Wednesday, August 21, 2019

People are committed to being miserable AF

MAN ALIVE people are committed to being absolutely fucking miserable and spreading that misery around like manure, hoping to grow more misery. I don't accept that energy,.
Do you remember a time when your only way to complain was to bitch to a few friends about something then move on with your life because you'd gotten it out or your friends told you to get over yourself? If you don't have real friends who will check you when you're being outrageous, I suggest getting some immediately.

With social media, people who are committed to their misery now have a platform to bitch to untold amounts of people at any time and lord people are taking advantage of that and creating a minefield of Chicken Little The World is Ending posts because someone cut them off in traffic or cursed within earshot of them in public and it is on my absolute last nerve (yes, I see the irony of me writing a post complaining about people complaining). 

Here and there fine, even funny, depending on the presentation but when people are constant complainers it's like fucking STOP. Miserable people will complain about a picnic in heaven, that’s how committed they are to being perpetually unhappy and dissatisfied. They create a negative vortex where every small annoyance means the world is hell, everyone is a rude law breaker, no child is being raised right, there is no respect, no one has any regard for the property of others, and it's better just to stay inside our houses behind little glowing screens. And when we hear or read misery all the time it wriggles its way into our brain and attempts to drop an anchor in there.

Last year once summer hit I snoozed all Ocean City Facebook pages except two. Every post on those pages was about how awful it was in town and how people are rude. I am there every weekend and people are fine. What I was reading was not what I was experiencing. The pages ABOUT Ocean City where people were endlessly complaining and being miserable AF were the only things making my actual time IN Ocean City a bad experience. That's wild and a testament to how miserable people impact their surroundings - even/especially the virtual surroundings.

The phrase misery loves company actually means misery NEEDS company - miserable people must justify their misery so they're going to keep going until they've converted you to being a miserable asshole too. Avoid that at all costs by avoiding them. 

Well adjusted people are always looking inward to evaluate and improve themselves before they turn their gaze outward. Miserable people are always looking outward to evaluate and judge others so they can avoid the hard internal work required to exist in this world as a fallible human.

Miserable people are soul suckers. Don’t be a soul sucker and don’t entertain soul suckers. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

About that RV Life: Your kind of vacation or no?


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We talk about family trips all the time. For one of our next big ones we're trying to plan a Griswold family RV trip. I love vacations that involve sitting on a beach, but I also truly love vacations that involve getting out and about and being on the road, coming across unusual and unexpected things. The last time we did this, it was just me & MFD, and we jumped around hotel rooms and that's a privileged pain in and of itself. This time we're considering an RV as a group.   

The chance to travel from your home

One of the biggest benefits of using an RV  for your holiday is to enjoy the luxury of packing up from home and then just heading out on the road to your chosen destination. Many countries can offer links and passage from one to the other, so it can mean that you get to see a lot more. You can also feel assured because you can take care of any maintenance and repairs with a mobile rv repair specialist that could come out to where you are. Simple and convenient. I don't think we'll do this though. We're thinking more of flying out west, picking one up, and charting our course from there. You can bet your bottom dollar I'll still be having a mobile repair service in my phone regardless of where we leave from.

I don't think I'd do an RV in another country unless they drove on the same side of the road as us and the steering wheel was also on the same side. Driving in a foreign country is nerve wracking enough for me without having a huge vehicle. We did it in Ireland in a 10 person van and that was even a little hairy. 

See places that are off the beaten track

I call myself a touron because I will absolutely visit the touristy spot - it is one for a reason. I also like stuff off the beaten path through, and you definitely get a lot of flavor and feel for where you are being on a road trip. An rv road trip will certainly give us the chance to see more places off the beaten track. There's nothing like pulling a map up and pinpointing small stops on there for the most inconsequential reasons. When planning a road trip I always try to think outside the box, and thanks to the world wide web, information and highlights on many unspoiled spots that could be truly wonderful to experience is right at your fingertips. I pore over that stuff, working it over in my mind and in and out of my itinerary for a long time before we actually take a trip. Give me the recognizable touron spot and also give me a chance to get away from the crowds and take some awesome pictures elsewhere, experiencing something uniquely. Another huge benefit when you are traveling as a family. 

