a vacation from writing? new years eve.

i feel like i haven't written in a billion years. it has been ten days. it's hard to believe.

mostly because the last time i was home, i couldn't stop writing. i guess i've been trying to stay plugged in with family and friends and just haven't made time for it. aubree's gone today, so there's not as much going on.

trip so far? it's been good. i waas telling nina last night that the first half of the trip was really exciting. now things are winding down, and time is running out, so there's a sadness welling up inside.

i got in last monday. mom and dad picked me up and we laughed all the way home from the airport. that night was the lunar eclipse and i was stoked to be in florida for it. i stayed up until five that morning, taking amazing pictures of the whole thing.

tuesday, aubree got in late at night, i visited the grandparents. that was the day that i attempted to buy glasses, but i don't remember what else i did.

the ongoing saga started when i opened my glasses case on monday night after i took my contacts out. i brought an empty case - i left my glasses in phila.

i needed new ones anyway, i have two broken pairs, and wanted to get something a little snazzier. but i couldn't get my prescription over the phone. the salesman was absolutely obnoxious, and after getting passed around to four different phone numbers, he took the card with the next phone number written on it, and called himself. he was a total asshole, and they basically told him that they'd handle it in the morning.

for the next six days, i dealt with him calling and bitching at me, and bitching at my doctor's office. yesterday, i gave up. i know that he was such a dick that they would do anything they could to keep from sending the fax. but i have called every day, apologizing for him being such an ass and begging them to help me. no one would. i will probably change doctors. there's no excuse for not being able to get glasses when i'm stuck eight states away without them.

wednesday, nina got into town and that night was the reunion party. which was mostly fun. i steered clear of crazy high school best friend, and talked mostly to a few people i hadn't seen in a very long time, since early middle school years. it was great catching up with everyone, and i was impressed that about twenty people showed up to catch up.

thursday was a shopping day. i wasn't feeling well, and was not in the mood to shop. i had balanced my account, and wasn't happy with what i found. i had intended to spend a ton of money on presents for everyone. and i wanted to spend some on myself as well. but that all got scrapped after i picked things up for everyone else.

that night was a little reunion of nina and brownies. the entire day had been such a disaster. i got roped into a shopping trip with dad that was supposed to end by six so i could hang with brownies while we waited for nina to wrap up with her family.

instead we left way late, and brownies waited around for us until 9 when we finally got it together. we'd run into traffic on top of running late, and nina came all the way out to get me, then drove back into downtown to meet up. what we didn't know was that the place we were supposed to meet her was one of two. she had said which one she was going to, but because we're both so out of the loop of this town, so we didn't realize we were at the other one. by the time she drove to us, it was 930. i felt awful. but talking together for the first time in over ten years (the three of us) was awesome. more laughing to tears, a lot of fun. we all went home for the night pretty early.

christmas eve was another crazy shopping day. i spent a lot of time running around with my 'adopted brother'. he's been 'in the family' since i was in high school, and my trips home have never been timed to see him. so he visited every day, and i spent some time alone with him. it was great.

i put in my once a year church visit to make mama proud, my brother did not follow suit. he's been around the whole time i've been home, but not plugged in at all. he got upset and called mom to talk about it because he felt left out. so she had to explain to a 30 year old that if you aren't in the room and talking with all of us, you're not there to be ignored. he course-corrected on wednesday night and went to family dinner, which was a hot miracle. he usually refuses to go to that, saying he doesn't like the thing that the restaurant specializes in, and not listening to the fact that every restaurant has a wide range of things to eat. we got into a huge fight this summer because he didn't go to the cheesecake factory because he doesn't like cheesecake, and wouln't go to longhorn because he doesn't like steak. somehow we got him to go to outback... and things returned to normal. that was more time than i'd seen him the ten days i've been here - christmas included.

backing up. that was christmas eve. we had a great time. sans brother.

christmas day was funny. first time i had been home for it in eight years, and it was awesome. i was showered in gifts, and had fun giving gifts. even though mean grandma opened her steaknshake gift card and frowned, stating that she'd never eat there again because the last time she went two of the servers were arguing.

that's the loveliness of my mean grandma. i told her i'd take it if she wouldn't use it. $40 down the tubes. a simple thank you would have sufficed, saying as we basically gave her back the money she gave us for christmas.

