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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

two bands I’ve had the privilege of working with for over 10 years, both say it better than me.

Thank you.

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It’s just.. I’ve been a bit busy writing for other places! Like The Footy Blog, talking about Benfica 🙂

Also, I’ve been studying very very hard in school. So hard in fact, I got a 97% on my American Lit exam. I think I got a 70ish in American Lit last semester on my first exam. Funny, how that goes.

But, dear blog, after studying anywhere from 25-50 hours a week, I tend to forget enough words to go here. But I promise, I’ll do better.

After fall break and I lock myself in the library for a week. And next week, I’ll be heading to Austin.

But somehow, in there, we’ll write some more, together.

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I attended the Smalltown 140 Conference in Hutchinson, KS on Tuesday the 21st. I learned more than I could ever put into a blog, but here’s a list of 6 things (and I’m not mentioning names, Twitter handles or the like, as these are general thoughts – and if you see yourself in this, please do not be angry, this is just me being honest and open):

1. I don’t hashtag nearly enough on Twitter. In fact, unless I’m livetweeting an event I’m attending (like #140Conf or #NABShow), I rarely if ever use hashtags. And that’s sad because I even have Hashable. Woops.

2. It’s still right to speak out if you feel something is wrong – even if you disagree with a speaker – because it’s still possible to be polite. I caught some flak on Twitter when I tweeted about a speaker who talked about their Spanish vacation and threw out some Spanish words because I said it didn’t add anything to his presentation. Some people disagreed – and that’s fine. Caught flak about being negative when this is supposed to be a positive event. And that’s.. somewhat valid, however, criticism when you are asking for it, and it’s given clearly and politely is not negative – it is building. (But that can be argued at a different place.)

However… my point was made a few hours after the conference in a discussion where none of us could remember anything about his speech, but we sure remembered his pictures. Interesting, isn’t it? that leads into #3:

3. I needed to keep remembering 95% of the people I listened to have probably never taken a Public Speaking class, because more rules were broken than followed. (So, basically, cut people slack every now and again) But.. um. As a tip, to anyone thinking of speaking? I would suggest just checking out a basic speech book at the library and leafing through it. 🙂

(and before I get “WELL Y DIDNT U SPEAK” – I wasn’t sure if I was going, I actually hadn’t planned on it until last minute. It wasn’t out of not wanting to, it was not being able to devote the time to speak – plus, I’m not entirely sure what I would have spoken on.)

4. If you are speaking at a conference about Twitter, and I have more followers/activity than you, how am I supposed to listen to your credibility? If you have an engaging story, that’s how! There were some stories that were just flat out amazing, it wouldn’t matter if they still had an egg avatar and 0 tweets – because I’d want to hear more. This is the interesting part of #140Conf overall though – people of varied backgrounds all got the same 10-15 minutes.

But I question, if you have very little followers/activity, why are you speaking at a Twitter conference anyway? Not a slam – an honest question. It’s kind of confusifying.

5. Meeting people on Twitter is awesome. Meeting them in person is even better. I’m so happy that I went and got to meet some people I have been talking to for months.. and some I just met there. I definitely feel like I want to engage the people I’ve met because of this conference more.

6. Lest anyone thinks that I didn’t like this event – I loved it so much I’m kicking around the idea of trying to do a completely sports themed #140Conf. Food ones were mentioned, I could see a beauty 140, animals, activism.. the list is large, but as I use Twitter mostly for sports related things, I think it could be an awesome idea. So.. watch this space in a few months, if I decide I can devote enough to make it as kick ass as I know it could be. (When I want to do something, I want to do it right.)

and a bonus, for a few select people out there:

Every sheep is sacred.

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My class has had.. only one? maybe two? reunions in the 13 years since we’ve graduated high school. My entire graduating class was 32 people. (No, that’s not a misprint).

