Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get To Know Your Train Wrecks

        Hello and welcome!  It's been a long time since I've had a blog.  It was a good blog and I had a respectable following, however I was not quite discreet enough, although it was an 'anonymous' blog, a few misplaced words about my idiot boss and one of those brown-nosing sorts made sure it got back to him. Major asses. If you don't want to hear what I have to say to your face, why do you care what I say in a blog? At any rate, it left a bad taste in my mouth, but now I don't have a boss and I will endeavor to be even more discreet. However, I'm a bit rusty so give me a couple of posts before you give up on me!

         Now, first... Why train wrecks?  My mother (Train Wreck Two) and I (Train Wreck One - I know chronologically it should be the reverse, but MY blog means MY rules! And it's just way easier to think in the first person) have been scraped off the bottom of the gene pool. Even our problems have problems! I'm 40 years old and my mom is 64, but our bodies have aged prematurely leaving each of us with an abundance of conditions and metal bits and pieces and still falling apart!  On top of that, we possess absolutely NO grace whatsoever and are perpetual clutz's (is that even a word?). Sometimes we'll get a reprieve and will chug on down the tracks at a fairly good pace but then something else breaks and BAM!  We've wrecked again. I have no doubt I'll revisit this subject several times in upcoming posts and will go into further detail then.

       Second... What to expect from this blog. The majority of what I post will be about trips, vacations and adventures from all parts of my past life as well as new travels as they come up. That does not mean that it will be limited to that. I am one of those people who has a story about any subject or place you can think of. I'd probably drive you nuts on an airplane if I'm in a chatty mood (lord help you!). But hopefully, I'll make you laugh, or at least smile, while sharing my favorite memories. Other subjects I can almost guarantee will come up from time to time:  Renaissance Faires (I belong to a guild based in Southern California) and Pirate Festivals (when our king is not around to regulate us, we tend to get a little rebellious), hiking, graveyard 'rabbiting', my two beloved dogs (resting in peace on my mantle but I still miss them terribly), a lifetime of being a devoted William Shatner fan, criminals/inmates/the justice system, geocaching, my Pinterest addiction, overpopulation, "True Blood", "Game of Thrones", Facebook, Starbucks and my coffee addiction, depression (much as we hate it, it generally must happen before things get better and I've been at the bottom of that barrel, believe me), my absolutely insane and wonderful friends, favorite movies and other general disclaimers... blah, blah, blah.

      One word you will see frequently:  SQUIRREL.  I have A.A.D.D. and some short-term memory issues (again, it will come up somewhere in more detail, I'm sure), so I tend to jump topics occasionally (in case you didn't notice already, but hey! The same could be said of any Stephen King novel, so I'm in good company!), especially since I no longer work and can't afford or justify the expensive meds which didn't really help all that much anyway.  Besides, now I CAN BLOG!!  Ha, ha!  Eh, um... sorry, back on track...If you've seen the move "Up!", you know Doug the Dog and his "Squirrel!" fixation. I have squirrels running around me constantly and my friends are used to just shouting the word to get me back on topic, although sometimes I don't remember what the initial topic was. At least I can proofread thoughts here! If that weren't enough, I'm a ginger on top of it and "gingers have no souls"!

        Third... aha! See?  That was a SQUIRREL moment!  The very first of my blog. And you were here to witness it.  *wipes tear*  A little more background if you want it (I was pretty clear in my "about me" section, but here's more just the same). I'm from a small town in central Florida (GO GATORS!). I was an only child and a dork. But I was a Girl Scout my whole life and lived everything outdoors.  Please do not get me wrong, I love it and it will always be 'home' to me, but sometimes I feel like I spent the first 16 years of my life trying to get out and the last 16 trying to go back!  I guess that means that for four years in there, I was pretty happy wherever I was. Oh, yeah.  I was TRAVELING! A few nice things about my hometown:  It's situated between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico; less than an hour's drive to either, and I enjoyed sports and visits to both frequently. My home town is in the middle of a national forest and surrounded by rivers and springs; hence, LOTS of camping! According to my mother, my first camping trip was when I was 6 weeks old and I've loved it ever since. It is also very well known for it's thoroughbreds and quarter horses, which is where my love of horses stems and why it's one of the hardest things I had to give up. My mom moved to California for a fresh start when I was fifteen, and just after senior year started, I joined her, finished school early and on my seventeenth birthday, I swore into the Marine Corps, the first time. Yes, there was a second. More to come on that subject. 

