PensiveWe drove home from Palm Springs today. At home it’s a non-stop endeavor doing all the tasks one does after a vacation.  There is mail to sort and bags to unpack. The laundry is started and going nonstop. We picked up Harper from The Petsmart; she is always glad to come home and see her Someone. They are asleep on each other the couch in front of Law&Order and I am finally getting around to writing a blog.  In a few hours (provided I don’t fall asleep first) I need to pack for the morrow. I am supposed to get my seasonal blood-work done tomorrow, which includes a ‘cholesterol panel’. This will probably not be my best set of labs as I’ve ate a week’s worth of high-fat imperial tidbits.  The Good Doctor will frown a bit and The Personal Trainer will reprimand me too.  It’s time to get back to austere eating and regular exercise.  Life as maintenance feels rather dull and tedious compared to vacation living.

On the drive back from Palm Springs Someone and I had nearly a nonstop four-hour-long talk. We processed about all sorts of things particularly money. We may finally get going on making a monthly budget and perhaps too a retirement plan.  However , there are more pressing needs such as tax-prep and finishing a medical consultation with a pending deadline.  I just hope the long term plans don’t get postponed – again – for the mundane immediate matters.  There never seems to be enough time to do all that I want or need to do. Tomorrow I will probably come home with a sackful of paperwork homework assignments that have accumulated in my absence.  I vow I will go first to the gym before being consumed by an evening’s worth of prior-authorizations.

I am not sure where all this is going but that may be the point of this entry. I wish I knew where I was going in life. I get rather pensive after vacations.  We will finish the laundry; I will pack a gym bag; I will return to Duolingo (for it’s been a week) and I will try to return to the routine – keeping any eye on 2018 lest it slip by while I was doing the daily things.

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(Yes, he knows.) 

The Muses decided to give me some proper inspiration after all although they did so at 4AM local time when I was trying to sleep.  This one is about the male mysteries of social apps. I sense some Spo-fans rolling their eyes right now along the line of oh everybody knows that but many Spo-fans are female and/or males not on apps of this sort, so this is for them.  The others can comment on its accuracy. 

Being in the place I am if one is to communicate with others one uses certain social apps designed for such clientele.* I have one app already – let’s call it ’S” – for such purposes. My sophisticated travel companions inform me “S” is rather passé; nowadays men use “G”. So I figured if I am to get anyone to talk to me what the hell, I will download “G” and see what happens.

Unknown  “S” and “G” have similar set ups so we are talking Coke vs. Pepsi.  Both apps tell you who is close by; both allow you to see who has been checking you and your profile out. Both give off funny sounding announcements somebody has left you a message.  Even if you are not interested in a hook up the app is a sort of game as to predicting what he really wants. I have a theory whatever is listed in the profiles are about the opposite in real life to the gentleman callers’ intents.  Thems listed as interested in one thing seem to really want its antithesis, while thems listed as happily married and monogamous here just to chat invariably turn out to be wicked old screws looking to cheat on their mates.

growl One usually gets first some sort of  ‘hello’ followed by formal interactions suitable for any setting before the sender’s true intents get revealed. Talk about your indirect speech acts!  Sometimes this tennis game goes on for what feels like ages before one finally bluntly asks ‘the question’. Thems who are over 100 miles away seem to be merely wanting to chat (what else could they want?) while thems nearby have the  potential for a local intercourse of several types.  There are those who don’t waste time but bluntly ask you if you want to have sex, often sending right away certain photos you didn’t request. It is awful to consider this happening in ‘real life’:  you are at a party, you make eye-contact, and the fellow drops his pants to ask of you want it.  This has never happened to me in real life but it happens frequently on “G” and “S”.

Spo-fans of the straight sort may be amazed to hear there is a lot of bargaining and negotiations on these contraptions.  Straight people (I am told) don’t have to do all this back and forth Chinese menu maneuvers as to who will do what and what you are into and do you like x, y, or z or any of the above, and what level of precautions do you use. It can be quite lengthy and precise.

Curiously what burns my bacon are the sudden disappearances of the members. Mr. Rightnow seems to be interested and is doing all the proper circumstantial conversation leading to his true intent when all of a sudden he stops typing and he doesn’t respond.  I know this is the way of registering ‘Sorry not interested anymore’ but I grossly prefer a blunt ‘no thank you’ over being ghosted.

