Cyrodiil, since no one really wants to hear me talk about it

I had been planning to leave work at 4:30 yesterday and head to Beaman Park immediately after, where I was going to do the Henry Hollow loop plus the shortcut to the Ridgetop Trail/red clay heart attack hill……..but I ended up running over an enormous screw which embedded itself deeply into the tread in my front tire, so had to go get that fixed on my lunch break (by “fixed” I mean I had to buy a new tire), and decided to get my alignment done and oil changed while I was at it.  All that put me over lunch by about an hour, so no leaving early.

Later at 5:00, when I was getting ready to do just the Henry Hollow loop, I realized that I’d forgotten socks.  Soo I decided to scrap the park and just go home to mow the lawn instead.  Which I did, and I also straightened up the patio and my front stoop area, which both look much better.  Now I need to get some plants for all my empty pots.  I kind of want to start bonsai-ing.  Anyway.  Also washed my car after I finished mowing, which was so long overdue that I can’t even really remember exactly when I washed it last.  I don’t think it happened last summer at all.

So after the outdoor productivity, I came in and made dinner (those veggie burgers from Costco are the shit), and played Oblivion.

I know, I know — I should be making more stuff for my Etsy shop instead.  I know.  Buuuuut, I mean, I had a really good time in Cyrodiil, so I don’t really care.

I had left off in the middle of a Mage’s Guild quest – trying to fight vampires as a Warlock (my latest title).  MAN that was a nice cave to clear, because they all had really sweet weapons and armor.  I am primarily an archer (imagine) and no one really had any arrows, but there were plenty of daggers/maces/short swords/claymores for me to take and sell.  Most were elven or glass, but a few were ebony or daedric.  Was pretty sweet.  I sold most, but kept the glass cuirass to enchant and start wearing.  Way nicer than the Kvatch armor I HAD been wearing!

After killing all the vampires, I went back to the Arch Mage but he didn’t have much to say about it other than telling me he needed to meet with the council.  So I decided to go do more of the main quest, and sacrifice my Sanguine Rose (other two daedric artifacts that I had were too nice to give up – Azura’s star, and the skeleton key…).  Also went to Bruma and helped close another gate.  I upped my difficulty because I’m level 20 at this point and remembered that I had lowered it A LOT a while ago, so figured that I should stop playing with training wheels.  Weeell, the preset difficulty is still a pain in the ass, so now I’m about half-way between 0 and 50 (where 100 is the most difficult, and 0 is the easiest).  It’s just no fun to play if everyone is killing me all the time, or if it takes like 5 arrows to kill skeletons.  Sheesh.

Oh and I also retrieved Tiber Septum’s armor last night.  This guy is well-known as Tiber Septum, but he is also known as Talos (a fact that I had to be reminded of).  So cool.  TES lore is amazing.  I have decided to read all of the books from now on.

It was so rainy-looking this morning on the way to work.  I wanted to stay home and deep-clean the house, with a bunch of candles and music.  Ah well.  Too bad.  Maybe later.  I mean eventually at some point in my life there will be another rainy day when I can stay home and clean.

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I used to write poetry?

Sometimes the sadness
of life descends upon me….
Sometimes my soul drips
with melancholy feelings to which my words never
do justice.
Sometimes I wonder what the point
of everything I do and aspire to do is,
and sometimes the answers seem
so aloof and unattainable
and confusing
that I don’t even search for them.
This is one of those times.

(ha…this is from 2005)

(I am having a great time going through all these old files man!)

another:

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Why is it that people passing on the sidewalks, in the stores, in restaurants refuse to make eye contact? Sometimes, I admit, I am guilty of this too. Sometimes I do not want anyone to draw me out of my little world, out of my silent reveries or pity-parties. But other times, I feel an openness and a longing to introduce new people to my world. Sometimes I realize that I am the same as everyone else; that we’re all in this together, we’re all fighting the same wars and struggling with the same temptations and problems.
We all deal with these things differently, but even that’s a similarity — we all deal with these things. In the core of our selves, we’re all so similar.
Thinking this as I’m sitting outside of Borders, I’m looking up at each passing person, smiling when they look at me, and feeling a deep kinship with each one.
We’re all alive and I love living things. I wish we could all break out of our little individualistic universes and see everyone this way, all the time. I wish this for myself, most of all.

