Thursday, September 21, 2017

MORE RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Ugh.  One of our long time church deacons passed away yesterday, and I have been helping set up certain aspects of the funeral service.  It's never easy to help with a funeral, but I'm glad to do it because people in mourning aren't usually in the right frame of mind to handle all the little details that they want taken care of.  My particular job is to handle the A/V for the service, and that means I make sure the music that they want is available, that the photo slide shows are created, and that the service is set up to run smoothly.  Not a fun job, but one I am suited for, I guess.

Today I was working on putting everything together in the sanctuary computer so that when I get the order of service, I can put everything where it needed to go.  The family had sent me a list of 3 songs that had to be downloaded to be included in the service, and because of the program we use to run services (it's specific to churches to make things flow) I had to run the files within that program to make sure that we had the music in its entirety. One song was the Navy song, "Anchors Aweigh," one song was a hymn, and one song was "Go Rest High On That Mountain."  Damnit.

That song.  That damnable song.  I cry every time I hear it.  There are reasons, which I will not go into here, that it punches me right in the feelings and I can't get through it with any dignity.  Today, though, (and I'll explain why further down) I thought that I was going to make it all the way through with no problem.  I was sitting in the back of the church, singing along, thinking to myself that I was doing very well and then BOOM! Snotty, ugly, full on sobbing.  I couldn't stop.  Even when the song was over, I had to sit there and collect myself before going back into the office.

To add insult to injury, I had decided to wear what I thought was waterproof mascara today, only to find out that it was most assuredly NOT water proof.  I looked like a psychotic racoon.  Also, wiping my eyes caused both of my contacts to fold in half and slide into the corners of my eyes, which, if you've ever worn contacts, you know hurts like the devil.  So I had to go into the bathroom and try and repair my face and my eyes, and after all the sobbing and such, I looked like a sad, asthmatic clown and all I wanted to do was go home and eat a whole bag of potato chips.  Chips help sadness.  It's science.

How in the world am I supposed to actually run this stuff during the service on Saturday, when I can't even get through the one song when setting it up?  Oy.

2) OMG, I am so embarrassed!  I had to go run some errands earlier this week, and when I got out to the car, I clicked the remote to open the doors, heard them unlock, and then tried to open the door.  I say tried, because the door didn't move, but I know that it had unlocked because I'd heard the click. Turns out, it wasn't my car.  It wasn't a Volkswagen and it wasn't even really the same shape as my car.  The only thing it WAS, was red. My car was parked right next to the one I tried to open, which is why I heard the locks click, but apparently I walked right past it.

Seriously, folks, how do I still not know what my car looks like?  Granted, I drove the Seabring for 12 years, but still, I've never had this much trouble learning my new cars when I change one.   I'm going to have to get some stickers or something for the back window, because I need some sort of indicator that I'm actually at my own vehicle.  This is getting embarrassing!

3) I mentioned in my last entry that my doctor had put me on antidepressants (to help me with panic attacks) and I hate them. No, let me rephrase. I HAAAAAAAAAAATE THEM!


Now, I know this is going to sound kind of personal, but I hope you won't mind if I kind of describe the experience I'm having with this medication as things progress. It takes several weeks before it establishes itself into your chemical makeup, so changes come in stages.  I've had to take this kind of stuff at least twice before in my life (for different reasons) and this is the first time I've been so aware of the changes it's making as it's actually happening.  I think it'll help me to talk about it a little.

