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Lost Art of Conversation

Random conversations. Online and off. Because some of you are WAAAAAAAAYYYYYY funnier than I am. Or maybe you just make me laugh. Either way, I’ll take it.

Lou Mello, at last night’s Rotary District 7770 Leadership Cocktail Hour:

Lou: So. Andra. You really freaked me out with this Voodoo Lou thing on your blog.
Me: Why?
Lou: Me? Rotary pins? I mean, LOOK at me, Andra.
Me: Come on. Admit it. YOU’RE Voodoo Lou.

Robert Johnson, at The Quotidian Hudson, in response to my comment below:

Me: I need to print this picture out and plaster it to my forehead on my walk, Robert. I’m already planning a “walk 15 miles on the side of the road in formal wear on Mardi Gras” day and a “birthday suit on my birthday” walk (I’m still not sure how to do that without getting arrested), but Buddha might help me every day.
Robert: Well, if you were in NYC for your birthday I would gather a few of my photographer friends and we would walk with you and you could call it a performance art piece but I don’t know if that will fly on the Trace.

Carnell and me, while in the midst of setting up my e-mail:

Me: Oh. Here are my vitamins from this morning. I forgot to take them. I guess I can swallow them with this gin and tonic.
Carnell: Um—
Me: Lest you think I make this blog stuff up…………gulp.

On my father’s behavior on our upcoming trip along the Natchez Trace:

Me: Mom, you HAVE to come out earlier. I mean, Dad probably won’t change one set of clothes, socks or underwear the entire time he’s with me.
Mom: Oh, Andra. He’ll change his underwear.

Of course, there’s the incredible piece of encouragement my friend Alice sent me.

“Reading dreams. That’s what started her walking down the road. Every day she’d walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.” Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Or the incredible response to that quote from Steve Stanley on Google+:

Well…she’d better write, no matter what. Or there’ll be a lot of cryin’, hissy fittin’, and carryin’ on to deal with…  🙂

Dear Readers, you always give me just what I need, just when I need it. Thank you.

61 Comments Post a comment
  1. That birthday suit thing … depends what stage of the birthday, doesn’t it? Wraps and nappies and things do feature, don’t they?
    Hmm… I find it much more convenient to read my dreams in bed back home, actually …

    February 8, 2014
    • Col, I couldn’t get away with walking along the side of the Natchez Trace Parkway in my birthday suit. I’d be arrested. It would be a funny stunt if I could figure out how to pull it off.

      February 8, 2014
      • Well, as I say, a nappy would be a legitimate way of dealing with the lower parts. Hmm … do you think they put anything on your upper bits on your birthday?

        February 8, 2014
      • I could just wear a bikini, but nobody wants to see that.

        February 8, 2014
      • That isn’t authentic birthday wear!

        February 8, 2014
  2. Naked hiking is more popular than you might think! I watched a programme on TV recently about a guy who was imprisoned for it and when he got out, he hiked naked in winter from Scotland to his home in the south of England. Apparently here it is not illegal to be naked, but if someone complains you can get arrested for upsetting the peace or something. I thought I might provide a link, but when I googled naked hiker there were links to lots of different ones.

    February 8, 2014
    • I’ve heard of these naked-hiking folks. I guess it’s efficient. I’m dreading how often I’m going to have to do laundry on this trip.

      February 8, 2014
    • Naked hiking? For real? OMG… Do you KNOW how many freaking BUGS are in the woods? And they hike NAKED? I am itching all over just thinking about it.

      February 9, 2014
  3. Maybe you don’t have to do the birthday suit thing all day. Maybe you could just pick a deserted and reasonably gator free section of trail and go for five or six minutes without clothes?

    February 8, 2014
    • The Natchez Trace these days is a road. I fear walking without clothes might cause automobile accidents and such. Ha.

