Wednesday, June 29, 2005



June 25, 2005

This morning started early. I woke to the sounds of my sheltermate rustling in her bag. The faint pale light of dawn was just begining to appear at 5:50. I laid in my bad dozing until about 6:20 when I finally decided to get up. I slept pretty well overnight, as well as I could have expected and better than I anticipated. Angus and I were pretty stiff and sore, but I knew we could work the soreness out with a few miles.

I did my morning chores and drank as much water as I could. By 7:20, I was out. The first climb up was good and before long, I had put several miles behind me. by Noon, I had already logged 8 miles. I started the afternoon strong, feeling good as the miles ticked by.

Today was considerably easier than yesterday. I made the climb up and down Unaka mountain early, while I was still fresh. The rest of the day was relativly level with some easy rollers. By two I reached the descent down into Nolichucky Gorge. Angus began to tire and rather than lead the way, he either followed or had to be prodded.

My blisters, particularly on the left foot really took a beating on the descents. I knew I would make my goal for the day but debated on continuing on so as to shorten my hike for tomorrow. I finally decided it was better to get more rest in prep for the big day tomorrow.

The last several miles, Angus was really dragging. I noticed he developed a limp and was panting pretty hard. By the time we reached the campground it was apparent that he was hurting. The campground was going to be a less than ideal place to stay so they directed me to a hostel 1.25 miles up the road.

Before moving onto the hostel, we took a short break. Heading off, walking on the road overlooking the scenic Nolichucky river, Angus was having a really hard time.

By the time we reached the hostel, I was pretty concerned about my boy. Not only for now, but the rest of the trip too. I knew there was no way he would make the 20+ mile hike/climb tomorrow -- I also knew that cutting the trip into another day probably wouldn't be good for him either.

When I reached the hostel, I elected to call Dad for a pickup. He was glad to har from me and happy to come get me tomorrow (Sunday) morning. I arranged to stay thenight at the hostel. Since all the bunks were full, I pitched my tent in the back with some other campers.

Today was wildlife day on the trail. Early in the day, we saw a vole scurry across the trail. He rushed off into the brush squeaking. As we came across a bald named Beauty Spot, we came across a wild dog. It looked like a Chow mix and ran away when I yelled at it. Descending from Beauty Spot into a gap with a forest service road, I think I saw the same dog again, or a very bushy fox, I'm not sure which. Crossing a ridgeline with the mountain falling off to both sides, we had a deer spring off the trail and down into the woods. Near the end of the hike after passing Curly Maple shelter, we came across a family of wild turkeys. It was a mother and her 5 or 6 turklets. As soon as Angus saw them, he tried to give chase but I wouldn't allow it. All in all even though it was a long hard day and I now hurt, it was good.

Thanks Jim Cantore, you douche.

I am convinced that the weathermen have no fucking clue what they are doing. Nancy Gribble from King of the Hill has more weather sense than a lot of the weather men (and women) doing my forecasting.

Sister and I were supposed to go to Carowinds today. You know, some good bonding over rollercoaster time. Mom was even going to shell out the 70 bucks to get us in the door. It rained from the time I got up yesterday until about 2 pm. We checked the weather late last night and it looked as if it would be raining again when we got up today. Then, it was supposed to thunderstorm for the afternoon. With that kind of forecast, I don't think anybody would have risked going.

So we didn't. No rollercoaster thrill rides for me today and what happens, as usual, the weather men were fucking wrong. Fuck the weather(men). It's not exaclty sunny, but its certainly not raining either. We could have gone and had a great time but no. Thanks Jim Cantore, you douche.

Mood: pissed
Music: Boys Night Out

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Day II

Here we go. Day II of my my old fashioned paper journal writing about my hike.

June 24, 2005

This morning started with a bang. Dad and I got up, made breakfast and headed out. We got to Carver's Gap on the NC/TN state line about 8:15. We quickly scouted the area and began to load me up. I got all my gear on and we took a few pictures.

There were two really sketchy guys in the parking lot and I was very glad when they seemed to go the other way.

Dad walked the first several hundred feet with me to see me off. We parted ways and I started up the trail. Not too far up the trail, I came across the sketchy guys again. They were smoking. Angus was spooked by them so I had to hold him as we walked past. They chatted me up, telling me about their dogs but I just wanted to leave. Finally I was able to. Not wanting to ever have to see them again, I kept a brisk pace the first couple of miles. The hiking went pretty smoothly in the morning and I took a couple of short breaks. By the afternoon, I was starting to wear down, my pack became heavy and my breaks more frequent. At one point, I was so tuckered, I decided I needed a powernap. Angus and I laid down for a few minutes and dozed off. We were awaken by another hiker and his dog, but it was good, I needed to move on.

This afternoon just after five, I pulled into my stop. Cherry Gap shelter. Fifteen miles of what should have been 'easy hiking'. I thought I was in shape. Apparently not. I am absolutely beat. I hurt all over and my legs are getting crampy. I'll be bery sore tomorrow which isn't good. My goal tomorrow is the Nolichucky River. I'm considering calling it quites there because it sets up one hell of a hike for Sunday. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I can make it. But, I guess tomorrow is another day. We'll see how I feel when the sun rises.

It is several hours later. Angus is crashed. He ate well and is drinking well. I checked his feet and where his harness was. He seems to be doing ok sans being exhausted.

