Thursday, June 28, 2012

FACT: It Is Not Illegal to Falsify News or Lie

Anybody who has been reading our blog long enough knows we have a pretty big distaste for lying. We understand little white lies happen. Everyone lies, usually it's to spare someone's feelings, but the lies that people, and the media, and the government are getting away with, and passing laws to make it easier to get away with, are heartbreaking, and a slap in the face of the word Freedom.

Having known of a case (NEW WORLD COMMUNICATIONS v. JANE AKRE [1]) for awhile now, from 2003 in which the Supreme Court ruled in favour of media lies being protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the journalists in question not being protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, every time we hear any news these days we take it with a grain of salt.

But speaking of salt, "bath salts", a "new" meth-derived designer drug, with side effects such as chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions [2], which up until a year ago was not detectable by standard drug tests, is now said not to be what made the man chew the face off of another man last month in Florida, according to drug tests by the Miami-Dade medical examiner [3].

While it may be true that Eugene wasn't on "Bath Salts", we can be pretty sure that it wasn't the majuanna that made him eat another man's face. Sure, from personal experience we can tell you that a person can get some pretty wicked munchies, but give us a fucking break. Clearly the problem was something more, such as severe mental illness that already existed, even in absence of a drug, if it was indeed only pot this guy had ingested; and who's to say that it wasn't a drug he has previously taken which had already metabolize through his system and left no remaining trace, save a taste for human face.

You just know someone, somewhere, is going to use this as an opportunity to demonize marijuana, like the addiction expert cited in an Associated Press article stating "she wouldn't rule out marijuana causing the agitation."[4]. Cauging those quick news article skimmers, those jump to conclusion junkies, to forget that any drug, including nicotine withdrawal and alcohol, are just as likely to cause said agitation...but then, those are legal drugs.

It's like the majuanna scare through propaganda of the 60's...
but now watch out it'll make you EAT SOMEONE'S FACE!

But they can say what they want, whenever they want, after all, it's not against the law to lie to the public if you own a news company. According to the "the FCC policy against falsification of the news [which] does not rise to the level of a “law, rule, or regulation,” [it is] simply a “policy.” Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly."[5]

It's not illegal for ANYONE to lie.

Did we mention we're actually a HIGHLY decorated war veteran too, and when the time comes, we are the ones who found the cure for cancer. Also, we wrote the Bible.

Obviously none of that is true, but who the hell cares. Why give credit where credit is due when it's totally legal to make those claims. It's your right to lie.

Today in a final ruling by the Supreme Court that will likely exonerate Reverend Jim Moats, a man who was being tried under The Stolen Valour Act for lying about being a Navy SEAL in the Vietnam War and receiving a Medal of Honour, the highest award of the American military [6]. Today the Supreme Court of the United States of America overturned the law, originally passed by Congress and signed in 2005, that would have found Moats guilty, stating that "[the constitution] protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace" [7]. And according to the Supreme Court we're not "degrading the value" of being a veteran, curing a disease or writing a historical text, all these accomplishments, and any others we choose to claim...nobody is getting hurt. Right?

Lies no longer exist, only "speech we detest".

Lies are protected by the first ammendment. As a matter of fact, in the New Word Communications v. Jane Akre case, "FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves."[5]

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”, cryptic words by Sir Walter Scott. Then, maybe lying was a bigger deal in his time, these days your honest lies are protected. It's almost commonplace. It's legal, so you shouldn't be surprised by the people in your life lying, the people on the internet lying, the new stations lying; and you definitely shouldn't be surprised about politicians lying, after all they're the ones who are making the rules anyway.

But what does this teach the world about us, America?
What does this teach future generations about any history we pass down. How will they know what to believe? Will they even care.
And what will become of perjury in years to come.

In the end you may be a lying bastard, but it's your God damned constitutional right, it's your FREEDOM* (to be a horrible human being)!


*unless you're gay and want to get marry; from another country that we find suspicious and/or don't like the colour of your skin, the cut of your jib or the tilt of your turban; are not Christian, or at least one of those religions that believe in the guy called God; or want an abortion for any reason at all.
Many other restrictions may apply.
Void where prohibited.
The term Freedom may not be used unless you are defending America, because no other country has freedom, even if they claim they do. No freedom is like American freedom, because we can own guns.
And sure, so can people in a lot of other countries. But we have tons of other freedoms.

