Tuesday, November 15, 2016

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Heh...this job. 

I want to start off my admitting something. I hope this isn't the last job I will ever do. I know I'm good at it and I love being able to help my church, and I love the people I work for, but I do hope I'll be able to work in a more lucrative and creative field again someday.  I don't mean to come across as ungrateful for my job, but it isn't exactly the kind of thing that stirs the imagination, if you get what I mean.  

On paper, the whole thing seems pretty straight forward. I'm called a secretary, but in reality I suppose I'm more of an office manager for our church.  I answer phones, keep up with files and things  like that, but I also do accounting and insurance stuff, as well as keeping up with payroll and taxes.  Exciting stuff.  :)

However, I do have to admit, that aside from the things that I will be able to put on my resume, I have also gotten some really interesting experiences.  This morning for instance.  My pastor has been having some trouble with his vision and his eye doctor wanted him to try wearing contact lenses for a while instead of glasses.  Like a lot of people starting out with contacts, he has a lot of trouble putting them in himself, so he asked me if I would help him. He knows I wear contacts, so I thought he was wanting some advice on how to put them in.  No, he needed more help than that.  I spent about twenty minutes this morning putting his contacts in his eyes for him!  I was surprisingly not grossed out about doing it, which surprised me. I think maybe he has the hang of it now, though, so I don't think I'll have to do that again! Fingers crossed!

2) Last night Steve's company gave the employees tickets to the Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.  That is where they do an elaborate light display along the path and you can walk along and listen to music and look at the lights.  We haven't actually done the walk through in years, so I was excited to go!  Plus, we found out that we were going to be there on one of the Dog Walking nights, so the gardens were full of people walking their dogs!  Steve had to give me a pop quiz before we got there so that I could try and remember the names of the people he worked with (which almost backfired in a spectacular way, but luckily I didn't have to say his company's owner's name out loud.  Let's just say that had I said his name the way I thought it was pronounced, I would have called him something that wouldn't have been flattering.) 

We had such a good time!  I met a lot of people and I got to pet a lot of random dogs!  I also accidentally stepped onto a dog turd, which was less than ideal, but when you've got a lot of dogs, you'll have the occasional turd.  Such is life. 

3) Um...anyone else kind of feel like there might be some slight overreaction about the election turn out going on?  Just a little?  Like...oh, I dunno, maybe some of these people need to calm down and deal with shit like adults?

(By the way, just me saying that much apparently makes me racist, homophobic, a misogynist, and possibly pro-hate crime, or some such thing.  I thought maybe you should know what a horrible person I was, just in case it means you can't be friends with me anymore.  Sorry.  It's been a good run, though, hasn't it? I'll miss you. I'm sorry that my past as not any of those things at all has just been proven false and I turned out to be such a disappointment.)

*rude hand gesture*

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

HUH...

I know that I don't have any right to say anything about the election.  I didn't vote.  I couldn't.  I know that sounds stupid, if not downright reprehensible, to a lot of people, but I couldn't, with good conscience, support either candidate.  My gut didn't trust Hillary Clinton, and my brain didn't trust Donald Trump. 

I struggled with it. I didn't want to be one of those people who just couldn't make a decision, but I couldn't see how either one would be good. I felt guilty about not going, but I didn't want to just go and vote for the sake of getting a sticker so I could post a selfie, either.  I also wasn't going to let anyone shame me into making an empty gesture, because screw that noise.  The world is full of empty gestures, you know?  If I'm going to get behind something, I want to believe in it with some conviction and not just because it's the "thing to do."

Last night I was alone, bored, and not feeling particularly well. I think if I'd had someone to watch the election results with, I might have done so, but instead I went to bed early.  I kept up with some of the results online until I got sleepy.

When I woke up this morning, I was truly unprepared to find out that Donald Trump had won this election.
I genuinely thought Hillary Clinton was going to win.  I really did.  Whether or not I trusted her, she at least had some experience.  I can't say I'm sorry she lost, but I can say I'm confused that she lost.

