Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I did on summer vacation

Went to the Mt. St. Helens Bluegrass Festival in Toledo, WA. I learned a new tune--or at least, how to play it on guitar: Rickett's Hornpipe. Also got to hear some great local and semi-local bands, plus one of the greatest female vocalists in bluegrass today: Dale Ann Bradley. Her band is awesome, too, especially her current mandolin player, Chris Harris. That young man is going places.

Drank many, many cups of coffee, many of them at Mud Bay Coffee. I'm still mourning being on the other side of town, though in all other ways my move was a good thing. It was nice revisiting some, and I have plenty of their coffee beans on hand for at home.

Also had way too much junk food and such: a Dairy Queen Blizzard, chips and dip, my first hamburger and fries in a long while. And got my first ever Papa Murphy's pizza. I didn't have a working oven in the last place, so I couldn't have baked one until recently. I got The Cowboy: Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, cheese. Good stuff, though next time I want more vegetables. There will be a next time.

Drank about a glass and a half of wine, all told. A real party girl, I am.

Went on a couple nice long walks with thedog. I love my trail...

Read an average of a book a day. Mmmm....books. I also spent an afternoon at the library, and much time at Goodwills looking through the book section, among other things. I pretty much hit every thrift store within easy driving distance. My wild and crazy fun is not your average wild and crazy fun.

Speaking of books, I blew a Border's 33% off coupon on Connie Willis' Blackout, which I just read but want to read again before All Clear comes out, and I don't feel like getting back into the waiting game with the library hold queue, since I can't predict when I'll actually get a book that way. Now it's mine--all mine! Bwahahah....

Wrote a lot in my journal, and bits and pieces of stories. I didn't do as much writing as I intended, honestly. It's the sitting down and starting that's the hardest part. I did, however, in the last few days, finally get my writing space organized and continued working on some short stories I had set aside.

(I also reorganized my bookshelves, and at the moment I actually have more shelf space than books. This must be remedied ASAP.)

I went to The Tea Lady (awesome store, by the way, and highly recommended for anyone who even vaguely likes tea) and got some nice orange cinnamon spice tea, and the package of blueberry rooibos I've been coveting. It smells sooo good, that blueberry tea! Good stuff, too. It's a nice evening beverage, whilst reading a book. No caffeine.

Went to Shipwreck Beads and got stuff to make more earrings. That's hard to even convey it in words. It's enormous, and there's nothing like being able to actually handle the beads, hold colors together for comparison. The hardest part of visiting is narrowing down what one wants to buy.

Got Avatar from Redbox and watched it. This is the first time I've turned on the TV since I switched off cable back in June, and it took me awhile to get everything going. I spent quite awhile searching for the remote before remembering that the all-in-one was Comcast's. Duh.

The movie itself? Hm. I'd heard it called Disney's Pocahantas in space, and I think that's pretty close to the mark. The story is pretty cliched. You've got the native princess who sticks up for one of the invaders even though he starts off as a misunderstanding, boorish lout. You've got the eeeevil, greedy invaders (updated by Hollywood into representatives of the military and the corporate world) who see the natives as subhuman and expendable and just want them gone so they can steal their property. Etc. That said, it's a very pretty movie. The animation and real footage are almost seamlessly combined, more so than anything I've ever seen before, and the planet (Pandora) is gorgeous.

All in all, I rolled my eyes a number of times, but still enjoyed it.

I didn't end up going anywhere very far or very out of the norm. It's not really something to do alone, I guess. It's one of the biggest problems with being perpetually single, especially if your friends and family all have families of their own. If they do think to invite you when they go on vacation, you're a third wheel, not really sure what to do with yourself, but most vacation fun stuff is really meant for couples and families, especially in the realm of the cheap and free. And yes, I am left feeling a little wistful. It's inevitable, I suppose. Another year, when I'm not so broke, I want to go back home, to visit Dad and hang out with my sister and visit my old haunts and break more out of my day to day.

But for what it was, it was a very successful vacation.

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