A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Lori V

Mommie Dearest Story - Non-Travel Story

Went to a Mommie Dearest Party and we all had to write our own Mommie/Daddie Dearest Moments

I was a toddler and we were sitting down to dinner, me in my highchair and Mom and Dad at the table. We were having some kind of chicken dish, but I didn’t want it. I cried for bologna. Mom said that I couldn’t have bologna because I had perfectly good chicken in front of me. I cried some more….really, I threw a tantrum.

Finally, Dad cracked and got me a piece of bologna. By that point, I was so upset that I didn’t want the stinking bologna. I told them that I wasn’t eating it. They were furious. Mom had to get up from the table because she was about to lose it. Dad sat there and told me, “You are not getting up from this table until you eat that bologna!” I looked at him and shook my head. So, he got up from the table and left me in my highchair.

I sat there staring at the once desired piece of bologna by myself at the dinner table. I didn’t touch it and they didn’t make a move to get me out of my chair. The piece of meat just stared at me, taunted me. It started to warm up and smell. I decided to play with it for a while to entertain myself, but there is only so much that a toddler can dream up to do with a warm and stinky piece of bologna.

Time ticked by. No one budged. I wouldn’t eat the meat and Mom and Dad would not release me from my prison. It was like The Cold War…well, I guess it was more like The Cold Cut War.

After about an hour of bologna contemplation, they finally gave in and let me out of the chair, but said I could never ask for bologna again.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, actually two lessons…

1. Even when faced with insurmountable obstacles, with a little patience and stubbornness, even the smallest creatures can get their way.


2. Never use bologna as a play toy. The stink just doesn’t go away!


Posted by Lori V 21:57 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Movie Madness

aka Monitors Gone Wild!!


Jennifer, a co-worker, and I were on a monitoring trip to Los Angeles. Things had been a bit stressful at work, so part of my job description for the week was to get her to relax a little. My directive was to get her to step out and have a little fun. Well, I take my job seriously, especially when it involves fun!

While walking to the car for our evening out, Jennifer revealed to me that she had never been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame or the Grauman's Chinese Theater. I thought that since we were already in the area, it would be a fun outing to make our way down there. Along the way, I tried to remember all of the neat little facts and locales that I was shown during my little bus tour, last year. I thought I was thoroughly impressing Jennifer by showing her where Grease, American Graffiti and Fast Times at Ridgemont High were filmed. She "OOOoooo"ed and "Ahhhhh"ed at all the right places.

To my dismay, I noticed that the traffic was getting worse, the nearer we got to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It appeared that there was some type of event going on and they were blocking off most of the sidewalk. I was very disappointed. Then, it dawned on me that there was red everywhere along that sidewalk.


It was a red carpet!

I looked across the street and saw people lined up along a barricade. With all of the people, there were signs. One of the signs read, "We love you George!!!"

Somehow, without a lick of planning, we had just stumbled across the Hollywood premiere of George Clooney's new movie, "Leatherheads". I yelled a bit, did a happy dance in my seat, called a friend to share the excitement, and then quickly drove to the nearest parking garage.

We made our way to the fan section across the street from the theater and had fun for a while trying to guess which celebrity was going to be getting out of each limo. We were at least 100 yards from the action, so we mostly speculated. Jennifer and I began spinning up some very grandiose stories that we would soon be sharing with family and friends.

It was a big event. There were performers walking around and venders peddling the latest products. One such vender was giving out free bottles of energy drinks. We each got one. These cans were gigantic and freezing cold.

While concocting our tall tales and laughing about how late we would be staying up if we drank these enormous caffeine infused cans of cola, some of the fans parted for a split second and I caught a glimpse of another Texas gal, a very famous Texas gal. Making her way down the barricade of screaming fans was Ms. Rene Zellweger. She was shaking hands and signing autographs. I yelled to Jennifer, "It's Renee! She's coming this way!" Then I remembered that we were holding these huge cans of freezing cola. I screamed to Jennifer to warm her hands. Think of the embarrassment of freezing a celebrity's hand as they politely shook yours. Oh the horror!

