My Life really is… Stranger than Fiction (I'm sitting in a parking lot surfing someone's unsecured wireless... EEP!)
I've been writing this post for a few days so forgive the lengthy dissertation of events.)
Well, I’ve been offline now since October first, 2007. Today is October 31st as I write this to post when I am online again in two weeks or so.
So in just one month, let’s recap the absolutely, cannot believe it, would never sell as a fiction novel because it is so outlandish no one would buy it, events of my life… but it’s all 100% real.
As everyone already knew, this past July Dad lost his long time job with custom chrome and the housing market crashed which forced me to cancel my plans to return to school and head out to Virginia as the family flagship and try to get us relocated.
So I left home with just what I could fit in my car, two cats on heavy liquefied valium, my Tom-Tom GPS and reservations at Motel 6 hotels all across the country.
Day One: First night I was in Kingman Arizona and the Journey thus far was semi uneventful. Just a lot of dull scenery really and two very confused and disgruntled cats hiding under the bed when I let them out of their carriers.
Day Two: Much of the same, I drove from Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico and the drive across the Painted Desert was very pretty, lots of muted pastel colors and strange plant life. Again, Kitties hated me and Jack decided he was very bored at about 3 am and decided a round of meowing very loudly in my ear and smacking me with his paw on my head was a good idea to get me to get up and entertain him. After all, I was cramping his lifestyle and night time he is supposed to be outside damn it, chatting up the females and making little Jacks. Too bad he hasn’t realized yet I had his baby making apparatus removed before we left.
Day Three: Drove across the panhandle of Texas. What an UGLY state. Sorry my Texan friends, the part I drove through was horrible. Brown, more brown and dead trees and grass as far as the eye could see. Passed through Amarillo and then like magic at the state line as I crossed into Oklahoma everything got pretty and green again. You could see the state border it was that drastic of a change between states. Spent night three in Oklahoma City, and again Jack thought it would be fun again at three in the morning to beat me up and make a racket because he was bored. I wanted to kill him.
Day Four: From Oklahoma to Missouri, nice drive, plenty of pretty scenery and then I hit my first bit of traffic (Not too bad, just minor stop and go stuff) heading into St. Louis where I spent night four. Jack again seemed to have an internal body clock that goes off at three in the bleeding morning so this night, I was so tired I gave him a quarter dose of his sleepy happy time valium and when he went to sleep, I finally got some!
Day Five & Six: Now here is where you all need to start suspending disbelief, it’s strange to me and I LIVED IT!!! I mentioned before that I was going to spend an extra day in Louisville, Kentucky because John Armstrong lived there and we were going to hook up in person at last and have a face to face pow-wow since we’ve been friends on-line for quite a few years now. It all started when out of the blue John e-mailed me after he read one of my stories (Greenlings). In his e-mail signature was a link to his website so I went to it and realized he’d written a book too, so I read it and realized we shared so many interests we were like strange Corsican twins. So the friendship was made and I’ve posted about him now and again in my journal. We talked about everything from Religion, to politics, to Yaoi and everything conceivable in between and at least once a month or so we’d exchange a good conversation. So I was really looking forward to meeting him face to face for the first time. Just as I look forward to seeing all of you at Yaoi con every year.
So I am at the Motel 6 check in desk, checking in when John calls the hotel to see if I’d arrived yet he has uncanny timing. So we decide he’s gonna ride his bike over to the hotel after I freshen up from the drive and get some dinner. Then John realizes that the hotel is a little further than he’d anticipated, but he had left his car at work so I’d have a place to park at his house the following day, but undaunted he rides several miles. Had I known how to get to his house I’d have gone to get him.
Around 6pm he arrives and it’s Happy, Happy Joy, Joy time and we hug and chat and then head out to dinner. The Mexican restaurant was nice if cheesy and a southern state version with the “HOWDY AMIGOS” from the waitress. I suppress the giggles, coming from California I have an appreciation of real Mexican restaurants and I love how some restaurants feel they have to have “authentic” atmosphere when it’s nothing of the sort. We talk and talk and just reaffirm that we do “Click” as well in person as we do on the internet.
Not to mention, in the back of my little brain I’m looking at him and going… God, he’s built like I draw Trowa, I’m such a goner, down hentai hormones DOWN!