…okay, will stop now.

remembering old haunts, part 1

So I finally bought an external hard drive for my computer which is probably going to die soon if I don’t do something about the viruses that are running rampant.  (I got used to having a Macbook and not having to worry about antivirus software….that’s my excuse anyway.)  So I copied over a bunch of files last night, and brought the hard drive to work to make sure everything actually copied over (I don’t know, I’ve never used an external hard drive before…).  I’ve been re-reading some document files from nearly 10 years ago, and remembering things that have been forgotten for a long, long time.  If anyone’s interested, I thought I might post a couple pieces here.  This one is a rough draft, as the majority of my creations tend to me, but I rather like it anyway.

I met Evan very briefly last winter, December or January probably. January is more likely, because I think I was doing homework that night. Even though last winter felt at its coldest like a chilly April night, I was sitting in the back bar so that I could smoke without having to bundle up – April evenings can be quite cold. The wireless internet was down and I was diligently attempting to connect to a far-away, fleeting signal from a neighboring establishment. Though it’s odd that I should say this, I take wireless internet for granted and am always surprised when I cannot connect to any network. Imagine: a building without wireless! Even Centennial Park has wireless internet, or so I hear anyway.

In the midst of my struggles to check my email, a very gregarious little man in a cowboy hat walked up to my table and asked if I was connected to the internet. At the time I was riding on a very low signal from somewhere else, and I told him so. He didn’t ask to sit down or stay to talk; he merely thanked me and said that he’d try connecting again. That was the end of my first encounter with Evan.

He started working at Coco maybe a month after this incident. I’m always surprised when they hire new people because I’m so accustomed to seeing the same people there every night – a new face is a bit jolting. Low turn-over, I guess. But regardless, there he was, smiling face and thick glasses and out-going demeanor, waiting to take my order of a large coffee. I asked him his name and how long he had worked there, since I didn’t recognize him as the gregarious cowboy from a month before; he proceeded to point out to me that we had in fact met before – he was the guy in the back bar who asked me about the internet, remember? “Oh, were you wearing a cowboy hat, maybe? I think I remember you….” Evan, his name was Evan. “And my name is Erin, nice to meet you. Again.”

Having become acquainted for a second time – if the first time counts – we always greeted each other ever time he was working and I was ordering. I love being a regular and knowing the employees of an establishment such as Coco … they wave at you when you’re standing in the back of the line, and if you always order the same thing every night then they remember it. Large coffee in a green mug? Yes, please, as usual. Always $2.00, unless I don’t have any money (which happens from time to time) in which case a small coffee is $1.40, sixty cents for a refill.

Evan struck me at first as one of those endlessly-energetic extroverts; oh, he can be a crazy one – running around behind the counter, yelling nonsensical oddities or sometimes things that made sense but were still extremely loud. I’ve never really understood people who are able to be so entertaining and Out There, attention whores if you will. How can you maintain that level of energy? I can’t figure out if it’s just an act, or if it’s genuine. I’m bad at reading people sometimes.

One day he left a message on my MySpace – “i have wednesday and thursday off. let’s go to the park! with SMOOTHIES and GUITARS!!! i hope it rains again. how’s your life?” What could this mean? I didn’t analyze it too much because I’ve found that when I do that, I tend to be disappointed with the outcomes. Daydreaming has its merits, but I am one of many who have learned that it can also be painful. Why does Evan want to hang out with me? Or does it even matter? Um, no, it doesn’t matter and I won’t think about it. We had never really talked before – no deep conversations and getting-to-know each other. He interested me, though; once before, he had told me that he doesn’t like to talk about himself very much. Whereas I, in my frequent blog entries, tend to spell out in unnecessary detail the activities of my days and my subsequent thoughts, he never wrote much about himself. He talked a lot about music in his blogs. I saw him as something of a mystery, then – elusive, hard to know, veiled. He has to “let you in” to his life – only the select few gain access. This seemed ironic to me since he appeared to be so personable and talkative. Me, I’m not talkative or outgoing, but I’m more of an open book than he was.

