I had a really amazing weekend. I started tutoring with STAIR and, while I was really nervous about interacting with kids, I think it went really well. I got this sweet girl who is so spunky and funny and adorable. She challenged me to a race on the playground. I lost when I couldn't climb across the monkey bars, then contort my body to swing onto a nearby swing fast enough. I did pull a muscle in my arm though! Note to self: you are in no condition for the monkey bars. Go lift some weights.
I also went to my friend Ingrid's annual Halloween costume party. Y'all. I am really happy about my costume. I went as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and I handmade most of my costume. I hand-sewed a fur tail. I made felt claws for my fingers and toes. I made a crown and wolf ears. Then, the wild rumpus began!
Unfortunately, after the party, my car broke down en route to pick up Richie from work. We got the car home, but we were worried about plans we had to go to Tunica Hills the next day with some friends. We ended up getting about 5 hours of sleep before getting up to take the Swift bus into Baton Rouge. I don't recommend taking the bus without firm plans for someone to meet you upon arrival. The bus stops in Baton Rouge are both in really shitty areas of town. After Richie was accosted for cigarettes 3 times in 2 minutes, we decided to just start walking and let our friends find us on the road. During our adventure down Florida Blvd., we saw some empty condom wrappers, a crack pipe and, my favorite, a grocery bag with not one, not two, but three used douches in it. In front of the veterans' memorial cemetery. Class.
Eventually, we rounded up all our friends and a group of nine of us headed for the hills. The hike itself was pretty exhilarating--we hiked the creek beds, many of us barefoot, climbing bolders, playing in waterfall pools, drinking whiskey, smearing clay and mud on ourselves. My favorite part was on the way back up the path. We came to a part where we needed to climb up out of the creek beds, but the normal path, with some wooden stairs, had been virtually washed away, leaving a slippery slope with no footholds. The only other option was to scale the side of a ravine with a very sheer drop. So, that's what we did. I wish I had a photo of all of us climbing up the side of this huge wall. It was insane. It was amazing. My Wonder Woman feelings were negated about half a mile later, when we had to hike up some steep hills in the last stretch and I got so dizzy that I began seeing spots and went pitching and reeling into Richie. I didn't pass out, but I took it easy for the rest of the walk.
We spent the night with our friends, Brandi and Jeremy, and it was so nice that Richie and I called in to work the next day. Well, and we missed the bus back to New Orleans. By the time we were able to make it back, it wasn't really feasible for either of us to go to work and we still needed to work on the car.
Here's the part where I need to tell you guys how amazing my boyfriend is. I try not to get too gushy in general, because I find it annoying in other people, but Richie really was just stupendous this weekend. He got up super early by himself (which, if you know Richie, is practically a supernatural phenomenon) to catch a bus to BR with me because he knew how much I had been looking forward to hiking. He came home from a long weekend and immediately got to fixing my car, which took two trips to Auto Zone, a stupid amount of money, a lot of time, and involved him repeatedly having to climb under my car. He bore my anxieties about phantom car noises quite well. Then, he rode with me to the grocery store, bought half our groceries, came home, and cooked me dinner. And got up early again this morning to work on my car some more. I'm just constantly amazed at his generosity of spirit and his kindness and the kind of boundless way that he loves me. It is, admittedly, awkward for me to admit that I am loved in that way by someone. And that I, in turn, love him back in much the same way. It feels showy, grandiose. Artificial. But there it is, and I am happy. I suppose there's not much else to say on the subject.
Lastly, I'm happy because I've committed myself to a writing project. I thought I'd try and write more in the blog and, of course, there's this post, but I have some other things I'd like to write about that aren't just a recounting of how I've spent my time in the last few days. Unfortunately, my own form of writer's block has struck again, wherein I begin to write something, need to mull over it/feel more comfortable about posting it, then avoid the blog because I can't finish that particular post. That post is still sitting in my drafts. I'm trying to force myself to get to it. In the meantime, I'm also giving myself weekly writing prompts. Likely, those won't be shared here, at least not right at first, but they're a good way to force myself to write, even if what comes out at first is just drivel. Since cars are on my mind, the first image that comes to mind is draining a radiator. First purge, you get a lot of gross, gunky crap. Rinse it again, it's still murky. But keep going and soon everything is boiling and clear.
I just need to feel some awe again. I touched that a little this weekend, which is probably why that ravine-scaling experience is so stuck in my head. Very simply, I did something that, in retrospect, I would not have thought I could do. But at the time, whiskey-tight and surrounded by my favorite people, that drop didn't seem impossible, it just seemed like a challenge I knew I could defeat. I haven't felt that sure of myself in awhile.
So, to recap. Things to do: