26 June 2006

...and then there was the YELLING...

Holy moly. I was raised in a very quiet household. I can remember a college boyfriend commenting that he was nervous in my parents' house because it was so quiet. When I first met Scott's family I was the nervous one because they were so loud! I will admit to being a bit sensitive to the raising of the voice.

I was doing my daily blog-read and got to this entry on Simply Left Behind. Before you click, beforewarned, it contains a video clip from Fox News of an "interview" with someone from the Westboro Baptist church...you remember them? The crazy people who think that God hates the USA and gay people and the military and and and and...the ones that desecrate funerals by picketing...those folks.

Watching that clip was interesting... It reminded me of one evening when I was still living with Scott and he sat down to watch "the news" while I was on the computer. I wasn't paying attention to what he was watching because most of his TV time involved surfing and invariably I would see something I'd like to watch that would get passed by...so I was just focusing on the computer. I remember that he paused to watch something so I looked around. To this day I couldn't tell you the name of the program, only that the Fox News logo was in the corner and the so-called journalist/anchor/person in charge of moderating the interview and the person being interviewed were screaming at each other. Screaming. Loudly. Angrily. I asked him what it was and he said he didn't know, just "whatever Fox News is showing right now." So from that moment on, Fox News became the Shouting News Network or the Angry News Network. "Scott, do we have to watch the Shouting News Network?" "Scott, aren't they covering that same story on a channel other than the Angry News Network?" I asked him once why he watched Bill O'Reilly (other than the obvious, he was a closet conservative who I think voted Republican) and he said, "because it's funny to watch how worked up Bill gets over stupid stuff." I think he said the same thing about most anything he watched there...

Now, on the other hand, I don't really watch CNN either, before that gun comes out a'blazin'...CNN has been, since the beginning of the business in Iraq, "the Green Network" to me. There are people there that shout, just like on Fox, and invariably on CNN there is someone showing me something using infrared/night vision camera work so everything is green. For my news, I read the BBC website (because I'm too poor to afford digital cable so I can watch BBC America) and listen to NPR. No one yells on NPR. Garrison Keillor, while not a purveyor of news save that of Lake Woebegon, doesn't yell. Larry Abramson doesn't yell. Robert Siegel and Melissa Block don't yell. I feel comfortable there.

Kudos though, to Simply Left Behind...you made my blog roll for a reason.

An Interesting Experience

I've been thinking for a week now that I've wanted to write about the experience of going to church with my parents over Father's Day weekend, but I haven't been able to form the murky thoughts into coherent sentences...until now. I have, at this point, 25 minutes to get this done, get dressed, and leave for work. Amazing what procrastination can do, hey?

My father is currently serving a small church in the mountains of northern Georgia as what is called in the UMC a "retirement appointment." The demographics of the church are pretty homogenous...for example, when they called for the oldest and youngest fathers to stand, the youngest one was 50. It's a wonderful place for my parents to serve, I think, because everyone is just like them, and the congregation loves them. Couldn't ask for more than that.

I attended Sunday School with Mom and Dad, and Dad taught the class. The subject was the story in the Bible where God tells the faithful that they no longer should have divisions among the people. No more Jew vs. Gentile. All are welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven. Etc. Etc. Etc. The discussion stayed within those boundaries until one of the men in the class asked about the Muslims that hate us so much. I held my breath.

I worried in vain. My father admitted that he didn't know that much about the Muslim faith, but that what he did know was that those people that are committing acts of terror under the banner of Islam are not mainstream. In fact, they aren't even truly Muslim. He and I talked about that after church, and I told him about my experience getting to interpret for a leader in the Muslim faith in South Carolina to talk about his religion. As I understand it, devout Muslims don't really even have an opinion about non-Muslims because it is not their place to judge. That is reserved for Allah, and wouldn't even enter their minds to contemplate.

