When someone tells you that they are sorry, does it ever make you feel as good as you think it will when you're daydreaming about them coming to their senses? When someone admits that they did everything wrong, does it make a difference, really, since they already did it? If what happened really mattered, does sorry ever really change anything?
I've never been particularly succeptable to clothing fads. By that I mean if something was trendy and I liked it and it was flattering on me, then I might buy it. But I would never buy something simply because it was trendy. So, how can I justify my purchase of these?
These are probably the ugliest pair of shoes under creation.
Yes, I now own a pair of black Crocs. And let me tell you this, my doubting friends. I have issues with my feet so shoe shopping, while enjoyable, produces limited choices for me. My feet, inside of said Crocs, are the most comfortable they've been in years. They weren't lying when they said that the shoes mould to the shape of your feet. I love my ugly shoes. I'm pondering other colors.
This is the Receipt from the first time we had Italian Food Together...
I save things. I'm almost 30 years old and I still have (properly folded) notes passed to me in high school. I have movie stubs and show tickets. I've got broken jewelry. I even have a few rocks. I save them because they remind me of good things, yet I can remember the good things without these reminders. I like to have them. I have almost every letter I've ever gotten in the mail in a shoebox in my closet. I've tried to throw this shoebox out every time I move, but I just can't do it. Most girls I've spoken with have some sort of shoebox like mine. Maybe more than one. . .maybe one for each relationship.
My question is: are guys sentimental like this? Do you have the slip of paper she wrote her number on that first meeting? Do you have the envelope with a return address that you've already memorized? What do you save and why do you save it?
Not one balloon did I see at the balloon festival. Balloons have pretty stringent weather requirements. Saturday it was raining and Sunday there were high winds. The one time the balloons did go up, we missed them.
Still the trip was nice. It's beautiful country up there on the New York/Vermont border. Here are the pics:
I did have a bit of a scare. I found a tick on my leg on Sunday morning. We watched the bite area on Monday and since it looked like this:
I made a doctor's appointment. So the good news is that I probably don't have Lyme's Disease. The bad news is when my friend removed the tick she squeezed so hard that she gave me a haematoma on my leg at the site of the bite--hence the red and purpleness.
One last thing: Go here. Wes drew my picture, as he promise a long time ago.
Time Flies when You're Focused on Being Completely Self-Centered
Today "Cycle" is 2 years old. Yes, it's my two year blogiversary. It's been an interesting, if not particularly well-doumented year. I went through a long blog dry spell. I hooked up, I broke up, I kissed a stranger in a keg room in back of a bar. Oh, I didn't tell that story? My bad. It was funny, too.
Here are some "clips" from my better posts from September 2005-September 2006.
A little over a year ago I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia. It all went off without a hitch. Yes, it hurt, but I didn't have any of those horrible after-effects that they warn you about, like dry socket. I did everything they said: iced it, didn't drink through straws, didn't eat the forbidden foods.
Still, the four holes in the back of my mouth were rather interesting things to have. I can still just barely feel them now, but they felt like craters at the time. And they took a really long time to heal. My first follow up visit, I was fairly confident that they would praise my diligence and due care, but when they cleaned them out for me and I spit into the cup it kind of looked like a chunky brown soup. Which was quite shocking, but also fascinating at the same time.
They gave me this contraption (it resembled a hypodermic syringe only the pointy end was wider) with instructions to suck water into the the syringe and then stick the pointy end in each hole and depress, flushing the contents of the gaping black holes in my mouth after every meal. This had a certain appeal to it, I will admit. Firstly, after I was done, my mouth felt so clean. And secondly, spitting the backwash into the sink and trying to guess what the pieces were from was an interesting diversion. Thirdly, I got to carry around a syringe.
I kinda miss my black holes.
*** I'm sure you are all sitting on the edge of your seats wondering how I handled the noisy neighbors situation. Well, because it wasn't loud music or TV, it didn't seem fair to go to the apartment managers for a noise the neighbors might not even have been conscious of. However, both my roommate and I are big chickens and we really don't want to approach the folks next door ourselves. My roommate is mostly annoyed with the occasional, yet all too frequent, thumps and bumps; but my biggest beef, as you might remember was the vibration I could feel through the wall my room shares with their apartment.
So I'm not sure what she's going to do. But I took action.
I rearranged my room. Now my bed doesn't touch that wall and I hardly notice it at all.
Now that I have begun my 30th year on this planet, I'd like to impart some of the wisdom I have gained over the years.