We didn’t get to go to the park on either Wednesday or Thursday, but a few weeks later we agreed that we should hang out, and I told him that I would call him after I got off work. And I did. I met him at his apartment that night, which was small but extremely neat and organized. He’s a bit OCD, I believe. The night was fairly uneventful – no wild sex or anything. We sat in his living room and talked, drank some bourbon-on-the-rocks, and went to Coco for food. He dressed incognito when we ventured out: sunglasses even though it was well past midnight, a cowboy hat. He didn’t want any social interactions, strangely enough, which led me to believe that maybe the outgoing face that he puts on while he’s at work is, in fact, a façade, a way of dealing with people. I learned that night over bourbon that he isn’t as outgoing as he seems. He finds certain people interesting and only genuinely is interested in them – he doesn’t give a damn about everyone else. All the run-of-the-mill people who come into the café…what the fuck does he care about them?

An Elliston Philly with fries later, we were back at his apartment and listening to either Carole King or Bob Dylan (he let me pick the music). I should mention that his living room is practically encased with CDs. He must have over a thousand, and they are all organized – each has its own place on its own shelf. The walls in his apartment are very tastefully covered in music posters and lyric books; he said that he cares about music and finding his purpose in life … and that sums it up pretty well, thank you very much.

That this night with Evan, he talked, I listened and nodded – occasionally voiced – my agreement.  Maybe I tuned him out a little, too, because I can’t really remember much of what was said after about 2am.  I do remember, though, cuddling on the couch. He invited me to recline with him, and I peacefully acquiesced. It was very quiet because the CD had finished playing and Evan had stopped talking, and we both started to doze off. I had been planning to leave eventually because I didn’t want to out-stay my welcome, but he invited me to crash with him  … and if it’s late and you’re with someone interesting, how can you pass up an offer like that?

We moved into his bedroom and curled up together on our sides – I was facing the window and he was curled around my back. Okay, this was so nice. He didn’t try to kiss me and I don’t think that he wanted to; we just lied there together. It was intimate and comforting.

God, I loved it.

What is it about physical contact that’s so amazing? Emotional attachments are moving too, but there’s something intangible about just touching a person  – even if there is no passion involved … perhaps especially if that’s the case.

I woke up the next morning an hour before noon, marveling in the wonders of just sleeping next to a person. We dozed for another hour together, and I left just in time to be three minutes late to work. He kissed me on the cheek before I left.  That day at work, I felt attractive and peaceful.

What should you do with encounters like that? Where does it go from there? I don’t know. I guess that the answer varies from person to person and encounter to encounter; sometimes nothing happens, sometimes it’s awkward, sometimes a romantic relationship might ensue (though that one hasn’t happened yet), sometimes you just keep sleeping together but nothing substantial ever develops. I don’t know which will be the case this time, and I’m not hoping for anything in particular other than this: I hate awkwardness. I wouldn’t mind replicating that night; I’m trying to ignore the desire to do so, in fact. Daydreaming hurts, like I said.

I’m re-evaluating my diet.  Right now.

Going to Costco on my lunch for veggie burgers and spinach.  Maybe cheese and bread, although I might just pick those up at Aldi or Publix.  Have not been getting nearly enough fiber, and have been consuming far too many carbs lately.  Unfortunately.  It’s easy to add fiber, but less easy/fun to remove carbs.  Stupid bread, being so delicious.  Hmph.

Am also going to do the 2 mile loop again today.  Would go to Hidden Lakes except work is on the way to Beaman Park, so it’s easy to hop on Briley.  Will have to grab boots and a t-shirt.  Maybe a rain coat too, in case it rains.  There’s a 20% chance of rain which is totally fine with me.  The trail was muddy the other day when I was there, so more mud won’t be a problem.  And being wet is never a problem.

Now I just have to make it to 5:00.  Uh huh.

Second though, I’m getting bread and cheese at Publix while I’m right there.  In lieu of a soda and hot dog at Costco, I’ll probably grab a sandwich at Publix too.  Yum.

Not that anyone reading this actually cares about my plans for my lunch break, and then for after work…..but if I write it down, I’m more likely to actually do it.  So.

I am doing the worst job ever of keeping stuff in my Etsy shop.  Gah.  I made, what, like $350 in about a month, and now I’m not listing more stuff because I’m tired of making it??  Terrible reason.  I need to snap out of it.  Also should obviously start charging more.

a list

This weather makes me miss working at B&C (*insert gasps*) — because I could not only SEE the beautiful spring day, but I could also go work in it if I was so inclined.  What a contrast with my current vantage point — for all I can see, it could be snowing.  Gah.  Also I miss getting off work at 2:30.  Though I do not miss going into work at 6am.

The spring weather makes me want to get off my ass and DO STUFF.  So I’m making a list.

  • I need to thoroughly clean out my dresser and closet.  I need to ACTUALLY GET RID OF STUFF that does not currently fit me or that I do not like to wear.  Goes for shoes as well as clothing.
  • I need to clean my bathroom (ideally this will include organizing the closet as well)
  • Some rooms need minor straightening and dusting – like the library, and the dining room
  • Although speaking of the dining room, I also need to go through and weed out a bunch of DVDs to take to McKays.
  • Wash my dishes and clean out the fridge, obviously
  • Make more stuff for my Etsy shop (grumble)
  • Maybe tackle outside my house…at some point…like weeding, organizing, throwing away trash accumulated by someone who will remain nameless….
  • Should also go through my closet in the hall and purge/organize it.

I’m going to Beaman Park after work today, just to do the little 2 mile loop.  Going to Chattanooga this weekend but I need to start doing the 6 mile trail in there again.  Being able to turn off my brain and just walk for 6 miles is so, so lovely.

Anyway.  Sometimes lists help me to get motivated to DO rather than to sit and play Oblivion (which is going nicely except that I keep wanting to keep all the daedric artifacts that I procure, instead of giving them to Martin to destroy…).

Standing Stone, etc.

I’m getting so lazy with these blog entries lately, I know.  Sorry.  I don’t even have any good excuses.

Had a lovely time at Standing Stone State Park.  We got there on Wednesday, around 4:30 (after taking an hour detour — an hour because as it turned out, the bridge leading to the cabins was closed and we had to find our way via trial and error to the north entrance….it was a very interesting drive in).  For dinner Stephen made filet mignon, haricot vert with toasted almonds, and roasted potatoes (with garlic, etc) — while I started Rebecca.  Which I decided to read instead of a new book, because I just love it so much.  Had some red wine – maybe a Cabernet Sav? – with dinner, which paired just beautifully with the steak and beans and potatoes.  Man it was good.

blog - steak

I had anticipated that the weather would be precipitous the whole time we were away – but Thursday ended up being dry and intermittently sunny, even.  It was a pleasant surprise, even though I was going to enjoy whatever weather we ended up having.  The cabin had a gas fireplace and I brought plenty of candles – so we were well prepared for rainy days.

Thursday breakfast was the only meal that we forgot to photograph, unfortunately.  I made biscuits, gravy, eggs with neufchatel, and sausage patties.  Obviously it was delicious, even though I had forgotten to bring a gravy recipe and ended up just pretending that I knew how to make it.  (Turns out, I do.)  After breakfast, we both spent time sitting outside on the partly-sunny patio, reading or writing.  Made potato soup with grilled cheese (and I did go a bit overboard on the cheese in this meal, as soup had yellow cheddar and grilled cheese had white cheddar and brie), which was delicious even though we weren’t completely hungry yet.  Breakfast was hearty.

blog - lunch

After lunch, we went out to this tiny little town to get some s’mores supplies, then when we got back took a little trek down to the lake and over to the dam.  Was a lovely little trail, and an adorable dam.  Stephen took pictures of the dam but I don’t feel like uploading everything, so if you want to see feel free to google.  I still need to google it actually, because it was so quaint and vintage-looking that we were both really curious as to when it was built…..

blog - lake 2 blog - lake

Got back from hiking, read some more, took showers, and ended up eating dinner pretty late.  I made fried chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and deviled eggs.  Meant to make more green beans but completely forgot all about them.

blog - fried chicken

Which was just as well, as it was SO MUCH FOOD OMG.  All delicious, but after eating one piece of chicken, a few bites of potatoes, and a couple deviled eggs, I couldn’t even fit anything else in my stomach at all.  So much for getting s’mores.