So we part and plan on me heading over to John’s about 10 am to go to the St. James art festival. Which is an insanely huge art show that fills the streets of Downtown Louisville and it just so happens that is where John Lives. The fair/festival is literally right on his front steps.
So I arrive at John’s condo and I gape like a school girl in awe. His condo is in a renovated old Victorian townhouse, full of charm and character and 17th and 18th century architecture that had me drooling in my shoes. He’s done such a marvelous job in renovating his condo which spans the entire second floor of the old townhouse. Every room is faux painted in a myriad of dazzling gem tones. The original wood floors are to die for and let’s just say John has immaculate decorating sense.
I handed him my video camera with orders to give us the “tour” of his pad and he did and I’ll upload it to YouTube eventually so all of you can see too.
So then we head out and walk the Festival, its artist Mecca, tons of gorgeous things to look at, including my guide for the day. Such a gentlemen, I didn’t think they made guys like him anymore, but apparently they do.
We have a great day, John picks up a piece for his place and we head back to his condo. During our adventure, we again talked most of the day about just anything and everything. It didn’t dawn on me (Because I can be quite DENSE at times) that he was grilling me for information in a roundabout way. What I liked, what I didn’t etc… I’m so open and frank it never dawns on me to lie, I tell it like it is and I’m never shy about answering questions that are personal. I’m such an open book to begin with.
During this time out, one of our conversations was about Gundam Wing and Trowa’s memory and the episode where he gets it back and how the foreshadowing showed Past, present and future in his flashbacks. John couldn’t remember the scene so we went back and he owns the series too, so we tried pinpointing the episode to watch.
I honestly don’t remember what we watched at all, it’s all a massive blur. One minute we were watching GW the next I was having my socks blown off. What a very, VERY nice “blur”. *purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
It makes leaving on Sunday very hard. It was such a fabulous weekend and I left Louisville wondering just what the hell happened, and sore as hell. *laughs* Boy when John dusted off the cobwebs he did a complete job of it boy howdy. I felt giddy as a schoolgirl again and I had an unofficial boyfriend, because well we didn’t so much say anything but it was implied that this was no mere one night stand.
Day Seven: I make it to Grandma’s here in Haysi, Virginia. It makes Visalia look like a metropolis. I start my job hunt only to discover unless I want to drive a coal truck there are NO JOBS here. Shit. Not to mention not five minutes after I let Jack and Needy out of their carriers they VANISHED for over forty-eight hours on me, making me frantic that they’d been run over by the coal train that passes by every half hour (And blows that damn whistle right as they get level with the house here. Since it’s only about twenty yards to the tracks, you can imagine How LOUD that is, especially at 4 am? GAH! I am not used to living this rural! They both did come back safe and sound and hungry. (Needy didn’t go far and she was back in less than 24 hours, Jack was the one I was worried about.)
Then my Aunt Fayetta and Uncle Steve and my other Uncle Steve and his wife Laura all came down so we were ass to cheek around here in Grandma’s little twelve foot wide trailer but enjoyed the family time.
I’m relegated to the sofa to sleep, but don’t mind a bit. Family is wonderful. Then they leave and every other night Grandma goes up to her Sister’s house to sleep. Great-Aunt Edna had a stroke and has no short term memory. (Think Dori from “Finding Nemo” Just like that. She has about a 30 second recall.) She has all her long term memory still, but short term, nothing. She’ll tell you the same story twelve times in a row, but you smile and let her and love her because the stories really are interesting. She is 88 after all, there’s a lot still in there. So the nights Grandma is over at Edna’s to make sure she gets around without falling and to make sure she doesn’t tank up on her pills on accident I sit here on the Phone with John, the Parents and Carolyn or Kendra. Sometimes all of them during the course of the evening.
Two weeks after I got here, John drove down for a visit. Poor thing missed his exit in Pikeville (It is a tricky S.O.B. to see in the daylight let alone after dark) so he ended up taking the LONG way around to get here and added about 2 hours to his journey to get here. So I navigated him into Haysi and then met him by the bridge he had to drive across so I could guide him into the Holler here where we live. Because that *IS* a break neck journey in daylight and he would have NEVER found it alone. It’s all twisty back roads and then the road into the holler itself is gravel and dirt. No paved roads up here in Tom Bottom (the name of the actual holler is Toms Bottom, yeah, for real).
