Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.

I decided to cave to peer pressure and start up my blog again. Bless me, reader, for I have slacked. It’s been a year since my last post. I have neglected my blog, allowed my super clever opinions go unshared, and failed to coax laughter from my friends with my inane remarks and blatant insensitivity.

Plus I forgot how to log in. Or where to log in. And my user name and password have also eluded me.

But thanks to Will, my Chat Help Person at DreamHost, I was able to find the way into Lori’s Whirled. This makes posting SO much easier. Indeed you would not be reading this without the Power of Will.

For the past few days all I’ve done is gaze blankly at my blog page, hoping my iSight camera would see from my dazed expression that I was not trying to win a staring contest with my iMac but rather it was I, the Legitimate Owner of this-here blog, the Lori of Lori’s Whirled. Thee Lori, trying to answer a simple question: where the hell is the damn door!?(Two-seconds-ago-spoiler alert: I swear a lot in my blog. I find it the ultimate form of expression for lazy schlumps such as myself. Not to be insensitive, but fuckin’ deal with it.)

I can assure you iSight cameras are not yet capable of inter-retinal mind reading. That’s for OS XIX Denali–the highest pinnacle of Opple’s Apperating System. Oops, it seems I have let the cat out of the bag. In the future Apple is bought out by billionaires Barack and Michelle Obama and they change the name to Opple–after Malia and Mitt Oppenheimer-Schmidt’s first born child. It was my idea to change it to Apperating system. Because I’m super clever with words, remember?

But we have to ask ourselves, are we ready for our minds to be read by our computers? Not quite yet (is the correct answer). Still, it’s good to know that when the time comes we’ll be able to have our minds READ BACK to us. I, for one, take great relief in knowing that. And even greater pride in having predicted it way back on February 3, 2015.

My next post will be a sure-to-be-refreshing take on the expression, Timing is Everything. I can’t promise when the next post will appear, but I can tell you it will be when the time is right, because…you guessed it…timing is everything.

Again, sorry about the swearing. And that’s the last time I will apologize for it, so write yourself a Post-it, and stick it to your screen. You’ll be referring to it often.



Have Fun Real Good

I know a guy who has a unique way of expressing himself. He uses the expression “real good” kind of the same way a Shanghai hooker uses the expression “long time.” As in, “Me love you long time.”

I spoke with him today and in the course of conversation he closed a particularly good story with, “I have fun real good.”

When those words entered my ears I nearly tripped over my grammatical velvet rope. But then I realized these awk!-words had snubbed the front row seats of my Reserved section, and were running up to the balcony. They looked down over the whole place and chose a seat in the front row up there. Then they slung their lanky, linguistic legs over the rail and sat back to watch the show–and see everything, and absorb the energy of all the people down below. Real good.

It would appear the best seats in the house aren’t the best seats. What’s next? It isn’t what it is?

Uh-oh. This post has not been funny in the least. Preachy almost. I need a joke, quick! A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Why the long face?” No. Not funny enough.

What’s the difference between a circus and a whore house? A circus provides a cunning array of stunts. No, no. Too vulgar. Not to mention impossible for dumb blondes to decipher.

Maybe an anti-joke: A priest, a rabbi and a duck walk into a bar. The rest of the patrons continue to drink until the situation appears less strange. What am I doing! You people aren’t anywhere near drunk enough to find that funny. Correction: Some of you.

How many blonde redneck lawyers does it take to screw in an airplane bathroom…what is happening to me! Now I’m just grasping at curly straws.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? To. To who? No, to whom. Really, Lori? Really? A grammar joke?

I’ve got it! I will Google “the best joke ever.” Here it is. The #1 funniest joke ever told:  A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: ”Ugh, that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!” The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: ”The driver just insulted me!” The man says: ”You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

But I kind of liked this one better: A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: ”I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.” 

Back to square one: A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender says, ”Is this some kind of joke?”

~sigh~ If I had a day job, I’d be keeping it…real good.



(918) 898-6126

In the 2004 movie Viggo Mortensen plays a Western cowboy type who proudly rides an American Paint horse named “Hidalgo.” They accept an invitation to participate in a grueling cross-desert race against a purebred Arabian owned by an arrogant prick. In one scene a monstrous dust storm threatens to end it all. Sand and silt fill the nostrils, eyelashes–every orifice and pore–of both man and horse. Movie viewers sympathetically feel the grit between their own teeth and wince their eyes to keep out the cinematically realistic grains of grit.

