It was named Wild Oats Way until about five minutes ago because I began blogging shortly after I moved to Wild Oats Way, into this beautiful vineyard home in Templeton, California where I now sit.
In about a week, July 6 to be exact, I'll be moving from this paradise to another paradise, both of which are located smack dab in the middle of Lori's Whirled, which as you can see is my blog's new name. I'm moving to Rancho Mirage (near Palm Springs). More on that another day.
It just didn't seem right to keep the Wild Oats Way name anymore. Sadly, my new street name options are poor substitutes. Would you read a blog named US Highway 111? (no)
My other option would be Bing Crosby Road. Seriously, do I want to start this new chapter of life as an infringer of der Bingle? (no)
I chose, instead, to go back to Lori's Whirled, the title of my old column in the Kohn Times: The Holiday Newsletter of the Kohn Family ("all the news that will fit in print") which ran for about 20 years.
Until I can figure out how (or if) I can change the blog's locator--I'm hoping I can point it to a real web site--I suppose we'll still have to go to wildoatsway.blogspot.com. And by "we" I mean both of us.
If someday you find our favorite blog is gone, try 'loriswhirled' and see if you can find me there.
After the move I promise I'll start blogging more faithfully...unless I blow a writing gasket. I simply have-to-have-to start writing my book! If I don't actually write the damn thing I can't really refer to it as "the book I'm writing" now can I? (no)
You might like to know I have been writing from Lori's Whirled this whole time. Everything that comes out of my head has its origins there--in Lori's Whirled. Enter if you dare. (psst...there be dragons)
It's Margarita Day. I know this because just moments ago I received an email from "Just a Pinch" recipe club with a recipe for Margarita Cupcakes. You might be thinking, "eww, gross" or "yummay!" But forget the cupcakes. The worst cupcake you ever ate in your whole life was delicious and you know it. Cupcakes are all the rage now, too. In fact, they have been all the rage for EVER! We just didn't have cupcake shoppes and tv competitions until lately. And by lately I mean for THE LAST FIVE YEARS!
That said, I predict the next food rebirth is going to be the long overdue resurrection of the once lowly saltine. Homemade, store-bought, plain, fancy, with toppings, as toppings, made into little boxes, made into elaborate "gingerbread" houses, cut fancy, cut square, uncut, multi-color, plain white, corner-dipped, enrobed, baked dark and crispy or pale and flaky, seeded, salted, skewered, layered, lacquered and loved by all.
I want to be the first person to say it out loud: Saltines, this is your time! You can do this. Show us what you got. Step aside Ritz. Suck it CheezIts. Tata Triscuits. Milton, if you'll please step aside, it's Saltines' turn now...and for the next five years.
As you know, I got scammed a few years ago, phished actually, so "my bad." As a result I am now, blessedly, way more bitter and suspicious than is my nature. Take that, nature-bitch.
Today I received an email from, let's use his fake name, Steve, who wrote:
"Hi Lori K
Hi, I found you on the House Sitters America website...
Indeed, I did register at House Sitters America, because in line with my 88 Day Stay idea it occurred to me that it might be possible to pay $0 in rent if my stays were for the benefit of a people, bitter and suspicious by nature, who fear leaving their home unoccupied whilst on holiday. (Many are Brits). They are actually being quite sensible. There are scoundrels walking amongst us. Scalawags, too, I'll wager.
It occurred to me Scammer Steve could, possibly, maybe, in a pig's eye, be legit. I mean, I have found men in general to be wordthrifts which would explain the lack of an actual message. Still, he failed to mention anything about his motive for writing...housesitting needs, perhaps?...and men are not so much "mysterious" as "slaves to their own motives" are they not? That sent up a pink flag. I would have gone for the red flag had he used multiple exclamation points, misspelled a word or three, demonstrated a lack of care for the rules of grammar, written with stupid nu-age spelling or ~shudder~ in all lower case. No, our Steve is a careful man, a thoughtful man, oh wait...he's a scammer! I know this because I did a search on his email address.
As I typed in THE FIRST TWO LETTERS of his name I got a megalomillion hits for (~iSad~) Steve Jobs. But as I continued typing I had a revelation: why type when you can copy and paste! Brilliant! And here's what came up:
"...blah, blah, blah...SCAM...blah, blah, blah..SCAMMERS...blah, blah, blah...WARNING...100% SCAM, etc."
Pink flag goes red. I junked his emails--I got two emails for some reason. Maybe Steve's Scam-o-Matic has gone wonky. (For my German friends, that means "on the fritz.")
I'm happy to report that, in the end, the worst thing that happened to me is I kinda strained my arm patting myself on the back, and I might have got a few drops of cold sweat on my keyboard. But hey, bullet, consider yourself dodged.
I realize 8 people read my blog. But I want all 8 of you to take away a valuable lesson from this: Steve Jobs' passing hurt my heart, and Blumail's demise will patch it up.
Look out! I'm coming to your town. Maybe. But only for 88 days.
W'huh? What's this all about? Glad you asked. I'll tell you. Plans are underway to commence a project that has me moving to a different city every 88 days.
Why 88 days? Answer: 77 is not enough. 99 is too many. Not to sound trite or quippy, although to be fair that has never stopped me before, if I were to make the moves too frequent I would not have enough time to engage and immerse myself in the town, and if I made the moves too lengthy I'd run out of time, lifetime, that is.
The original idea came to me as I was considering where to move once my house sells. I got this wild idea to live in each of the 50 states, you know, bucket list style. But at my age, even if I lived in each state for six months that would bring me out to age, uh...57 plus 25 equals...82 years old. So then I said to myself, how's about quarterly? Each state for 90 days. But those terms sounded so fiscal.