I drank a bunch of water. I feel a bit better. I didn't feel like cooking or eating. Any other night, I would have skipped dinner but I know I need energy so I forced myself to eat a powerbar. I got to feeling better after the snack and a quick nap so I cooked beef lo mein noodles. I wasn't really that hungry, but they were good.

The lady staying in the shelter with me is nice, from LA. She started at Nolichucky today, where I am aiming for tomorrow. Apparently there is a hostel/campground there. I will try to stay there. That makes me glad Dad gave me some cash. It is getting dark and the bugs are coming out. I hope to sleep well tonight, I'm that tired.

Check back for Day III tomorrow.

You will be with me

I decided to send the Scientist a quick text telling her good luck in her 5K race this evening. This is the conversation that followed. Just thought I'd share.

J: Have a good race!
Scientist: I'm not running, it's raining and I'm tired.
J: Oh, well enjoy your night off. It rained here all morning, so I ran this evening.
Scientist: Got any plans this weekend besides work?
J: Nope, you?
Scientist: Friend in B'ham. May go for a night. Join me?
J: I dont' know what my work schedule is, but if I can I'll go. Will it be fun?
Scientist: Of course, you will be with me ;-)
J: What night are you thinking of going?
Scientist: Don't know yet.
J: Ok, We'll discuss over dinner Thursday.

Yeah, things are looking up.

Mood: Happy
Music: None

Monday, June 27, 2005

I the work horse

The lot my parents live on is wooded and since they haven't lived in their house for much more than a year, getting the house rather than the yard in order has been the priority. They finally have most of the house under control so their attention has turned to the yard. One of my Dad's first big tasks has been to go through and clear out all the underbrush and small trees. Recently, he has walked the lot picking up all of the sticks littering the ground. He very neatly made several piles of sticks, sorting them by size. Now that he has the ground fairly litter free, he wants to take the sticks from the backyard up to the road where the city will come by and pick them up. The only problem with this is that there is about a fifty foot elevation difference between the backyard and the road and there are a damn lot of sticks.

He got the bright idea to go buy a baby pool and attach a rope to it, using it as a type of sled to drag the sticks up to the road. Of course being home, I have been recruited to be the brawn behind the operation and when he got home this afternoon, we started. He would load the pool up with as many sticks as would fit and I the work horse/mule would pull the pool up the hill through the backyard, across the lot and then up the S-curve driveway. We, no I made about ten trips to the road before a thunderstorm threatned to derail the entire operation and we called it quits for the day. We still have about a third left to do too.

I guess it's not all bad, at least now I don't have to feel too guilty when I ask for gas money to get me back to school.

I called the Scientist tonight like I told her I would last night. We had a nice chat, I told her about my trip and how and why it ended prematurely. She asked when I'd be back and I told her I'd be in town Thursday. Later, I suggested we do something at the end of the week when I get back. She suggested that she make dinner for me Thursday night after my work meeting. I gladly accepted. Bitchin.

Not only a fairly cool girl, but she's not afraid to cook for me, wants to see me the night I get back to town, and all of it was her idea. Double Bitchin.

Day I

I'm back. I know what you are thinking too, just what the Scientist said when I sent her a text with the news, "Already!?" Yeah, I'm back already, but I'm not going to tell why, that would just ruin it for all of you. What I am going to do is post my journal entries that I handwrote for the next few days, that way you will get the tale chronoligically, as I experienced it. So prepare yourself, and try to guess why I came back early. Was it a snakebite? Did I get accosted? Did I pass out from heat stroke and have to be airlifted off the trail? I guess it will take a few days to find out.

Ok, here we go, Day I

June 23, 2005

I'm starting a journey tomorrow. I'll be hiking 50+ miles of the Appalachian Trail begining tomorrow morning. I know it will be fun, I know it is going to be a good experience but still, tonight, I feel cautious and apprehensive. I think it's mostly the unknown.

My last great solo journey was four years ago when I moved to London by myself. I don't remember if I felt then how I feel know but I'm pretty sure I did.

Even though Angus is going with me, I still long for a traveling companion. I wish someone were going with me, I think taht would ease my fears considerably. As is the custom with AT Hikers, I have been trying to decide on a trail name. I'm considering Hoot, a nod to my volunteer work or Frodo. Although I like Hoot, I think Frodo might be better right now for me. I will sleep on it and come to a decision tomorrow.

The hour is late and I must rise early for my pack is heavy and the road is long.
So there you go, check back tomorrow for the next entry.

Mood: Hungry
Music: CKY - An Answer Can be Found

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Extra Pounds

Ok, so I lied. Maybe another post or two before I hit the trail. I've got my rucksack mostly packed already. I decided to walk outside and head up and down our steep ass driveway a few times to check my load balancing and how it felt. Things went good on that front. Then, I decided to come in and step on the scale just to see how much I'm toting. Looks like we are at roughly fifty pounds and counting.

The funny thing about it is, a year and a half ago, rather than toting fifty extra pounds of camping gear, it was fifty extra pounds of gellatinous fat (II, III, IV). Looking at the mirror as I passed out of the bathroom, I gave myself a mental high five.

old fashioned paper journal

This afternoon, my Dad and I will head up to our mountain house to drop off a return vehicle for me and to spend the night. Tomorrow morning the plan is to rise early and head north to the dropoff point. The hope is to be on the trail by about eight am. That way, I'll have pretty much a whole day to make it into the wilderness and put some miles behind me before having to make camp. I think I'll probably end up spending four days on the trail total. Then, it will be back here for a few days before my return to home (read: school).

