Thursday, January 22, 2009

You left part of yourself at home

...the concierge says. "The other part, he is still en route to our country but he will catch up with you in a hours time." - Muriel Spark "The Driver's Seat"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Amelia Book 1 Chapter 1

Life may as properly be called an art as any other- Henry Fielding

Whenever I am in need of inspiration I turn to Mr. Fielding who can create such beautiful prose that will make you laugh out loud. (Although Tom Jones is a much better novel for laughing than Amelia).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Tragedy of Macbeth Part II: The Seed of Banquo- Noah Lukeman

Macbeth Act V Sc V


Title: The Tragedy of Macbeth Part II: The Seed of Banquo

Author: Noah Lukeman

Publisher and Date: Pegasus Books 2008

Summary: Shakespeare’s Macbeth ended with the death of Macbeth and Malcolm taking over the Scottish throne. The witches however did not prophesize such a fate for Scotland, because Malcolm was not the seed of Banquo. For years after first reading Macbeth I wondered if there was something I missed in the play could the witches really have been wrong? Could there actually be a plot left unsettled in a Shakespearian play? Apparently Noah Lukeman felt the same way and wrote the sequel to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. After ten years of peaceful rule of Scotland by Malcolm the original prophecy is settled. The seed of Banquo comes back to take his rightful place on the throne.

Favorite Quotation from the Book:
Malcolm about Lady Macbeth (yes there is another Lady Macbeth in the play): Can she sit so content in such a place as if this worldly setting held no threat? See how her lips move, how she kneels So softly upon unyielding stone, as if repenting for every soul in Dunsinane Such prayers must go unanswered whilst I inhabit My descent to Hades is set, the only question being the time of my arrival. Satan you shall have your prize. But not yet. For whilst she lives I too have cause to live see how she floats to the window, as a bird to light.

Review: (this review does contain a few spoilers)
I have to admit when I first read what Lukeman was attempting to do with his play I was a little shocked. Someone actually dared to write a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s play and in blank verse no less!? I did not expect much from it and was pleasantly surprised by the work. After the first scene in the first act I was hooked. It is fast paced, exciting and truly I did not know what to expect, well we do have the new prophecy that predicts Malcolm’s downfall and the return of Fleance but there is the mysterious new love of Malcolm and why exactly does Fleance come back? It was easy to become lost in the language and story. Lukeman and Shakespeare’s writing are so similar I had to convince myself that I was indeed reading Lukeman and not Shakespeare. Lukeman follows the structure, the pace and the language of Shakespeare so closely that an opinion of the play can go both ways… one Lukeman is not really jumping out on a limb and creating his own version of Shakespeare or two Lukeman truly has mastered the Shakespearian art and created a play that can stand as a sequel to the great Shakespearian play. I lean towards the latter. I like the fact that he follows the speed and language of Shakespeare. I can see the two played back to back at Shakespeare festivals. It is a worthy creation that is a must read for Shakespeare fans. To make sure I am balanced in my review of Lukeman though I have a few minor issues with the text. The characters of Lady Macbeth and Fleance are underdeveloped. I wanted more time with Fleance and Fiona to see more of their undying love for each other and how the loss of Fiona drove Fleance to avenge her death and his father’s. I also wanted to hear just a little more about Lady Macbeth she was such an interesting character, especially after just an innocent embrace of MacDuff could have awoken within her a passion that lay dormant. If given the chance could the saintly Lady Malcolm actually have become a traitor to the crown? All the same these are personal preferences that in no way detract from the masterpiece Lukeman has created. I give The Tragedy of Macbeth Part II: The Seed of Banquo 5 out 5.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inspired by Literature 2009

"A historical account of an event or person can be considered a log of what the writer/viewer perceived of that event or person. His perception of the world that surrounds him at that fleeting moment he captures with his pen. After the writer has finished the sentence, after the painter has finished the painting that history he created has already passed. The brief moment that the writer/painter tried to capture has become history. Each sentence and painting/portrait is therefore a moment in time inscribed with an author. Each time that painting is viewed or the passage is read that history comes back to life and is reproduced in the mind of the viewer/reader. "

-A.M. Perez"Revisualizing History: Imprinting Perception A Close Reading of Steve Tomasula's "The Book of Portraiture."

