This past week, my family went down to Georgia and Florida to visit our relatives, who have lived there for as long as I can remember. We usually visit Georgia/my mom's side of the family at least once a year, and Florida/my dad's side every few years. (We also tend to get our southern drawls back, which lasts for about a week after we leave the South, much to my friends' amusement, but that's a story for another time.)
Me, reading store signs as we drive through town in Florida our uncle lives in: Sushi and dry cleaning. Not the worst concept I’ve ever heard of. Ooh, and Deer Hunter Guns. Nice.
Ian: Got my gun, gonna go out deer huntin’.
Me: I love me some deer hunting.
Ian mumbled something that I only caught part of.
Me: Sorry, did you just say you love deer carcass?
Ian: Hunting! I love deer hunting, not carcass.
Me: I love deer carcass!
Me: Better: I heart deer carcass.
Ian: You know what I’m gonna do when I get home?
Me: Go online and make a bumper sticker that says I heart deer carcass?
Ian: No, but that’s better. Do it.
And, as promised:
(Image made with makestickers.com)
Now you and your family can make sure the whole world is clear on your stance on deer, deer hunting, and their meat. I have no idea why anyone would want this, but you're welcome.
I went in my parents’ room to ask Mom if she wanted me to make her breakfast, and she mentioned that she heard noises earlier and was wondering if it was my cat running around.
Me: Oh, it was probably me wrestling with clothing.
Me: There’s a student-run organization on campus, the equivalent of the GSA down here--
I stopped at the confused look on her face.
Me, hurrying to clarify: Oh, sorry. Gay-straight-alliance.
Her: Gotcha. I was thinking, Geological Society of America?
Me: Ha, not quite. Anyways, I didn’t really have the time to be involved with them this year, but a couple of my roommates were, so they helped keep me up-to-date with what was going on. They told me that the council was buying binders for people, and they asked me if I wanted one. Of course I was like, heck, yeah! You know, they normally cost, like, fifty bucks, so getting one for free was almost too good to be true, so I was really excited.
She stared at me for a moment.
Her: Wow. Fifty bucks for a notebook?
I busted up laughing.
Me: No, no, Mom, binders are clothing. You know, they bind your chest. They’re made out of special material so you don’t hurt yourself or warp your ribs.
Her: Ooh. I was like, what, is it plated in gold?
Me: I’m sorry, I keep forgetting you’re not familiar with the terminology.
Her: I don’t know about that, but you have to remember I’m a high school teacher; every morning I tell the kids, pull out your binders! Let me check them to make sure they’re organized!
The moral of the story is that it helps no one when words have multiple, vastly different meanings.
Ian: Do you remember that old computer came, Roller Coaster Tycoon?
Me: Oh, yeah. Do you remember how whenever you’d get a guest who didn’t like your park, you’d drop them in a pit? But you made it too deep and narrow, so you couldn’t get them back out again.
Ian: Or I’d drown them.
Me: Like, oh, you don’t like my park? That’s cool. You die, now.
Ian: I think I drowned one in lava, once.
Dad: Sometimes we’d just hear shouting from the office: Ian! You can’t drown people!
Me: It’s not a good way to solve your problems.
Dad: We were kinda worried about you for a few years, there.
Me: You were so mean to your guests.
Ian: I remember there was a guy who wouldn’t go on this one roller coaster because it was too scary, so I kept picking him up and putting him at the entrance, and when he turned around and walked away, I’d just put him right back.
Dad: Maybe giving you a game that let you play God wasn’t such a good idea.
Ian: Yeah… I think it’s a good thing I’m not God.
Soon, my whole immediate family will be flying out to Florida and Georgia to visit relatives. We'll be there for a week and a half, so we've been running around trying to pack and prepare the person who will be staying at our place while we're gone. On one hand, I’m so excited to see family/my cousin’s newborn baby (not to mention visit Disney World)…
…but on the other hand, it’s the Deep South. In summer. I’ve been living in the Pacific Northwest, which is basically the opposite of hot and humid. I’m not even going to go into the differences between the people/political viewpoints/etc., or the fact that I’m not out to any of my extended family except for one, so I’ll have to go back into the closet. I’m a teensy bit concerned that I’m not going to survive this trip. If I do, I’m sure I’ll have some good stories to tell, so I’ll see you on the other side, and I’ll try to keep a regular posting schedule in the meantime.
In the past forty-eight hours, I’ve become a human catastrophe. I’ve burned myself and dropped my breakfast twice in one morning, crushed my fingers while trying to lift my bike, and, while trying to push around a box too heavy for me to lift, caused it to split open, so I spent twenty minutes in someone else’s living room trying to transfer all the contents to a new, hopefully sturdier box. I’ve covered myself in scrapes and bruises from packing up the contents of my room and shuffling it all over campus, filled my lungs with mold spores while trying to clean a trash can, and forgot my bags in my friend’s car twice. Then there was the bus ride.
I don’t actually know why I’ve managed to become so incompetent lately, (maybe it’s the stress of packing and traveling all on my own?) but I’m hoping it can be remedied with lowered stress levels and a decent amount of sleep. Until I can get those two things under control, I’m taking solace in the fact that most of my messes have only impacted me, and for those that haven’t, I’m eating a big slice of humble pie and apologizing for as long as anyone will listen. Beyond that, I’m reminding myself that the power of human kindness does in fact appear to trump whatever mess I may cause in my stint as a human catastrophe… as evidenced by the rest of this post.