The Scientist called the night before I left to see if I was all packed and ready to go. I wasn't expecting her to call, but it was nice to talk with her and know she was thinking of me. Then during my drive up, we texted back and forth for a while. Later that evening I called her and we had a nice conversation. I didn't speak with her yesterday, but I think I'll call her tonight after we reach the mountain house.

N is having a tough time at life right now. Pretty much everthing is turning to shit for her. (I like to think it's because she doesn't have me in life.) I don't think she has any direction or a guiding force and it is making things all turn to shit. I feel bad for the girl, but at this point, there really isn't much I can do for her.

I have an old fashioned paper journal that I am taking with me, and I am planning on blogging the entries when I return, so even though there won't be any blogging going on in the next 5 to 6 days, you'll get caught up with my adventures when I return.

As for now, I'm going to make like horse shit and hit the trail. Later comrades.

Mood: Anticipating
Music: The Academy Is

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Why yes, he does in fact have his own pack. You think I'd go around packing his food. No way. If he's coming he is bringing with him everything he needs! Doesn't he look snazzy in his pack? Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

The gap between us

I called before I went over and asked if she wanted to go grab something for dinner before we watched the movie.

I got there and she was walking the dog, seems that's always the case. I rode the scooter over, so at least now she knows that I have it, whether or not she has any interest in riding it is still up in the air.

I took my Appalachian Trail stuff with me so I could show here where I'd be going. I showed her this map, along with my planned route and a book. She seemed pretty interested mentioning several times that it looked like a lot of fun. Hopefully it will be.

We ran out to grab some Subway, then came back and she started some laundry. After some DVD player difficulties, we finally got the movie started. The Cooler was pretty good. William H. Macy is always good, and I was rather impressed with the performance of Alec Baldwin. I recommend it if you haven't already seen it.

As the movie progressed, the gap between us on the couch grew smaller and smaller. Eventually we were holding hands and doing that thing where you lightly draw your fingers across each others hands and forearms.

About halfway through the movie, she realized she needed to call her dad. While she got up to call him, I just hung out on the couch. My pocket started buzzing. Caller ID indicated it was J2. Stepping into the kitchen, I picked up, quickly explained I was with the Scientist and was wished the best of luck (Thanks Dude).

I sat back down on the couch and still on the phone she joined me. I just sat there listening and being mezmerized by the DVD player's screensaver when she started to rub my head (No, other head). It felt really good. I love girls to rub my head. Scalp massages rock.

When the movie was over and as the credits rolled, I figured I needed to head home since it was late. We were sitting both on the front edge of the couch when I leaned over and kissed her. This led to me sliding back into the couch and her ending up on top of me. We kissed, made out and rubbed on each other for a while. Things were getting sort of hot and heavy, hands groping, bodies sweating, parts rubbing. We were pushing into each other pretty good and I was about to make the move to pull off her shirt when things sort of wound down. I think she's trying to take things slow, which is fine with me. I can deal with it.

We talked about my trip a bit more, she wished me a safe time, then I came home to sleep. I leave town tomorrow for ten days. I guess I won't see her till after then. Maybe she'll miss me.

Mood: Dreading going back to work
Music: Warped Tour 2005 Comp

Here's a closer view. Posted by Hello

I'm hitting the trail in less than a week on my long anticipated trip. This map shows the area I'm going to hike. North to South it is 62 miles. A man and his dog, yeah, we can do it in 4 days. Posted by Hello

Schmims thinks Hot is hot

It seems that the incomparable Schmims finds herself in a bit of a situation she doesn't know what to make of. She's trying to figure things our my seeking my advice, and by extension, your advice too. As surefootedly as I'm entering into things with the Scientist, I haven't figured out why she thinks I might know, but lets give it a shot.

You can read the comment in it's entirety here.

Here's what I think, or at least some questions I have about it all.

The Tale: Condensed
Apparently, Schmims is friends with Durty Guy (Platonic? Let's assume.) Well, it seems that Durty Guy has a friend who is hot and aptly called in this tale, Hot. Schmims thinks Hot is hot (naturally). Serendipitously on Friday they both ended up meeting the Durty Guy at the bar. Sensing the impending hookup it looks like Durty Guy jetted. Schmims and Hot retire to Hot's house. Makeout ensues. Onto Saturday. Hot calls to see if Schmims wants to go to the fireworks, they end up back at his house. Makeout II ensues. Schmims hears nothing Sunday, Hot must have been busy.

The Opinion.
A few questions. What's the background of Hot? Is he known to be of the player type, only interested in booty/play? If so, it maybe that he was just looking for some action. But, that's not the gist that I'm getting from the tale. If I had to lay some money down on this, I'd bet that Hot is interested, if not just a little shy/nervous/intimidated. Personally, I'm all those things with the Scientist. Had it not been for my boss pushing me, I'd have never asked her out. Maybe Hot just needed some pushing from Durty Guy. After all, the 'You're hot' comment was well received, but there was no action for a few days.

I say just give it a day or two. Sure we're not it high school and there is no need to play these games anymore, but also maybe he was just busy, tired, whatever. I'd say, hold off tonight and see if he calls. If not, call him tomorrow, try to meet up. You're a clever girl, you'll know if he's interested or not.