So it’s a joyous reunion and we get in about 1 am and let’s just say, being creative and being QUIET with an 80 year old grandmother down the hall is hard work, but fun. *Laughs* She had threatened to “Check for Evidence” the following day, and I wasn’t about to put it past her! Getting her to allow John in my room with me in the same bed was about as far as she was gonna let that go. It took me an hour to convince her not to make up the spare twin bed for him and that I was a big girl, pushing 40 here, it’s alright that ‘my beau’ sleeps with me in the same room. Honest Grandma, just SLEEPING REALLY. (I’m such a liar.) *Snicker*
So Saturday, we head up into Breaks Interstate Parks and walk several mountain trails together (we probably clocked five miles), talked until we were parched and then headed back. Grandma was at Edna’s all night and would not be back until Sunday Afternoon. *Evil Grin*
Sunday morning, John said that he wants a picture of me for his desk at work (so he says) and the only place open on a Sunday (around here) that I knew of was Wal-Mart which was a good hour and a half drive over to Norton. So we get dressed, I put on a decent face for pictures so I don’t look all washed out and pale and we drive over to get portraits done. A Together shot and then single shots. I pick those up on November ninth.
While we are at Wal-mart, John excuses himself saying “he wants to pick something up” and me being dense as always just sit down and wait. Thinking he wanted personal things or something. I was CLUELESS!
We get back home and John drops to one knee and proposes to me right here on the front porch where I am writing this now.
Then I look at the ring in that box and drop a load in my trousers. Now I know fine jewelry, I love it and looking at the size of that rock, and the cut I know he spent a FORTUNE. I didn’t know whether to sing or slap him for dropping that kind of cash. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s a full carat diamond in the “Hearts on Fire” style dazzling round cut. One of the most elegant cuts a diamond can be cut and in 14k yellow gold. I drool every time I look at it and am still in SHOCK that it is on MY finger.
I always swore I wasn’t going to get married again after having such a disastrous first marriage. I almost did it a second time, but Rick and I just were NOT meant to be more than friends, the chemistry was just not there. So I swore off the idea entirely, I wasn’t getting any younger after all and just had given up really to be frank. I’m not the prettiest gal, too tall, overweight all my life and plain faced and have a sharp tongue and bohemian attitude so I’m not usually the one to get a first look let alone a second one.
I’ve always struggled with physical self-esteem, I have plenty of pride in my accomplishments but when having a lifetime of people (including a former HUSBAND and the boyfriend/fiancée prior to him) reminding you that you’re ugly to your face it’s rather hard to overcome the self-consciousness and awareness you’re kind of a toad to look at. I’m trying, but it’s hard. But then, I hadn’t counted on John either. He’s Intelligent, funny, handsome, he’s one of my bloody semes I write about in the flesh, how can I resist that? I can’t. So I’m not gonna try. He thinks I’m not so terrible to look at so I’m satisfied with that, that’s all that matters.
Then he makes the wise crack “Now can I convince you to move to Louisville with me?” (He’d been trying since before I left the first time.) Well, DUH that’s a no brainer now.
So I will be packing up AGAIN and moving back to Louisville with John on the 10th of November (Gotta be here until the ninth to get those pictures I mentioned.)
So John went back to Louisville on that Monday, and that same Day I get a call from Dad. He’d just been hired at a company in Long Beach not two months earlier and then WHAM they also had a “restructure” and cut his department entirely. That was two jobs lost for the same reason back to back. So instead of Staying in California now until March, they’ be coming to Louisville around the 17th of November. (Plus a five day drive to get there.) I’m going to mail them my Tom-Tom and they’ll take the same route I did. So we’ll all be together for Thanksgiving.
So we will be together, Not as close to Grandma as we would have liked, but the job market dictates where they will live. There is a much better chance of getting Jobs in Louisville than here in BFE Virginia. Not to mention, closer to John and I. We are still close enough to Grandma for weekend visits, it’s only a five hour drive, not long at all. We’ll be right in the middle of all my family in Kentucky. We have family in Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia. Nice central location for us really if you think about it.
John certainly cannot relocate, his life is in Louisville, he owns a business there and he can’t just up and move it, he has employees to consider, he can’t yank their jobs on a whim. I would never ask him to either, that’s just asinine. Much, much easier for me to go there and look for a job in the city as opposed to here in very rural no-mans land.