I've already told you about how I can't focus and how I'm gaining weight at an alarming pace.  The weight thing I expected, because the universe is a terrible place, but not being able to focus on anything is hard!  I already have the attention span of a ferret with ADHD, but now it's worse!  I'm either unable to sleep, or so tired I fall asleep whenever I sit down. I think the worst of it, though, is that now that the medicine has begun to work on my brain chemicals, I'm beginning to notice times when my feelings are getting numb.  Not all of them, of course, because that would make the most sense, but I don't really feel happy or joy or anything like that.  During those times, if I feel anything, I mostly feel sad, scared or irritated.  I also have times when I don't want to do anything at all.  I don't want to get out of bed, I don't want to go to work, I don't want to be around people, I don't want to watch TV, I don't want to read, or do crafts, or do my graphics work, or go anywhere.  I just want to lie in bed and not do anything except communicate by email and internet, because it feels less complicated than real life.  It feels exactly like being in a deep depression, only without the depression. That part actually scares me the most, because I've been a zombie on this type of medication before, and it makes you not care about anyone or anything. I don't want to be like that again.  I'm afraid of the toll that it will take on my friendships and relationships.  There are people I love so much, and what if I can't show them? Will I stop contacting them, or cut myself off from everyone?  Will I start feeling like I don't need them anymore?  I really, really don't want to do that to anyone.  Not that anyone really relies on me, I guess, but the people I love, I love a lot, so what if I start avoiding them?  What if someone needs me?  Will I be able to help them? What will happen when I'm taken off of this medicine at some point?  Will I have irreparably scarred my friendships by not being emotionally available, or even physically available?  I'm concerned that all of that will happen, even though it might not be as bad as all of that, but it's a possibility!  I don't want to hurt anyone! I don't have a surplus of friends, and I'd like to keep the ones I have, if you please.  It sucks.  I'm thankful, at this point at least, that I don't feel like that all of the time.  I can pull myself out of the funk and be somewhat normal, but it's when I'm not actively trying to engage with people that I slip into that...blah-ness.  So I guess I'm sort of letting everyone know, before I go into that possible trance-esque state, that I still love you and will be back to normal as soon as I can! Please don't go anywhere! 

You have no idea how much I wish I didn't need to be put on this stuff.  I'd just like to have a normal brain, please!  Well, as normal as could be I guess, haha.  I guess at this point it's better than having a panic attack and thinking I'm dying. That'll be my silver lining for today!

4) Today is the last day of summer!  Woo-Hoo!  Everyone pull out the tall boots and the sweaters!  Of course, it'll still be in the 80s up until December here, but I like the idea of fall at least!  Bring on the colored leaves!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) OK, so this is new.  Did you know that I have a form of OCD?  I sure didn't.  I don't have to touch the doorknob 23 times before leaving the house, nor do I aggressively clean and organize the house (which is really too bad) but apparently it has to do with my thought patterns.  You know how I tend to get a song stuck in my head for days and days?  That is a part of it!  How weird is that?

I had to go to the doctor a few weeks ago for a checkup and I told her about my panic attacks.  I don't know what I thought she could do about them, but it's certainly not normal to wake up in the middle of the night almost every night with the feeling that the world is going to end, right?  So, as I'm explaining this to her, she asked if part of these panic attacks included thoughts that seemed to overwhelm me, and I told her yes (because that's how panic attacks work) and so she put me on medicine for them.  I was not happy. The surgery I had not long ago was specifically done to take me off of one of the two prescriptions I've been on, because I was tired of taking pills, and now I have to take an antidepressant of all things.

Don't get me wrong, it does help the thought looping.  I'm good with that, I guess.  I still wake up with the physical symptoms of the panic attacks, and I gain weight super easily, and I can't focus for shit on anything for more than 25 minutes or so, but at least I don't have Fat Bottomed Girls looping through my head on a daily basis.  Silver lining.

2) I heard the robot voice again.  Steve and I were sitting at the table looking at some papers and I heard the freaking robot voice again, and Steve didn't hear it and he wouldn't believe that I heard anything!  I promise you, I'm not crazy and I don't normally hear voices, but I swear I heard the robot voice outside of our house again!

I swear on the manger of sweet baby Jesus, that if this is some kind of joke he's playing on me, like when he made my computer talk to me, I will beat him to death with my shoes.

3)  I had an odd, but funny, experience the other day.  Ok, maybe not as odd as the robot voice (THAT I SWEAR IS FREAKING REAL, YOU GUYS) but still odd.  I'm not going to use names, because that would be unnecessarily telling, but almost anyone who personally knows me will know who I'm talking about!