everyone was over, and it was also a christmas where i wasn't awake at 5 am to see what gifts santa had delivered for me. growing up is a funny thing. it was nice to feel something close to being well rested.

everyone hung around. we watched the magic game, which i don't really care about, but it was an exciting down-to-the-wire game, and somehow i ended up caring by the end of it.

that night, nina came over after we watched inception as a family. her trip was cut short by her family, and she came over to hang out before leaving to go back home the next day.

we hung out talking until about 3 in the morning. this trip has been like that. up really late every night, and in an effort to max out the family-grandparent time, i've been up by 930 at the latest every day. until today. i finally got something close to eight hours of sleep, letting myself sleep in until ten.

day after christmas, i can't even remember. i think that was the day that we went to the navy base with grandpa to do some more shopping. i can't believe how little i bought for the hours upon hours we spent shopping while i've been here.

monday we went shopping some more, and i was in the worst traffic i have ever been in, in my life, that i can remember. it literally took 45 minutes just to get through one light, which should have taken two minutes tops. the stores were all so crowded that i started feeling panicky. then went to another mall, and after an hour stuck in traffic trying to make it through what should have taken five minutes, we gave up because we weren't even halfway to where we were trying to go. it was exhausting and frustrating and totally not worth it. but it was time spent with mom and aubree, so it wasn't a total loss.

tuesday was the brownies dancing night. we went to dinner early, and back to her place. where my house envy spiraled out of control. her place is what i think my place should be. something that reflects good taste and all the hard work i do. it was like being in a pier one catalog, but not in a sterile 'don't touch anything' way. in an 'everything is perfectly chosen and beautiful' way. super comfy. so we had a couple drinks and talked for hours, killing time before it was okay to go out. the bar didn't even open until 10. by that time, we'd been yawning and i kept calling us grandmas, because we both could have been okay with going to bed at that point.

but we picked ourselves up and got ready and dragged ourselves out. and it was so worth it.

all the memories of every friday night with her, before ever. we had a ways to go, sobriety-wise, before either of us had the balls to dance. i was staring down tons of hot boys, wanting to make out with all of them.

that's one thing to be said for life here. in phila, there's maybe one hot guy for a club full of hotter girls, where i never catch an eye. here, that night, i spotted 23 guys that i would gladly have made out with, and a wide variety of girls. something for everyone.

i much prefer my odds here.

in any case, we did eventually dance, and it was awesome. the music wasn't my choice, but it worked for the most part. a lot of soul and funk and disco. which i do like. but i was really hoping to tap into the barbarella's music of yesteryears, things from the eighties and nineties. early 'alternative' when it actually meant something, and new wave.

but that was not to be had.

we nearly closed the joint down, which was pretty awesome, considering how tired we were when we left. then we were up until after 4 talking more and watching viral videos online, laughing to tears again. i stayed in her guest room and got a great night's sleep, then went to visit all the grandparents.

wednesday was family dinner night.

yesterday was the craziest day i've had in a while, communication-wise.

i spent the morning with family, like every other day, but had planned an early dinner with beekie. so we sat and talked for a couple hours, swapping 'my ex is crazier than yours' stories. came home from that, and finally got kit on the phone to catch up. dueling family christmases had wreaked havoc on our communication time. we talked on the phone for over an hour. which i almost never do. i talked to her until brownies showed up. we talked at the house for a while, and then went to the alehouse to talk some more. four hours' worth of talking some more.

i got home close to 1, and got into bed with a spotty voice and a sore throat. i nearly talked my voice away.

i slept in today, squeezed in more double grandparents time, and now i'm sitting around, doing laundry, waiting for tonight.

i don't know. i only have four days left. and i don't want to miss anything or leave anyone out. i'm spending a lot of time worrying about who i'm disappointing. i've done an incredible job of not getting that from my family, because i have been with them for the majority of the day every day. i can feel my time running out, and it's getting stressful.

mostly because i want to see everyone and spend one on one time with everyone, and not make anyone feel left out.

my problem is always that i think too much and put too much pressure on myself and overemphasize things that really probably don't matter. i give value and meaning where other people don't think to.

hopefully i'm not being disrespectful or forgetful, inconsiderate or any other negative way.

and if i am, i am not afraid to ask forgiveness.

and then try to make up for it when i move here in six or so months... when i'll have plenty of time for everyone.

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