Monthly Archives: November 2022

Had to go to foreign country to discover some things

One is the WordPress app. I usually write on my laptop but I left it home and have been using my mobile phone. My website just doesn’t work well online on my phone. But the app works like maybe it was designed to create and share posts online with a minimum of to-do.

I’ve also discovered that much of the ground upon which I am walking is dripping with history. I make myself fascinated with the majesty of the art and architecture. It’s like buildings here have a soul and many hundreds of years of human souls have walked through the doors of these city centers and music halls.

The impact and damage done by Fox News and its ilk are making even some people over here think 1. Our election system is rigged, 2. Biden is not in control but is rather a puppet of perhaps Hilary Clinton and Obama, and 3. Democrats are cheaters and stealing elections left and right. Those items sure seem to mimic what Fox News is constantly fear-mongering about in the US.

British plumbing and electricity have some big differences from American. British plumbing fixtures vary wildly from location to location. One shower had two knobs with cryptic messages on either end that I think indicated one end was for hot and cold while the other was for intensity.

Another shower had separate hot and cold knobs and a gearshift in the middle to throw it left to bath and right to shower. This shower also took several months to warm up and then several more weeks to cool it back down to a non-scalding temperature. I apologized to the earth for using so much water.

Electricity has switches on the plugs. I haven’t figured out why this is so. And the plugs are conveniently (aka inconveniently) behind furniture at the floor. Heaven forbid you have to read whatever message they have posted down there.

Also bathrooms have a plug that is for shavers only and no plug for the hairdryer. No doubt there is a reason, but if I hadn’t wanted to stand on my head to plug it in and then dry my hair looking at a wall, I wouldn’t have come to England, would I!?

My favorite bathroom mirror so far was mounted so high up on the wall I could only see the top two inches of my head.

Was going to insert the picture of the top two inches of my head here, but at the risk of repeating myself, internet.

Oh, oh, and here’s another one. I can usually get into my own front door carrying six bags, a commuter cup, and some other thing perched between fingers two and three plus unlock the door and open it. One hand is all it takes.

However, here in England, my hotel room door today had the lock at eye level wherein I had to insert the key and turn and hold it while at the same time with my other hand turn the doorknob (at regular door know height) the opposite direction AND HOLD IT while pushing open the door. I swan. I had to set my things down like some sort of relaxed, unhurried person.

Y’all are about to be rising for the day I suppose so I’ll leave it here so you all have a nice surprise in your inboxes this morning.

Love, Siouxsie

currently aboard the train from Leeds to Bath where the fourth Frost* and QuantumPig concert will take place this evening.

Hello from Leeds, England

Where do I even begin?

How about here. The world is (apparently!) full of good and kind people, as those seem to be the only kind I’m meeting. I have met so many of them since I started this journey just three days ago. I have also had the chance to be one of them.

And here. If you’re not familiar with the concert scene, at least for the bands I’ve seen, there is a beautiful camaraderie among the fans of the band. All three nights I have met good and kind people.

While standing in line waiting to get in, it’s only natural to ask the people around me how they heard of Frost* and if they’ve seen the band before. From there, we rhapsodize about all things and people prog rock: Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Steven’s other projects, John Mitchell’s other projects. The people I have met in line, oh, they get why we are passionate about this music.

The first night, I met Dave and Robert. Robert is the foster dad of a special needs son. Dave is a lovely man who discounted his own journey to the concert when he found out how far I had come. The second night, I met Iain and Sean, both Scots, both musicians. Tonight, I met Dave, Paul, and Paul’s son, Matt. Paul is a management consultant, which is what Greg has done for many years of his work life.

I am so grateful that I have met people each night that connect with my three deepest passions: special needs, music, and my wonderful husband.

Apparently, my journey has caught the attention of a few people. The drum tech tonight noticed my American accent and asked if I was the one he had seen in the Facebook comments who had traveled so far.

The venue was so small tonight, I had the opportunity to tell the lead singer of Quantum Pig how very much I am enjoying their music and how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness of their lyrics. I told him I feel like I lucked out getting such a great opening band experience to go along with Frost*.

In the parlance of Radical Honesty, I make myself grateful and joyful to be having this experience. Two more concerts; three more days and I’ll already be journeying back to my home and my loves. Thanks for reading!

I’ll Take “Bands Siouxsie Loves” for 1000, Alex

I am in England today. I arrived yesterday in the morning and was very busy getting my English sea legs yesterday.