On “G” there is something called a ‘shout out’ where a gentleman caller seems to be making a nationwide announcement he is desperate for company and anyone in a radius of 50 miles is welcome to drop in on him right now for X, Y, and Z or anything.  This strikes me as alarming, comical, and a bit depressing. I hope these fellows get something; it must be crushing to ask your audience for a volunteer and no one raises their hand.

The worst element of these apps is not the hedonism or exposure to the clap but they are terrible terrible time sucks. They are designed to make one constantly want to check it for new arrivals and messages.  I plan to eliminate “G” from my phone at the end of the holiday. What happens in Palm Springs, stays in Palm Springs, as it were.  Modesty forbids me to tell you the details of what I got out of it, but I will tell you I received an excellent recipe for Snert, a Dutch pea soup.  That alone made it worth the cost of admission.

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*I still prefer direct eye-to-eye contact with actual interactions for getting to know another. Afterall we are wired to instantaneously size up others for safety, interest, etc. via vibes, voice tone, and body language. All of this is thrown out when typing. I worry about the youngsters who seem to have no way of socializing but through their phones. Last night at happy hour the oldsters were at ease mingling sans cellphones while the younger ones were either on their phones (talking to faraway people) or looking quite out of sorts. I took a stab at interaction with them; they were most uncomfortable.

Straw-splitters may take umbrage with today’s ‘Curious Things around the house” as these are not literally around my house but at the resort.  There are two bronze statues at Inndulge; they sit on either side of the grounds with the pool between them. I’ve discovered they have names: Milo and Pablo.  They are both well over four feet. Indeed! if they were to suddenly get up and stand straight I suspect they would be at least seven feet tall.  Definitely ‘leaders’ in two-stepping.

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Mr. Milo looks towards the pool as if he is supervising what is happening therein or perhaps he is being a Peeping Tom of sorts. Around here everyone is more or less looking at everyone else but Milo is doing it more obvious. He is situated by the pool ladder that leads into the deep end, so he comes in handy to hang ones towel and cap upon. I doubt this is his purpose but he doesn’t seem to mind. I was pleased as Punch to discover his name is Milo, for this is a long time family name. Indeed, in bagel shops and such I call myself Milo for more ready identification purposes.

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Mr. Pablo looks towards the front entrance as if he is keeping guard of the goings-on who is coming in and out of the resort. If only he could talk! He looks a bit cold sitting there without a stitch on, legs up as if he is trying to keep warm. He isn’t as visible  as Milo.  While Milo has a peaceful look to him, Mr. Pablo seems to be more serious as if to assure one he is never asleep at the switch.

I need to investigate who was the artist and why she/he made these two lads. The boniface tells me M and P were real life young men – cousins actually. – but he didn’t know anything else. This being the place it is, I wonder if the modern Michaelangelo had any sort of congress with the two models. Artists have a reputation for shady doings etc. I would like to know too if they were commissioned work or the works just happened to be found in a Palm Springs yard sale.

For discretion’s sake I did not shoot photos taken from particular angles lest WordPress declare my site a perversion. Both fellows have enormous feet and similarly proportioned nether regions. One wonders if that was done on purpose for the place.

Most guests here like the lads although a few have said Milo and Pablo give them heebie-geebies, particularly Milo with his never-ending vigilance. These guys should count their blessings they are not staying at the resort next door, where every room is named after a diva and has a large framed photo of such on the wall. That owner get  complaints of visitors getting the creeps with the likes of Doris Day and Barbara Streisand looking down on their shenanigans.

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I apologize for the lack of entries but I have been living a life of indolence. I’m not certain how doing nothing and all the time of the day in which to do it translates into ‘no time to write’. It is sunrise and I am sitting poolside waiting for tea (or something like it) to arrive. My travel-mates are sitting by my side, lost in their techie-toys.  The apricity of the morning sun hits our face; it portends a clear day.

I wish I could report spectacular goings-on and debauchery but alas there isn’t any. Spo-fans gave me instructions to ‘make things up’ but that seems indiscreet. Mostly I sit and gab and look at people. I talk with chums. The happy hours have a nice mingle of people from all over. I’ve met a couple of Dutchmen who promise to give me a proper recipe for snert (how exciting!)  I’ve been retiring early as this seems to be what I need most.  It sounds rather dull but I am enjoying myself.

