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2004-01-14 - 7:43 a.m.

I may have just been suckered into giving money to people who for all I know could be living it up on the Vegas strip.

I personally am not in the best of financial situations right now. I have a lot of credit card debt, a lot of which is related to car repairs. I live with my parents. I'm working with a temp agency on a day-to-day basis trying to put some money together so I can see Jimmie on Valentine's. I want to start putting more money away so I can go to college.

But hell, it's only money. And I liked Proofrok's story about lobby girl, even though I can't remember if he's even finished any stories since that one. I'm at least in a situation where I don't have to answer to anyone but myself, and all my debt is my own. I owe Karma a lot of debt, and I'm grateful for easy oppertunities like this to pay it back. Even if the money does go to Ceaser's Palace, Karma won't care.

Speaking of spending money, I spent about $400 on this trip I took recently, which surprised me, and was about $100 more than I wanted to spend. I guess that's what happens when you add rising gas prices to a road trip in a conversion van.

The first day, I set out from my home at 8:30 in the morning, headed for Dayton, Ohio. Things were going well. I called Josh from Wisconsin and told him when he could expect me at his parents' home in Dayton, which should have been around 9pm Eastern.

Shortly after that phone call, I drove into a blizzard. At first there was just some flurries. Farther on down the road, the small snowflakes had colleted on the road and were being tossed around by the traffic in such a way as to look like white caps on giant waves. I felt as though I was driving over a black and restless ocean. Traffic got worse and worse as I headed through Chicago, as did the weather. Some cute flurries making for some interesting driving turned into dangerous snow and sleet making for some scary driving. I lost count of the accidents I passed. There were many cars that had slid off the road, cars that had slid into each other, even an overturned log truck with logs all over the place. I thought the overturned log truck was just a hollywood myth. I should have taken a picture, but I was too concerned with avoiding logs at the time.

As I headed south, the snow and sleet turned into freezing rain. The entire front of my van was encrusted with ice, except for the part of my window where my windshield wipers were going full speed to try to prevent any ice build-up. I had to stop a couple times and smack the ice off the windshield wipers and away from the headlights. I left my radio antenna encrusted so I could show it off to Josh when I finally got to Dayton, which I finally did around midnight. Unfortunately by the time I got into Dayton, all the ice had been blown off, which pissed me off because not only was my impressive driving feat being blown away, but the ice would smack into my windshield in big chunks, scaring the shit out of me every time.

Josh allowed me to sleep for about two and a half hours, and it was up and on the road again to retrive his car 4 hours away, in West Virginia. His own car troubles this time included his clutch exploding on the way up to Ohio. He had rented a car so he could make it home, which turned out to be a major expense, and he wanted to get his car and turn in the rental as soon as possible. I had no problems with this understandable car problem (we've all been there), and I slept in the car on the way down. Josh brought Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel to listen to, which was a nice touch on his part, since I know Simon and Garfunkel in particular are not some of his favorites.

When we got back Dayton that afternoon, his parents really gave him a hard time about "making" me drive with him again so early in the morning after I drove all that way through all forms of precipitation. (I feel chunks of ice hitting my windshield from my own van counts as hail.) Like he'd held a gun to my head or something. I enjoyed the trip myself; it was nice to be forced to talk to someone for so long, since there's not much else to do on a car trip.

I don't really feel like writing down about the trip any more right now. Maybe later.

Jimmie called me up yesterday. He had been talking about going on a cruise with me sometime this July, but I didn't really take him seriously. At first when he called, he said, "There's something I need to talk to you about," all seriously. I instantly thought I had done something wrong and braced myself for being yelled at or worse. He was just saying it that way to be a tease. I wondered later why I thought so quickly that there must have been something I had done wrong, since I'm not guilty of any action Jimmie could reasonably be upset with me for doing. I realized that it might be because of my long relationship with Jake, where he interpreted everything I did as me cheating on him or wronging him in some way, as well as my recent experiences with unforgiving friends. That might be an issue of mine I'll have to watch out for in the future.

In any case, Jimmie called me because he had actually seen a travel agent, and had a list of cruise options for us. Really! We decided on leaving July 4th. I had to call back later, because apparently there is a Sweetser family reunion in West Virginia that goes through the 4th. So! We're leaving on the 10th.

The 10th! A cruise! I've never been on one before, although I've often thought it would be nice to go on one with someone. Who doesn't, I guess. There is also apparently rock climbing on this cruise, which means I might be able to reach my goal of climbing 4 more times without throwing up, as I did once, much to my embarassment.

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