Adventure in Lists, Day 6

Here is another set of two days’ lists. Again another throw-away list and one I actually more carefully considered

Top Ten Favorite Superpowers

We’re going to start off by noting things that people like Peter Petrelli and Rogue carry around are stupid. If I could just absorb anyone’s ability, then I’m not special. I’m a parasite.

10. Super-strength/Super-speed
This feels like it would only be convenient for being unnecessarily impressive or for life-threatening situations. I assume that I can control it, so I don’t smash a ton of pickle jars or anything. So unless someone is trapped under a car, or I need to hold up a building for reasons, I’m not sold. And speed just seems mostly useless. I can get to you way quick? Great, but I imagine I’d still get tired like I do now.

9. Flight
Flight is sort of overrated I think. I mean, in theory it’s nice, but I assume I don’t have super strength, so I can’t bring other people with me. I am still bound by atmosphere and air pressure changes. So it’s convenient for getting from a to b, but mostly it’s just a little faster

8. Healing/Rapid-cellular Regeneration
This seems better to me than being invincible. Invincibility sort of takes away some of the parts that still make me human, so I’d prefer to still be able to feel pain and then be able to come back from that. Also, if it’s possible that my power can somehow benefit more people, so much the better.

7. Precognition
My brain tells me I would like this because I like to be able to prepare for all circumstances, but odds are I’d end up hating it. Unless, I’m able to control when I do or do not get to take on visions. Otherwise, I’m going to be pretty mad it made it this high on the list.

6. Omni-linguism/Polyglotism
This just feels practical. To naturally be able to understand and speak all languages.

5. Teleportation
This one plays to my laziness, but it would also just be good to be able to see the people I love whenever I want. That would be so nice. Not that I don’t value the time spent alone or with one or more close friends, but to get to immediately be with people. That’d be wonderful.

4. Telekinesis
I’ll be honest. This sounds great because I’m a very lazy person. To be able to reach for something across the room and have it in my hand. Yes, please.

3. Telepathy
For communication only. I think I’d hate every moment I could read another person’s uncontrolled thoughts. I think they’d constantly break my heart, but to be able to communicate with someone silently in an instant. That sounds great

2. Waterbreathing
Again, assuming pressure holds, but still to be able to be underwater for an indefinite amount of time, not by holding my breath but maintaining it. That would be ideal. I’d never leave the water, though I assume I must as some point. I would think that my skin would still absorb water as well, and that I would be susceptible to at the very least a severe form of water log, if not drowning.

1. Muscle Mimicry
Honestly, and to me this isn’t like absorbing powers. It’s the ability to see something done and capable of doing it. I would say this doesn’t apply to superpowers. That it would only be things ordinary people could do, but to be able to acquire any skill would be amazing. To be able to see a gymnast and then replicate a routine or paint or dance. There are so many things I’ll never be able to do, but some times when I see people do things my brain convinces me I can. I can’t. I want to.

I won’t take the time to justify all of these. There are a lot of opinions out there, I’m sure. I’ll just add a quick note to a few, but probably just Harry Potter

Top Ten Favorite Children’s Books

10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

9. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

8. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

7. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Surprised this isn’t nearer to number 1? Surprised this one and not other ones? Not nearer the top because there are things that speak to my heart more frequently, better, and longer. And why this one? Because this is the one that brings you in, and this is the one, in my opinion, that maintains itself as a children’s book. After this one they become adolescent lit.

5. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

3. Matilda by Roald Dahl

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Adventure in Lists, Day 5

Here we go. I’ll try to be brief.

Top Ten Episodes of Gilmore Girls.

10. Cinnamon’s Wake s1ep5
This episode is the first time Stars Hallow really comes together for one purpose, and in a truly Stars Hallow way they come together to mourn the death of a cat. And it is beautiful.

9. We’ve Got Magic to Do s6ep5
Rory pulls off something Emily doubts she can do and TOTALLY sticks it to the the Huntzbergers.

8. Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin’ the Twist s4ep17
Rory and Paris go on spring break and almost go nuts with their peers. They go home early. Obviously.

7. Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore? S7ep16
Everyone together to celebrate Lane, Zach, and the twins. Everyone working together to make it happen. Plus. Perfect.

6. They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? s3ep7
Sad for reasons, but ultimately it becomes an amazing thing. Even if it’s a miracle Kirk wins again.

