She didn’t know about pasteurization, he didn’t know about fumigation, but they made it work!

Okay.  So I said I wasn’t going to blog anymore.  (And repeatedly whined about how tired I am…  And may have even implied my life is harder than everyone else’s…)  Yep.  I remember.  Welp.  I changed my mind.  Turns out I’m not too tired to blog, and my life isn’t harder than yours.  I know.  I should be embarrassed, or something.  Nah.  (It has to involve inappropriate nudity for me to get embarrassed.  And I’d probably just double down with inappropriate laughter.)

I’m in Mexico City, presently.  I lost my $400 Bose QC35’s already.  I left them in the vehicle that transported me from airport to hotel.  I’m really bad at keeping track of my stuff when I’m traveling.  This is a big ouch as I use them for about 10 hours a day, every day.  At least I brought some earbuds that work with iPhone 7+.  They’re not burned in yet, though.  Also, I hate earbuds because they mess with my balance, and the OEM version didn’t even fit in my apparently small ears.

I had a stop-over in Denver, which is Mountain Time.  Then I flew here, which is back in Central Time.  I love time traveling, (even in this insignificant manner.)  I’m a bit obsessed with time as a concept, and think it’s cool I went backward and forward on the same day.  Aside from losing my most useful gadget, it’s been an easy trip.  I’m mostly bummed because as much as I use them, I’m not going to replace them.  I refuse to buy anything more from a retail establishment.  If I can’t get it at the Farmer’s Market or sites like Etsy, I won’t get it.  I’m on strike as a retail consumer.

I met my prodigy (and her mom) at my hotel earlier.  I saw photos before, but she’s cuter in person.  She wanted to stay at the hotel with me, but I said we should do a slumber party with her mom and sister on another night.  I told her a slumber party requires at least three, otherwise it’s just a sleepover.  (I forgot I can’t use the Jedi Mom Trick on someone so brilliant with my mere Aunt skills.  She’s humoring me, I’m sure.)  I like her mom, too.  She’s nicer in person (than when scolding me on the phone for sending her daughter a laptop without asking permission first.)

I apologized again but she said it’s forgiven.  Yay.  I’m hoping I get some sleep tonight.  I bumped my head on the airplane window from nodding off.  The guy in the seat next to me laughed pretty hard, (which made me laugh, too.)  I didn’t have to take off my shoes or put my stuff in bins in security.  I just had to walk through a metal detector.  It totally messed me up.  I grabbed a bin and carried it through the metal detector while my luggage went on the trolley, bin free.  The TSA guy kept reassuring me I didn’t need the bin, which cracked me up.  I handed it to him while giggling.

The airport in Sioux Falls is so tiny compared to O’Hare or Denver International.  There are no concourses.  Just Gates 1-6, IIRC.  It has an elevator and escalator to take us up to the other level.  (I know where every escalator in Sioux Falls is located.)  It’s the only ride in the whole airport.  In Denver, they have trains and moving sidewalks (where you can run like a sparkly vampire when it’s not too crowded.  People just assume you’re late for a connecting flight.)

I’m going to take a tech-free staycation when I get home.  Including turning off the wifi in my apartment.  I’m so happy it’ll be fall soon.  I need to spend some time outside without any noise.  I need to touch some trees and walk barefoot in the grass, and just be silent for a while so I can catch my breath.  It’s the medicine I’m craving.  M. was worried about my flying here alone.  For some reason, he thinks Mexico is too dangerous for travel.  I’ll have to bring him next time so he can stop being a doof.

I’m super excited for tomorrow because I’m going exploring.  I’ve already bonded with some locals just by saying, “Fuck a wall!”  I have a feeling it will be funny here forever.  I saw what North Korean Caligula did earlier.  Putin must be getting nervous.  He’s letting all his puppets play with fire to distract from his greedy plot.  So much money and all of it fake. Why is this rocket science to so many people?  His agenda is as clever as returning to coal.  (Which is something Putin would love to see, as he’s trying to accelerate global warming, the ignorant fuck.)  Mediocre villains are lame.

