Blog “Block Party” – 5th edition.

Speaking with my co-worker on Friday, we ended our conversation with the usual: “Got any plans for the weekend?” Here, in the US, this is the “long” three-day-Labor-Day weekend. Anywhere else in the world, this is not much to celebrate (the three-day weekend, I mean), but in this country, it seems to me that a vast majority of the working class sees those as pretty much their only time off work. To maximize their time off without taking a lot of days off, they build their vacation around those three-day weekends.

My co-worker mentioned they were hoping to go to the beach before Fall came, and it got me thinking. This year, I have probably been to the beach three times. Two out of those three trips lasted no more than an hour (some unforeseen factors impacted the length of stay). When asked what my plans were, I said I was trying to go visit a state park or something else that included the outdoors and nature, and excluded crowds of people. (That meant I definitely would not be going to the beach.)

Whenever a three-day weekend rolls around, I long to travel. It does not make sense to go far for just the weekend (you end up spending most of it in the car, driving), but three days gives you some wiggle room. However, yet again, I did not have any major plans involving anything outside of local traveling. Yes, I know that some people have not skipped a beat and are traveling without thinking twice. As much as I would like to follow suit, I have to admit that I am not as eager as I otherwise would be. Flights are overbooked because airlines are trying to maximize their profits and customers have cabin fever. Fights break out at airports and onboard aircraft. International destinations require all sorts of hoops to jump through. There is always a high chance that your flight will be delayed or flat-out canceled, which will lead to you wasting your time off at the airport, instead of relaxing in a hammock or on a hike.

My blogging schedule has been out of whack mostly due to some outside stressors, lack of time and motivation, as well as a feeling of detachment. I feel out of balance. I realized that I cannot do the things I want if there is not some sort of equilibrium achieved within me. Yesterday, I watched a man balance on a board placed on top of wobbly cylinders stacked on top of each other (circus), which is the perfect metaphor for how I feel mentally – I keep flailing around (like the guy did for entertainment purposes). How can you focus on a spot on the wall (or floor) if your gaze is all over the place?

We, the collective group of people around the world, have had our game faces on for a long time now, and I bet they are weighing heavy on you. At work, we get weekly emails about the virus that shall not be named. Those emails keep repeating how much our work is being appreciated. They say that they know these are tough times, and they are in awe of the fact that we still put our brave faces on and continue to provide excellent product/service. Whenever I read these in the past, I would roll my eyes. First of all, all the ‘thank yous’ in the world will not pay my bills. Secondly, we are strong and we are not THAT overwhelmed. However, as I read that email this past Friday, something in me broke. I think I might be overwhelmed after all. I cannot help but wonder if I got to this place on my own, or if my brain decided that, after hearing about everyone being overwhelmed for the past year+, it was time to join the club. Whichever one it is, though, I know that it is not work that put the nail in my coffin. It is the inability to relax. The best way for me to relax is to travel regularly. Being away from home takes you out of the circumstances. It creates distance, giving you the ability to roam freely, even if just for a moment.

Every year, I host a Block Party so that I can catch up with my regulars, meet new people, and help create a greater sense of community. However, this year, I almost forgot about my annual event. Thankfully, I ran into someone’s post a few days ago that reminded me of it. So, here we are.

If you would like to check out the event from previous years and maybe discover some new blogs, feel free to click on the links below. While the party might be over, it might be fun to watch the recording. (It’s a figure of speech; not an actual recording.)

Maybe next year we can do a virtual meet and greet? I am not sure that will happen, but it is something that is brewing in my head. How would you feel about that?

Enough of the ‘opening remarks.’ Thank you all for coming. I would like to keep this one simple and just have a conversation with you. Pretend that we are in a big room. People are starting to trickle in. You know some people but not all. You want to chat with them all. It does not matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert. This platform allows you to approach people without the fear of other people just talking over you.

There will be no awkward silence.

You can finally talk about what YOU want to talk about.

You can ask questions YOU want to ask.

So, grab an appetizer and/or a glass of champagne (for starters; you can get something else from the open bar once you are done with the welcome champagne) and mingle. Talk to me, talk to others, talk to yourself (i.e. make a speech). Be creative! The floor is yours.

P.S. Last week, as I was trying to edit an old post, I found out that I can no longer use the browser I used for many months because WP screwed something up. At this point in time, they do not know what it is. I just wanted to let you know in case you try to edit, or even draft, a post and are faced with an error message. If that happens, try a different browser. Yes, it is an inconvenience…

Stay golden,

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59 thoughts on “Blog “Block Party” – 5th edition.

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  1. It’s a little early in the day for drinking, but what the hey! I’m off today too, so I might as well live it up a bit. I get what you mean about work, It’s really a strange time to be working. It seems like there just aren’t enough people working right now to get done all of the work that needs to be done. Everyone I know who is working right now is overworked, including myself. Hence why I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog schedule very well lately either. But hey, come on over and check out what I’ve got going over there. Some people seem to like it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had a long day, so I am sipping chardonnay now and looking forward to sleep.
      Working for the NHS has felt like a marathon without an end!! But everyone is working hard. I have had less time for blogging, but I think all the expectations I had when I started out blogging have disappeared. Now I just try to keep my own blog ticking over and read as many posts from others as I can before I fall asleep.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s always good to hear from healthcare workers to see how all this impacts them (more? less? the same?)

        Why is it that you’ve had less time for blogging? Are you working longer hours or is there something else that occupies your time?

        I used to be somewhat strict with myself about my posting schedule. Those expectations have disappeared lately, too. I’m not sure yet whether that’s a good or a bad thing…

        I try and do the same. Cheers! Thanks for stopping by. We have a comfy couch over there *points*. You can take a nap and come back once you’re restored.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “It’s a little early in the day for drinking, but what the hey!” Judge much?

      Wooooo! Yeaaaa! Let’s live it uuuuuuuuuuuuuup! If not now then when? (Don’t answer; it’s a rhetorical question.)

      Interesting phenomenon. Months ago, I thought that the employee shortage was only in the fast-food industry. Today, I know it’s a lot more wide-spread.

      YOU haven’t been keeping up with your blog schedule? It seems like I can never catch up on reading all of your tales!

      I have your blog open in another tab and I definitely will!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s good foresight. I’ve read time and time again, from successful bloggers, that you need to dedicate one day a month to writing posts for the entire month (or a modification of that). I… just can’t. Not at this time. Not with my kind of posts, anyway. Things don’t work that way.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the block party’s back. It’s a slice of normal.

    Have a drink: it’s five o’clock somewhere. I had stroganoff for breakfast because I love it and I had leftovers – wine seems why not when you have dinner for breakfast. It might help compensate me for the shitty night. I so love the constant pain. If you feel weird about the morning alcohol, just call it a mimosa.

    I’m sorry you’re brain is feeling out of sorts and you’re feeling out of balance. This past almost two years has taken a huge toll, even if we sometimes think it hasn’t (or shouldn’t, which opens a whole nother can o’worms). A vacation would be nice over Labour Day (big in Canada too), but you described the intimidating and tiring state of travel these days perfectly. Plus, I’m trying to not get infected due to family health concerns.

    In my case, the “virus that shall not be named (love!)” is leading to such apathy. It was confusing – at first, I thought I was struggling with depression. I think maybe not, or not exclusively. I think it’s the battle fatigue that’s besetting us all, not the least because of the instance of weird politicians on turning a public health issue into a political one. Probably because they can then do what employers do, which is offer words and rhetoric instead of money and actual help.

    The big thrill this week is that my new DVD player came. I haven’t had one for some time – I used the old PlayStation or my computer. But, I don’t always want to watch DVDs in my office, and the PlayStation is overheating with use. I bought one on Amazon (yes, evil). It was $38, does everything – it even walks the cat! – and came with all the necessary wires. I love movies: I was an early DVD (and BluRay) adopter. I bought one of the first ones on the market for my then-partner for his birthday. I’m so thoughtful. 😉 It was big, heavy, and cost $550, at the time, half a month’s salary. It was worth it. 💗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes! I’ve missed a few posts (ehmr, yes, more than a few), but figured that I definitely CANNOT omit this party. We all need a good reason to let loose.

      Stroganoff is delicious. I have no idea why some people only eat certain items for certain meals. I eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, I eat dinner for lunch, too. It’s food and I like it! I remember listening to the radio on my way from work before the apocalypse began and they were talking about foods that are good to eat for breakfast. Pizza was up there because of the filling carbs and presumed protein. I think they also suggested ice cream (for the sugar maybe?). So, again – why not?!

      Screw your pain! I’ve had enough of it! We should do a ‘pain go away’ dance.

      I wonder why some people feel uncomfortable about drinking before a certain time. I mean, yea, I don’t start my every day with a glass of bourbon, but, I see no problem with drinking early if the occasion calls for it. I’m not a fan of mimosas or bellinis or whatever. I don’t like the taste, plus, it feels like a mask for people who try not to come across as alcoholics.

      I’m getting to a point where I wonder if it might be depression, too, but then I slap it across the face and sprint forward (to then flop onto my belly from exhaustion), so I don’t think it’s that.