OK, so someone I went to school with is kind of famous now.  Not super, everyone would know his name kind of famous, but famous in a certain circle.  He and I were pretty good friends back in the day, but I haven't actually seen him in person since we graduated from high school.  I've kept up with him on social media, which is why I know he's kind of famous, and I've been following his career with interest because, hey, we were friends and it's neat that he's doing his thing and doing well in it.  Good for him!  Not long ago, I happened to see him out in the wild, so I ran up to him and gave him a big hug (like I do) and we started talking a little bit.  Of course I asked him about his career and all of that, but mainly I just wanted to know how he was doing.  While we were talking, I started noticing that he was talking to me the way you'd talk to a little kid.  There was a lot of wide eyed, somewhat disingenuous, "Oh really? Wow!" type of reactions to the things I said.  I didn't think anything of it at first, but as we kept talking, I realized that he wasn't talking to me like an old friend, or even really listening to me.  He was talking to me like he would talk to one of his fans!  Full disclosure, while I do follow his career, I don't actually buy his merchandise or go to his events, so I wouldn't call myself a fan!  I didn't really know what to do, but I didn't want to make it weird by laughing at him, so I just told him I had to go and waited until I was far enough away to laugh.  It was very odd to see someone you spent nearly every day with from 8th-12th grade and be treated like a stranger who's asking for an autograph, but there ya go!  Haha!

4) There was more, but that "not being able to focus" thing has robbed me of my memory!  Maybe I was going to talk about something awesome, maybe not.  I'll probably remember in an hour when I'm nowhere near a computer.  Oh, well.  We'll pretend I wrote something super interesting here, ok?!   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Feeling blue, but otters got ruined for me and now I have to use penguins. 
 Penguins aren't quite the same, but they'll do for now.

(I swear that if anyone ruins penguins for me, I'll burn the whole damn world to the ground.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT: PART 5 - AN ECLIPSE, A GOOD BOY, AND A LONG DRIVE HOME

We left fairly early Monday morning and headed back to Valdosta.  We did make a stop at the Jacksonville Trader Joes, because when you don't have a local Trader Joes, you have to make a haul when you find one, amiright?  The cookie butter alone...oh my.

We made it back to Sara's house right as the solar eclipse was starting.  If there was anything I regretted about this particular trip, it was that I was so far away from eclipse totality.  Eh, it's ok.  If I'm still alive in 7 years, hopefully I'll get to see it then.  At any rate, we all got our stylish cardboard glasses and headed out to the backyard to watch the moon go by.  It was still pretty cool, even at 94% totality!  It got dimmer outside, and the temperature cooled off considerably, but it wasn't so drastic that it looked much different than just a cloudy day.  Still...cool stuff!

Afterwards, Sara and I decided to end our vacation with a bang by getting a couple of Red Box DVDs, getting into our PJs at 4:30 in the afternoon (do NOT judge us), and watching two of the worst movies we've seen in years, "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" (the dungeon octopus lady is worth checking out, heh) and "Snatched" with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn...bless their hearts.  Still, though, it was nice to hang out and relax.

There was one aspect of the day that wasn't so much fun.  I haven't mentioned it before now, because it was very sad, but Sara's 13 year old Jack Russel terrier Scrappy had been very sick.  The vet didn't know what was wrong with him, but he had stopped eating and drinking, and would pretty much just follow you around with big, puppy dog eyes, albeit with occasional bursts of barking, but mainly, he just wanted to be held.  The vet didn't think he'd make it for very long, but he hung in there the whole time we were in Florida, and seemed to be about the same when we came back.  I was glad to be able to see him again, because he was a very sweet dog.  So during the movies, Scrappy and I cuddled on the couch, I petted him, and I told him what a good boy he was.  I also explained that he didn't need to worry, because when he was ready to go, my own boys would be waiting to play with him when he got to the other side.  Needless to say, Sara and I loved on and cried over that dog a lot that afternoon. (Kind of like I'm crying now thinking about it, damnit.)  As it turned out, Scrappy hung in there for another few days before Sara finally had to make the call take him to the vet.  That's never an easy decision, but it was the best one.  He was a very good boy. :(

We basically just hung out, watched TV and talked until I had to go to bed.  It was low key, but nice.  It was a long drive back to Huntsville, so I was going to have to get up fairly early and gird my loins to drive with the semi-trucks. The next morning I got up, said my goodbyes, and headed home.

