hollyslowly: TOS; Spock seated, Kirk leaning against his station with his arm around him. (All I can give you is a reputation.)
I've finally found a good MeetUp group. I signed up for that site last summer when I was going through my 28 Years Old and No Clue What to Do Crisis; the first one that I went to was at a state park about 30 minutes from my apartment, which I'd been to before. So I figured at least if things got weird, I wouldn't be anywhere totally unfamiliar and I could bail easily back to my couch. But no one else from the group showed up! I waited at the designated trailhead for 20 minutes before just going on the hike on my own, but that definitely soured me on the MeetUp experience for a while.

I've been hiking a lot more over the past year or two--it's a good way to periodically collect the sunshine vitamins and it makes me feel closer to my grandmother who passed away four years ago. When my sister and I were kids, we always spent the weekend at their house, and Saturdays they'd haul us out onto the Parkway for general running around and roadside picnicking.

Anyway, a few months ago I found a group that had regular events at places I wanted to go, including the park near my house. I took the guy I'm seeing along with me for the first one -- although I did not realize we were dating at that point, despite having met him on a dating site, because there is a reason my dad calls me Spock, and it is because I do not understand humans, their emotions, or their ways -- and had SUCH a great time. There are a couple of different "hosts" for the group events, and the lady who lead this one and the last two we went on is a tiny redheaded terminator with a robot hip. She's a total delight. That was probably the best day I'd had since my grandmother died in January.

The second one we went to was physically the hardest thing I've ever done -- about 14 miles of incline, cabling, ladders, and rock scrambling. It was also the best hike I've been on so far. So challenging, but everyone really worked together to look out for each other and point out danger spots/loose rocks, and came out of it with a "we just went through a very pretty hell together" bond. I burned 5,000+ calories and ate my weight in BBQ, fried fixins, and Corona afterward. Great day. I'm really proud of myself for having done it.

It's so different hiking with a group of 8-10 other folks; way less stranger danger weirdness of being six miles up a mountain by myself and some 40 year old guy telling me, "Be careful out there!" while staring at my legs.

About two weeks ago, I did the stupid thing where you stand up too fast and all the blood rushes out of your head, swooned (LITERALLY SWOONED), and fell on the ankle I broke in high school, spraining the heck out of it. Scared the life out of Tripp and didn't do much for me either. It's mostly better now -- we went on a less arduous hike yesterday (with ponies! wild baby ponies!) and it held up pretty well; I'm still keeping it wrapped for most of the day, but the swelling has gone out of it, and it only feels slightly wobbly when I squat. We've been to four now and a lot of the same people show up each time, so I've started to make buddies. It's good to be around other people. I guess. To observe and record their behaviors, if nothing else.

Going to the beach in two weeks with my family. I had a good talk with my sister a couple of days ago about my relationship with her boyfriend -- they've been together over four years probably, he comes to most of our family stuff, we visit his parents at Christmas. I honestly love the guy and think of him as my brother. But around Christmas of 2015, they started fighting a lot and it seemed like they were going to break up; things would be fine for a day when they'd visit, and then they'd fight, and there would be a lot of miserable tension until they left. Hard for me to know how to deal with that, because I am 100% mean big sister when it comes to Shannon being upset, and I responded by emotionally withdrawing from my friendship with Max and being less patient with him. Which is a shitty thing that I do that I'm trying to do less of. She was really glad to hear that, because she was beginning to think I only tolerated him. I'm glad I said something, even if it took me up to my quota of talking about feelings before the year is half over.

Oh, and she introduced me to the band/singer Lord Huron, which I've been listening to almost nonstop since last week.