Now take what I've said there with a disclaimer because I was interpreting at the time and I typically remember about 50-75% of what I interpret. However, I do remember clearly the gentleman reiterating that it was not his place to question Allah, that Allah gave instruction to the Prophet and that is all he needs to know. While my western thinking mind can't quite wrap itself around that kind of blind submission, there is something intriguing about it. Perhaps such obedience to the words of our High Holy Leader in Christianity, Jesus, would do a lot toward the eradication of the divisions within the church. Perhaps if some of our leaders really listened to the meaning behind the words in our Gospels, we wouldn't see issues come up in the church like whether or not to permit homosexuals to join the church, let alone be clergy...we would be more apt to reach out to the marginalized in our communities and our world...we would be better at loving each other's differences rather than trying to convert others to our way of thinking...we would understand our obligation to help those who need it, be they gays or Muslims... or even Republicans. :)

Thanks, Daddy, for getting me thinking, and for introducing me to your wonderfully accepting and loving congregation...and for remaining the model of tolerance and love that raised me to be the liberal-minded person I am today.

25 June 2006

Ohhh, I got a GOOD one today...

DISCLAIMER: I am still very much a Liberal. I am not poking fun at any country in this post, especially not "Zimababwe." I am poking fun at idiots that think they can get away with scams like this just by mispelling a few words...and at those unfortunates who fall for them. Just so we're clear...

Boy, this kid's gonna have a helluva time continuing his education with this level of grammar and spelling...I guess they don't teach that in Zimababwe?
From: "ovie2006" (ovie2006@terra.com.mx)
Good day
How are you today.
I am Ovie Onorode,19yrs old from Zimababwe .
I got your contact through a thorough seacrh from industries of trade and commerce.
In regards to my contacting you,i would want to entrust
the transfers of the sum of us$1.5milllion into your country,under your supervision.
I would also want you to help me invest on any profitable business that you would be able to help me handle while i continue my education in your country when i come over, as you would be my gaurdian that would take care of my investment and secure a good inetrnational standard school.
In your positive anticipation to my mail,i would furnish you on every
information that would be necessary on how i would get the fund to you before i come over to your country.
I have accredited 10% out of the total fund for your assistance and your trust,bcos this fund is the only hope i have in life which i inherited from my late parents.My late father was a white farmer in Zimbabwe before he died,he was accused of treason and trying to over throw the president of mugabe,so all his asses,inlcluding land farms and bank account where siezed,you can comfirm most of this story on:www.zimbabwesituation.com/ aug9_2001.html
but he manage to secure this fund in a security company,b4 his death i was made the beneficiary to the consignment.
so i hope i can trust you with this.
Relpy soon.
Wow. I'd hate to have the government sieze [sic] my asses. Seriously. I'm lonely sometimes, granted, but...

24 June 2006

New Wallpaper for the Week

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, Mommy, let's hit happy hour!
"Hey, Mommy, it's 5 o'clock somewhere, let's hit a happy hour!!"

Wherein I Refer You to Older Lettuce

Some other discussions I've had about my job, since that's apparently where my head is today...

More Lessons Learned

How Not to Use an Interpreter, by G.W. Bush

Things I've Learned (blogging after a really tough assignment)

Revelations in Green...Day

The Truth Needs No Translation...?

I had an interesting experience last night. I had a headache so I skipped my normal Friday night's Everquesting and watched a movie instead. Some time back I had bought "The Interpreter" on DVD because my boss had recommended it to me, but I hadn't even gotten around to taking it out of the shrink wrap until last night.

If you are a doctor or a lawyer or even a mental health professional or a teacher, you can find movies that are written about your profession. It is very rare that I find movies about my profession unless they are mainly about Deaf characters with interpreters as necessary evils, thrown into police stations or at the moment that the Deaf protagonist stands up to his or her hearing oppressors and gives a speech. I found myself identifying with Nicole Kidman's character in her professional role but on a different level than I do with the interpreters in the movies I just described.

I got into my field because I love languages, not because I have Deaf family members or because I have this burning desire to HELP. (Heh, I got into mental health because of the desire to HELP! Just kidding...sorta...) I have always found it fascinating to watch spoken language interpreters work. One of the best interpreting jobs I ever had was to work with a Russian-English interpreter when a former leader of the Soviet Union came to speak at the University of Georgia...I was more interested in meeting his interpreter than him!!

Anyway, back to the movie...One of the things that struck me was her reaction when she overheard the people talking in the GA after hours. I know now that part of the reason she didn't tell anyone right away was her connection to the situation, but that wasn't revealed until much later in the movie. Without that knowledge, I saw someone struggling with the same kind of ethical decision that interpreters are faced with on a regular basis. I think it happens even more with signed language interpreters because there is NO whispering in a signed language...and our consumers trust that we are ethical and competent professionals and that we won't run tell things that we see communicated that were meant to be private.