Breakfast on Friday was pancakes a la Stephen, with neufchatel and berries, and bacon.

blog - breakfast

Man.  It was good.  I forgot to take any pictures of the cabin, and Stephen only took one, but it was really the cutest little cabin ever.  Three rooms plus a bathroom, and the living room/bedroom were floor to ceiling wood paneling, with lots of windows looking into the woods.  The kitchen and bathroom were white plaster but still very cute.  I just loved it.  Would not at all mind living in a cabin like that, although it would mean downsizing a whole hell of a lot.

blog - cabin

Much to my surprise, Saturday was pie day (3.14), so I made a berry pie, and calzones (er, pizza pies) for dinner.  So much good food last week.

blog - pie

We did a few other things this weekend….like going to the symphony, putting together Stephen’s grill, walking to a Mexican restaurant for margaritas, grocery shopping, sleeping in, going to Fido on Sunday morning, watching Tina Fey’s new Netflix show, etc.  Overall it was a really great 5-day weekend (for me), though I haven’t quite finished Rebecca yet.  Soon!

I’m thinking that I might made a pit stop to Beaman Park after work today, since the sun is setting around seven now.  This weather is so fleeting that I fear I’ll regret not getting out and enjoying it as much as I can.

please don’t feel any obligation to read these entries, btw

I decided that I’m feeling awake enough to skip the nap.  Plus I got kinda busy, so that helps.

Also discussed meal stuff with Stephen some so here is the current plan.  For breakfast, I’m doing eggs, sausage patties, gravy, and biscuits.  Might throw in some fruit for good measure.  I mean, you know.  For lunch I’m thinking grilled cheese (will likely get some delicious bread and stuff like brie and cheddar) and potato soup.  This means we should have pancakes and bacon on Thursday morning so that we can fry extra bacon for the potato soup.  So sausage and biscuits on Friday.  Anyway.  For dinner I’m doing fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese maybe, green beans maybe, corn on the cob (or not), maybe.  I’m sorry, but I adore mac and cheese from a box.  Buuut maybe could do something homemade.  Hm.

OK, fine.  I’ll make the mac and cheese from scratch.  Hmph.  And if I’m doing that, I’ll do green beans to go with it.  Don’t want the plate to be ONLY yellow and brown.

There’s going to be a lot of cheese and butter in this cabin.  Yuuuum.  Now I want to do deviled eggs too, but Stephen doesn’t like them.  That DOES mean more for me, though.  Will have to think about this…..

in an effort to stay awake, I am writing another one

seriously, this coffee is NOT kicking in.  and I’ve had at least a good cup so far.  don’t really want to go make any more either because it doesn’t exactly taste great.  I keep taking my jacket off because I’m too warm, then putting it back on in 5 minutes because I’m too cold.  gah.

going to have to actually mail those boots back, dammit.  well, whatever.  there are worse things.

I’m trying to decide what books to bring with me this week.  I need a good novel to immerse myself in, and my first instinct is to bring either Jane Eyre or Rebecca.  But I’m also thinking that I should perhaps read a book I haven’t already read multiple times, too.  Like Master and Margarita, or some Nabokov novel.  Will probably bring that book of Nabokov short stories though, and also the Bill Nye book I still haven’t finished.  I also recently bought a Vonnegut book I’ve never read (Jailbird I think is what it’s called), so could bring that.  I may go study my library later today.

Also need to plan some meals.  I suggested that we each take one meal, so I have one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to figure out.  the cabin has a kitchen and an outside grill, so my options are pretty wide.  I have a lunch idea already – grilled cheese and soup.  Ooh, looks like it’s supposed to rain later this week – which would make for perfect cabin/reading/soup weather.  Must add candles to my packing list.