      I remember you talking about a DVD player. I’m glad you finally got it. I remember looking for a new laptop a few years ago and being surprised that the majority (all?) of them did not have a DVD drive. o.O How am I supposed to listen to/watch my DVDs? I loved my discman, so DVDs were great, too. However, as I look at the past now, it seems to me that the era of DVDs did not last that long… Or maybe it’s just the weird skewness of retrospect. $38? That’s a steal. Awesome! Hey… wait a second… I just realized that I would back up all my photos onto a CD/DVD. How am I supposed to retrieve them now?! (adds this to a list of ‘I should totally do this but probably won’t for a while.’) Yes, I remember getting a new laptop with a DVD burner. It was so high-tech (and so expensive!!!). I enjoyed it a lot, too! It felt so much more personal and I appreciated it more if I owned a movie on DVD instead of having it on a streaming platform at my fingertips these days. Does this mean we’ve become our parents that we vowed never to be?

      Like

      1. Interestingly, this DVD player will also play memory sticks. I do have a cat. She doesn’t do walks. I’ve tried on different occasions, to the amusement of my son, to get a harness-leash thing going. Unfortunately, once it’s on, her bones dissolve and she tries to become one with the floor 😉

        It’s stroganoff on toast for dinner. I like what I like.

        We’re totally our parents. With better music and better jeans 👖

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yay for added value on that DVD player!
          Hahhaha. I imagined your cat becoming one with the floor and it reminded me of all the times a dog just decided to lay on the sidewalk and refused to go in a certain direction. Every time I hear about someone walking their cat it makes me chuckle. But it’s a thing and who am I to judge?!

          Better music? I rather disagree. Better jeans? Ehhhhh, I don’t think so.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. A zoom meeting would be cool, but keep us, Europeans, in mind with time difference 😄

    Ok, so anyone who wants to join my blog:
    I don’t do many words.
    Partly because English isn’t my first language and past experience have taught me that this the first thing people will complain about if they don’t agree with my opinion.

    Second, I know I know, 31 years is not old. But “I just can’t” with all these Gen Z youngsters creeping around every corner telling you to “educate yourself”.

    So…. I do doodles 🙂
    Most of them are for children, but some could give adults a chuckle.
    And of course, you can always request a doodle for yourself 😄

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If I was really to do it, I would have people pre-register ahead of time and then would ask them about the best time to accommodate as many people from all corners of the world as I could.

      (I like how your comment (somehow) has weirdly indented paragraphs. It looks kind of like a song. Well, it looks normal on the website but weird in my notifications.)

      Your doodles are awesome and I think you know I enjoy them a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Having finally experienced my first 6+ hour drives during summer, I totally understand how the idea of going on a trip during a three-day break isn’t all that amusing. I contemplated the idea but shut it down quickly just to maximize that free time to sit back and relax.

    Your summer (or maybe just 2021 in general) seems to have been all over the place. You have been quite vague with the reasons for this chaos but I hope you’re crawling out of it soon and that 2022 will at least seem more peaceful for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After my recent move a couple of years ago, I found myself among people who seem to drive EVERYWHERE. Have a vacation booked in another state? Two states over? Let’s drive there. WHY?! Yes, plane tickets can be expensive, but when you factor in the gas, the wear and tear on your car, the snacks, and the wasted time… I don’t know who comes out ahead. I mean, it’s cool to see the things as you go while driving, but again – is it worth it?

      The main thing is that my work situation has been weird for several months now and it’s not anything that anyone would guess (a compilation of the weirdest of things). So, every time I hope that things bounce back, they only get darker. LOL Hence, at this point I am just rolling with it and not setting deadlines.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Goldie, it is soo good to be back on here. I was really happy to see your post and looking forward to catching up on the posts I have missed both reading and writing. Soo much to catch up on, hope you have got time!! =) Thanks for hosting the block party again! Took me 2 years to get back on here, but I am! This is such a great community of creative writers and free thinkers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nice to see you clawing your way back to normalcy. Other than that, I have nothing else to say, other than: Thank you for all your hard work during these trying times, and for pulling together as a team during these trying times and blah blah blah during these trying times, etc., etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *taps microphone* is this thing on? 🤣🤣

    First of all a zoom meet would be an awesome idea… It’s surprisingly easy to set up, although just like all things life has been teaching us you can plan and set things up but you can’t predict how it all turns out, oh and timezones 😅

    As for trouble with editing old posts I ran into that awhile back and the changing browser option came through, there was also some bit about cookies I don’t remember if it was that I was supposed to allow them or to not allow them….

