Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hotlanta, my birthday, and a Lily update

Really, though, Hotlanta is a misnomer. Yeah, it was warm, but I didn't sweat like I do here. I wasn't oppressed by the heat. I didn't feel like dying to escape the heat. Although, since I'm probably going to hell anyway, I guess that would only make matters worse.

But what if we have it wrong? What if we've been told that hell is hot and steamy just so we won't want to go there? What if it's cosmic reverse psychology and hell is really this happenin' place made of ice cream where they don't want too many people to go there? Like, a po-boy place that looks shitty on the outside is generally the home of the best po-boy ever. Don't let the outside fool you. Could be a cool in-joke, you know, hell being crappy.

Anyway, kids were fine, new guy is okay, trip didn't suck too much. Went to the Braves game the first night. They lost. Their catcher got reallllly hurt...taken out in an ambulance, as I later discovered, because he had a concussion and whiplash from getting slammed in the face mask by an Angel. (Which seems to support the above theory...) It rained a little, but sometimes, sitting in the cheap seats is okay, just because we were so high up with our $5 seats that we were under an overhang when the rain started. Girls in my room kept me awake until 3:30. Mostly by quoting "Napoleon Dynamite."

Next day we spent the whole day at Six Flags. Rain held off until 6, which was fine, as we were leaving at 7. So we killed an hour in the stores. By this point, most of the kids were out of money. We waited half an hour for our bus driver to show up. When I called him, he said he was in traffic about 20 minutes away. This, apparently, became his excuse for everything, as he was ALWAYS 20 minutes away. Tried to go to the Hard Rock, but it had been rented out for the night. Walked down the block to a restaurant that had a piano on wires above the bar. It was in a glass case. Anyone who wants to can get on a step ladder on the bar and play. That was kind of neat. We thought the piano was for decoration, but we were wrong. Girls had a pre-teen friendship meltdown that kept me up until 1:30. Skanaky, sweaty, and dirty from Six Flags, and couldn't shower until crisis was solved at 1. I am SO glad I don't have to relive my teen years. Yuch.

Next day, we went to the World of Coke. You can drink Coke products from around the world. Some good, like lemon from Israel, some nasty, like lychee nut from China. And "Beverly" from Italy had an aftertaste even after you washed it down with tons of real American Coke. Hwarf. Then we went to Underground Atlanta. I scheduled it simply to get an aqua massage. Damn thing was GONE! ARRRRRRRGGGG. After the night before, I needed it. Driver was late picking us up, again, and when I called him after 30 minutes, he was, once again, "20 minutes away." This made us late to Andretti Speed Lab, which we had booked as a party. I called the people, and they said it was okay if we were late.

Andretti has top-speed go-karts that look like race cars. They make you wear suits and helmets like real racers. Gloves are optional. I came in second in my race! Anyway, the party was my unofficial birthday party. We got Fuddrucker's kid's meals, an ice cream cake, one race, and $10 token cards for the arcade. I won an orange and yellow stuffed monkey. It rules. The experience ruled, too. I like go-karts.

From there, we went to Camp Barney Medintz in Cleveland, GA. It's about 2 hours north of Atlanta. It was in the mountains and was GORGEOUS! My legs are sore from all of the up- and downhill hiking we had to do over the next few days. We had kosher burgers and chips for dinner, then got a tour of the camp. The cabins are unairconditioned, but the mountain air was cool enough that the fans and screens worked. I'm tired of bugs, though, and grateful for central air now that I'm home. We went out to the Iceberg, which is an inflatable rock climbing wall in the shape of an iceberg. You climb up one side, then slide down the other side into the lake. I am unable to climb rock climbing walls, so I did not do it. After that, we went to milk line, where we got fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and whatever milk or juice we wanted. Mmmm....

On Thursday, we had French toast for breakfast, then we went to arts and crafts. We made cool friendship bracelets with a weird name, something like "Kumi-ha-imo" or something like that. Then we went to something called "Group Initiative." We did some stupid bonding stuff, like human knot. We're such a dysfunctional group, though, that we almost didn't get the knot undone. Finally, though, we did it. Then we did this dumb-ass logic puzzle called "The Magic Shoes," where we had to get everyone across the lava lake, and you could only cross it if you were wearing the shoes, and then you could only wear the shoes once, blah blah blah...and the way it fell, I had to carry a tall, thin girl in my arms and a short girl who probably weighs more than i do now that I'm at my heaviest weight ever, on my back, and I almost made it across when she shifted her weight and I fell forward, jamming my left shoulder, hurting my left ankle and knee, and skinning my right knee. I was in considerable pain. I thought I was badly injured, but my shoulder had popped back in, and really, when DON'T my knee and ankle hurt? But my skinned knee (my first in probably 15 years) is pretty nasty. And boy, did I get muddy. Red mud.

