Married Life Archives

August 2, 2005

Chinese Jews

08.02.05RB.jpgRise and shine!
Our standing joke the entire trip has been “let’s get an early start,” which has usually meant 11 am – if we were lucky. Well... we finally achieved one: After a quick overnight on our way out of British Columbia at a muddy, mosquito infested RV park with only 15 amps of power, you might say we felt no pull to linger. Tim swore he’d have us out of there by 9 am.

“Oh, ye of little faith” he said to my skeptical look. Yup, that’s me: Yee Orion. From the lost tribe of Asian Jews.

January 26, 2008

Opposites Attract, But Why Should I Suffer?

My fabulous website designer, Steve Bennett of AuthorBytes forwarded this article to me. It's full of exclamation and other silly points about how, even if a couple consists of polar opposites (like Tim and me), they can still enjoy vacationing together at certain resorts with spas, cooking classes and wine for her, but golf, fishing and beer for him.

How lovely for these mythical couples. For us, on the other hand…

Queen: Honey, let’s go to Cabo! I can take a conch cooking lesson [yeah, I know, WTF? But it’s in that stupid article], picnic with tame iguanas [ditto] and you can go deep sea fishing and work on your golf swing!

Consort: I don’t like fishing and I don’t have a golf swing.

Q: Well, I don’t like cooking and I hate bugs.

C: Iguanas aren’t bugs.

Q: Close enough.

C: So, why should we go to Cabo?

Q: What else will we do on vacation?

C: Live on the bus.

Q: That’s why we should go to Cabo.

As an aside, this does remind me that when we were in Death Valley during our bus year, we actually saw a woman taking her iguana for a hike: death%20valley%20iguana%20%28Small%29%20border.JPG I stayed far away from that bug.

January 30, 2008

A Global Mid-Life Crisis?

Last night on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dr. Nancy Snyderman reported on an interesting phenomenon: that no matter where you live in the world, it seems that your happiness takes a dip in mid-life. Apparently, if you make it through this downturn, your happiness then zooms up again to equal what it was in your younger years. A global mid-life crisis. Then, this morning, FOX News' Sheppard Smith reported on the same study. Apparently, in the U.S. this dip occurs for women in their mid-40s, while for men a little later, around 50. But, in general, this is, indeed, a global phenomenon.

It is a small world, after all.

Interesting that they could study this. It has seemed to me that in mid-life, there's a natural tendency to ask, "Is this all there is?" And, if you're dissatisfied with the answer, a drop in happiness ensues for several years, until you can figure it all out.

Tim and I experienced this (both in our 40s - he's always been rather precocious). It's why we did the "bus thing" in the first place. Like many people, until we reached our late 30s, we had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our 40s, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn’t thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, as psychiatrists, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do the "bus thing" now and go back to work later.

Unfortunately, it seems Tim has taken this now scientific phenomenon as "proof" he should buy a Corvette. Since he just turned 50, he figures maybe the bus thing wasn't really his mid-life crisis after all, but if he gets the sports car of his dreams, he can forestall the Big Dip.

It was really pathetic to watch a grown man stare at the TV during Dr. Snyderman's story and plaintively whine, "Corvette... Corvette... Corvette... "

Even more pathetic when he's pining away for his new toy while inside his hugely powerful old one - a 40,000 bus.

January 31, 2008

This Bus Is Trying To Kill Me, Again

Alfred E. Newman has nothing on me.

Today, I had to venture out of the bus (I know you're shocked, but Tim wasn't home) to get something from the bay (since it relates to cat pee, I'll spare you the details).

Understand that when you open the bay doors, they don't just open, but sort of extend upward and swing out. Contrary to what you may think, in spite of my royal status, over the years I've opened them many times (three constitutes "many," right?) So, why I was unprepared for this, I have no idea. Anyway, the door smacked me in the mouth - hard. Hard enough to chip my front tooth. In my designer duds and fetching new grin, this Princess looks like Eva Gabor must have felt on Green Acres. (Oh, great. In addition to looking really weird, I've now totally dated myself. So, why not go for the gusto and debase myself even more? Fine. I'm such a vidiot, I can even tell you the name of little hamlet their farm was in. Ready? Hooterville. Yup.)

I found a dentist, the fabulous Dr. Gerber, to see me right away and he filed it. (He didn't even charge me. I guess he was star struck having royalty in his chair and all.) It's actually not so bad. I can say that now that it's after 5 pm. While I absolutely adhere to "it's always 5 o'clock somewhere," it's just a little harder to justify while we're on the west coast - although not today. (Today though, it's purely medicinal, of course.)

I'm such a klutz. I always have bruises all over my body I have no recollection of getting. With all my black and blue, I'm afraid people will think I'm a battered woman.

I'm not paranoid. Really. I'm not. It's just that, after so many disasters in this bus, so many times of nearly getting killed, not to mention terribly inconvenienced and potentially humiliated (the nudist RV park comes to mind), I really can't be blamed for feeling this rig has it in for me. Maybe it wants Tim all for it - or her - self. After what he said to me after surveying the damage (to his precious bus, not me), she can have him:

"You know, after you chipped your tooth, you didn't actually shut the cargo door. Instead, you forced the latch back down, so now it's bent. Next time make sure the cargo bay door is actually closed before you close the latch." As I've said before about my psychiatrist husband, "He gave at the office." His current retort to that brilliant observation?

"Well, this bus has over 200,000 miles on it, yet it's only when you interacted with them that anything's happened to the bay doors."

Like I said.

Today did remind me, however, of something a bit more compassionate Tim said to me on our trip (this, during a hike in Death Valley, when I became hysterical at the sight of a bug* so disgusting, I still don't know how it can stand itself): "I always say you should get out more, but maybe that's not such a good idea."

I'll drink to that!

*I had originally "mistyped" "bus" instead of "bug." Ya don't need to be a shrink to figure that one out.

February 7, 2008

The Biggest Little City aka Reno 911

This is Morty's new favorite spot while we're moving - ie, snoozing on the "dog bed" up front, right between the driver's and buddy seats. (I wonder why Tim always exclaims, "Another cat picture! Oh, good! We just don't have enough of those.")

On our way to California, we stopped in Reno, NV, where Tim grew up, to visit his family. (Any Reno 911 fans out there? Tim loves his home city. I don’t think he really gets how the show makes fun of it. Or, maybe he’s just in denial. It’s been known to happen.) Since Tim was about to go to the Big House, we treated ourselves to a fabulous steak dinner at Harrah’s Steak House. We were chatting with our waiter, Tony, and discovered that (a ahem certain number of years later) he took over Tim’s boyhood paper route at the Reno Gazette.

I got treated to tons of uproarious biggest little city humor. You know, the kind that’s just so darn cute. (Fortunately, Harrah’s has quite the extensive wine cellar.)

“Didn’t you love trying to hit Mr. Krakowski’s cat when you threw the Sunday edition?” OK. Not really, but that might have been a wee bit more interesting, at least.

It sure is a small, small bus world, though.