A more low key style 

Road trips are a lot come as you are, and I dig that so much. There is no dressing for dinner, unless you want to. In case you're new here, 99.5% of the time I don't want to. You're on your own schedule and routine, which can make for a low key vacation if you are not traveling with me. I want to see what I want to see, and I often want to see one to two more things than you should try to jam in on a lot of our road trip days. If you are more spontaneous and less itinerary based than me, the only timings you may need to be strict with is check in times to camp sights or spots where you'll be pulling up for the night. This can be an easier way to enjoy a more relaxed vibe. If you're like me, you're a little panicked just thinking about that LOL. 

No worries of travel chaos 

If you RV from and back to home, you can cut out some of the travel chaos like delayed flights, lost luggage, overweight luggage, long lines at security, super pricey and sort of gross airport food, etc etc.  Of course, road trips can present their fair share of chaos in other ways, such as traffic, animals in the road, break downs, getting lost, detours, people getting hangry, pent up in the car together too long feelings, etc etc... but let's be real, this can also add to the excitement. 

Have you ever considered a RV holiday?

Monday, August 19, 2019

TWTW - the one deep in the rhythm of shore life

Friday I spent my lunch hour driving to the shore, finished out the work day, rode my bike to the library to pick up holds, visited with favorite guests upstairs and got a saved parking spot and ice cream cake from them, then went up to the beach and had a piece of pizza on the boardwalk. I was up reading until 12:30.

Saturday Freaking dogs got up at 4:45. MFD arrived early and weed whacked the neighbor's abandoned house. Turnover was easy breezy with sham change outs and moving bedding around being my favorite part as usual. I got awesome gifts from leaving guests, greeted new returning guests that we also love, and spent the afternoon whiling away the time on the North End beaches: reading, looking up at the sky, sitting in tide pools, and knowing I didn't have to do a damn thing at night. We ate at home, I painted my nails (OPI If You Moust, You Moust), and fell out around 11. 
Sunday We took the dogs to Dog Beach before 7 am and they loved it. Bruce went fully into the ocean for the first time and Gus was charging in like he was a puppy instead of nearly 14 years old. They loved Maximus the eight month old rottweiler. They did not love getting baths when they got back. Gus was furious and headed towards West Avenue at a steady clip. I started a new book while MFD was doing that. MFD fixed a toilet problem up in the house, then we headed to North Wildwood to see his mom. We got salads and smoothies for lunch on the way back and walked the dogs. Around 2 I realized I wasn't going to get home that night so I relaxed for a bit and went up to the boardwalk around 6:45. We tried the lobster rolls I’ve been wanting to try all summer and people watched on a bench. We watched Fight Club and went to sleep around 11:30. 
Weekly food prep: Breakfast is vanilla greek yogurt with mango granola and blueberries. Lunch is hard boiled eggs, bell peppers, olives, and some salami (bento boxes forever). Snacks are kiwi and cucumbers. Dinners are pasta with lemon, oil, and broccoli that I never made last week and zucchini taco boats. I'm not sure what else. 



I ate too much candy and slept shitty for it and 5 am came early this morning. I got home in time to put the trash and recycles out, pull homemade veggie meat sauce out of the freezer, and throw a load of laundry in before getting dressed and heading to the train. I did not remember to brush my hair or bring my reusable coffee cup, so...

How was yours? 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

5 Reasons to Visit Plano, TX


For most people, a vacation in Texas will usually focus on a small handful of cities - with Dallas, Austin, and Houston perhaps the most well-known of all. However, if you’re looking for a vacation that is a little more unusual - but still capable of delivering a fantastic overall experience - then Plano, which is around 30 minutes north of Dallas, could well be the perfect choice. Here’s five reasons to include Plano in your future travel plans.

#1 - The downtown area

Downtown Plano has developed an incredible reputation, and there’s so much to see, do, and enjoy if you choose to visit. The entire downtown area was destroyed in a fire during the 19th century, but has since risen to provide unique shops, incredible attractions, and historic buildings and sites of note that will keep you entertained for days on end. 

#2 - The food 

Like many cities, Plano has a number of nicknames - but if incorporating fantastic dining experiences into a vacation is a crucial consideration for you, then there’s one nickname that will stand out: “Foodie City”. You’ll have your pick of all kinds of options, so whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or want to sample the best street tacos in Plano, TX, there will always be something exciting - and of course delicious! - for you to try. 

#3 - The special events

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Visiting Plano at a specific time of year can provide the opportunity to enjoy one of the many special events the city can provide. There’s usually something going on all year round, but perhaps the most notable of all is the Plano Balloon Festival; you can admire the hot air balloons, marvel over the stunts of the sky diving teams, enjoy performances from local bands and much more over the course of a weekend in September each year. Alternatively, visiting in May provides the chance to attend ASIAFEST (which is dedicated to celebrating Asian culture and heritage), or choose October so you can visit the Plano International Festival.

#4 - The arts and culture scene

The arts and culture scene in Plano is something to behold, covering a wide array of options that should suit every taste. You could catch a performance of the Plano Symphony Orchestra, tour an exhibition at the Art Centre of Plano, visit the celebrate Heritage Farm Museum, and much more besides during your time in the city. 

#5 - The parks and natural beauty

There are over 70 different parks in Plano, so if you want to retreat and immerse yourself in natural beauty, then you’ll never be short of options while visiting the city. Haggard Park is a particular highlight; in addition to the lush green spaces, you’ll also be able to explore the fascinating Interurban Railway Museum during your visit. Alternatively, the Arbor Hills Nature Reserve offers fantastic trails, picnic areas, a playground for kids, and plenty of trees that both enhance the look of the park and provide much-needed shade on hot days.

In conclusion

As the above points demonstrate, the wonders that Plano offers to its visitors ensures that any vacation spent in the city will be a fantastic experience from beginning to end! 


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This post was written for the Life According to Steph audience

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - Call it morning driving through the sound and in and out the valley

1. Happy second birthday, Bruce Springsteen The Dog. You are funny and super sensitive, you believe you belong everywhere and all seats are yours (including the front seat in the car), you still get into everything, you are happiest tearing ass around the beach, you love coffee, you make the weirdest noises, you are a hilarious sleeper, you love to give kisses, and you jump higher than any dog I have ever seen.

2. When you walk into the Suburban Station Post Office and there are zero people in line: hashtag blessed.

3. I had a Peppermint Patty this week. They always make me think of my grandmom. When I'd go over to her house for dinner, she'd say "we'll have just a little dessert" and give us each a peppermint patty.

4. Feeling very smug adult by upping my face mask usage to twice a week like everyone in the world recommends.
5. Most of this week has been spent on the couch, reading, and taking blurry pics of dogs. I did cook a few nights and picked up around the house. How can there be so much shit to pick up with only two people here?

6. I’m playing chicken with my laundry. How long can I go without doing it? Stupid.

7. I'm feeling like I need a format change on Thursday Thoughts but after eight years and a few different incantations, this requires more thought. August 4 was the official eighth birthday for this blog.

8. The news continues to beat on my soul daily, and yours too if you have one, I imagine...the man getting deported to Iraq who has never even been in Iraq and then dying there; the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration services says the inscription on the Statue of Liberty is for people coming from Europe (read: mostly white); republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa in favor of rape and incest because that's how the world population has always been done; and the White House Occupant significantly weakened the Endangered Species Act. Whatever I'm tired of everything. And that is the point. It's easier for me to vent this shit out in Instagram stories, so if you like commentary, find it there. I don't have the words to expound on it in long blog posts anymore - how many times can I write about the inhumanity of people in charge, and the oceans between regular citizens who care and those who don't?

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards:



What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Roundabout by Yes, who I don't even like, but the rules are the song that's on is the song that's in the lyrics
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