Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reconstruction of the Inner Self

I never did fully fill out the final days of my trip last year. The reason behind that was Savannah taught me that sometimes the adventure should stay inside you - I have many stories to tell, and the ones after Savannah can be dear to me in many ways.
Strangely, it matters not.

I am revitalizing this blog for a number of reasons:
  1. I haven't had an internet journal (aside from this one that I created solely for last year's adventure) since LJ, which was about 6 years ago.
  2. This blog is about my silly musings, happenings, learnings... these are things to share when I can - and the internet is a medium that allows it to live on (virtually) forever.
  3. I need an outlet, so sue me ;)
That being said, I have 6 cigarettes left.
Tomorrow night I go see Paul McCartney in Concert (Paul McCartney > Praxis). After just having seen Soundgarden not three weeks ago, I feel incredibly lucky to witness such awesome in such a small amount of time.
I think I want to quit. I've felt like complete crap, I've been doing a fair amount of shoving myself into people groups that while are effective for "having fun," it really isn't having fun in a way that's productive to me becoming a healthier person (There are far less groups of people who give me fun and adventure AND whom I feel that I am not ruining my body around, but they do exist.)

Happy to be apparently hopping back on the MtG bandwagon. As long as I have people to play against, I'll likely be excited about this.

Eagerly awaiting: concerts, finding my Archivist (x2!), quitting, drinking more tea, getting the job at LUSH.


-Nat Fisher

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 11 - Savannah (minus Liz Phalen) a.k.a. Savannadventure

So... Savannah, Georgia.

And an uber-long delay in posting to the blog.
I'm trying guys. Really, I am.

The beginning of my day was as bad, if not worse than my previous night there... it began with me and my 3 trips back to my car: as per usual, I'd left the tech (comp and cam, purse) for last. When I ran up for the last grouping of things, the card no longer worked on my door: and it was 6 minutes to check out.

Angry Natalie was Angry.

After rushing downstairs and explaining quickly and carefully that I would refuse to be charged for late time if they didn't get me back into my room fast enough, I got everything back out and to the car....

...Where I was met with an infestation in the front passenger side floor of fire ants. Granted, at this particular moment I hadn't realized that they were fire ants - I figured that out after I'd spent about 10 minutes vacuuming them up at the gas station. 10 minutes, about 500 less ants, and 2 less dollars later, I started off towards Bonaventure Cemetery; I was livid.

It was also incredibly hot. I began, after driving through town, to see the first saw palmettos :D

Soon after getting into the thick of the town, I pulled into a CVS to grab Raid. I found one for Ants and other bugs that smelled "Outdoors fresh" and bought a can of that as well as some ant traps, which I ended up using in the passenger side of the car to get the ants out of there. Thankfully after a couple hours (when I got out of the cemetery) it totally worked.

Bonaventure was GIGANTIC. I'm only throwing up a few shots here; the rest you can peruse at my Deviantart Site ( ). It took me just over 2.5 hours to navigate about a third of it (while obviously taking pictures)... at that point I had to leave because I was overheated and had only slept about two and a half hours the night before - I think I had to pee, too. I'd parked outside of the cemetery so I had to do it all on foot and couldn't just leave to come back. At any rate, here are some of the shots I grabbed :)

This next one if you can't read it, the one on the right with the flower underneath it is apparently a great grand niece of George Washington. cool.

I probably sent this one to you if you are Ari or my Dad :) It was taken with my phone, and I think the foggy effect is awesome: it was super hot and I got that out of my purse, which apparently was much cooler than everywhere else, it gives a neat feeling :D

This particular statue/headstone is in a perfect area; it matches the trees so perfectly. Beauty IS Bonaventure.

I love finding headstones with last names of popular authors :P

Large and pretty family plot:

Some close-up textures that I saw quite a bit around that area:

I've never seen these in any other cemetery, but I love the planters beneath the headstone :D

"Grim grinning ghosts come out to soc-ia-lize"

Some veterans graves, on July 2nd.

The map of the whole setup:

Yeah, I forgot to mention that Liz (who I was supposed to be hanging with IN Savannah) told me last minute that she was called onto duty. I also know that Rob Thourson had started living out there. Whether both, either, or neither were true, it doesn't really matter. I made the best of what I could by myself and from the multiple things Liz told me I should go see (like the aforementioned/shown cemetery)

She had also told me to see River Street. Thankfully on my way there... I came across which I couldn't place at the time, but remembered about 3 minutes later: I had seen them on a pretty decent Episode of Ghost Hunters. (cool!) Of course that meant I would later come back ;)

So I went up and back along the Riverwalk, passing delicious smelling restaurants and touristy shops. I actually never bought anything in the shops, but meh. I did, however, see a sign at the Irish pub for some live music later that night. I was like "that would be fun if I'm still awake later on" So eventually I made my way up to Moon River.