Reno provided one more opportunity for nostalgia. On our way out of town, we stopped for gas at Baldini’s, the very same place during the start of our bus year, where the door finally jammed for good (after opening three times at 60 mph our very first day on the road, nearly sucking me out each time) and we had to call a locksmith to open it and save our pets from the sweltering 100 degree heat. He was supposed to stop by our RV park the next day to provide us with a more permanent fix, but never did show up. When I finally called his store, I was told that he had quit.

I guess seeing a grown psychiatrist cry was too much for any man. DSCN0049%20%28Small%29.JPG

February 15, 2008

This Woman Driver (Sort Of)

Litpark posted a wonderfully funny blog entry about her basically (sorry Lit) being a lousy driver. I can relate, because well... I assume I am, too. I say "assume" since I always thought I was a decent enough driver. But since we live in a democracy, I suppose I have to go with the majority opinion here and I've not only heard from my husband often enough how bad I am behind the wheel, but an awful lot of strangers, as well. OK. They don't actually tell me so much as yell it at me. That's why I never have driven our bus. Oh, no. Instead, I'm the navagator (or, as Tim likes to call me, "Nagavator") which frankly, is almost as insane as having me drive.

I have no sense of direction and I can't read a map. So why does the Captain have me consult Rand on a regular basis? (Rand’s a little anal for my tastes, anyway. Reading all those little numbers along all the superfluous squiggly lines can be blinding.) Instead, once when he wanted me to figure out how far we were from a campground, I found the distance scale. Fifteen miles was about the size of a knuckle. Five knuckles later, I offered, quite satisfied with myself, “OK. Five times fifteen is seventy-five. But it’s really a little less than a knuckle length, so . . . we could be anywhere from forty to seventy-five miles away.” Tim rolled his eyes. Just then I spotted the “Mileage Between Cities” chart at the top of the page. Why hadn’t Rand made this more obvious? Like I was supposed to figure out that buried in all this map stuff was actual useful information. (Sometimes I think Rand is just showing off. No one likes a braggart, buster!)

“Oops!” I chuckled.

“How much more is it?” the Captain sighed.

“Actually, we’re only twenty-two miles away. Guess knuckles aren’t the best way to measure.”

“Apparently not yours.”

February 24, 2008

Bye Bye, Modesto! (Don't think this hasn't been fun.)

We're sprung from this hell hole!

We're leaving today after being parked for nearly three months while Tim worked in psych hospital. (Our longest ever in one spot and it had to be here? He couldn't find a nice little assignment in San Francisco? As even a local commented when I complained about the dearth of RV parks in this area, "Well, why would anyone want to visit Modesto?" Even Tim's coworkers at the hospital kept wondering, "You came to... Modesto?")

Lest you think I exaggerate, Forbes recently decreed Modesto "One Of the Top Ten Most Miserable Cities in America."

Of course, before leaving any place (even a miserable one), we must have some drama...


Our internet satellite (the thingy with an arm on top of our bus that points to the planet of the alien race plotting to take over the Earth, but is kind of enough to provide me with internet in the meantime) can be deployed as long as the wind is less than 70 mph. Last night, we were supposed to get gusts up to that much, so I reeled it in. (Sounds impressive? It is. I assure you I know which button to push without breaking a nail.) The park manager told me they’ve had trailers tip over in the past in these high winds and suggested we might want to move to a different, less exposed spot. Tim said no – he was in the middle of cooking dinner and it would take him an hour to unhook, rehook and get us settled. He explained we're extremely bottom heavy (don't worry, he'll be suitably punished for that - he has to sleep sometime) and besides, he just cranked the engine to recharge the bus battery, so our air bags were full. Air bags??? We’re going to rely on airbags???

We did survive the night upright, but I was quite cold. What else is new? I’m always cold (unless it's summer; then I’m too warm). Tim, on the other hand, seems to have no trouble whatsoever maintaining his body heat year-round. He can’t believe how I squander mine. (He says I'm lazy down to a cellular level.) Adding insult to injury, as I’m getting older, I almost never stay in bed all night. Gotta get up to have me a royal pee. Last night, Tim had to as well. Being the gentleman he is, he let me go first. I repaid his generosity by leaping back into bed, honing in on his heat signature like a glutton-guided missile. I giggled in delight, reveling in the warmth he'd so foolishly left behind for me to suck up. When he got back into bed, he insisted on retaking his spot.

“But, I don’t have heat on my side,” I protested. He replied, “I doubt you have a soul, either.”

Well, I guess we're not quite sprung, yet. As always, we planned to get an early start. And, as always, some disaster (other than my need for beauty sleep) got in the way. We hadn't quite figured in all the rain this area has gotten in the last three months. Our bus is stuck in the mud. We're waiting for the "wrecker" to get us out.

If someone had told me back when I was a perfectly content little Princess From The Island of Long that my coronation to Queen of the Long Narrow Aisle would involve "wreckers," "mud," "trailer parks," or for that matter, (oh, god) buses, I would have said, "Honey, you can keep the crown. I'll take the Crown Plaza, instead."

Here he comes. No internet in motion - I'll post from our next stop, Morro Bay.

If our bus makes it.

April 7, 2008

Miss Four Seasons? Play Some Vivaldi.


After all my ranting about Modesto, I was a bit embarrassed when, during the first snow since our arrival back home, I had the fleeting thought, "What was so bad about Modesto, anyway?"

My newest BBFF, Katie Schwartz (she's a riot with a book coming soon. Check out her blog.) were commiserating that our particular tribe does not do well in the snow. Which made me recall...

We moved to Colorado from Tucson in 1993. I had instigated the move because I "missed the four seasons." (Watching needles fall off cacti every fall just wasn't doing it for me.) Our very first week here, we were on I-25 at night in January, during a WICKED snowstorm - cars were spinning out into the shoulder. Tim turned to me and said, "I hope you're enjoying your four seasons."

See? Even my lovely hubby is capable of some snark.

April 27, 2008

My Least Favorite Pair of Shoes


Ah, the "great" outdoors.

Tim took me on a hike today. Well, that's what happens when you get older, you forget stuff, ya know? Like what happened the last time he took me on a hike (which would have been on Sitka, AK during our bus year. Suffice it to say, that expedition shall forever be known as The Great Alaskan Death March.)

(Miles and me on Sitka. We're beaming because my whining just induced Tim to agree to turn back. I know what you're all thinking: "But, you've never looked so happy!" Well, yeah. I said this was taken at the precise moment we stopped. And, by the way: my editor agreed with you, because that's my author photo.)

As Tim gets even older, I suppose he'll be immune to my pleas, what with being able to turn off his hearing aide and all. If a princess whines in the wilderness and her consort can't hear her... did she even agree to go on the damn hike in the first place?

In this royal's case, not so much.

What did possess me to go? I do try to grace Tim with my presence on these things at least once a year just to remind us both why I don't go more often. And, truth be told, I did make the mistake of complaining that I was getting bored with my usual workout; daily treadmill in front of TV. Yes, I do "interval training" where I jack up the speed every few minutes just to fool my body into thinking I'm actually exerting myself. But, still. Ugly Betty has been on hiatus, The Bachelor's current crop of contestants are the most vapid in years (vapid's usually highly entertaining, but this season proves even vapidity has its limits). And, American Idol, well, don't get me started. Oh, all right. I think it's a measure of the show's lack of impact this season that it was only when I watched it yesterday while working out I discovered Carly'd been booted off. Where is Rock Star when you need it?

So, I agreed to the hike. After clearing out the cobwebs from my hiking boots, figuring out the best outfit (D: But, you said to layer! T - I didn't mean a sweater set) we were off.

Well, not quite. This particular hike usually takes Tim an hour when he's solo, so he never bothers to bring anything. For this auspicious occasion, he found it necessary to inform me (with considerable glee I might add) what he was carrying in his pack: Moleskin ("in case you blister your feet"), a space blanket ("in case you injure yourself and I have to keep you warm so you don't go into shock"), waterproof matches ("in case I have to build a signal fire for the rescuers to find you when I have to go get help when you injure yourself ").

You get the idea.

He continued his helpful commentary on the first steep slope.

"Wow. You're doing much better than I thought you would." I informed him that I should hope so, since part of my treadmill routine included 10 minutes of 3.5 mph walking on the steepest incline. He was impressed, if a tad disappointed, as in, "Gee. I thought this was going to be more entertaining." Then, a couple ambled toward us with Styrofoam coffee cups in their hands. Tim couldn't resist stopping them to ask, "Hey! How far is it to the Starbucks at the top?" The couple laughed uproariously. I didn't get the joke. There's a Starbucks everywhere, isn't there? You don't suppose...

It was just then I remembered actually doing this very hike with him some years ago with Miles. I still recalled how I balked when I saw that very steep incline, as Tim raced ahead with the poodle. After a few steps, Miles turned around and waited for me. I reminded Tim of this, saying, "He and I were looking at each other like, 'Are you going? I'm not going if you're not going. Let's just wait for the crazy man, here.'" Tim had a slightly different take on the incident.

"Miles assumed you'd come up lame and wanted to stay with you."

What does my husband want from me, anyway?

When we did reach the top (no establishments for refreshment of any kind, I might add), several cars were parked at the overlook. Tim pointed out a woman sitting in the passenger seat of one of them, while her husband ventured out for a peek.

"Look! She likes interacting with the outdoors the same way you do."

Yeah, there were nice views. But I think doing this more than every couple of weeks would get even more boring than my treadmill routine.

At least I can change the channel.

Seriously, for the outdoors inclined amongst you, can anyone explain to me? What's so "great" about the "great outdoors"?

May 26, 2008

Don't Put Off Your Dreams

In anticipation of QUEEN OF THE ROAD being published in one (GULP!) week, I thought I would post some excerpts with lessons learned.

When my long-dreaded thirtieth birthday arrived, I really wasn't as upset as I imagined I'd be, for I had achieved a much more important milestone: my sartorial centennial. I owned one hundred pairs of shoes. Then, at age forty-four, I found myself trying to cram a mere half that number into a living space of 340 square feet.

The whole thing was Tim's fault.

When he announced he wanted to travel around the country in a converted bus for a year, I gave this profound and potentially life-altering notion all the thoughtful consideration it deserved.

"Why can't you be like a normal husband with a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" I demanded, adding, "I will never, ever, EVER, not in a million years, live on a bus."

Something less than a million years later, as we prepared to roll down the road in our fully outfitted, luxury bus, it occurred to me that Tim had already owned a Corvette, long ago when he was far too young for a midlife crisis. While I pondered who he might be seeing on the side (and whether his having an affair might prove less taxing than living in a metallic phallus on wheels), I wedged and stuffed – and, oh my GOD! bent – the cutest little Prada mules you've ever seen into my "closet," which was really not a closet at all, but much more resembled the cubbyhole I'd been assigned many pre-shoe-obsession years ago at Camp Cejwin. How had I let myself go from "never ever" to..this? Both Tim and I are shrinks, but he's obviously the better one. It took him five years, yet he whittled down my resolve, no doubt with some fancy, newfangled brainwashing technique ripped out of one of our medical journals before I could get to it.

So, here is the first and one of the most important lessons we learned from "the bus thing": Don't put off your dreams. Tim finally convinced me by explaining, "This is just something I really want to do – while we're young and can still enjoy it. I've done everything right all my life, the way I was supposed to do it. Now I want something for me. And I want it with you."

I realized even then that he had a point. Like many people, until we reached our late thirties, Tim and I had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our forties, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn't thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do this now and go back to work later. For most people, it takes some terrible catalyst to change their lives. We're living proof that it doesn't have to be that way. We don't have to wait. We can change our lives NOW. And, it doesn't have to be something as drastic as taking an entire year off. That happened to work for us, but the bus is a really a metaphor; everyone can find their own "inner bus" whether it's taking an adult education class in something they've always wanted to learn about, volunteering in their communities, or rekindling an old interest that went by the wayside years ago.

What would your inner bus be?

Next, another important thing we learned: Don't let the spark die.

(This is from the first chapter of QUEEN OF THE ROAD: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus With a Will of Its Own, that's going to be published June 3rd by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House. You can read the full chapter, see pictures from our trip, videos, podcasts and a lot of other fun stuff on my jam-packed website,

May 29, 2008

Don't Let The Spark Die

The Nudist RV Park

Although I protested as long as I could, my husband and I did eventually hit the road in our bus with our two querulous cats, sixty-pound dog - and no agenda. So, another important thing we learned on our year-long adventure was: Don't let the spark die. It's crucial to keep challenging and stretching oneself. My pre-bus life had been so comfortable - too comfortable, in fact. It had become rote and routine. During our bus year, we actually became grateful not only for the adventures, but the disasters, as well (fire, flood, armed robbery, my developing a bus phobia and finding ourselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few) because they helped rekindle that spark. We are afforded amazing opportunities in our country, and we all work very hard to achieve our goals, yet often we get there and feel like there’s something missing. If you're asking yourself, "Is this all there is?" Maybe you need to get on that bus - in whatever form it takes.

June 1, 2008

Spend Time With The People You Love

(First, a pause for another video: The Meltdown Cruise.

It, along with the Nudist RV park, are on my website, More videos to come.)

Another important lesson we learned is that all that really matters is spending time with the people you love. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? And, while it's true that in traveling around the country through 47 states (including Alaska), we met incredibly diverse and unique people, we also found that we all had one thing in common: Wanting to love and be loved. Yet, that's not what most spend their time doing. We had been guilty of that, as well.

On the bus, we learned how crucial it is to downsize and simplify our lives so that we don't end up supporting a lifestyle filled with things instead of people and experiences. Although Tim and I are polar opposites, I think that's partly why we have so much fun together - even if it's doing something that might not turn out as planned.