1) Just because you have been watching the Olympics, does not mean that you can lay a 2x4 from your bed to your dresser and use it as a balance beam. It will snap in half before you even get near the middle and a sharp wood shard will rake the back of your leg. (Wisdom circa age 8)
I stepped up to the electronic ticket machine and for some reason I couldn't figure out how to get a ticket for just one ride. I have this thing...I'd rather pay extra, drive to the next exit, eat something I didn't order, etc. rather than have everyone stop their lives while I figure out what I was supposed to be doing. So I just bought an unlimited ride one-day ticket for $7.
So then Becky strides through the turnstile, being encumbered by a huge silver rolly suitcase. But I cannot get myself and the suitcase through the turnstile at the same time. "It's fine," I think, "I have an unlimited pass." So I shove my suitcase through and tell Becky to grab it, at the same time as she is saying "but I don't think you can. . ."
Guess what. Turnstiles are smart. They have memories like elephants. I couldn't run my card through again. There's a rumbling in the distance. I'm on one side of the turnstile and Becky is on the other with my suitcase.
I couldn't think of anything else to do but step back to the ticket machine. This time I find the one ride ticket.
My last subway ride in New York cost me 9 bucks. Becky thought it was funny.
Yeah, I do think it's weird. And, no, I will not be posting a picture of my injured toe...especially now.
Sorry to "intrigue" you and then leave you hanging. I'm sure there's a website out there somewhere that can accomodate you, though.
Thank you for your well-wishes.
Last night I had my third dream in which P*r*s Hil**n and I were hanging out. This one happened to involve her falling down and needing a ambulance, which I called for her, my good friend. When the medics arrived they picked her up and threw her in the ambulance but she flew out the door on the other side and landed in the middle of the street.
*** Conversations in the Dentist Office Waiting Room
Me: . . .
TV: This is Lauren Hutton. I turned down 27 infomericals over the years. But this makeup is more than something I just put my name on. This is something I believe in.
Me: . . .
TV: My makeup is specially formulated without the mica and shiny metals that get deep into the lines on your face and actually make you look older.
Me (thinking): huh. mica. shiny metals. do i have lines on my face? wonder how much it is.
Guy: This is the longest commerical I've ever seen.
Me: Polite mumble. (thinking) please please please don't start talking to me. your sneakers velcro. please please.
Guy: That's stuff's junk. Just junk. Doesn't do all that.
Me: mumble. (thinking) but it's all in one convenient disc, specially formulated to match my skintone and only $19.99. i can't be old enough to be thinking about buying this can i? but Lauren Hutton does look really good. please stop talking to me velcro man. where's the damn hygenist?
Guy: Like lipstick on a duck.
Me: . . .
Scene: hors d'oeuvres table at the house of Cavi's..um...cousin?
Cavi (scooping dip): I made this amazing Creme Brulee. I'll have to make it for you so you can try it.
Me: Really? Cool. Do you have a torch . . . Janette Isabella?
Cavi: I brought one. Yeah.
Cavi: Humor is so much more funny when you're smart.
I'm watching the Olympic women's figure skating. And I think Dick Button is mad that they woke him up from his cryogenic state for these games. Scott Hamilton and whoever that woman is are all "yes!, she's really enjoying her Olympic experience. She knows she won't medal, but she's really going after it." And "look at her, look at the fire in her eyes, she's out for redemption." After which, whoever wasn't talking says something equally nice, or even maybe says something slightly derogatory, but still sweet like, "I've seen her looking better but the pressure of this Olympic ice is intense." Meanwhile, all night long Dick has been living up to his name by saying things like "Well you'll forgive me for saying this, but I don't see any fire, I think she's a slow, clumsy, out of shape cow. I hope that's not being mean." And then there's this awkward silence while Scott thinks, "man if you weren't 200 years old and hadn't skated your Olympics on an outdoor rink in a blizzard, and if I wasn't afraid your head would completely fall off your body from your recent cryogenics, I'd so hit you now" and the woman is trying to come up with a way to politely disagree but she can't think of anything to say because he's Dick Button for God's sake.
Left PA at 4.55 am. Arrive Nashville 7.30pm (really 8.30 but we gained an hour with the time change)
La Quinta. Spanish for "You'll get to your room and you'll be really tired, but have to go to the bathroom, whereupon you'll figure out too late that your toilet is plugged up. You'll try to fix it yourself by lifting the bar inside the tank and the toilet will overflow onto the floor. You'll use every towel in the hotel room to soak it up. When you call the front desk the woman will tell you that she doesn't know how to use a plunger and that maintenance will come out in the morning. You'll remind her gently that you'll probably have to use the bathroom again sometime before you check out. She'll tell you that there are no other rooms available, but she'll give you a key to a room across that hall that's not big enough to accommodate your party, but at least the toilet works. Then you realize that if you have to go pee in the middle of the night it will entail walking across the hallway in your pajamas. You'll resolve to go to sleep and forget that you just drank two glasses of iced tea at Cracker Barrel.
