give us character—even if that character drives our nearest-and-dearest absolutely batty.

Irene               List_Addict** And Mr Pickles
This day was a little bit like being abducted by aliens again. (Did I mention the last time? I looked up, saw two signs in sequence that announced a street to the right and a speed limit. Then I looked down, looked up again quite a few seconds later and saw the exact same combination of signs after what should have already been the turn-off. The only explan…

Day 326: Minus Seven

List_Addict               Irene
For the information of anyone new, transient or lost, my posts are all over the place. I wanted to post on this project, everyday, for a 1001 days, but am hopelessly behind and flailing like a just-caught pike to catch up. Posts in the early day-three-hundred-and-teen or twenties, like this one, are all about my recent million-years-ago holiday to the States. Unfortunately, though, I have run out of pictures of me wearing things in the States and so for the rest of the tale about my trip, we are back to 'Who Wore it Better?', featuring clothing items thrifted on my holiday. Today is the first such day. I picked up this little dress at the Savers in Lubbock, Texas (claim to fame: birthplace of Buddy Holly). Poor V—— was ill. Stoicly he waited in the car for me to spend ages looking for clothes and I certainly ended up with a trolley-worth. But a trolley worth of items I was instantly in love with comes with the five-items-at-a-time change-room…

Day 325: O.K.

I always felt an affinity with Georgia O'Keeffe. I couldn't put my finger on it. But maybe the docent at her museum in Santa Fe narrowed it down for me. She wasn't, it seems, that enamoured with people. There are very few in her paintings; she lived this amazing life (when she finally could) in the vast spaces of New Mexico; and she famously said: I wish people were all trees and I think I could enjoy them then. I love the word docent. It's new to me, but prevalent in museums in the States, it seems. It's a quite, soft word. A storyteller word. I once did one of those tests where they work out what kind of a learner you are—visual, tactile, auditory—and I ended up as the last. I love to listen to stories, but only those told by a real person in my presence. And in fact I prefer to be an anonymous listener—not one on one. An eavesdropper, if you will. But the docent at this museum was magnificent and I could have sat on that hard little bench and listened to him a…

Day 324: How to Kill a Bargain

Irene and I could not be any further apart than this moment. I'm dressed for the snow. She, if you aren't aware, was spending her holiday in Thailand, lazing on a beach, drinking cocktails and ending up sore and pink every evening, covered in aloe vera. I mean, look at her skin. Pure alabaster. She shouldn't be outside without a golf umbrella. And at least three layers of zinc. Actually, maybe that is three layers of zinc.

This day on the (now past) holiday consisted of a thrift-stop in Alamosa. The store was divided into two parts—very cheap horrible stuff, and prize-picked and over-inflated-ly priced stuff. I managed to salvage two pairs of cropped jeans (patterned pink ones which have since been described as looking like pjs, but I like them, and my first ever white pair—eek!) and then find a fantastic boxy fur jacket. The jacket was thirty dollars, but afterwards I found a thrift-shop label in the pocket which said fifty. My theory: they put a label in the pocket…

Day 323: Ordinary Days

Some days on holiday are 'nothing' days. Astonishing things don't happen; epic sights aren't seen. Some days you have quiet lunches in little diners and read a quote that moves you in the restroom (what was it again V——?). Some days you find out there is a thrift shop down the road and spend a little time browsing and eavesdropping on the volunteers talking about the flatmates that annoy them and the horror movies they are going to watch tonight, and then hear them telling someone they can have the unpriced box brownie camera for ten dollars because the other camera they have in is fifteen and it has a case—the sensation that comes with that person knowing they just scored a major bargain is palpable and joyous.

List_Addict               Irene
Some days you drive across the flatness between two lots of mountains and when you approach the range on the other side the sky is piled with clouds that have crashed up against it and formed lenticular clouds (see below) that…

Day 322: Million Dollar Baby

A driving holiday is not as simple a holiday as it seems. Or am I just doing it wrong? The theory is: get a car, get a map, roam around and discover amazing things, have no plan, don't drive all day. But it turns out that an infinity of options is disabling. Big picture, I think it is part of what ails us in the world—when you can be and do anything, anything at all, how on earth do you choose? How on earth do you commit? Too many options and no plan are not liberating, they are cloying. Back to small picture though, I actually got an insight into a possible answer to that question (it would be great if I could adapt that to the big picture sometime soon, as the time for deciding what I want to be when I grow up is rapidly diminishing). I handed the map over to V—— and asked him to decide the general direction we should head in the next day. I had formulated an idea of my own already but wanted to see what V—— wanted to do. The process of watching V—— try to make his own ideas mad…

Day 321: Gruff Before Bluff

Even though I am now home, I am still going to tell you about my holiday in a blow-by-blow, day-to-day format. This is an entirely selfish attempt to log what I did before the Alzheimer's kicks in. Enjoy!

Apple has their Siri. Our GPS was actually a Samsung Note adapted into a guidance system, a (defunct) international phone call centre, a wifi hotspot and one other Twister-coloured function button for which I can't, for the life of me, now remember the actual function it performed. So we called her Samsung Siri. She sent us into the middle of the desert. Literally. In the technology version of 'be careful what you wish for', asking for directions simply to 'Monument Valley' takes you to the geographical centre of such said location. The geographical centre of Monument Valley is not the Monument Valley National Park Visitor's Centre (oddly), but the dusty bottom of a valley floor accessed via progressively deteriorating dirt tracks. Have I ever told you …

Day 320: (Nearly) Speechless

You can't describe, adequately, the Grand Canyon. You can't capture it on film (or digitally—film actually has a better chance in the right hands). You just have to experience it, if you can. What more can I say? A very, deep and wide ravine, amazing in the sunlight and shadow play of the progressing day. It would be great to live in the vicinity of the Canyon, or be able to stay over an extended time. I, being a person too spoiled by my chances, have journeyed to the Grand Canyon twice and both times, regretfully, the air was hazy. If you lived close by you could come in every day until that day when the air was crisp and you felt, with intense clarity, the presence of design in nature. It is there anyway, and I am sure there are no bad days at the Grand Canyon.