As she used my back to create her own warming friction for her hands, Jennifer began to scream like a banshee, "Renee!!!!" "I want to shake your hand!!" Renee!!!!" I was completely shocked by the display from my normally very reserved co-worker.

When Renee had worked her way to us, Jennifer begged to shake her hand and Ms. Zellweger obliged. Then, Renee noticed the huge can of energy drink in my co-worker’s other hand. She glanced at Jennifer, then back down at the monstrous beverage, and then back up at Jennifer and said, "My Goodness. You aren't going to sleep for a month!" At this point, my friend was completely star-struck and couldn’t form a single word. I think I heard a bit of a gurgle, but I don’t really know what word it was supposed to be. Jennifer was saved any embarrassment, though, because, just as the star let go of her hand, fans started screaming from across the street and Renee said to the crowd, "Sounds like the boss just got here." And she was gone, but it was more than enough to make Jennifer’s day. She was even giggling at this point and this lady doesn't giggle. That's MY job.

Thinking my job was done, we started to get ready to leave. Then, some fans across the street from us started to yell something that sounded vaguely familiar. I realized that they were screaming this while looking in our direction. I leaned over the barricade to get a look at who was walking our direction. Then, I had to take a moment to pinch myself. None other than the boss, himself, Mr. George Clooney, was making the same trek as Renee. And he was headed our way.

I yelled to Jennifer, "It's GEORGE!!!!" My friend, surprising me again, stood up on the barricade and started screaming at the top of her lungs, "GEORGE!!!!!" I swear, she hit octaves that I couldn't hear. I think she even hit a Mariah Carey note on accident. Poor Mr. Clooney may even have hearing loss, because I certainly do! I had to pull her down from the barricade before she was carried off by security. All she kept saying to me was, “Take our picture! Take our picture!” Well, I was working with my cheap little camera phone, so this was not an easy task, especially when she was shaking me and screaming, all at the same time. The headliner finally got over to us and Jennifer asked him, "Can you please shake my hand?" He glanced at her, smiled, and told her in this smooth and deep voice, "Why, yes I can." And then their hands made contact.

This exchange was permanently documented......kind of. I managed to get a picture of them in the same frame...well, kind of. Really, I got the back of Jennifer's head, but you can totally tell it’s her. And I don’t think it mattered either that I caught George somewhere in between a smile and a hiccup. All that mattered was that it was proof that this crazy evening actually happened. I think my co-worker has that picture framed in her living room, so it can’t be that bad.

So, Jennifer, my friend and co-worker, is much more mature and professional than I. She has children. She is focused on her job. She keeps her cool at all times, but on March 31st, 2008, at a little after 9pm ,on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, my friend did a FULL OUT happy dance WHILE giggling!!!

And my job was officially done!


Posted by Lori V 21:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Dr. Mya Angelou


I just saw Ms. Mya Angelou at breakfast!!!!! She was sitting 2 tables down. She asked a man for his paper when he was leaving. He only had the sports section. So, I got up and gave her my paper. She said, "You know... I was on the cover yesterday." I said something lame like, "I thought I recognized you. Hope you enjoy your breakfast."

Then I called my co-worker, Ericka, several times to hurry her butt down to breakfast! After several minutes, she came down. Then she was too scared to go talk to her. As we were leaving, I stopped back by and said, "So...did you enjoy your breakfast?" She said, "Yes and thank you again for the paper." I then told her that my friend loved her but was nervious to talk to her. So, Ms. Angelou proceeded to reach for Ericka’s hand and ask her name. Then she shook my hand and asked my name and introduced us to her assistant. It was brief, but sooo cool!!! I love my job!!!