5. You Jump, I Jump, Jack s5ep7
The only time I sort of like Logan, and it’s mostly because I love secret societies.

4. Luke Can See Her Face/Last Week Fights, This Week Tights s4ep20/21
Luke loves Lorelai. LUKE LOVES LORELAI. Liz is married. Jess is back.

3. The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale s4ep2
Owwww owowowowoooo!! Because everyone still wants her mommy on the first night at school.

2. The Bracebridge Dinner/Raincoats and Recipes s2ep10/s4ep22
Because they’re essentially the same episode. But the whole town. Back again. Coming together to just enjoy things.

1. Bon Voyage s7ep22
No marriage. No grand life’s gonna be great. Just a village sending out the child they raised. Working together one last time to love as they love.

Adventure in Lists, Day 4

My apologies. Yesterday, I was busy doing not this, so I must admit I neglected my list. I made up for it today though by doing two lists.

So first the important one. This one has been a long time coming. This one is essential.

Every summer since the Summer of Fox Mulder I watch X-Files. This year I made Jared and Rachel, and some times Dan, watch with me. We’re dragging ass right now, but I think friendship is almost more important. Almost.

Top ten episodes of X-Files:

10. Triangle (s6e3)
I love it because Scully is, like Topanga in the 50s, all snarky and sassy because it’s the 40s. Time travel somehow makes tv women more outspoken than they are in the present. It doesn’t make sense. Plus. Lone Gunmen. Plus Mulder hates Nazis. Just. I like it. Ok?

9. Three of a Kind (s6ep20)/Jump the Shark (s9ep15)

Ok. I’m one of those people who watched The Lone Gunmen.

Three of a Kind. Drugged Scully is a goof. A GOOF.
Jump the Shark is important to me because it’s the final love to the boys.

8. The Goldberg Variation (s7ep6)

I love this one because all this guy wants is to win exactly the right amount of money just to help one boy.

7. Drive (s6ep2)

Bryan Cranston. K? Bryan Cranston in a car with Fox Mulder. The whole episode. You’re welcome.

6. Dreamland/Dreamland II (s6ep4/5)

Outside of the magic of a rock and lizard existing in the exact same space and time, Mulder switching places with Michael McKean, smarmy, smarmy Michael McKean. I love it.

5. How the Ghosts Stole Christmas (s6ep6)

Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner as ghosts trying to convince Mulder and Scully to kill each other. Good stuff.

4. Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man (s4ep7)

This back story is so a part of my brain that some times I think this man is culpable for real things.

3. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (s3ep4)

This story is so melancholy and still so light-hearted. It’s how I feel most days, and I love that this so perfectly reflects my mood.

2. The Unnatural (s6ep19)

I know this is Duchovny’s baby, and that it hardly holds to character development, but I love it. I love the interactions. I love that it hardly even touches on Mulder and Scully. I love the final scene. I love the rice cream. I love it.

1. The Field Where I Died (s5ep5)

This episode. I want this to be how it works. There are people in my life who I think maybe this is how it works. I love it, and it exhausts me.

Honorable mentions:
Syzygy (s3ep13)
Field Trip (s6ep21)
First Person Shooter (s7ep13)
Chigna (s5ep10)
All Souls (s5ep17)
The Post-Modern Prometheus (s5ep5)

And now for something completely different.

Top Ten Fictional Bears:
10. Yogi Bear
9. Grumpy Bear (don’t tell my mom I watched Care Bears)
8. Rupert
7. Gummi Bears
6. Paddington Bear
5. Mrs. Emily Bear (Fozzie’s mom)
4. Baloo (Jungle Book and TaleSpin)
3. The Berenstain Bears
2. Fozzie Bear
1. Winnie-the-Pooh

Adventure in Lists, Day 3

This will face some contention. This will not be well-received.

My top ten favorite episodes of Buffy.

10. Selfless (season 7 episode 5)

“I don’t talk to people much. I mean, I talk to them, but they don’t talk to me, except to say that, ‘your questions are irksome,’ and, ‘perhaps you should take your furs and your literal interpretations to the other side of the river.'”

(There’s going to be a staggering number of episodes rep seasons 6 and 7. It surprised me too.)

I love this episode because it gives us so many pieces of Anya. It fills in holes, but doesn’t answer every question. If anything, it makes me hurt more for Anya than it does make me love her more. (Though it does that too)

9. Halloween (season 2 episode 6)

“They don’t know who they are, everyone’s turned into a monster, it’s a whole big thing. How are you?”

Halloween is important because it’s the turning point. Halloween is the episode that I have to urge people to get to. It’s the game-changer. Halloween is when the show becomes good and not nearly as campy.

8. Conversations with Dead People (season 7 episode 7)

“Of course I’m scared. Last time we were here, 33.3 bar percent of us were flayed alive.”

For some reason episodes where people talk to dead people really touch my soul. It happens in an episode of Scrubs too, and I just overlook the fact that it’s Brendan Frasier. I think it speaks to something in us that still pines for those we’ve lost, even if we aren’t talking to someone we knew.

7. The Gift (season 5 episode 22)

“Blood is life, lack-brain. Why do you think we eat it? It’s what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead.”

The intended finality. The sacrifice. The brokenness across the board. Obviously this episode is powerful, but I think this moment is one of the most.

6. A New Man (season 4 episode 12)

“You know what gets me? This is what gets me. Twenty years I’ve been fighting demons. Maggie Walsh and her nancy ninja boys come in; six months later, the demons are pissing themselves with fear. They never even noticed me.”

Honestly, there just might not be enough Giles-centric stories. In the wake of losing his job and his slayer going away to college he also gets turned into a demon by that dumb Ethan Rayne. Giles’ reliance on Spike is a huge draw for this episode, and him goofily terrorizing Professor Walsh. More that, please.

5. Normal Again (season 6 episode 17)

Buffy: I was only there a couple of weeks. I stopped talking about it so they let me go. And eventually, my parents just…forgot.
Willow: God. That’s horrible.
Buffy: What if I never left? What if I’m still in that clinic?

Some times brains break. Some times brains are forced into breaking. No matter how it happens, it’s always horrifying, even if you are the slayer.

4. Grave (season 6 episode 22)

“Is this the master plan? You’re gonna stop me by telling me you love me?”

Sue me. I love a good, overwhelming story of pure friendship. Sure, Will and Xander have had their moments, but ultimately they remain best friends. Even when Willow goes completely wiggy and seemingly over the line.

3. Band Candy (season 3 episode 6)

“Screw you. I want candy.”

Because teenage Giles. Because for some reason Ethan Rayne is in three of these episodes. Guess I like his monsters of the week.

2. Hush (season 4 episode 10)

“Can’t even shout, can’t even cry
The gentlemen are coming by
Looking in windows, knocking on doors
They need to take seven and they might take yours
Can’t call to mom, Can’t say a word
You’re gonna die screaming but you won’t be heard.”

Outside of Doug Jones being amazing and the Gentlemen being horrifying. (Out horrifying the Silence, Doctor Who) the genius of a silent episode.

1. The Body (season 5 episode 16)

“I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s- There’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore. It’s stupid. It’s mortal and stupid. And-and Xander’s crying and not talking, and-and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.”

Mostly. That quote is why, but then look at the fact that all underscoring is gone. You’re stuck, YOU, with your own thoughts and ambient noise, just like the cast. It’s brutal and hard and perfect.

Honorable mentions:
Gingerbread (season 3 episode 11) this one almost made the cut, because of the power of persuasion.

Once More with Feeling (season 6 episode 7) mostly, I feel like I have to have it on my list, and while I love it I hate social obligation more.

Restless (season 4 episode 22) seasons 4 is sort of a wash of worth it gets too heavy in places it shouldn’t. But I love this episode for just being silly. Not entirely, but it’s not a real threat and the cheese.

Adventure in Lists, Day 2

Today, Jared asked me what my song of the “summah” was this year. Music affects him a lot more than it affects me. Truthfully, music really affects most anyone more than it affects me. I have to be in exactly the right place for music to be affecting. Mostly, I listen to music because I have to cover my brain, to try and drown out the circus in my head. The acrobats stabbing the dancing bear. The dancing bear pretending it can juggle. The ringmaster selling waffles to small children. Music doesn’t shut it off. Music only covers it up a little. Music works hard to make it all a little quieter, especially if I’m by myself. And, if I’m super honest, most of the music I listen to I listen to because I can sing along. It’s show tunes. I listen almost exclusively to show tunes, and part of me still had a misguided belief I might be able to sing and I might be able to act. It’s a struggle, and it’s annoying to non-theatre people. It’s probably annoying to theatre people too. It’s been a very long time since I was last in a car filled with theatre people. I don’t know if we all still pick parts in La Vie Boheme.
Here’s the best I can offer for this. These may not be the most upbeat songs, but it’s important to remember that summer is not my favorite time of the year. They may not even reflect my life this summer. They’re just the songs I know I listened to the most.