Then we went fishing. A couple people caught small-mouthed bass. I caught nothing. We had kosher chicken nuggets and corn for lunch. Then we had rest period, followed by basketball and dodgeball. We moved on to the volleyball court, the batting cage, and the tetherball. I kick ass in tetherball. "Wanna play me?" I think I won because every time I'd hit the ball, I'd say, "yesss" like Napoleon, and it would crack the kids up, and they couldn't return my hits. Dirty? Yeah. Fun? You bet. We were supposed to have free swim in the pool, but that was closed for undisclosed reasons. Probably Baby Ruths in the pool. Anyway...then we had linguini in garlic cream sauce, garlic bread, and peas and carrots for dinner. We went to the Blob after that. It's an inflatable pillow....huge....and you jump off a platform onto it. Then, you crawl across it and sit on the edge. The next person jumps on it, and it launches you into the air, landing in the lake. It was cool, but I didn't get to go. Line was too long. New guy had his bathing suit on backwards. That was awesome. Kriss Kross to make you, jump, jump! Too bad none of the kids will get that joke....and probably he won't either, since he's only 19. Then we went to the low ropes, where a cute Israeli guy instructed us. We had to hike through a lot of forest to get there, and we had to cross a creek by sliding across a metal rope while holding a metal rope above it. Scary, but awesome. Only half of the kids did the course, due to time constraints. After that was milk line, then an early bedtime. We also had to pack most of our stuff, then load it on a truck to take it the half mile (minimum) trek to the front office of the camp.

Woke up at 6 a.m. EST on Friday, my 26th birthday. Got the kids together, then went down the hill with what we'd needed overnight. Long and hard hike that early. Ugh. Especially on your birthday. Slept on the bus most of the way. Had to eat Burger King for lunch. Hate BK now, after they changed their fries. Kids pooled money and bought me a little cheesecake for my birthday. Made the BK Lounge experience a little better. Watched the first two Austin Powers films on the bus on the way home. Hit T.S. Arlene evacuation traffic in Mississippi. Didn't get home until 6:30 p.m. CST. Relaxed a little. Opened Mark's gifts. He gave me "The Best of INXS," the first and second seasons of "Danger Mouse" (DM was one of my first boyfriends. The other was Montgomery Moose of "The Get-Along Gang." Nevermind that he was basically a big frat guy...), and the first season of "Soap," one of TV's all-time best shows. Got Cane's for dinner, then went to Dunkin' Robbins, where I got a mint-chocolate chip and chocolate cake ice cream cake, plus the free dozen donuts you get for buying a cake there.

Went to Geoff and Gootee's house. Blake gave me a gift certificate, Caroline gave me Rufus from "Family Guy," Alicia and Kurt gave me a gift card for New York and Company, and Geoff and Calie gave me a gift card to Best Buy. Oh, and Kevin went to Sav-A-Center and bought me some cupcakes that said "#1 Dad" on them. How special is that? Liz came over and brought me a "Fantasy," which is only one of the best daiquiris in the world. She brought Halley with her. Roman showed up for a while with two of his friends, too. It was a great night. Got home at 4, woke at 1:45.

On Saturday, my parents took us out to eat at Acme. Then we went to their house for a blackout cake from Maurice's. They gave me my new contacts and a skirt, and my mom apparently is waiting for another gift to come in. Also, I got a mix CD from Devon, featuring midwestern bands, most of which I've never heard of, and many which I've just never heard, and it's great! I love finding new stuff to listen to! And I got a card in the mail from Annie, my pen pal. Good day overall!

Sunday was my first Sunday where I didn't have to work. Woo-woooooo! Went to Ground Pat'i with Alicia, Geoff, Calie, and Kevin while Mark worked. Hung out with them, plus Kurt, after.

Lily: Saw her Friday night, we thought, under my car. Could have sworn I heard her, too. But we didn't get her. Then, on Saturday, Mark went to do laundry, and he saw her by the neighbor's house. We couldn't get to her, and she went under the house. But that means she wasn't hurt by the glass. On Sunday, the neighbors came home, and they let Mark in their backyard. Couldn't see her. On Wednesday night, he got home from basketball, and she was under the carport, eating the food we leave out for her. But he couldn't get out the car fast enough. The lady under whose house she is living is trying to help. She has cat carriers by her doors just in case. She also saw her the other day, but was on the toilet, and by the time she got out there, Lil was gone. Nice lady, even with the TMI. Haven't seen my baby since then, though.

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