Here I met some neat people (a couple traveling from Miami to Chicago!), (saw absolutely no ghosties) Enjoyed two delectable ales, and a savory crab melt (omg I was in heaven) and later went on to go catch the live show :D

I got to bed fairly late that night due to my chatting, but in the morning awoke a little earlier to take some pics around town. Sadly the tours would have been a bit expensive for me to go on (it's one thing when you are going to ONLY Savannah, it's another when it's one of about 12 stops you're making)

Here are some of those :)

Apparently the most Haunted house in Savannah-I skipped it because tours were like 10 bucks. Sorrel-Weed.

The First Girl Scout Headquarters :)

The colors in Savannah houses around the squares are just magical.

Hey - it's the 3rd oldest Synagogue in the US... in Savannah, GA.

You don't find the idiots who can't use colors together: you see that a lot in upper middle-class suburbs and wonder if the colorblind husband picked out the paint choices. Never in Savannah.

The window frame work and the wrought iron fences here are breathtaking :) sorry for the car frames :(

I had a blast in this town, I would definitely like to visit it again, get to know it better.

More later, next update: GA to NC / Charlotte, NC.

Lesson learned in Savannah: Trust your heart.

Day 10 - Athens to Savannah

Day 10: Athens to Savannah!

Wow! Where have I been? The answer to that is this blog, but due to unforeseen adventuring, I haven't been able to get around to blogging *every day* as I would like to.


So, back when I was visiting Athens, I visited my Aunt and Uncle-I thought this shot was funny, Thomas Jefferson, just chilling in their drive (right before I left)

I also finally had the chance to experience my Aunt's store; which I will be posting a few shots from later on (that will go likely onto DeviantArt, not here) however, I won't completely leave you without showing you a piece of it - on my way to Waffle House (yay! I finally got to go) I took this picture of her store through the window. It's a Victorian house that is on the Register of Historic places. What a lovely building, inside and out! I will most definitely link to the better shots here, because this quick, not-looked at cropping of this isn't any right way to depict the store.

I don't know that I've felt more at home in an alien place before in my life :)

For those of you who don't know Waffle House, this is what they look like...

It's definitely like a cheaper, tastier Denny's, I guess. I know that any time I'm "southerly" I try to eat at one now. I definitely grabbed some eggs and biscuits and gravy. Omnomnom.

While I didn't spend enough time in Athens to accurately portray the town, I'll give a snippet of my thought: I drove along the Greek Row. Their frat and sorority houses are gorgeous out here; I'm envious in ways. I was never involved in Greek life - however, if it allowed me to live in a house like this, yeah I guess I am pretty jealous ;)

When I eventually started out a bit later, I began my journey to the Atlantic Coast and Savannah. Along the way I saw several scenes such as this:

The small thing to the side is a little place to buy peaches. As I don't live in a very "farmy" area, I don't see TOO many of these - I recall the place bragging about their muskmelons around Galesburg, IL - but hadn't seen too many again until I drove into Georgia, just past Athens. Peaches, Vidalia Onions - all fresh... I never pulled over, and I'm kind of regretting it... but I don't like peaches, and as much as I love onions, they aren't the kind of thing you sample alone in the car while driving -_-;

Much of Georgia's geography involved scenes like this:

I saw quite a few of those "southern pines" - anyone who knows about that type of tree can tell me all they wish. If not, I'll be looking it up when I get home :)

Another thing I keep driving past and never stopping at is 'local eateries' - I just haven't been passing them when I'm hungry, so I never seem to be able to eat at hole-in-the-walls along the drive :/

I don't really like Barbeque - but I'll bet if I had it at one of these places, I'd love it.

I was hoping to see a lot more Americana like this:

-but you have to learn to look in the right towns with significant time periods - this was one of 2 buildingside ads I saw so far.

By far the most... interesting... building along the roadside:

I also got to see a second rainbow (though I didn't catch any of the rainstorm :o )

I have been blessed with amazing sunsets - or I am finally outside to watch the duration of them since I've been on the road for the entirety of them most nights, not sure which :)

As I neared Savannah, the dusk was quickly approaching and I was frightened by the fact that I hadn't realized when my gas light turned on. I only had about 275 miles so far on that tank, so I didn't have a whole lot left. I was worried I'd run out of gas - and that particular stretch of interstate was not very forgiving with respect to gas station placement.

And finally, I found one.

It gave me a laugh, to boot. Thanks, El Cheapo.