And this is, my dear friend, Ericka's account of the situation.... (she's much more eloquent than me)

As you know I travel and in my short stint I have met many-a celebrities. I met or saw the Black Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson & the comedian Steve Harvey. My colleagues have had the honor of sitting in first class with reporter Lisa Ling and actress Olivia Newton John. Today was the ultimate celebrity sighting. This morning I get a frantic call from my colleague, who calmly instructed me to "get my butt to breakfast". Me, being a diva, needing to take her time, HAD to be fashionably late. When I finally did arrive, to my surprise and two tables away from me, sat THE phenomenal woman herself..... Maya Angelou. I was immediately a nervous wreck.

My colleague was beaming because she gave her a newspaper. Then went into detail about her exchange with the legend and how it was that she came to sacrifice her morning periodical. It was an excellent story: Some guy only had the Sports section and Ms. Angelou had wanted the full paper. So Lori (Ms. Do Gooder, herself) sprang from her seat and was overjoyed to oblige (slight exaggeration, but this is how it transpired... kinda). There were words...Ms. Angelou then told Lori that she was on the cover of the paper the other day and lori replied jokingly... "Ahhh.... I thought you looked familiar". So now that Lori & Ms. Angelou were BFF, Lori felt then need to get me in on their BFF circle. Again I repeat... I was a nervous wreck!

I was afraid to approach the idol out of fear that I would go into the ugly cry (and I could feel it was coming on). So I just sat there, catatonic, hands folded, big smile and stared at her like a stalker. (Because apparently doing THAT is very normal). I even saw her look up at me. But she had the ’uhh ohh’ look. I know that I looked like a loon and she most likely took that as an opportunity alert her assistant to call security. But I didn’t care (lies, all lies... I was so embarrassed that I was not only two tables from a legend, but the legend saw me looking like a complete idiot and now that thought of me is what would be ingrained into her mind) I refused to go over and tell her how much I loved her or or say a normal "hi" because I thought I would choke on my words (and I probably already scared her). Instead, my colleague, AGAINST my wishes, went over and told her for me. Then, Ms. Angelou extended her hand and took mine. She smiled and asked me for my full name and repeated it. And was pleased to meet ME! I know this is silly giving the play by play of the interaction, but I just wanted to boast a little about the fact that I met the most phenomenal woman on the planet, who then shook MY hand, heard MY name, from MY mouth AND repeatd MY name to ME..... as if she was about to compose a poem about the wonderment that is me. I MET MAYA ANGELOU TODAY IN CHICAGO.... SHE SAID MY NAME... WE’RE BFF!

And that, my dear friends and family, only proves without a reasonable doubt that I AM phenomenal too....

"I say
It’s in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman
That’s me."

So there......he, he :)

Posted by Lori V 21:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Now entering the Wild Kingdom, Cont. (India Part 6)

aka "Lori just lost her mind"


My co-worker Gay just had 2 wishes while in India. The first was that she wanted to see an elephant. From the previous message, you can see that even the most obvious locations in India don't necessarily have elephants. We saw lots of carvings, in wood and marble, and sandlewood. We even saw a few statues of elephants, but no live 'phants.

The other thing Gay wanted to do was see a snake charmer. We asked our driver all day to take us to see a snake charmer. He spoke as much English as I speak Spanish...not much at all. Gay thought it was quite entertaining watching me pantomime repeatedly the flute playing and the the snake swaying until the driver finally got what I was trying to tell him.

Most of the day went by and we didn't see any cobras. Gay was starting to pout, the driver was frustrated, and I was just trying to focus on breathing because the air was really smoky (they were burning fields all over the area and it was bad!)

And then, after the 3rd stop, the driver hit gold. He found an old guy who was a snake charmer. We were excited and Gay almost did a happy dance. All was right with the world...until the old guy patted the ground next to him for me to sit. I thought, "Wow! I'm really going to be close when he does this."