Someone Else by Wild Child
This song came in my ears this spring, but it still hasn’t left. It sort of reflects my feelings of summer. This whole album does. It sounds so upbeat, but the story is hard and dark and painful.

Nicest Thing by Kate Nash
Kate Nash has been my jam all year. She’s silly when I need to be. She’s hard when I am. She’s heavy and light. And she helped this summer.

Better than Before from Next to Normal
Next to Normal is going to come up a few times. It gets my brain. Sadly.

Someone to Fall Back on by Jason Robert Brown
Ok, ok. Admittedly, I chose this video for nerdy reasons, but so much of the time this is all I feel I’m good for. It echoed through me all summer, and it may continue to.

Brothers by Penny and Sparrow
The beginning of summer started pretty dark in my heart, and a good friend offered this song to me at exactly the right moment. I offer to you now.

Secrets by Mary Lambert
This one, this one is actually on the radio, which sort of makes me feel like I might be a real person. I’m not. Rachel still had to bring it to my attention. But pretend I found it. Ok?

My Moon by Mary Lambert
And while we’re on the topic of Mary Lambert.

Who’s Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I from Next to Normal
It’s back. I said it would be.

Passenger Seat by Death Cab for Cutie
Sentiment has actually made this a song of summer for nearly ten years now.

Firewood by Regina Spektor
The heart beats in three just like a waltz.

Beautifully by Jay Brannan
Because some times feelings are crushing. Ya know?

Perfect for You from Next to Normal
Last one I swear.

Alone by Heart
Because you can’t ever go wrong with Heart.

Adventure in Lists

Over the course of 26 months my dear friend Brett Jenkins-Braun has challenged our friend Erica Anderson-Senter and I to join her in 26 30-Day Challenges. For the month of September it’s 30 Solid Days of Lists. I was going to explore my first list with my list of lists I’d be making, but I love lists too much. So here we go. List one. Is TOO COMPLICATED!! So probably several different lists for this one list topic.
Favorite TV shows. Top ten TV shows? Best sci-fi/supernatural shows? Best dramas? Guys! I could do lists of types of TV shows I like. That’s. I have a problem. Ok.
I have to do them in no order at all or I’ll die.
My favorite shows first, the ones u watch time and time again. Habitually. ritualistically:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Gilmore Girls
30 Rock
Freaks and Geeks
Black Books
Doctor Who
The Cosby Show
Dawson’s Creek

It’s actually a pretty terrible first list. I won’t apologize for that.

Adventure in Lies as Truths

Admittedly this post is spurred on by two things. 1) service this morning and 2) recent messes

Admission number two, I’m a little out of it today, and was therefore, distracted enough in service to probably only really hear this one piece. If I’m honest, but it was a good thing to hear.


Lately, life has been good. Things have been steady. Both good and bad have been constant. Balanced for the most part.

Summer, as I’ve mentioned before, is the worst for me. I’m trying so hard this year not to let it rattle me or worse kill me (still likely), but still it tears at me. I feel constantly tired and worn. Around 4:30, no matter what, a wave of fatigue washes over me, and I’m left deciding whether the rest of the day is even worth pursuing or if I should just go to bed. I keep living. I don’t sleep when it happens, but it’s only just mid-June There’s still time to collapse altogether.

With this increase in summer, so comes an increase of all of the rest of the bad in me, including the welling up of insecurities and ineptness that has plagued me these last 27 years. It’s manageable the rest of the year, but it always becomes so much worse in the summer. And I let myself fall victim to it. I’m already sad, and sadness is comforting to me, so why not let my brain take over? Why not let me imagination run wild with things I know to be lies? Or things I know I’m supposed to believe are lies? Or things I’m not supposed to believe because they are lies? Obviously, I’m uncertain on what the actual truth of that is or the proper verbiage.