I arrived in Savannah and got everything up to my room by around 10:30 or 11. It was possibly the worst experience with a hotel that I've ever had. I didn't exactly want to try to move all my things again, so I didn't ask for a new room. If I knew I would get my money back though (and that I could find another room elsewhere) I would have left, for sure. So yeah - down with Microtels. -_-;

They did NOT have TCM at this particular hotel so I was watching a lot of the Weather Channel - too grossed out and nervous to sleep for almost the entire night.
The Weather Channel, however, gave us all a typographical shoutout from back home. Also, hilarious last name...

Gosh that place was scary...

and then... eventually I woke up in the morning to begin my Savannadventure.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Days 10-12 Athens-Savannah-Charlotte

The Hampton Inn is being a little weird about letting me stay later. I'm sure this is due to the whole "hey it's the fourth" thing.

In lieu of posting at the moment, I'll state that I'll come back and announce things to you when I find somewhere with internet access (free) at that I haven't fallen asleep at :(

At any rate...

More (hopefully) momentarily...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 9: Atlanta to Athens/Bogart


Yeah, you see it, NO PICTURES! That means a whole lot less work for me.

As I'm typing this, I'm typing from Bogart, GA... another town that family lives in. This time, it's family from my Father's side: the Fishers. We're a goofy bunch (in a good way).

At any rate - here I will note a few things.

1) The driving that was bad... thankfully STAYED in Atlanta. After the traffic thinned out, mostly the bad driving that was left was by the hands and eyes of yours truly: slinking around as quickly as possible, staying alert and out of the way of the GSP. They have blue lights :) Such a peculiar part of the South.

2) I got scammed by a guy at a gas station. I bought some batteries. (a pack of 4 AAs) When I got to the next stoplight (probably about 2.5mi away) I opened them, noting the Arabic print on the back. Duly noted was the seemed cut into the package (as if they'd been resealed) and the tape used to fix the container up. I tried all of the batteries; they were so dead they didn't even turn the camera on long enough to get the "Change the batteries" message. This means that not only do I not have batteries still, but I am now also -$5.34. :(

3)My family is hilarious and awesome. I feel completely awful for calling them the morning that I wanted to visit: it happened that way because I thought it was too late the other night at C^7--though when I stated this, my Uncle and Aunt were both telling me "You're family, family gets help at any time." And it was at that moment that I realized, it's really nice to have family (or anyone-but specifically in this case, family) that cares. This may have been a realization that I've already had, but I got hit in the face with it last night. Even though one cousin has a little girl and another one on the way, she made it out for dinner (was lovely to see them!). And my other cousin will be living in Vegas a good 2.5 weeks from now he should be fairly settled in with house stuff - so I got to see him before he left. teeheehee...

4) On Jared and corn nuggets: So Jared told me about a few things in the car when I hung out with him. The first important one is this: he told me that he and his friend have been having this strange run of times where they somewhat impulsively go do something. His reasoning makes a lot of sense though: "I really kinda hate when you plan something, or think about it-and it doesn't happen or it takes forever to." He said that because of that, he and his pal say to do it then, (for example, food that they really have a craving for, perhaps) and then they really get things done a lot quicker. It is for this reason that I not only got more tasty fried okra (I think the only place I can get it around my house is at Cracker Barrel) but I got to try these things called corn nuggets. Are you ready for this? It's basically FRIED CREAMED CORN IN A HEAVENLY BITE SIZED SNACK. Wow. Favorite food from the trip so far? Probably the catfish. Favorite new food? Corn nuggets, for srs.

5) Aunt Karen's store: I will not completely elaborate on my feelings about this just yet, suffice to say that seeing my Aunt's workspace/place and her AT work made me feel a little more excited about the field I'm going into. My Aunt is one of the blessed few who does what she enjoys for a living... so she essentially never has to work. I hope to post some pictures here later of the outside and inside of the store that she has. I get the most calm feeling from the store, and would that I could hang out in a place such as that more often: I felt completely at home (a feat that isn't even accomplished at my actual home). What a lovely time. More on that later.

Basically I'm going to hang with my Aunt today, take some pics (I might even get out to a thrift store or two... they are always better here than at home...) get my oil changed and then, on to SAVANNAH, GA!!! w00t!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Days 8-9 Texas to Georgia

Day 8: Texas to Mississippi

So I left from Texas. It was hot.
And the storms? Because I was driving again, they also started back up. -_-;

The land started morphing, it got kind of awesome. Texas has such a wide variety of geography - I saw only just a little bit of it, I tried to capture all that I thought was gorgeous:

I'd like to make a color scheme based around this: Texan Travels or something lame like that I'd probably call it. The first color schemes I created were in 1995; I used to use crayons to blend gradients and I distinctly remember "Jedi Forest Green" lol laaaame!! but yeah - Texan travels = pretty colors!

Right before entering into Lousiana, you could tell you were about to:

It was in heavy traffic, when I first turned on Steve Martin's autobiography: bumper to bumper construction traffic right before Shreveport (but still in TX). At this moment, as shown here, I saw this occur about 12 times (am not exaggerating) and then it was hilarious. This is why they have pickup trucks Alllll over texas. Stupid trucks.