Silly silly American

He proceeded to wrap this snake around my neck while playing the flute and posing for the pictures. I was like, "Man, you need to focus on this snake that just turned around and is looking me!!!"

You know, I'm not very scared of stuff. I'm usually pretty even keel, but when there is a SNAKE wrapped around you, that turns around to LOOK at you, you kind of freak out on the inside.

THEN, he opens a second basket that I didn't even realize was there and out pops this ticked off cobra that is looking at me, too!!

Ya know, I like attention just as much as the next person...but not from 2 snakes at the same time while the handler is busy posing for pictures!!!

Yeah, I had no idea that snakes would elicit fear in me, but, OH MY!!!!

Then it was Gay's turn. She didn't feel the need to keep that fear on the inside. She started cussing from the time she sat down until we got back in the car!! Oh SH**!! Oh SH**!! OH SH**!!!

The moral of this story... be careful what you wish for!


Posted by Lori V 21:16 Archived in India Tagged animal Comments (0)

Now entering the Wild Kingdom (India Part 5)


It's almost time to come home, but what adventure would be complete without experiencing a country's wildlife?

Let's start with the trip to Elephanta Island. Before any of you get excited, there were no elephants there. I felt that we should have complained for false advertisement, but I don't think they would listen to this silly American. While at Non-Elephanta Island, as I will refer to it from now on, we did see some really old stuff. There are rock-cut temples all over this little island that were created around 450 AD. They say that there used to be a big stone elephant on the island, thus the name, but it was moved to downtown Mumbai and restored. So, not even stone elephants reside on the island.

I wonder if India has a Better Business Bureau because someone really should talk to them about their advertisements.

OK, so no elephants, but the monkeys were all over the place. They are quite adapted to their admiring public...especially the public with yummy smelling purses or bags. They have been known to be little thieves. Such is civilization...we come in, make a place civilized and then corrupt the poor, previously civilized monkeys. We are such good influences on nature, aren't we? The monkeys just hang out watching us "perform". It's quite an event for them. They have refreshments, sit around and see who can find to silliest human, take bets on which human will be suckered into give "donations", etc. I'm sure we are great entertainment for them.

While watching the humans ooo and ahhh, one monkey decided he needed a drink. He found a water bottle on the ground and decided to check it out. The monkey was a bit disappointed that there wasn't anymore water left in the discarded bottle and just walked it over to the trash can....kidding, kidding... but he really did try and drink out of the bottle. It was a cute little scene until I started wondering why no one in this country seems to know what a trash can looks like.

Speaking of monkeys, we had another experience with them in Delhi. The drive from Delhi to Agra (where the Taj Majal is located) is around 4 hours or so. Along the way, the locals try and do what they can to lighten your load....of rupees! Our driver had to stop at the border from one state to the next to pay a tax. This allows the locals a good 10 minutes of knocking on your window, trying to have you buy a little chess set, or a bracelet or take a picture with the monkey.

I was being really good at not being a sucker. I looked straight ahead and shook my head everytime someone knocked. But I started to crack when this man...I will call him Monkey Man... came up with a baby monkey. He had taught it to do flips, he had it jump on the car and look in the window at me. But I was not going to break.

Then a few more minutes went by and all the other locals were gone, so I decided to be nice and give the man a few rupees and maybe get a picture of the monkey doing flips and stuff. I rolled down the the window to get the picture and give him a few rupees.

The little cute as a button monkey tried to grab my camera (no, this wasn't a heist...yet), but then Monkey man looked at the 40 rupees I was going to give him and said, "500 each".



At this point, my being nice flew out the window that I, now, couldn't roll up because the cute little monkey and Monkey Man were blocking my way and he was demanding 500 rupees. I argued, he argued, the driver finally arrived back at the car, I threw away 80 rupees to Monkey Man and any hope of being nice to another peddler, again!!

Silly Silly Americans.

Posted by Lori V 20:52 Archived in India Tagged animal Comments (0)

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