Claims in this blog, while written and expressed by us, may not express our views.
And we may be lying, because hey, that's one of the freedom we do have that other countries don't.
Lying and guns.

God Bless America.
Sources Cited:
(1) NEW WORLD COMMUNICATIONS OF TAMPA, INC., d/b/a WTVT-TV v. JANE AKRE - Case No. 2D01-529, 2003,%202003/2D01-529.pdf )

(2) "Bath Salts" - Emerging and Dangerous Products, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora D. Volkow, M.D., February 2011,

(3) The Cannabis Cannibal? Miami Face-Eater Didn’t Take ‘Bath Salts’, Time, Maia Szalavitz, June 27 2012,

(4) Lab tests find pot, not ‘bath salt’ components, in system of man who chewed on other’s face, June 28 2012, Associated Press, Washington Post,

(5) The Media Can Legally Lie, Project Censored, Liane Casten, April 29 2010

(6) Faking Heroism: Top Court to Rule on Stolen Valor, ABC News, Lee Ferhan, June 25 2012

(7) Supreme Court ruling on Stolen Valor Act rests on 1st Amendment, LA Times, Tony Perry, June 2 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back to the Back

Back pain today has made us grouchy and tired, we're a zombie in a humid arena of forced-air cooling. It makes us feel a false sense of temperature, and we want to sleep, and sweat, and for the back and neck pain to dissipate into the air with the heavy moisture.

We tried to play Frisbee with James today but found it difficult to bend each time we missed the throw, which was nearly every time.

Perhaps a shift in the atmosphere is affecting our arthritis, and various other back ailments.

32 never felt so old.

In any case, we're bitey.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One Of Those Days

Image © 2012 Frank et al
We had a day that we'll never forget, and even though we all weren't was one of those days.

We also put the official offer on the property, signed, sealed and delivered. The Father, dad, went out to look at it with us yesterday, and we went for a walk out in the woods attached to it, part of the property, and it was a nice time. Found out the big tree we thought was an oak, is actually a weeping willow, (which one of us fancies putting a swim on) and there is a nice sized apple tree, some lilac bushes, a few maples, and a blue spruce in the front yard, as well as sumac, birch and a whole bunch of pine, and many other types of trees on the 40 acre property, or as we'd call it, "The back 20".

We're excited, We're so excited. James is excited. We're all trying to keep it cool.

We'll find out what they say in less than 48 hours. It's likely they'll counter, which will be better than a rejection.

Whose life is this?!

We've come so far in just over a year. Life is completely different. Last year this time we still hadn't been fired from that job, we were single (even though we had already met James), and we were living in a city. Now we've been to England, lived there for four months, went on a big road trip of the USA, got to see New York City...and everything in between. Meeting people from Twitter at the Detroit Tweetup for the first time, not to mention Kerry, Serenity, Alley.
It's like a fantasy.

Now it's completely different; and while each day is different, and we still struggle mentally, it's...better, for now. We want to relish it, bite juicy chunks out and let the juices drip down our mouth, preserve it for the cold months.

It's also summer; and we're not sure, but at least one of us might suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), we can feel the difference between winter months, and summer months, she tells us of worsening depression during that time. It's probably best not to dwell too much on it for now.
Then, we've also been too busy since getting back to the states to even sit and think, or work on mapping therapy, anything but enjoy each day. Once we get back to "reality" that might shift.

Soon, soon we will have to sit down and take roll call, really pay attention to each other, rather than let each other go off and do whatever, whenever, however.

But every so often it's important to relax the mental chains; and summer is the best time for it, no?

Grab it, and bite into it, for it is ever fleeting.

~ Frankie (& Ivy)

Because LOVE.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Start Of Something New

Making the first offer on 40 acres of property, that we are in love with, today. Of course it's a ridiculously low offer to start...but you know, we're hardly ever ones to do non-embarrassing things.

We also have some other crazy fucking stuff going on today (or tomorrow if we can't get our ass out the door in time). Of course it's stuff we're actually not going to write about for a long time, because some things we keep private (shocking, right?) and don't need to be recorded for memoires sake.