Some more puffy clouds, almost like the ones from Galesburg:

In Shreveport (after crossing into Louisiana) I didn't have time to look for (and was too hungry to find) gumbo, so I just followed the signs to the catfish restaurant. It was a good idea, and quite possibly the best catfish I ever had. If you're ever in Shreveport... get that catfish. Also, the cheapest gas is by the Walmart, I paid 2.46/gal.

Aaaand the storms followed me through Louisiana - and were the reason I saw almost none of the state... :(

I find it important to note one thing that I couldn't possibly take a picture of - two things, come to think of it.

1) Upon the last third of Louisiana, I definitely saw the moon rise: it was large and orange, and was the perfect "Bayou Moon" - you know, when that picturesque way of clouds parading across the moon's face as it rises through the night sky? You see it in Creature of the Black Lagoon type stories - or Scooby Doo? Yeah. It looked EXACTLY like that. I couldn't really get a picture because I didn't want to stop on the side of the road in a bayou. Talk about dangerous. :(

2) You remember that old lady slug monster from Monsters, Inc.? Yes. I had the human version of her as the night shift at the Super 8 in Vicksburg, MS. She didn't take kindly to me being a respectable young lady, manners and all. I think maybe it's because I'm a Yankee. She even looked like she had one of those painted-on birthmarks, you know, like the French people used to do in the 1700s? Sadly she had no name tag, but I'll remember her as Dolores.

Day 9: Mississippi to Georgia

In the morning, I was kinda tired, and lazily packing while talking to Lago online. I snapped this shot of my car to show you the colors of MS - I found strangely, that it was backwards of how I thought it would be. I thought Louisiana would be the prettiest state of the "Deep South" states, getting uglier the farther east I went - until GA, which I know is pretty. I was wrong, LA was ugly - and Mississippi and Alabama were pretty :D
I must have been one of the last people to leave. In retrospect, I should have left earlier, but I felt weird last night and couldn't sleep well. (kind of like tonight-I feel really jumpy and can't sleep :( I think I miss people from back home)

Hey Ari, remember my rap? This restaurant has the Fish & Fries, too, lawl

So a lot of Mississippi had this type of ivy-growth on the plants that lined Interstate 20. Later, if I have time, I would like to look up the type of plant it is: it seems like a weed/parasitic plant.

Got turned around by mislabeling on the GPS - but it turned me around well. Took a picture of the Jackson I wouldn't have seen if I hadn't accidentally made a wrong exit :)

I stopped in Chunky, MS to get gas. Best town name ever. Well, next to Hideaway, Texas, that is.

This next one is a horrible picture, but I didn't reshoot it: only for the story. This was the most gorgeous Rest stop I'd ever seen - and the man inside of it spoke exactly like Farmer Fran (or whatever his name was) from The Waterboy. I told the guy to have a nice day, and he grumbled something completely unintelligible back to me. I looked strangely at him for a moment and laughed and sort of agreed, and quickly escaped to my car. Hilarity had ensued.

Alabama's hills are so pretty, and look like mountains in the distance :)

I traveled through the National Talladega Forest... cool? Woulda liked to walk in there...

This next one was awful hard to get; sadly Atlanta has had the worst drivers yet in all of the states I've driven through. -_-; oh well. Neat ridge, though.

And so then I got to Bethany's place. It's in a warehouse. It's pretty sweet, there are 11 rooms here. No AC though, I am trying to get tired - it's just not happening (I think I'm scared to fall asleep in a warehouse. I'm such a pansy!!!)

***To the "mommas" out there: It's entirely safe, we're in a gated circuit. The doors are shut and locked. I am safe until tomorrow...when I will venture back out to drive to Athens...***

I might go and sleep in my car, just because it smells like me and I'm pretty durned used to it anyway. I mean, there is full shower action which I will be using tomorrow morning, hopefully not bothering them :o And then in the morning (well, it will be in like 5 hours) I will call Uncle Ed/Aunt Karen and Jonathan - see if either one of them have any time to have lunch or dinner or something. Hugs, pictures - that sort of thing. Uncle Ed is my Dad's brother. (family from both sides!) Hopefully calling on them that day won't be too much of an imposition and/or nuisance. It's been difficult enough to roughly plot out where I'm going since Dad and I aren't going together - it's like, a bunch of things are kinda just thrown in and I've done a right terrible job of getting in touch with the people I was supposed to. -_-;

If you are one of them and reading this, I apologize profusely.

Lesson learned:

Not all Southerners like to give Southern Hospitality.

By the by... videos:

and of course

These are kind of unnecessary, but at the time, they seemed like a good idea.

Until next time...