So for better or for for worse this living muppet, Donald Trump, is our new president.  I honestly hope it isn't the disaster that it very well could turn into.  All of this really blows my mind.

So...yeah.  God bless America.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: HOLY CITY EDITION

SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

I wish there could be some kind of swashbuckling adventure story about how we got out of Charleston by the skin of our teeth, but alas, it is not to be.

No, we just got up super early, had breakfast in the Starbucks in the lobby of our hotel (because the call of pumpkin spice is strong, that's why) and we went back to the little airport to turn in our rental car.  Steve doesn't have to go through proper security lines anymore because he has some kind of pre-checked thing (grumblegrumblegrumble) so I got in line with the rest of the peasants and got frisked by the TSA.  This time my right ankle set off the body scan alert.  Seriously, I know I have thick ankles, but they aren't that bad!

There was a lady in line with me who had a really neat tattoo, though.  Around her thigh she had tattoo of a lace garter with an antique pistol stuck through it.  I mean, you don't see that everyday!

So after that, we went to one of the shops so that I could get a snow globe that wouldn't get confiscated, and we waited on our plane to leave.  Since our flight wasn't full, I ended up being able to move to a seat right next to an exit that had a lot of leg room!  I think Steve wanted it, but he was nice enough to let me use it.  Awwww.

We landed in Atlanta (have I mentioned how much I don't enjoy the Atlanta airport?) and our layover was long enough for us to have lunch and sit around for a while.  We ended up on a flight full of kids going to Sci-Vis Space Camp (which is the program for visually impaired children) but we didn't say anything to them.  At this point, I may not be the best ambassador for the place!  Haha!  Nah, I wouldn't have said anything to discourage them.  I'm not a monster, after all!  They were excited.  I ended up sitting next to a lady on the trip home that had an almost visible bubble of "DON"T TALK TO ME" around her.  I was ok with that.

Then we got home and that was that.  I already miss it.  Not the sweating, of course, but there is something about the place.  I can't really explain it. 

I think when I'm old, I'm going to move over to Charleston or Savannah... somewhere out there  Old people don't mind the heat so much.  I just need to find some people to go with me.

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: HOLY CITY EDITION

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

Today was the day that Steve didn't actually have to work!  Yay!

We got all our stuff together and headed out to our first destination.  We'd looked at a map and found a place called Sullivan's Island.  There wasn't a whole lot of stuff there, but we figured that we'd still take a look around.  It was a nice drive out there, and we finally got to drive out over the big bridge.  I don't particularly like driving over bridges like that.  I know that they are made by smart engineers and everything, but engineers can have bad days.  Eeeeeeesh.  Anyway, we drove through the lovely little town and wound up driving through what looked like a residential area.  We were going to go out to the beach, but we felt a little weird parking along people's houses to get to it, so we drove until we found a tiny little park with what looked to be a public beach.  It was really beautiful and tiny, and it was on the edge of everything, so we got out and walked a bit.  It wasn't a place where you could go swimming or anything.  There were signs that warned of a dangerous riptide, but it was a beautiful place to walk.  The sand was pearl gray and it sparkled!  I picked up some shells and looked around a bit.  We didn't stay for long, since it looked like it might rain, but we stayed long enough to see a wedding party come and take some pictures.  I loved it there.  How nice would it be to live in a place like that?

We left there and drove to the next place which was called Folly Beach.  Folly Beach is much more like the beach towns that I'm used to.  It wasn't as nice as Sullivan's Island, and it wasn't huge by any stretch of the imagination, but there were shops and restaurants, and there were hotels and beach houses all over the place.  We parked the car and walked around a bit.  We walked through the shops first, which I have to say, had some hilarious merchandise.  I love looking at the cheesy stuff that gets sold in tourist shops.  I don't buy it, but I love looking at it!  We got hungry while doing that, and we kind of stumbled across a very out-of-nowhere Irish Pub and we decided to stop and eat there.  It seemed oddly out of place, to be honest, and except for the size of the building, it was very much like the pubs we saw while we were in Dublin.  I thought that was kind of neat.