By now, you know that the out-of-doors is not exactly my thing. Well, after meeting a remarkable man of the bush in tiny Wrangell, Alaska, I decided that if he could live for days in a tree in the rain along the river hunting moose, the least I could do was try hiking, again. Tim was thrilled . . . until we hiked. For it was on Sitka's Harbor Mountain that we took what I would come to term The Alaskan Death March. Although even I had to admit the scenery was spectacular (ocean, islands, distant peaks, yada yada) the lack of an escalator on the steep climb nearly did me in. And why should I suffer alone?

So I devised the Five Stages of Getting Grief from Hiking with Doreen: Denial ("We're not going all the way up there, are we?"); Anger ("I can't believe I let you take me on this stupid hike!"); Bargaining ("If we stop now, I'll have the energy to do another hike tomorrow. Really, I promise!"); Despair ("Oh, why did I ever let you talk me into anything over three miles?"); Acceptance ("Fine. But this is absolutely, positively, the last hike I will ever go on for the rest of my life!") Recalling a disappointing hike through a rainforest we had taken two weeks before, I felt compelled to add a sixth stage, one which only occurs in extreme circumstances, at a perfect storm of elevation gain, accumulated mileage, mud and bugs: Confabulation ("Look at the dog! You're killing him!"). Finally, when I nagged enough to make even Tim agree to quit, I clutched the poodle to celebrate, beaming as I attempted to reinforce the wisdom of my husband's capitulation.

"I'm so glad you didn't make me continue to the top. This way, I could actually enjoy how beautiful it was. I'd even do it again."

"Really?" Tim retorted. "I wouldn't."

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about our extraordinary journey. It you want to learn more (or just have some laughs) please visit for pictures of our trip, more videos and podcasts, book tour appearances and events, as well as the entire first chapter. If you do stop by my website, please be sure to click on the "Share a Thought" link. I'd love to hear from you.

June 12, 2008

Love At A Nudist RV Park

Now I have your attention! But, that really is the title of my Huffington Post article which ran today.

And, if you want to see my video of this incident (now, I REALLY have your attention), please go to my website, and click on the (yes, we're nude) picture of me and Tim in front of our bus on the left on the homepage.

July 13, 2008

I Went To New York and Although You Don’t Even Get A Lousy T-Shirt, At Least the Internet Didn’t Explode!

Last week, Tim and I traveled (unfortunately, not by bus, but via United Airlines - gee, our bus never charged us for baggage) to New York. The most important thing I learned was that you can actually meet people you’ve developed a relationship with online and the internet won’t explode or anything! Who knew? (So, why didn’t you tell me? I would have done this way before now. Thanks a lot, people!)

While in New York, we stayed at Chez Orion in Queens. I’d highly recommend it, except you can’t get room service – unless you travel with your own personal “man” like I always do. (Look, most royals have several mans. I just make do with the one, OK?)

While there, we took an Amtrak train (yes, Tim was in heaven)...


... to Philadelphia to have dinner with Polly Kahl and Robin Altman:


Robin is a gifted comedian (that’s why I hate her – it’s really not because of her shoes, which I still think are inferior to mine, although that’s small consolation) doing stand-up at Helium that night and I just had to see her perform.

(That's Robin about to go on.)

If you ever get a chance to see her do stand-up, I’d highly recommend it.

Us 3 Shrinks

Polly, a therapist, has just completed a memoir and is going to start the whole agent search thing, soon. (If that won’t make you hire your own therapist, I don’t know what will. Too bad Robin doesn’t see adults.) She’s a wonderful writer. (Again, not so much with the shoes which is probably why we got along so well.)

(That's Polly and me, pondering the Meaning Of Life as only therapists can. We decide it's imponderable, and drown our sorrows in our minimums waiting for Robin to go on.)

Thus bolstered by the knowledge that the internet wouldn’t necessarily explode if virtual friends met in the flesh, I took a huge risk on behalf of the entire universe and met seven (count ‘em, seven) women I’d only known online before last week. (And no, taking a chance like that with all your lives wasn’t presumptuous at all – it’s something royals do all the time, we just don’t tell you about it, so deal with it.)

First, I met my agent, the fabulous Mollie Glick, as well as her associates for subrights at the Jean V. Naggar Agency (who also have their own clients), Jessica Regel (Jessica, I’d change that second “e” to an “a” if I were you) and Jennifer Weltz.

(Jessica, Jennifer, me and Mollie.)

Mollie and I then headed to The Eatery in Hell’s Kitchen, to meet with my fabulous Queen Team at Broadway Books, editor (and just promoted to editor-in-chief) Stacy Creamer, Marketing Manager, Julie Sills and publicist, Ellen Folan. We had a wonderful, long lunch and I even got to learn some personal things about them. (And, no. I won’t be dishing, here. What do you want from me? I want to write another book.)

Stacy, me, Julie and Ellen.

Finally, I tempted fate yet again, by meeting fellow blogger, author and all-around gorgeous gal (well, OK. I’m only gorgeous if you squint just right), Ann Leary, whose wonderful, witty novel, Outtakes From A Marriage was published the same day as Queen of the Road. We met at a French pastry shop on the Upper East Side and she made me try a fabulous puff of a chocolate thing – I may never forgive her for that, as I guarantee, I’ll never be able to find one in Boulder. Just as well, because between that and the gelato shop we discovered near Chez Orion, well… let’s just say I won’t be going to another nudist RV park anytime, soon.

(Notice I "forgot" to have a picture taken of Ann and me. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, but not when you have to stand next to gorgeous her.)

On our last day in the Big Apple, I did my usual rounds of signing stock at various bookstores. This is the only place I've ever been asked for ID before signing books. I'm not kidding. I told the gal, "I'll do you one better" and flipped to my author photo:


In case she didn't quite get the resemblance, I added, "I'm the one on the right."

Finally, we met my cousin, Doug (who, although mentioned in Queen of the Road, still talks to me. Well, he's always been too nice of a guy) in the city to see an Off-Broadway musical, Adding Machine. It won tons of awards and got great reviews. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but I think not: It sucked. (Look, I'm not a critic, just a writer, so that's all I can say.)

The second it was over, Doug leaned over to me and said, "I guess I'll have to be making this up to you for a long time." (We're a Jewish family. He knows how we operate.) Fortunately for Doug, Tim's from Reno: He liked it.

July 16, 2008

Elle Magazine Review Fit For A Queen

First, excerpts from the review (then the backstory) in the August issue (which just came out while I was in New York):

"Beneath its fun and frothy exterior, you'll find in this wild ride across America's highways and byways a lovely portrait of a marriage that treats its ups and downs with humor and grace."


"Orion regales us with Americana of all sorts as she chronicles her journey with laugh-out-loud-funny tales of the many bus mishaps and unusual situations she and her husband encounter in their year on the road. Best of all, though, is watching her transformation from a materialistic couch potato into someone who learns to appreciate experiencing life to its fullest."