And it all went so smoothly up until that point...
The character in the movie was so like him. And the storyline. God, that storyline glued her to her seat and made her want to flee the room at the same time. But no, she hadn't cried and she wasn't going to cry. It was done and that was all.
The credits rolled and she rose slowly from the couch and said her goodbyes with the soundtrack still playing in her brain. Though it was pouring, she walked slowly to her car, unable to shake the feeling that she was somehow on the verge of something, the edge of something.
It was about then that the fireworks started. The last hurrah of some summer carnival nearby. That the noise shook her car felt right somehow, like it matched the frequency of her body. She drove away with colors spreading across her field of vision, looking like an impressionst painting through the raindrops. The lump in her throat turned into a sob and the sob turned into a force she couldn't stop. She cried and drove, her love exploding into pieces in the sky above her, leaving only the smell of gunpowder in the air and a smoky haze under every streetlight.
The past was asking me hard and hurtful questions like "Do you want this just to prove it can work?" A voice from my present, namely my brother, was also quite loud and persistent: "Why do you always choose unavailable men?"
My heart was louder. "You love him, you love him. He's not unavailable--or if he is, it's only temporary. You love him, you can do this. You can make it work. You never stopped loving him from when you knew him in college. You compared every guy to him. Here's your chance. Make it work."
I thought I loved him. I listened to my heart.
And I'll admit the idea of coming full circle was alluring. The reasons for relationships, for loving someone, are complicated. Deep inside, I have always chastised myself for not waiting until marriage to have sex. Whatever you might call that, it's there. And somehow the idea of ending up with the gentle, loving man I started with was somehow redemptive. Not to mention romantic and wonderful. It would be like all that went in between--the guilt, the fear, the betrayals-- never happened.
We were so good together, when we were actually physically together. It's flicking at the raw to wonder too much if we could have made it in the same country. I think we could have, but I'll never know. I so much wanted for this to be it. But it takes more than that. As another song proclaims: "Sometimes Love Just Aint Enough."
George Mallet [rhymes with dismay]: And in national news, August 22 could prove to be a day of violence or a day of prayer.
*cut to story and reels about the various religious beliefs about what August 22 represents. mention that Iran chose to annouce the continuation of their nuclear program on August 22 as opposed to August 31st.*
*cut to interview with expert who has written a book on the subject rife with doomsday prophecy*
George Mallet: AND if the world doesn't end today, you might be in the market for a new car. . .
Me and remote: *click*
It's all a fight.
To keep moving when you'd rather stay put. To be still when you want to run. To choose the hard road because there is something worth having at the end of it. To keep loving someone when you can't see their face. To keep loving someone when you know how it feels to lose someone you love. To live when you know you are going to die.
You have to pick your battles. Save your strength. Pick out what you think is worth fighting for. If you can't fight for love, over and over, scar crossing scar, climbing over fear and loss and depression, and all the minefields in your brain. . .then none of the other fights matter.
So that's it. I've stuck with this a lot longer than most things I've tried. And the reason is mainly because of you. I can't tell you what it means to me that you come every day, or once a week, or once a month, because you are interested in what I have to say. It's easy to feel quite small in this big world. The 30 or so people a day who come to my blog make me feel like I have some sort of a larger voice. Thank you, I really appreciate it.
For some reason, I watch the Food Network a lot. Keep in mind that as a rule I don't cook and I can't think of a time when I've ever made use of anything I learned while watching cooking shows.
Last night I had a dream that I went to Rachael Ray's wedding as her specially invited guest. When her husband (who I don't think I've ever seen on TV and must have made up completely in my head) read his vows to her he proclaimed that he would be taking the last name of Ray. He said "I love the name Ray, I love Rachael, and I love what her name has come to represent to America.
I started to tear up and went to sit on the stone wall next to Paul Deen. "That's the most romantic thing I've ever heard," I said to the Southern Belle. "I know, child, y'all coming over for dinner after right?" said Paula.
I'd Kick His 17-Year-Old Behind Into Next Thursday
My second nephew, Taylor, is seventeen. Remember being seventeen? He lives in Oregon. Saturday, my mother spoke with him on the phone, and apparently he is considering not finishing out his senior year. My mom says that my brother and sister-in-law (who are no longer together) do not seem to be encouraging him to stay in school as much as they should. I don't know about that. BUT. I do know that if he were my kid, it wouldn't be his decision. If he were mine, he could either finish his senior year or enlist when he turned 18...which is probably why I'm not cut out to be a parent.
Mom wants me to write him a letter encouraging him to stay in school. I'd rather shake him. But, it's not my place. So I suppose my letter would go something along the lines of:
I remember how much High School sucked. How little I felt I was learning sometimes. How it was all about popularity and cliques and fights. . .and I can only image that it's gotten much worse since I've been there. I know that you are a man now, and a man makes his own decisions. But along with that, part of being an adult and making a decision includes examining not only what you want now, but what you will want in the future. You are so close to being done. You don't have to be valedictorian, you don't have to be homecoming king, or get all A's. . .all you have to do at this point is finish. Put your head down, charge through, and finish. Hate every minute, squeak by. Walk away with a diploma.
See, today, jobs that you could get with a High School Diploma are requiring a Bachelors Degree, jobs that you could get with a Bachelors Degree are requiring a Masters. Where does that leave someone who doesn't have a High School Diploma? That may not be the way the world should work, Taylor, but it is. Those 4 years in High School are going to seem like nothing to you almost as soon as you walk away from them, but you'll be spending the rest of your life in the working world.
I'm so proud of you. You're smart and funny and capable and handsome. You've got great taste in music (this is very important) and I'm so glad you're following in your grandfather's footsteps and taking up the guitar. You've dealt with so much in your life already, and you've dealt with it like a champ. Compared to everything else you've come through, these last months will be nothing. I love you and I wish you'd try.
I'd love to throw in some statistics, etc., but my instinct tells me that would be a mistake. What do you think? Is there anything I should add? He's soooo close. I wonder if he could test out? Does a GED count for less than a diploma? Any words of encouragement for him would be helpful.
High school graduates, on the average, earn $9,245 more per year than high school dropouts. (Employment Policy Foundation, 2002).
In today's workplace, only 40% of adults who dropped out of high school are employed, compared to 60% of adults who completed high school and 80% for those with a bachelor's degree (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2003c).
Employment projections indicate that jobs requiring only a high school degree will grow by just 9% by the year 2008 while those requiring a bachelor's degree will grow by 25% (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2003e).
High school dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested in their lifetime (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2003a).
The U.S. death rate for those with fewer than 12 years of education is 2.5 times higher than the rate of those with 13 or more years of education (alliance for Excellent Education, 2003b).
Remember how this past Thursday I mentioned how Half Naked Thursday wasn't my thing and then I went on to post a picture for it?
Well, 9 times out of 10 any poetry posted on a blog is awful stuff. Robert Frost once said that writing freeverse is like playing tennis without a net. I don't read poetry blogs. I don't even write poetry...that I'll admit to. I'm not the 1 out of 10.
That being said. I'm going post a poem and I promise I'll never do it again. I've been going through boxes in preparation for the move and I found this:
A canopy made of all the places I've never been Hangs above my head Taut then slack Adjusted by you. Suurround here by my life and my things Enveloped and comforted, Cocooned and unfulfilled. But you raise my chin And direct my dreams. The only way I keep hold of your hand Is by running with you, Through meadows Fields of flowers, Dark still lakes. Passing through nakedness and euphoria Feet flying, dreams ticking off behind us. Joy trailing like the tail of a kite Behind our dips and turns. In your midst I beg for you to slow down To look me in the eye, To let exotic and erotic fade And be with me in a moment That has no deeper meaning or secret reason, Only the feel of home.
-----Original Message----- From: Karen Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:59 AM To: Lori Subject:
Can't breathe... too much..... no words
-----Original Message----- From: Lori Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:14 AM To: 'Karen' Subject: RE:
Ok I would have died. Right there on the stage.
Bono's wife: ...
Bono: hunny, I told you before it's just a show. It means nothing.
Bono: I'll be on the couch.
-----Original Message----- From: Karen Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:19 AM To: Lori Subject: RE:
I get the feeling that the wife is used to that stuff by now.... and what about that chick? You KNOW she's ruined for life. How would you like to be the guy that took her to that concert... she'll probably never date again.
-----Original Message----- From: Lori Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:22 AM To: 'Karen' Subject: RE:
Oh wait. I don't.