Just found out we have to take a a five hour drive to sign the paperwork, so we'll probably be m.i.a. from the internet for a day. The area we are driving through has limited mobile signal.

This week could be an interesting week.

We're changing our life.

Wish good things!

~ Frank et al

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Family Picnic Day

Today was fun, for the most part, lots of laughing with family we haven't seen in a couple of years (again), the required catching up, seeing new additions to cousins' families...and then we went to see Grandma because she wasn't able to be taken to the picnic with her oxygen tank.

We had to leave after about 20 minutes of conversation when we started to cry a bit, went to the washroom to hide it, and then came out to say goodbye.

During the 20 minutes Grandma told us of things that had happened, going for a walk "West" that got her put into a different, more controlled, part of the facility where she lives, because she hadn't let them know she was going for that walk. She filled us in on all the things we knew about, but pretended was fairly new information, and then she started talking about "Angry Brother" and how he had gotten married recently, after more discussion about "The Father"...recapping things from distant past, like when The Mother left him (and for some reason she though had taken "the kids and left"), and of course she used his name, instead of "your dad" which is the usual way she would have referenced him, and then the part that made us cry..."they (referring to our mother and father) had a girl too, I can't remember her name though..." she trailed off...and it became clear she didn't know who we were. As she looked off, trying to remember the name of the daughter, her second grandchild by mere weeks, us, we turned to James, the sadness and pain he felt for us that we could see in his face, and our own sadness, brought tears we could not hide to our eyes.

Excusing ourself we went to the washroom, we didn't want her to see us crying.

When we came out, after freshening our face, we said we had to go.

Hugging her tiny frail shoulders tight, she didn't bring her own arms up to hug us; we whispered "Bye, Grandma, I love you..." knowing it would be the last time, likely, that we would ever see her. Last week they had found her on the floor in her apartment, blue from lack of oxygen. One of our aunts cryptically gave her a week and a half to live. We leave for the UK in just over a month.

We hugged her again, for good measure, and made sure to call her "Grandma" one last time, in hopes that after we left she could put two-and-two together and recall who we are, as she sat in the chair of her small room, facing the window, still trying to figure out which direction she was facing, and get her barrings straight, which was what she was doing when we had arrived 20 minutes earlier.

She said she hoped she would see us again soon, as we hugged her that second time, and we responded with a similar desire. We walked out crying, for many reasons.

And now we are home, cracking a bottle of wine, and contemplating the day, having seen cousins we miss dearly, some of who have formed there own little "mommy" group, of which we will never be a part; and those who are still getting their future together, having left home for a bit, and then came back with a better idea of who they are, and what they want out of life. Being the second oldest of the children of our aunts and uncles, at 32, it is interesting to see those who have surpassed us in "adulthood" (having children, getting married) though much younger, and those who are blazing a trail of a different nature, and enjoying life in a different way.

Once we are done with our stay in Europe, and come back to start our farm, we hope that life will include a little more family than it has the last...well...13-15 years, since we graduated high school and "left home". A bit, anyway.

If you ask James about what it was like to meet our family, large in quantity and in stature, he would probably tell you they are a really good natured bunch, and it was definitely an interesting experience meeting them. All the better he really likes The Father, and has already surpassed more time spent getting to know him than any other man we have dated.

Maybe this feels like a good year for things, all things considered...and maybe even better ones after that.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Untitled June 22, 2012

Things and problems happened today that we can't write publicly're having some wine, and we'll just leave you with this:

We rook this at the SHEDD Aquarium (Chicago) May 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Home Safe and Rambling

Made it home safe, after driving through many a countryside with water washed over the road. The exhaust system on the car cacked out on the first long dirt road we hit early in the day, and so now you can hear us coming half a mile away, literally. The car is old though and we've put over 5,000 miles on it this month, so, the poor thing, what can we expect.

We have pictures of the water covered roads, but honestly we're a little to tired to go look for the cord to attach to the computer to take them off of the device.