Last night, while the citizens of Palm Springs slept, the spring winds teased up a fine, silty cloud and this morning it was still half-settled, half aloft dusting every surface below and dulling the clarity of the skies above.

In other words, it’s really dusty here in the desert today. Not Hidalgo dusty. More like Swiffer time. But the best part is, it reminded me of Viggo Mortensen–and that’s a good day. I am totally Netflixing Hidalgo tonight.

You Heard it Here First (I told you so)

Did I not predict saltines would be the next big thing? (I did.)

And would you like evidence this is true? (Yes, you would.)
I give you…Round Saltines!

Round Saltines

What’s next on the saltine market? Who knows. They have mini’s so that’s a good start. Perhaps maxi’s. All I know is I can’t wait for a cupcake boutique to close and an artisanal saltinery to open.
Attention (415) 616-5063, round cheese please.
I would also like to throw kudos to the folks in the Nabisco advertising department for their wonderful new Triscuit campaign.
They have a very funny set of commercials on tv right now–which I am able/slash/forced to view because the condo I am staying in has no TiVo. The commercials portray Triscuit lovers having a “Toppers Tantrum” for having been misled to believe that the popular cracker’s serving suggestion on the front of the box must include a topping, only to discover the hidden truth: Triscuit crackers are delicious untopped! This betrayal sends them into humorous hysterics. 
Nabisco even has a Facebook page that serves as a Topper’s Complaint Department.
Could it be Americans will give up crack, and bars, and go to cracker bars? The answer is: not if Cracker Barrel’s attorneys have anything to say about it. But then again, there are no 902-921-7747 in Washington, Oregon or California, so eff’m.
Did you notice, in the photo above, the saltine is being dipped into a red sauce which we presume to be a very thick tomato soup–because who dips crackers in ketchup or marinara. They chose tomato soup because it’s familiar, but it’s also red and almost all food containers are red and/or yellow. Those colors, as McDonald’s knows, are deemed “most appetizing.” The next time you buy food take a look. PS Green means healthy. Purple means special. Brown means chocolate, coffee or cola. Blue is reserved for non-fat milk, or as some call it blue milk.

Could Premium have substituted a bowl of chicken soup? Sure. It’s yellow. We eat chicken soup with saltines…but we also associate chicken soup with saltiness. The name, saltine, already bears a brutal burden when it comes to the issue of salt. Even Saltines with Unsalted Tops have the word salt sprinkled all over them. Furthermore, by pointing out the tops are unsalted makes it apparent the cracker itself is not unsalted. Because then it would be matzo. (Yiddish for cardboard.)

Remember this: Salt is the stuff that makes food taste terrible when there’s none in it.

As Andy Rooney might ask, were he not dead, why do you suppose the tomato soup can doesn’t have a saltine pictured on it? Or a grilled cheese sandwich?

Oh wait, here’s a better idea:

from CostumeShopper.com


This Move is a Real Name Changer

Well lookie there! I changed the name of my blog.

It was named Wild Oats Way until about five minutes ago because I began blogging shortly after I moved to Wild Oats Way, into this beautiful vineyard home in Templeton, California where I now sit.

In about a week, July 6 to be exact, I’ll be moving from this paradise to another paradise, both of which are located smack dab in the middle of Lori’s Whirled, which as you can see is my blog’s new name. I’m moving to Rancho Mirage (near Palm Springs). More on that another day.

It just didn’t seem right to keep the Wild Oats Way name anymore. Sadly, my new street name options are poor substitutes. Would you read a blog named US Highway 111? (no)

My other option would be Bing Crosby Road. Seriously, do I want to start this new chapter of life as an infringer of der Bingle? (no)

I chose, instead, to go back to Lori’s Whirled, the title of my old column in the Kohn Times: The Holiday Newsletter of the Kohn Family (“all the news that will fit in print”) which ran for about 20 years.

Until I can figure out how (or if) I can change the blog’s locator–I’m hoping I can point it to a real web site–I suppose we’ll still have to go to wildoatsway.blogspot.com. And by “we” I mean both of us.

If someday you find our favorite blog is gone, try ‘loriswhirled’ and see if you can find me there.

After the move I promise I’ll start blogging more faithfully…unless I blow a writing gasket. I simply have-to-have-to start writing my book! If I don’t actually write the damn thing I can’t really refer to it as “the book I’m writing” now can I? (no)

You might like to know I have been writing from Lori’s Whirled this whole time. Everything that comes out of my head has its origins there–in Lori’s Whirled. Enter if you dare. (psst…there be dragons)

See you after the move.

