Archive for the Travel Category

Post # 128 – Going off the grid…and about the man who wakes up as a pink leotard?

Posted in humor, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

OMG, IT’S FRIDAY, and it’s supposed to get up to 59 degrees today! I’m breaking out my shorts and flip flops! 🙂  Additionally, I may be AWOL for a bit while working on Tales from the Lunatic Lounge.

For those who are new to my cafeteria de crazy, Lunatic Lounge is the book I’ve been feverishly trying to finish since November (2013), which is a collection of stories that are too fracked up not to be true, many of which are posted on my sister blog of the same name, for example:

http://lunaticslounge.com/2013/11/04/post-16-mr-toads-wild-ride-of-the-taxi-persuasion/ – about a somnambulist cab driver in L.A.

However, my latest post in the Lounge is pure fiction, a rather hysterical spoof about a man who wakes up as a pink leotard, which you can peruse at:

http://lunaticslounge.com/2014/03/12/post-20-henrys-life-in-the-pink-chapter-1/

Alternatively, if you prefer a bit of drama, check out:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/10/07/how-i-almost-murdered-ex-husband-2/

Which is on my main blog/website, and I think the title kinda speaks for itself, does it not?

And last but not least, anyone interested in proffering a guest post, my submission guidelines are posted here:

http://lunaticslounge.com/about/submission-guidelines-for-guest-bloggerscontributors/

All righty then, back to working on THE BOOK…:)

Have a great weekend, all!

TB/ks

Post #106 – Trippin’ with the tribe – AGAIN!

Posted in Family, friends, memoir, music, nonfiction, relationships, rock music, Travel, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

So, apparently, I shouldn’t get gas as I leave town. The last time I took off to see my husband’s band, Murnane Tribe, play at the Rock House in Indy, I drove off with the gas cap clanking loudly against the side of my Escalade (as mentioned in this post: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/01/30/post-86-tripping-for-the-tribe/). THIS time, I pulled in too close to a white metal barrier next to the gas pumps, and I heard this metallic CRUNCH as I pulled away, only to find that I had scraped the side of my car on the white metal barrier, leaving a lovely set of skid marks on my SUV (sigh) – pictured below.

SIDE OF MY CARI hope we can buy some touch-up paint or something to cover up those streaks. If not, OOPS…and double oops…

Otherwise, all went well, and it was a great show. However, I had dinner with my cousin Juliana and her husband before the show, and she kept adding more Merlot to my glass when it was half empty. So, I lost track of time, and in a blink, it was 11:30. I hurriedly changed clothes and drove to the club, which was about 15 minutes away, and I missed the first 2 songs. But that’s okay, I saw the remainder of their set (i.e. the photos below). My husband’s the front man on the left playing bass and singing.

MIKE TONY 23JUST TONYUnfortunately, the batteries were dead in my camera, and some of my cell photos are blurry. Yes, I know, next time – CHECK one’s equipment before leaving… JUST SEAN 4  Sean, the drummer for Murnane Tribe.

I stayed for a little while after the Tribe quit playing to see the last band, Misunderstood, who were really good. They’re from Dayton, I think, and they were rather reminiscent of the Runaways. A couple photos of them below…

LEAD SINGER - MISUNDERSTOOD   Lead singer for Misunderstood.

MISUNDERSTOOD 2 Misunderstood at the Rock House Cafe – Indianapolis, July 27, 2013

Murnane Tribe, however, didn’t start playing until midnight, and by the time I got back to Juliana’s house on the South end of Indianapolis and got ready for bed, it was almost 3 AM when I crashed for the night. So…I’m a rather worn out today.

Then, in the morning, much to my surprise, Juliana’s cat, Mocha, decided I’m now her BFF (photo below).

MOCHA MY NEW BFFShe’s always either ignored me or hissed at me whenever I dared to walk near her.  However, this time, she climbed up on my lap, mewed demurely, then curled up and went to sleep. Of course, she did this just as I was about to get up and get dressed and head out the door.

