Apples, APP and another abbreviation

Apples makes me think of the old gold mining town of Julian in Southern California, a charming and tiny place that today specializes in apple pie. Warm apple pie with cheddar cheese on it is a wonderfully delicious combo!

Lasers make me think of when laserium shows were new. Started in Los Angeles, at the Griffith Observatory, and I loved it!  I didn't have the sense then to appreciate the show’s choice of music from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". I appreciate the music more now, but it's still not an album I play much. It is, however, produced by Alan Parsons and I love Alan Parsons Project (APP).

Michigan's two letter postal code is MI. I didn't have to look that up. I actually know all the state postal codes by heart.  

I have no good pictures of the city itself, only Julian’s plaque explaining its history

I have no good pictures of the city itself, only Julian’s plaque explaining its history

Today's prompt: apples, laser, Michigan.

Cold radiation

"Luminescence is emission of light by a substance not resulting from heat; it is thus a form of cold-body radiation."

Wikipedia's definition of luminescence immediately put me in mind of a literal cold-body radiation. I still don't quite understand it. It happened when my then-boyfriend attended church with me.

"Church" was not really church the way a typical Christian might think it. The term was used for lack of something else recognizable, something that would identify the building as a place of worship that wasn't a mainstream religion. The philosophy offered in this church was one of compassion, tolerance, positivity and personal responsibility. The church also believed in the power of healing but did not promote actual laying on of hands. Which led me to learn about the aura and the invisible body.

Yes, a bit New Agey but I liked it and still do. With this sort of thing in my life, I was getting into the idea of us being energy bodies and of our thoughts going beyond our brains through other means than actual facial expressions or words. I was learning to meditate, I had started to see auras, and was even able to astral project somewhat. I could also tell when somebody else did it. I was totally into love and light and attracting it to me and all that (I was in my teens and it was California, y'know).

So I was baffled when my boyfriend went to church with me—and radiated coldness. I had been to that church many times before and never felt a draft. But the side of my body that was next to him was feeling a chill while the other side wasn't. It was almost like someone had placed a curtain of ice directly between us.

I have never really found a good explanation for that. Searching through the internet, I (re)learn that we perceive something as cold if it radiates less heat than its surroundings do. Which doesn't really help. I hadn't experienced this sitting next to my boyfriend before—and there was one other thing: The woman sitting on his other side looked at him closely, like she was trying to figure something out about him. Did she feel the cold, too?

It was probably just some natural thermodynamic thing going on, but with other things in our relationship piled on, this incident became yet another reason to dump the dude.


The Daily Prompt: Luminescent

Water and habits

As a native Californian, I still feel a bit of worry when I let the water run, like I see so many Norwegians do. It's standard: They let it run to get it nice and cold. They well afford to: The one place that never seems to run out of fresh water is Norway. The never-ending supply of that most vital of fluids can lead to some bad habits and disappointments. Norwegians are always faced with culture shock when they leave their country, because the moment you set foot in Denmark, you get recycled water. Norwegians always complain about how tap water tastes elsewhere. They also complain about being told not to waste the water, especially when they want to shower every day just like they do at home.

Norwegians are encouraged to take shorter showers at home, but this has nothing to do with water and everything to do with the price of electricity—used to heat up the water.

During lunch at my first job in California, the discussion turned to personal hygiene. The showers-every-day woman chewed out the showers-every-two-days woman. As the discussion went on, it became clear that showering every two days was the norm around the table. I still have that habit.

Californians don't shower as much as Norwegians (or that one co-worker) do because we, a) have dry heat so we don't sweat much, and b) are always told to save water. Since I don't have a job that makes me sweat and I don't live in a hot climate, there's no reason to shower more often.

Also as a Californian, I have so wished that the record-breaking rains Bergen, Norway, had last year could have been sent to my home state. It has felt almost unfair that there is so much water falling from the sky in a place that doesn't need it, while completely bypassing a place that desperately does.

I'll keep my California habits. They serve me well the moment I go traveling. I will drink recycled tap water in Germany and I will limit my showering in Spain. After all, it is Norway's fresh and clean wetness that is the exception.

Voting California-style

“I voted” sticker; my last one ever

“I voted” sticker; my last one ever

I got my absentee ballot today from the Los Angeles Country Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Voting in the US is quite different than in Norway. And a lot more fun. I just voted on condom use for adult film performers.

In Norway, you vote for the party you most agree with by picking their list of names. During campaigning, they will often propose what they intend to do or how they intend to vote on existing issues, and if you agree with (most of) that, you vote for them. You can fiddle with the voting slip and cross out names to bump favorites up the list, and even write in a name from another party, but generally you are voting for an entire party, not individuals. And there is never a direct vote on law changes. Those are always decided by the elected politicians. Direct voting in Norway usually is about organization: Merging municipalities, or joining the EU.

At least for California, there is voting on state and local laws, especially ones that affect taxes or spending. So I have been deciding on whether or not to legalize marijuana and hemp, remove the death penalty or make the adult movie industry healthier. Who knew voting could be so entertaining?

Sample ballot, real voting issues

Sample ballot, real voting issues