Archive for May, 2000

California Dreamin’, Day Nine – 05.31.00

Wednesday, May 31st, 2000

Starting Point: Tusayan, AZ

Ending Point: Victorville, CA

The entries that are dated May 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and June 1 were written while I was driving across the country with my dad. I kept track of our travels on my laptop but I didn’t have internet access at the time so they didn’t get posted until sometime later. I just wanted you to know the circumstances of these writings.

We have reached California. It has been nine days since we left Tallahassee and tomorrow morning we will make our way into Los Angeles after the morning rush hour. My dad and I have had a great trip driving almost “from sea to shining sea” and I have two rolls of film to get developed. Maybe then I can share some of the places we have been the things we have seen. In August we will have to drive back to Florida but it will be a direct trip without any interesting points.

Our drive today was very hot (we’re talking over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit) and quite desolate (the high plains of Arizona and California). I drove from Kingman, AZ to Victorville and that was an easy task until I-40 merged with I-15 in Barstow and we hit a lot of traffic going into the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. I got a little tense with all of those cars around me but I guess I need to get used to it since I will be living in this chaos all summer. Anyway, I was trying to say that today was not half as exciting as yesterday when we went to the Grand Canyon. I didn’t even know what to expect so my first glimpse of the canyon took my breath away. It is such an incredible sight and I took at least a roll’s worth of film of the beautiful scenery. Maybe I won’t even remember where I took any one of those pictures but I am certain they will be gorgeous to look at.

My dad and I spent the whole day at the Grand Canyon yesterday. We stayed until after sunset so dad could get some pictures. Did you know that the Amish war Reeboks? There were several Amish families at the canyon last night at sunset and I noticed that they all were wearing black tennis shoes – something you don’t really expect. I think one of the teenage boys was checking me out and that was kind of scary. There was also a waiter at the El Tovar Hotel restaurant where we ate lunch that was flirting with me. Usually a guy will just keep looking at you but this one actually smiled and winked while he was serving another table. I’ve still got it.

Here’s an update on that fire near Flagstaff, AZ. It turns out that Mt. Kendrick north of the city is burning and gusty winds have kept the fire from being completely contained. It is quite a fire and we saw the smoke while we were driving in that direction this morning. Luckily the fire isn’t threatening a population.

This entry is very hodgepodge. I am watching television while I am typing so that is probably the reason for a broken train of thought. Here’s another piece of information I should have mentioned somewhere else: I bought a dream catcher yesterday in one of the Grand Canyon gift shops and it is really nice. It looks authentic with natural colored feathers and material rather than the fluorescent ones that are sold at convenience stores. I can hang it outside the door to my room to trap good dreams while I am sleeping. I guess there’s not much else to say right now. Maybe there is but my brain isn’t remembering all of the things I wanted to mention right now. There’s always tomorrow, I guess.

Where There’s Smoke, Day Seven – 05.29.00

Monday, May 29th, 2000

Starting Point: Santa Fe, NM

Ending Point: Tusayan, AZ

The entries that are dated May 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and June 1 were written while I was driving across the country with my dad. I kept track of our travels on my laptop but I didn’t have internet access at the time so they didn’t get posted until sometime later. I just wanted you to know the circumstances of these writings.

I knew that there were some fires along the north rim of the Grand Canyon but I didn’t know about other fires raging in this area of Arizona. As my dad and I left Flagstaff this afternoon we noticed some billowing smoke over the top of the mountains and we appeared to be driving right towards it. It turns out that there is a fire on one of the mountains nearer Flagstaff than the Grand Canyon but we did get to see a nice display of orange smoke and a few visible flames as we drove by. The Sun looked bright red through the smoke. It was quite a view as we drove by the mountain but I am glad that it is far away from where we are staying tonight.

The drive today was boring. We had to drive south from Santa Fe to catch I-40 in Albuquerque and took it to Flagstaff, AZ. There’s not a whole lot between those later two cities, including entertaining radio stations, and the one magazine I bought in Louisiana has been read at least twice by now. Our trip is almost over so there won’t be too many more days like this until the end of the summer.