Back in April, when my publisher told me that QUEEN OF THE ROAD had been selected by the book editor of Elle Magazine as as a Readers’ Jury pick for the month of August, I thought it was a big deal. I mean, why wouldn't one?

Indeed. Unless, of course, the "one" were my husband. When I informed the Royal Consort about this honor being bestowed upon his Sovereign and Wife, he screwed up his face and asked, "L Magazine? What is that, a lesbian thing?"

The dear man had never heard of Elle. Well. We, of course, promptly set him, er... straight on that score. And, We could not resist adding, "My publicist is still pitching the lesbian magazines. But, they're slow and like to take their time."

July 22, 2008

My Goy Wonder

As I do more and more book groups for QUEEN OF THE ROAD (I'll post about them later this week), a common theme seems to be emerging: The women are in love with Tim. Really. (I mean, really?) This is not something I have to use my keen powers of shrinky observation to discern. Nope. They tell me this straight out. One even went so far as to warn me to be wary (of her? other throngs of bookish women?) Oh, please. My husband isn't a normal man with normal desires (the occasional nudist RV park notwithstanding). To wit: I fear his next hare-brained scheme is that we live on a boat. (Yeah, it sounds romantic, but we know nothing about boats.) What's my proof? I've recently caught him surfing sailboat sites on the net. Why, oh why can't I have a normal husband who just surfs for porn?

Not enough for ya? OK, ladies. Let's see whatcha think of Mr. Perfect, now:

Last night, Tim and I had some bites at one of our favorite spots. He ordered lobster and because he's so perfect, offered some to me, even though he knows I won't eat it. (Although I gave up keeping kosher long ago, I still can't do the lobster thing - I just don't see the appeal of having my dinner stare at me while I dismember it.) Usually, that's the end of the interaction, but for some reason, last night he queried further.

"So, what exactly is gefilte fish?" He asked. We've been together nearly 20 years, have gone to almost that number of Passover Sedars, and now he's asking? I explained it's fish ground with eggs and flour or matzoh, molded into oblong shapes, usually served in a jellied broth. (At least the way my family buys 'em.)

"Really?" He asked, dipping that other white meat into a luscious turine of warm butter. "And you call yourselves the 'Chosen People'"?

Fine. He's perfect - and funny.

Thanks so much for your support.

September 4, 2008

More on Our Birthday Fortnight (If You Don't Like It - Get Your Own Blog)

On the Actual Day (Sunday), we headed to Prospect for dinner (not in our bus, but in my convertable Saab, which Tim is ashamed to be seen in, let alone drive - isn't Our Royal Birthday fabulous?) Prospect, just outside of Longmont (yeah, I know that clarifies it for you), is billed as Colorado's first New Urbanist community. Whatever. I thought it was kinda cute in a Prisoner-meets-Deadwood kinda way. (Ah, dating myself with the former - how apropos during my bday fortnight.) We half-expected to see a giant white ball bouncing down the streets before it was deflated by a shotgun blast. (Patrick McGoohan, are you taking notes? If not, "Be seeing you." Oh, don't say it. I'm pathetic.)

What do you think?


Now, here's a street I could live on:


After dinner, we returned to the castle, where We changed into Our usual attire...


Other Royally celebratory activities this week include:

As if they haven't already done enough for this Royal, Celestial Seasonings has posted the QUEEN OF THE ROAD webcast We did at their fabulous tour center a few weeks ago. Even if you don't want to see it, go on over to get the winning entries to their QUEEN OF THE ROAD tea-tini contest. (They look quite delectable - can't wait for Sir Tim to make them.) This is what it looked like when we recorded it:


That's Bob Kennedy with the camera.

Do check out and sign up for the Celestial Seasonings Adventure At Every Turn Book Club. Obviously, they take great care in their selections!

Finally, Jerry WAXLER (sorry, Sir Jer), posted yet another glowing tribute (is there any other kind?) to Your Queen's missive on his blog.

The Queen Father (is that what they're called?) also had a birthday this week, as will the Queen Cousin (now, I know something's wrong in this case with that one), Doug, in 2 weeks. So, happy birthday Dad and happy birthday-to-be Doug! Enjoy these 19 days a year in which we are the exact same age. You're turning 50, right? Meow.

September 18, 2008

Sex in RV Parks

(I was going to call this post, "Dear Abby Don't Know Nothin' 'Bout RVs," but realized I wanted people to read it.)

One of my dear readers (yes, I actually have some of those - OK, one. Geez.), send me this recent Dear Abby column:

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our early 50s and starting to spend a lot of time traveling in our RV and staying in RV parks and campgrounds.

My question is about sex. With everyone so close, how do folks handle this? -- TWO FOR THE ROAD

DEAR T FOR THE R: I searched frantically for my manual on sex etiquette in RV communities, but seem to have misplaced it. However, to the best of my recollection, the way to "handle it" would be to find a spot to park your RV some distance away from the other vehicles, keep the windows shut and try to keep your voices down.

Maybe my next book should be a manual on sex etiquette in RV communities, because Abby, you got it wrong. You've obviously never been in an RV park. You usually can't just "find a spot." You're assigned one. Even if you pick the one you want, "some distance away from the other vehicles" is rarely an option - that's what everyone wants. So, even if you manage to ah... score such a sweet spot... someone else is likely to park close by before long.

And, I hope you didn't mean that T FOR THE R should just pull up stakes whenever the moment feels right in order to find an out-of-the-way cement pad. Real romantic, Abby. Besides, you gotta (OK, Tim gotta) unhook the water, electric and sewer (Ooooh! Bottle and sell that aphrodesiac potential), turn on the engine and go. That's all far noisier than any motorhome moaning (for most of us, anyway - and if you're the exception, could I interview you for that RV sex ettiquette book?). Frankly, I've stayed in some dive motels with shared walls thinner than an RVs - and I guarentee you our neighbors could not have cared less about the noise they made.

On a related note, during one of the first radio interviews I did for QUEEN OF THE ROAD, the host asked, "How do you have sex in an RV?" (It was an LA radio station, natch.) I told him we had a queen-sized bed and countertops in the kitchen, just like we do at home. Can you say, "moron"? Good. I bet he can't.

So, what would be my advice for T FOR THE R? It's a little snarkier than some others' might be (What do you want from me?): Relax, hon. When most people are cocooned in their rigs for the night, they've got the TV on. And, even if they figure out what's going on in yours, I doubt they'd be shocked - unless you arrive at the campground in a nun's habit. And even then....

For everyone else in the RV park, just remember: if it's rockin', don't bother knockin'.

September 24, 2008

Tim's Demented Aunt and Jim's Unit

Tim was gone most of last week, visiting his buddy Jim at some God-forsaken cabin Jim's sister and her husband are building in Westcliff, Colorado. It's not even actually in Westcliff. That would probably be too civilized for them.

Linda and Joe are truly off-the-grind kinda people. They work when they have to (as engineers at a major tech firm), just so they don't have to work - like, terribly much. That's why they're building this thing (and I do mean they are building it) as a summer home in that God-forsaken place.