As luck would have it, when I was getting my GPS ready for the drive, it gave me a meandering, slightly longer, yet Atlanta-avoiding route home.  It was only about 45 minutes longer and instead of driving up I-75, it sort of wobbled through west Georgia, back into east Alabama and headed north.  I was fine with that, and as it turned out, it was a much more pleasant drive.  Mostly it was rural highways, and some of the roads were so backwoods that it made where I grew up look positively metropolitan, but I managed to avoid the big groups of 18 wheelers and heavy traffic. If I have to complain about anything (and I'm beginning to think that I do, haha) it was that I had no idea where I was for most of the trip.  I didn't even realize I'd made it back into Alabama until I passed a sign for Roanoke, Alabama, which I'd never heard of!  I found out that I don't know about an awful lot of places in my home state, but I'll remedy that one of these days.

I made it home just after 2:00, and I was glad to see my house.  After hauling my stuff in, I immediately took off my pants and fell asleep for about an hour! I love Sara, and her family is awesome, but they haven't reached Kelly Doesn't Wear Pants Around Them status (a high honor, of course, ha!) as of yet, so it had been a long week!

It was a really wonderful trip and I am so glad Sara and I got a chance to get together and act silly for a few days.  It's hard when you live so far away from your best friends.  Sometimes you don't realize how much you miss them until you get to see them, which makes spending time with them all the better, but the leaving part sucks.  It's still worth it, though. :)

So there you have it, folks, a tale for the ages! It had it all: danger, intrigue, exotic locations and lots and lots of food! Hopefully time and circumstance will allow me to visit her, and my other far away friends, so that I can have more adventures to tell you about!  Thanks for reliving it with me!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT: PART 4 - DAY OF REST

Sunday we were going to get up in time to watch the sun rise from the beach.  Of course, when the alarm went off, I turned to Sara and asked "Do you still want to get up?"  The response was "murflemurflemurfle" which I took to mean, "No thank you, please!" and so we slept blissfully for another couple of hours. 

Hey, the sun comes up every day.  We'll watch it another time. 

When we finally did get up for realsies, we got ready to head down to the beach.  That day had been set aside for all beach, all day!  Woo-Hoo!  We packed up our cooler and our chairs and all of the other accoutrements, and drove down to the shore.  One of the surprisingly awesome things about this beach is that it is wide and flat enough that they allow driving and parking right out on the sand.  Normally I would hate that, I think, but there was so much room that the cars didn't get in the way and it was very convenient to have your vehicle so close by.  I didn't understand the desire to drive along the length of the beach, but I guess people need to cruise somewhere. 

Once we got settled, we sat for a while and watched people come and go.  It was really very nice.  Well, except that Sara's chair (provided by the Air BnB place) had a rip in it that kept getting bigger and bigger until she was barely hanging on for dear life. We read for a while, and then I left her behind to walk around a bit.  I didn't feel like swimming, so I only got into the water up to my knees, but it was nice to just be there. It wasn't that hot, and it was a bit cloudy, but it was wicked humid out there. I'd look down and water would have condensed all over me.  It was really strange!

We hadn't been there for long, but when I went back to our spot, Sara was looking kind of pale. She wasn't feeling well, and after a few minutes of trying to convince her that I wouldn't be upset if we left, she allowed us to pack up the car and drive back to the apartment.  Dunno what was wrong, but she must have felt terrible.  When we got back, she fell asleep and stayed asleep for a long, long time.  In the mean time, I showered and changed, and sat by the bed reading and hoped she wasn't going to die. Granted, that's a huge overstatement, but I was worried!  I finally went out on the balcony so as not to disturb her and I fell asleep out there, myself.  Naps are awesome!

I have no idea how long I was out there, but Sara was awake and feeling much, much better, so we decided to drive around a bit and get lunch.  We ate at a place called "Yellow Dog Eats" and it was wonderful.  They have great barbecue and our waiter looked a lot like Jesus, so it was awesome!  We drove around a bit after that, just talking and looking around, until we decided it would be a good idea to go back and clean the place up.  That's one of the rules, to clean up after yourself, so we did so and then packed up what we could before the next day so it wouldn't take us as long in the morning. 