      February 8, 2014
  4. Walking naked in a place full of hungry insects, stinging plants and possibly duelling banjos is bad, mad idea……

    February 8, 2014
    • Especially as a female. The insects shouldn’t be too bad in March. As for duelling banjos, I’ve hiked much of that territory already. I actually saw naked men once.

      February 8, 2014
  5. Gin and tonic vitamins, a new wave sweeping the nation. #freakyflintstones.

    February 8, 2014
    • Imagine how many of those vitamins people would take!! I’d buy them!!

      February 8, 2014
  6. I love Laurie Anderson. Excited for May when she performs here again. Sad about Lou Reed though.

    And now I know how Lou gets all thes people, like MTM, to join Rotary – voodoo! He sticks little Rotary pins in voodoo dolls.

    Now excuse me while I go take my vitamins “Andra style”. That would be naked and washed down with a cocktail.

    February 8, 2014
    • We saw her and Lou Reed perform this very song at Spoleto several years ago.

      Lou hexed MTM. He joined Rotary last week. Lou’s telling him he’ll be a club president in four years, and I’m like, “I had to be in Rotary for almost two decades to be president?!?!?!?!”

      February 8, 2014
      • That was the only one of her performances here we missed – and of course it would be the one where Lou Reed performed. And now he is gone. Sigh…

        I figured that is what happened to MTM. I couldn’t think of any other reasonable explanation why he would join Rotary! 😉

        February 8, 2014
  7. Washing vitamins down with gin and tonic, seems a waste . . . gulping leaves no time for savoring. Just sayin’….. 🙂

    For me, this kind of sums up what gets done here:

    “Talk is by far the most accessible of pleasures. It costs nothing in money, it is all profit, it completes our education, founds and fosters our friendships, and can be enjoyed at any age and in almost any state of health.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

    February 8, 2014
    • After a night of drinking Rotary kool-aid, this was all I had in me. MTM wanted me to write this very complicated piece about sex, but………

      I love the quote by RLS.

      February 8, 2014
  8. Can I take vitamins with chocolate martinis? :-p

    February 8, 2014
    • I think the chocolate coating would make them go down smooth. 🙂

      February 8, 2014
  9. These are all hilarious! I laughed out loud at the “Are You a Cosmetics Clown?” tag line on that photo you plan to print and also your mom’s assertion that your dad will indeed change his underwear (but not, apparently, his other outfit?).

    February 8, 2014
    • Dad would be the one walking around naked on the Trace. His forever dream is moving to the mountains, never showering again, and walking around naked and disheveled. I don’t know he pines for this, because he could not go into town and have coffee like that.

      February 8, 2014
  10. Ah, the late great Lou Reed, probably one of my favorites of all time. I was shocked this year when I ran across his earlier duwop style music. I never did get to see him play live.

    February 8, 2014
    • I saw him by accident. Laurie Anderson played her whole Spoleto concert and announced him as an encore. They did a couple of songs together. Lost Art of Conversation was one of them.

      February 8, 2014
  11. I like conversation. It’s held less with other people though. 😉

    On a more serious note, I find that having a well-timed, well-spoken conversation with someone can actually make my day. It’s a bit shameful, but it makes me feel like I’m in an independent film and I got all my lines right for a change.

    February 8, 2014
    • I totally see that, Nate. So many conversations are superficial, but one good one can renew my faith in people.

      February 9, 2014
  12. Wonderful “concert” to start off my day here on the Cutoff, Andra – just what I needed!

    February 8, 2014
  13. Walking naked: you set me researching. And I hit pay dirt.
    Read this. Really.

    An excerpt:

    The naked walker’s code

    When out on a group walk, I try to adopt the following code on occasions when I feel like walking without clothes for a while. I recommend the code to anyone who wants to try walking clothes-free.
    Don’t strip off unless you know everyone in the group, and are sure they don’t mind
    If the original group later splits into smaller groups, the rule above applies to the particular group you are with
    At other times, if you want to walk naked, separate from the group for a while, and then dress before rejoining them
    Always keep a garment handy so you can cover up in built-up areas and busy places
    Cover up if it is apparent that anyone you are about to pass is upset by your lack of clothes

    February 8, 2014
    • Hilarious, Kate. I’ll be alone for much of my 444 mile walk, but I don’t want to cause car accidents when they pass along the road. 🙂 I can’t just ask them if my being naked is okay……….

      February 9, 2014
  14. You could go the flesh-colored bodysuit route or say “what the hell!” and go for it as long as this song lasts, then dash behind a boulder or something to get dressed. Unless it’s a loose boulder and you’re suddenly forced to run nude downhill and make a leap to the left or right into a pond or something.

    Hey, I dream in cartoons sometimes, so don’t expect much in the way of actual assistance here… 😀

    February 8, 2014
    • You may soon know how appropriate your video selection is today…………….

      February 9, 2014
      • Eep. But that’s a good thing, right? Just tell the cops you were sleep-trekking… 😀

        February 9, 2014
  15. Birthday suit? How about putting on a cake costume. You know legs out the bottom and a wedge of cake on your head. . . now you see why I don’t consult on clothing.

    February 8, 2014
    • Comfort is key, John. I’m not sure how comfortable all that would be………..

      February 9, 2014
  16. people are amazing, aren’t they? they are truly what keep life interesting.

    February 8, 2014
  17. I think that on the day of your bday someone should be feeding you cake at the completion of each mile. 🙂

    February 8, 2014
    • I could just eat cake the whole way………….

      I researched your lost comment and never found one. Don’t know what that’s about. It always bothers me when someone says they made a comment that didn’t go up.

      February 9, 2014
      • I put Voodoo Lou in a variety of positions related to things I wanted done for and to me. 🙂

        I’m sure I did something stupid like close the comment box before hitting the reply button. My body and brain were in culture shock during the biz trip last week. 🙂

        February 9, 2014
  18. Gin helps your body absorb vitamins better, right? RIGHT?!

    Well, at least that’s what I believe. Along with cupcakes.

    February 8, 2014
    • I have to believe we earn points for taking vitamins, no matter how we wash them down. 🙂

      February 9, 2014
  19. tarakianwarrior #

    So many times you speak to me in your blog and tell me exactly what I need to hear, sometimes I don’t want to hear it, but I need to hear it. Sometimes it’s like you’re in my heart and in my head speaking the things out loud, on paper (er, screen) that I’ve been needing to say, thank YOU!

    February 8, 2014
    • Thank you for coming here, Lori. You are one of my dearest friends, even though we’ve never met. xo

      February 9, 2014
  20. Hey, here’s an idea – one old theater geek to another –
    As you know when a stagehand is dressed in black, the convention is that he or she is invisible. Now painting yourself black is inadvisable for many reasons but a diaphanous black coverall might pass muster, no?

    February 8, 2014
    • I have given this one some thought, Robert. I really might be able to make this one work.

      February 9, 2014
  21. #

    I think it’s mutual !

    February 8, 2014
  22. when taking vitamins with gin, be sure to use the correct pronounciation:


    February 8, 2014
  23. You do have some of the best commenters (and commentators) out there! 🙂

    February 9, 2014
  24. Random conversations are the best and coincidentally what my mind remembers the most haha 🙂 . Great blog!

    February 11, 2014
  25. So you know what I need, and that I hope you’ll give me?

    I would like . . .

    The formula for a gin and tonic.

    I’d really like to know what all the fuss is about when gin tastes so much like lacquer thinner.

    February 13, 2014
    • Pretty much, I only drink Hendrick’s gin. It doesn’t have that lick the juniper tree taste many others do. (Having said that, Death’s Door Gin isn’t bad.)

      So, I use Hendrick’s, and I order my tonic mix from a place in Phoenix, Arizona. John’s Premium Tonic Syrup:

      I mix that with my own club soda, throw in a slice of cucumber and PRESTO, a lovely drink.

      February 13, 2014

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