I’m sending lots of love and comfort to Houston and affected areas, along with a Red Cross donation.  I hope I can do more when I get home.  I have experience with cleaning up after tornados, so maybe that’s something for which they’ll recruit volunteers.  If the government fucks over Texas yet again, many of us fellow Americans will catch you up. We love Texas, and we remember Katrina.  We’ll get through this together.

 

 

Jerry , this is a miracle of nature that exists for a brief period.

I took my car in to be winterized.  We had our first snow, but I was out of town for the worst of it, then left again to Denver for the weekend.  Today it rained nonstop, and there’s still remnants of snow here and there.  It’s not cold enough to snow again, but it might overnight.  I love winter, but it’s starting out slushy, which is gross, and dangerous for night driving.  When I was driving home from the airport, I noticed I was slightly under the halfway full mark on my gas tank.  I was taught to never let it go below halfway full by my Dad when I was 11.  He told my other sisters this, too.  My brothers were allowed to push their car home if they ran out of gas, and it was no big deal.  If one of the girls did that, driving privileges were revoked.  When I asked why it varied, he said it was for safety reasons.  I was satisfied with that response.

I stopped at the gas station near where I live, and tried to fill my tank, but the door to my gas tank wouldn’t open when I pulled the latch.  I was too disoriented to deal with it at that point, and did it today instead.  The mechanic fixed it quickly, and jerry-rigged a design flaw so it won’t happen again.  Then I got an oil change, etc.  While I was waiting, that old show, Macgyver was on.  I liked it, and loved Stargate SG-1 with the same lead.  A woman sitting near me mentioned there is a new version on now, and told me when it’s on.  She wished me a Happy Thanksgiving when they finished her car before mine.  This is typical interaction in Sioux Falls between strangers.  Macgyver was a nice buffer, because I didn’t get anxious when she began speaking to me.  But I did stare at my phone until they finished my car after after that.

I don’t allow myself to play video games on my phone when I’m in public.  I talk to myself when I play games, because it helps keep my anxiety down.  I talk smack to the monsters to help control my fear.  I know this isn’t weird, and lots of people do it, but in public, not everyone is a gamer.  Many of us who are gamers are living part of our lives as action heroes, or villains when we game.  We tend to behave the way they do in movies.  We don’t just walk in and destroy all monsters instantly.  We mock them, and tear them down verbally in clever, and amusing ways first.  Just like in the movies.  It’s puffing up your chest before a fight.  It has nothing to do with the enemy.  It’s just how a lot of humans keep their anxiety levels in check.  And since I’m a woman, admitting video games scare me doesn’t necessarily diminish me in the eyes of potential mates.  (I go out of my way to point this out, in hopes others recognize how silly it is, and stop supporting dumb.)  I just don’t trust the filter between my brain and mouth, assuming it exists.

Phone games are harder for me than playing on my PC.  It’s an interface issue.  I need more options for controlling my avatar.  Afterall, I’m an avatar controlling an avatar controlling an avatar.  The fact that I can make my toons on Warcraft do mostly what I command them to do is outstanding, and took lots of practice.  And lots of dying.  It took a long time to figure out how to calm down after dying, and try again, without having a meltdown in between.  I started out on Atari, and I’ve gamed since Pitfall came out.  You’d think that meant I was good at it.  That’s not the case.  I’m good at recovering from death and trying again.  Something inside me won’t let me just walk away, and come back fresh to try later.  I feel compelled to try over and over until I get it.  Obviously, this is working out so far.  But I dread the day it doesn’t.

I remember how my Mom acted when she caught me doing this when I was learning how to code.  I was exasperated, and raging, while trying to debug some code.  It disturbed her enough to threaten taking my computer away.  But from my viewpoint, it was no big deal.  I was pushing myself because I was unwilling to accept a reality in which I didn’t get my way with my code.  It’s easier to keep trying than it is to give up, and accept that reality isn’t what you assumed.  I suppose it is a little disturbing.  It’s part of why I know I can do anything.  People like me don’t do well with utter defeat.  It’s not that I’m afraid of losing.  I don’t care about competing with other human beings.  That whole concept is baffling.  For me, it’s having reality shattered.  I rely heavily on reality, and when it lets me down, I fall hard.