Mark my words, The Era of the Saltine is coming.

It’s Margarita Day. I know this because just moments ago I received an email from “Just a Pinch” recipe club with a recipe for Margarita Cupcakes. You might be thinking, “eww, gross” or “yummay!” But forget the cupcakes. The worst cupcake you ever ate in your whole life was delicious and you know it. Cupcakes are all the rage now, too. In fact, they have been all the rage for EVER! We just didn’t have cupcake shoppes and tv competitions until lately. And by lately I mean for THE LAST FIVE YEARS!

That said, I predict the next food rebirth is going to be the long overdue resurrection of the once lowly saltine. Homemade, store-bought, plain, fancy, with toppings, as toppings, made into little boxes, made into elaborate “gingerbread” houses, cut fancy, cut square, uncut, multi-color, plain white, corner-dipped, enrobed, baked dark and crispy or pale and flaky, seeded, salted, skewered, layered, lacquered and loved by all.

I want to be the first person to say it out loud: Saltines, this is your time! You can do this. Show us what you got. Step aside Ritz. Suck it CheezIts. Tata Triscuits. Milton, if you’ll please step aside, it’s Saltines’ turn now…and for the next five years.

Later, cupcake.


Ever heard of Blumail? Me neither, until today.

As you know, I got scammed a few years ago, phished actually, so “my bad.” As a result I am now, blessedly, way more bitter and suspicious than is my nature. Take that, nature-bitch.

Today I received an email from, let’s use his fake name, Steve, who wrote:
“Hi Lori K
Hi, I found you on the House Sitters America website…

Indeed, I did register at House Sitters America, because in line with my 88 Day Stay idea it occurred to me that it might be possible to pay $0 in rent if my stays were for the benefit of a people, bitter and suspicious by nature, who fear leaving their home unoccupied whilst on holiday. (Many are Brits). They are actually being quite sensible. There are scoundrels walking amongst us. Scalawags, too, I’ll wager.

It occurred to me Scammer Steve could, possibly, maybe, in a pig’s eye, be legit. I mean, I have found men in general to be wordthrifts which would explain the lack of an actual message. Still, he failed to mention anything about his motive for writing…housesitting needs, perhaps?…and men are not so much “mysterious” as “slaves to their own motives” are they not? That sent up a pink flag. I would have gone for the red flag had he used multiple exclamation points, misspelled a word or three, demonstrated a lack of care for the rules of grammar, written with stupid nu-age spelling or ~shudder~ in all lower case. No, our Steve is a careful man, a thoughtful man, oh wait…he’s a scammer! I know this because I did a search on his email address.

As I typed in THE FIRST TWO LETTERS of his name I got a megalomillion hits for (~iSad~) Steve Jobs. But as I continued typing I had a revelation: why type when you can copy and paste! Brilliant! And here’s what came up:
“…blah, blah, blah…SCAM…blah, blah, blah..SCAMMERS…blah, blah, blah…WARNING…100% SCAM, etc.”

Pink flag goes red. I junked his emails–I got two emails for some reason. Maybe Steve’s Scam-o-Matic has gone wonky. (For my German friends, that means “on the fritz.”)

I’m happy to report that, in the end, the worst thing that happened to me is I kinda strained my arm patting myself on the back, and I might have got a few drops of cold sweat on my keyboard. But hey, bullet, consider yourself dodged.

I realize 8 people read my blog. But I want all 8 of you to take away a valuable lesson from this: Steve Jobs’ passing hurt my heart, and Blumail’s demise will patch it up.

(816) 845-5302

Look out! I’m coming to your town. Maybe. But only for 88 days.

W’huh? What’s this all about? Glad you asked. I’ll tell you. Plans are underway to commence a project that has me moving to a different city every 88 days.

Why 88 days? Answer: 77 is not enough. 99 is too many. Not to sound trite or quippy, although to be fair that has never stopped me before, if I were to make the moves too frequent I would not have enough time to engage and immerse myself in the town, and if I made the moves too lengthy I’d run out of time, lifetime, that is.

The original idea came to me as I was considering where to move once my house sells. I got this wild idea to live in each of the 50 states, you know, bucket list style. But at my age, even if I lived in each state for six months that would bring me out to age, uh…57 plus 25 equals…82 years old. So then I said to myself, how’s about quarterly? Each state for 90 days. But those terms sounded so fiscal.