So when my boyfriend asked me if I would like to accompany him to his 25th year HS reunion, I really wanted to.. not just because I had never been to one, but because it would be interesting to hear all the stories about him. *grins*

So, it was over the weekend in Toledo, Ohio. And I had a blast. It was very interesting to meet so many people from his past, as well as share stories and realize that even though they were graduating high school at the same time I was graduating kindergarten, it’s really the same experiences spread over various years. There were the geeky kids, the jocks, the musical type, the slacker type… all who had their own stories and their own various things in life they had to struggle, fight through, and become the person they are today.

I have to admit it was a bit interesting dealing with… various people who, for one reason or another, think that the age difference matters one iota to us. When I was at the reunion, it was fun to tell the story, but it was even better knowing that we’re all adults, and once that happens, age isn’t anything but a reminder. Everyone was very sweet, pleasant, and very, very nice.

The rest of the weekend was spent meeting some of his family and learning more about our various pasts as well as each other. I highly suggest a hometown visit with your significant other at some point… it’s very fascinating, and very illuminating.

And now I even have reunion stories to tell.. and pictures to hide from on Facebook.

PS: Any hotel that shuts down a room party… then offers a lobby for the afterparty at 1:30am? Totally rocks. Thanks. 🙂

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I ran around central Kansas with my boyfriend in 107F (41.7C) temperatures doing my Month at the Museum filming. All weekend. Something like 400 miles on my car after all the driving around we did. My air conditioner heroically tried to work. Didn’t too much.

How he puts up with a cranky, doesn’t want to be on camera, thinks she looks stupid, hey it’s 1 in the morning and we’re still writing script for the closing, but I ended up nailing it, kind of person like me?

I have massive stage fright, a stutter, and a rather large avoidance to hear my voice on a camera.

And yet, he continued to make me push my limits and rise above them. Which, in reality, is what MATM is all about for me. It’s proving I can do something that I might psych myself or talk myself out of otherwise, if I didn’t have friends believing in me and helping me succeed.

I could not have gotten this far this year without his help. My video is light years beyond what I thought it would originally be.

Thank you, my dear. ❤

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As I’ve been reflecting upon the past week… there have been a lot of things that have gone on in those particular dates – July 3-July 10 – in my life.

I’ll start out by saying this July 3-4 were some of the best of my life. I got to meet my wonderful friend Quinn. I’m so happy I got to meet Quinn – she’s the kind of person I know I’ll have in my life until my life no longer exists. ❤ in an unrelated thing, got to say yes to a question that undoubtedly has and will change(d) my life forever. (yay for happy cryptic messages.)

So.. here's the sad parts, and they are really rather personal and painful. So.. bear with me.

The most recent.. and rather, very painful.. was the passing of my cat Truman last year on the 9th. I was going to write a blog post about it, but this one will suffice. I still miss him so much. I cried and sobbed and had to bite back the sobs that wrack your body and soul when I was telling someone very special about him. I feel guilty because I haven’t been able to donate as much as I wanted to to the Veterinary Cancer Society. When I get a job, I will… or when I win Month at the Museum.

Me and my cat Truman!

Further back a few years… 2004. It was I think 7.6 or 7.7.04. I went to see Lucky Boys Confusion in Myrtle Beach at the House of Blues. I then drove back to Wilmington, NC, where I lived, and headed to the airport to go pick up my cat Sheba.

Yes, you read that right; Bathsheba is from Las Vegas. She was rehomed with me because of a kind person donating their frequent flier miles so a rescuer could bring her to me (as I already had Furball at this point, and Nicky, and both were somewhat feral, another feral cat didn’t bother me, and it greatly helped the rescuer).

So I turned left into the airport, I saw a flash of light, and felt a sudden lurch and pain all around me, smelled smoke, and when I opened my eyes I’d spun 270 degrees and my car’s totalled. I got out, looked in hers, saw 3 kids under the age of 10, no car seats, her screaming for a lawyer, and I just walked over, sat on the curb and the grass on the side of the road out of the way and stared at my car. I remember someone asked if 911 was called, and someone talked to me. My parents called going “We have a weird feeling, are you okay?” and that made me start hurting everywhere and crying. Oh, man, did I hurt. I still feel that hurt some days.. snowstorms make my left leg almost impossible to stand on, for example.

