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Archive for September, 2011

Social media break

Near the beginning of the month I decided to take a social media hiatus. Originally, I was going to go cold turkey. I realized that wouldn’t actually work for me. So I just checked my Facebook and Twitter accounts once a day. What I discovered is that I didn’t really miss it. When I’d check once a day, I’d skim over most of my news feed. I’d glance at the pictures folks post and leave the occasional comment. Would I have missed anything really important if I gave it up? Nope.

I did notice that the times I wanted to check these things was when I was waiting for something. My turn at the doctor, on hold at work and when avoiding doing other things. Why meditate when I can check Facebook?

I’m sure that the extra time and energy I’ve found don’t have everything to do with not being on Facebook and Twitter but it helps. However, I’ve done more reading in the last couple of weeks than I have in ages. I wrote an actual letter to someone. I’ve reconnected with friends I haven’t talked to in months. (I’ve still got several to catch up with.)

So if you missed on one of these mediums, now you know why.

Post script: I’ve now seen the new Facebook layout. They are making it easier and easier to give them up completely.

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Is this the South?!

In July, I went to Delaware with some friends.  Alas, there are no pictures from the trip.  Well, there are a few pictures taken out the window at 70 mph on my cell phone.  We’re just going to pretend they don’t exist.

Delaware is a state I know little about.  I never lived there or in an adjoining state.  What I know of Delaware is that it was one of the original colonies, it’s on the East Cost and one of those small, little states that are a pain to label on the map.  I didn’t think much about the fact that Delaware was on the coast and thus had a lot of fresh seafood.   As one of my traveling companions was on a quest to eat crab cakes as often as possible, I must have missed the memo.  I was glad that I had developed a taste for seafood over the years or it would have been a lot of hamburgers that weekend.

What really surprised me was encountering the Southern accent.  A female server even asked “what would yous like to drink?”  Delaware was north of Virginia, which from my time in Alabama clearly meant that they were Northerners.  Yankees.  I was hearing “y’all” and being offered grits. My mental map was being redrawn.  I mentioned this my traveling companions and one of them-a librarian-told me that Delaware was south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Clearly, they were Southern.  Just as a point of clarity, I looked.  Delaware is not below the Mason-Dixon Line.  They were even on the side of the Union during The War Between States.  They are Yankees.

No, I really don’t think of the Civil War that way.  I just was so surprised by hearing a Southern accent in a place where I expected them to sound more like Bostonians or New Yorkers.  In a lot of ways, Delaware reminded me of Missouri.  Hot. Humid. Heat-index.  Next time, I think I’ll pass.

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First Winery Trip

There have been few winery trips this year, in fact the first is next month.  This is the from the first trip me and the “darling” girls went on a couple of years ago.

Stone Hill Winery (c) 2009

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These sage words of advice were given to me by a dear friend on my trip to New Orleans in 2008.  I went to New Orleans to visit my friend, Autumn, but to also attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest.  Jazz Fest is the 2nd largest event in New Orleans, Mardi Gras being the first.  Jazz Fest is held over two weekends in late April and early May.  There is a 4-day “weekend” and a 3-day “weekend.”  I went for the 4-day event.

Street Performer near Jackson Square

New Orleans, LA (c) 2008

I arrived in New Orleans on the Wednesday before the party was to start.  Autumn is a wonderful hostess.  She had gathered together all the essentials for someone new to New Orleans.  I had a map of the French Quarter, which was clearly marked with the areas that a 20-something female could wander safely by herself, articles and information on Jazz Fest, a pocket guide to New Orleans and the complete Jazz Fest attendance kit.  For those of you who don’t know, Jazz Fest is held at a horse track.  Flat, no shade and few bathrooms.  So included in the kit was: toilet paper, seat covers and hand sanitizer.  Port-a-Potties far outnumbered the flushing bathrooms. Since I had my own pepper spray and whistle, she didn’t have to add that.

Autumn had to work for most of my visit so she tried to arm me well.  The last bit of advice she gave me went like this: Never date a guitar player, especially the ones you’ll meet here.  They aren’t interested in a relationship or any good at it.  Go ahead and have fun with them.  Sleep with them if you want.  Use protection and don’t bring them home. I thought this was sound, and humorous, advice.  It stuck with me long past that weekend.

If you’re curious, singers are just as bad because many of them are guitar players.  I recall that drummers and bass players were okay.

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A few years ago, I noticed that I took better pictures of flowers than I did people.  I would tell people this but they’d still ask me to take pictures for them.  So when handed a camera, instead of telling people “say cheese!” I tell them “you’re pretty, pretty flowers.”  Amazingly, it worked.  My people pictures started improving.  Probably because they were laughing at my crazy antics but I’ll take it.

Diana's Grove, near Bunker, MO (c) 2007

All this to say, I’m going to start adding some more pictures that I’ve taken over the years.  I thought of starting a new blog for this but decided that would just be a pain.  It’s my blog, I’ll put what I want on it.  I still plan to write more on my travels but I’ve decided to open it up a bit.

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