Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

All Things Considered

So here I am moping about 50 degree weather in SoCal, when up north cities are getting pummeled.   And the sad part is none of them were really prepared for it, at least on my favorite coast.  So I suppose it’s not so bad to wander around a mildly chilly LA with a rented car and nothing but time, as opposed to bundling up against the cold in Seattle or Portland or Boston or anywhere in between.

White Christmases are for the birds.


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This past Friday I went to Howl at the Moon, a bar here in Houston where the audience requests songs and a couple of piano players on stage play them.  The idea is, the drunker people get, the wilder things become. I had three beers, a shot of tequila, and shared a bucket-o-sex-on-the-beach with a friend and all his friends (who interestingly enough all turned out to be lesbians…but that’s of no consequence here).

It had been a while since I’d talked at length with him and naturally the topic of “what are you up to these days” came up. I revealed my current passion for nude sunbathing and my quest to visit every nude beach on Earth.  It was me so he wasn’t very shocked (more on that later), but he did ask how I got into this in the first place.

A little background.  Visiting nude beaches is by far not the most scandalous thing I’ve done in life.  When I started this blog I planned on being perfectly open and honest about me, my activities, (some) of my background and also refrain from any anonymity (you had a right to know who was offering info on places I discuss).  Then I realized that all four could never be achieved.  I do have a day job, family, and social obligations I’d like to retain uncomplicated ties with.  So out went the photo and full name.  But at least you still have a first name to use.  Rest assured that all my past activities were perfectly legal and moral (in my opinion, which is the only one that matters, no?).

My point here is, at some point things are naturally going to come out eventually, mostly in context.  Take them as you will.  Case in point: I was first introduced to Hippie Hollow (my first nude sunbathing experience) in a swingers situation.  I myself am not, nor have I ever been, married. But when you are a single gal, that doesn’t much matter in a swingers situation.  The couple at issue said I would have a blast and invited me along.  There was still a prudish side to me then (ironic, no?) and I demurred. 

Three years later, curiosity got the best of me. 

I have a rather avid curiosity about many things, especially when it comes to things of a risqué nature.  Eventually, through a rather roundabout way, my trails led to Hippie Hollow, only because I had the prior reference. 

End Note: Do not read this as defining nude sunbathing as a sexual undertaking.  Just because my past led me there via that route, doesn’t mean that’s what it’s about.  For some that’s what it’s all about, and that’s fine. Despite it all, for me it isn’t.

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A Tiny Bit of 411

This blog is strictly a motivator…for me.  Obviously I would love to have readers and comments and people who share their experiences and encourage mine. But ultimately it’s a device to keep me from doing what I say I want to do: travel.

That said, in a prior post I mentioned that this upcoming year would make it difficult to travel.  This is for various reasons. One of those is some major surgery I’m having done.  Cutting to the chase, I have hip replacements and one of them needs replacing. Side Note: this should discourage anyone with health issues from letting that be a factor in their decision not to go–anywhere!  It should also encourage anyone with scars or other “disfigurements” to go ahead and try out a nude beach.  No one cares!

I saw my orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday and he pretty much told me I should have it done sooner rather than later. My plans for Christmas (in California) are set. My grandmother is having her 80th birthday in early February.  In between I’m off to the ice hotel in Montreal.  So basically February is the date. 

This means I certainly won’t be traveling, or really even planning any travels. I suppose it’s good to get this out of the way early on in the blog before I have a bunch of readers to disappoint with 6 weeks of silence while I recuperate.

The good news is, once that’s done I’ll be back in good better form and, due to a convenient work benefits package, with all my vacation days in tact.  I may even knock a trip off this list when I’m done to celebrate.

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This Saturday I take off for Puerto Rico.  The first leg of the trip is all conference, which is perfectly ok.  I LOVE conferences.  They always keep you entertained and I get  to network, mingle, and travel on the company dime.  So I’m actually looking forward to that.

But I chose to stay a couple of days after that…and that’s where the headache began.  I realize I’m new to traveling outside the US (continental) but it’s quite annoying not to be able to access a website on line or find something on Google maps (because even they can’t find it).

I knew I was setting myself up for the dominoes to come tumbling down by trying to pack so much into three days but I have a very tight timeline…and it scares me. Going from San Juan to Fajardo to Vieques back to Fajardo back to San Juan in only three days! And trying to fit in two trips to nude beaches, finding the elusive playa negrita, and enjoying the bio bay tour as well!