(the above quote is from one of my MA Lit writings which is available in full here. It is chapter 8)

"Inspired by Literature" is a project that I began in January 2009. The idea behind this project (which is still a work in progress) is to create images that will retell the novel I have read. At the end of each novel there is a feeling that the reader will have and I try to capture my feeling with my camera and my computer. By doing so I have created not only a reading diary but also another "readable" creation. Which the next reader can take, "read" and then create their own work.

As I continue to work on this project I will also explore the inverse... from photograph or piece of art to literature.

To see the works and annotations created see my Inspired by Literature Photo Album 2009.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
The narration of this novel was interesting. Gregory took three women and tried to create distinct voices for each woman and use them to relay the action around them to the reader. At times this approach to narration worked and other times it was hard to see the difference between the characters. They all have their quirks which is the defining marker of their voice. Towards the end of the book each time we read Katherine she would begin her chapter by listing the things she had, which would help to identify the character (without the chapter heading of course) but there were times when the voice of Anne and Katherine is not that different (early on when they both found themselves in love). The subject matter of the book is very interesting and what drew me to the book in the first place. Gregory really made me feel for the characters. There were times in the novel when I actually felt bad for Lady Rochford. Although it was not quite as riveting as The “Other Boleyn Girl” it is worth the read.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Thousand Trails Campgrounds

Below is a list of all the campgrounds that are available to TTNLT members (you do need to upgrade for many of the parks to different levels of memberships). As we visit each I will tell the travlers out there about the events and things to do at or around the campground.

Help Support this site by visiting our sponsors:

Get a free phone and 2000 minutes of talk time for $100 bucks click the link below and type PROMO CODE: RUMOR100FR at checkout. FREE TEXT-PHONE - NO CONTRACT!!! Platinum Tel is the lowest priced Pay-As-You-Go Cell phone providers out there. Their prices for Text, Phone and Internet beat Net 10, Trac Phone and Virgin Mobile. Plus they give you an awesome free phone. Check out the FREE LG Rumor phone that you get free with a $100 top off card. And best of all NO Contracts!


Thousand Trails: (abc order)
Bend/Sunriver- Bend Oregon
Chehalis- Chehalis Washington
Chesapeake Bay- Gloucester Virginia
Colorado River – Columbus Texas
Countryside RV Resort- Apache Junction Arizona (ELS Park Pass)
Cultus Lake – Lindell Beach British Columbia
Forest Lake- Advance North Carolina
Hershey- Lebanon Pennsylvania
Horseshoe Lakes – Clinton Indiana
Idyllwild – Idyllwild California
Kenisee Lake – Jefferson Ohio
La Conner – LaConner Washington
Lake Conroe – Willis Texas
Lake of the Springs – Oregon House California
Lake Tawakoni- Point Texas
Lake Texoma – Gordonwille Texas
Lake Whitney – Bridgeport Texas
Las Vegas – Las Vegas Nevada
Leavenworth – Leavenworth Washington
Lynchburg – Gladys Virginia
Medina Lake – Lakehills Texas
Morgan Hill – Morgan Hill California
Mount Vernon- Bow Washington
Oakzanita – Descanso California
Orlando – Clermont Florida
Pacific City – Cloverdale Oregon
Palm Springs- Palm Desert California
Pio Pico – Jamul California
San Benito - Paicines, California
Soledad Canyon - Acton, California
St. Clair - St. Clair, Michigan