What do I want to do for breakfast?  Eggs, sausage, gravy, biscuits?  French toast?  Pancakes?

What about dinner?  Steaks?  Chicken and dumplins?  Burgers?  Pork tenderloin?  Fried chicken?  Any of these would be delicious, dammit.  How am I supposed to pick?  Also, all I had for breakfast was a packet of instant oatmeal so now I’m practically starving.

also my feet are super cold.  and I’m thinking about going home on my lunch break to take a nap.  I might actually do that.  a nap sounds so lovely…..

ok so tentatively, assuming Stephen doesn’t come up with the same ideas.  breakfast of eggs, sausage, gravy, and biscuits.  (plan b is french toast.)  lunch of grilled cheese and tomato caprese spinach soup.  dinner of steak, asparagus, potatoes, maybe something else.  (plan b for dinner is fried chicken, potatoes, maybe some fried apples, maybe asparagus or some other green)

ok, right.  damn I’m cold.  jacket is currently on, too.

Weekends of bowling, jazz, and good food

It was a good weekend, and I am still sore.

Stephen’s birthday was yesterday, so we sort of celebrated all weekend.  On Friday evening, we watched Tree of Life – which I hadn’t seen, but thought was gorgeous.  I think I need to see it a few more times to really be able to understand everything that’s going on in the movie, but even still it was beautiful and tragic.

Saturday was a lazy morning, and in the afternoon we went to Old Navy for a few things….then Books A Million (because I wanted to get the latest National Geographic, and also why not?)….then to my house to pick up a package.  I had ordered some new boots (old ones are having fairly serious issues), and when I opened the box and tried them on I discovered that I could only get the left boot onto my foot.  Right boot was having nothing to do with it.  *sigh*  Soooo am going to have to return those and see if I can swap them out for a larger size.  Hoping that I can do that here in town without having to mail them back.

For dinner, we met Stephen’s friend Roger for sushi.  Roger’s the one who plays in the symphony and gets us free tickets (er, well, I suppose he gets STEPHEN free tickets, to be more precise) — and actually volunteered to get us tickets for this Friday as well.  I really like this guy – he is so likable and genuine.  Had a good time with him at dinner.  After, we went to the bowling alley where we waited about an hour for a lane (Saturday night and all, and they don’t take reservations).  I will definitely admit that I was dreading this part of the evening, as it’d been forever since I bowled last, and never once have I enjoyed bowling.  But I was going to try to be a trooper and bowl at least one game.  Well, ended up bowling five (which is why I am still sore), and I ACTUALLY WON TWO GAMES.  I know, right??  What?!  How??  I don’t know.  I can’t explain it.  But here’s proof of at least one of the games.

BOWLING

(The “M” is for “MILHO” which is a Simpsons reference……..which I doubt anyone reading this will get, come to think of it.)

No idea I was even capable of bowling over 100.  Huh.  So weird.  Stephen’s friend Andy showed up during our 3rd game, which was about when they turned on the black lights and disco balls, and I think Stephen won both of those games.  But still.  Nevertheless.

So then yesterday, we went to Fido in the morning, where I read the cover story of that National Geographic (recommend btw).  Then we moseyed over to Village Pub for happy hour on the patio, which was lovely.  They have the best herbed-chicken-with-goat-cheese stuffed pretzels.  OMG.  So good.  Since the weather was so nice (grey, but comparatively warm, and after all the ice and snow we’ve had, 50’s feels like magic) – so we went to Shelby Bottoms and walked around a bit before going back to Stephen’s for about an hour, then heading over for a jazz show in the Gulch.

Anyway.

It was a good weekend, like I said, but I am still sore.  I can blame several factors for being so tired this morning, but mostly I just want to go to bed early tonight.  Like, 9pm.  That sounds lovely.

I’m feeling better about this Monday than most, though, because I only have a two-day work week; I’m taking off Wednesday through Friday and we’ve rented a cabin in Standing Stone park…somewhere north of Cookeville.  Oh, I think I may have mentioned this already.  But it’s two days away and I’m excited about being in the middle of nowhere for a few days.  It’s going to be lovely, regardless of the weather.  🙂