-----Original Message----- From: Karen Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:26 AM To: Lori Subject: RE:
See? You saved time...
I just think it's funny to imagine her boyfriend there in the front row. "Damn..."
I mean, what's he going to do? Kick Bono's ass?
-----Original Message----- From: Lori Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:29 AM To: 'Karen' Subject: RE:
Bono would just calmly raise his arms and levitate away from him.
-----Original Message----- From: Karen Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:42 AM To: Lori Subject: RE:
I've been single for most of my adult life. My longest relationship was three years and for most of those, I was well and truly on my own. So I'm quite used to it. And it is frequently brought to my attention--notably when an attached friend has to clear or at least mention any possible plan with their attachment--that there are things that are quite wonderful about being un-attached. Singledom carries with it a certain freedom that is enviable to people who have been attached for a long time, in much the same way that smoking carries an attraction for people who used to smoke. They often wish that they could still smoke, while at the same time they enjoy being able to look down upon people who do.
If I were to examine the times when I longed for a mate, excluding the practical--mouse wrangling, jar opening, etc.--I think I would find they frequently occurred when I was watching a movie or reading a book. Women complain a lot about how men are fed idealized versions of women in the media and have come to expect that of the real women in their lives. But I think that claim is universal and goes beyond gender.
Last night, while re-reading one of my favorite historical fiction novels, I felt the sting of singleness when the male protagonist said to his wife, "I talk to you like I talk to my own soul, Claire, and your face is my heart."Who talks like that? But unrealistic expectations aside, at that moment my bed felt very big and I wanted nothing more than for those words to be about me.
Or how about this? "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."That monologue right there is the reason almost every woman I have ever known has loved the movie When Harry Met Sally and why most guys roll their eyes about it.
In Plato's allegory of the Cave, humans, chained and bound to face the cave walls, are only able to view the world via the shadows the fire in the center of the cave casts on the walls. They have no idea that what they are viewing is not reality. Plato further postulated that a human could turn around, and while at first the glare from the fire would be blinding, they could eventually see the world as it was and not merely its shadows. This, he said, was the path to enlightenment.
Today, perhaps a better analogy would be the images cast on a film screen by the movie projector. We've absorbed standard movie plots and movie endings and accepted them as our own realities--the way things should be. And while we might say we know that "real life," "real men," or "real women" could not possibly live up to these expectations, for most people this has only become only something we are supposed to say. And it's often said while staring raptly at one screen or another.
I realize that storytelling, in whatever format, is, and always has been, a vital part of the continuation of the human race. But, I wonder if it is possible to turn more to each other for the things we've begun to expect various media to give us: comfort, reassurance, entertainment, conversation, stimulation. Would our ideals (about love, courage, strength, beauty) change? Or have we simply come too far for that?
I looked on my list of possible blog topics that I keep in my favorite Moleskine. I've only got 2 left.
1. CD Review Rachael Yamagata Yeah, that sure would be a good idea if I truly knew anything about music. Any CD review I would write would be more along the lines of "This CD is good because I like it. She sings pretty. She sings sad songs and happy songs. Everyone should get this CD."Ipse Dixit.
So no, no CD review.
2. Changing hobbies to suit a significant other This would be a great topic for discussion, wouldn't it? I have both done this (I have a nice mountain bike sitting in my mother's garage gathering dust to prove it) and been accused of doing this when I wasn't. The post would pose questions such as: Is it really a bad thing to change (or add to) the things you like to do so that you have things in common with your s.o., especially if it's a mutual exchange? Have you ever tried something out because of an s.o. and then kept up with the hobby even after the relationship was over?
But neither of those things really struck me. Comments have been kind of lagging lately and I lose inspiration. So I've decided not to post at all today.
I like football. I like to hear their helmets smacking together. I like watching the receiver running along just barely staying in bounds. I like the collective sharp intake of breath when our quarterback gets sacked. I like football.
Tonight is the start of the regular season (Miami at Pittsburgh). Tonight is also the start of the football pool at work. A dollar a pop, most wins wins, with the score of the Monday night game as the tie breaker.
I'm horrible at the football pool. I just have the worst luck. I've tried everything: I look at the team stats one week, the Vegas odds the next week, quarterback stats the next. I've decided to adopt a new strategy.
Cutest quarterback wins.
Thank goodness the Patriots aren't playing the Giants, I wouldn't know who to pick!
