Separate Vacations – Yes or No?

Okay, I know I’m long winded on this one, but I had to stop and think. Someone on Facebook asked a simple question: Separate vacations? Yes, or No?

A string of people responded Yes right away. One person pointed out that you have to trust your lover. Another said a little space wasn’t a bad thing. I understand why they say that, and I agree about both times.

My Beloved

Of course I trust my Beloved when she’s out of my site, and believe me when I say that she gets hit on a LOT (hot latina butch style). You have to trust your lover, but that’s not the point of the question to me.

When she and I go on vacation together we’re building memories, sharing life at the best of times on a vacation from the worst of times. We’re building our family history together, day by day through adventures and experience, laughter and tears, through lumpy hotel mattresses and over curious wait staff in restaurants.

Our vacation time is when we remember and reconnect with the passion that drove us together in the first place. Day to day life has a way of dragging us into a routine that can get tedious and boring. But no one ever knows what’s going to happen on vacation, which is why we avoid temptation together rather than alone.

If I’m going to get frisky and play around with someone, who better to raise my libidinal lust than the person I promised to love forever? If I’m going to spend time being romantic and seductive I’ll spend it on the person who has loved, supported, and nurtured me for the last thirteen years. Why waste my best moves on a stranger who won’t understand or appreciate the subtleties and nuances we two have worked out over the years?

And there’s another point. How much fun do/could I have when I’m not with her? We just came back from a vacation in Costa Rica. (I highly recommend it but take bug spray – we didn’t and came back with Dengue fever*). We stayed at an all inclusive resort and it was a bit of paradise I didn’t think I’d ever see in my lifetime. We’d saved for years and finally went.

Riu Guanacosta

Howler Monkey babies
A hiding crocodile

If I had gone alone to Costa Rica while my Beloved
went somewhere else I would still have seen my first wild crocodile and howler monkeys, met the friendly local people, eaten the same fabulous food, and enjoyed the absolutely perfect (if a little hot) weather sitting by the pool under thatch umbrellas.

Iguana eating mango

Riu Guanacasta Lobby

But she wouldn’t have seen the iguanas sneaking around to snatch up fallen flower petals before the vigilant groundskeepers raked them up. She wouldn’t have marched up to a server to ask if the cheese on my cracker was goat or sheep. She wouldn’t have returned the warm smile of the friendly waiter who greeted us each night. I could never have explained it to her half so well afterward, if she hadn’t experienced it with me.

A part of me would be wondering what she was doing. Was she enjoying herself? Did she miss me? I’d probably spend long hours of the vacation on the phone with her discussing the events of the days we hadn’t spent together.

And I would tell her all about my day because I tell her everything. We harbor no separate secrets from one another, and by going on vacation together I think we help keep it that way.

English Pronunciation Challenge

A Challenge for Writers and Speakers of English

This poem has seven hundred and sixty-seven words, four of which I honestly admit I mispronounced. I’m vain enough not to tell you which four, but I will reluctantly admit to not being perfectly at ease with the English language. However I am (insert smirk here) 99.995% proficient, and I’m an American.

Your challenge is to say the poem aloud and check your pronunciation at by clicking on the little speaker next to your search word. Be sure you have your volume on.
Then, if you dare, leave me a message telling me how many you mispronounced.

The Chaos

by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946)
aka Charivarius 

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing.
Thames, examining, combining
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.
From “desire”: desirable–admirable from “admire.”
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier.
Chatham, brougham, renown, but known.
Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone. Balmoral.
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind, and mind.
Scene, Melpomene, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rime with “darky.”
Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s O.K.,
When you say correctly: croquet.
Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive, and live,
Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven,
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover,
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label,
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.
Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rime with “shirk it” and “beyond it.”
But it is not hard to tell,
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous, clamour
And enamour rime with hammer.
Pussy, hussy, and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants.
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rime with anger.
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt.
Font, front, won’t, want, grand, and grant.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.
And then: singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual.
Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Fepffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour, but our and succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever.
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess–it is not safe:
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph.
Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and eyrie,
Face but preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,
Ear but earn, and wear and bear
Do not rime with here, but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation–think of psyche–!
Is a paling, stout and spikey,
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing “groats” and saying “grits”?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict!
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rimes with “enough”
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of “cup.”
My advice is–give it up!