We are staying for the next two nights here in Tusayan, a few miles from the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. I have never been to the Grand Canyon so tomorrow we will brave the crowds so that I can catch a glimpse of one of our most recognized national monuments. I spent most of my money yesterday in Santa Fe but I went to the ATM there so now I have more in case I find some tourist souvenirs to buy. I would like to find a dream catcher that isn’t too cheap looking so that will be one of the things I look for. Why haven’t I found a birthday gift for Katherine yet?

The Land of Enchantment, Day Six – 05.28.00

Sunday, May 28th, 2000

Starting and Ending Point: Santa Fe, NM

The entries that are dated May 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and June 1 were written while I was driving across the country with my dad. I kept track of our travels on my laptop but I didn’t have internet access at the time so they didn’t get posted until sometime later. I just wanted you to know the circumstances of these writings.

I finally got to sleep in this morning. That’s a good thing because my dad and I stayed up late watching “Never Been Kissed” on HBO last night. I got to bed at 1 AM and finally dragged myself out of bed at 9 AM. At least it’s a Sunday. We went shopping this morning around the Santa Fe Plaza. Out hotel is within walking distance of a whole bunch of stores that sell jewelry, pottery, and other items of southwestern flair. My mom wanted a storyteller doll – a small pottery piece of a woman telling a story to many children – and we were looking for one for my grandmother as well. My dad and I looked at three places before actually purchasing the dolls. We got a better deal on them because we bought two at the same time and it seemed the owners of the store were giving out price reductions before we even asked about the cost. I love the storyteller dolls and I wanted one for myself but the ones we looked at were kind of expensive for my budget. Fortunately I found a Christmas store that sold angel storyteller dolls as ornaments for a reasonable price. I love the one I bought.

My own weakness for pretty jewelry got the best of me already today. I liked the pieces that were being sold by street vendors rather than anything from an actual jewelry store. I was looking for something simple and I ended up buying a small pendant with a green malachite stone in a silver setting. I also found a necklace with alternating hematite beads and smaller silver beads that is beautiful. I am going to the coolest chick in California! Too bad I didn’t find any turquoise jewelry that I liked. My dad says the day is still young and I can look some more tonight. I have already spent a lot of money, however, so we’ll have to see if my financial responsibility or my love of jewelry gets the better of me. I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t buy anything but now that I have gone crazy I need to find the willpower to close my wallet!

Yesterday was a long day since we didn’t get to Santa Fe until the early evening but we had fun on the way. Our first stop was the International UFO Museum in Roswell, NM. It wasn’t the most impressive place but it did have a good archive of newspaper articles and pictures from the 1947 UFO “incident.” We also took a little side trip to the Very Large Array (VLA) which is near Magdalena, NM so that I could see the place for myself. For those of you who don’t know, this is where part of the movie “Contact” was filmed and that is one of my favorite movies. My dad took a few pictures of me with the antennas in the background so I will post them on my webpage as soon as they are developed. So many people have told me that I am just like Jodie Foster’s character in “Contact” so I guess visiting the VLA was sort of a pilgrimage for me!

Our next stop on the way to California is the Grand Canyon. I have never seen the place myself so this should be an interesting experience. We haven’t gotten a hotel reservation there yet and I just realized that we might run into a problem doing just that. Tomorrow is Memorial Day so I hope we can get a room somewhere near the Grand Canyon. My dad is out taking a picture of a building that intrigued him so maybe I should start calling hotels before he gets back. The joys of spontaneous travel.

Only in Carlsbad, Day Four – 05.25.00

Thursday, May 25th, 2000

Starting Point: Van Horn, TX

Ending Point: Carlsbad, NM

The entries that are dated May 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and June 1 were written while I was driving across the country with my dad. I kept track of our travels on my laptop but I didn’t have internet access at the time so they didn’t get posted until sometime later. I just wanted you to know the circumstances of these writings.

My dad and I just came back from watching “Mission: Impossible II” at the only movie theater in Carlsbad and we got to park amazingly near the building. We aren’t used to that being seemingly from the city compared to some of the places we have been in the last few days. M:I 2 started this Wednesday in national theaters but there weren’t that many people going to see it in the same theater as us. There was a large number of preteens at the movies tonight – and their parents were no doubt around the premises as well considering they couldn’t drive themselves. I wonder what it would be like to live in a town where there were only three movies in the theater at a time. Maybe someday I will know.