Saturday we might be on a mini-roadtrip again, a family picnic.
We haven't been to one of those in...years. Grandma is ill, one of the aunts has given her a week or so to live (a few of our aunts are nurses). She was found passed out this last week in her room, blue. She's been on oxygen for awhile and hasn't been doing well since Grandpa passed, she's been slowly getting worse.

We did some more property hunting before getting home, looking at four in total, two we really liked (one had just gotten an offer, however), one that was a straight "no", and one that may have been too far in the country (not near any "large" city) to meet our complete needs.

Our dream property, which we plan to put an offer on, is 40 acres of trees, pasture, and a nice sized yard with a big beautiful oak tree and a horseshoe driveway. Nice buildings and a house that was under remodel that needs to be finished. It would be nice if it turned in our favour, but we plan to start with an embarrassingly low offer. We can almost hear them laughing hundreds of miles away in the future. It's worth a try, though.

Mostly we've been good, mentally, from what we currently know. Quite a bit of anxiety, and a little anger, but it's all the usual really. No day is perfect, we just don't feel the need to say that the day was "only mildly suckie" most every day. There is no point in dwelling on the mundane misery, especially when we are creating a future for ourselves.

For now we dream, we dream big, we dream hopeful, we dream about our future, and we will not let disappointment break us down. At least not with this dream, right now. (We're trying to be inspirational for each other...)

We'll go now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Couldn't get out of town due to torrential rainfall and closed roads in all directions we needed.

We were going to write tonight but are having some amazing back pain, and focus problems (angry angry mental intrusions), so instead we shall try to distract from everything in whatever ways we can come up with until an appropriate sleeping hour.

Tomorrow we'll try to make it to at least four properties, just to check out the land and exteriors of the buildings.

Exhausted from battling across the city amid downpours, downed trees, collapsed roadways and flooding streets, to get to a different hotel than the one we stayed at last night, we shall do our best to relax.

~ Frank et al

Two pictures from today:
Water from a small nearby river overtakes the road

A mudslide that slid trees into the road

Farm Hunting: Attempt One

Looked at two properties today; one was a clear no, if only because of the "hill-billy" neighbours straight out of a book of clinches...but also because so much more backward red-neck things done to the house; the other our dream property 69 acres of beautiful grassland and trees...but the sale had just completed, so we made another list of land/farm sites to look at tomorrow.

Fell in the mud this afternoon trying to tramp through the woods on a property, the phrase "slick as shit" comes to mind. It's been raining all day and a big storm rolled in just as we hopped in dads truck to head back to the city, and now the city we're staying in tonight has so much water they shut down the highways. Fun times. Perhaps tomorrow we'll float away.

Took dad out to dinner for Father's Day tonight, it may have been the first time we've ever done that, and to thank him for helping us look at real estate. He seems pretty excited for us to start a farm. It seems almost natural, though still a scary concept, it runs in the family, we come from a long line of country dwellers. Plus, we only live once, why not give all the things we can a try.

It also seems like a good thing for us, (other than the back problems and arthritis) many of us don't deal with people and the public well...animals are so much better than the majority of people. We're planning on trying to make a living off of the farm. There are a lot of options...all we need is the right property.

It's a big chance to take, private well, private sewer...those are just the highlights of the properties we looked at today, and plan to look at tomorrow.

Oh, and wood ticks. Dad had one, we had one. We haven't had one of those in over 20 years (that I can recall); those things suck...literally. Ick. I can feel them on me now...even though I know they aren't there.

It's all a big scary, exciting, dream, but like dad said...

(which in a Google search actually tuned out to be a quote from Lowell Lundstrom, a Midwest missionary we surprisingly recall the name of because his wife was a gospel singer, and dad had one of her cassettes in the car when we were children)

~ Frank et al

[No, we're not trying to be inspirational, so shove a stick in it]

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Short...

Tomorrow we're going to look at a 20 acre plot of land about 5 hours from where we currently are (and visit The Father again!).

If you haven't read the last few days of posts...we're starting a farm where we can raise animals, have a garden, paint and write.

Of course that will be when we return from the year or so in the UK, but there's nothing wrong with investing in the property now. (ever wonder where our cash comes from? You need only ask, but we'll tell you...the short end of the answer is money from a terrible car accident seven years ago, that we invested in a house we lived in for a few years that we recently sold...we're not rich, we have a very small finite amount of money, we've paid off all of our debts, and choose to invest in wisely at each opportunity)

We're hoping for a good deal, and a happy investment.