Naco:
Bay Landing – Bridgeport Texas
Birch Bay- Blaine Washington
Carolina Landing – Fair Play South Carolina
Cherokee Landing – Middleton Tennessee
Chestnut Lake – Port Republic New Jersey
Indian Lakes- Batesville Indiana
Lake Minden – Nicolaus California
Little Diamond- Newport Washington
Long Beach – Seaview Washington
Natchez Trace - Hohenwald Tennessee
Peace River- Wauchula Florida
Ponderosa Resort- Lotus California
Rancho Oso – Santa Barbara California
Russian River – Cloverdale California
Snowflower – Emigrant Gap California
South Jetty - Florence, Oregon
Tropic Winds Resort – Harlingen Texas (ELS, Thousand Trails, Naco, Leisure Time)
Turtle Beach Fish Camp- Manteca, California
Virginia Landing – Quniby Virginia
Wilderness Lakes – Menifee California
Yosemite Lakes- Groveland California


Leisure Time:
Crescent Bar- Qunicy Washington
Grandy Creek – Concrete Washington
Oceana – Ocean City Washington
Paradise – Silver Creek Washington
Seaside – Seaside Oregon
Thunderbird- Monroe Washington
Tropic Winds RV Resort – Harlingen Texas
Whalers Rest – South Beach Oregon


Mid-Atlantic:
Bear Cave - Buchanan, Michigan
Diamond Caverns – Park City Kentucky
Green Mountain – Lenoir North Carolina
Hidden Cove – Arley Alabama
Rondout Valley – Accord New York
The Oaks at Point South - Yemassee South Carolina
Three Flags- Wildwood Florida


Outdoor World:
Circle M – Lancaster Pennsylvania
Gateway to Cape Cod - Rochester Maine
Gettysburg Farm – Dover Pennsylvania
Harbor View – Colonial Beach Virginia
Lake and Shore – Ocean View New Jersey
Lake Gaston – Littleton North Carolina
Moody Beach – Moody ME
Orlando Encore – Clermont Florida (only available to Outdoor World members, TT members who added on OW this park is NOT available to you)

PA Dutch Country – Manheim Pennsylvania
Pine Country – Belvidere Illinois
Scotrun – Scotrun Pennsylvania
Sea Pines – Swainton New Jersey
Sturbridge - Sturbridge MA
Timothy Lake North &South - East Stroudsburg PA
Williamsburg – Williamsburg Virginia

If you would like to share photos and a "Campground Profile Listing" please read the submission guidelines HERE.
**Those campgroung listing in bold we have visted and information and pictures are coming soon. ** If you have been to a location listed about and would like to comment on your stay please leave a comment below. All comments are moderated.

“Amanda's Weekly Zen” is not associated with Thousand Trails or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries. All the text, images, graphics are copyrighted by A.M. Perez-Carroll. You must contact A.M. Perez-Carroll and include a link back to http://www.amandasweeklyzen.com/ to use any of the text, images or graphics at “Amanda's Weekly Zen.” All Rights are Reserved.

RV Fulltime Thousand Trails

Help Support this site by visiting our sponsors:

Get a free phone and 2000 minutes of talk time for $100 bucks click the link below and type PROMO CODE: RUMOR100FR at checkout. FREE TEXT-PHONE - NO CONTRACT!!! Platinum Tel is the lowest priced Pay-As-You-Go Cell phone providers out there. Their prices for Text, Phone and Internet beat Net 10, Trac Phone and Virgin Mobile. Plus they give you an awesome free phone. Check out the FREE LG Rumor phone that you get free with a $100 top off card. And best of all NO Contracts!

Thousand Trails Member Union (on Facebook)

CAMPGROUND PROFILE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Write a profile for a TTNLT, OW, MA or RPI campground or resort because your opinion and experience matter.