Don't know if that helps, but it's my 2 cents.

Comment away!

Mood: Good
Music: Mae

Edit: More on my adventures later...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"Yep, no plans"

I was walking through Walmart, picking up supplies for my upcoming trip when my phone buzzed in my pocket. Bringing me out of the trance that the many choices of tuna had put me into, I reached in and pulled out my phone.

Looking at the caller ID, I realized it was the Scientist. Just as I had hoped/suspected, she called me today. While I picked out a box of Mac and Cheese, we chatted about the weekend. As I walked towards the sporting goods I asked her if she was free tonight, "Yep, no plans" came the reply. Excellent.

I suggest a movie rental. Great she says, she already has one, care of Netflix. Alright, I'll be there after seven.

Rockin. I'll let you know how it goes, maybe a happy ending?

Mood: Gitty
Music: Nickel Creek

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I guess we will just have to see

This is going to be a condensed version of what I origianally typed. Mostly because I don't have a lot of time, but need to get a post in.

On Thursday, I made it to my meeting then ran to the bank and headed home. After switching vehicles I went over to pick up the Scientist. When I got there, she invited me in and we hung out for a bit looking at her materials for the police academy. Then, we went to Brewster's for some ice cream. The ice cream was pretty good and the company was good too. We talked and had a good time. We got in the truck and headed back across town to her place. When we got there, she invited me in again. We got in, sat down and watched a little TV. After a while, it was getting time for me to go, so I asked her if I could borrow her sleeping bag like she had already said I could.

We dug around in the closet for a few minutes finding it, but eventually did. It will be much better than my sleeping bags which are geared for for winter camping. As I was getting ready to go, I stood up to say goodbye. After telling her that I had a good time, I went in for a hug. Coming out of the hug, I decided it was now or never. I turned my head slightly and leaned in just a bit, trying to gauge her reaction. She closed her eyes and leaned in too. I leaned in all the way and kissed her. What I was expecting to be just a short kiss turned into anything but. I dropped the sleeping bag that I was holding so as to get a better hold of her. We stood there for a few minutes, exploring each others bodies with hands and tounges.

When the kiss finally did end, I again thanked her for her company and said told her I would see her in the morning when she dropped of her dogs.Friday morning, she dropped off her dogs as ususal. She had parked just ouside of doggy daycare and I could see her walk to her car as I put the boys into daycare. When she looked at me, I flashed her a good knowing smile and went about my tasks.

Later that afternoon, I decided to give her a call to wish her a good weekend and let her know I hoped to see her before I leave town on Tuesday. I got voicemail and left a message. Several minutes later, my phone buzzed and her name flashed on the caller ID. We talked for a few minutes and I told her to call me Sunday when she got back to town if she wanted.

The ball is in her court now, I guess we will just have to see if she calls tomorrow.

Mood: Mad at the damn computer shutting off randomly
Music: None, trying to stop the computer from randomly shutting off

I lost it.

Fuck, I was working on a nice long post telling of the events that transpired Thursday night when my computer shut off. I lost it. Hopefully, I'll get something interesting up today, because there is lots to tell.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another good sign.

Last night was the weekly 5K. I went balls to the wall and came out with a new personal record at 20:14. In the heat. I was pleased. If I keep improving every week like I have been lately, I'll hit my sub 20:00 minute goal soon. Then it's on to the next goal, sub 19:00.

When I got there, I mosied up to the registration table and saw the Scientist talking to someone about 30 feet away. Playing it cool, I paid my three bucks, pinned on my number and started to walk back to my truck. In what I considered to be a good sign, she approached me. We walked and talked for a minute I commented on her red dress, telling her it was nice and she looked sexy. We parted ways but I told her I'd catch up with her later.

After the race, I hung out with her and all the other hashers. I didn't bring my own beer so, she offered me her last one. Another good sign. I had a good time hanging out and making friends. As time wore on, I got ready to head home and started to talk to her. We talked for a little while laughing and having a good time. When I was ready to go, I asked her if she were free tomorrow and she said she was. We made plans to go get ice cream at 8, after my meeting at work.

So, the time is now. I'm about to shower, go to work, then to pick her up. Hopefully, it will go well, at this point I'm pretty sure it will, we are getting along well.

I might even try to kiss her.

Mood: Worn
Music: None

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

the Scientist

Partially based on advice from Schmims as well as others, I decided to call her tonight. I decided to call her hoping to send the message, "Hey, I'm interested in you." I decided to call, because I haven't thought about much else than her and our dinner Sunday night sense then.

So I did. The plan was to ask her out for ice cream. A sort of spur of the moment sort of thing. Very casual, just "Hey, I've got a hankering for ice cream, you wanna join me?"

I went about my day, working, napping, volunteering (getting Bald Eagle shit in my mouth, *Puke), gardening, and playing video games. I called about 8. Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring. Dammit, voicemail.

I left a quick message basically saying, hey, just wanted to say hi, call me back. A while passed. About 9:20, my phone vibrated from across the room. I walked over, looking at the caller ID, it was her. Instant smile.

I picked up playing it cool. We talked for a moment, idle chit chat. Then I told her that the reason why I was calling was to see if she wanted to go out. She politely declined, as I thought she might, given the hour, but suggested we do it some other night. Score! I asked her about her weekend schedule (planned trip) and told her about my leaving town next week for 10 days. Not coming to an obvious time about when to go out and not wanting to draw the conversation out unnaturally, I asked her if she would be at the run tomorrow night. She said yes. I asked her if we could discuss it then. She agreed.

