Its been long tradition that folks tend to take their well earned vacations during the month of August. Although there are many reasons why people take advantage of their little getaway time during the month of the “dog days”, but one element stands out is the eight month of the year notes the “beginning of the end” of the well respected and perhaps long awaited time of the season. Summer blockbuster movie releases are tailing themselves out or have already been played to death, school is nearly around the corner (or in some communities such as Los Angeles, school has already begun), and the retail outlets are stocking up on the new fall line of goods. Thus, the many tell tale notices of summer has made their mark.
      But as far as vacations go? Over the last few years, especially during the period of the so-called “great recession”, a new kind of vacation came into vogue: the “staycation”. This is a little get away that is roughly located within a fifty or so mile radius of one’s home sight. This is a trip, or “mini trip” that can be taken within a weekend’s time or even in just a day. This trip may be to some location that might be found off the beaten path that one may not be aware that this little exotic place, sight, or activity is just around the corner so to speak, presenting itself with the illusion that this spot is so close, its very far away.
     Over time and tide, staycations for some became normal of just through connivence, for those folks to take advantage of the situation since the get away doesn’t take up much time or effort to get there. Since many live a “crazy busy” lifestyle, just going to a place for just a few hours is worthy enough. And those same busy crazy folks tend to be doing too much work (by choice or through circumstance), they haul the ol’ smart phone and laptop and/or pad device to get caught up with those tasks one can do with this pair of held held devices. After all, if one is going to spend a day on the beach, why not catch a few rays while sitting on a spread open blanket nestled along a sand scrape while composing a revised spreadsheet for the folks at accounts receivable? Not only one is doing their work, they are on vacation–even though they must report to the office space the next morning, or in some cases, later that afternoon!
     However, there are those few lucky ones that do go on a real trip–some place that is more than fifty miles away where one will take up more than a day to get there to spend some time at the site, and to return back home. Even though that they may no longer take the two week’s time as once allowed, at least it’s a real (or close to real) vacation. And do they use those electronic devices while visiting some historical landmark? Yes they do, but not filing anything to the office! Thanks to smart phones getting smarter with built in cameras that take semi decent pictures, they not only snap away with amusing pictures ready to post somewhere online, but to record moving video images or to take some notes on what they did, where they went, and other facts typed onto a laptop or pad. If one is going to create another blog page or to post some trivial comment via their Facebook location, why not write it all down while it all happens?
     As far as where one goes, it all depends on location of the vacation sight, the tastes of those going, as well as how much one wants to spend to go their and make their presence known. There are the major cities to visit (New York, Las Vegas, etc.) the vacation resorts located in central Florida. (Sea World, Universal Parks, or the lead of the pack, Disney), as well as a national park or other recessional place that’s more natural than “man made”. So the places one can go is nearly endless.
     However, not everyone takes a vacation. Again, it’s all on a matter of choice or circumstance. Maybe this is a good notion since life is stressful enough, and planing a trip to destination unknown is bad enough to take. This brings one into the virtual vacation, also known as a “head trip” where one flees toward a state of inner peace within one’s mindset. One can file it under a meditation state of being. It’s not a journey in the physical sense, but within one’s thoughts. It may range from a serious session within a series of yoga exercises, to a mini marathon of watching one’s favorite TV series for hours (or days) at a time. This state of long term TV viewing is called “binge watching” (lots of terms are being used with quotation marks within this article as one might note) where thanks to TV shows released on DVD or through streaming sites, it’s quote possible to catch up on every episode of Breaking Bad for hours (days?) at a time! That’s a vacation on to itself! (And speaking of the theme found in the above noted TV series, one can also use chemicals to get the user to their virtual vacation, but that’s another topic as it stands!)
     So as August (and summer) winds down, that little getaway might hit the spot to see what’s beyond one’s fence. At least it’s an excuse to discover where the largest watermelon patch is found. Pictures and comments will become a hit within one’s Facebook friends, assuming that they even care about this joint in the first place!
     For over forty years, Leonard Maltin has created and edited his annual movie guide, the paperback where thousands of theatrical movies are listed in condensed plot descriptions, along with memos of major players featured, running times, and other notations of importance. Its publisher Signet  has recently released the current movie guide under the official title of Leonard Maltin’s 2014 Movie Guide, where one will find out about most (not all) movies made for theaters (rather than for TV or for direct video) that have a running time of fifty minutes and up. Titles are from the earlier days to those films released through June 30th, 2013. Some of the early 2013 summer blockbusters as The Fast and Furious 6, After Earth, Man of Steel, World War Z, and Monsters University will be listed within this edition.
     Since each year’s printing tends to become bigger and thicker, most movies released up to 1965 are listed in a separate volume called Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide (3rd edition), also published by Signet. This volume holds the same format to movies found within the annual movie guide, so it takes a mini collection of these guides to catch up on the flicks from not so long ago!
     In spite of the fact that the internet makes finding details on movies a lot easier, one still can’t beat how Maltin and his team of editors and writers fill out all of the important and trivial blanks about movies worth seeing, movies that are worth a second (or first) look, as well as the titles to pass on. Leave it to a man whose passion for movies began at an early age when such films were limited to catching in a theater, or seeing a flick on TV–assuming that there were local stations that played movies adding the usual cuts and edits in order to cram in more commercials!
      Leonard Maltin’s 2014 Movie Guide is now available where books (the physical kind) are sold both in store and online!
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
It’s done!! I’m up and running again with a brand new Dell with Windows 7. Lord. I do not want to experience a mess like this again.

So, I’m assuming you all acted up while I was gone, but no one tattled, so you all get a free pass. LOL I wish I could say the same for myself. Little Mama took the bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion from the kitchen this morning and put it beneath the sink in her bathroom. When I went looking for it, she happened to see me, followed me around the house asking what I was doing and I said I was looking for the hand lotion that was by the sink. When I found it beneath her sink in the bathroom, she immediately began angry, saying someone played a mean joke on her and that she would never do anything like that. So as she preceded to name off all the family members who did it, I knew I had to put a stop to that fast. Once she gets a bee in her bonnet about someone ‘harming’ her, she doesn’t let go. I told he…r no one had been here but us in days and to calm down. It’s found and all that matters. She sniffs. Glares, then shouts…you’re blaming this all on me,” and left the room bawling. A few minutes later the phone rang. It was my comp tech telling me he was coming out to hook up the computer. So I went in her room, told her the tech and his wife were coming and to get over herself. No one was mad and she surely didn’t want company to see her acting that way. She dried up so fast it made my head spin. So… whatever… and she’s forgotten it and I’m trying not to get all anxious about what crazy thing she’ll do tonight. The past week has been hard. Nights are becoming worse by the week. One manic phase after another and nearly all of them involving money or pills or the fact that THEY are leaving their clothes in her closet again and she wishes THEY would stop. OMG.

Now aren’t you glad I’m back. First post out of the gate and it comes across as whiney when it’s just a fact of the day. I’m thinking I might need to make a trip to Freddy’s Frozen Custard before sundown. It’s been that kind of a day.

As of August 19th, Tiffi has 1,750 Facebook “friends” and counting!

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