So I ended up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital… laid there in the ER in a cold room for almost 2 hours, by myself, no one to check up on me.. couldn’t do anything.. apparently the accident made the news and the ensuing cleanup actually blocked off the airport road for 5 hours that night.. Later she tried to sue me for the $300,000 medical bills she accrued.. while the lawyer got me off the hook (as uh, sorry, it wasn’t my fault she blew a red light), he wasn’t able to get State Farm to pay my medical bills that were overdue, so until a couple years ago I was still repaying ~$15k that insurance didn’t cover. (It’s since been paid off.)

I had a CAT scan, tons of Xrays.. was sent home with a prescription for a painkiller that i was allergic to. For 2 days after the wreck I had no painkillers (I have a super high pain tolerance…. ) caught a cab to the motel where the rescue lady was staying at… the taxi driver was kind enough to help us get up to my apartment, turned off his meter while we got the cat settled, and didn’t charge her for the time. (we tipped him a lot). I also called him a couple of times so i could get prescriptions filled (again, two days after for painkillers). I still, to this day, have scars from the accident, which is why i won’t wear some clothing, I’m so self conscious about it. They remind me too much. (I have a scar on my hip that is from the seatbelt cutting through 5 layers of clothing). I had bruises for weeks. Even today, I have problems with my left achilles tendon locking up on me. I have a weird … thing, phenomenon… whatever you want to call it… with my collarbone that cracks and even after xrays we can’t figure it out. My neck is naturally weakened and my back (i have scoliosis) has even more issues because it didn’t really heal correctly after the accident. Stuff like that.

As not to completely dampen everyone’s spirits.. I remember two weeks afterwards loading up a rental car with my friend Echo and driving to Boston to pick up a friend Krissy from Norway and go follow Hanson and The Whatnot up and down the east coast a bit. This trip was planned long before I had my accident, and it was happening.. come hell, high water, or bruises from head to toe. Thankfully they were super flexible and the rental car company gave us a gorgeous car to drive… At least I wasn’t on crutches anymore (though it might have helped to fight off the teeny boppers). It was beautiful, and everything AND I MEAN EVERYTHING hurt, but it was so worth it. Also, rental car + driving in Manhattan = holy… never again thanks.

There’s a reason why I wear a seat belt, and why I require others to wear them in my car. That’s because wearing a seat belt was the reason I walked away from this accident. This is a 98 Cavalier and I hit a Caddy head on .. I was doing less than 20, she was doing 45.

front view of my car, 7.2004

closerup view of my car.

inside car

driver's interior view

I broke the head visor thing when I smacked it and ate the airbag.

oi.

this umbrella was in the trunk. when the back seat broke, it rocketed up into the passenger seat and bent the handle. (It’s an emily strange umbrella with cat ears. I’ll never find another one.)

I have pictures still of all my bruises and such, but meh.. no need to post them. These make me cry enough.

I know who was watching down on me that night. That’s a blog post that will never be written.

So, really.. is there an Ides in July?

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I wish I had more money. If I did, I’d travel more.

I’ve seen 44 of the 50 states. I’m missing Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, Louisiana, and Arizona.

I’d like to see them.

I’d love to go outside of the US. Canada’s pretty massive and I have a lot of friends I’d love to meet outside of a computer screen.

Obviously, do I even need to mention? HI PORTUGAL AND SPAIN.

I’d love to go to Australia. I’ve got this fantasy of petting a kangaroo.

funny part is, I get so damned sick in planes I’d probably end up buying enough Dramamine to make their stock rise.

I’d love to take a cruise too. It sounds like an experience.

I used today for travel because.. I’m taking a trip this weekend. And it is going to be very fun. In fact, I’ll probably be at the airport when this posts.

So.. yeah. I really love to travel and I wish I could do it more.

I also need to buy my damned passport.

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