That's where it stands, for now.

Oh, I came up with a good pseudonym for her. The other night at dinner, she referred to herself as a scientist several times. And rightfully so, she is after all a forensic scientist. Anyway, from now on, she will be known as the Scientist, not just as 'the girl'. I've already got one of those that I write about, no need for two, that would just be confusing.

Mood: Smiling
Music: I Can Make a Mess Like Nobodies Business

Monday, June 13, 2005

I knew everything would be fine

I picked her up at seven. I looked the best I could, wearing a new shirt and jeans. I smelled good, courtesy of Mr. Cole. The whole time I was getting ready, from cutting my hair to showering to dressing, I was nervous. Girls just to that to me.

I drove across town and down her street. Turning the music down to a lower level and picking a better song, I pulled into her driveway. I took the truck out of gear and engaged the parking brake. It was at this point that I started getting really nervous. Why? I don't really know. I guess because of the unknown, because of all that could happen, good and bad. Setting it all aside, I strode up her steps and knocked.

I heard her coming to the door, telling the dogs to hush and a smile crept across my face. I was about to do something, two weeks ago, I thought I'd never do. First, I was about to take a fairly random person out. Second, I was taking an older woman out, who was actually interested in going out with me. Third, I was taking a hot older woman out.

She opened the door an invited me in. She lives on the right side of a duplex, down a quiet residential street. Her living room is nice, a bit messy, but nice. I walked in and quickly surveyed the room as she got her things together. I asked her how her trip was and started what I hoped would be a good conversation to get the night started off right.

She finished getting ready and as we headed out the door, I asked her if Mellow Mushroom was fine with her. She said it was. As we walked out her door and down her stairs, she saw my truck and the license plate on the front. Upon seeing it she asked, "Are you from Washington?" I answered, giving her the usual reply that I respond with. After I'd finished, she said, "I just moved back from Oregon."

A minute later, I knew everything would be fine, and all my nervousness, the butterflies deep inside my gut seemed to melt away. Pulling up to the Shroom, they couldn't seat us right away so we sat down at the bar. She ordered a Rouge and I held off. A minute later they were ready to seat us and we settled into the cushions of a nice big booth, seated opposite of one another.

After ordering a Guinness, we kept talking. The conversation flowed really well. We moved from topic to topic, smoothly without any of those awkward silences you sometimes experience. Finally, we were forced to look at the menu. She seemed to have her eye on Chicken Thai Pizza. I would have settled for cheese or pepperoni, but not wanting to seem bland and boring, I decided to let her choose. She settled on the Chicken Thai, which turned out to be a stellar choice.

I had a great time over dinner. We spent nearly two hours in the restaurant. Finally, we decided to go. We got in the truck and trundled back over the city streets to her house. When we got there, I got out of the truck to walk her to the door, fully prepared to thank her for her company and say goodnight. I was hoping for an invite in, but as she walked up to the door, she just walked in without stopping.

Taking that as my cue to follow, I did. We greeted the dogs and settled down onto her plush couch. She flipped on the TV and we hung out, talking, playing with the dogs and intermittently paying attention to the TV. Somehow, the conversation moved to some pictures she had hanging up and that led to her showing me all the pictures hung throughout her house and telling me story behind each. She even showed me a lot of her traveling pictures. About 9:15, I asked her if I should go, knowing that she had to be up early for work this morning. She said it was cool for me to keep hanging out, because she doesn't go to sleep till ten.

We continued to watch TV and the conversation slowed. I was starting to get tired, and I could tell she was too. Not wanting to push my luck and wear out my welcome, about 9:40 I told her I should be going. Guiding me out, she leashed up her dogs to take them out too. I stood on the porch as she walked her dogs in the yard. She came back up on the porch and it was time to say goodnight.

She put the dogs inside and stepped back out. What I wanted to do was hug her and kiss her goodnight, but I didn't make the move. (I rarely seem to make the move. N kissed me before I kissed her. Other girls have kissed me before I've kissed them. I'm a weenie.) I said goodnight and she said thanks for dinner. I asked her if she would like to do it again sometime and she said yes.

The door closed and I turned for my truck. Getting in my truck, I was disappointed for not getting a kiss, but happy that I followed the advice given to me.

Overall, I think the night went well. The conversation was great. She was engaging, I was a good listener and there weren't any long breaks in what we talked about. I felt some chemistry with her, but I don't know what/how she felt for me. Maybe nothing. Hopefully something.

I want to take her out again. I think I'm going to give it a few days rest and call her midweek. Maybe for a movie this time?

Mood: Happy
Music: Warped Tour 2005

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Shaking Like a Lead -- Part. II

Shaking Like a Lead -- Part. II

I spent the rest of the morning practically on cloud nine.

For some reason though, I have tried to keep all of this hidden from N. I haven't discussed the situation with my bosses in front of her, but I don't know if she has caught wind of it by other means.

Back on topic... I got off work yesterday afternoon and was sort of hanging around thinking about things. I realized that Sunday is N's birthday, and I told her I wanted to cook her dinner Monday. So, that ruled out Monday for the night out with the girl. Tuesday would be the next option, but that just seemed like too long to wait. Dammit I'm eager.