I was looking over some of the new thousand trails Contracts and noticed an interesting change.
The upgrade fee to an elite membership is near 5000.00 dollars and one must pay 3 dollars a day after 60 days.  Ouch this is a big difference from the original contracts.   For full-timers this 3 dollars a day adds up to about the cost of a years’ worth of insurance on our rig. Which over 10 years would be well over 10,000 dollars.  At this price one is better off just purchasing a used contract form a good dealer. 
How to buy a Used thousand trails Membership

Now it takes about 3 to 8 weeks currently for TTNLT to facilitate the change of owner on a used membership.  So this is defiantly a draw back.  However depending on the use of the membership this could save a great deal of money for the owner over the length of ownership    and about 50% off of the price of a new contract. 
Since DA Juice Mon ( 40 foot sailing Yacht) was declared a total loss after suffering severe cracking due to a grounding in a bad storm off the coast of Islamorada FL in the Keys.  Amanda and Mav insisted on a non-sinking yacht. Therefore we purchased a luxury 40 foot  KZ Escalade 5th wheel.  (Thank you Mark Scott at Giant Recreation World Orlando for saving us about 10 grand his direct line is  407 448 1949 tell him Norwood sent you.  )
While I don’t like the direction of Thousand Trails, Naco, Leisure time, Mid Atlantic, Outdoor World I regrettably must admit there is real financial benefit to being a member.  So Amanda and I familiarized ourselves with the new contracts and fees. And while I normally recommend our guy in LOTS CA I feel one can do a lot better buying a used membership now since the new membership have so many draw backs. 
It is scary buying a quality used thousand trails membership at a distance because you pay 2000 to 3000 dollars upfront and you don’t see anything for nearly a month.  I believe this process makes buying a used membership difficult and time consuming for an individual. This will stop most people from even considering a used contract. 
Buying a used membership is a bit confusing and if you are not comfortable with the person you are buying from I would suggest finding a good Broker.  A good broker has many years of experience dealing with the contracts departments and is able to resolve issue quickly that might have taken a long time without their assistance.  There is no doubt you will pay a bit more for a membership using a  broker.  But this broker may very well save you a great deal of money in upgrades by helping you find the right membership the first time.   

This may not sound like a lot but I have purchased 5 different thousand trails contracts over the years and know firsthand that every contract is different. There are 1000s of variations.  So having someone familiar with all the thousand trails contracts is very necessary to buying a contract that best fits your needs. 
 If you need help finding a Broker to buy or sale please email me or Amanda atnocar303@gmail.com  (be sure to title your email TTNLT or something similar)
Good luck on your research  will see you on the TTNLT Trail!!!

There are two things that you will need to do before embarking on your fulltime adventure with Thousand Trails; 1) finding the right RV to live in and 2) deciding which Thousand Contract is right for you Or upgrading your current Thousand Trails membership . I put together this article to help you navigate your way through the many Thousand Trails contracts and succeed at the contract game.


Thousand Trails: Please email Norwood at norcar303@gmail.com if you would like the contact information for the sales professional we worked with at Thousand Trails.

Recently my wife and I purchased a Thousand Trails Elite National Membership Upgrade. This took some work and we were quoted many different prices but found the lowest cost way to purchase our upgrade was through a guy that was referred to us who works directly for Thousand Trails.

First we went to a preserve and this was not the best experience. Let me explain. I have been told so many different and conflicting things about the Platinum, Plus and VIP membership that I really did not know what was true. I spoke to members who have a platinum but say they have no high use restriction. However after reading the contract one will find this is simply not true. I spoke to sales people who told me the same. This was very frustrating and this is why I started this site to help potential buyers find a better more informed way to purchase what they need.

I want to provide Thousand Trails members who are interested in upgrades the ability ask me any question they want about the process. It’s simply not right to have hidden and misrepresented memberships.

Here is a little more information about our set up and our experiences…
We purchased from a very well know RV dealer in FL who gave us a free zone membership to thousand trails. This was a great experience because our sale man took great care of us and helped us stay within our price range on a 2007 Forest River Cherokee 5th wheel. Really Brant impressed us.

Then we found Craig a thousand trails sales professional who helped us upgrade our membership to a National Elite membership.