         After being discharged (ironically, the day Desert Storm ended, but I didn't see any action), I went between Florida and California a bit before settling in the latter. I worked for a major amusement park, first as a dyslexic hat-writer, then a ride operator and finally moved up to security. We were quite possibly the biggest wannabe cops you'll ever find, but only a handful of us actually got there. A friend got me to apply for a job with Club Med, and miraculously, I got hired!  My first stop was Colorado, then Mexico and then the Bahamas. I know, rough life. At the end of my third contract, I was en route back to L.A. to wait for another contract to come up, but after four airports, I just got off the plane in Las Vegas with $200 in my pocket and told my mom to pick up my luggage at LAX, I was going to stay a while.  I've been here for almost 20 years now.  I really can't sugar this up... I absolutely HATE living here. Being a swamp girl turned desert rat, you really appreciate what you took for granted growing up in. Beaches. Rivers. Rain. TREES! No matter where you go in Las Vegas, it all looks the same. Brown. Sometimes dusty and brown. If you want a change of scenery and a break from 115 degrees, be prepared to drive a minimum of 250 miles in any direction. But I'll also say something positive:  We do have amazing sunsets!

        About two months after I got here, I picked up my now ex-husband in a country bar. Not a mistake I've ever made again. Ever!  It was a (thankfully!) brief trip to insanity and I have never even considered another marriage.  First of all, I'm too selfish.  It's all about me and I can travel a lot more if I'm only paying for one!  I did get two wonderful 'kids' out of it; my fur-babies, a golden retriever named Cheyenne (aka: "Boo", the neurotic one) and her little sister, a springer spaniel named Scout, who admittedly was my favorite but I also had her for two years longer when she got to be the only child.  I am still very attached to them. I wish I could get another one, but my mother is the voice of reason on that subject. They're too expensive on a retirement budget, and remember all the times I wanted to travel when there was a dog-sitting issue. Oh, and I recently moved back home with the parents so we three retirees can help each other out. I guess that gives them a big say in it. The irony is, I retired only a year and a half after I lost Scout. Now I have all the time in the world, walk several miles a day and have a dog park right across the street.  It's a sore subject. No people-babies.  I am one of the few people that knows I am a better parent by NOT having children. 

        Not long after I moved here, I was hired as a corrections officer in a nearby municipality, had some decent career milestones and promotions and a promising future when the first train wreck happened. I could no longer be an officer physically (and with that came mentally), and after a stall, I changed jobs and wound up as a civilian, still working with inmates in the jail until I retired on a disability pension. You may have seen us on a reality show... my epitaph will read, "Got to tell O.J. 'no bail!'" He was an ass anyway. Thank god I worked in an area with a great public servant retirement program, because I am a lot better off then most people the government takes care of.  I honestly don't know how they expect people to live on what they give them. At any rate, I will try with all my heart NOT to talk about politics.  Promise.

       In the middle of that last seven years, I got an associates degree in Travel and Tourism, then switched gears to what came naturally and am now 24 credits shy of a double-Bachelor's:  Criminal Justice and Sociology. IF I can find a scholarship for a gimpy ex-cop, I might finish it someday. Nothing like closing the barn door after the horses have gone, right? I'd really like to teach online at some point. 

       And so that's me in a rather large nutshell.  I really did try to keep it brief!  I should warn you about a couple more personality issues (the primary personality, that is! Kidding!):  I can be cynical and sarcastic and a little bit bitchy and/or negative at times.  Unfortunately, that often comes with the territory when you've spent half your life around criminals and cops. I do try to tamper it with humor, wit (at least I think so) and a note on the bright side. If there's ever a question or a place you'd like me to talk about, please feel free to let me know, and share! It may not seem so at THIS exact moment, but I am occasionally prone to writer's block. I also get a little carried away with punctuation.  ;o)

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