June 19, 2015

these past few days

i feel bad for the radio silence here.  the more that happens in my life, the less happens in this space.  my mind is constantly swirling with mileage and camping sites and wwoof hosts that allow dogs and mail drops and plane tickets and oh crap i need to figure out insurance, when is bixby's vet appointment, how are all these bugs getting in my house, what am i going to do with all my books, etc, etc, etc, and etc.
last weekend was amazing.  i saw holy ghost tent revival in someone's backyard, an old friend of my had organized a house party and i was one of the lucky ones invited.  it was incredibly hot and incredibly buggy and incredibly incredible.  all lights and sweat and hands reaching for the stage and the night sky.  blackberry ginger ale and whiskey in a water bottle.  letting the horse eat grass out of my palm.  a piano left in the barn, all of its keys stuck, the front of it missing so you could see all of the hammers and strings.  honey wheat beer that was mostly foam.  we woke up early and groggy the next morning and the three of us got breakfast at a place where the waitresses called you honey.
sunday was a raleigh flyers game (professional frisbee, who knew?) with some of the people i played frisbee with last summer, realized i was terrible and didn't like driving on i40 in 5:00 traffic, and decided to mostly just go to the parties instead.  it was a million degrees, and they'd set up a kiddie pool in the parking lot.  between each quarter we'd run out of the bleachers and into the pool and stand in ankle deep lukewarm water, trying to finish our beers before the next quarter started.  gosh there's something magic about summer.  despite the sweat and the sunburns.  because of the sweat and sunburns.  because of the beer in the kiddie pools in the parking lot.  because of the crazy thunderstorms we've been getting lately.  because of the sun.
and friday night with high school friends and cards against humanity on a blanket and thanks for the pizza, again, and a free pass for a movie, any movie, when the film didn't work and we didn't get to watch hunger games after all.  a crummy waitress.  tables that turned into benches and listing everyone who ever lived in our neighborhood and also went to our high school.  looking at every dog.

then monday was ballet class followed by drinking beers and talking shit because we are ballerinas, after all.  and thursday was the same, this time without the ballet class but with empanadas and margaritas and empanadas and my orange dress and holy MOLY empanadas, if i could do the heart eye emoji here i would.  oh and wednesday we ("we") made the best dang pasta OF MY LIFE, groovy little penne guys called "garganelli" with basil cream sauce and tomatoes and spinach and i am drooling thinking about the leftovers i'm going to eat today.  kimmy schmidt fist pump!  we also watched game of thrones, season 5, episodes 4-6.  i liked it better when sansa was married to tyrion but whatevs, she'll either be dead or married to someone else soon enough.  #thanksobama.  we're in the home stretch!
what else?!  bachelorette and floor time.  bixby panting at me.  getting rid of things.  getting rid of things.  getting rid of things.  bixby lagging behind on walks, and me saying you better get your shit together, dude, cause there's going to be a lot more of this.  getting ready.  party on saturday!  i haven't thrown a party since camelot, but i've got twinkle lights and a whole lot of macaroni, and i'm not sure what else you need.  can my life just be this good all the time, except maybe without the feeling that i'm possibly going to explode?

June 12, 2015


The Great Smoky Mountains are a super popular place to backpack. They're also evidently a super popular place for bad things to happen, according to the news last weekend. So far, a mother/son duo got lost and had to be rescued by rangers, the body of an experienced hiker was found, and a kid got attacked by a bear while sleeping in his hammock.

The likelihood of anything bad happening - that bad, anyway - is so small that I practically don't need to worry about it.  Be careful, yes.  Lie awake at night with my heart racing, no.  I talked previously about how I'm scared of being scared, so I'm trying to take measures to prevent that.  Practicing sleeping in my hammock, for instance. 

The other night, I took this pretty lady out for her maiden voyage. I mean, I've used my hammock before, but this was the first time I'd slept in it. I tied Bix underneath me, hung it up nice and high, and slept the night away.  It's funny, I'd woken up with my neck killing me from sleeping funny the two mornings before, but that day (Wednesday) I woke up feeling fine. It did feel strange to be so awake at six a.m. with the sun and the birds and Bixby giving me a "Mom, what did we just DO?" look, but I felt well-rested. I woke up once or twice during the night, once to pee and once because Bixby was yelling at something, but I went right back to sleep both times. He did really well. He dug around some and made a little dirt nest to sleep in and stayed still, as far as I could tell anyway, for most of the night.
So: I like sleeping in a hammock, I think I'm going to do it, I had major hesitations after the kid was attacked in his hammock, but the reality is that it's no safer than a tent and it's a heck of a lot lighter. Bixby might not be so enthusiastic, but I think he'll get used to it, and may even feel safer where he can see things.