Certain bloggers have begun a tradition called "Half Naked Thursdays." Go ahead, Google it. Someone has even posted guidelines for it:
In that North American, Puritanical way that most of my readers think, "Nekkid", or its variations, somehow insinuates sex, or its variations. WRONG!! The purpose of "Half-Nekkid Thursday" is not to see sex acts! It is the celebration of exposure. Of your big toe. Of your breastbone. Of your knuckles. Of your uvula. Whatever.
As I've commented before, I do try hard not be naked, so HNT just isn't my thing. However, the other day I was reminiscing about the silly things we did in college and I remembered a certain spring day (it was college, right Meggie?--maybe this will get you to actually comment). Meg and I had sorrowfully noted that the woodsy field across from her parents' street was going to be developed. As I said, it was spring and the field was full of purple and white wildflowers. So to celebrate and eulogize this field we visited with our cameras out and our shirts off. So this will be my one and only contribution to Half Naked Thursday ever. . .
You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind. You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life. Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling. And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
That result is kind of funny because I was just talking with Tim and Karen this weekend about how movies just aren't really my thing. It's not so much that I'm picky about what movies I watch, is that I'd chose a bunch of different things over watching any movie at all. There's exceptions to this rule, of course. But I suppose if you write movies, you wouldn't necessarily have to watch them. Oh well, what do Blogthings know? Only what I tell them, I guess.
(The title is a joke by the way...no hate mail, please)
I wanted to post a little something about my weekend in North Carolina, during which my friends tried their hardest to turn me into a redneck; but I'm still interested in your answers to the question posed in my previous post, so scroll on down when you're done here.
I arrived late on Friday night (left at 11am and arrived at around 10.30 due to traffic and Ernesto) so there was not much time for rednecking. I woke on Saturday, eager, as you can tell from the following picture, to begin my education.
First some "juice":
Then it was time for breakfast.
And then, of course, the traditional Saturday morning trip to purchase a wheelbarrow or two.
Soon it was time for the crowning glory of my weekend.
What more could a girl ask for, really? Except maybe some barbeque. Yeah, barbeque would have been nice.
I drove to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend and got back home late last night. More on the trip later...
My very last pit stop was at a large rest area in Maryland. I filled my tank, parked and ran into the bathroom and back out as fast as I could, because I knew I was on the home stretch. As I sprinted down the stairs and back out to the car two men stepped in front of me. One was holding a mostly grown yellow kitten in one arm. He said "Excuse me m'am, can I ask you a question?"
I have a hard time being rude, but I did manage to stammer something like "uh I don't really have time, I have to uh..go." I dodged around them both, headed to the car, and locked myself in before I even started the engine.
I have made some progress on planning my trip to England/Wales in November. Actually I'm quite proud of myself, for I have booked all of my places to stay. When I purchased these tickets, I wasn't planning on having to pay for accommodation, so I've chosen to stay in hostels for much of the trip. Hostels have an added advantage for someone traveling alone: besides being significantly cheaper than even a B&B, they also have more of a community spirit. I'm hoping that I'll get to meet some neat people who will maybe want to sightsee together. If not, that's OK, too. I'm looking forward to spending sometime wandering on my own, regardless. I need to regroup, refocus, and rethink.
So anyway here's my itinerary so far (in the interest of letting potential stalkers know exactly where I'm going to be--but seriously if you reside nearby or are taking at trip at the same time, or, more likely, want to schedule your own trip so you can be with me--let me know, we'll hook up.)
Saturday, November 11th I arrive early in the morning and I'll be taking a train from the airport to Cardiff. I'll be staying in Cardiff Saturday-Tuesday, leaving Cardiff probably around noon. I've been to Cardiff before, and I can't to get back. It's really one of the best cities I've ever visited.
Tuesday, November 14th (My 30th birthday *sigh*) I'll leave Cardiff for Bath. I did some exploring online and found out that you can download MP3 walking tours of Bath. Perfect! I've been to Bath before, but not properly. Bath has a lot of Jane Austen associations that I want to explore. I'll be there through Thursday morning.
Thursday, November 16th I'll wake in Bath but sleep in Oxford. I'm looking forward to exploring the libraries and museums here. I'll be here through Saturday morning.
Saturday, November 18th I'll wake in Oxford but sleep in Stratford-upon-Avon. Cheesy touristy stuff about Shakespeare here, who actually spent most of his life in London, but still...I'm going to try to catch a performance of King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Company while I'm here. Maybe I'll see Patrick Stewart *swoon* who performs with them from time to time, I hear.
Sunday, November 19th I plan to spend much of this day in Stratford, but I'll be heading back up to Manchester in the evening.