You would think having all the time in the world would be open to great ideas and erudite entries on Life, The Universe, and Everything, but nothing arises. The Muses are not on vacation with me; apparently they went to The Bahamas rather. Oh well.

Today is Mardi Gras. DougT brought a box of sugar-fried-cakes-of-death to breakfast. I remembered to bring beads of which we have plenty. Later this morning I may go visit a colleague staying at another guesthouse and see what’s that place is like.  He is well over four feet and we will discuss patient care or something . In the afternoon I shall continue to read “As I lay dying” by William Faulker poolside. Depending on who else is there, this is either spot-on or irony as its best.

Hugs.

Hello from the faraway kingdom of Palm Springs. 

Now that I am here I can disclose I made for DougT a shirt for his next bug convention. By now the attendees expect him to so up each August in a new one. If he arrives in last season’s, there will be talk and my reputation will be ruined.*

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This one has cicadas all over it. I think it is rather nasty looking but Someone and DougT disagree. DougT likes it, which is the point.  Notice how the bugs ‘line up’ on the front; I am pleased as punch.

We arrived safe and sound to our resort to find all’s well here. It is ‘bears’ weekend apparently so the town is full up with big burly types.  We were happy to see Leon AKA The Wild One made it in, for last year he was sickly and had to cancel. We had some drinks and gabs before dinner which was a hole in the wall Indian restaurant.

I am certain to disappoint to relate despite it being the first night of a week’s holiday – and a Saturday night at that – we all imploded after the naan and vindaloos were done. We sank like rocks; we were exhausted from travel etc. Some of us were on Eastern Time Zone. So we all went to bed at 8PM. Really.  I slept nearly 10 hours. I had awful dreams sort like being in a Japanese monster movie although there was no Godzilla types.  I shall avoid curried snacks from now on.

 

 

*No one bothers about his; his was ruined decades ago.

Thank you everybody for the warm salutations and congratulations yesterday 8 February. I am grateful. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections (rapacious for comments and attention) was also pleased as Punch.  They think I should have another blog-day real soon, whatever that means.

So what happens now?

Palm Springs, that’s what.  Land of Sybarites and Old Queens.

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Urs Truly is at his lunch time. I have half a day left before I go away on holiday for a week. I don’t know the mind sets of the eight others in the California coterie, but I hope they are half excited as I am. To rouse up enthusiasm. I have sent out several boisterous emails to cheer up the troops but there is little feedback.  Perhaps they are busy or I have the wrong email addresses.  I also sent out words of warning and wisdom in order to keep these fine gentleman (who are all well over four feet) virtuous.  Here’s a recent example:

“The gentleman of the coterie are warned against a too familiar intercourse with the adjacent resorts, as mischiefs grow out of it which are little understood and must be prevented”.

So far this hasn’t gotten anyone to take the pledge.

Lest I shock the Spo-fans let me assure you all this pending week is more likely a chin-wag than a bacchanal. Sitting and talking and reading* for a week it sounds jolly-good-fun notwithstanding.  The most daring activity may be I have packed out of whimsy my yellow taxicab sunglasses. I just hope I don’t shock the children.

Next week I plan to write daily posts to beat the drums and tell the tribesmen the news. Spo-fans want to read all the shenanigans I suppose. However do keep in mind I will embellish or downright make things up if this really turns out to be just a week-long card party, talk-fest, and bed time by nine.  When in doubt get horizontal. After all we all have reached the point in life where the night is for sleep.

Hey babycakes!  Spo-Reflections is twelve years old today!

Three maybe a magic number but twelve is more so. Twelve has all those lovely divisible numbers to it: two, three, four, and six. There is historical sacredness to the number, what with twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve disciples. There is something ‘magical’ about twelve years of blogging under the belt.  My interest in hobbies and past times have come and gone but writing keeps on going.  I remain passionate about blogging, so Spo-Reflections is likely to plod on intrepidly until the ideas run out or certain Board Members chop my wrists off as they continually threaten to do.

I want to thank Spo-fans and Stalkers and Stoppers-by and Anne Marie (who is in a class by herself hohoho) for reading my rubbish. Whether I am trying to be whimsical or spewing ersatz philosophy Spo-fans and such read it, for which I am quite grateful.

Looking back on year number eleven Spo-Reflections looks to have been ‘more of the usual’ than showing signs of growth in any particular direction. I don’t have any fixed goal or agenda here other than grabbing  inspiration as it flies by and working it into something noteworthy without too many dangling participles.  This works so it is likely to remain.  Perhaps in year #12 I will recycle a few early entries I thought brilliant but later readers haven’t read.  Perhaps not.  As Edna Mode says, ‘Darling I never look back’.

I like to celebrate birthdays. There should be some solemnity to acknowledge success and survival but mostly just to have an Auntie-Mame inspired party, live live live.  I pause on this feast day to whoop-DE-do a little and shake the outstretched hands of Board Members (minding to wash afterwards) and blow out the candle and make a wish.

 

 

 

th    Today is the feast day of the nativity of my main man (in the literature department) Charles Dickens. Like Shakespeare he made up words that have crept into common use.*

I like fancy and fustian words and I like Dickens, so in honor of the day I put out the welcome doormat (for he invented that word) and provide some jolly words.

Dickens is attributed to making up nearly 200 words and expressions. Here are some wordsI bet you didn’t know are attributed to Mr. Dickens:

Abuzz

Bulgy

The creeps

Earful

Funky

On a rampage

Devil-may-care

Messiness

and

Snobbish

There are also a handful of lovely Dickens-words that didn’t get into the muscle memory of modern English. but I think they are worth reviving:

Sawbones – a slang term for a surgeon or physician in general. Crude but apt, no?

Lummy – an adjective meaning cute.

 

There are also some words derived from Dickens’ characters which are also worth using:

Tapleyism – (adj.) named after an optimistic fellow named Tapley in “Martin Chuzzulwit”, it means being cheerful and optimistic even in the most dirge of circumstances.

Grandgrind – (n.) from “Hard Times”, a grandgrind is a no-nonsense humorless person only interested in facts and not with banter, fluff, and nonsense.  This is not a complimentary term.

Podsnappery – (adj.) this one we must revive!  It means being obstinate and refusing to accept unpleasant facts.

 

Finally I will address ‘The Dickens-boredom’ debate. It is a common belief Charlie-boy invented the word boredom.  Alas he did not, although he helped to develop the modern day use of the word.  I forget what miscreant said this but here it is:

 “Charles Dickens may not have invented boredom, but he certainly perfected it.”

Oh, the horror!

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*There is controversy if Bill or Chuck actually made words up or merely used words common at the time we attribute to them as that is where everyone first read them. I like the notion of writers making up new and clever words. People do it all the time anyway and we seldom know who did thi

Brother #3 makes an annul calendar for us all. He inserts into it all the important Spo-dates including birthdays, anniversaries, and The University of Michigan football games.* 6 February is the birthday of our illustrious ancestor Deacon William Spo. He was born in 1590 in Fitzhead England. He and his relations immigrated to Dorchester Massachusetts in 1630. He went on to sire more descendants than Old Deuteronomy and his numerous progeny prosper and thrive.**

Thanks to a dozen generations of well-meaning Spos (many of well over four feet) William Spo has been white-washed and sanctified with all sorts of noble virtues. Who knows what he was really up to.  My great-aunts believed William was fleeing tyrannical religious persecution to live a free and proper Puritan Christian lifestyle.  History shows thems that came over to New England in the early 17th century were mostly crooks who were on the lamb or they were religious crackpots who the authorities sensibly told they can’t shove their zeal onto others so they left in a huff.

I remember being taught William was

a) A Deacon

b) he was in charge of the “two cowes” of the community.

c) They all came over on the “Mary & John”  I don’t know if the cowes came with them.

d) William and son(s) moved to Connecticut possibly to start his own parish – or he wasn’t getting along with anyone. I don’t know what became of the two cows. I suspect they stayed in Massachusetts.

One can travel to Fitzhead England and see the church and parish register in which William et. al. are mentioned as leaving town. The sacristan is now quite used to Spos showing up and wanting a look-see so he has a tour just for the occasion.  He’s been asked many times about the origin of the cowes. He always says he doesn’t know.

Whether Willy was pious or a pain in the neck I am grateful for his journey across the sea and settling down onto North America. On this feast day of his nativity I pause to remember him.  He probably didn’t drink whisky, so I will have a glass of milk rather.

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*The calendar also reminds us when is “Small Chocolate Cone day” (August) and the frequent “There’s work to be done” days (most Saturdays but the UM football dates).  How jolly.

**Urs Truly is in the 12th generation of descendants.

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