Three months in Vegas thanks to the Lovely Laurel. Check. (I probably need to go back. The Thunder was kicking butt when I was watching them in the sports books at the casinos. Watching from Abbi’s living room has cursed them.)

Three weeks at Abbi’s. Check. I want us to stay friends, so need to find a next step.

For now, the best option is to stay out of the house as much as possible so she can get her work done and have her (only child) necessary privacy. Her business is starting to thrive, and the last thing she needs is to be talking to a client on the phone with her mother  singing along with The Brooklyn Bridge or Bread in the living room.

Today’s goal was to find an internet cafe where I can write and do research without totally disturbing Abbi’s life. She’s being so gracious. And this is the best we’ve gotten along while living under her roof at the same time, but she’s become an official healthy-food Nazi. I appreciate her nagging me constantly to eat healthier, and she’s right. But after 6 years of chicken at least 4 times a week and way too much fish, if I never see either again it will be too early. She didn’t think my brown rice crispie bars (with marshmallow) were healthy — actually rolled her eyes. Showed her my Arctic Ice ice cream that has 150 calories in the whole pint, and she brought to my attention that even ice cream has sodium in it (about 8% of daily requirement). And I appreciate her having my best interests at heart. She wants me around to screw up her life for a very long time as much as I do. But I really need something sweet at night, and fruit doesn’t cut it. Had a huge bowl of apples, peaches, strawberries and blueberries the other night, and was starving in an hour. Obviously, it needed Cool Whip. Hit the pistacios, even though I know you shouldn’t eat nuts  at night because they’re hard to digest. Crap!

Being healthy is tough these days. Eat carbs. Don’t eat carbs. Load up on proteins. Cut back on proteins. Eat real sugar. Use Stevia. Eat red meat. Don’t eat red meat. Calcium melts body fat, but yogurt, cottage cheese, regular cheese are too high in fat. And the yogurt is loaded with sugar. Go vegetarian and use beans for protein. Beans are too high in carbs; avoid them. Eat whole grains. Wait.  Too many carbs. I had blood work a couple of weeks ago, and my cholesterol and sugar levels are high. I’m reading  labels on everything, but once I find the magical food with no cholesterol, no trans fats and low carbs, I look up at sodium content and find one serving yields over 30% of the daily allotment. I’m drinking Cherry Coke Zero and Stevia drinks like Steaz and Izzy, but there are no nutrients in either. I can handle iced tea, but it’s not my favorite thing to drink. And of course, sweet tea is out. Oh, and don’t eat anything with lemon because restaurants don’t usually wash them before serving.

And then, there are my strange proclivities. I don’t eat lamb because I’ve seen too many of their sweet little faces and feel they serve a better purpose growing up and getting shaved for their wool.  Can’t eat veal, because I know how much pain they go through to give us that tender meat. I haven’t eaten pork in years (except the occasional BLT because of the lettuce and tomato, of course), and won’t eat lobster because they mate for life. And I try to avoid fried food, which means I can never live south of Baltimore.

Evidently, even water isn’t good for us unless its non-chlorinated. Where the hell do you get that? Fruit — too much sugar. No white flour, no white sugar, no potatoes, no bananas. Brown sugar? Honey? It’s still sugar. Yams and sweet potatoes? Too high in sugar. Bananas? You need them for potassium, but bad on the evil sugar side of things.

Abbi fixed bbq chicken and veggies last night. I ate the veggies, and have to admit they were really filling and tasted great, but there was an ear of corn — again with the sugar content. I’m dyin’ out here. Of course, I still wanted something sweet later in the evening, and scarfed down a couple of her organic suckers. (Organic suckers? Are you freaking kidding me?) Shhhhhh. Don’t tell.


Anyway, back to the next step. I thought it was going to be a trip to Oklahoma for a couple of weeks to see friends and do research on a thriller that already has an agent. And it would kill time until my settlement (allegedly) hits in August. I’ve heard that line before. For four years.

Unfortunately, airline prices are off the chart. Which also eliminates the chance to go back to North Carolina to mine for gems with the beautiful Lynn Crislip Durham.

So maybe I’ll head north to the Bay area for awhile. My first rush crush has offered me her loft, and I’ve got a high school friend who will let me crash at her place. I could go to Book Passage every day with my computer, write, and see old friends.  Go to Left Coast Writers on Monday nights, get back with my Sisters in Crime group, maybe pop in on Mystery Writers or the North California Writers Group. That doesn’t seem like a bad idea. And I could check out boats and marinas. I did a little of that last weekend at Seal Beach and Long Beach. But if I’d only be north for a couple of weeks………

You’re going to laugh, but I discovered a few beaches in Cali that allow tent camping. I’ve never been a camper, but the idea of going to sleep every night to the sound of the surf washing over the shore really seems like a great option. After all, half the time I go to the beach I just spread out on a towel, close my eyes, and listen. And go to sleep. And read. And go to sleep. Those beaches have restrooms and hot showers, and I’ve got a feeling there would be fun people to hang with.

I could get a little generator for the computer, and already have a wireless router. Add a small grill, and I could make this work, and it reminds me of the vagabond days of my youth when I would throw everything I owned into my black Fiat 850 Spyder convertible and hit the road. Maybe it’s time again. Since I don’t know where I want to live anywhere, living nowhere might be the best option. And it would be an adventure.

After all, I still can’t leave Cali for long periods of time because I’m being held hostage by the Worker’s Comp system. So, unless I can get a decent airfare to OKC, research on the thriller has to hit the back burner. And I’m not sure I’m ready for the darkness a thriller brings into my spirit.

I could do a little work on the haunted campus theme — or the campus bars: there’s Effen’s at San Diego State, 901 at USC and the Bear’s Lair at Berkeley. Nothing of note at UCLA. Most of the drinking is done at the frats. Then, I’d be done. I’m thinking about doing a cozy (no overt violence, profanity, etc) about sorority house moms who interfere with police work a la Jessica Fletcher, and that could be a fun project.

Or I could do another memoir — even though I’ve always thought non-fiction wasn’t my schtick. I could call it, Starbucks and a Chrysler.

For now, I’m in a great internet cafe with real food instead of the small selection Starbucks offers. I had a frittata, cup of fruit and iced tea for breakfast. About two o’clock this afternoon, I’ll have a veggie wrap (and won’t tell Abbi about the Coke — because I really, really want one and haven’t indulged for awhile). So, I’ll honestly be able to tell her I (almost) ate healthy today. I’ll even pick up more strawberries and blueberries on the way home, just to reinforce my committment. OK, maybe I’ll pick up another pint of Arctic Ice. It only takes a few tablespoons to get over my craving for something sweet, and almost tastes like ice cream.

So until tomorrow, picture all the cartoon-like bubble clouds above me with ideas floating around in them. We’ll see which one falls and hits me in the head first. I’m up for anything at this point in time. You’re jealous. You know you are.