After lunch, we moved on to the city pier.  We walked up, and a very friendly man stopped us and told us all about the stuff we could see there.  I liked him immediately, and he seemed to love his job, so I mentally adopted him.  : )  Steve decided he didn't want to walk the entire length of the pier, so I left him at the tables, and I walked to the end.  It was really cool!  There were a lot of people fishing, and some guy had just caught the biggest fish I'd ever seen outside of an aquarium.  When he pulled it up, everyone came over to see it.  I don't know what kind it was, but it was so pretty that I kind of hate that he caught it!  It was gold and about four feet long!  I didn't stick around, though, because I wanted to go down to the beach before the rain started for real.

We walked down to the shore, and one thing I noticed was that the sand was half white and half black (which I thought was weird) and that instead of shells, the shoreline was covered in chunks of dead coral.  Huh.  We walked a bit and picked up some shells, but we could tell it was really about to rain and we didn't want to get soaked before getting back in the car.  I got to see the coast, at least!  I wonder why the sand is black.  I always though that had something to do with volcanoes.  Oh, well.  I got my shells and sand, and we went back to the hotel.

I had every intention of cleaning up and going back out, but once I got back to the hotel, I hit a wall and I hit it HARD.  I had gotten a shower (because of frickin' course I did. I've had a million showers since I've been here!!!!) and I had decided to reorganize my luggage to making packing easier, and I don't know if it was a blood sugar thing, or if all the walking and irregular sleeping and things just decided to pile up on me all at once, but I went down.  I didn't faint, exactly, but I had to lie down and not move for a bit.  My body just said "Nope."  I was pissed.  Here it was, my last night here, and I was lying in a hotel room and not doing anything!  However, sometimes you have to listen to your body, I guess.  I think it must have been a low blood sugar thing.  We finally decided to just forgo going anywhere else and just ordered room service again.  Heh, it was kind of funny, actually.  We didn't want much for dinner, so we both ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and fries off of the children's menu.  I don't know if room service people mind if adults order off of the kid's menu or not, but we didn't care and they didn't know we didn't have kids up here.  We had also found Star Wars: A New Hope playing on TV, so of course you know we were watching that.  It only occurred to me later how silly we must have looked to the waitress, to have been in our room, watching Star Wars and ordering grilled cheese sandwiches. :) At least we weren't wearing footie pajamas.  I mean, I didn't even bring mine!

I felt better after we ate and I finished the packing stuff I wanted to.  Now I'm sad that we're leaving tomorrow. I really love it here, even with the sweating.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: HOLY CITY EDITION



September 22, 2016

Happy first day of fall!  Not that it feels like fall. Eh, well hat was I expecting?  Heehee.

Steve didn't have to go into the office to work today, so we actually got to spend some time together this morning! We got breakfast and then sat around in the lobby of the hotel and chatted a bit. We finally parted ways so that he could do his homework and I headed back out to explore some more.

I realized last night that I didn't bring any clothes or shoes suitable for going to the beach, even if I was just going to walk around and not swim.  Greeeeeeeeat.  What was I thinking? I probably don't have to tell you that most of the cutesy boutique clothing shops around here don't cater to the bodaciously fluffy kind of woman that I am, even though I'm not exactly completely out of the "straight" sizes. I figured that it wouldn't be easy to find something to wear. Luckily, the very thing I complained about yesterday actually helped me. I walked to the GAP and got some shorts! Hooray for the GAP!