Dating stuff is going well. I haven't gone out with the same person for this long -- two months, which as Sara pointed out is not even that long! -- in a couple of years. I'm a friendly person, but when it comes down to it, I just don't like that many people, which is why the friends that I hang out with are ones I've had since middle school. Had the string of pleasant but unmemorable first dates before I met this one. I'm pretty reserved and I like my alone time, so I was really surprised after that stupidly hard hike where we spent all day together -- left home at 6:30am, got back at 8:30pm -- that I still wanted to check in with him before I passed out from exhaustion, and see him again the next day. It's nice. We have stuff that's "our stuff", like Trivia Night and the hiking group and the monthly used book sale. I might introduce him to my friends, which I have never done before.

But, like, WHAT IF THAT GOES WELL??? /Spock
hollyslowly: The Losers; Roque detonates a thing. (For a revenge driven conspiracy nut)
Internet dating remains bizarre. Catching up to my previous entry, the Tinder guy was a sweetheart boat mechanic who looked too startled to argue when I said that I would pay for myself. Then there was an unpleasant guy from OkCupid who, after ascertaining that I don't play video games, said, "This will probably go right over your head, then," and explained how if you die in this game he was playing you had to go all the way back to the start. He also didn't care about Princess Leia and was a surprise kisser, though at least there was no tongue. :/ Fortunately, he lives about 90 minutes away, so we met at a city in the middle, which has a Target, which is the only place that carries the tea I'm obsessed with. So, eh.

Met another guy off OkCupid whose opening salvo was, "I like your taste in books." (Panty dropper.) We've gotten together a couple of times for drinks and walks, and we text a lot (every day since we met); I can't quite determine if he's interested in me or if he's just trying to make new friends, because he just moved to town and is going crazy from boredom. No moves have been made. In "This is a small town" news, the first time we met, my friend Sara's husband was at the bar with his family, which I found comforting -- like if this goes SUPER POORLY, at least Shawn is here for backup. When I ran into them on the Greenway yesterday, he said he clocked the guy walking me to my car and waited to make sure he came back. Good dude. We're going to go for a hike later this week, so if nothing else at least I have a hiking buddy now. A stupid cute one. Argh.

Last week, I went to an after-hours meeting of our substance abuse/recovery advocacy coalition that lasted from 5:30 to 7:30. I'm not a content expert, I just show up because I care about creating a community where folks can recover from addiction, both because of the substance abuse in my family and because I spent all of my college years self-medicating my untreated depression with alcohol. There was a discussion panel with some community members who had experience with addiction or the treatment process in our county, and one of them is a lawyer around my age I've met a couple of times. I ran into him on my walk yesterday evening and we had a nice chat; his mom is actually the owner of the bookstore where I spent all the money I made at my first job. It's always nice to meet other Democrats here, and he jokingly gave me a lot of shit, which is a quality I like in my friends, so hopefully we can hang out again sometime.

A couple of weeks ago, my aunt told Shannon and me that our uncle, who lived with our grandmother, had said that if we wanted anything of hers, we needed to get it soon, because he was going to start throwing things out. I don't know if that's actually how he phrased it or just how she heard it, because they have a contentious relationship, but it was very upsetting to both of us. I tried really hard not to dwell on it, but I was not entirely successful. Anyway, Shannon and Max came back down this weekend and we spent six hours cleaning out Grandma's bedroom. It fucking sucked. My aunt needs a hip replacement but won't be approved for one unless she can lose weight, so Shannon and I did a lot of the moving and packing. We both took some clothes and little things from her purse; Shannon took some of the art hanging in her room and I have her lifetime membership card to the National Gardening Club in my wallet now. Our junkie cousin (aunt's daughter) showed up about five hours in, after we had done all the hard shit, to claim every piece of jewelry our Grandma had.