I checked my email on my phone and let her sleep a few minutes, and when I started to sit up and displace her, she hissed at me again. So, I guess I can’t win. Finally, I just sat up and gingerly set her back down on the couch, which is when I snapped the photo above. She was glaring at me, so I don’t know if that just made it appear as though she’s cross-eyed, or she is actually cross-eyed. She’s never cozied up to me before to where I could actually SEE her eyes before this past weekend. I emailed Juliana for clarification, but I haven’t heard back from her yet.

Anywho…after getting stuck in construction traffic and behind a wreck on 70 East, I made it home around 6:30 last night.  Back to the not-so-glamorous life of a rock star’s wife with 14 pounds of dirty laundry waiting for me and a scratched up SUV (triple oops).

And as a follow-up to my previous posts about my trip back home to WV for high school reunion – mentioned in these posts:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/07/20/the-story-of-the-pink-elephant-and-my-high-school-reunion/

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/07/25/post-105-about-that-pink-elephant-and-a-dance-down-memory-lane/

Brenda (a friend from HEHS) emailed me this link about the pink elephant:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1487

So, I guess that iconically weird statue remains a mystery…

Oh, and as a side note:  the Tribe got to do a promo for an Internet radio station in London, so stay tuned…I’ll post the link to the radio station whenever the promo is finished. Kind of exciting, yeah?

Over and out from CRAZYTOWN’S annex…

TenaciousBITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

© Tenacious Bitch 2013

Post #103 – The story of the PINK elephant and a high school reunion that almost wasn’t…

Posted in Family, humor, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

When I was in high school, at the beginning of my senior year, our class voted for: DEATH IS THE ULTIMATE BUZZ as our motto. I know what an AWFUL saying, but we were teenagers, after all. Luckily, the Principal shot down what we thought would be the most hysterical credo ever devised in the history of Huntington East High School. I was very depressed in high school, and I’m thinking there were quite a few others, considering our morbid motto.

I have no clue what its replacement was, but as I recall the word DREAMS was hiding somewhere in the contents of our alleged 8-word philosophy. And I’m betting that no one in my class of 303 individuals remembers the motto either.

Do we sound a tad EMO? Maudlin and apathetic, perhaps? Well, as a matter of fact, we were, and, apparently, still are. Our 30th reunion is this weekend. Originally, a dinner at Guyan Country Club was scheduled.

However, less then 30% of the class was slated to attend, so it was cancelled. Then another a week or so later, I received an email that it was still on, but plans had changed, and people were meeting at Tascali’s Italian restaurant.

There was a gathering at a bar last night, the name of which I don’t remember because I opted to stay home and watch THE EVIL DEAD with my son, Max, and my husband, Charlie. Actually, I was supposed to have a dinner meeting with a client at 6PM last night, but she cancelled at the last minute, which was fine.

There’s a picnic today at a local park, which I’m also skipping because I’m way too lazy to get up at 6 AM on a Saturday in order to make the 3-hour trip to my hometown by 11 AM or so to sit in the miserable heat, which will be cresting around 97 F (37 Celsius thereabouts) in the shade. And fighting off flies and bats and whatever else might fall out of the sky on a hot summer day in West Virginia during one’s midday meal isn’t really my thing.

That said, don’t get me wrong. Though I hated most everything about high school, I’m looking forward to seeing the 15-20 folks who are going to be at Tascalis this evening. And I’ll elaborate in a future post as to why I hated most of the three years of my adolescent subsistence at HEHS.

I’ve never been to Tascali’s, so I decided to look up the address because I don’t recall exactly where it is in Barboursville, which is about 7 or 8 miles from where the high school had been.

The high school itself has now become either an abandoned crackhouse – or possibly houses some offices for the Board of Education, can’t remember which. I haven’t spent much time in WV since Dad died in 2009, so I’m not privy to the specifics of my former alma mater at present.

They built a new high school that I could almost eyeball from my parents’ house sometime in 2000 that consolidated HEHS with Huntington High School, so the building where I acquired my high school diploma is no longer the actual high school.

