Back aboard Sonrisa, I wrap myself around Andrew’s feet, curl my tail around Sonrisa’s mast and intermittently growl at Leslie when I feel the grouchies coming on. They say I’m a “good Kitty” and I think I am. I just had a moment, that is all. I’m glad they didn’t’ leave me out there in the jun
There is more to that picture, of course, but I don’t reveal everything. When I way “Now, What?” I refer to how confusing some thing have become lately. Not politics, nothing from Washington has surprised me lately, but with the way life as a writer and a resident of my neighborhood has been churning.
I received the email notifying me that it’s time to renew my RWA membership this week. I can’t do it until they demonstrate that they’ve once again become a stable platform for advocacy and promotion of people writing romance. (Please don’t call them ‘bodice rippers,’ although there is this subgenre of erotica that, ahem.) They were always seemingly a rock of stability in an ever evolving world of publishing, but various developments have shaken that view considerably. For a more comprehensive view of how things developed in the organization, I invite you to read Nora Roberts’ Blog Post on the matter. I am still a member of SCBWI, but now each time I see something from them I flash onto the RWA scandal, and even though SCBWI doesn’t deserve it, I’m sorta off on the idea of large writers’ groups. Sorry, world. I’ll get better, I’m sure.
In my neighborhood we have been plagued the past six months or so with waves of homeless people sleeping in the wash (Flamingo Wash, the one that goes through the parking garage of that hotel you’ve heard about) and, in some cases, contributing to thefts, vandalism, noise, and of course, that stuff all humans make that most of us flush away. I’m not Pollyannaish enough to think that a neighborhood should all be clean and “nice.” In fact, I kind of dislike the concept of “nice,” especially when applied to language. But, that said, even though our house is fairly secure, a lot of neighbors are rather upset because their house isn’t so much secure, or they are Pollyanna enough to think nobody is going to drive off with their car if they warm it up out front, or both. (There is no need to warm up a car built since the mid-1970s, if not earlier. When I lived in Minnesota, you’d take off as soon as you could get that sucker into gear.) While my sympathies vary somewhat with the circumstances surrounding each incident, I do not appreciate having my neighbors all upset over what is in fact a wide-spread social issue. Which means that action must be taken on local, county, state, and national levels if we want a peaceful neighborhood into the future.
There is a neighborhood group working with the county and Metro (the Las Vegas Police Department, headed by our elected Sheriff) to come up with solutions. And I’m pretty sure that there are solutions, but they all involve changes in behaviors and attitude not just amongst the homeless, but amongst the neighbors as well. Sigh.
I guess I have only to wait to find out, huh?
We have been some busy-bodies for the last three weeks. We were feeling a real crunch trying to get everything ready before we cast off across the Indian Ocean this year. Watermaker repairs, new life raft, provisioning, these are just a few of the items we had to get taken care of last minute to b
“An object in motion stays in motion, while an object at rest stays at rest.” Sir Issaac Newton. First thing’s first. Let’s set the stage – get you caught up. We are casting off soon! I couldn’t be more excited. I have been rooted on land for the last two+ months while Andrew and Leslie gal
“My wife and I, right before we go on passage, we seem to get quiet.” I’m thinking back now, all the way to February 27 of 2016, the day before we cast off on the first leg of this circumnavigation. Andrew and Leslie threw a cast off party in San Diego, and surprisingly about fifty of their f
Circa 2004, I was sitting in an interview for the job that would eventually move me from Utah to Las Vegas. The interviewer asked me “why would you want to move and make your career in Las Vegas rather than near your family in Utah?” I thought for a moment, and gave him the truest answer my baby
I vill keeel you wifff my fangs, wiggly rope! If Leslie won’t write anything, then I will. Sheesh. She is never going to finish all those Thailand posts, anyway. And besides that, you are probably wondering “where is Sonrisa?” and “what about the cat?” Well, I’ll tell you: THEY PUT ME ON LAND
Raise your hand in comments below! We have so much to tell you. I have so many stories I haven’t been able to write! In a nutshell, at the beginning of November, we tucked Sonrisa away on land again, placed the cat back on her roof with her best friend Bess and our good friends who live in the la
“How are you feeling, little Bug?” I ask. Like the hearty traveler he is, Andrew had been in “puke and rally” mode for the duration of our Ayuttaya explorations. As we boarded the train to Bangkok, the dark circles beneath his eyes and continued pallor told me all I needed to kn
But Wait! That’s Not All! Bill Clinton grew up in Hot Springs, where I just spent a long weekend. He’s popular around his home town (he wasn’t born there, but he lived there most of his childhood and youth.) This is not a political post, but I thought that, as a public service, I might warn off those who may wish to be so warned off. That is all.