Plus it looks like I may very well have to rent a car on Vieques. This if it’s not too late (supposedly they book fast) AND if the will let me have the car only one day (so many places there have minimum time limits).

I’m trying to just let it go and let que sera, sera.  But I’m too much of a control freak for that.

My coworker decided to tack a simple cruise on the tail end of her conference trip.  I wish I’d thought of that….

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The Birthday List

Courtesy of Michelle on Flickr.

Courtesy of Michelle on Flickr.

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned the big 3-1. Ever since my last birthday I’ve made a list of things I want to do during the next year.  I totally stole the idea from this cool chick.  Anyway this year, my goal being to travel more, a couple of travel related items made the list.  I’ve highlighted them.

31 things to do before I turn 32.

1.       Visit at least 2 foreign countries

2.       Pay off the credit card (finally!)

3.       Fill an entire shelf with bottles of sand

4.       Visit at least 2 US cities

5.       Get rid of 100 more things (that’s  2 a week!)

6.       Plant basil and tomatoes

7.       Learn how to paint watercolor

8.       Finish a NY Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle (for the love of God!)

9.       Start an emergency fund

10.   Maintain the blog…if only for the sand collection

11.   Go to Burning Man

12.   Drive up the PCH

13.   Go to a Houston Festival

14.   Get rid of every piece of fabric I own

15.   Get a driving angel

16.   Find out what the deal is about two classic films:

17.   Read at least one piece of cult fiction a month (Palahniuk only gets one..if that)

18.   Say yes to every man who asks (no not sex)

19.   Discover a new good  author with at least 5 books to their name

20.   Try a burger from Whataburger, Sonic, and Dairy Queen (already!)

21.   Ride the train in Herman Park

22.   Do something with the bedroom wall by the bed

23.   No Casual sex. Period. (This one, at the request of some friends who mentioned my rather liberal lifestyle was perfectly acceptable may get switched out with: Play a game of poker.  I’ve honestly never played a single solitary game ever.)

24.   Make a skirt…to wear!

25.   Finish importing my library

26.   Make a soufflé (use those damn ramekins already)

27.   Take a cooking class at Central Market

28.   Register at least 10 bills on Where’s George

29.   Write that story

30.   Clean out my car and keep it that way

31.   Work on turning the Sewing Room, or 3rd bedroom, into this (living alone ROCKS!)



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Wednesday as I was pulling into my garage I noticed a big package with a tell-tale Amazon.com smile on the side on my front poorch.  Since my birthday is this Sunday I was not surprised, but I was delighted.  As with many packages from Amazon.com I’ve noticed it was taped rather haphazardly and I worried, especially due to the lightness, that maybe someone had stolen the contents and re-taped it.

But no…it was just Amazon ruining the environment with an unnecessarily huge box, lots of air-filled plastic, and one small wrapped package containing a Nuvi, from my mom.  She made sure to point out on the card that it works in Puerto Rico. Mom.

I’ve never been one to get lost, mostly because of the wonder that is Yahoo! maps.  But according to my mom, one of her girlfriends used it on a trip up to Lake Tahoe and she was perfectly amazed by how well it works. I doubt it will get me anywhere near Playa Negrita on Vieques since no one on the world wide web seems to be able to pinpoint how to get there, but at least I should be able to get from San Juan to Fajardo in one piece.

Of course I can also use it in the rest of the US as well. The only problem is, most nude beaches are off the beaten track.  And some of the “unofficial” ones are non-findable for a good reason. 

But it should at least come in handy in Houston, where you can be sure of two things: street altering construction and lack of signage.

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Courtesy of Matti Mattila on flickr
Courtesy of Matti Mattila on flickr

bikini bottoms, ipod tunes, island breezes, tiny cars, overheard foreign conversations, mopeds, colorful money, getting lost, sunsets on foreign seas, strange seasons, massive crowds, isolated stretches, packing, crazy drivers, toes in the sand, lost in translation, learning to say hello, anonymous men, wandering walks, hand gestures, public transportation, careless flirting, strange coins, missing home, writing in notebooks, comfy hotel beds, people watching, airport lounges, takeoffs,  landings, crystal beaches, getting away, fortuity, salty water, tan lines (or lack thereof), interesting sculptures, perfect laziness, fitting it all in, halting English, pins in maps, incomprehensible street signs, international pride, living out of backpacks, strange customs, fitting in, standing out, weird flavors, sense of history, bottles of sand….

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