ANYWHO…when I went cyber-traveling to determine Tascali’s proximity from my hotel, I stumbled upon this AWESOME graphic:

DIRECTIONS TO TASCALIS - PINK ELEPHANT

ONLY in West Virginia would you find a PINK elephant as a landmark to look for in relation to a particular address!  And, YES, there is a pink elephant on Route 60 East in Barboursville. I remember it vividly and always pondered as to its odd existence.

If there were an Indian restaurant or, perhaps Ethiopian restaurant or something, it might make sense to have a statue of a pink elephant as a beacon calling all those who like that sort of cuisine, sort of like the fat boy associated with Shoney’s or Frisch’s restaurant.

However, this is WV. The only ethnic restaurants are Chinese and Mexican. I can’t remember what businesses are in/around said PINK elephant, but I shall make certain to photograph said pachyderm for all my wonderful followers to feast their eyes upon.

That said, TIME TO GO…

Tenacious BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…:)

Post #99 – Still unhappy, but there is a dog named SUE…

Posted in dogs, Family, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Do you hear it? No? It’s the SOUND of silence…:). The Food Channel isn’t squawking over the monitor in my office! No, I’m not ignoring Nana, and she’s still kicking.

The moment described in: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/05/08/post-95-what-i-cant-say-to-nana-maude-while-buying-mega-champagne/   …. has come to fruition. It took a month of research, a voluminous passel of online forms, many phone calls and several HOURS packing up Nana’s 51-pound suitcase, but she is now living in a 5-star nursing home, Greenlawn Retirement Home in Georgia. It’s 5 miles from where she lived for 52 years!

As you can imagine, all the prep work necessitated my absence from these hallowed cyber halls. So, my apologies for that…:). But THANK GOD, the airline didn’t charge $90.00 for Nana’s obese valise.

However, nursing home care requires a SEPARATE Medicaid application, which hasn’t been approved yet. Therefore, please say mega prayers for its acceptance. Otherwise, we’ll owe $5200 for her 30-day tenure at Greenlawn, and she’ll have to endure another grueling journey north. Her income is well below the maximum allowed, but even a minor error committed while navigating the mean streets of Georgia’s RED TAPE, could mean rejection.

Sadly, Nana was stunned by the news of her relocation. Apparently, my constant dialogue about our massive credit card debt/bleak finances caused by her financial baggage was lost on her. She was silent at first, but then, she started weeping. And I think Charlie felt worse than I did.

He kept saying, “We really don’t want to do this, but we’re broke”, which is true, and our debt isn’t going to dissipate until I can work FULL-TIME.

However, later on, she was THRILLED about living in Georgia again, with its balmy climate, and she can see all of her friends.

Our trip southward was no vacation, but I can’t say enough GOOD things about the staff of American Airlines and the Columbus/Jacksonville airports. Someone was always ready to assist with bags/a wheelchair/whatever. They made EVERYTHING pretty painless.

On the other hand, there’s a reason we call Nana – QUEEN MAUDE. And I realize that Nana can’t help being cold all the time. She’s NINETY-SIX. However, she’s often completely ridiculous.

We arrived at the La Quinta Inn (courtesy of Ben and Allicia’s Amex points!!) around 9:15 our first night. Not five minutes later, Nana said, “I won’t be able to sleep with that air condition on. I’m already freezing!” And, yes, she says it just like that: AIR CONDITION – without the ING, a Southern-ism, I guess.

“How about I turn it up to 75?” I offered.

Nana frowned.

“It’s 95 degrees out. I cannot sleep without air.”

Nana sighed.

“I’ll turn it up, and you bundle up with all the blankets on and see if you’re still cold.”

But Nana wouldn’t budge, so the AC went off, and after much discussion, I reserved another room for me. I was bleary-eyed exhausted, and I got nauseous after 64 minutes sans FREON-cooled air.  I hated leaving her alone – even two doors down, but I didn’t know what else to do.

When I returned from booking another room, Nana said, “I need another blanket.”

“Why? The AC is off.”