Hot Springs was surprising in a lot of ways. We went there because we each want to visit all 50 states, and we both needed to drop in on Arkansas. I like the South, I have relatives there, including an uncle from South Alabama, so the “southern” aspects of the place didn’t surprise me. Here’s what Hot Springs, Arkansas is:
Along the side of a mountain above the town, extending right down into the town, are a large number of places where hot water spews out with absolutely no effort on anyone’s part. A lot of hot water. Only one of these vents is still uncapped; it is in town, in a park that is a part of Hot Springs National Park, which is what the Postal Service and bus lines call the entire area. It’s easy enough to get in or out of the National Park: you need only wait for the pedestrian “WALK” signal and cross the street. On the National Park side of the street is what is known as “Bathhouse Row,” which has, for almost two centuries, been the site of an ever less ramshackle collection of places where one can immerse oneself in those same hot waters for a modest, or not in some cases, fee. Of course, the National Park is a lot bigger than a row of bathhouses, and it includes hiking trails, an observation tower, and a lot of trees. Such a lot of trees, says the guy who lives in the Mojave desert.
Back before the Chicago mob decided to move into Las Vegas, they hung out in Hot Springs whenever the law made things a tad uncomfortable in Chicago. Benjamin Siegal, for instance, used to hang out in one or another of the illegal gambling halls along Center Avenue. The Ohio Club is still open, and the food is quite good, but unless you’ve bought a lottery scratch ticket, you can’t really do any gambling there. The illegal business screeched to a halt when the State Police busted an owner and discovered a stash of gambling devices which they had given to the Mayor for him to destroy. The governor took over and made sure that they were destroyed properly, too bad for his (dis)honor.
The movie at Park Headquarters and Museum dramatizes a drummer for a “Doctor Adams” prior to the bathhouse business being cleaned up by the Park Service. The drummer convinced a fellow passenger on the train that “Doctor Adams really knows his livers!” You go, Doctor Adams. Adams was busted later. Not sure my liver(s?) is any heathier, but we did take the waters a bit.
We went first to the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which still does the old-fashioned, Pre-WWII, traditional bathing experience. After 20 minutes in a tub, I spent some time in a sitz bath (good for the lower back,) in a steam cabinet (yes, there still are such things, but I barely fit into one,) a shower that hit me from every direction, and a bench with hot towels draped over me. I don’t know if it helped me get healthy, but I surely got tired. The next day we went down the row to the Quapaw Bathhouse, which is modern, with pools of various temperatures, and we got massages. The massage was nice, but Quapaw charges a lot more than does Buckstaff.
We saw a listing of the mineral content of the water. It’s water. Even somebody from SoCal who is paranoid about tap water would drink it. Not sure it heals any better than anybody else’s water, but I did feel a part of something historic. That counts for something, I’m sure.
If you go, take a good appetite, as there are dozens of good restaurants in the actual hot springs area (near the bathhouses.) I was going to get some good stuff at Granny’s Kitchen, but when we got there we could see a fresh trench clear across the dining room. Guess our old neighborhood in Vegas isn’t the only place with drain issues. I’m afraid that the picture above is the only one I took, but the area is lovely. You’ll just have to trust me on that.