When my maternal grandmother passed away, it took us a year to go through her jewelry. I have a ring of hers that I wear all the time, and it's important to me because I have memories of her wearing it. My paternal grandmother never wore jewelry, because she was always elbow-deep in dirt somewhere making green things grow. So I am okay with not having any of that stuff, truly, but I am so upset over the way our cousin did this. My mom commented that she was just there to go shopping. And she started fighting with her mother almost as soon as she walked in the door. God, she is exhausting. In the car on the way home, my aunt was crying and asking if "[cousin] had snatched everything [I] wanted," and all I could do was tell her not to worry about it. She knows her kid is an asshole. I say "kid"; this bitch will be 31 this year. I just hope she doesn't sell Grandma's stuff.

Prior to the shittiness of going through our Grandma's stuff, Shannon and I went to the Greenway, and I ran a fucking mile! I have not done that since high school. It was awesome. I felt awesome after doing it. I might need to get running shoes.

I knew that this weekend would suck, so last Wednesday or Thursday I asked Heather if I could take today off as a mental health day, which she had no problem with. She is a good person and a good boss; she just drives me fucking nuts on the regular. I gave myself the little gift of sleeping thirty minutes later than normal, then did some stretching and drove to the state park about half an hour from my apartment, Stone Mountain. The weather today looked like something out of a horror movie, fog and drizzly rain, and I didn't see another human soul while I was up there. I love that hike and I've done it a couple of times, but only in nice bright weather. The last time I was there, when I got to the summit I could see for miles; today it looked like this. I felt like the only person on earth. I hadn't been up there since they did a controlled burn earlier this year; a lot of the trees have scorched trunks, so parts of the trail were quite eery.

A few weeks ago I watched the PBS documentary "Storm Over Everest," about the 1996 climbing disaster, which concluded with this quote: "The mountain doesn't care whether we're here or not. It doesn't compete with us. It isn't burdened by our hopes and dreams. Everything it means to us is only what we bring to it."

When I got back, I invited OkCupid guy to lunch and chatted with him a bit - part of my confusion is that I initiate all our get-togethers - then spent two hours at the car shop getting my brakes serviced while it monsooned outside. Came home and failed at napping, so I caught up on chores I ignored yesterday in favor of beautiful weather, then made bread. Now I'm just waiting for the damn laundry to finish so I can put sheets back on my bed and go to sleep.

Weird Internet stuffs. Complicated family stuffs. Running shoes. That's where I'm at right now.
hollyslowly: Spartacus; Naevia. (Multa quoque et bello pass(a).)

So this is my life right now. I'm Vicky. The OP is my lil sis. The number of people on this planet that I love is dwindling.

The part we left out of that post is that when "Lacy" asked me for money the first time a month ago, I gave it to her. $80, which is sadly still a lot of money for me. She said she owed someone money and she was scared. I really did spend my childhood idolizing that family; they were loud and boisterous and swore like crazy, and seemed quite exciting in comparison to my parents, who are quiet and hard working, like my sister and I are.

Anyway, Lacy asked me for money, I gave it to her, didn't expect to get it back. I operate under the "don't give money to family expecting to be paid back" theory, because that way the bar is set low. Harder to disappoint. The next week, I gave her a lead on a job that she applied for and got. She told me she needed money, didn't think $50 was enough. Here's the text she sent me. If you can parse that shit, you're doing better than I am.

I was already starting to feel. . . weird about the situation, like a tall and cranky ATM, but I gave her $20. In between these two asks for cash is when I learned from my mom that they were clearing out grandma's bank account. Mom also told us later that Lacy had gone to our grandmother, who has worsening dementia and who seriously CAN NOT give informed consent in these situations, waited til our dad left the room, and got grandma to write her a check for $50. She also hadn't started her job.

I could have gotten over the money I gave her, eventually, because I'm an adult in control of my faculties and I can make decisions for myself. But I can't forgive her for taking advantage of our frail, sweet, confused grandma.

The Reddit post got a lot of legal advice, some of which was redundant (my uncles and dad are working on getting power of attorney). What I need is a way to communicate with my aunt and cousin in a way that doesn't lead to murder. Advice?


hollyslowly: TOS; Kirk looking down, Spock looking at Kirk. (Default)

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