Back to Thousand Trails… well since we had a nice free membership from Lazydays we wanted to Upgrede our thousand trails membership to a national membership. This can be a strange process because some sales people try to charge a lot more for a membership than others. However we found a great guy who is honest and had our best interest at hart. Please email Norwood at norcar303@gmail.com if you would like information.

The Thousand Trails membership upgrade we purchased was an Elite (higher than Platinum)and it is one of the best memberships one can buy. It has 21 days in the thousand trails system and no out time which means after our 21 day in we can go to the next preserve. It also comes with some vacation cabins free of charge but this is really not why we purchased. Next RPI preferred Gold was included and ROD which offer a great extended network for traveling. RPI Basically offers 10 dollars a night at nice campgrounds and ROD offers free camping but I have not yet used them so I will update this once I learn more.

Cost
We paid 4000 thousand dollars for the Thousand Trails Membership upgrade and feel it was worth every penny. We were going to add Outdoor World for another 2000 but felt we really would not use it with our particular travels. Keep in mind I am talking about a new membership not used. Price a used Platinum Thousand Trails membership you will see its very expensive. Thousand Trails TTNLR membership and upgrade
RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club
View Photos of Singles - Match.com

I would be willing to bet that the majority of people will save money and hassle buying new. But this is your choice. Whatever you do, do not take anyone’s word on the contracts used or new for sale. YOU MUST READ THE CONTRACT TO KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE OR WILL PURCAHSE! All too often if you ask a person about their contract they simply have not read the thing and they will tell you they have privileges that they really do not. Again this can be easily solved but you must read the contract.

Here is a list of all the newer Thousand Trails memberships....
Getaway
National
Zone (west or east)
Region
3-Park

Here is a list of the available Thousand Trails Upgrades:
Platinum
Platinum Plus
Platinum VIP
Elite
Elite Connections


I hope this helps a few of you navigate the Thousand Trails contract game in a more informed manner. Take care and say hello if you see our 2007 Forest River Cherokee Fifth Wheel pulled by our 05 red Nissan Titian truck. Also if you talk to Craig or Brant be sure to tell them hello from Amanda and I.

Happy Travels
Norwood

RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club

Oh and PS here is a list of the Campgrounds that TTNLT members can stay at (certain campgrounds are only available to members with upgrades).

Write a profile for a TTNLT, OW, MA or RPI campground or resort because your opinion and experience matter.


Thousand Trails: (abc order)
Bend/Sunriver- Bend Oregon
Chehalis- Chehalis Washington
Chesapeake Bay- Gloucester Virginia
Colorado River – Columbus Texas
Countryside RV Resort- Apache Junction Arizona (ELS Park Pass)
Cultus Lake – Lindell Beach British Columbia
Forest Lake- Advance North Carolina
Hershey- Lebanon Pennsylvania
Horseshoe Lakes – Clinton Indiana
Idyllwild – Idyllwild California
Kenisee Lake – Jefferson Ohio
La Conner – LaConner Washington
Lake Conroe – Willis Texas
Lake of the Springs – Oregon House California
Lake Tawakoni- Point Texas
Lake Texoma – Gordonwille Texas
Lake Whitney – Bridgeport Texas
Las Vegas – Las Vegas Nevada
Leavenworth – Leavenworth Washington
Lynchburg – Gladys Virginia
Medina Lake – Lakehills Texas
Morgan Hill – Morgan Hill California
Mount Vernon- Bow Washington
Oakzanita – Descanso California
Orlando – Clermont Florida
Pacific City – Cloverdale Oregon
Palm Springs- Palm Desert California
Pio Pico – Jamul California
San Benito - Paicines, California
Soledad Canyon - Acton, California
St. Clair - St. Clair, Michigan