We decided to eat much later in the evening, so we searched around until we found something still open and settled on the NSB Seashack, which was delightful, even if their live music was, eh...coffee shop level at best.  We still had a good time! 

Unfortunately, this was our last night there and just like any trip where you're having a good time, the fact that we were leaving the next day loomed.  Boo! We resigned ourselves to the fact and went to bed.  I wished we'd had several more days, but until I can become independently wealthy and not need to go back to work, I suppose all vacations will have to end at some point! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT: PART 3 - BEWARE THE WHITE MYSTERY GOO

Saturday morning we got up early so that we could make it to the local farmer's market that was being held not very far from where we were staying.  Actually, almost everything we did was not very far from where we were staying, which was nice, because driving when you don't have to sucks!

The market was fairly small, but it was much more varied than any other one I'd ever been to.  There was food, of course, but mainly the rest of the booths were crafts and things.  I really enjoyed it.  We did one circuit around the place before we bought anything, and once done, we shopped in earnest.  Well, Sara shopped in earnest and I instigated her shopping, haha!  We had a lot of fun, though. I did buy some yarn made by a local alpaca farm (because of course I did) and got a beautiful lotus shaped candle holder from a local potter.  We didn't want to buy any food, because it wouldn't have traveled well, and for that I'm sorry, because there was some awesome fruits, veggies, and prepared foods for sale there.

One incident at the farmer's market has to be told, though, because it's so stupid.  Scratch that, I am the stupid one.  I think you'll agree.  One of the stalls at the market was some kind of hippy-dippy couple selling powdered clay of some kind.  I don't remember what it was called, but I think it was supposed to be used as a cosmetic mask.  I wasn't sure, because I got distracted by another thing they were selling.  They had a small table off to the side that held what looked like small bottles of lotion. There was a sign that had the name of it (I'm not going to put it here, because I don't want anyone googling it and finding this entry) and it had a list of many, MANY, special benefits that included aligning your chakras, finding your soul mate, lucid dreaming, levitation, telepathy and the like.  Basically, it was your run of the mill hocus-pocus BS, but I was intrigued.  I asked the guy behind the table what it was (to be polite) and he started trying to explain it to me.  I asked him if it was a lotion, and he said "No, you put it under your tongue, want to try it?"  Now, normally, I'd never, ever do that unless I knew what was in it.  However, I was in "Adventurous Vacation Mode" and didn't even think before I scooped some up and put it in my mouth.  As soon as I did that, my brain kicked in, and I immediately regretted my decision.  It's pretty solid advice NOT to put random white mystery goo into your mouth when it's offered to you at a farmer's market, or really anywhere else, to be frank.  It could have been ANYTHING, y'all, and I had voluntarily put it in my mouth!  Blerg!  He offered it to Sara and she was all "Hell No!" which made me feel even stupider.  So for the duration of us standing there talking to these people, I couldn't swallow or spit, so I had this mystery substance in my mouth for what seemed like a year.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to spit without anyone noticing? I do!  I finally managed to spit it out, and I don't think I absorbed much of whatever it was, so I didn't meet my soul mate and my chakras still feel in the same position as they were before. I'm not convinced that it was a real thing.  I guess I'll never know. :)

We left the farmer's market and had breakfast, and then we moved on to Flagler Ave, which was the main street of where we were staying.  It was lined with shops and restaurants, so we spent the next few hours of the day walking, talking, shopping and eating.  It wasn't so much about spending money or eating, though, we were just enjoying hanging out.  It was great fun! I'm pretty sure several of the shop keepers we met thought we were an adorable lesbian couple (and I mean, we would be if that was the case) so that was kind of hilarious!  Eh, that's fine with me. Sara should be so lucky!  Haha!