So, sitting around, early last night, I decided to call her and see if she wanted to get dinner Sunday evening. I was a little worried about calling her because I said I wouldn't call till Sunday, but I threw caution to the wind and dialed anyway.

She picked up and I said hi. With the weather being inclement, she decided to leave town early and was on the road. She didn't seem annoyed by my call which was good. We agreed to dinner on Sunday and I got directions to her place so I can pick her up.

That was that. So, next time I see/speak with her will be tomorrow at seven when I pick her up. I've decided to take her to Mellow Mushroom, the thinking being that it is a fun place to eat, but not too fancy to be uncomfortable. The goal being to try and keep things nice, fun and casual.

I hope things go well tomorrow night and I don't come off as too big a dork. I'm armed with plenty of 'safe' topics for conversation, so hopefully a good time will be had. While I was at work today, I asked my boss if she had any advice for me. She replied:

  1. Don't talk about N (I wouldn't anyway, I do have some sense).
  2. Don't do anything immature (This was one of the girl's concerns dating a younger guy).
  3. Don't sleep with her on the first date, no matter how desperate you or she might be.
Sound advice I think, don't you?

Mood: Sleepy
Music: Nickel Creek

Shaking like a leaf.

It happened Friday morning...

We knew that the girl would be coming into the store on Friday morning, as she always does to bring her dogs to daycare. The problem was, I wasn't scheduled until 8, and she drops her pups off around 7:15. To rememdy this problem, my boss ordered me to be there at 6:30 to help open the store.

As instructed, I got to work early and proceeded with the morning chores to get the store ready to open. Come seven, when it was time to open, I was instructed to come and help up front, running dogs and 'whatever' might come up. Not a usual assignment for me but knowing who was coming in, I'd take it.

After the first wave of customers came and went, we entered a lull and I began to get nervous. I was determined not to face the regret that I felt on Wednesday night again. This morning was going to be the morning, Yes or no, like it or not, I was going to do it.

My boss pulled the dogs cards and handed them to me. She said, "As soon as she pulls up, I'm going to the back and you are going to be left up here by yourself. You'd better do it, or I'll do it for you."

That was it, no backing out now. I saw her silver SUV pull up and my heart really started to race. I don't know why I was so nervous, but girls have always made me exteremly nervous. I don't take rejection well, and I have faced my share in the past; it's not something that I seek to experience on a regular basis.

She got out of her truck and gathered her dogs. Just when I thought she was going to come in, she walked across the storefront across the parking lot to let her dogs go to the bathroom. Another minute to run through the lines I had been rehearsing.

Then, coming back there she was. Looking great, nice skirt, cute top, hot as always. As she came in, I walked up from the back of the store where I had been pacing. I greeted her and took the leads from her. As I walked her pups into daycare, I told her to stick around for a second and that I'd be right back.

By now, it seemed like I was shaking like a leaf. I tried to get the collars off the dogs and fumbled. I hoped she wasn't watching, hoped she didn't realize I was taking so long because I was nervous. Finally, I got the dogs put away and their leashes in the cubby hole.

Taking a deep breath, I left daycare and headed back into the store. I approached her and asked her if she was busy this weekend -- Would you like to go for a run or maybe grab some lunch one day? -- She said yes, that she'd like to. She went on to say that she was going out of town, but free that night.

Taken aback, I missed my chance to take her out that night. We agreed that we would try and do something early in the week. After a little more converstion, she left.

I walked back to the office where my bosses had been watching the whole thing unfold from behind a window with miniblinds. As I rounded the corner, I had the biggest smile on my face that I've had in months.

The rest of the morning was spent discussing potential plans for the tentativly agreed upon date.

There is more to tell, but I have to go back to work, so you'll just have to wait a while. Check back soon for the conclusion.

Mood: Gitty
Music: Fall Out Boy

Friday, June 10, 2005

Sunday night

I have a date set for Sunday night. Can you guess with who? More on that later, but now, I'm going to sleep.

In the meantime, why don't you check out One Day I Will Write A Book, a blog maintained by a very funny public servant from Chattanooga named Schmims.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Such a chickenshit

The race went well for tonight. I ran 20:40, ten seconds faster than I did last week. I finished down two spots at 15th, but there were almost 25 more runners, so proportionally, I did better.

Sure enough, just like it was foretold by my boss, the girl was at the race. I subtly walked by her several times, but didn't elicit any response. As I was warming up, she was talking with some people and I didn't really feel comfortable going over, breaking up that group, and seemingly randomly introducing myself. It should be noted that although I have talked to her several times, I have never really been formally introduced.

Finally, as race time neared, she broke off from her group and meandered to the starting line. Nervously, I took the opportunity to walk over and say hi. I introduced myself and shook her hand. I tried to strike up a conversation with her asking about her recent trip. She talked for a a little bit, and I tried to listen and be attentive, but the trip didn't sound that great and she didn't seem to have too much fun so there wasn't much to say.

We then entered that awkward silence moment where neither of us really knew what to say. She took the opportunity to excuse herself to the back of the pack, because in her words, "I'm not a fast runner, or anything." Not knowing if she was trying to get away from me or just drift back to the back or what, I said something along the lines of, "Ok, I'll catch you later."

The race went well. I guess it must have been to better dietary decisions pre race and a nap in the afternoon, but I felt much stronger throughout the race and had plenty of steam left even as I crossed the finish line. It felt good to finish faster than my time last week. At least it was a little validation for the hard work I have been putting in in my training.