Taking good long look at the number 88 I found it to be graphically symmetrical, yet strangely jolly. Turn the number 8 onto its side and it resembles the symbol for infinity. Kinda cool. And hiding just under the surface of 88 is the number 33. My birthday is the jolly and symmetrical March 3 (3/3), so there you have it, the origins of “The 88 Day Stay.”

Doing another round of The Math I realized 50 states in 88 day stays still has me on the road until, uh…50 divided by 4 is 12.5 plus 57 equals…70 years old-ish.

That’s when a new reality set in. While I might love being the Great American Wanderer what if I want to give Italy a shot? Or Norway? What if I want to live in BOTH Branson and St. Louis? Orlando, Miami AND Key Largo? What if, after having been born in Portland, Oregon, I elect to skip the Rainshine State. That’s when I decided to let go the cold, rigid handle of the galvanized bucket that held the 50 state list and grab the soft, adjustable strap of a stretch-cotton tote that held four red Nerf balls, which coincidentally represent my logo design:

What’s in store for me? Lots of stories (most of which) I will share with you. And no, I will never ask you to help me move. That’s how good a friend I am. But there will be lots of moving, lots of writing, lots of photography, story gathering, recipe collecting (for The 88 Day Cookbook) and meeting lots and lots of people.

In order to “hit the ground running” I will join the local Soroptimist club in every town I live in. Note how I say “live” not “visit.” I want to live (and work?) in the cities, not just drop in as a tourist. This won’t be a travelogue, rather a dialogue. I hope to make each book in the series unique in terms of locale, but taken as a whole a continuing story about “you people” mingled in with own personal evolution.

What’s in store for you? Lots of stories! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be inspired. Your wanderlust could be stimulated or possibly satiated. You will be able to take literary excursions without so much as having to pack a toothbrush. You can, if you wish, live vicariously through me sitting behind your 2.25x readers, or make the effort to intersect your vacations or journeys with mine.

When does the adventure begin? I don’t know. Before I can hit the road I need to liquidate a lifetime of hoardings…really cool hoardings. Whereas a few years ago I’d be barfing right now at the mere thought of letting things go, I’ve taken an important, truly essential, step: to feel good about dissociating myself from mystuff.

Where will the first 88 Day Stay be? That depends. I am going to begin by making a list of cities that meet certain criteria. These destination cities (or towns or villages) should be places that interest me and preferably have at least one Soroptimist club. They should not be under siege, under water, on tornado watch, cleaning up after the recent infestation…you get the idea. And most important, have an interesting story that will contribute to the positive message that it’s a small world after all.

“Yikes!” you exclaim. What’s this going to cost? I anticipate a furnished high rise studio in Chicago costing more than a beach shack in Key Largo…then again maybe not…and a room in a midwest farmhouse costing less than a room in a lodge overlooking the Grand Canyon. I’ll find out, won’t I? It will average out over time and since I won’t be paying rent or mortgage payments on an unoccupied permanent residence (a home in the classic sense) it probably will be about the same as if I stayed put.

Not to mention, if the 88 Day Stay series is a success there will be some money coming in from book sales, royalties, and of course movie rights. They’ll probably ask me to write the screenplay and direct. But then I’ll have to get someone to play me in the movie. What do you think about, say, Kathy Bates? She’s such a good actress, funny, smart and down to earth. We’re like twins that way.

Well, there you have it, the first installment. “The 88 Day Stay: The Big Picture.”

All rights reserved (c) Lori K Oliver 2011


I am sitting by the pool at the Sheraton Park Anaheim. Southern California has dished up a heapin’ helpin of hospitality, weather-wise, and because it’s a Thursday afternoon I can count my poolside pals on two hands. That’s if you don’t count two young boys who are about to be rushed to the hospital for chlorinated water inhalation, the result of a vodka-swilling woman who appeared to be placidly typing away on her laptop, suddenly leaping into the water, holding their heads under water screaming, ”I don’t know which one of you is Marco, but I can assure you Polo is the next to go!” With black mascara dripping down her cheeks, her black bathing suit doing its best to be ‘slimming’ and the scent of Absolut Citron flying out of her face like so much sea spray she belted out the finest version of “Those Poor Unfortunate Souls” this poolside lounger has ever heard. I particularly like the spot-on sinister laugh of Disney’s evil sorceress, Ursula. It was so good I almost spilled Citron on my laptop.