I'm not sure how long we were out, just that by the time we got back to the apartment, we were tired.  At this point we probably could have just hung out for the rest of the day, but there was one thing that Sara wanted while we were in Florida that we hadn't found while we were out.  She told me that when she was a kid, she was never allowed to buy one of the cheesy, air brushed vacation shirts that seemed to be so ubiquitous when we were kids, so she wanted to get one as an ironic souvenir.  Used to, air brush shops were everywhere at the beach, but we had to drive 30 minutes away to Daytona Beach to find a place that still did it!  That was a mess.  I don't know how many of your have been to Daytona Beach, but it's a big, skeezy, crowded tourist trap surrounded by enormous hotels and restaurants that pretty much obscure the ocean view, but it's a POPULAR big, skeezy, crowded tourist trap.  We drove down the strip and around and around all of the places trying to find the air brush shop, but we couldn't find it!  Sara, who was driving, got angrier and angrier because we couldn't find a place to park, or even a place that resembled where we were going.  We almost gave up, but decided to call the number on the facebook page and see if they could help us.  Turns out we were driving right by it, over and over, but it blended in with all the rest of the neon, so we never saw it!  We finally managed to put our shirt order in, but it was going to take an hour and a half, so we spent the next little bit continuing to drive around and around and around and up and down Daytona, until we stopped at a beach ramp to walk out and take some pictures.  We should have done that much earlier, because about three minutes later, the air brush shop called to let us know that our shirts were ready.  Oh, they were glorious.  You can see the final design here:


Good Lord, how big is my forehead?

We've promised that these will never be worn as functioning clothing, although I'll admit, I wore mine to a drive through window after I got home, but mainly these are just for funzies and to remind us that we are classy through and through!  Haha!

It was late by the time we made it back to New Smyrna Beach and we were starving, so we found an open restaurant, which was kind of a bar, I think, and had delicious hamburgers for dinner.  Next to us was a family with small children. In a bar.  Let that sink in.  We were wiped out when we got back to our apartment, and so we got ready for bed and sat up and talked for a long time before we fell asleep.

Friday, August 25, 2017

BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT: PART 2 - TEQUILA BAD

Friday morning we got up relatively early and set off towards New Smyrna Beach!  Sara drove, thank goodness, and time seemed to go so much faster with someone to talk to!  It only took us about three hours to get there, so we got there well before we could check into our apartment, but that was fine.  We drove around and got to know the area a bit.

We stopped and got provisions for the apartment, had lunch at a tiny place called Cafe Verde, and wondered about until it was time to check it.  We LOVED the apartment.  It was small, to be sure, but so cute and perfect for what we needed.  We got settled and changed clothes, and decided to ride one of the provided bicycles down to the beach to check it out.  Unfortunately, that didn't go so well.  There were quite a few bikes in the little shed, but none of them were in great condition.  They weren't anything fancy, just regular bikes like we rode as kids, but Sara had not ridden a bike in a very long time.  I'd peddled one of the bikes to the end of the driveway to wait on her, when behind me I heard a crash.  Sara, bless her heart, and gotten on and promptly fallen off of her bike.  It was too tall for her, and the gears were rusted from exposure to salt (I assume) so when she tried to pedal, the bike hadn't gone too far.  Oops.  To my credit, I never laughed.  Ok, yes I did, but only after the fact.  She scraped up her leg pretty good, but she got it cleaned up and we walked the 80 or so yards to the beach. Screw you, rusty bicycles!

The beach was beautiful, of course!  We walked around and stepped out into the very warm water, and I looked for shells.  There weren't that many there, so I don't know if that is normal, or if it's the time of year, or what, but I found a few.  We'd brought some beach mats with us, so Sara sat and rested while I walked around some more.   It was very nice.  We had accidentally sat our mats down too near the edge of the surf, so once I came back and sat down next to Sara, a wave came and surrounded us!  It almost made off with my shoes!  Haha.  After that we decided that we would save the beach for another day and go get something to eat.

We went back to the apartment and looked in the little travel book for a restaurant.  One of the great things about New Smyrna Beach was that there weren't any (that I know of, anyway) chain places around, so we'd get to try something new each time!  That night we picked Blackbeard's Inn,  which seemed to be a very popular local place, and we had such a good time!  We also had cocktails, which might have been part of why we had such a good time.  Sara said hers didn't seem to have any alcohol in it, but mine sure did. Yikes. Ok, look, y'all, I like tequila. I just do. Pretty much anything else is gross to me, but I like tequila, so I got two margaritas.  That was too many for me, due to my low alcohol tolerance, but at least I didn't do anything embarrassing.  I did, however, tell Sara all of my secrets and now I can never make her angry, or she'll ruin my life.  :)  Everything got very fuzzy for a bit and I had trouble walking to the car, but I didn't take off any of my clothes and I didn't French kiss a stranger, so at least there was that!  Thankfully, even though the alcohol hit me pretty hard, it didn't bother me for long.  By the time we'd made it back to our place, I was only just a little silly and we sat up and talked for a long time before finally going to sleep. 


BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT: PART 1 - HELL IS FULL OF SEMI TRUCKS

Hello, friends and random Internet people who've never been here before!

I went on an adventure last week!  Sara (one of my best friends in the world) and I have been wanting to go on a girl's only trip for some time now, and after talking about it for a year or two we finally decided to do it!

Sara, who is used to organizing things for her family, basically planned it for us.  I'm very grateful for that! She found a nice Air BnB apartment (this one, which was awesome and you should go and stay there too) which is located in New Smyrna Beach, FL.  I'd never even heard of New Smyrna Beach. It was charming and small, had all kinds of shops and restaurants, and it wasn't anything like Panama City Beach, which is a plus. Trust me.

My part of the adventure actually started on Thursday morning, because I was going to be driving down to Sara's house, which is located in Valdosta, Georgia.  I'll admit, I was a little nervous about driving all that way alone.  After getting my license, I was never allowed to take long trips by myself (I was quite sheltered. Heh.) and even when I became an adult, driving long distances my myself was heavily discouraged by my family.  I'd love to say that I thumbed my nose at them and went where I wanted anyway, but when you have people who you love and trust telling you all kinds of horrible things, it can get in your head. HOWEVER...I finally decided that I needed to be an adult and do this thing, because I'm way too old to have people telling me what I should and shouldn't do, don't you think?  (Yeah, 39 IS a little old to come to this conclusion. I know this. Bite me.)

At first the drive was fine. I had my audio novel going and my GPS directing me through some twisty little north/east Alabama roads.  I was so chill and wondering why I had waited so long to do this.  Then I hit I-75 and was transported into straight up flaming hell, and hell is full of semi-trucks.  I've driven on interstates before, and I've driven next to 18 wheelers, but I swear to you, almost the moment I merged onto I-75 I was surrounded by these things, and I was not prepared. It doesn't help that this particular road is very wide and full of traffic, all going much faster than I had anticipated, but Brunhilde is a small car, and being surrounded by giant trucks unnerved me.  I know it wasn't anything horrible, really, but since it was the first time driving I-75 myself around all the traffic, I was very nervous.  Actually, I did pretty well, all things considered.  I managed to make it to Atlanta and take the proper exit to the perimeter roads so that I didn't have to drive straight through the city (another level of hell altogether) and had just made it to the other side of Atlanta when I almost died.  It was my fault, because I didn't realize the lane beside me was a merging lane, and I was trying to speed up to get ahead of this big semi.  He sped up too, and I had to slam on my brakes to keep from getting destroyed.  It rattled me so badly that I had to take the next exit and sit in a parking lot until I could stop shaking.  Once I got back on the road, and further away from Atlanta, things got a little better.  It was still unnerving to get surrounded by semi-trucks, but at least the traffic thinned out a little.  After that, my main issue was that the last leg of my journey was 127 miles of straight road, and I'd catch myself sort of zoning out while watching the lines go by.  I know road hypnosis, but I'd never experienced it like that before.  Bleh.

Anyway, as you can see, I finally made it to Sara's house in one piece!  Thank goodness!  She and her family had just moved into this house last summer, and so it was all brand new and gorgeous.  Her three dogs tried to eat me the minute I stepped into the house, but they are all small, so I wasn't too worried.  We sat and talked until Ron, her husband, came home and then we all set out to Parent Teacher night at Sara's stepson's high school.  Yep, I went to parent teacher night.  I told them I'd just pretend I was Sara's sister wife if anyone asked.  Ron liked that idea, haha! When we got back, we all sat around and talked until bed time.  Sara and I needed sleep because we were heading out to Florida the next day!  Woo-Hoo!