Taking good long look at the number 88 I found it to be graphically symmetrical, yet strangely jolly. Turn the number 8 onto its side and it resembles the symbol for infinity. Kinda cool. And hiding just under the surface of 88 is the number 33. My birthday is the jolly and symmetrical March 3 (3/3), so there you have it, the origins of "The 88 Day Stay."
Doing another round of The Math I realized 50 states in 88 day stays still has me on the road until, uh...50 divided by 4 is 12.5 plus 57 equals...70 years old-ish.
That's when a new reality set in. While I might love being the Great American Wanderer what if I want to give Italy a shot? Or Norway? What if I want to live in BOTH Branson and St. Louis? Orlando, Miami AND Key Largo? What if, after having been born in Portland, Oregon, I elect to skip the Rainshine State. That's when I decided to let go the cold, rigid handle of the galvanized bucket that held the 50 state list and grab the soft, adjustable strap of a stretch-cotton tote that held four red Nerf balls, which coincidentally represent my logo design:
What's in store for me? Lots of stories (most of which) I will share with you. And no, I will never ask you to help me move. That's how good a friend I am. But there will be lots of moving, lots of writing, lots of photography, story gathering, recipe collecting (for The 88 Day Cookbook) and meeting lots and lots of people.
In order to "hit the ground running" I will join the local Soroptimist club in every town I live in. Note how I say "live" not "visit." I want to live (and work?) in the cities, not just drop in as a tourist. This won't be a travelogue, rather a dialogue. I hope to make each book in the series unique in terms of locale, but taken as a whole a continuing story about "you people" mingled in with own personal evolution.
What's in store for you? Lots of stories! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be inspired. Your wanderlust could be stimulated or possibly satiated. You will be able to take literary excursions without so much as having to pack a toothbrush. You can, if you wish, live vicariously through me sitting behind your 2.25x readers, or make the effort to intersect your vacations or journeys with mine.
When does the adventure begin? I don't know. Before I can hit the road I need to liquidate a lifetime of hoardings...really cool hoardings. Whereas a few years ago I'd be barfing right now at the mere thought of letting things go, I've taken an important, truly essential, step: to feel good about dissociating myself from mystuff.
Where will the first 88 Day Stay be? That depends. I am going to begin by making a list of cities that meet certain criteria. These destination cities (or towns or villages) should be places that interest me and preferably have at least one Soroptimist club. They should not be under siege, under water, on tornado watch, cleaning up after the recent infestation...you get the idea. And most important, have an interesting story that will contribute to the positive message that it's a small world after all.
"Yikes!" you exclaim. What's this going to cost? I anticipate a furnished high rise studio in Chicago costing more than a beach shack in Key Largo...then again maybe not...and a room in a midwest farmhouse costing less than a room in a lodge overlooking the Grand Canyon. I'll find out, won't I? It will average out over time and since I won't be paying rent or mortgage payments on an unoccupied permanent residence (a home in the classic sense) it probably will be about the same as if I stayed put.
Not to mention, if the 88 Day Stay series is a success there will be some money coming in from book sales, royalties, and of course movie rights. They'll probably ask me to write the screenplay and direct. But then I'll have to get someone to play me in the movie. What do you think about, say, Kathy Bates? She's such a good actress, funny, smart and down to earth. We're like twins that way.
Well, there you have it, the first installment. "The 88 Day Stay: The Big Picture."
I am sitting by the pool at the Sheraton Park Anaheim. Southern California has dished up a heapin’ helpin of hospitality, weather-wise, and because it’s a Thursday afternoon I can count my poolside pals on two hands. That’s if you don’t count two young boys who are about to be rushed to the hospital for chlorinated water inhalation, the result of a vodka-swilling woman who appeared to be placidly typing away on her laptop, suddenly leaping into the water, holding their heads under water screaming, ”I don’t know which one of you is Marco, but I can assure you Polo is the next to go!”
With black mascara dripping down her cheeks, her black bathing suit doing its best to be ‘slimming’ and the scent of Absolut Citron flying out of her face like so much sea spray she belted out the finest version of “Those Poor Unfortunate Souls” this poolside lounger has ever heard. I particularly like the spot-on sinister laugh of Disney’s evil sorceress, Ursula. It was so good I almost spilled Citron on my laptop.
Go Oscar. Go Oscar. Go Wilde. Go Oscar.
I love all the quotations of this poetic aesthete. [The artists and writers of the Aesthetic movement tended to hold that the Arts should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages. (wikipedia)] He was, indeed, the Stewie Griffin of his time.
Wilde said, "I am not young enough to know everything." This pokes me in a particularly personal place now that I am the parent of two twenty-somethings, who as educated as they are, and as bright as they are, are too young and too smart to know they would barely pass the GED of Life if it were given on other than an NCS bubble sheet...which, surprise, it is.
He said, "I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability." As a recent subscriber to Match.com, I gotta say this one really cracks me up, especially if we replace the God part with something that is "spiritual but not religious."
I can't agree with everything The Author of Dorian Gray said. For example, he said, "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." I beg to differ, but only on the grounds that we so often quote Bugs Bunny, who is not so much a person as a wascally wabbit. I wouldn't go so far as to say, "Of course you realize this means war!" but, were he not dead, I would advise Mr. Wilde to consider the wisdom of the nonhuman sages among us lest he miss one of life's important messages, in other words, to not miss the left toin at Albuquoiky.
When he says, "It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information." I am compelled to quote Daffy Duck, "It is to laugh." In the nowadays of now, that's about all we have, and what better way to illustrated that fact than with this blog.