In a way, I think I set myself up for the hard fall.  But it’s because I don’t think it’s possible to fall so hard, that knowing I can do anything isn’t worth it.  I got tangled up trying to express that thought.  This bit of knowledge is my greatest superpower.  It makes life livable.  It’s almost a form of arrogance, but one that relies solely on trust of self.  I hope it keeps me from being an asshole.  Assholes are lazy.  Imagine how easy life would be if being an asshole was rewarding.  And I’m not talking about Louis C. K.  He’s a genius, and that has it’s perks.  In my world, Louis C. K. is a demi-god.  He can make me laugh, cry, get angry, etc. with ease.  I’m still processing his TV show, Louis.  I’m a season behind because it’s so brilliant, I had to think for a while after every episode.  It’s like All in the Family for Gen X.

He gets away with everything Archie did, because we love him for making us laugh so hard at ourselves.  He took self-deprecation comedy out back and told it some secrets, then got stoned, and told some jokes.  Not literally, I’m trying to make an analogy again.  Now you know why I keep trying, (even though there’s no detectable improvement.)  I got sidetracked again.  It’s me being literal with my disorientation.  Tomorrow, I’m starting my new project.  I’m so excited to begin.  I’m off to read.

Lighten up. It’ll only feel like an eternity.

I’m back in Denver.  I’m only here for the weekend.  I needed a break from my anxiety.  It was intense, but I’m not feeling much anxiety right now.  Just a little bit from unfamiliar sounds.  I got my iPhone 7+, and brought it, but not my Galaxy 7 Edge.  I forgot about the lack of an audio port, and didn’t bring my new wireless Bose QuietComfort 35 headset.  It’s become too treasured to risk losing on a trip.  I wish I thought to bring the earbuds that came with the phone.  I’ve never bothered with Apple earbuds, since the original version didn’t fit in my ear.  I’m not an audiophile, but even I know to toss any earphones that come with a device.  My feelings about wireless earbuds remain as before; they’re ridiculous.

We’re not yet where we need to be in tech prowess to create wireless earbuds that don’t suck.  We’re getting there, but trust me, Samsung and Apple are using their customers as beta testers.  I’m not saying that’s wrong, it’s logical.  But some people don’t realize this before buying first generation gadgets.  If you buy something new that was recently made available, and it uses batteries or electricity, you’re going to be disappointed.  It will have issues.  Underpowered until they figure out how to eliminate overheating issues.  Shitty battery life.  A design that’s quickly declared fugly, and soon after, replaced with something sleeker.  Missing options that show up in a near-future release.  It’s cool if you’re not the type of person who loses it when you pay several hundred dollars, then find out it wasn’t anywhere near a final revision.

I’m able to think a lot easier now.  I’ve accepted the election results, of course.  Not with a smile, but I’ll get over myself.  Every time I recall how shocked I was, and how excruciating it was to adjust to something I wasn’t expecting, I just remind myself that Hillary Clinton is back at work.  I don’t have the gall necessary to continue whining, knowing that fact.  I’m proud of her.  That was some serious testicular fortitude.  Epic, even.  I’m adjusting my attitude, because I can’t afford it.  I am, and always have been, against the concept of hating people who support a different candidate than I.  Obviously, they have a different perspective.  The smartest thing to do in that situation, is listen.

First of all, hating someone is a waste of energy.  I’ve never met an adult who has energy to spare for such things.  They’re either rejecting hate, or something else in their life is suffering for their indulgence.  I say rejecting, because I understand that sometimes we hate for a minute, then abandon it, because we understand how this works.  The only difference between the average supporter of candidate A and the same for candidate B, is perspective.  How can you hate someone for having a different perspective than you?  It’s ridic.  Now, I’m not talking about the people who do nasty things to other people.  There are people like that supporting all candidates.  I cringe when I see tweets about people being hateful, loudly, in support of a political candidate.