After three days of traveling in my little Neon nonstop we had a break today. Last night we lodged at Van Horn, TX and tonight we only ventured as far as Carlsbad, as I have already mentioned. There is more to write about today, however, than the first three days of our trip combined. We drove through the Guadalupe Mountain National Park this morning and spent a little time there. I took some pictures so hopefully I will be able to post them somewhere as soon as they are available. The last time I was in the western part of Texas or New Mexico I was eight years old so I don’t remember very much about that trip. I did remember some of the formations from the Carlsbad Caverns when I saw them for the second time in my life today. It was rather odd to vaguely recall something like that but not be sure if it was a real memory or one from a dream. I have no idea if pictures taken there will turn out at all. I guess I should have bought some postcards but the Carlsbad Caverns gift shop was a little too catered to tourists to suit me.

Tomorrow will be another day – and a long one I expect. We already have a hotel reservation in Santa Fe, NM and that’s a good thing considering it’s Memorial Day weekend. We had a hard time getting a good room to begin with even though we called last night. I am looking forward to seeing Santa Fe again. I have good memories of it from when I was younger so we’ll see how it stacks up this time. This message will self-destruct in five seconds…

Ho Hum, Day Two – 05.24.00

Wednesday, May 24th, 2000

Starting Point: Lafayette, LA

Ending Point: San Antonio, TX

The entries that are dated May 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and June 1 were written while I was driving across the country with my dad. I kept track of our travels on my laptop but I didn’t have internet access at the time so they didn’t get posted until sometime later. I just wanted you to know the circumstances of these writings.

So we have been on the road for two days now. We are staying on the northeast side of San Antonio tonight in a really nice hotel. Actually there was a fiasco with our lodgings today. We discovered that we had a cell phone signal between Houston and San Antonio and decided that we should call ahead for reservations at a place with an exercise room. After extensive search through the Texas AAA tour book I found a Holiday Inn and reserved a room there. Then I discovered that I had called the wrong Holiday Inn (there are several in the San Antonio area) and I had to cancel one reservation and make another. After calling 1-800-HOLIDAY I found out that our ideal hotel didn’t exist anymore and we were back to the drawing board. It took a lot of reading in the tour book to find the hotel we finally ended up at but it was great to actually get a room where we wanted one. After sometime tomorrow we probably won’t have cell phone access so this won’t be a problem!

I had envisioned myself having only a few other boxes to take to California besides the ones holding my clothes but that was just a dream. I had to sacrifice bringing things like my printer and my free weights because we ran out of space in my little car pretty fast. It’s not just me that’s going to California, though. My dad brought a small suitcase and his camera bag and they take up some space no matter how little they are. I can’t believe how much junk I own. I think I say that every time I have to move somewhere but somehow this situation is different. I hope I packed the right things and nothing important is still sitting at home somewhere.

The Sci-Fi Channel is showing “The Stand” tonight but the segments are out of order. The last time I tried to watch this movie was in high school and I didn’t make it through the whole thing. Some of you reading this entry may remember that circumstance. Anyway, I don’t really know the plot of this movie so it is confusing. I found a channel called Odyssey that shows episodes of “Avonlea” so I was ecstatic to watch one. My dad is out of the room now checking on the clothes we have in the dryer. We don’t want to arrive in California with a week’s worth of dirty laundry. It’s hard to keep up your normal lifestyle while you are traveling but I am doing my best. The only problem is looking for clothes to wear. You are limited to what is on top in the huge boxes of your clothes and that isn’t always what you would choose to wear in a regular situation.

There really isn’t much to write about now. Things are going smoothly even if the situation isn’t the most fun. I don’t like sitting in the car all day. My dad and I have been able to exercise a little bit the past two nights but I still feel yucky. If I can manage not to gain weight on this trip it will be amazing. Tomorrow night we are planning to be in Van Horn, TX. I haven’t been there since I was eight years old so that should be interesting.