Speaking of rural, I almost plowed into a Doe and her Yearling coming home from town last night. I’ve never seen so many deer before in my Life, I’ve seen fifty or more in the past three weeks. They were just standing in the bloody road around a blind corner and I am thankful I was not driving fast and was able to stop and honk to get them to bloody MOVE. Beautiful animals but so darn stupid too. You see dead deer all over the place from being hit by cars down here, SO sad. I’m glad I didn’t add to the death toll.
I can also now add “Sherpa to Cats” in my list of job skills. Grandma lives in a holler surrounded by mountains, a river and deep woods. (Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go, literally). Needy went missing yesterday very early, before I got up and when she still had not come home by four o’clock today (About 48 Hours) I went looking for her. I’m calling and calling and every other stray cat in the holler comes to me, except MY cat. So I’m being followed by three calico kittens, one mushy faced white Persian and a black and white super friendly tom cat (He looks like Ashura’s Lily and James) as I go tramping (and tripping over cats) into the woods.
Up the mountain, climbing rocks and tripping over cats and trees and deadfall I go and thanking GOD that the vast amounts of white tailed deer in this area make deer trails to walk so I’m not trying to squeeze through trees too on top of insanely steep inclines. Deer tend to make about one to two foot wide paths through the woods and I used them as I hollered (out of breath by now) for my cat. (Still being trailed by the others too.)
What I am their bloody Indian Guide? Shoo!
Then I hear Needy, (She’s got such a damn tiny mew and it’s hard to hear her when she’s next to you!) Then I spot her, she’s damn near blended in with all the fallen leaves and her coat is like camouflage against the leaves and dirt. She’d gotten herself lost in those fsking woods and was very happy to see me and gaily skipped behind me as I lead her (And the rest of the feline menagerie) back OUT of the woods again.
Several thorny bush pokes, slipping down the inclines on wet leaves, and stubbing toes on pointy rocks later we all emerge back out and Needy just snarfed down her dinner.
Oi Vey, Damn Cat, don’t you make me do that again. *shakes fist at the cat now snoozing on the bench here on the porch* She’s got a full tummy all content and oblivious to the WORRY and RISK to my NECK to go into the woods and mountains and get her.
I had to though, I was afraid she’d gotten lost (she had) or worse a Fox had gotten to her or a deer had kicked her or something.
I’m still waiting for Jack to come home for the night, but he usually does come back just after dark and the sun just went down.
Stupid Cats. Stop making me frantic you two!!! I will be so RELIEVED when I move in with John and they become INSIDE cats. I am tired of not being able to bring them inside for safety. First my parents are allergic (So am I but Claritin is great stuff) and my Grandma just does not like animals at all. I’m lucky she lets me keep them on the porch.
So that is my life the past twenty-seven days. Hard to believe isn’t it? It’s hard for me to comprehend and I’m living it!
I’ll add more to this post as things happen…
Adding to this now, it’s October 29th, and last night I thought I was going to explode, literally. About one in the morning, I’m all by myself, Grandma is at Edna’s and I hear a very loud “BOOM!!!!”, then the smoke alarm in the house starts blaring and I open the bedroom door to smell smoke and gas. No fire, so I shut off the gas, open a window to let the small amount of smoke that came from the 18 year old furnace dissipate and then I open the evil door to inspect the damage. Pilot light had gone out, and the build up of gas made the damn thing backfire like an old car.
So I grab a flashlight so I can read the old faded instructions that are on the furnace. (And they never place these things where there is any decent light. So I prop open the fire door with a stick so it stays open while I poke about inside to relight the pilot light. (Yes I made sure I waited until all smell of gas was gone before I did anything, I’m not that dense thankfully.)
So I get the darn thing lighted again and pray we don’t get another repeat during the night because that scared the bajeebers out of me last night. YIKES. No repeat performances thankfully and the heating guy came this morning and readjusted the gas/oxygen mixture coming in and recalibrated the pilot flame, but really grandma needs a new furnace, I’m afraid this is going to blow up her trailer and they are tinderboxes to begin with, if I had 1700 bucks to spare (The cost of a new furnace) I’d buy her one. I hope my tax return is big again this year, I’d buy her one with it. *fingers crossed*