And yes, that new face avi we've been using occasionally on Twitter is our face.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cooking With Frank: A BBQ Dinner

That's right, food.

Ya'll know we have a culinary education, so we're been known to cook now and again, and post about it.

Inspired and excited by talking with James about owning a farm, and raising animals, and growing a garden, and making food stuff and products with the harvest, both animal and plant, we excitedly (excitedly? Sure...why not) made dinner, which we had started yesterday.

We made a BBQ sauce and marinated some rib steaks yesterday. We`d have a precise recipe if we were any good at writing down, or measuring, what we throw together. The important thing to remember about cooking is it`s mostly to taste. Meaning maybe you want a stronger flavour than the recipe calls for, or a thinner sauce, or sweeter, etc. When it comes to reading a recipe (for cooking, baking is a completely  different situation, baking is practically a science) the measurements aren't that important, tasting, and texture, is. So we`re giving you our recipe, but we`re not giving you measurements, because we don`t have any. Fun. Right?

Well, we have some rough can play around with it as much, or as little, as you like.

Frankie's BBQ Sauce:

  • Canned Tomatoes (1 can 15oz-ish can) <-hey, a measurement!
  • Apple sauce (about 20 oz)
  • Vinegar (about 1/4 cup)
  • Brown sugar (a small fist full)
  • Worcestershire (about 1 tbsp, or to taste)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, smashed)
  • Smoked Paprika
So, you just mix all those things. You can blend it till smooth if you want, or keep it chunky - whatever you like. Throw in a few ribs, or rib steaks, and marinate for about 8 hours, or longer.

Treat like you would any other BBQ sauce, shake off the excess and throw the meat on the grill, baste as desired while the meat cooks.

All that extra leftover sauce? Reduce it and use it for other things, make sure to boil it hard to kill any pesky meat germs, or toss it out if you like to be wasteful. We boiled ours down and put it in the fridge for another day.

With dinner we also had grilled corn, vinegar coleslaw, and potato salad.

~ Grilled corn? If you have never done it try this:
Don't shuck (meaning don't take the outside [husks] off) the corn on the cob, wrap it all in tin foil and throw on a hot grill for at least 20 minutes. Remove tin foil and husk the corn. Enjoy! So juicy and retains all the flavour. We dare say all you need is a little salt...maybe. It's not normal for us to not recommend butter, but if you're watching your weight...just sayin'...

We made mayo from scratch too, because we happened to be out of it, and Miracle Whip (which The Mother has in the fridge) is just crap.

Home-made mayo is easy peasy (oh Lord, we're channelling Rachael Ray)

~ Our Whole Egg Mayo on the fly: (why whole eggs? We don't want to waste the whites, which are pretty fat free anyway, and didn't feel like making meringues, so it won't hurt to keep 'em in there)

Whisk together:
3 whole eggs
3 Tbsp white vinegar
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
Add in, by DRIZZLING oil slowly and whisking:
1 cups olive oil
2 cups vegetable oil

What you are doing here is called emulsifying. If you add too much oil too fast it will split - meaning the oil will separate from the rest of it, it will make an oil slick, and then you'll have to toss it out.
We opted for trying to use our Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk attachment, and judging from our past with emulsified foods (such as hollandaise sauce), we would have gotten better results using a little elbow grease and pulling out the hand whisk.

Make sure you taste it, sometimes you can end up tasting the oil too much. It's important to use fresh oil. Oil stored for too long after being open can go rancid, and that is not a nice taste.

NOTICE: This makes about 1 QT of, maybe do a version with 1 egg, because what the fuck are we going to do with all that mayo now?!

So here was dinner....

The dressing on the Slaw, which consisted of red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots, was simply vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, to taste - we mixed it last night and stirred it occasionally for 24 hours. It was a nice accompaniment with the heavier foods, cut the fat, so to speak.

So there you have it. We hope to work on some more food entries, but we have lots of other things to do too. Still have to get to the canvas and finish some paintings before we start another, and it looks like this week we're going to look at a big plot of land in the country, about 4 hours from where we currently are. Should be fun.