A little over halfway through my race, as I was headed back to the start/finish, the lagging pack of runners ran opposite of me on the other side of the street. I passed the girl, who looked to be struggling, and I flashed her a smile and a wave. She smiled back, at least acknowledging me, and I continued my march to the finish.

I hung around the finish for a while, hoping to talk to the girl once again after she finished her race. As I waited, I introduced myself to a couple of folks, and chatted up some more.

Eventually, the girl finished her race and headed over to the water table. I was going to walk by her and tell her good race after she caught her breath, but I lost track of her, while I talked with some other people.

Eventually, I spotted her down the way, talking with the same group that she had been talking with earlier. I wandered about a moment, getting another popsicle and contemplating my next move. She was between my truck and I so, I would at least have to pass her when I left. Walking slowly by, I was hoping I would draw her attention, but no such luck.

As I rounded the corner and cursed myself for being such a chickenshit, I had an epiphany. I was never going to get a date with this girl, and I would never develop the confidence I need, unless I faced my fears head on and did what needed to be done.

For goodness sakes, all I wanted to do was walk up to her, ask her how her race went, and chat her up a bit. (I still didn't feel comfortable asking out a relative stranger at this point.)

I walked to my truck and grabbed my shirt to throw on. Then headed back to where she was standing. I realized, as I walked up that there was a guy there who coordinates the Saturday runs, and I could ask him about that, then transition to talking to the girl as I was leaving.

I went up to him, introduced myself, and asked about the Saturday runs with the girl standing right there. After I finished talking to the guy, I turned to the girl and asked her how her run went. She told me it went well. As I was leaving and saying goodbye, she invited me to stay for burgers and drinks. I regrettably already had plans for dinner so I had to say no, but promised I would hang around next week.

That's it. The whole story. After that, I left and went about my business for the rest of the evening. When I got to dinner with the folks from work, they wanted a complete rundown of the evenings events. I told them all pretty much what I have told you and they all chided me for not asking her out. I told them that it was still in my plans and that this evening, I just hadn't felt comfortable doing it, but I was still planning on it.

My boss questioned me as to whether or not she needed to set the whole thing up on her own, as if I wasn't able to do it myself. I assured her that I would be fine without her intervention...

At least I hope I will....

Mood: Damn, a missed opportunity
Music: None, roommates are sleeping

Oh, The Pressure!

My boss has been pushing this "J asks the older girl out" thing a bit lately. The girl (haven't come up with a good pseudonym yet) came back from vacation yesterday morning and dropped her dogs off. During the course of conversation, which my boss struck up she found out that (again) the girl is single and on the lookout for a date. My boss said she would see what she could do to get her a date, meaning talk to me. Well, the girl seems interested, so that's good.

I come into work, later in the morning and get all the developments relayed to me. I wear a big smile across my face for the rest of the morning. Well, the girl comes back that evening to pick her dogs up, and again, my boss strikes up a conversation. This time, she is more direct in her questioning of whether or not she would like to go out with me. She asks, "So, how do you feel about dating younger men?" The girl responds, "How old is he?" My boss tells her that I'm 23, and the girls next question is, "Well, is he mature?" My boss (hopefully in a joking way) says "Sometimes yes, sometimes no."

So, this morning, I dropped by work to wash my scooter and get all the events from the evening relayed to me. Now, I'm informed, I HAVE to ask her out because she is now expecting it. Oh, The Pressure!

Another thing I find out is that the girl is planning to run in the weekly 5K this evening. So am I. Is the deal within striking distance? Will I somehow fuck it up? I don't know, but I hope not.

So, apparently, whether or not I want it to, it's going down tonight at the 5K. I'll be sure to report how it happens, good or bad later tonight.

Mood: Getting nervous (Ha, I'm such a dork!)
Music: None.

We have a scythe laying around somewhere.

Ah, a day off with practically nothing to do. I woke up pretty early this morning like I would on a normal work day. After feeding Thumbs and a quick walk with the beagle, I headed over to work.

I went to work so I could use the hose and scrub brush to was the scooter, much better than going to the car wash and shelling out untold amounts of quarters when I could do it for free. While I was at work, I learned that there have been more interesting developments in the "J asks the older girl out" saga. Good developments that will be discussed in depth later in the day.

After returning from work, I decided to head out to the garden. Prior to yesterday, I hadn't visited the garden since my trip to see J2. It was a mess too. Weeds are taking over, but after my efforts last night and this morning.

My roommate just ran in and yelled something at me. Quickly pausing the music, I was able to hear what he was saying. Apparently, he left his windows all the way down in his truck and how has a completely wet interior as well as puddles in his floorboard. Right as he was telling me this I thought to myself, "Oh fuck, my window is down too!"

Throwing on some sandals and my rainjacket, I grabbed a towel and headed outside. Sure enough, my window was partially down and my interior wet. I quickly rolled up the window, dried off the vinyl and put the towel down on the floor to soak up some of the water and headed back in. The downpour continues as I type.
End Sidenote
Back to our regularly scheduled post.

Anyway, with my efforts last night and this moring, things are looking much better. There are still a few sections that need some serious work, but all in all, it's much better than it was.

The section between where I drive up and the garden doesn't get bushhogged like the rest of the field, so the grass has gotten quite high. Over four feet in some cases. I've been trying to get my roommate to get me a loaner weedeater so I could knock it all down, but he has been unable to locate one so far.