However, I also applauded her coming forth the following morning to report what she'd heard, even though it was against her own personal and political convictions to do so. I have faced similar situations, obviously not of the same magnitude, but I know it is a very tough call to make and even tougher to follow through on to go against your training and expectations as an interpreter and report something that you "overheard."

All in all I would highly recommend the movie, and that's saying a lot because I don't care for crime dramas and political thrillers normally. But this one hit close to home... I only wish I'd seen it sooner.

23 June 2006

One Year Ago Today

I have never in my life felt this much pain, and she's still here, she's still snoozing on the floor like nothing is any different than it was yesterday. Only it is...

Yesterday she was going to the bridge on Saturday. Yesterday I had time, even though I really didn't because I'll be at Mountain Hounds in Gatlinburg starting tomorrow. Yesterday it wasn't real.

Today it is real. She's going to the bridge tomorrow. I sit here and I look at her there and it HURTS. I feel so guilty, she has no idea what is going to happen. She is going to be so happy to go in the car with her Daddy tomorrow night.

I just feel sick. Yesterday it was a dull ache. Today there is no air.

I love you baby girl. Please forgive me, for not being there tomorrow night...for doing this to you...for not doing more for you...for selfishly wanting you to stay...how will I know I've overslept? How will I know that the A/C is on too high? How will I know it's time for doggie dinner?

What will I do at 4:30 on Monday, when no one barks?

What will I do without you?

For the first time...Click here to download "Lizzard's Got A Way." When I made this movie I kept it only for those closest to me that helped me through losing my old broad...but I want to share her with everyone now.

I love you, MamaDawg. Miss you. Awwooooof.

19 June 2006

A Late Father's Day Thank You

Thank you, George Edwin Allen, for being a strong example of a family man and father, and being the role model for my own father.
My Grandfather Allen
My Grandfather and Grandmother Allen

Thank you, Albert Davie McDonald, for being the only grandfather I knew as a child, and raising your daughter to be a great mom.
My Grandfather McDonald
My Grandfather and Grandmother McDonald

Thank you is woefully inadequate for Hoyt Albion Allen, so I'll just say I love you, Daddy.
My Daddy, Elementary  School AgeMy Daddy, Middle School Age
Me and my Daddy
Reverend Hoyt A. Allen

17 June 2006

Go Daisy GO!!!

Daisy came in first place last night with a time of 31.12. This means she has "broken Maiden" and will move up to grade D!! I knew she had it in her, and I'm soooooo glad something finally clicked. Good job, babygirl. Keep it up!!

5/24/06 ready to rumble!

My inner sagittarian is intrigued...

Horoscopes For Today: 6/17/2006
Any discouraging signs you've been seeing lately shouldn't get you down -- the road you're on has quite a few twists and turns, and you need to be ready to take them as they come. Things are way better than you think right now, so what's with this cloud of gloom and doom? Flush it out with a healthy dose of good humor and you can get back on track with a brighter attitude. You are much closer to your goal than you realize, so keep on going.

16 June 2006

Confessions and Phone Conversations

Several of you that read the Lettuce have emailed me to ask what I mean when I mention the "Alabama Job." Being the superstitious sot I am, I was trying not to jinx it like I think I did the job in Decatur last year...not that I wasn't offered the Decatur job but that when I was everything else sorta fell through. Well...I'm trying to convince myself that we make our own luck, so here's the confession. I've applied for an interpreter job with the Alabama Dept. of Mental Health. SCDMH was great to raise my salary last year to keep me here, but they have raised it as far as they can without re-classifying me...and I just feel that I really NEED to get out of South Carolina.

Okay, all that aside, on to the phone conversation, which I'm afraid is a harbinger of things to come as far as my moving goes (if I get the job). Kinda reminds me of where I was this time LAST year...

Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: Good afternoon, X apartments, can I help you?
Me: Yes, I'm Nancy Lassiter and I'm calling about your X apartment that I saw advertised on X.com?
Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: Sure, what can I tell you about it?
Me: Well, it says that you allow pets and that you allow large dogs, and I was wondering if you have a weight, breed, or other...
Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: We have breed restrictions for large dogs, yes ma'am. What kind of dog do you have?
Me: A greyhound, I'm sure that's not on the...
Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: Oh no ma'am, they aren't on the list from our insurance company. Greyhounds are not aggressive dogs like the ones on the list.
Me: Well, no, they aren't. So is there a fee for...
Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: Yes ma'am we allow two pets and the fee is $500/per pet. When would you be looking to move in?
Me: Well, I have more than two greyhounds.
Nice Lady at Apartment Complex in Montgomery: Oh, okay, well thank you for calling. (click)

Why don't they just put that on their website and save all of us a lot of time and trouble? 2 pet limit, $500 fee per pet. Not difficult.

From a posting made by my friend Mary:
this is the kind of person I am...
and have always been. Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...

Lordy, I didn't even get to the cats...

15 June 2006

A Nighttime Days Funny

Thanks to Dustin's Days Page, linked in the title above...
5. RETURN FROM THE DEAD…you or some member of your family has returned from the dead at least once. There have been at least 2 funerals or memorial services in your honor. You die, and come back, then you die again, then come back, then die, then come back as yourself, but you look like Chris Kositcheck, and nobody notices the change.
If you watch Days of Our Lives, you'll know why that's funny. If you don't...you should.

13 June 2006

I HATE it when things don't work like they're supposed to...

I give UP!
Jeany's representation of my mood after trying for an HOUR to get into Blogger to answer a comment...let alone post! UGH!

12 June 2006

A bit of fun, stolen from Mary's LJ

1. Pick 25 of your favourite movies.
2. Then pick one of your favorite quote/s from each movie.
3. Post the quotes in your journal(or in my case, blog).
4. Have those on your friends list try to guess what the movie is (or just post it in comments).
1. "Do you know what an older woman does for me?" "Changes your diapers?"
2. "I know this is detention, but I don't think I belong in HERE."
3. "You could just hang with me and my dudes, and just be you." "Sounds major."
4. "Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em!!"
5. "Why did you have to be so wonderful?" (that one's for mah Thug)
6. "I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave."
7. "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tommorrow."
8. "Oh, double doo-doo! One of my diamonds just fell in the macaroni!"
9. "That's it, the nose goes. Bandstand, here I come!" (that one's for Sooz)
10. "We made a deal when I was seven and a half and night life was The Muppet Show!"
11. "He's gonna be a fry cook at Venus!"
12. "Prepare ship for ludicrous speed! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all animals in the zoo!"
13. "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."
14. "Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products."
15. "I'm afraid I have no choice but to sell you all for scientific experiments."
16. "My darling girl, when are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!"
17. "You can't just buy me a guitar every time you screw up, you know." "Yeah I know. But then you know there's always drums, and bass, and maybe even one day a tambourine."
18. "The story its happening to us now. We're living it. It's alive, its real, its breathing. And we could give it a happy ending."
19. "Uhhh... were you robbed?" "Funny really, yes, but at the same time a huge resounding no. It's more of an... involuntary vow of poverty... really."
20. "Cindy, this is a skeleton, this is bones! Would you run from Callista Flockheart?"
21. "Uh, is there a little girl's room in the hall?" "Oui oui, Madame." "No, I just have to powder my nose."
22. "What's that sound? You hear it? It's a funny squeaky sound." "You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant."
23. "Are you happy now, Clark? She's dead!"
24. "Wow dad, we must have gone like 50 yards." "Nothing to be proud of Russ..." "... 50 yards..."
25. "Now you take that diaper off your head and you put it back on your sister!"

What Dreams I Can Do Without

Slight insomnia again last night. I stayed up WAY too late on the computer, and when I got into bed I read a little bit to ease me out of the world of fighting computer monsters and into sleep. I was rewarded for my late bedtime with an awful anxiety dream.

I was back in college and apparently had learned to sing as I had taken the lead role in The Fantasticks. My former theatre professor was still the director at the theatre, but I believe the building we were in was the Classic Center in Athens, GA. I'm sure that it was in Athens. Anyway...in typical anxiety dream fashion I had not learned any of my lines and had been away at home for a week, presumably for spring break. My mother was with me coming back to school, and I remember saying to her that she needed to go into the theatre with me when I told the director I was back because if my mother was there the director couldn't possibly get THAT mad at me.

