dear jurgen

america has world cup fever–tv ratings on the games are breaking records previously held by nba championships and the world series, people are hosting game parties and all america had a smile on its face when team usa advanced from a particularly brutal competition from germany, ghana and portugal.

a lot of the credit for america’s love affair with soccer goes to jurgen klinsmann.  the german coach of team usa was hired in 2011 and given a base salary of close to $2.5 million a year. a nearly limitless budget, which gave him the wherewithal to take the team into brasil for a full six months before the games in order to acclimate the players.  there is no doubt about his loyalty to his players and his new country–jeez, does that ever piss off the germans!  when he refused to answer questions from reporters in german, you could hear the collective “sie sind wie eine verdammte verratar!”  i’m not sure the guy could fly into munich with any confidence of his personal safety.

americans sure like their sports brutal and rough.  they have traditionally thought of futbol as too soft and gentle--sort of like ping pong or shuffleboard or ice dancing--as opposed to the brutal american football.  but soccer is pretty intense, and after watching uruguay's alvara pereira sustain a concussion and still get up and finish the game against giselle bundchen stopped thinking of tom brady as all that mus macho. after all, tom wears a helmet. and pads. all over. stop crying, tom!

americans sure like their sports brutal and rough. they have traditionally thought of futbol as too soft and gentle–sort of like ping pong or shuffleboard or ice dancing–as opposed to the brutal american football. but soccer is pretty intense, and after watching uruguay’s alvara pereira sustain a concussion and still get up and finish the game against giselle bundchen stopped thinking of tom brady as all that mus macho. after all, tom wears a helmet. and pads. all over. stop yer bellyaching, tom!

i recently sold my house and i am thinking about where to go and what to do.  and then i thought. . .

this tuesday no matter where i  am or where my travels take me, i’ll be watching espn coverage of the team usa match against belgium.  four pm if i’m on the east coast. . .

as a committed fan of the american team, i loathe all things belgian.

as a committed fan of the american team, i loathe all things belgian.

 

 

 


reasons to be grateful and a birthday wish!

i have so many treasures that can never be lost, including framily, my charm bracelet, my car, my cowboy boots, the first snow of winter, and the memory of the yeasty smell of my sons’ heads when they were first born.  but one treasure that constantly gets taken away from me is my sleep, which leads to no good rotten very bad cranky days.  i get up in the middle of the night and i’m worried and scared.  but sometimes a stranger can say something that changes things for you.

ruby gives a lot of herself to her hometown of shelbyville, indiana.  boy scouts, church, little league concessions, and a slew of other volunteer activities in addition to running a household and working as a waitress.  all of which lead to situations where she can have a bad day.  but a birthday is a special day and she gives herself a birthday party even if it’s just for herself.

make sure to print out this picture and put it in your wallet.  next time you have a bad day, take it out and look at it!  we are meant to have a wonderful day EVERY day!

make sure to print out this picture and put it in your wallet. next time you have a bad day, take it out and look at it! we are meant to have a wonderful day EVERY day!

 

and if you want to contact me and say “arlynn, could you sing me happy birthday?” i will!  i continue on my travels and i sing myself a birthday song, although

 

 


marshmallow farm and i meet a really nice movie star!

when i’m without a fixed address (aka homeless) i’m free to roam the planet.  today,  i got a text from my facebook friend chris while i was waiting to tour a marshmallow farm in virginia.

 

my friend chris kennedy and his wife sheila started the nonprofit organization top box which helps bring fresh and affordable groceries into communities where there is a dearth of groceries.  everyone should have access to good fruits and vegetables.  this, by the way, is not a picture of chris.

my friend chris and his wife sheila started the nonprofit organization top box foods which helps bring fresh and affordable groceries into food deserts where getting groceries is difficult. this, by the way, is not a picture of chris.  but this guy, working for top box foods, is just as much of a philanthro, filan, phyllothrop,   good deed doer.

 

chris was excited because there is a possibility of a $65,000 grant from zipcar if top box foods would receive the most votes in the “communities with drive” contest.  i voted immediately!

vote soon because this contest is over in just a few days!  it's easy, quick, free, and best of all you don't get collared in the parking lot by a politician.  just go to https://zipcarfb-cwd.hs2solutions.com/?mobile=true&ref=unknown#_=_ or visit communities with drive facebook page.

vote soon because this contest is over in just a few days! it’s easy, quick, free, and best of all you don’t have to say what party you are or have been to. just go to visit the “communities with drive” facebook page.  or if you’d like more information about top box, go to topboxfoods.com.

in preparation for my marshmallow farm tour, i had filled the trunk of my car with chocolate and graham crackers.  and that’s when i met facebook friend sharon hayden who  is, just like my friend chris, a do good for others person.  she was with her ward brett who had just participated in the special olympics law enforcement torch run.  brett recently lost his father and has been blessed to be invited to live with sharon and her family.  brett said he wants to be a christian movie star.  i asked him that if he would he one day invite me to stay in his mansion so i could go to hollywood parties.  sure, he said, as long as they were christian parties.  don’t you think this would make a fine addition to his audition reel?

so, chris, i’m asking you with all my other friends–

my friend chris kennedy's aunt eunice started the special olympics program in 1968.  sharon and brett are both fans of chris' aunt.  jeez, what a small world after all!

my friend chris’s aunt eunice kennedy shriver started the special olympics program in 1968. sharon and brett are both fans of chris’ aunt. and this is a picture of chris.

 

brett, sharon, chris, thank you for the work you do to make the world just a little bit better for others!

brett, i got my party dress ready for when you get to hollywood!

brett, i got my party dress ready for when you get to hollywood!  except i guess tom cruise is missing out on a chance to meet me.