June 5, 2015

what we did in occoquan

last weekend sarah and i drove four and a half hours and a pit stop at wendy's and one girl talk album and the game where we take turns playing a surprise song up to occoquan, motherfuckers, to see mr. and mrs. mckellop, as well as dog and cat mckellop.  we've got this road trip thing down to an art, a science, all that, and when we pulled in hoarse and happy and toting a large inflatable ball we found on the side of the road at 10:15, erika was ready with this spread:
it was fantastic.  that plate on the bottom left?  ALL CHEESE.

erika found this wine and grabbed it immediately because not only is it pinot noir, but it shares a name with our college dorm's ghost.  the main one, anyway, the one who lived on our floor.  trust me when i say i don't believe in ghosts, but i believe in fadeaway.  there was never a question - she was the girl who hung herself in the basement bathroom and haunted the dormitory in a white dress, fading away when you saw her.  erika heard her footsteps once.  naked margaret swore she saw something.  i spent each night terrified that i would see this ghost and - what?  she would fade away?  i don't know.

anyway.  we drank the wine and said it was the blood of fadeaway and laughed and filled up on unexpected cheddar and not missing each other.

AND MILLIE DID THIS.  she was extra lovey this time around and i ate it up.

saturday was the day we did everything.  we didn't even wake up early, but when we did we got brunch at this adorable place called the secret garden and wandered occoquan's main drag (read: looked at geese, went into an art gallery, poked around the pet store).  there was a wedding about to happen at the most adorable gazebo/tiniest wedding venue on the planet.  we looped back up the street for a wine/beer tasting (one tasted like cream soda!  hot dog!) and moscato slushies.  no, you read that right.  daniel got mango and the rest of us got peach and, i'll say it, they were damn refreshing.

and then pedicures!  sarah and erika got matching grape toes and i had mine painted hot pink (which they'll stay for the rest of the summer, probably maybe whaaaat) and then we went to giant and got cokes and cash for the carnival.  we split cotton candy and fit on the ferris wheel like we were made for it and sarah held our stuff and took pictures while erika and i rode the swings.  it was held in the backyard of an ex-prison, which made for some interesting views: the solemn brick buildings with tiny windows in rows on one side, the watchtowers on the other, funnel cakes and midway games and a mechanical bull in the middle.

that night we went to madigan's for dinner and drinks and we learned two things: erika's shirt is tres french and how to accomplish the dominance effect.  and then we were hugged by several drunk old men.  opa!  when we went back to daniel and erika's, we watched brooklyn nine-nine until erika fell asleep (and then some) and the day was over too fast.  the next morning we helped out with childcare as per usual and hit the road straight away and then the whole weekend was over too fast, and we were road trip queening it back to north carolina and away from occoquan and promise to come see me on the trail guys, okay?

all the love.

June 2, 2015


if i'd had a little more foresight i might have named my trail journal "pedicures and pepper spray." my to-do list is dwindling (at least for the MST) but it still has lingering items like "buy tarp for hammock" and "make eyelash tinting appt." yes, that's a thing. yes, it's going to happen to me. sorry not sorry.

i'm not a girly girl, i've never been a girly girl, but i do enjoy my twirly dresses and pink cocktails and, yes, pedicures. i have vices, as sarah put it. i like to get muddy but worms make me nauseous. i won't wash my hair for a week and not bat an eye but my armpits have got to be clean shaven. i drive stick - decently. i snowboard - very slowly. i drink beer - if it's really fruity. i want to be a badass, but i am generally not.

so what better way to confront that and up my badass points by a million trillion than to spend three months in the wilderness?

i'm excited - i'm SO excited - for this trip. i've got butterflies 24/7. i'm also full-blown terrified. i'm not even scared about accomplishing it (cause I have no backup plan, heyo!) or running out of food or being tired (former won't happen because PLANS, latter definitely will happen on the daily) or whatever, but confession: i'm scared of bears, and mountain lions, and coyotes, and also possums and raccoons and toads and bears. and i'm scared of other people. and let's not even get into the supernatural things i only believe in when it's creepy out. BUT i know that in all likelihood, if i use common sense i'll be fine. mostly, i'm scared of being scared, and i don't know how to get past that except complete immersion. will i turn into a shaking shell of a human being, or will i be the bravest person alive? stay tuned. updates in about a month.