After that I just sort of wondered around for a while looking for some shenanigans to get involved in. I walked all the way to the visitors center and grabbed a tour bus. I really should have done that on my first day, but I got really excited about being able to walk everywhere I wanted to go. I'm not so excited about that now, so I paid to take a "General History" tour. The tour was ok, but I was disappointed that the driver didn't give us more specific history concerning things that happened around here. He did give us the history of the town itself, and about a couple of the houses, but I think he spent more time talking about the colleges here in the city. I was still glad to have taken the tour, because at least I know now that I went to most of the major things that I would have wanted to see. I missed a couple of the house museums, but that's fine. Maybe the only thing I won't get a chance to see is the French Quarter, but it is mostly restaurants, so unless I want to go from restaurant to restaurant and eat, which actually sounds like a pretty good idea now that I think of it, I am ok not going back! 

I actually left the tour bus before we got back to the visitor's center. His tour was technically over, and he gave us the option to get off and take a trolley back to wherever we were going. I got off because I wanted to look around the market one more time and then I could just walk back to the hotel.  Before I could look around too much, Steve texted me to let me know he was done with work, so I walked back and we ate together.  We had plans for later, so we came back to the hotel for a bit so I could clean up. 

I feel like this whole cleaning up thing has taken up way too much of my time here in Charleston.  I just really hate feeling sweaty unless I specifically want to be sweaty, you know?

We hung around the hotel until it was time for us to leave, and we walked back down past Market Street to meet our tour group.  We were going on a ghost tour!  Woot! I love, love, love going on ghost tours.  I really do think it's the best way to learn about a city.  I mean, sure, you have to listen to ghost stories, and mileage may vary on that depending on your feelings on the supernatural, but the tour guides usually have a real passion about the history of the city that your in, so you get a lot of the normal history along with the ghosties.  Our tour was pretty good, although like the bus tour, I thought there would be more to it.  Not that it wasn't fun and informative and all that, but I still thought there would me more stories.  We did learn that Edgar Allan Poe's legendary "Annabelle Lee" is allegedly buried in a kind of out-of-the-way graveyard just off of King St. so that was pretty cool.  The tour took us all over and lasted for about 2 hours.  By the time it was over, Steve and I were hot, sweaty, tired, and starving.  We had not eaten dinner before going on this thing, and I don't have any idea what we were thinking.  We felt too gross to go into a restaurant, so we went back to the hotel and got room service.

I love room service, even though it seems kind of hedonistic.  I don't know why it does, really, other than someone else cooks and brings you food that you can eat without wearing pants, but it was good!  We ended up staying up rather later than we had intended to, but it was a fun day.  I slept kind of hard.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: HOLY CITY EDITION


SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Today has been an odd day.

I don't really understand the way time works in this town.  Steve had to leave early for work, and so I slept in a bit longer than I had intended. I got ready to go and was out the door before ten, but things were either not open yet, or had just opened. I expect that from restaurants, but not from shops. In fact, when I found an open store and walked in, two different workers said "Wow, you're out early!" Ok, then.  Charleston is a town of late risers.  I can dig that, I guess! 

Oh, and a little off topic, but here's a weird thing that happened to me TWICE while I was out this morning.  I got asked twice where I was from.  I told them Alabama, of course, and both people said "Oh, that means your a Roll Tide, right?"  Now, I'm used to being asked which football team I root for, because being from Alabama means you love football, I guess, but that's a weird way to put that isn't it?  Am I "A Roll Tide?"  Is that a thing?  I told them I wasn't really a football fan, but if I had to choose, then yes, I suppose so.  That's not really accurate, but it was easier than trying to explain the intricacies of the football culture in my state. They were satisfied and so I left it at that.  Weirdness.

Since I had designated this my shopping and wondering around day, I decided to head on to the Charleston Market, which I'd heard really good things about. I found it and was about to go in when I got sidetracked by a big steeple off in the distance.  I just followed the streets until I found St. Phillips which was a church established in 1690! I'm  uncomfortable going into a church as a tourist, so I just looked around outside and wondered through the cemetery. I love old cemeteries, and this one was interesting.  You couldn't read most of the headstones and a lot of the other headstones had fallen over and broken, so they used the pieces as paving stones. It was nice and quiet there. While I was there, I got a text from my sister asking if I was anywhere around the riots.  I had no idea what she was talking about, and immediately got nervous, because I had no idea what might have started once I left my hotel.  Apparently she had thought we were in Charlotte, so lucky for me (at least) I was safe from getting teargassed for another day.  I should probablt watch the news while I'm on vacation for these reasons.  Good grief.