    I’m still out here waiting for all the cookies I accepted from the internet 😅 where are they?

    Moving on our lockdown restrictions have been lifted from level 4 to level 2 not that it made any difference as people have been behaving anyhoo they want except had to make sure didn’t run into police especially with a 6pm curfew now we have a 10 pm curfew… As if the virus that shall not be named only spreads at night
    Churches are open for services provided you have a vaccination card but meanwhile bars and nightclubs are supposed to remain closed not just closed doors but as in closed to having patrons but of course behind those closed doors some nightclubs still open if one cares for an evening out 🤣

    And oh somebody just asked me to handle their book launch from out of the blue after reading my blog…. Well well I call my blog a gentleman cause it opens doors for me

    ~B

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Of course it’s on! We’re not in your country to have the electricity cut whenever. (I hope this reads well as a joke and nothing else.)

      You made Zoom meetings work so I’m sure I could, too. I do remember timezones. However, maybe we could do like a 24h marathon so that, anyone could join at any point. Hmmmmm…. Ideas, ideas. But will I be ready to reveal something else about myself by then? ….

      Yea, they told me to clean my cache, but it didn’t do anything. Ultimately, I now have to open a different browser if I want to edit a new post or to just compose a new one.

      I’m having some cookies right now with my tea. Here. Have some!

      Those arbitrary restrictions make me laugh. Just like you have to wear a mask on the plane at all times, unless you are eating or drinking… Hmmm… logic. Gotta love it.

      Open churches but bars closed? Interesting concept. Our church had some strict restrictions, which lessened as time went, but one point, the priest was like: “You people go out to eat and party without issues, so there should be no problem with coming to church.”

      It sounds like what you’re describing is creating some sort of a secret club. I bet patrons would be excited to know they are going to a place that doesn’t accept just everyone. And the clubs can then charge extra for being a VIP members-only club.

      How exciting! I hope this new endavour proves beneficial and fun for both parties!

      Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As sorry as I am to hear about all the stress you have been under, it is affirming to know I am not the only one who has been unmotivated to keep up the weekly blog schedule!! Things are shakin’ over here with exciting opportunities that will actually require some traveling– which will be good for me, because unlike you, I’m more of a home body.

    Do you find that traveling gets your creative juices going? Do you feel like writing while you’re on the trip or when you get back? Or is traveling more of a getaway from everything and a chance to just be in the moment? I’m curious how this works for you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yea, but your time away from blogging is filled with exciting things that propell you forward. Me? I’m not so sure.

      Yay for traveling!

      Those are some great questions. Traveling lets me escape. When I’m miles away, I cannot just go back and work on things that I don’t really want to work on but might feel that I should. That leads to me letting go and just relaxing, which in turn does allow me to do various creative things. So yes, it gets me going for sure. However, when I am traveling, my number one priority is to be in the moment. To soak in what I see, hear, smell, taste, etc. I know I have a limited time there, so I want to experience it all. That can cut into my writing. However, I never see this as anything bad because all those things equip me with things I can then implement into my stories. One of my favorite things to do is to find a calm spot while I’m exploring and take a moment to write there. That’s the best of both worlds, I feel. Thank you for those questions! You made me smile as I thought of all the past moments like that and all the possibilities for the future. Woohoo!

      If you’re a homebody does it mean that you get somewhat anxious when you travel and your creativity stifles?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Seeing new places and people really does build your library of story-worthy experiences! So many of Mark Twain’s stories were inspired by real-life encounters he had while traveling as a journalist, which is why he was able to describe the places and people in such vivid and accurate detail. That’s wonderful that you can enjoy the same aspect of travel. And here’s to more of those moments for you!

        Good question– I think it works similarly for me in that I usually feel like writing *after* the experiences, unless there’s an irresistibly peaceful spot to settle into. Funny you ask about traveling anxiety… Anxiety is usually something I only get before leaving because I worry I’ll forget something important. But recently I returned from a rather harrowing out-of-state camping trip in a sex trafficking hot spot. (Yep. Didn’t learn that until we’d already been through some dangerous situations.) Needless to say, creative juices were not flowing at that time (survival juices a.k.a. “adrenaline” were running wild though!). Only after a couple weeks am I now starting to think of all the story-worthy material that experience gave me.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Wow. Glad to hear you are alright. I bet you have plenty of writing material now, though.

          I used to worry about forgetting something but then I figured out that most of the time, I can buy something if I really need it (unless it’s a passport), so it calms me down. Plus, I try to travel light, which makes for a shorter packing/remembering list.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, darn. I’m THAT person. You know: the one that shows up after everyone is already asleep under the tables. I’m pretty sure there was a year between the last party and this one, but I can’t figure where the thing went. I’m sorry I missed it. Er, the party, not necessarily the year.