When I was out volunteering yesterday, I realized that we have a scythe laying around somewhere. It's usually used for cutting down the weeds in the outside aviaries, so as not to freak the birds out with buzzing engines. After a bit of a search, I finally found it and threw it in the back of my truck.

Last night, I took the tall grass to task with my newly aquired tool. It works pretty good, but I do think the blade needs to be sharpened. The grass was damn thick in a lot of places so it worked me up into a good sweat as well and providing a good workout. I'm not even done yet though, there is still a good bit left to do. The work never ends. Espeically with all the rain we have had of late, it has been great for the garden, but also for the weeds.

Mood: Anticipating
Music: Warped Tour Comp

Sunday, June 05, 2005

1.5 hours running + 1.5 hours laying out + 1 hour gardening = Crispy J. Now, it's time for some lotion. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 04, 2005

20:21. New personal record. First place, bitches. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Less hills and such.

Tomorrow I'm running another 5K. I'm hoping for another good showing, like Wednesday evening. I'm anticipating the course to be a little less rigorous, less hills and such. Since the course will hopefully be a little more flat than the last one I ran, I'd like to best my time of 20:50. I took the day off today, letting my feet have a break and hopefully giving me a boost for tomorrow morning.

Wish me luck.

Mood: Anticipating
Music: Nickel Creek

"Damn, she's fine."

Over the last few years, I've developed quite a crush on one of J2's sisters. For the longest time, I didn't even know her. When J2 and I first became friends, she was off living at a fancy high school for smart kids. From there she went to college, so I never really got to know her that well until a few years ago.

I distinctly remember the first time I thought of her in terms of being hot and me wanting to buhong her. J2 and I had been off doing something and we came back to his house. We walked around back looking for his dad, and there was his two sisters laying out on the back porch, sunning themselves in bikinis. That was the first time I realized how hot she was.

My crush on her continued in secret for several years. About a year and a half ago, I was invited to her wedding. I remember the day pretty vividly. It was a warm October afternoon and quite overcast. If I remember correctly, rain was threatening for most of the day, but somehow stayed away from the outside event. Just as the ceremony was commencing, a break appeared in the clouds and blue sky appeared. As I watched the wedding take place, I couldn't help but think to myself as I watched my best friends sister take the vows, "Damn, she's fine."

Last November, when J2 was visiting me, he saw a picture of my now grown little sister. He decided that she was hot and definite buhonging material. Of course I just couldn't let that go, so I informed him that I too wanted to fuck his sister.

Somehow, during the trip that I took earlier in the week, it progressed from me simply wanting to buhong her into professing my undying love for her (well, at least serious crush). J2 and I went into the office Monday morning to look something up, and his other sister, the producer was there printing off pictures. As she navigated through the catalogue of pictures, I spotted one of the hot sister and requested a copy. The copy was printed off.

From that point, we just kind of hung out until the producer finished her printing. Somehow, the picture of the hot sister ended up next to my head on the pillow and I guess it looked like I was snuggling the picture. J2 found this extremely entertaining and took a picture of me snuggling the picture.

Later, as I walked down the hall of memories (their shrine of family pictures), I noticed the wedding picture. Calling J2, we decided that it would be a great idea to replace the grooms head with mine, thereby fulfilling my lifelong dream of having her stare at me with longing eyes. After some picture taking, some failed printings and other shenanigans, we got a printout that was perfect.

Although JYH found the digital picture of the modified wedding print on the computer, I don't think they have noticed that I am currently hanging in the hall looking at their hot daughter in her wedding picture.

How long will it take before she leaves her happy marriage and nice cars for a college kid like me? Probably never gonna happen. How long will I be in her wedding picture hanging in her parents home, Well I guess that depends on how observant JYH and PWH are. Let's hope it's a while, after all, it's probably the closest I'll ever get.

Mood: Smiling
Music: Motion City Soundtrack

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Feed

Seeking to get a better handle on how many people actually read Backside 180, I've gotten burned.

I signed up with feedburner and have set up a new RSS feed through them. If you scroll down and look at the left hand column, you will find my new feedburner button that will take you straight to the new feed.

I encourage you to update and point your RSS readers to this new feed. In a few days, I will turn off the blogger Atom feed so that my feeds will be handled exclusively through feedburner.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to update your feeds.

A crimp in my style.

My Memorial Day trip to see my friend, the blueshirt was great. We had a great time, spent a lot of his hard earned government money and made lots of mischief. All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed seeing my friend who was generous enough to hook me up with lots of free food.

Last night, I ran my first competitive race in years. It was a 5K here in town and I did pretty damn well. I finished 13th out of 82 runners with a time of 20:50. My goal was 22:30, so I suprassed that by a pretty good margin. The course was fairly hilly, so I was very pleased with my performance. On Saturday morning, I will be running another 5K and I hope for a similar finish. My goal will be to best my Wednesday night time, but by how much, I have not decided.

I have a lot more stuff I'd like to blog about, but my computer is acting up and shutting itself off randomly. I'm pretty sure it's not a virus, more related to a faulty power supply or an overheating CPU. The inability to keep my computer running for more than a few hours has really put a crimp in my style. I hope to address the issue tomorrow and hopefully solve it. Then you will have much more reading to do here at Backside 180.

Mood: Tired
Music: None