Eventually I left the graveyard and made it to the Market.  I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was supposed to be all local artists and city specific type stuff for sale, and there was some of that there, but a lot of it was just your run of the mill flea market stuff. I had thought about buying one of the sweet grass baskets, but good Lord, they are expensive! I know they must take a fair amount of skill to make, but goodness.  I did manage to find a city cookbook and a Haunted Charleston book to add to my collection, but that was all.

Before I left the market area, I stopped into the Confederacy Museum. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was pretty good.  It was very small, but there was a lot to see.  It looked like someone's attic, but with cards on everything that told you what it was!

I left there and continued walking around. I thought that there would be more independent shops, and there were a few, but most of what I found were nationwide chains stores that we have back home. There were a couple of cute boutiques, and I found a Lush and bought a couple of good smelling soap things, but that was it. I did get accosted by some of those people handing out lotion samples, and they say "oh, I want to give you another one, please come inside to get it, and like a dummy I went in. I told the lady I didn't have time to get the whole spiel and I bolted. When I left, I ended up going the wrong way just to get away from them, and instead of turning around, I wound up walking around a complete city block just to avoid passing them again. :)  I'm not even sorry.

I decided to go back to the hotel and cool off for a while. Seriously, I think Charleston must be right above hell, because the heat rising from there is the only excuse I can find for the weather! I felt gross and sweaty, but I didn't get much of a chance to do anything about it, because Steve texted me almost the second I sat down.  He'd gotten off of work early and was having lunch across the street, so I went and joined him.

After lunch, we came back to the hotel and he fell asleep. I was going to take a nap, too, but I decided to take a bath with one of my new bath bombs (I love Lush, y'all) instead and so I spent the next 45 minutes relaxing in glittery blue water that smelled like grapefruits. :)

Once I got out and regrouped, I went out again for a bit to look around in a different part of town I hadn't explored yet. I didn't find a lot, mainly just restaurants, so I came back to the hotel to chill until Steve was done doing the work he had to bring back to the hotel with him.

Once he was done, he said we needed to go do something, but he wasn't in the mood to walk around downtown, so we decided to drive out to a shopping center near where he's been going to work so we could look around. On our way out of the parking garage, we noticed that a Black Lives Matter protest had sprung up in front of our hotel. Great timing on our part! We went shopping and then came back for dinner. We ate at a place called Virginia's on King, which isn't far from our hotel. It was so good. I had cheese grits good enough to make me slap a nun. I didn't, of course, but I could have. :) By the time we got back, the protest was over, so we had no trouble getting back inside.

I feel like I'm not doing enough while I'm here! I've been constantly walking and looking at as much as I can, but I'm afraid I'm going to miss something important! I'll have to get creative tomorrow. I have one more day on my own, and then Steve and I are going out to one of the beaches on Friday, if nothing happens. I need to make sure to see as much as I can before we leave on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: HOLY CITY EDITION



September 20, 2016

Steve's alarm clock went off so early this morning. So very early. I'm convinced that his alarm clock was put together in a sweat shop in hell. 

Since I was up (ahem) I decided to plan my day. I'm not very good at planning things, because I tend to just go along with whatever everyone else is doing, but I was going to be by myself so I had to do something! Armed with Google Maps, some brochures, and a trolley map, I decided that today would be an educational day!  Well, educational-ish. 

SO MANY MAPS!

I decided to forgo the trolley and walk across town.  First off, Charleston is really heckin' humid.  Like...bad humid. It wasn't even that hot, and it was cloudy, but by the time I was almost to my destination, my face and hair were wet. Yuck.  The walk wasn't even that far, or difficult, but still...bleh.  At any rate, I went on and finally made it to the South Carolina Aquarium!