    I hope things settle down for you (and everyone), and you can get some more extensive travel in. A change of scenery can do a world of good. All the 1800s doctors say so.

    A virtual meet is a fascinating idea, if a little (way) outside my comfort zone. It would doubtless give some interesting insight into all involved — including the mysterious Goldie. Words are lovely, but a person’s unconscious tics, quirks, and just general demeanor can be worth a thousand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was one year. It’s probably one of two traditions I have not broken in my blogging career (the second being the end of year post with links to all the posts from the year). You came in and proclaimed that you will just sit in the corner and observe. Now you’re late? Second year in a row? I guess the goat keeping business from 2 (?) years ago got you exhausted?!

      The docs from back then gave you alcohol to numb the pain. The doctors today say drinking is bad. I’ll take the ones from the 1800s any day. Kidding, but still.

      It’s way out of my comfort zone, too, which is why I will just have to wait and see how it goes.

      I’ve been trying to make it over to your corner of the virtual world for a while now. Hopefully soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know, I know… It’s terrible. But some weeks I’ll be talking people’s ears off, and some weeks you can hardly drag me out of bed, much less get me to socialize. It’s very hard to determine a year in advance which I’ll be.
        But yes, we’ll blame the goats. Goat uprisings are just the worst.

        Do doctors say so? In copious amounts, no doubt, but I always thought that in general to drink or not to drink was an opinion matter.
        I must say though, it is kind of funny reading an older book and seeing “Oh, she fainted… Give her brandy!”

        I get that. And no worries — considering my own sense of time, I’m hardly going to be breaking out the whip just because someone else was a day or two behind.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Now it’s things like your Block Party that I’ve been missing these last year! Honestly, I think I’m back to WP now because my life has taken a slight nosedive this past month – as much as I like to put on a brave face on my blog 🙂 Blogging and writing have always been really cathartic for me. Also, I really like the idea of doing some kind of virtual meet and greet (even like a live block chat party somehow?) Does WP have a feature like that? I might go and blog again tonight as we just had an environmental disaster happen in my town two nights ago (just declared an emergency by the commonwealth) and seriously I am just exhausted by all of this bad luck lol. Here’s to things getting better because they honestly can’t get any worse lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. Hang in there! Life’s a rollercoaster. Or an express train on a track that’s a clock (something my partner and I came up with last night).

      Exactly. Because writing and engaging on WP is cathartic for me, I want to make it one of my main priorities again. Otherwise, everything just slowly goes to hell.

      Yes, another blogger I knew added a chat widget to her page and I thought it was a great idea, so I did the same. However, I never announced that addition and since most (all?) of my readers come through the Reader, no one ever posted on it. I thought of deleting it recently, but probably promptly forgot about it.

      Environmental disaster? Well, why not, right? I mean – when it rains, it pours.

      Like

  11. I am so sad I missed your block party this year! So much of what you wrote above rings true in my own experience with the current normal. I’m sorry you finally reached (and/or acknowledged reaching) that point. Sending you my love!

    My own blog has suffered for similar reasons, but primarily, work has been insane for most of this year and, unfortunately, sucked everything out of me. I feel empty and exhausted, which has caused a lack of energy and enthusiasm to do most of the things that bring me joy…including keeping tabs on my favorite bloggers, of which you are certainly one. I’m so sorry that I’ve been such an unreliable supporter. This is my public vow to do better moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you made it over here. Better late than never. Though, I have to admit that your absence was definitely noted.

      My work’s been consistently uber busy for most of this year, too. Busy’s not always bad. I quite enjoy it when I’m doing stuff that I am interested in. BUT, unfortunately, that does drain you. I’m sorry that you’ve been in the same, leaky boat as me. As of yesterday, I think I made the conscious decision to stop waiting for things to slow down (there always was something that made me think the overload was temporary) and just own it. I’m not sure yet what I will need to do to keep that up, but I will try. I hope you find your strength and motivation, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I officially began my hybrid supervisory role at the beginning of this week, and it’s been a rocky transition. I’m hoping the worst is behind me and that things will start smoothing out moving forward.

        That said, I’ve had a similiar mentality—that this crisis mode I’ve been operating in is a temporary state of being. It’s now time for me to reset the scale to zero and make this the new baseline.

        Raising a glass to us both with our renewed vows to find our own new normal!

        Liked by 1 person

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Cathleen Townsend

Faerie Tales and Fantasy Worlds

Mark-Huntley-James

writing science-fiction and fantasy since tomorrow

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