[personal profile] nicosian
So the trip had some plusses: I enjoyed new york, as always, despite some searing heat. Hit a lot of museums, missed a good half of my stops on my wishlist ( i basically have plans for future trips), and ran short of cash precariously, several times. ( broken cable, lost metrocard, etc)

my "fave" gem dealer is less so, this year they seemed crotchety and tetchy, and downright rude, so I'm moving them off my list. I did grab gem cuts just to get some replicated in amethyst and garnet and the like.

The flight from TO to Newark was one I was utterly sure we'd go down in a wreck. We were hucked around in the air by a side-running line of thunderstorms down the east, so the poor wee prop commuter jet ducked and rolled and dove and sank and it was just nerve wracking. One attendant was thrown pretty hard, and a few of us were fairly queasy and rattled on landing. Getting from Newark to Manhattan isn't quite so pleasant and easy as they sell it, so it's not my first pick for NYC locale airports here on out.

Laguardia's swamped constantly so maybe JFk's the one?

This hostel this time was alright, but I prefer the HI hostel so that'll be the pick for solo trips.

Tennessee: I really had no idea what to expect. it's further into southern conservativeland than I had ventured, but I really didn't want to make this a political thing or a cultural "southern" thing, though there were a few jibes about "yankees" so I want to say the cultural divide isn't just left/right, liberal/conservative/ but it seems INGRAINED by where you live. Only a few comments, but mostly we talked writing.

Friday was the range day, and it dawned, POURING TORRENTIAL BUCKETS. we women all soldiered on, and were ready by oh eight hundred on the dot and raring to roll as the men all tweeted "nope. it's raining." We women got our shit on, and went for breakfast, and by the time we trooped out it was misty and cool, but the rain had lifted so we had a delightful time.

I'm not pro gun. They exist. I don't deny that. I don't deny that people want to own one or a few, and they have some reasons. What I don't like is untrained owners, who use it carelessly and dangerously or think it gives you some kind of...just don't wave that shit around like an idiot.

I was with military folk, one who's a range trainer and under their tutelage and practice it was all so very very responsible and safe. No one was being an "ammosexual" there to get their gun on. We were there to be social,safe and just have fun firing boomy things.

It was a large group so we did take some time and noise getting settled at stations, to the dismay of one dude not of our group and his son having some kind of elaborate gun ritual and we probably disrupted his THING, but dude, use a private range if you need 45 min to elaborately lay out and set up a shot. We just sort of "whatevered" and tiptoed around captain hothead.

I've become more...outgoing, a little more willing to just go with new things outside my comfort zone, just for the experience of it. And I had fun. I'd do it again. It's not a hobby I'm interested in here, but I'll go to a range again. I got to fire two different pistols, two long revolvers, one very old west style, and a sniper rifle.

And our instructor Mike was beyond wonderful with me and the other newb, and I got a good lesson in safe handling which is always good. Not likely I'd survive a zombie apocalypse but I might be able to stave them off a bit.

The conference was at the Chattanooga Choochoo. and the wonderful thing of all the trains, and ponds....and wee frogs in chorus as the sun went down, meeting writers and editors and being accepted, and introduced to so many people and in a way even if i felt like a proverbial frog out of the pond, I felt belonging.

I got into Buffalo, exhausted and running on fumes, and met up with friends for early dinner, before realizing I was just DONE. So a quick change of plans and I was on the bus home to toronto. Good call, that.

My lungs threw a massive freakout and this is the fifth time since having strep in december so I need to go to a doctor I guess. Need to find a new GP.

Didn't get the job I interviewed and ticked off every box on their wishlist, after three interviews so fuckem.

Next up: the degree path, and planning some travel next year too. I want to have my life "BACK" in my hands by the time I'm 50.

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