I let former failings creep back into my heart. I let past and present insecurities roll around and around inside my head. And I do start to lose it. I start to lose any drive to leave the apartment, to see people, to speak, to explain myself. I’m so tired of explaining myself. Maybe I’m being a baby for even letting summer affect me as it does. Maybe I just am a little baby. But then. Ya know, that’s probably one of those lies. All of these lies I tell myself. My greatest truth is who I am in Christ, and yet that’s so hard to hold onto. No excuses, it’s simply hard.

What I do know is we’re all lying to each other. All of the time. “I’m fine,” we sigh when we’re plainly not. “Nothing,” we’ll add when we’re asked how someone else can help us. Personally, I always know how specific people can help me, but one of my greatest weaknesses is not being able to ask for help, even when help is offered.

And for those of you keeping the record, Tom Abels spoke in service today, and the one thing he said that truly hit me. A thing I want to scream at people all of the time, but never know how to say it. “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” People say it all of the time. Chapter verse that shit. 1 Corinthians 10:13 right? Nothing more than we can handle? Right?

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure.”

Want to look again?

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure.”

“‘God does not give us more than you can handle.’ That’s true about temptation. Not life. No one can handle life.” -Tom Abels.

Adventure in Adventure Bag

Peter Pan is my favorite book. I have three copies of it. All of them are annotated. All of them are worn.

When I was little I was determined to be an adventurer. I was going to explore the whole world. There were tigers hiding in the day lilies. There were hunters hiding in the trees. And while I knew it was just a story part of me was pretty sure that Peter Pan was based on actual events. In the same way I believed (believe) the Doctor is real. It’s all just so generalized now. One person heard one specific story, and those details spread. With the Doctor, if I’m honest with you, I believed every detail. Gobbled it up. Now I know–erm imagine, some details stuck. Big, blue box. One person saw a big, blue box a few times and was like “yep, it’s always that.” And then came a tv show. And then came a fan base. And then came a skewing of the truth. But I know that if I wait it out, he’ll come to my TARDIS. my tardis

With Peter Pan I got carried away. Maybe. Understand me here. I had a great home life. I did. Shoot, I still could if I wanted to move back. But I was a restless kid. I still am. And I thought one day I’d run away. Not out of spite or fear or anger. I just needed to get away. To be free and to explore without restrictions. So I packed a bag. I kept a bag packed, for just the right time. Truth be told, I kept a bag packed in quiet anticipation of Peter Pan coming to my window. I remember crying myself to sleep a few times thinking about how I’m not English, and he’d never come to America.

It wasn’t a big bag, but I wasn’t a big person. A change of clothes. Underwear. A stuffed animal. Webby, from Duck Tales, I think. And my blankie.

This week I did something I hadn’t done for a very long time. I packed the bag. It’s a bookbag I stole from my brother. Olive drab canvas. I stole it when I reattached a strap. “I fixed it, so it’s mine now.” (I’m a bad person). A change of clothes. Shorts. Jeans. Two shirts. Underwear. Spare toothbrush. Deodorant. Yellow, stone-washed Toms. My favorite copy of Peter Pan. The current book I’m reading. Blankie.

Adulthood isn’t so different, and I know I’m not going anywhere, but I feel like I could. I could run away. Is it running away if you’re an adult with no actual obligations or ties?

Know that if the Doctor comes, I’m going. I’ve got my bags packed just like Donna Noble (on a much smaller scale). And when–if he does, we’re picking up Jeff Blossom, and hitting the infinite time/space highway.

It’s summer, and summer is brutal to my heart and mind. The way that winter destroys so many other people. Summer kills me. I’ve been trying to prepare myself. Getting myself ready with favorite memories from summers past. How can any summer live up to the summer of Fox Mulder? How can I survive another summer at all? This one may do me in.

I’m just so fitful. Restless. Chickenshit.

Adventure in Codependent Empathy

The last time I saw a counselor was this wonderful woman named Drew while I was living in Indy. Right at the end of my time in Indy. I only saw her a couple of times, but in those few sessions she almost immediately informed me I’m highly codependent. Not because I can’t function without other people around. I can. I do. I have done many times. My codependency comes from the fact that I place a lot of my self-worth in identifying with the struggles of other people.

It is my greatest ambition in life to love people by making their lives easier. In theory this sounds like such a selfless ambition, but if you look at the fact that this is where I find a lot of my self-worth, it turns out I’m sort of a monster. Just one of those things. It’s such a dangerous balance. Such a slippery slope. Constantly seeking out my motivations and checking my impulses to see why I’m helping or listening or moving or acting or remaining.

peter petrelli

The beauty (I think I can say this without you taking this to mean something boastful) of this codependency is that it makes me inherently empathetic. I’m not fantastic at empathy. I’m not, but I work terribly hard at it. If I’m going to let people’s lives wash over me then I need to be able to handle it and take them into such delicate consideration. I want so desperately to help.

The danger of this codependency is that I can let that empathy consume me. I let problems or pains of others pour over me like the final, straining wave taking me down with it. I’ve gotten better about this. Once after college a friend informed me very secretly that he had cancer. I didn’t leave my room for a day. Not because I was concerned or sad. No no no. Because I put myself in that position and became useless. Because that’s what happens. I become useless. (On the whole, I am useless)

It’s important, it’s so important to empathize. Those that can accurately and appropriately do it with me have been known to change my life. Those that completely lack it are sociopaths. (That’s a truth) Those that let it consume their lives and destroy them are selfish. I’m my most selfish when I allow the pains of others to wash over me like they are my own.

Codependency, in any form, is so tricky. I’m finding my balance now, but it still can destroy me. It can destroy me so quickly.

Adventure in Nashville Cats

This is what we listened to as we made our way into Tennessee. It was a much needed retreat.

A few months ago I saw that Ben Folds would be performing his concerto with the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Ballet. After a few weeks we pulled the trigger and my friend Jared and I bought the tickets.

Saturday morning we packed up the car and made our way south. 7 hours.

Some times a thing a brain and a body needs to do is get away. Just forget about the rest of life for a couple of days. Some call them “vacations.” We call them “braincations.”

Things I recommend packing if you ever take a trip to Santa Claus, Indiana:
acid indigestion
cryogenically frozen head of Walt Disney
hip hop
king of spades
Let It Be
nasty notes
quiet disposition
unlimited fun
whale watching book
x-rated whale watching book
(that’s just good advice. you’re welcome in advance)

On our way we passed Dinosaur World. If you know anything about me, you know this means I started screaming “DINOSAUR ZOO! PEE PANTS NOW!” We agreed we should stop on our way home.

photo (60)

We also came across signs for the Falls of the Ohio and had to stop. We had so much time. (it’s important to know that there are a lot of secret pictures coming, and Jared hates secret pictures. I won’t apologize, because he won’t know. Will he?)

This was a whole tree, a whole dern tree. Just sloshing back and forth in the waves. River waves. Can we talk for a moment about how some times rivers have waves? If they’re big enough and full enough. Splash. Splash. photo 5 (2) photo 5 (1) photo 4 (4) photo 3 (2) Trees essentially reduced to mulch. Giant, sloppy, sloshy 3 (1) photo 2 (2) photo 2 (1)We made our way south and arrived in Smyrna. I-24 Campground. Very adequate. We set up camp and went for an exploration. Scenic Smyrna. Where there are no restaurants on Saturday night when you want them, but food stops galore on Sunday when you don’t. Important fun fact about Smyrna: Pretty sure everything in this town is named after my cat. Or maybe the Fates were trying to remind me that I abandoned her for a weekend. Gilley Lane. Gil’s Hardware. Gil’s Family Center. Pretty sure my cat was mayor of Smyrna at some point. Cat Mayor of Smyrna. I’m sure you saw it in the Times.

photo 3 (3)

Dressed like we weren’t sleeping on the ground we drove to downtown Nashville. Some times a symphony is enough to open your soul again. To let it breathe. Some times a ballet pushes your soul over the edge. Some times the combination of symphony, ballet, Ben Folds, a good friend, and a night away are enough to clear your head completely.

After the show it was so nice out, and we were so close that we couldn’t not stop by James K Polk’s grave. Before getting trapped in a parking garage for a year.

photo 1 (3) photo 4 (5) photo 5 (3)After we were graciously allowed freedom from the parking structure by a car of treasures we went back to the old homestead. I-24 Campground, again, classy as it sounds. Right there on Old Johnny’s Rest.

A cold, cold night led to a hot day. We got up early and sought out coffee, much needed coffee. It’s amazing how 7 hours in a car can really wear on a body. In Smyrna there are signs all over about a man named Sam Davis. (Based on the actual photograph of Sam Davis on a marker near “his home”,” he looked nothing like his statue. Seriously, nothing like.) We had to know who he was, so we went to his home. A couple of things, Smyrna. It wasn’t ole Sam’s home. It was his parents’. Also it was closed, because Sunday. Sam died in the Civil War, as so many 21-year-olds did. Basically he died because he was captured and had papers on him. He also said this thing, “If I had a thousand lives to live, I would give them all rather than betray a friend or the confidence of my informer” Again, the marker by “his home” left off that bit about informers. Glossing over history, Smyrna. He also, apparently, gets compared to both Nathan Hale and Jesus a lot. Like a lot a lot. I, um, okay, Smyrna.

We drove around for a while, and finally we saw it. The word “Marina.” We followed the signs. We ended up at the place I had tried to get us into for camping. One. Huge. Lake. A reservoir really. This reservoir. A fishing hobo called us “Tarzan and Jane,” as we pointed out to him where we saw a bunch of fish and carried our shoes. It was beautiful. It was life-giving. It was so peaceful.

photo 1 (4) photo 2 (4) photo 2 (5) photo 2 (6) photo 3 (5) photo 3 (6)
What’s wrong with your, firefly? Don’t you know it’s day! Go back to the night!photo 4 (7) photo 4 (8) photo 5 (4) photo 5 (5) photo 5 (6)

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A little more than reluctantly we packed up our campsite and headed into East Nashville to meet a couple of my friends from Huntington for lunch at the Lipstick Lounge. Before we hit that open road again.

We had three objectives on the road back. DINOSAUR ZOO!!! Cave. Most Awesome Flea Market in the World. We made it to Dinosaur World. We reasoned ourselves out of a cave and missed the flea market because the conversation got too good, and we were distracted.

At exit 9 on I-469 in Fort Wayne there are 9 of these way up by a house. I have wondered for years what they were. People, the answer is here. Thank you, DINOSAUR ZOO!

photo 3 (14)Spared no expense.

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Mostly our time at DINOSAUR ZOO consisted of Land Before Time and Jurassic Park references. Spikes. Long Necks. Three Horns. Flyers. We aren’t very good adults. Just don’t tell the government or they’ll take away our…adult privileges? I don’t know what adults get.

This is a Sharp Tooth (technical name)photo 1 (5) Three Hornphoto 1 (6) More three 1 (7) photo 1 (8) J and that Mammoth had a real thing going on. As is my custom, I ruined the 1 (9) This Sharp Tooth tried to end mephoto 1 (10)photo 1 (11)The selfies are for my friend Katie. Follow her hashtag. #selfiesforkatie
photo 1 (12) This may be my favorite picture. 2 (7) Long 2 (8) Three Horns are my favorite dinosaur. They’re racist, but I love 2 (9) photo 2 (10) This guy looks like a total 2 (11) photo 2 (12) photo 2 (13) The Sharp Tooth tried to eat J, then ya know, changed his mind. Classic 3 (7) Long Necks. Probably looking for tree 3 (8) Yep yep yepphoto 3 (9) photo 3 (10) photo 3 (11) photo 3 (12) photo 3 (13) This guy just looked a real bully. a classic bully. the kind that got picked on himself so to make up for it he was extra 4 (9) photo 4 (10) These reminded me of Muppets. I think mostly because bright blue, but I also have a pretty clear memory of marionettes that weren’t too far off from 4 (11) photo 4 (12) photo 4 (13) photo 4 (14) photo 4 (15) photo 4 (16) photo 5 (7) photo 5 (8) photo 5 (9) photo 5 (10) photo 5 (11) photo 5 (12) photo 5 (13) photo 5 (14)A beautiful landscape. I’m sure it was always this peaceful then. photo (64)

Also, an important and weird truth about DINOSAUR ZOO. There were hundreds, and I do mean HUNDREDS of caterpillars all over the ground. Racing along at our feet. I spent most of our time walking on my toes. I think the objective is to keep you aware of your surroundings, super aware, so that when the dinos come to life (you know they do) you’re already so on edge that you can run. I still would have been eaten alive.

950.2 miles.

It was all worth it.

It’s true that some weekends you just need to be aware. Like a brain restart. In a few weeks, we do it again with our friends Dan and Rachel. This time we head north. My brain is already freaking out, so that the braincation will be worth it. (I’m a planner)