Itinerary – 05.23.00

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2000

Tuesday, May 23
Leaving: Tallahassee, FL
Traveling: I-10 the whole way except for a short time on I-20 to avoid the city of New Orleans
Arriving: Baton Rouge or Lafayette, LA

Wednesday, May 24
Leaving: Our stopping point (either Baton Rouge or Lafayette)
Traveling: I-10 the whole day again
Arriving: San Antonio, TX

Thursday, May 25
Leaving: San Antonio, TX
Traveling: I-10 across the barren parts of Texas once again, leaving the interstate at Van Horn, TX on Texas highway 54 (if we get that far)
Arriving: Probably either Van Horn, TX or White City, NM

Friday, May 26
Leaving: Our stopping point (either Van Horn or White City)
Travelling: Texas highway 54, US highway 285 into Roswell, NM, US highway 380, Us highway 60 at Socorro, NM (taking us to the Very Large Array), back to US highway 25
Arriving: Santa Fe, NM

After this my dad says that we will have to make some new plans. Our sightseeing starts in New Mexico so we are just trying to get there as fast as we can. I guess I’ll be able to post the rest of our travel logs when I get some internet access in California. At least I will know exactly how we went after the trip is over!

So Long for Now – 05.22.00

Monday, May 22nd, 2000

I am typing this on my laptop. This is the first time I have tried to use it for writing a diary entry but I know that it won’t be the last. The computer I have in my lap right now is the only one I m going to have for the next few months and I need to get used to it.

Most of my things are packed now. A few of the things I wanted to get done are still not checked off my list but that’s the way it will have to stay. I am wondering how, in the three weeks I have been at home, I managed to be so unproductive. At least it seems everything is in order for our departure tomorrow. I am watching “ConAir” on TV as I am typing and during each commercial break I go to my room and see if there is something more I can pack before the movie starts again. Since I am busy it is keeping my mind off the nervousness that is taking over my brain. As soon as I run out of things to do I am going to be a wreck. Maybe I’ll be lucky and not run out of activities before I fall asleep!

I am regretting not doing a lot of things while here in Tallahassee. I haven’t talked to most of my friends from high school. Probably they don’t even know I will be long gone by this time tomorrow. I spent a lot of time with my family but we didn’t get around to doing everything we planned. I hardly ever see my brother. He is turning 18 on June 19 so that will be an important day. Too bad I have missed his past few birthdays and this one won’t be an exception. Sorry about that, Kenneth. I’m sorry if I let anyone down by something I did or didn’t do during this time. I will try and make up for it.

So for now I must say goodbye. I hope someone will miss seeing a new entry when they come to my webpage for a few weeks. I know that several of my friends keep up with me through my writings and I hate for them to be able to do other things during the usual five minutes it takes to read my ramblings. Sorry about that. I hope that when I get back to posting entries about my boring life I will still have an audience that will want to read them. I know my mom will at least so that’s a start.

So Little Time – 05.21.00

Sunday, May 21st, 2000

Have you heard that Scully is pregnant? At the end of tonight’s season finale of the X-Files I somehow knew that was the case. I was watching with my dad and my brother and I got really excited when she told Skinner that she was pregnant. She was so happy! What a way to end the season. Of course I had to call Emmy in Gainesville so we could discuss it. She said she was glad I called because she immediately wanted to talk to me when the show was over. Usually the X-Files is our Monday topic of conversation over lunch during the school year. I am going to miss that little ritual.

I really have a hundred other things that I should be doing right now rather than writing. I have less than two days before my dad and I leave for California and about half of my clothes have been packed so far. The problem is that I need to keep a count on the hanging items because of hangers and I don’t think I have the presence of mind to do it this late at night. The small amount of time that I have left in Tallahassee is making me very nervous. It’s not like I haven’t moved out before but until now I haven’t had to drive 3000 miles in the process! That little twinge of scared is coming back. I thought it had been smothered by the excited wave that passed through about a week ago but I was wrong. Fear has a way of surviving when you don’t have all the information you want. If I am not well enough informed in twenty-four hours I might be more frightened than anything else. We’ll see what happens.

By the way, here is an addendum to the list I posted in the last entry. Since then I have completed numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, and 16. I have added quite a few items so here they are:

17) Get everyone’s ICQ numbers
18) Download WinZip for laptop
19) Call Emmy
20) Post travel plans on webpages (coming soon, I promise)
21) Install WinZip on laptop
22) Get new navel ring
23) Pay GatorLink bill
24) Scan some pictures
25) Get laundry detergent
26) Find out about apartment building

Some of the above items have been taken care of but the others are slated for completion tomorrow. It boggles my mind when I think about how much I have to get done tomorrow. For instance, I bought a padded laptop sleeve for my new computer today and it is too small. Now I have to take it back tomorrow because it is on my credit card. How annoying.

Since I last wrote an entry I have been pretty busy. I went to the Lincoln High School convocation ceremony on Thursday night because I will not be able to go to graduation. The convocation is like a large awards assembly for the seniors, in case you have never heard the term before. I have friends with the valedictorian and salutatorian of this graduating class so I wanted to be able to see them. Besides the two of them I found out that I know quite a few people graduating this year from my high school. Mostly they are younger siblings of my friends but a few I remember as freshman when I was senior. It’s funny to think that after this year there will be no one left at Lincoln that I went to school with. How odd. My brother is supposed to graduate next year so if that happens as planned I will certainly be present. I will be cheering too. In other news, Meghan and I went to St. George Island yesterday to go to the beach. I was fortunate enough to not get sunburned anywhere on my body. I would say that I didn’t get any sun but somehow I know that would be a lie. I have a nice tan from last weekend in Destin and I was determined not to get higher on the list for skin cancer yesterday. Luckily I believe I succeeded.

I am facing my separation from the internet soon. I promise to post another entry tomorrow to make sure everyone knows what has become of me. By then I should be able to post our travel schedule so that it will be the first thing you see when you come to my diary. I apologize for not having to yet but I am exceedingly lazy and I allow other things to occupy my mind. Like the X-Files. And now that we have come full circle back to the topic at the beginning of this entry and I fell I must say goodnight. Things always look clearer in the morning and let’s hope that holds true of my last full day in Tallahassee for the summer.

One Week – 05.16.00

Tuesday, May 16th, 2000

I heard that Vitamin C song called the “Graduation Song” tonight. It was ironic that I was in my car driving away from my high school at the time. The Lincoln High School choral department had its spring concert for the older choirs and I was excited to be able to attend. Anyway, I was listening to the voiceovers during the song and I realized how much my life has changed since I graduated from high school. I moved away from home, left my friends that I had known forever, and started a life that is much different in many ways that the one I used to know. I could relate to some parts of the song because I remember feeling sad about leaving the people I loved here in Tallahassee while I went away to college. However, I was not sad to be getting out of high school. I was ready to get that diploma and move on with my life. That’s kind of funny because I really loved high school – I was involved in everything and I was very successful – but nothing was keeping me tied to it. I guess I grew up and I knew there was this grand world waiting for me outside of the walls of Lincoln High School. My life has really changed since May 1997 when I graduated and I love what it has become. I have a road of opportunities before me and only myself to choose the way.

Now that we’ve heard from reminiscent side its time to return to real life. I am leaving Tallahassee one week from today. That means that the mess that is my belongings and the mess that is my existence must be organized and packed away for a road trip by then. My dad is the keeper of our travel schedule right now and I am quite ignorant of the exact plans. If I can pin down a timetable from him I will make a point of recording it here so that everyone will know where I am on any given day. There will be no updates to my diary while my dad and I are driving across the country because I won’t have any internet access, but I will still be keeping a record of the trek on my laptop. This means faithful readers will have a lot of catching up to do when I am finally able to post those journals! I am setting up a separate website for my internship information and I will post that URL as soon as it is ready for public scrutiny. There is so much happening in such a sort period of time and I am very nervous about all of it. I just need to remember that everything is going to be all right – then I need to start packing my closet-full of clothes into boxes.

Here is the list of things that I need to do before next Tuesday. Please keep in mind that this list changes hourly and it will probably be obsolete by tomorrow morning, but I thought I would put it up here for all to read. Some of these items may have already been taken care of and others I plan to cross off the list after tomorrow. My life is a mess and I don’t expect it to be better for awhile. Until then this is what will be on my mind:

1) Katherine’s birthday present
2) Get new driver’s license
3) Download AOL instant messenger and ICQ for laptop
4) Transfer files to laptop
5) Pay Discover Card bill
6) Get oil changed in car
7) Vacuum out car
8) Get a copy of my birth certificate
9) Take watch back to Burdine’s
10) Go to used book store
11) Email Jenny about apartment, work clothes
12) Get Kenneth a birthday card
13) Get new towels
14) Install scanner and printer for laptop
15) Refill prescriptions
16) Transfer money to checking account

Catalogue of Cliches – 05.14.00

Sunday, May 14th, 2000

What a difference a day makes. Maybe the phrase should be “what differences make a day.” At least that’s how I feel how my life recently. I never knew I could feel so many distinct and powerful emotions within hours of each other and I never knew that my perspective of a situation could change so drastically in the same short period of time. I don’t know exactly what the six stages of grief are but they are reeking havoc on me! I have already been through the disbelief phase and moved on to anger. It’s hard to tell where anger ends and hurt begins though. Both of those are having a grand time mixing me up. I don’t even know if these are the emotions I should be feeling right now. I just want to catalogue what I am thinking in some (perhaps vain) attempt to figure out myself.

I am waiting to see if Stuart is going to call me back tonight. I haven’t talked to him since Friday morning before he left for Cincinnati and I called his new apartment about an hour ago but no one was home. I don’t know what the summer is going to do to our relationship. Besides the physical void that exists between Ohio and California we also have to overcome an emotional rift that has been forming for several months. I know that if he was here with me now I would want to forget about our troubles and throw my arms around him, but that wouldn’t make any of the problems go away. It hasn’t worked before, at least. Last summer when faced with a separation Stu told me that the time apart would be god for both of us – we would be able to “figure out how we feel” about each other. At the time I thought it was a terrible thing to say but now that the same predicament is staring at me again I realize the wisdom in those words. I can never think straight when Stuart is around me. Somehow my feelings for him blind me to the obvious issue at hand. Now is the best time for a little space between us to keep our minds on finding the solutions we need.

My biggest dilemma is the toughest to solve. The question here is whether Stu and I should be together and my part of this is finding out what I want. Until last week I thought I knew what I wanted. Life was different before something came along and tossed my little organized pile of papers into the air to see where they would land. Now my love-life file is suddenly out of my reach and my confidence report is no where to be found. Everything else is just a big jumble but slowly I am able to make sense of the chaos. The research I have done on myself – my personality, my faults, and my dreams – is turning up in bits and pieces and I am remembering what I liked about this person. I am strong and I can get through anything. I am tough and I won’t let anything change who I am. I am focused and I usually know exactly what I want out of life. The thing I am missing is conviction. Even when I know a situation is wrong I don’t speak out. Unhappiness can be hidden beneath a cheery smile. This needs to change. I can’t answer the question about my future with Stuart until I can assure myself that I will get out of a situation that doesn’t make me happy. I deserve to be happy and not ever compromise on that point.

You know that time between when you go to bed and when you fall asleep? Unless I am dead tired I usually use that time to think. Last night I was lying in a strange bed at the Holiday Inn (a smoking room no less so the places sort of smelled funny) and I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t because of the overstuffed pillows that hurt my neck when I tried to lie on my stomach and it wasn’t because our room was right in front of the elevator and I could hear the comings and goings of countless people throughout the night. I was just thinking about my life and how scared I am about the near future. Let’s face it, I am going all the way across the country to a place I have never been, to be with people I have never met, and to work in a place where I am not sure if my knowledge is going to be sufficient to fulfill my duties. There are a few things that I have to be scared about. Not that I’m not excited about the great opportunity this internship is or the great adventure I am going to have this summer, but there are more unknowns that knowns right now and that would make anyone a little uneasy. As I look at my sleeping cat (on his favorite spot on my bed, no doubt) I sometimes wish I could be as secure as he is. Then again, I would never be able to have such a great experience as the one before me if that were the case.

Things happen for a reason even if we don’t know what that reason is. All be can do is learn to make the best of things and grow into the people we were meant to be. If only this process was as simple as I describe it. Life is tough and you never know what is coming up next. I am wondering how many cliches I can use in one paragraph now! It’s funny how most of them turn out to be true though. There are a million thoughts in my head right now. One of them is, “What happened to Stu calling me back?” I am going to see if he is online. Maybe some more truths will be revealed then.