I did not anticipate how much the public transportation in this country would seem like a dictionary with all the words in the wrong places. Maybe you know the Brits depend on their public transportation to get everywhere. I didn’t research it thoroughly. How hard could it be, I thought? Ha. Not hard, as much as challenging to pore over the many, many options to unfamiliar towns. Not to mention, there is a bit of a to-do with the train service as there is a strike so travel can be a little more challenging or exciting, depending on your point of view.

The shorter version of what brought me over is that my favorite band is doing a five night tour and I imagined I’d like to attend all five concerts. You will never have heard of them, but I do recommend them. I happened upon them about 7 years ago and I love the music.

Concert 1 of 5 was last night. That’s another story in itself. I’m currently on a train heading from Wolverhampton to Edinburgh. Because of the strike, I have to change trains instead of rolling straight through but Greg encouraged me to get a first class train ticket, for which I am very grateful.

Who is Frost*, Alex?

Love, Siouxsie

Making Peace with Kroger

Apropos of nothing, when I was a kid there was a very nice woman who was a cashier at a nearby Kroger. She had an actual beard. If I remember correctly, she shaved it, but I found it fascinating to see a woman with a beard.

In those days, there were only a few Kroger stores. But since all companies believe that MOAR is BETTER, they expanded and expanded and expanded and now there are at least five Krogers within 10 minutes of our home.

Remember I worked at Kroger for a minute back in 2012 and then again in 2018. My stint in 2018 started out being one of the most enjoyable jobs I had ever had. When I left in 2019 I was a little salty about Kroger corporate and their complete disconnect from what it’s like to work as an associate.

I’ve noticed over these past few years that Kroger has come up with MOAR and “BETTER” ways for one to save money. Used to be, they just had weekly specials.

Then they added the Shoppers Card which you had to have in order to get the weekly special prices.

Next they added Buy 5, Save $5. (Eventually Buy 5, Save $5 turned into Buy 5, Save 50 cents per item, cutting in half the savings).

Later came fuel points, which you get 1 to 1, except for certain special purchases when you can double or quadruple your points.

Later I started seeing special junk food deals in the aisle Buy 2 or 4 (bags of chips), save $2. (This is not to be confused with B5S5 because they are COMPLETELY different savings opportunities.)

Then Kroger started mailing coupons to me for things I already buy. (Thank you, Kroger)

Next complication opportunity was Digital Coupons. These are coupons you can download on your phone but must have downloaded to avail yourself of.

Now they have Cash Back where you can accumulate actual money when you buy certain products and then cash it out. I’m not all that familiar with this one yet.

Another whole program is called Points-Rewards-Plus Gaming. This is a cash back program on products that gamers apparently like. Looks like a lot of macaroni and cheese, snacks, pop.

So we went from some coupons in the Sunday newspaper to at least seven different ways to save money.

FINALLY this week my brain put it all together. I have to PRE-SHOP. I go to the Kroger website and look through all the coupons, and then look through all the digital coupons, and look at all the B5S50 products. Lastly, I must remember to take my paper coupons and then tackle the store. Pre-shopping is SO much easier than arriving at the store and discovering what is on sale for Buy 5, Save 50 cents, what has a digital coupon, whether Tostitos products are Buy 4, Save heckin money, and which of my staple items happen to be on sale so I can plan to stock up.

It’s like studying for a test. And this week I got an A. I saved 13% which worked out to $24.25 in savings. I promise you I wouldn’t have saved that much without the pregame.

If I were one of those newfangled youngsters, I’d make this into a tik tok and it would surely go viral. But I may be at my limit of social media apps and platforms right now. Have not delved into tik tok yet.

Oh, I almost forgot. There’s this entire subculture of pickup and delivery, for which there are special coupons and deals and subscriptions and Things to Know. I’ll shop for myself, thanks. But I am glad these other ways of shopping exist for people who either don’t have the time or energy or desire to shop for themselves.

So I’ve made my peace with Kroger. I still believe corporate is out of touch with associates, but I think I’m finally getting how this whole savings game works. I bet you can too!

LPT: You don’t have to put u-scan items on the bagging area. I found out you can scan them and bag them right into your cart. My reusable bags always fall off the bagging area, and I’m not trying to have more inconvenience. I love being able to scan items and bag them without putting them in the bagging area. No more scanning five different packages of the same item and waiting for each weight to register in the bagging area. Now I can scan one package five times. I don’t even have to get the other four out of my cart.

Wow, this has been full of info. If you read this far, GOLD STAR. As always, remember your reusable bags. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.