But it’s always a few, not everyone who supports the candidate.  In every other aspect of life (I’m aware of), this rings true as well.  But for some reason, we don’t get as worked up about it, (unless it’s religion).  The word extreme exists for a reason.  Every political stance you can think of has a supporter.  I know a lot of POC and LGBTQ people who are freaking out in advance of what they suspect will happen once Trump takes office.  I’ve heard some grim predictions, but I’m not as certain they’ll all become a reality.  Some probably will.  It’ll suck, and I’ll fight in every legal way I can think of, to support a reality where everyone in our species is afforded the same liberties.  I read a lot of sci-fi.  A lot.  I’m realizing it’s warped my perspective.  It’s fascinating.

The authors I enjoy the most in the genre have a common vision for the future of humanity.  They see us overcoming poverty, hunger, and intolerance of other human beings for reasons beyond their control.  That’s never the focus of the story, but it’s an aspect I adore.  My favorite authors in the genre are Neal Stephenson, Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi, James S. A. Corey, and that’s all I can think of, because I’m stoned.  But those four are pretty amazing.  Well, five.  James S. A. Corey is a pen name used by two authors.  I’m usually not keen on collaboration where art is concerned, but The Expanse series is as fun as Firefly.  I like the TV show, too.  I hope it stays on air for years.  Unless Netflix purchases the production, and keeps it going even longer.  That would be ideal.

I’ve wandered back to my second point.  Freaking out in advance.  This is illogical.  If we turn out to have something to freak out about, we should freak out then, (and rise together soon after).  Now is the time to enjoy the status quo, not worry about a future that may never come.  Worrying is right up there with hating.  Avoid both like they’re poisonous, because they are.  Freaking out takes an incredible amount of energy.  Doing so for a few months will land you in a hospital, or morgue.  It will do absolutely nothing but make you sick.  It’s too close to fear.  Fear is one of those things you need to come to terms with as soon as possible.  If you’re an adult, and you don’t know how to cope with fear, you should work on it.  It’s important.  Focus on your strength.  You have more than you can sense.

If you’re a parent, anytime you freak out, so do your kids.  They usually find creative ways to express it, too.  It’s just not worth the cost when the future is unknown.  Worry and fear are siblings.  Feeding them your attention when you’re not in immediate danger is expensive, and you likely can’t afford it.  If you visualize yourself in the role of a victim of (society, circumstances, etc.), that’s what you’ll become.  Don’t waste your visualization ability on visuals that portray your life sucking in any way.  Do the opposite.  Humans are dreamers.  Dream what you want and need, not what you fear and dread.  I believe there’s a threshold to negative thoughts, and exceeding it has dire consequences.  Controlling what you think is easier than breathing.  If you’re easily distracted, practice until you master it.  Lots of meditation guru’s break down the process of controlling your thoughts while they teach meditation techniques.  If you catch yourself worrying, find a distraction, and do that instead.

Apparently, I saved up my words from the last five days, and poured them all into this post.  Um… For your convenience, not because I’m still stoned, (hahaha).  I’m still not feeling anxious.  I won’t for a few days after I get home, at the least.  I forgot to record how long it lasted, for obvious reasons.  Things are absolutely funnier when I’m stoned.  I love that.  I’d tell you some of the silly things that amused me, but I can’t remember.  I normally have a good memory, so this would probably be upsetting if I wasn’t stoned.  Okay, I’ll stop.  You’re welcome.

In fact, she said looks aren’t even that important to her.

I’m slowly recovering from my recent excessive traveling.  I’m at a point now where I recognize the difference between how I was feeling when I first got home versus today.  I distinctly recall feeling like it would take months for me to recover enough to travel again.  And at the time, I thought it was a conservative estimate.  Today, I agreed to return to Denver on Saturday.  I didn’t immediately agree.  There was a lot of breaking things down into small bits, and re-examining the challenge, before I got there.  The overall result is that my anxiety is lower now.  That’s always a good thing.