~Ivy et al

Looking for other food stuff on this blog?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Random Journal Entry

Today was a good day.

We're working on getting back into writing every day, so bare with us as we write shit like this.

Started on some laundry today (crazy amounts of travel laundry!) and went grocery shopping. The Mother and Stepdad are at the lake for the weekend, and will be every weekend until we go back to the UK, so it's a nice relaxing time, mostly.

We made a great dinner of pork chops with pasta, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms for dinner using a pesto (on the chops and in the pasta) we picked up in Boston at the Sunday Market a couple of weeks ago, which we'll be writing about for our other blog, hopefully this week.

Mostly we've been talking with James about where we will live when we come back to the states. These decisions are going to take time and communication. He's been looking up information on country living in the United States, as well as ways to make income with a farm. It'll be a lot of work, of course. We sent The Father a message about it and he says it sounds like a good idea for us, and that growing your own vegetables and such is "the way of the future". We tend to agree, particularly with (most of) our love of non-GMO and non-HFCS/MSG laden foods.

We're also keeping our options open, for our own mental health.

That's it, it's all we've got for today. It's mostly nice being back "home", save the trip to the grocery store where we almost got into an argument with some hick guy who thought we were looking at him, apparently in the wrong way, or a way that made him uncomfortable, or something. (we get that a lot...)

We're leaving you with two, of the many, photos we took at the Chicago SHEDD Aquarium (, they had their Jellies exhibit this year, it was the best part of the whole aquarium (save the dolphin, of course). So magical seeming...the other photos (even better than these two) will definitely be appearing on our Travelogue.

Tiger Jellyfish at the SHEDD Aquarium

(c) 2012 Frank Ly et al
2012 (c) Frank Ly et al

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home, Safe and Sound

We're home. It feels like we were never gone.

*big sigh*

Now back to writing, and painting, and biking (to lose some weight before heading back to the UK), cooking and working on projects.

We did a lot of things the last few days, visited Baby Brother, looked at loads of real estate in the city where he lives and also in the state in which he lives.

We're leaning towards seclusion in the country these days, some acreage, some chickens and goats...maybe a rabbit. Who knows. That was today. It's hard to decide for us because we each have our "ideal" when it comes to where to live, some of us prefer urban, some the country...only one likes the idea of a suburbia TYPE setting. And then there is James to consider, and what he wants, where he wants to live.

Luckily we have some time, but we could find something before we leave, then let it sit for the year, to a year and a half, that we'll be in Europe.

In any case, we're home. Safe and sound. We'll be calculating the mileage we put on that poor car, as well as slowly working on some travel entries about what we did.

Summer, home, relaxation. Staying in one place until the beginning of August. This all sounds good.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Travel Journal Entry: Heading Home...

Said goodbye to New York and New Jersey today, took a quick trip to see Nick Twist for lunch and headed west. We're going to go back to New York City one day, it's destiny. (plus, we didn't see one single tourist site, but for taking pictures from afar)

There's lots to write, but it's late. We stopped at about 11:15pm at a small (population: about 800) mountain town for the night, the headlights on the car are weak, and it's less than thrilled with the nearly 4000+ miles we have put on it in the last few weeks. Not to mention James called pulled over in Pennsylvania a few hours, it's best we stopped the night. Rest.

Tomorrow we're back on the road, hoping for a better day. Spending this much time in such close quarters with someone, no matter how much you like/love them...can't be healthy. Certainly gives you a lot of time to talk though...or not talk.

We'll hopefully be stopping to meet Single Mom Date (@SingleMomDate), the woman who introduced James (The Boyfriend) to us over a year ago, tomorrow. We owe her dinner and a hug.

We've got about three nights left before we finally get near enough to home to breath deep.

It will be nice to be back in our own bed, to hug our cats, to cook our own food, to sleep...for a long long time.

It's just a month and a half before we have to leave for the UK/Europe again with James. We're already exhausted just thinking about that trip.

We're exhausted being us.

~ et al

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cutting The Cord

First day in New York City was a little turbulent. We'll have to write more about this trip when we get back home. We've been far too stressed for almost the entire trip, and the fun has been sucked out of almost the whole thing. Tonight was the last straw.