When Jim first invited Tim down for a visit, I called his wife, Lisa, who happens to be a close friend of mine, as well.

"Lisa! Let's also meet there. It'll be great to see you!" I exclaimed.

"Uh... Doreen," she stammered. "I-I don't think you realize what this place is like." She went on to explain that it's beyond rustic. So much so, that she's never even been there. Like, they just got indoor plumbing. They use solar power, so essentially freeze at night - well, there is the wood-burning stove for the entire thing. They're so far from anywhere, in fact, they only go to the supermarket once a month.

"OK, Lisa. I really want to see you - but not that much," I conceded.

"Me, too."

Jim takes his RV to the cabin when he drives from their home in Prescott, Arizona to visit Linda and Joe. He calls his rig his "unit."


He and Tim slept in it.


This is why they didn't sleep in the cabin:




The morning Tim left me at home, he said good-bye with a concerned look on his face.

"OK, Sweetie. I did the laundry, so you should have clean underwear. The dishes in the dishwasher are also clean - I just ran it last night. I gassed up your car, so you've got a full tank. There's - "

"You know, it's not like you're leaving your demented aunt alone for the week." He shot me a dubious look.

"Fine." I continued. "So how come you didn't hire a sitter?" His face lit up.

"You think there's still time?"


When Tim got home, the first thing he noticed was that the electric blanket was on the bed.

"You used the electric blanket?" You would think he knows me well enough after nearly 20 years not be incredulous about my inability to maintain any modicum of body heat - even while it was still officially summer.

"The bed just wouldn't warm up without you in it." He shook his head and gave me a look of despair.

"That's because you have no soul."

Very nice.

The second thing he noticed is that I was in my PJs. It was 4 pm. (Those of you who know me know it was most definitely not because I had gotten ready for bed early.)

But, something was amiss.

“Sweetie, is your nightgown inside out?” I looked down.

“Yeah. I guess it is,” I shrugged.

“Sweetie, PLEASE take it off and turn it right. It’s bad enough if people see you in it all day, but if it’s inside out, they’ll start offering to help me toilet and feed you.”

Very, very nice.

Finally, that night, we saw on TV it was something called "National Stay at Home Week." They pay someone to think up this stuff? I proudly proclaimed, "See? I'm ahead of my time." Tim, recalling that the gas gauge on my car still indicated, "full" upon his return, rolled his eyes.

''Only a week? Amateurs."

November 12, 2008

Livin' Just Enough, Just Enough for the Cit-ay!

That's Crescent City, California, folks! And, even more accurately (sorry Stevie), let's substitute "surviving" for "living." We'll get most accurate at the end of the next paragraph.

How could I have neglected to tell you anything about the place we're parked for the next couple of months while Tim does his time? Well, if you were here, you'd know. Perhaps our nickname for the place will give you a clue, "Crescent Shitty." Or, when we're feeling particularly affectionate toward our home away from home, simply, "The Shitty."

Why in the world, then, should you keep reading about this place? Look at it this way: The more you learn, the less likely you'll ever feel the need to come here yourselves. That's a good thing. Trust me.

Granted, the beaches are gorgeous. If you simply stared out at the ocean all day, you might forget you're actually "in the shitty." But, you've got to turn around, not to mention actually go to town, sometime. Poor you. Or us, as the case may be.

Herewith, some Shitty highlights (or lowlights - you decide):

Since there's a harbor with, you know, boats and everything, I had been looking forward to eating loads of fresh fish. Thing is, you can't buy fresh fish at any store in town - not even the (two) grocery stores. The only way to get fresh fish is right from the fishermen themselves, but they won't filet it for you. Believe me - I asked. The grocery stores are another issue - the nicest one in town is 23 miles up the coast in Brookings, Oregon.

Ah, the harbor. The lighthouse's fog horn sounds every 7 seconds. Every 7 seconds. All day, every day. 7 seconds. It's like Chinese water torture.

As the subtitle of my books says, I have approximately 200 pairs of shoes, although I regularly wear maybe four. I like admiring the rest on my shelf - like works of art - but I haven’t bought new shoes in ages. I thought I’d been “cured” of that particular obsession while living on the bus. But, in Crescent City, I bought my first pair in a very long time: Waders. At Wal-mart. Oh, Queen of the Road, how far hast thou fallen?

Last year while we were here, I saw this Elephant Seal on the beach by our rig:


She seemed to be in distress (even more so than one would expect simply being in The Shitty), so I went to the RV park's office. They said not to worry, "she's just molting." Hmm. This Queen has always believed one should molt behind closed doors but, oh, well. Kids these days. The marine center said she’d come all the way from Alaska, and was headed to the Faulkland Islands to… hook up. I turned to the seal and gave her some free psychiatrist advice (which, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for), "Honey, there are perfectly nice seals next door in the harbor. But, if you insist, I hope he’s worth it." (Clearly, this seal has no sense if she stopped here to pick up a new coat. She should have gone just a little ways down the coast to the Nordstrom in San Francisco. Good luck finding anything nice here in The Shitty.)

It has been way too long since I got my hair done in Boulder - including weeks of ungodly humidity. As I observed when we were in Arkansas - which looks positively cosmopolitan compared to this place - think Hindenberg disaster - “Oh the humidity!” Tim wasn't crazy about my new look either, but as I always say, why did he marry a Jewish woman if not to be disappointed every day of his miserable life? I found this salon (notice it’s conveniently located on the fishing harbor). I think I’ll just wait until we get home.


No Scissors 'R' Us for this royal. What do you want from me?

One plus is that in nice weather (so, every few weeks), Tim and I walk on the beach. I love watching the pelicans skim the water (Pelican Bay has pelicans! Who knew?), but some kind of seagull flock recently got to town. They are decidedly less enchanting. Prior to our last walk, I had just washed my hair. The seagulls kept flying overhead.

"You better not poop on my hair" I called, more than once, eyeing the sky warily.

"Keep looking up and it won't be your hair you get it in," Tim snickered. Told you he's evil.

Unfortunately, the pelicans are soon migrating south, so we'll only be left with the seagulls. Tim lamented that fact, saying, "Even a bird-brain knows to get out of The Shitty for the winter."

On the plus side, we can walk to Turf Club (although do we really want to?):


Tim thought maybe we should give it a try. Feeling scatalogical (what else is new?), I commented they should change the "f" to a "d".

Tim said, "I don't think anyone will notice." He has a point.

Anyone have a nomination for Worst Shitty?

November 15, 2008

Field Trip!

We just had to get out of The Shitty.

And, look: I don't mean to insult anyone - this time - but one of Tim's prison coworkers tells us he and his wife refer to The Shitty as "Oklahoma By The Sea."

So... FIELD TRIP! But, since it was raining (what else is new? Let's just assume that's the default position in these here parts. I'll send out a bulletin and alert the news media when there's some sun) where else could we decide to head but... caves. The Oregon Caves, to be exact.