 

 


nothing some collard greens can’t solve

from washington, i aimed for chapel hill, north carolina. north carolina is a rogue state, experiencing a civil war that is as heated as jennifer aniston and angelina jolie at  a dave’s bridal shop sale.  it’s between two cousins as the york lancaster or the hatfield and mccoy families.  (both of them lower class as all get out!)

lexington and eastern.  two strands of how to do that bbq.  lexington (piedmont style–mostly in the west part of the state) barbecue is ketchup, vinegar, pepper.  with sweetening that makes your mouth feel like a snake’s parotid glands vibrate because there’s a mouse in the cage.  this style only uses the pork shoulder.  eastern style is taking every part of the pig except the squeal and only uses a dry vinegar and pepper marinade.  there have been bills in the north carolina statehouse over the issue of which is the best of north carolina and some lawsuits between competing barbecue festivals and restaurants.  me?  i’ll take it all.

 

i headed immediately for mama dips.

chapel hill is part of the raleigh durham chapel hill triangle.  eastern barbecue country.  although there's some barbecue skirmishes about whether mustard seeds and flavoring can be part of an eastern barbecue.  it's almost like crips and bloods.

chapel hill is part of the raleigh durham chapel hill triangle. eastern barbecue country. although there’s some barbecue skirmishes about whether mustard seeds and flavoring can be part of an eastern barbecue. it’s almost like crips and bloods.

 

 

so here’s a little bit of food porn from lunch with my sistahs!

there is nothing in life that can't be solved with fried chicken, black eyed peas, collard greens, sweetened ice tea.  if tupac and biggie had shared this meal, there would be peace on earth and good will towards east coast west coast.

there is nothing in life that can’t be solved with fried chicken, black eyed peas, collard greens, sweetened ice tea. if tupac and biggie had shared this meal, there would be peace on earth and good will towards east coast west coast represent!  me, i’ve been so scared for so long i am happy to get this piece of heaven!  this is what a girl wants!


sarah, you got this one!

while i was on the road heading into washington, d.c., i got a phone call from my facebook friend sarah.  she lives with her parents in detroit and is a beautiful, funny gal with a big heart and a great future.  sarah doesn’t leave her house and suffers with agoraphobia.

agoraphobia comes from the greek word phobia which means fear and agora which means marketplace or meeting place.  the agora was the center of greek urban life and so someone who is agoraphobic quite literally is afraid of being out and about.  this agora is pretty much in need of some renovations.

agoraphobia comes from the greek word phobia which means fear and agora which means marketplace or meeting place. the agora was the center of greek urban life and so someone who is agoraphobic quite literally is afraid of being out and about. this agora is pretty much in need of some renovations.

sarah is considering moving to texas to be with her boyfriend.  what a wonderful future they might have.  but sarah is worried about the eighteen hour drive.  if it is difficult to leave the house to walk to the corner market, an eighteen hour trip is going to be a challenge.  in her favor is that her boyfriend is an understanding and caring man and he will be driving (sarah doesn’t have a driver’s license).

i told her that she won’t be making an eighteen hour trip.  she’ll be making a series of hour or two hour trips or maybe half hour trips, or maybe even fifteen minute trips.  i asked her to consider purchasing an air card so that she can be connected to the internet and can distract herself by doing much of what she does when she’s at home.

the real secret for me is to make wherever i am my home, so that there is no agora to be scared of.  here, some kids from the marine scouts program wash my house.

the real secret for me is to make wherever i am my home, so that there is no agora to be scared of. here, some kids from the marine scouts program wash my house.

and of course, i invite some friends into my home.

sarah, you got this trip!  you can travel because the whole world, well, it ain’t an oyster, it ain’t a small world after all, no, no, the world is YOUR home!


bunkering down

i spend so much of my life afraid but i’m not much different from anybody else that way.  snakes, tornadoes, lightning, spiders, criticism by gwyneth paltrow–it’s a wonder i get out of the house at all.  and for a number of years, i didn’t.  there are other, shared fears which these days mostly revolves around random violence .  but there was an earlier, more innocent time when i was growing up when it was just the prospect of the world ending in less than twenty minutes.

if you remember doing this as a kid, we share qualifications for aarp membership and a fond memory of a crush on at least one member of the brady bunch!

if you remember doing this as a kid, we share qualifications for aarp membership and a fond memory of a crush on at least one member of the brady bunch!

in the early sixties, nuclear shelter was all the rage because america had done something that infuriated the soviets or maybe it was that the soviets did something to make us all pissed off.  trouble was, we both had a-bombs and h-bombs.  the united states government devised a plan to whisk away the president and congress and the essential folk of government in the event of nuclear armageddon.  these bunkers were elaborate and would represent the best chance for reclaiming civilization once the radioactive dust cleared.

my adoptive father don patrick even owned a business that built private bomb shelters.  we had one in our basement.

my adoptive father don patrick even owned a business that built private bomb shelters. we had one in our basement.

on my travels, i stopped at the greenbrier club.  on the surface, a nice hotel with a pool, golf course, casino from which ben affleck has yet to be barred from for card counting.  beneath, however, is where congress would alight when the soviets finally got their temper tantrum on.

 

at the greenbrier there is a tour of the bunker which has since been decommissioned.  it got me thinking that i need to get myself a bunker.  well, maybe i just need to get myself a safe place where i can be happy.  i aim for north carolina next which may turn out to be where i will end up staying.

 


almost heaven

after selling the house and fleeing the state, i find myself in west virginia.  the state is, just as john denver opined, almost heaven and charleston has a little shotgun shack that i think would be perfect for me!

what do you think of the joint?

what do you think of the joint?

then i got the best idea–


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