We're cancelling the rest of our road trip, slicing off a week, as soon as we're done in New York we'll be headed back home, if we can muster two more days (the plan is to leave on Sunday) with a stop to visit Baby Brother on the way, maybe a stop or two if the people who wanted to see us have a backyard for our tent. Camping is even too expensive now.

We're cutting the cord, so to speak. Letting this experience go.

We probably won't get to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building. At least we saw Rockefeller Center, Times Square and a portion of Central Park (it's wonderful). Have yet to taste anything New York. Apparently "we're" concerned about calories.

We've always been good at travelling, we've done loads of it in the past. This is...different. This trip isn't working. Lots of things are not working.

We had a plan for a West Coast trip following the 4th of July, but we're reconsidering it. We're spending too much money on this one and it feels...for a lack of a better word...gross. Icky. Salty with tears.

It tastes and feels like failure, on so many levels.

Today's "highlights"?:

Missing one of the last buses from New York City back to New Jersey and not being able to tolerate the NYC Port Authority Terminal for ANOTHER hour, so spent $62 dollars on a taxi (flat rate, $50 plus the $12 Lincoln Tunnel Toll), after having skipped grabbing a bite to eat in order to save a little cash to get back to the hotel. Where we found out our primary e-mail account was hacked from Saudi Arabia last night. Now we're sitting in a hotel in New Jersey listening to heavy traffic and two very clearly drunk Mexicans cuss, swear and slam doors at 2am in the morning.

Did we mention James hated New York after the first half an hour? Not because of the people, or anything. Just because it's not what he expected. This is the place we've been dreaming of visiting for our entire life (so far, aside from missing the bus, we love it).
Two more days of being in the city (hopefully)'s not fun when the only person outside your head you are travelling with hates it as much as some of the one inside our head trying to ruin the whole trip  for us. A once in a lifetime kind of trip.

So, that sucks.

Fail. FOL, FML

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Relationships Are Hard...

...especially if it involves us, our DID/MPD and...turns out, anyone. He thought it was going to be easier than it is...a relationship with us. We thought it was going to be easier with someone who knew we all existed...more to come on that.

More to come on lots.

It's been a tough few days, there hasn't been a sun in the sky we could see in a week. A week. No sun, raining and cold...and sleeping in a tent all but the last time we did an entry.

No wonder we feel like we want to die.

We miss writing. We miss it so much, but there is never time in a day what with sight-seeing (or trying to) and just getting mobilized while camping...and we're never in a single place long enough.

In a couple of days we'll be staying in New Jersey, right outside New York City. We've wanted to go to NYC for as long as any of us can remember and knew it existed. Hopefully we have a good time. Boston wasn't so we said, more to come on that.

For tonight we sleep.

Man, we miss writing...and not crying.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Three Days in Allegany State Park


Well, camping together really teaches you stuff. Mostly that the one of us that was organized all the time is definitely gone (we're okay with that), but it's like learning all over again; and we're stubborn and difficult, apparently.

Camping. We know we've done it YEARS and YEARS ago in Washington State, a bunch of times, with a boyfriend; then a few years ago in Ontario, Canada with another, for weeks at a time...and now,'s like camping for the very first time.

First of all, did you know New York State has mountains? And did you know the Allegany State Park is IN the mountains...and did you know at night it gets cold, freezing cold, in the mountains? Did you you know two regular sized Mexican blankets will NOT keep two adults warm through a cold, damp, night, or two in the mountains...

Yeah, it wasn't very restful those first two nights. Luckily we were tight lipped with the bitching and complaining, as was James. Taking a trip into a nearby city, finally, the day of our final night, we got two sleeping bags to throw on our air mattress and slept way better last night.

So, the park. The park is amazing, so many lush trees, and animals, lakes and streams.

The first day we decided to go for a hike, which was supposed to be about 6 miles roundtrip. We were wrong, and at one point tried to be adventurous, going in search of a trail and headed off into the trees next to a stream. We figured the trail would pass the stream because the trail ran parallel to the bridge/road the the stream went under, where we had been standing.