There will be structure to my time, as usual.  I always try and knock out a few goals while I’m there.  I figure when I’m already that far outside of my comfort zone, throwing in an interview or hair appointment on top is a good strategy.  My anxiety level can only go so high, as far as I’m aware.  So far in my life, the highest point is a full blown panic attack, resulting in my laying on the ground like a puddle of goo, hyperventilating, crying, and either wishing very hard that nobody would approach me, or thanking the universe that nobody approached me.  It sucks very much, but it’s never killed me.  So when I know I’m going to spend the weekend with my anxiety level just under the panic attack stage, I add 1 or 2 things that would normally have the same effect individually.

I guess my logic is that if I’m going to do something that makes me feel like shit, I may as well do as many as I can manage in short succession.  The odds are too near even on whether or not I end up having a panic attack either way.  Might as well do as many panic inducing things as I can manage, since the rest of that day will be spent in isolation beneath a weighted blanket, regardless.  I still jump in the pool all at once, rather than lowering myself in slowly while adjusting to the temperature.  I realize my logic is flimsy, but that’s part of why I like it.  It’s like Logic is being a smart ass, and that’s a personality trait that I find particularly delightful.

You took my Jesus fish!

I’m in NYC again.  My sister has cancer.  It was detected early, and it’s expected that she’ll recover.  I talked to my therapist yesterday, and that helped me with perspective.  I’m alternating between sleeping too much, and insomnia.  It’s disorienting.  Flying so often isn’t helping.  I’m functioning on a 3-second delay, and my ability to speak aloud is flaky at present.  I felt it start to flee twice while talking to my therapist.  I think she reacted instinctively by jumping in whenever words started dropping off.  It was helpful.

I brought my cat with me this time.  I’m pretty sure I’ll never get her in her carrier again.  She spent a while hiding under my bed.  Then she found a mirror, and resumed talking to her reflection.  “Oh, you got dragged here too?  What happened to the treats?”  She gets pretty loud when she does this, but it’s hilarious.  I need to remember to record it on my phone.  I left a new, sealed jigsaw puzzle in my new place.  Each time, I’ll leave something enticing, but not my cat.  She’s so put out that she woke up at 3:28 AM, just to yell at me, then curled back into a ball behind my knees and went to sleep.  She’s so weird.  I love her.

The tomato never really took off as a hand fruit.

I made it to Denver.  My flight was delayed from taking off because of storms.  We got there an hour late, so it wasn’t too bad.  I sat next to an older gay couple on the plane.  They were cool, and we discussed the weather, and where we were headed.  I had the window seat as usual.  I started to get anxious after we sat on the plane for an hour, but I tweeted it and a friend responded right off.  It made all the difference.  I got picked up by my nephew, and we went to a dispensary on our way to his house.

It was the same one I usually use, Terrapin Station in Aurora.  They have good security, prices, waiting room, and bud tenders.  Of course I’m a loyal customer.  I noticed they increased the amount a tourist is allowed to purchase.  By a lot.  We can get a whole um… I’m not sure.  I do remember it was an eighth last time I visited.  Denver is so awesome.  I love it almost as much as Sioux Falls, and I grew up there.  It’s just a fun place to be.  My blood pressure went down as soon as we landed.

They have talking trains in the airport.  Plus, moving sidewalks, and more stores and restaurants than our mall.  The airport architecture is brilliant, too.  The floating sails keep it in perpetual motion on the wind, even though it’s just an illusion.  So perfect for an airport.  I got dropped off at my hotel a bit ago, and have spent the entire time calling the front desk because the wifi wasn’t working.  It took 11 rings for them to pick up at the front desk.  That was strike one.

I had to call 3 times.  The second time, 2 rings.  Huge improvement.  Reduced to .5 strike.  Then I saw a sign that alluded to the existence of an iron.  I looked around, but no iron.  Oops.  Not a strike, because I don’t need it.  The picture on the TV is not HD, although the TV is.  480P can never again be considered worthy of charging money.  720P is the minimum resolution for a hotel of this level.  Strike 1.5.

I love the decor.  The room is small, but the floor plan is so good it doesn’t matter.  The fridge was cold.  Yay.  The room was 72 degrees F.  Perfect.  Lots of outlets for my gadgets.  Check.  Cleanliness…  Houston, we have a white liquid stain on the wall, dangerously close to the desk chair.  Then I noticed the trash can directly below the stain.  Probably milk.  Barfarama averted.  Strike 2.

There are no instructions for things like, aloha desk means front desk on the phone.  No phone book or Gideon’s Bible.  “No problem there”, said the tree.  I found the iron and a full size ironing board inside the headboard, facing the wall.  I was looking for instructions.  It actually looks cool, and is a smart use of space.  Still doesn’t matter to me, as I would rather have instructions.  I don’t know when breakfast is served, and it’s not complimentary.  The elevators are almost hospital grade.  Nice.

Finally, I have to say it’s quieter than my usual hotel, Woolley’s Classic Suites, which had no more rooms when I booked this trip.  They have a beautiful, loud waterfall in the center, open to all levels.  Here, at Aloft, the fridge is not inside a wooden cabinet, so it’s louder than necessary.  Annoying, but I’ll live.  But the room smells like smoke, even though it’s a smoke free facility.  There’s a sign in the hall that says, “No butts about it.  Aloft is smoke free.”  I beg to differ.

That was strike three.  I won’t stay here again, or recommend it.  The worst thing is that I can see Woolley’s from my porch.  Kidding.  From my window.  It’s where I’d rather be.  Far less modern and hip, but Aloft blew it.  If I ran this hotel, there would be instructions written in a humorous way, letting guests know where everything is located, how to reach the front desk, when breakfast is served, and the like.  There would be 1080P resolution on well calibrated HDTVs.  Hip and modern can’t get away with old tech.  It’s an oxymoron.

When I complained about no wifi, he first offered to allow me to come down to the front desk to use it there because, “we have problems with it reaching the upper levels.”  I’m on the second floor.  Oh, really.  So it’s been a known issue long enough for you to rattle that off unbidden.  I see.  I didn’t say that, of course.  I thought of it later.  I tried to make my voice sound annoyed, but I don’t think I pulled it off, as evidenced by his response.  Then the wifi worked.  It’s an unsecured network.  Of course.

If I ran it, this would be rectified immediately.  They make us check a usage agreement to log in, and they time it, so I can’t delete that cookie without repeating this nightmare.  So yeah… More like Astonishingly Confusing, But Cool Looking.  Pathetic.  I hate it when a business has a great idea but don’t  make it a reality, and still have the audacity to run with the half assed, or committee approved version.  There’s no way the minds that created this building were in on the epic fails described above.  Creative people don’t settle for mediocre easily.  They know the cost to their soul is too high.

Fortunately, I’m leaving tomorrow.  My nose and eyes are burning, and I can feel a sinus headache coming on.  I’m off to read.

 

Not that there’s anything wrong with it!

Today seemed to fly by.  I’m flying to Denver tomorrow for an interview and to sign some paperwork.  My therapist gave me a quick pep talk in email, reminding me that I’ll do fine.  She’s really good about that.  I did have a lot of anxiety earlier, and came close to a panic attack, but didn’t have one.  I did the grounding and breathing exercises she taught me and warded it off.  Now I’m merely a tiny bit nervous.  I think that’s acceptable.  I’ll be back Saturday night or Sunday morning, so it’ll be a cinch.  I won’t even have time to miss my cat.  Much.

I think I got anxious because I was going to try and pack tonight.  I decided instead to make a packing list tonight, and pack tomorrow.  I’m not nervous for the interview because I’ve had lots of training for that.  I’m WYSIWYG, (what you see is what you get).  I’m not self conscious, even though I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how to change that.  I’m starting to think it’s not something you can acquire through sheer effort.  I just don’t know how to divide my attention into so many facets in real time.  But I can roll my tongue, so I guess it’s fair.

It’s getting ready to storm.  I just went and looked on my balcony, and there’s lots of lightning everywhere I can see, but not directly above yet.  My cat lets me know in advance because she won’t leave the kitchen when it’s storming or about to start.  I tried to pick her up and move her to my bedroom once.  I have a scar on my arm to remind me never to do that again.  She clawed me hard enough to draw blood, then scolded me.  It was hilarious, but I got the message.  I figure it’s the most use my kitchen gets, so there’s that.  I’m off to read.

 

The water was cold and the chewing warms me up.

I’m having an anxious day so far.  I got up way too early again.  It was my fault this time.  I got out my carryon suitcase to pack last night, and my cat immediately climbed in.  Apparently she’s decided that this time, she’s coming with me.  Eventually, I had to move her so I could pack.  She wasn’t happy about it, and got her revenge at 4:27 AM.  She’s probably on a different schedule now, because of my feeding her so early yesterday.  I took my time getting up to feed her.  I stripped my bed, then fed her.  She acted like she was starving, even though there is food in her bowl.  She eats directly in the middle of the bowl, leaving food around the edges of the bowl, then acts like it’s empty.  It’s adorable.

As much as I hate being awakened too early, she always makes me laugh.  The longer I have her, the better we are at understanding each other.  It’s hard to believe she was timid when I first got her.  I set out water bowls in strategic places, (where I’m not likely to trip).  She walks around the apartment and inspects each water bowl, then climbs on the bathroom counter for me to turn the water on.  I can’t blame her for wanting it as fresh as possible, but when I got her a fountain, she used it to store her toys.  I have no idea what that meant, so I don’t bother with it now.  I leave the faucet on a trickle when I go out of town, and when I return, all her bowls of water are much lower than when I left.  It’s not long enough for it to have evaporated, so I figure she’s just weird.

At least she doesn’t stay in front of the door for most of the time I’m gone anymore.  There would be a fur nest making it obvious she spent a lot of time there.  I hope not calling for me.  My neighbors haven’t said anything, so probably not.  Even if I could take her with me, I wouldn’t.  I’ll be busy shopping for furniture.  I always get nervous before travelling by myself.  Then I go, and it’s fine, and I wonder what I was so uptight about.  I’m going swimming since it’s 80° F already.  That should distract me.

Dude…

Today was a really good day.  I’m proud of myself for following through with my plans, even though I started getting pretty anxious a few hours before it was time to go.  I used an app on my phone to hire an Uber to deliver me to the restaurant where we all met up for the tour.  I arrived early, but the majority of the group did as well.  I wasn’t hungry for lunch, so I got a chocolate Rice Krispie treat that was the size of a coconut, and a lemonade.  It was less than $4 for both.  We had to get nametags and show our ID before we could board the buses.  There were 2 full buses of us for this tour.  I sat down with a couple from Indiana until it was time to board at 12:30-ish.

First, we went to a grow warehouse.  It was large, but not more so than I had imagined.  It was a very tight ship in ways that surprised me.  I had no idea so much went into the process of growing multiple strains.  Even the air quality and pressure are micro managed.  We saw plants in various stages of growth as we looped through.  Afterward, we visited the same dispensary I went to yesterday after arriving.  I even had the same person help me, and she remembered me.  I got cartridges of a specific strain and a rechargeable vape stick.  No odor, no smoke, no taste.  I tried it yesterday, and learned that it doesn’t take much.  But today was a whole other level.

Before we even left the restaurant, 2 people in my bus lit up some pre-rolls and started the puff, puff, pass.  Then they turned on the music and light effects.  Unlike school buses, the seating was all along the perimeter, and walkway in the middle.  There were drink holders behind our seat in front of the windows.  They gave us bottled water and pop for those who wanted that instead.  I tuned out halfway through the safety speech just from the second hand effects.  The music was old stoner classics, including reggae.  I recognized bits of songs here and there, and enjoyed listening.  Normally, the loud music would have had me so tense I would have gotten a migraine.  But for some reason, this music strongly urged me to play percussion on my seat.  I do like playing drums, but I’ve never felt such a strong urge to play along with the music before.  So I did that while watching out the window for most of the ride.

The first people I talked to were the couple from Indiana in the restaurant.  After them, I sat next to a couple from Arkansas.  I think I might have seated myself too closely to them, but they didn’t seem to mind, and by the time we were all aboard, there wasn’t much space left.  It’s something I’m working on in OT.  The extra effort to be present in the moment when I’m moving.  It’s a lot harder than it sounds.  But the benefits of mastering it will be far less bruises, scrapes, and bumps.  And less instances where I sit or stand too closely to someone else, because I miscalculated the distance due to not paying attention closely enough.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least 2 bruises.  So it’ll probably be worth the effort.

Across from me was a couple from Atlanta and a couple from Chicago.  We talked about politics, weed laws in our states, and startups.  The younger couples sat in the back of the bus.  I sat in the front with the Gen-X’ers.  The ones in back got things started, and kept them going the entire time.  At no point from the time we pulled out to the time we returned, was there not at least 2 joints making the rounds.  They passed out joints to whoever wanted them, and went over the itinerary.  After the first stop, they brought out the bong.  I had never used one, so one of the tour guides showed me how.  It was easy, and then I coughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.  A short time after that, it hit me.  It was noticeable, but in a gentle way.  It was similar to the feeling you get when you step out of a loud, chaotic environment, and into a new space that is utterly silent.  You marvel for a second, and then smile.

I’ve been back for a while now, but I still feel quite stoned.  I don’t know if it’s because I had so much, or what, but I’m not complaining.  More like apologizing for any typos or misspellings due to my present state.  I don’t know what strains we were given on the tour, but it was probably a hybrid.  I didn’t feel like I melted into a sofa, but I felt very relaxed both mentally and physically.  When we arrived at our next stop, we got more educational information, and another dispensary visit.  The last tour was glass blowing, but I stayed on the bus for that.  I have a high sensitivity to bright light.  While I waited, one of the tour guides took my phone in with her and photographed the process for me.  She did a good job.  At least some of my pics won’t have mostly my fingers in them.  I’ll go through them when I get home and run them through Photoshop if they’re as bad as I suspect.

I’m very surprised by how much I had, and breathed, but still feel fine.  They did warn us about dehydration, and being mindful of the elevation.  Apparently, alcohol has an increased potency effect at this elevation.  That explains Coors.  Fortunately, nobody in my group had been drinking, or at the most had very little before the trip.  Nobody pulled out early.  Nobody got overwhelmed or anything.  Everyone was kind, and the atmosphere was joyful the entire time.  There were probably about 20 of us on each bus.  I didn’t count, which is amazing.  I usually count as many things as possible.  I didn’t count anything today.  This is a good thing because sometimes it feels more like a compulsion than a desire.  I don’t like it when I waste a lot of time on automatic pilot.

There was one guy on the tour whom I’ve met before at a conference.  He’s also a former googler.  We spent the first half of the tour taking turns staring at eachother, trying to place where we crossed paths before.  It was a nice mix of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian.  About half Millennials, and half Gen-X.  It was an amazing amount of information, too.  That was awesome.  I didn’t expect them to go into such detail, but I’m so glad they did.  That’s one thing I like about Denver.  There is an undertone of excitement among the people here.  It’s contagious, and everyone I pass has a smile or a head nod.  This kind of blows my mind, as it’s so much larger than Sioux Falls.  I never realized this before, but there’s a different type of relationship between big city dwellers, and small towners.  But it’s not less, or more.  Just different.

I expected a big city to have a lot of distrust and disconnect between strangers.  I don’t see that here.  People are calmer.  This is a big deal to me.  It’s so much easier to be around calm people than chaotic.  It’s like the difference between cashmere, and a hair shirt to me.  It helped a lot today.  I had such a good time.  My face hurts from smiling and laughing so much.  I was fine up until the final 30 minutes.  I needed to pee badly, but didn’t want to use one of the public facilities during the tour.  I made it in time, but it was a close call.  I tried to picture in my head what would happen if I lost the battle.  I didn’t manage to do so, which is probably a good thing.  I’m proud of myself for managing this challenge.