List_Addict               Irene
The weather is considerably cooler. Writing this from the future, I can reassure our clerk, at the Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan, that he is not quite correct about it getting rea…

Day 319: On The Road

The taxi driver who took us to the airport car hire place had come to Vegas in 1955, when he was seven. Old Vegas, the one run by the Mob, was the time to be in Vegas, he reckoned. He'd introduced himself to Howard Hughes one day out on the street. He'd been happy to meet our taxi driver, but couldn't stay and chat 'because he was a busy man'. He wouldn't even shake his hand. He was reportedly meant to be quite paranoid, but our taxi driver remembered it as one of his best ever days. He obviously hasn't been to the Neon Museum. But I imagine Old Vegas would have been so much fun. Sleazy in a classy way, dangerous in a fun way, charismatic and charming. I am of the wrong time.

Irene               List_Addict
Car hire and security for your business or home are two of the dodgiest businesses there are. The latter doesn't really apply to me except at work, but if you ever decide to pay a company to do your security, please, please, please scrutinise,…

Day 318: No Vacancy

The anticipated trip to Savers, Las Vegas. I think our taxi driver found it a little odd that we were leaving a suite at Caesar's and going thrift shopping. But many people don't prioritise well. Personally I would prefer clean feather pillows, a heavenly mattress, bright white towels and the fantasy of what it would be like to have more storage space than stuff (Ha! Like that would ever happen—it's the handbag theory: no matter the size, a gal will fill it!) and clothes with 'worn charisma', than a Chanel suit, a hard synthetic pillow with a thousand head shapes imprinted into it and a plastic bath tub. Although I am aware that some people get both the 'good' things (and some get both the 'bad'). It's all about perspective.

I now have twelve new items to showcase in the future, as well as a couple of accessories. My thoughts? Truthfully? I had the idea I would be able to get amazing vintage for bargain prices. Didn't happen. I really want…

Day 317: Fortuitous

Sorry to all the lovely people who have been leaving me comments. The out-in-the-backwoods wifi we are experiencing makes blogging a long, drawn out, little circle spinning process and responding to fabulous commentators gets left in the red dust—please be patient. I will get back to you at some stage! Thank you.

And while I'm all conversational, does anyone know how to stop the god-darn-it spam visits. They are driving me nuts. It seems like I don't get as affected back home, but here in the States there are days when they number in the hundreds. I definitely know this little blog is not that popular. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

On with the day. This is a significant day and a day I had great plans for in the photo department, but I forgot, in the pre-departure scramble to change them from one electronic device to the other. It is Day 317. Now I find it because I see it, but there was a time when the number 317 would be coincidently everywhere—on the clock w…

Day 316: Here We Go

Here we go! That was our guide's catch-cry whenever he finished telling us something. We heard it about forty-three times in all. The poor guy had a small tour for today's LA Highlights and Star's Homes Tacky Tour (gotta do it!). Fewer people, fewer tips for the same amount of work. And he was working with a hard audience. The other couple were Indian nationals who had been living in Pittsburg for three years. They were, to put it bluntly, blunt. They didn't seem to be listening, they came back late from everything, they went off when our guide was trying to show us things at the market, and they definitely didn't participate in any of the banter between driver and audience—that was left entirely to V—— and I.

Irene               List_Addict
In bus tour parlance the longer the word is, the longer you stay in a given spot. The three words they use are see, view and visit. Keeping that in mind, this is our tour. We saw Venice beach and visited Santa Monica Pier.…

Day 315: The Happiest Place on Earth

Happiest place on earth times two. We did ten and a bit hours of solid theme parking. Disneyland, California Adventure Park. My feet were killing me, I lost a knee about half way through. It's hard work. It took us quite a while to work out the most economical way to play the Fastpass game. But we were still unable to get onto every ride.

Best Breakfast: Hard category to vote on for a single day given most days involve only one breakfast, but we tried IHOP—International House of Pancakes. I was nervous because I thought it would be a pancake version of Taco Bell. It was quite nice. Portions in-sane, but nice as long as you don't feel too guilty leaving half your food. And I am loving being back in the land of the bottomless filter coffee. Sacrilege from a Melburnian who should have, by that very status, a higher standard of caffeine, but there is a swing back to a former life somewhere in those pots of coffee continually circling a room.

Best Outfit Being Worn: I lo…

Day 314: Reclining

Apologies for sporadic posting. Free wifi has been impossible to get and paid wifi exorbitant. We have hired a GPS now that allows five devices to be added to it as a portable wifi hotspot. I don't understand either, but seems to be working so far.

There are no more sleeps. It seemed we had booked so far in advance that the day would never come. Like it was an illusion, but come it did. I write to you from Auckland, New Zealand, where the departure board, next to our onward flight reads 'Relax', because it's a fair while before it will be assigned a gate. I just experienced two completely new things: an exit row seat and a movie-less international flight. We paid a little extra for the first privilege—I think it was about forty dollars. What do you gain? Extra leg room and the awkward honour of staring straight at the stewards when you take off and land. Also the exciting opportunity to help in an emergency. I think I will be good: I will take my responsibility…