Over an hour later we emerged, our legs scratched all to hell from off-trail adventure, feet damp from removing shoes and socks and crossing streams of jagged rocks, only to come out on the road FIVE MINUTES from where we had entered the forest. We basically did a huge loop, and never did find the trail we were looking for, only a site they used for making firewood, full with a wood chipper and old picnic tables.

It was pretty fun, despite "misplacing the trail", walking through streams, being an adventurer, even though we are sure James was worried, but to be fair, he knew we had very basic idea of how we were going to find the trail, but Allegenay State Park is rife with bears and other wild animals they don't have in England, not to mention it's 65,000 acres (97 square miles). It's the 3rd largest State Park in the United States.

We stayed cheery and optimistic, laughing and yelling "Yay! Problem solving!" and "Team building exercises!", as James rolled his eyes at us. It turned out to be the best part of the hike that turned out to be 11 miles, lasting 6.5 hours.

The second best of the hike was The Bear Cave-Mt Seneca Trail, 4 miles in itself, the start is uphill (depending on which entrance you take) and climbs to an elevation of 2,106 ft - but only about 600 feet from the starting point, so it's not so bad, but it is rated 'moderate' in difficulty. At the end are giant boulders jutting from the earth, you can see the layers of history in them, and they are covered in moss, forming all sorts of neat paths and caves.
Bear Cave Trail Boulders - Allegany State Park, 2012
Bear Cave Trail Boulders - Allegany State Park, 2012
Bear Caves Trail, Allegany State Park, 2012
Once we got back to the campsite, with blistered and tired feet, we decided we wouldn't be doing any more hiking while at Allegany Park, and went to a park spot nearby that had barbeque pits to make dinner of steak, mushrooms, zucchini and corn on the cob. (it had gotten to late to build a fire at our campsite)

Allegany Park itself was great, we arrived the weekend before the season opened so the general stores weren't open, which also meant it was very quiet, and free of people and cars. The initial camp spot we reserved, at Cain Hollow Campground (in the Quaker Area), was in Loop C, but the ground of the sites in both Loop C and B proved to be too hard to get tent pegs in, so after some driving around we settled on the more open field like terrain of Loop A. It was excellent, and private. Though the shower and bathroom facilities lacked..., compared to the facilities about 4 miles away, which we used the last two nights, because showering with dead bugs and birds, night was enough. (bird poop all over!)

Our campsite at Cain Hollow - Quaker Area - Loop A

All in all if you like to camp, tent style, and hike/bike lots, this is the park for you (though they have plenty, loads actually, of sites for RV style, as well as many cabins); if you like nature and animals this is the place for you - we saw woodchucks, foxes, deer more than once, and lightening bugs, slugs.

For James it was the first time he'd seen a woodchuck and lightening bugs, he took pictures and video of both. We had hoped for bears, but from a distance and not near our campsite, sadly there were none to be seen, though lots of warnings. We figured in our tenting spot, far away from people, we were a nylon bagged treat for local bears.

It should also be noted that cellular service, including wireless signals, were limited in much of the park.

Our first camping experience with James is complete, of course there was some bickering, but once we got into the flow of it it was peaceful and fun. We've decided to do more camping on the trip than planned (mostly to save money), however, we will be doing more KOA-style because we want to do less outdoors and more just having a place to rest our head as we venture into nearby cities.

Today we took an impromptu trip to Niagara Falls, less than 68 miles north of Allegany State Park. It was raining so our departure got delayed a bit as we waited for it to ease up so we could pack up the tent. James enjoyed Niagara, and we were happy to have seen it from the American side, having seen it once from the Canadian side. Being behind from stopping to buy New York State apples on the 'winery trail' we only made it as far as Syracuse, New York - where we got the cheapest hotel we could find for the night. Tomorrow we head to Boston. We're looking forward to fresh seafood (not James, he dislikes seafood), and doing some exploration of the East Coast. It will be our first real trip to the coast, and our first view of the Atlantic Ocean.

For more information:
Allegany State Park:
Allegany State Park - Quaker Area:
Allegany State Park - Red House Area:
Allegany State Park Map:
Allegany State Park Reservations on Reserve America:

[This entry is being copied to Our Frank Adventures, where there will be more photos]