There were otters there. Otters are my favorite.

You guys know how I love looking at fish things, so don't judge! This was the first time that I've ever been to an aquarium where I wasn't being rushed through, so that was nice. Unfortunately the place was relatively small, so I managed to go all the way through in about an hour. That was fine, though, because that meant I could be on the next ferry out to Fort Sumter.

I only had the most basic idea of what Fort Sumter was all about, so I learned a lot today! We had a 30 minute ride out to the island, and the ferry had a recorded voice telling us about all the things we were seeing. It was kind of surreal, because I swear that same voice does announcements for things at Disney World, only instead of telling you to stand clear of the doors, it was telling us about Indian massacres and war stuff. He was way too cheerful about it.  Oh! There were also dolphins that swam just ahead of the boat, so that was fun!

Ft. Sumpter gonna Sumpt.
I really enjoyed looking around the fort!  I went mostly because it was an important historical place and it felt like I should go see it, but I was surprised how interesting it all was.  We got to spend an hour out there, and I think I touched everything and read all of the signs. I even stood in the powder magazine and inspected the walls made of oyster shells and lime. There was a tour that told more about the place, and I kind of wish that I'd taken it to learn more about the place, but I was too busy looking around on my own.  The sun actually came out while we were there, and it stayed out until we got back. I bet you know what that means! My lily whiteness is now all red and hurty. Eh, whatever, I enjoyed myself.

I was starving by the time I got back, so I found a place called Saffron Deli & Bakery, thinking I'd grab something light and quick, but I was served an alarmingly huge plate of tuna and chicken salad, which was delicious, but way more than I could eat. It was a nice place, though, so I'd totally recommend it.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to do things before I had to head back to the hotel, so my last stop was at The Charleston Museum, which is the country's first museum! How cool is that? I wasn't able to see everything (I wanted to be back before Steve so that he wouldn't have to wait around on me) but I got to see a lot. It was really fascinating. There is an exhibit that covers the area of Charleston from pre-history onward, and it was very cool. I only made it to the Revolutionary War section before I realized I'd have to skip some stuff if I wanted to see the temporary exhibit they had. It was called Killer Fashion and it was, kind of hilariously, an exhibit about clothes and fashion accessories that people make from things they have to kill, or that can kill the people who make the stuff. That may not make much sense, so let me 'splain. There were things like Coral jewelry, because you have to farm the coral which kills it, and ivory, which of course comes from poached elephants. They also had corsets (which can do lots of internal damage) and things dyed with poisonous dyes, which can kill both the wearer and the manufacturer. I think it got a little preachy, though, only because it went so far as to talk about killing silkworms to make cloth, and killing the cochineal beetle to make red dye. Granted, you still have to kill something, but they're bugs for heaven's sake. They aren't exactly endangered.  Anyway, it was still a very good exhibit that I enjoyed looking at! I'm kind of thinking about going back later on so I can see the rest of the regular exhibits, but I'll have to wait and see if I have time.

By the time I was done there, it was time to head back to the hotel. I was so hot and tired by the time I got back, y'all. To give you an example of how hot and humid it had gotten, I sweated so much that the color from my clothes bled off onto my skin.  I'm not talking about brand new clothes, either. I'm talking about things that have been washed a lot before now! Gross! I had to take a bath.  This town will be a two shower a day place, I can already tell.

Steve got back about 10 minutes after I did and he was hungry because apparently the people he's working with out here don't believe in lunch breaks. We looked through Google Maps and found a restaurant called "Coast" which was a seafood place not far from where we are staying. After getting cleaned up, we walked over and had to go down an alley before we found it, but it was a great restaurant. It was housed in an old warehouse, and had super tall ceilings and exposed brick. The food was really delicious, too.  I had kale, on purpose, and it was good.

Now we are back in the room and Steve has fallen asleep, and my sunburn is itchy and my legs hurt, but it was still a really fun day!