Human catastrophe: Lugging no less than six bags, I managed to make it through the door to the bus’s baggage station (on the third try. To be honest, it was only because someone held the door for me). The lady at the counter looked very, very unimpressed, which I really couldn’t blame her for, as I was impressively disorganized. I tried to check two of my bags, which costs extra, and she essentially said: nope, not happening. She had me weigh them, and I was thinking, ok, this is it, it’s over; I was so afraid that they would go over the fifty-pound weight limit and I would have to buy a box to ship my stuff in.
Human kindness: To keep the cost down, she told me to strap two of my lightest bags together, so I only had to pay for one instead of two extra bags. When I told her I didn’t have anything to do that, she hunted around for zip ties, and strapped the bags together for me, going out of her way to help me out.
Human catastrophe: I got a nosebleed on the bus ride back home, and so I sat there desperately pawing through my backpack in search of tissues one-handed, trying not to bleed on anything. The person sitting next to me started, and immediately grabbed their bag, pulling it onto their lap, which I totally couldn’t fault them for; I wouldn’t want a stranger to bleed on my stuff, either.
Human kindness: Instead, they pulled out a packet of tissues, handing them to me. They suggested I lean my seat back so it would be easier to tilt my head back to stop the bleeding. Once I managed to mop myself up, they double-checked that I was okay, and made sure I had water in case the nosebleed was caused by dehydration.
Human catastrophe: I had too much stuff crammed in it to get my backpack closed, so when I left the bus and tried to grab my other bags from the storage space, first my sunglasses fell out, and then my glass bottle fell out and shattered, too. Thankfully, it only splashed on my luggage, but people were making comments about how it smelled strange (Kombucha isn’t alcoholic, but boy does it smell like it). At this point I was ready for the earth to open up and swallow me whole.
Human kindness: Someone mentioned that it was probably because my bag was half-open, and I said: I know, I’m so sorry, I couldn’t get it closed. She offered to help, and I mumbled: oh, I mean, you can if you want, thank you, but I’m not sure it can close. Before I could take the backpack off, she stepped behind me, trying to close it. A man walked out of the crowd to help, too, and between the two of them they got it closed. Then after I thanked them, and began picking up the broken glass, another person stepped forward to help.
I’m still so grateful of these random acts of kindness; they helped make a stressful experience better, and really helped me get through the day.
Please feel free to laugh at my incompetence, or at the very least, feel better about yourself that you’re not as much of a mess as me. If, on the other hand, you are, then at least there’s someone else out there who gets this. Maybe knowing the other side makes us more likely to show human kindness when we see someone who needs it, too.
This is the obligatory heads-up-I'm-kinda-going-to-neglect-this-blog-for-the-next-week-but-please-don't-hate-me post. I have finals this week, on top of trying to get packed and sorting out storage situations, not to mention a rather debilitating, lingering episode of depression. As such, I haven't had much energy to devote to this blog. I'm hoping that things will return to normal next week.
Until then, let me share with you my newest little discovery: The Cat House on the Kings. It's a cat sanctuary home to over seven hundred cats, and is everything a shelter should be. I'm pretty sure it's a tiny slice of heaven here on Earth. To check it our for yourself, here's a video:
Because if you can't write/blog, you can at least distract yourself by looking at cat videos.
Also, is anyone else having flashbacks to that old Scooby Doo movie, Zombie Island? Because while I'm sure this place is a lot nicer/less likely to inspire nightmares in small children, it definitely reminds me of it.
And, now I want to go watch Scooby Doo. Thanks, internet.
So I found this little comic by Matthew McGuigan. It managed to bring a smile to my face, possibly because I found it so horrifically relatable, and it pretty much summarizes my mentality right now.
I'm still slowly chipping myself out of this hole depression's dug for me, and some days are easier than others. I have to learn to be proud of myself for little accomplishments, such as getting out of bed when that's the last thing on Earth I want to do, or choosing to go to class instead of the zoo (an inexplicable urge this morning, which at least helped me get out of bed). I need to recognize that getting some things done is better than nothing, even if I have to lay down for a while afterwards because doing things exhausted me.
Also: when I typed the title for this post, autocorrect informed me that I'd misspelled sleep, written exactly like that. It then suggested I correct it to-- you guessed it-- sleep. I then stared at it for so long that the word lost all meaning, so I decided to record this whole nonevent as a new low. Whether it was for me or for autocorrect, I wasn't quite sure.
On one of my most recent trips home, I had stayed up half the night reading suspense/murder mystery novels. The next morning, I woke up in my pitch-black room to find an unidentifiable person reaching out to me.
I screamed, convinced I was about to be murdered in a horrific fashion, and then I burst into tears. Roughly two seconds later, I realized it was just my mother.
Mom: I’m so sorry, honey, I didn’t mean to scare you. It’s okay, you’re okay.
Me: I thought you were going to murder me!
Mom: I wanted to kiss you goodbye! I guess you’re not used to that, being up at college.
Me: I just saw this shape looming over me, and I was reading those SJ Bolton books, and I thought you were going to kill me.
Mom: I’m sorry.
On the bright side, I know what I’ll do if anyone tries to murder me. On the downside, it’s really pathetic. It’s a good thing I have no shame. And who knows? Maybe my murderer will take pity on me. After all, where’s the fun in murdering someone who’s hysterical? Or maybe that is the fun? I don’t know. I’m not a murderer, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.
I have no idea what I'm doing.