Nana shook her head while giving the comforter an angry toss. “I can’t sleep with these, this thing-”

OMG…here we go. “What’s wrong with the blankets?” I asked, dreading her bizarro reply.

“Feel of them,” she snipped as if her bedding was manufactured from decomposing body parts…

I felt the sparkling white linen and ordinary cotton bedspread and shrugged.

“They’re perfectly fine. What’s wrong with them?” If they were a DARK color, THAT would be cause for hating the allegedly awful bedding because Nana will only tolerate PASTELS. She once demanded another room during a 3-day hospital stay in 2008 because the curtains were dark brown…

“I just don’t like the feel of them.”

I argued with her relentlessly, but she persisted. So, I called the front desk, knowing she wasn’t going to shut up until I did. After 30 minutes, 2 phone calls and a trip to the office where, of course, they had no blankets, I was ready to strangle Nana.

“I can’t believe they don’t have any blankets. What kind of hotel is this?”

“The best we could afford, Nana – a FREE, 3-star hotel,” I answered. “And it’s JUNE for heaven sake. All of the Eastern seaboard is experiencing unseasonably WARM temperatures,” I stammered.

Nana just grimaced.

At 11:45, another fucking BLANKET still hadn’t arrived. I sat at the desk, my shoulders drooping while contemplating adding a stiff blast of bourbon to Nana’s bedtime tea – when she asked…

“You okay?”

“I’m dying to take a shower. I think my sweat is SWEATING because it’s so damned hot in here.”

Nana’s lip quivered, and I immediately regretted that remark, evoked by the guilt from banishing my Grandmother to a HOME. But she could’ve worn a sweater over her pajamas like I KEPT suggesting or swaddled herself up in the supposedly icky bed clothes, and she would’ve been FINE. Then, I could’ve turn on the AC a tad and slept in the FREE ROOM. BUT NO…welcome to the nightmare known as Nana MAUDE’s universe…

“Go on. I’ll be fine,” she said.

I had stayed fearing she’d have trouble with the dead bolt (with her arthritis) – or she’d forget to lock the door.

At midnight, I relented and went to MY room. She remembered the lock and the DO NOT DISTURB sign, but I didn’t rest easy. And, GUESS WHAT? Another blanket never appeared, and she slept just fine on the less than-Laura Ashley SHEETS, etc.

Unfortunately, her doctor (of 30+ years) didn’t sign Medicaid’s authorization form the next day, so they couldn’t admit her to Greenlawn yet.

In lieu of sleeping in separate rooms again, I booked a suite at the Marriott. I stayed there before (RE: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/24/mrsa-the-onions-and-red-lobste/  )…

Anyway…the Marriott has a bedroom, and…

KITCHEN 3a kitchenette, which was nice because we had breakfast in our room, in lieu of making it to the FREE continental meal before 9 AM. Nana took the bedroom, immediately cranking the HEAT, and I slept on the slab of concrete/sofa bed, with the AIR CONDITIONING chugging away. So, I spent $150 for 2 extra rooms because HER Highness wouldn’t compromise. Is it any WONDER that we racked up so much debt because of her?

FINALLY, two days later, on JUNE 21st, 2013, Nana was admitted to Greenlawn.  She got weepy when I left for the hotel that evening, but thank you, JESUS, thus far, she LIKES the food at GREENLAWN! Check out: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/06/28/post-66-baloney-porn-or-is-it-bologna-porn/ as to WHY that’s so AWESOME…

By the time I departed Georgia, Nana seemed happier than she’s been in months – even though yesterday on the phone, she said, “I’m unhappy, and I’ll always be, but I’m making the best of it…and Boots sat on my lap today.”

BOOTS 2Boots, one of Greenlawn’s pets, and Ms. Pickles, another cat who scurried away before I snapped this photo (so named because she LOVES pickles, and she’ll snatch yours right off your plate if you’re not looking). Nana loves cats, AND the dog named SUE, pictured below…

DOG NAMED SUE 2… a really sweet Shi-Zhu, who belongs to one of the administrators. And don’t you LOVE the ponytail? 🙂

Despite the obvious adjustments, I really think Greenlawn is the best place for her. She’s rarely alone, and they have lots of activities like a middle-aged crooner belting out Nana’s favorite Frank Sinatra tune her first day there during “happy hour” at 3:30, LOL.

AND they have a beauty shop on site! What’s better than that? 🙂

Anywho…thanks for suffering through my laborious account about Nana’s new digs…

Over and out from the now QUIET abode of TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth spouting hippies…~TB

Post #92 – About my luggage art…and the ART of conversing with strangers…

Posted in humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

After penning my last post about my recent trip to Hollyweird, I realized I’d FORGOTTEN one of the main reasons for the aforementioned cyber chapter. So, needless to say, JET LAG, and tending to my Grandmother’s war wounds (long story for another day) is beyond a BITCH…

Anywho, every time I go to Cali, I try to think of a different way to spark a conversation with total strangers regarding my writing, which isn’t exactly easy. It’s not like you can walk up and say,

“Hi, I’m Tenacious Bitch, and I’d like to chat with you about my memoir…” at which point, said stranger would, most likely, mumble something about having a train/cab/aardvark/cyclops to catch…

That said, I decided upon my most outrageous conversation prompter yet…

I asked the concierge at my hotel to take my photo for my blog. Simple task, is it not? But, apparently, this guy had never in his life taken a photo, or…he just REALLY likes to fuck with obnoxious hotel guests who interrupt his game of Angry Birds cuz here’s the pic…

ME WITH MY SUITCASEAhem…yeah, that’s 3/8 of me, I guess, but if he was going to eradicate most of my person, couldn’t he have said, “Stand up straight, honey. You’re slouching, which, you know, makes you look a tad pudgy…” with a SMILE, of course.

Anyway, the photo is a preface to the FUNNY part, ahem…the adornment/advertisement on my suitcase in the photo below…

lug art 2SHAMELESS self-promotion? Yeah, I got that! 🙂 I forgot to photograph it BEFORE it played soccer with the baggage handlers, but that’s okay. I think it’ll withstand another trip around LAX’s carousel.

And, yes, I know, it’s not a marketing prop that will yield millions, but when you can’t afford billboard advertising, baby steps, ya know? And it took all of FIVE minutes to laminate that 8 x 10 label with crazy glue, shipping tape and a very hot iron.

Additionally, I inserted these little gems into that TINY pocket …

bus cards in suitcase…where an i.d. card should go, but instead, I slipped TENACIOUS Bitch’s BUSINESS CARDS in there:

BUS CARD 4YES, I did. Why the hell not? I put SEVEN cards in there, and only FOUR remained in that little pocket upon returning home. Yes, of course, three of them could’ve fallen out.

Either way, during my trek through THREE airports, and standing in line to obtain/return my rental car in L.A., not one but seven or eight different people asked me what the hell my luggage art was all about (okay, sans the HELL, but you get the idea). All of them laughed and accepted my business card. They may NEVER read my blog, but at least I tried, and I think I get an A for originality, at least…

PLUS, if at least ONE of those folks who took my card reads my blog and likes it and mention it to a couple of co-workers, who read it and like it, who then forward the URL for my site to a couple friends, who forward my info AGAIN to their neighbors and so on…then, you have a word-of-mouth chain that could VASTLY increase the number of people reading my posts each day, which, of course will make my memoir just that much more attractive to a publisher…so feel free to make up your own luggage art and give it a whirl. You don’t even have to give me credit for the idea…: (smirk, smirk)…see how nice I can be? So, maybe, I don’t ALWAYS deserve my moniker…okay, maybe, I do TODAY…but anywho…going forward…I shall…

Stop pestering your corner of cyberspace (for now) and go eat dinner or, maybe, wax the cats, depending on whether they try to CHEW on the living room curtains again…

FOREVER YOURS, tHE soon to be JUSTINA BIEBER of BLOGGING…cuz I’m just gonna be everywhere…gas station bathrooms and EVERYTHING, LOL…

Love and chocolate cheesecake-

~TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…