I (well, OK, Tim) dug out my hiking boots from the bay. Then, he shook them out for me. I figured there might be spiders inside - the cobwebs were a good clue. When I didn't put them on, but instead, wore my slip on sneakers for the car ride, he started to ask why, but then figured it out for himself. I hate wearing shoes, so always take them off in the car. Or, as Tim so eloquently put it, "You're too lazy to lace up your shoes more than once today."

So, what does a Royal wear when gracing the caves with Her presence? For some reason, Tim thought this outfit was noteworthy. I really don't get why, especially as I can attest to the fact he was the only one laughing.


The cave tour took about an hour-and-a-half. Half-way through, they pointed out an entryway that was used when the caves were first explored by tourists early in the last century. Since they didn't have the clear path we did, getting to the point we had would have taken them hours. Besides, our helpful Park Ranger said, the best, most beautiful, interesting part of the cave was yet to come!

Well, good, 'cause it hadn't been any of that up until then. Really, why couldn't we have lopped off the uninteresting part of the tour and just started right there? Tim anticipated this excellent question by clamping a hand over my mouth. Geez.

Here. Judge for yourself:


Oh, OK. I'll judge for you: Nice, sure. But for an hour-and-a-half?

Of course, Tim was entranced with the whole thing. I was more entranced by the idiocy of one of our intrepid little band. When the ranger asked, "So, how do you think the first explorers made sure they could find their way out of this maze?" A young man I would guess to be about twenty, answered, "Cookies." I kid you not. He thought they left trails of cookies. Tim had to clamp his hand over my mouth, again.

Tim, of course, knew the answer and called out, "String." Smarty Pants. Later in the tour, the Ranger asked some other, utterly factoidinating question of the group. This time, perhaps so as not to repeat the cookie debacle, no one answered. I hissed to Tim, "I suppose you know the answer to that one, too." The Ranger reminded us to not whisper, as it might disturb the bats.

I ducked.

The final question was posed when we entered one "room". Mr. Ranger-who-has-been-at-this-job-for-over-a-decade-but-still-apparently-knows-so-little-he-has-to-posit-questions-to-Cookie-Man, asked, "So what fruit do you think this room is named for?" Cookie Man answered, "Carrots." Ranger guy retorted (and none too gently, to his credit), "I said, 'fruit.'" (If anyone cares, it looked like bananas. But, really, why would you? It's not like bananas are so exotic you can't see real ones any time you like, so who gives a crap about seeing imitation ones you have to be prompted to know what you're looking at, anyway.)

Obviously, I don't get why everyone oohed and ahhed over this stuff. Especially for an hour-and-a-half. Really. Five minutes would have been enough. For all you nature lovers who disagree, explain this to me: Why is it, if nature is so wonderful, that you always feel the need to anthropomorphize it into decidedly unnatural, more familiar things? For example, the Ranger delighted (and everyone, especially Cookie Man, which should tell you something) loved the formations that looked like a wedding cake, and another, a Freddie Kruger mask.


I don't have to tell you what this one looks like, do I? We're not talkin' Rorschach, here.

Why is something "natural" so much more intriguing when it looks like something man-made? If you want to see a wedding cake, go to a bakery.

And send me some cookies while you're at it, in case I get lost in a cave.

At least I had the consolation of wine tasting afterwards:


We happened upon Foris winery and Minerva was kind enough to profer samples. Apparently, the Wall Street Journal did a story on one of their wines, recently, and they've been innundated with orders. (Hint: They ship.) Try the port and semi-sparkling. Trust me. You know you should.

(And, if you're wondering why my hair looks as wild as the wild river, see my previous post - and, deal with it! I have to. And, why should I suffer alone?)

December 29, 2008

The Pyramid of Poop or Why I'll Never RV Without My Husband

Tim had put off emptying the "black water" tank (for all my non-RVing readers, I'd explain this, but do you really want to know?), as the weather has been (what else) horrible for a week. When he finally opened the valve, instead of hearing the expected (and welcome) sound of rushing water, he was met with a most ominous silence: The solids had apparently settled out, as they are wont to do. (Again, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, just be thankful I'm granting a Royal Reprieve and allowing you to remain ignorant.) Tim knew he was facing that most dreaded of RV mishaps (yes, even worse than finding oneself in a nudist RV park) - the "black water shower." (Sorry. Now, you most certainly understand. Maybe I should have warned you not to read this around meal time.)

By total coincidence, I had just been on an RV forum and read an article about the Pyramid of Poop (thinking, "Thank goodness that's never happened to us!") which advised (now, I'm really sorry. Really.) stirring through the toilet drain to loosen the plug. After attempting this with the crank from our awning (as suggested in the article), Tim discovered that, unfortunately, our drain is L-shaped and therefore did not provide for a straight shot.

There would be no stirring solution. Obviously, this was a job for Project Nerd: Domestic Superhero.

But, what's a Project Nerd to do? Why, go outside to hover in the vicinity of the tankful of poop for inspiration, of course. And, inspiration struck, indeed! PN realized he could pull the end of the sewer hose out of its drain, then hold it above his head (there's that physics for majors thing, again), thus backfilling the entire system with a column of water. With admirable PN alacrity, he replaced the hose back into the drain. The water cascading out of the hose created suction, pulling the clog through the pipe and draining the tank.

The dreaded Pyramid of Poop was thusly avoided.

Anyone out there think that was a useful nugget? Groan.

January 18, 2009

We Get Lubed

Since we were in the neighborhood, we figured we'd head out to Mira Loma (near San Bernardino), to get our bus serviced. We needed it lubed and oiled and just generally checkout out. Mira Loma is one of five cities in the country that has a Prevost repair shop. We visited several of them (don't ask) on our QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip. While some other repair places make you move out of your rig for days while you're being serviced, Prevost not only lets you stay in your rig, but even in their lot.

It's a huge place with tons of buses, most of them belonging to touring companies (ie, "seated coaches"), but occasionally, we'll have a brush with a celebrity bus (Whoopi - call me!). In the midst of all those buses parked for various lengths of time (they also sell some on their lot), is a row of hook-ups next to a grassy patch (Prevost is not only thoughtful of their customers, but of their customers' dogs) where people like us can stay a few days. There's even an In 'n' Out nearby, and you know how I feel about my In 'n' Out. Which reminds me: Really, In 'n' Out, I have to question your customer service, since our prior experience appears to be no anomaly. Now, whenever I order my "two double-doubles, protein-style" at any location, your cashier looks at both Tim and me and asks, "Do you want fries with that?" Listen up! I'm a real woman with a real appetite and Tim hasn't ordered yet! What do you want from me?

Sorry (you know how I feel about my In 'n' Out), back to Prevost. Here are two of the gals that always make us feel welcome:


Nicole Wilson and Delene Tawater, the Service Coordinator.

We had a 2 pm appointment, but that got changed a couple of days before and we were told we had to be there by 8:30 am. You know how I hate to get up early. (Imagine how much Tim hates it when I have to get up early.) But, we made it (and, believe me, I take no credit on that count).

Once our bus was in the service bay, Tim asked, "They're putting the bus up on the hydraulic lift. Do you want to stay inside or come to the customer lounge?"

"Are you insane? I'm going back to bed." And, I did. In the bus. (I doubted Prevost wanted me to take the word, "lounge," too literally. Besides, although they have a TV, wash-dryer and internet connection there, I didn't see a bed.) We have a white-noise machine in out bedroom, so I was able to sleep undisturbed while the bus was worked on and PN followed the mechanic around, asking questions and adding to his already impressive and excruciatingly detailed knowledge of bus guts. I'm sure you know how sorry I was to miss that.

I awoke upon feeling the engine start, and then the bus move. Assuming Tim was driving us to our hook-ups on the lot, I made my way up front. Unfortunately, I hadn't counted on Prevost being quite as full service as it is, because in fact, Tony, the technician who had worked on our rig, was parking us in our space. Our bus is configured in such a way that I really couldn't tell it was Tony until I was almost upon him and a "Hey, honey!" had escaped from my lips. Of course, I was still in my PJs, but I guess Tony has seen it all, as he was not only unfrazzled, but didn't even retch or anything. I mean, come on: A middle-aged, married woman in her flannels at one o'clock in the afternoon - oops! I hadn't mentioned it was one o'clock, had I? - apparently coming on to you. That is just so BLECH on so many levels. (For all I know, Tony's already filed his Workman's Comp claim. Sorry, Prevost!)

Here's the view we had from our bus of the rest of the lot:


Sadly, we were told most of those buses are for sale (such a deal you could get!), due to many of these touring companies going under. We actually found our bus this way, in 2003, on a Volvo (they own Prevost) repo lot in TN.

If ya see anything ya like, I'm sure Delene will hook you up. Anyone want to caravan with us?

February 9, 2009

The Short Way Home

'Twas time to make Our way home. We did. With alacrity. Even choosing to take the potentially treacherous Vail Pass, cutting a day off our trip.

But first things first:

Lest any in the Kingdom think We exaggerate when describing Our slothful and PJ-loving nature:

After a full day's drive, we (small "w," since in reality, We mean "Tim") pulled into an RV park at 4 pm. As usual, We would be the one checking Us in at the office while Tim unhooked the tow vehicle. However, as he turned off the engine, he turned to Us and had the temerity to command your Sovereign, "Can you please get dressed?" We were shocked (at the need to get dressed, or at the realization that, verily, We had been in PJs all day, We shall leave to your imagination).

We sojourned in Grand Junction, Colorado for a mere overnight, as the weather report from a different government agency (ie different than Our Kingdom), the Colorado Department of Transportation informed Us that Vail Pass was, indeed, passable. And, truly, that is the state We found Vail Pass to be in - passable - and no more. No honors, cum laudes, etc., here. Merely Passable. This, due to some harrowing moments.

You be the judge:




I must say, I took it all with aplomb:


And, the vistas in my adopted state do much to soothe:



Tim insists I point out, in the above photo, how "clever" it was that the engineers put the opposing lanes of traffic on top of each other, rathen than side-by-side, to minimize the impact on the mountain.

Then, the Eisenhower Tunnel. (Yes, I know it says, "Johnson Tunnel". It says, "Eisenhower" in the opposite direction. I have no idea why, nor why everyone refers to it as "Eisenhower.")


This was potentially, the worst (ie iciest) road of the trip. I thought I was doing pretty well until Tim, helpful as ever, exclaimed, "Come to the light!"


August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Tim

Tim, age 18 months or so.

He would later become averse to wearing his food.

September 28, 2009

My Man's Annual

We women have ours, why shouldn't they have theirs? In this case, my man's annual is his camping trip with buddy Jim.

I think I'll stick with my gynecological exam, thank you very much.

Once again, Tim met Jim at Jim's sister's terribly rustic cabin in Westcliffe, CO. After a couple of days there, the two friends took Jim's "unit" (oh, stop! That's what he calls his RV)


and went off to camp in some God-forsaken place in Gunnison, near the Continnental Divide.

As I mentioned in my post last year about this trip, Jim's sister and brother-in-law are not normal. They built the cabin themselves, she chops wood, etc. They live there completely off the grid (I'm talkin' solar panels and batteries). When they built the thing over a summer, they spent 12 hour days 6 days a week doing it, while camping (and I mean camping, like a tent and stuff). Once a week, they'd make the long trek into town for a proper shower. Need I say more? Told ya: Not normal.

Here's Tim with Jim's dogs and Linda's dogs:

(Actually, the one thing I was jealous about re his trip was that he got to be around so many pets. That's Roberto the DILF facing Tim.)


Tim says, "What defines the Continnental Divide is that rivers that start on the east side of it flow to the eastern US and rivers that start on the west of it flow to the western US." Is he pulling my leg? Then again, I just found out that the thing about toilets in Australia flushing the opposite way is true. Who knew? (Fine, you did. What do you want from me?)


Linda and her husband (I guess Jim knows me well enough by now) asked Tim what I was going to do at home, by myself, while he was away. He told me that after he answered, "She's going to go to her favorite take-out place and get enough food to last while I'm gone so she doesn't have to leave the house, again," much hilarity ensued.

He says they didn't believe him.

One thing I did do while Tim was gone was watch all the chick flicks I'd Tivo'd that I know Tim would never want to see. As you can imagine, I hate going out to movies, although you may be surprised to learn, the least of it is the going out part. I don't like being around people talking, coughing, etc. while I'm trying to hear what's going on. I like to eat my own snacks. Most of all, at my age, I like to be able to pause to go to the bathroom. What really did it was the last movie I saw.

It was Munich. In 2005. (Told you I hate going to movies.) I loved that movie, but at 3.5 hours, there was no way I could hold it that long, so missed a few minutes going to the bathroom. It wasn't just me: I went with a friend who is about 20 years younger than me, and her bladder also couldn't last that long. There's a reason Gone With The Wind included an intermission. So, we took turns and filled each other in. But, still.

Here's what I saw while Tim was gone (and I enjoyed all of them): Something New, Dreamgirls (yes, I only just saw it. Told ya), and Friends With Money.

Here's what I ate.

And, finally: Here's what I looked like after Tim's return.

(Ah... nevermind.)

October 18, 2010

Not So Much

I reviewed a case of an elderly woman who was recently widowed after several decades of marriage. She was sad and lonely, but otherwise functioning as well and independently as she always had. Still, her internist thought she was "depressed" and sent her to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Without getting into a rant about how sometimes we pathologize things we shouldn't, I'll just tell you about my conversation with my darling husband about this case.

Me: If you're not sad and lonely 4 weeks after I die, I'm going to be really pissed off.

Tim (after a pause): Well... I'll be sad.

November 7, 2010

Kill Me!

After hanging up from a particularly vexing tech support phone call, I couldn't help exclaiming, "KILL ME!"

Tim, who was in the room next door, sang out, "Be right there!"

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About Married Life

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in the Married Life category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Jewy Stuff is the previous category.

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