Somehow Mom agreed and we walked toward the theatre. I saw others that I knew were in the cast going in dressed in costumes that, in my waking mind, were wrong for that play...not to mention the fact that there were too many of them...and I chatted with one guy as we were headed in the door. He wanted to know why I was there, because since I'd been skipping rehearsals I'd been demoted to understudy. I was shocked and said I'd been gone all week, had they had rehearsals? He just shook his head and went inside.

After that the dream was just flashes of being onstage, being REAMED for not knowing my lines, running about backstage, etc. The interesting and not-so-horrifying thing about the backstage part is that I could SEE the backstage area of the Maryville College theatre...I could smell it...that was, fortunately, the most realistic part of my dream. But at the same time, it would change to a backstage I didn't recognize, and that would suddenly horrify me that not only was I unprepared for my role...I didn't know where I was.

Wonder if I'm worried about Alabama?

07 June 2006

And again, why can't I write like this??

By Sam Jordison, from Scotsman.com:
The Great Fire of London did put the fear up a few doom-mongers back in 1666, but even that great conflagration failed to spark the end of the world.

Wow. Just Wow.

America's infamous right-wing commentator Ann Coulter is also publishing a book today. She's the woman who once appeared on the cover of Time magazine, under the headline "Ms Right", and who called for the forcible conversion of all Muslims to Christianity. Her most famous comment about the environment is: "God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'" She's also a canny selfpublicist: 06.06.06 is the ideal date to release a volume she's entitled Godless. Of course, her publishers insist that it's just a coincidence.


I have been so wrapped up in my money issues that I missed out on the potential for the Apocalypse yesterday!!! Yesterday's date was the 6th of June, 2006, otherwise known as 6-6-06. Take out the 0 and you've got the day of the BEAST! The end of days! The Lord is coming back!!! The Anti Christ is here!! Run run!

Oh my word, y'all. Come on.

People honestly thought that the END WAS NEAR yesterday. Planes would drop out of the sky! ATM cards would stop working! Your computer will rise up and eat your head!!! RUN RUN RUN!

Sorry, got caught up in the hype there for a sec.

Apparently mothers-to-be did whatever they could to avoid having their babies born yesterday. People stayed home, cancelled flights, all of this because of a number. A NUMBER, that according to many scholars of the symbolism behind numbers, refers to Nero, the mad Caesar of Rome. This article puts it very well indeed:
Indeed, if you're still reading this article, you've already proved quite a few people wrong. Because, according to the conspiracy theorists, we should already have been visited by some quite nasty plagues by now. What's more, all copies of The Scotsman should have been consumed by fire, thanks to the giant comet that's due to strike the Earth. And, just supposing that the paper did survive all that, your attention would have been grabbed by the blinding sight of the Lamb of God transporting 144,000 Christian virgins up to heaven - leaving the rest of us to tidy up the mess.
Now, I agree that everyone has a right to their beliefs...I'll be the first one to let you prattle on to me about your political beliefs and convictions, ideas that I may think are so backwards that I'm amazed you can get out of bed in the morning without help...but they are yours and I don't have the right to tell you that you are wrong. However...this stuff strikes a chord with me, probably because of my upbringing in the church and because of my exposure to "church people..."

How many of you checked over your shoulder yesterday just to see if you might catch a glimpse of the fire and brimstone laden four horsemen, sent to devour us all that we may meet our Maker? How many clucked their tongues sadly at those of differing religious faiths or lifestyles, knowing that those poor souls were condemned to the flames that were no doubt on the move to consume the less-than-righteous among us? The "Left Behind" people published something yesterday to "counter" the re-release of "the Omen." Y'all, it's a movie!!! Say it with me, MOVIE. As in not real. As in fiction. As in you just made yourselves out to be hysteria-mongers with your counter-release.

Ugh. Hey...maybe that's the source of all my money issues...hmmm...I wonder if an attack of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of the number 666, see the link in the title for a slightly credible web page) would be good enough reason for a medical leave of absence from work...?

05 June 2006

"I've learned something today..."

I am the queen of useless worry. It's almost as though I think that through worrying over something I can change the outcome of the situation. Seriously. I think maybe it's because I watched so much sit com television growing up...everything works out by the end of the half hour, so maybe subconsciously I think that if I worry for 29 minutes that everything will work out in minute 30 and I can relax.

Case in Point: my bank account. I never have enough money...I know, who doesn't? But I've had a lot of trouble since separating from Scott managing to have enough money for everything that I need money for (see application that has been sent to higher paying job in Alabama...) at the time that I need it AND being able to save any money. Couple that problem with my overabundance of worry genes and you can see the storm on the horizon.

Lightning strike number one came when I got home from Tennessee last night and checked my bank balance. I ADORE the online banking option with my bank...it really has done a lot for helping me manage my money because I can see how much I have at any given time, including how much will be left when pending transactions clear. I checked last night and there was a charge in the pending column that was almost $300 that I had NO recollection of making.

Now before you start thinking that I bought some outrageous pair of shoes or a new outfit...I don't do that. I buy my clothes at Walmart and Target. I balk if the tag says anything higher than the $10-15 mark, and at that mark it had better be a two piece suit or a buy one/get one free. I recently got a purse from Walmart.com and when it came today I considered sending it back because I still have life in my old threadbare back-killer that looks like a saddlebag AND it would be $22 that would be back in my account in case I need dog food or gas or cat meds or something.

I used to be absolutely AWFUL about spending money. Ask my soon-to-be-ex-husband, he'll tell you. I'd get things just because they were on sale. Not so much anymore. I'd spend hours on eBay and feel so stoked that I'd "won" the right to give someone else my hard earned money. I barely visit eBay these days.

Anyway, back to the mystery charge. I sent an email to my bank this morning flipping out that the charge was still there AND that I couldn't see who would be getting 1/3 of my paycheck. All I could imagine was how my rent check was going to bounce...that I only had enough dog food for 3 more meals in the freezer...that I had only enough bottled water for about another day for me...that I would need gas money by Thursday...that I didn't get paid again until the 16th...it was bad, y'all. So bad, in fact, that I did what all those suffering from what my groovy one-time therapist Neil called "situational depression" (the kind that isn't really treatable by meds, but more effectively by ridding oneself of the thing or person causing it) do in lieu of being able to change the situation at hand...I took a two hour nap.

When I dragged myself out of bed and fed the poor puppers their unfortunately still frozen dinners, I realized that it was Profile's birthday. Number 11. I sat with him on the sofa and held a Frosty Paws doggie ice cream for him to eat, not telling him that I'd had it in the freezer since Jeany's birthday in April. The old thoughts started coming back...I can't afford these dogs...I'm not being fair to them or the cats...he should have fresh ice cream on his birthday...and yes, I know that they don't know the difference...

So I finally did something proactive...the bank hadn't emailed me back so I called their customer service line.

Did I mention that I love my bank?

The charge in question is from the hotel where I stayed last weekend. They charge the card used to make the reservation when you check in, and if you don't make changes as you check out it just stays as is. Well...we made changes and split the bill, and that charge showed up as well. The wonderful person I talked to said that they would settle up the account tonight, and if when they checked with the hotel the charge was not removed that they would dispute it. "We will get this taken care of and off your account, Ms. Lassiter," she assured me. I wanted to hug her.

So what did I learn? That I can be proactive, and that I can take care of myself. My animals have food in their stomachs. I have a check on the way from a free lance job I did last month that will help some. I won't be negative (at least I don't think I will) before payday. It will be okay, even if the job in Alabama doesn't work out.

I learned that I need to work on my patience, and that if I do, everything will work out at the end of the half hour.

04 June 2006

Rat Cheese and TeePee Drive

...or how NOT to go from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Greenville, SC...

Take out a map and look up Gatlinburg. Go on, I'll wait. This morning Amy and I had two choices for our route home from Mountain Hounds (at 9:30 when we got in the car to leave). We could leave the hotel, follow Aiport Drive (I think) down to 441, the main drag through Gatlinburg and either turn right (following either 441 or 321 I think up to I-40, then 40-26-25-home) or left (certain doom, moccasins, gorges, waterfalls, and rat cheese).

Which one do YOU think we took?

Now to Amy's credit she is much better at reading a map on the fly and figuring out where we are, etc., than I am. Once I am out of my mouse trails I tend to panic. She also had to contend with a map that had been put together to be easily folded...by leaving out 1/4 inch spaces where each fold should go and therefore leaving out whole towns and important interchanges!! However, as she said, "My husband is going to die laughing when he hears that I was the navigator."

After leaving Gatlinburg we sailed through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park at a blistering 30 miles per hour. We reached Cherokee, NC finally and stopped for breakfast at a McDonalds. I'm thinking that the reservation only has one McDonalds as we sat in the drive thru for 20 minutes.

Yes, it was THAT important for me to have my sausage and egg mcmuffin this morning.

We left Cherokee and soon discovered we really didn't know where we were headed. Amy whipped out the map and to my horror we discovered that it was manufactured by MAPQUEST, the aforementioned minon of the Hot Place that got us so lost on the way TO Gatlinburg. She plotted us a course and we took it...then decided that since we were in NC and wanting to go to SC that going WEST was the wrong way to be going. We turned around and got on what we thought was the right road, only to end up back in Cherokee.

I had just managed to shake off the feelings of guilt and sadness that Cherokee always conjures as we passed TeePee Drive for the second time, too...

From Cherokee it looked on the map to be a short ride down to Franklin, NC, then to Highlands, then Cashiers, then onto highway 276 which actually runs in front of my neighborhood here in Greenville. No Problem!

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you just keep driving and driving and nothing looks familiar but looks just like what you just passed, and you are so tired you can't think to do anything but cry?

Highway 64 through NC is also of the Hot Place. That road is so windy that a few times we almost came to a dead stop in the curves. The scenery is nice if you aren't afraid of heights..."Hey, THAT'S why they call this a gorge, huh?" Not to mention the four greyhounds crammed into the back of the Hounda that were being bounced about on top of each other. Bless their hearts, Jeany yelled at the others all the way home but no blood was shed...

I'm home now...we arrived almost exactly 6 hours after we left the hotel. SIX HOURS. Next time I'm going to stay on interstates regardless of how far out of the way it takes me...at least I won't have to drive through Cherokee twice or see signs advertising Rat Cheese and Pottery.

02 June 2006

Sylva: As Bad as Being Lost in Downtown Atlanta

Amy and I started out today for Mountain Hounds, a weekend greyhound gathering for greyhounds and their humans, at 7am. We sailed through downtown Greenville. We flew up 25 to Interstate 26. We nearly glided onto Interstate 40, more like a cloud caught on a breeze than a car on the highway.

And it was there, on Interstate 40, that our happy little fluffy cloud turned into a screaming thunder storm...

We were cruising along when it suddenly occured to me that I didn't know where our next turn-off was and the directions were somewhere on the floor. I dug through McD's cups and dog food bags, with an occasional poke in the elbow from whichever dog happened to be sticking a nose through the seats to see where on earth Mommy was taking them, until I found the Mapquested directions.

Mapquest, Amy and I have since decided, is not of our Lord. It is evil and is probably run by minions of the Hot Place who sit back and watch as unsuspecting travellers like us forgo the warning to "check all routes in advance of travel" and strike out with only a list of turns and interstate numbers as our guide.

Anyway, we followed the directions down the page until it said to get off 40 at exit 27. The problem with that was that we had just passed exit 20 and the exit numbers were getting smaller...so we turned around and went back. At exit 27, the numbers on the side of the road did NOT match the ones on the paper, so I did what any red blooded Southern American girl would do in such a crisis.

I called my Daddy.

"Where are you?"
"Sylva? Oh, oh me..."
"What? Is that bad?"
"Bad like not hard to fix bad, or bad like the time I called you from downtown Atlanta, completely lost and only able to see the capital dome ahead of me?"
"Bad like that second thing."
"Okay, well, we're on the Blue Ridge Parkway."
"Blue Ridge Parkway! Nancy! What are you doing over there?"
"What? Where does it go?"

At that point I nearly lost my composure, but happened to hear a tiny voice in the background that brought everything back to the hilarity of the moment...it was my mother's voice in the background: "Why are you telling her to go to Virginia?"

Dad eventually handed the phone over to Mom, and as she was reminding me of all the five zillion times I'd travelled through the Great Smokey Mountains Amy smartly went into the nearest gas station and asked for directions.

We are here now, and being lazy. The trip seemed to take forever because we came up through the Great Smokey Mtns National Park...30 miles at 35mph behind, I think, every Harley owner from NC, SC, GA, and Tennessee.

I'm kinda thinking that we will head home on 40 and just press on that way...but who knows, maybe we'll make a pit stop in Virginia first.

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