Naco:
Bay Landing – Bridgeport Texas
Birch Bay- Blaine Washington
Carolina Landing – Fair Play South Carolina
Cherokee Landing – Middleton Tennessee
Chestnut Lake – Port Republic New Jersey
Indian Lakes- Batesville Indiana
Lake Minden – Nicolaus California
Little Diamond- Newport Washington
Long Beach – Seaview Washington
Natchez Trace - Hohenwald Tennessee
Peace River- Wauchula Florida
Ponderosa Resort- Lotus California
Rancho Oso – Santa Barbara California
Russian River – Cloverdale California
Snowflower – Emigrant Gap California
South Jetty - Florence, Oregon
Tropic Winds Resort – Harlingen Texas (ELS, Thousand Trails, Naco, Leisure Time)
Turtle Beach Fish Camp- Manteca, California
Virginia Landing – Quniby Virginia
Wilderness Lakes – Menifee California
Yosemite Lakes- Groveland California


Leisure Time:
Crescent Bar- Qunicy Washington
Grandy Creek – Concrete Washington
Oceana – Ocean City Washington
Paradise – Silver Creek Washington
Seaside – Seaside Oregon
Thunderbird- Monroe Washington
Tropic Winds RV Resort – Harlingen Texas
Whalers Rest – South Beach Oregon


Mid-Atlantic:
Bear Cave - Buchanan, Michigan
Diamond Caverns – Park City Kentucky
Green Mountain – Lenoir North Carolina
Hidden Cove – Arley Alabama
Rondout Valley – Accord New York
The Oaks at Point South - Yemassee South Carolina
Three Flags- Wildwood Florida


Outdoor World:
Circle M – Lancaster Pennsylvania
Gateway to Cape Cod - Rochester Maine
Gettysburg Farm – Dover Pennsylvania
Harbor View – Colonial Beach Virginia
Lake and Shore – Ocean View New Jersey
Lake Gaston – Littleton North Carolina
Moody Beach – Moody ME
Orlando Encore – Clermont Florida (only available to Outdoor World members, TT members who added on OW this park is NOT available to you)
PA Dutch Country – Manheim Pennsylvania
Pine Country – Belvidere Illinois
Scotrun – Scotrun Pennsylvania
Sea Pines – Swainton New Jersey
Sturbridge - Sturbridge MA
Timothy Lake North &South - East Stroudsburg PA
Williamsburg – Williamsburg Virginia










“Amanda's Weekly Zen” is not associated with Thousand Trails or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries. All the text, images, graphics are copyrighted by A.M. Perez. You must contact A.M. Perez and include a link back to www.amandasweeklyzen.com to use any of the text, images or graphics at “Amanda's Weekly Zen.” All Rights are Reserved.

About Travel

Our setup (2)
We have done a lot of travel throughout the years. In fact there are a couple of posts from Zen’s early days about our travel in the Pacific Northwest with Thousand Trails in 2004. Considering that much of our nine years together has been spent traveling it is not surprising that in 2009 we decided to hit the road again. This time we are starting in Florida and will work our way through the East Coast. New rig, a furbaby and same desire to see as much of the US we can. Join us here as I narrate our travels, hubby fills you in on the details of how to fulltime RV and Maverick shows you just how cute he is.

Travel Photo Albums
Photos from the Road 2009

Travel Photo Albums

Disney World Photos 2009

Disney World Photos 2008

Useful Travel Information
Thousand Trails Contract Information

TTNLT Campground Listings

Campground Reviews

Thousand Trails Website

RV Emergency Road Service from the Good Sam Club

Books Reviewed in 2009

Here is a list of the books that were reviewed here on Weeky Zen in 2009...
The Tragedy of Macbeth Part II
The Boleyn Inheritance
A Patchwork Planet- Anne Tyler
Le Petit Prince
If on a winter's night...- Italo Calvino
New Moon- Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series Book 2)
Eclipse- Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series Book 3)
Breaking Dawn- Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series Book 4)
Belle Ruin- Martha Grimes
The Rule of Four - Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Dirty Little Angels- Chris Tusa
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri