Monday, December 2, 2013

15 Semi-Christmasy Facts About Me

It's December, which means it's getting closer to Christmas. In the spirit of sharing, I am going to share 15 random things about me that are related to Christmas. Because I like to challenge myself, apparently.

1. I like any type of Christmas song, as opposed to the rest of the year when I seem to almost single mindedly listen to country and little else. In fact, the only song I've found I don't like is Madonna's version of Santa Baby. Give me Eartha Kitt over Madonna any day.

2. My favorite Christmas special is Frosty the Snowman. I have no idea why, but it's the one I like the most.

3. It doesn't feel like Christmas time until I've heard "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". The morning radio show I spent most of my teenage years listening to played it every December. (One of my cousins once asked for a hippopotamus for Christmas, but she was happy for it to be a stuffed one. We found one.)

4. I know all the words to the B.C. Clark jingle. It's a jewelry store in Oklahoma City, and they have their own Christmas/anniversary jingle. I've never been to one of their stores.

5. I will happily spend a month watching TV specials I've seen 20+ times before. I'm kind of sad that I've not gotten to do that the past few years.

6. While I could easily listen to Christmas music almost non-stop (with enough variety), I understand that it would drive my husband crazy, so I only listen as reasonably possible.

7. Even though I haven't believed in Santa bringing me gifts since I was 10, I still find myself believing in Santa during the holiday specials.

8. I would love to have a white Christmas.

9. I love picking out gifts for people. I hate not knowing what people would like.

10. When I have a tree, it will be covered in a fairly eclectic mix of ornaments. I've already started looking up ornaments online to find ones I like.

11. I prefer the multi-color lights to the plain white ones. Christmas lights should be colorful, in my opinion. (Although, I have seen some lovely houses that just used white lights for decorating.)

12. While I believe that Christmas doesn't start until after Thanksgiving, I'd prefer to wait another week or two after that to put up a tree.

13. Last year, Ace and I gifted ourselves with a GPS for our truck. It's been one of the best investments we've made.

14. Last year was the first time Ace and I were apart on Christmas since we got married.

15. I'm not sure what our plans are for this Christmas, but it's looking likely that we'll be on the road.

Well, that ended up kind of maudlin. I apologize for that.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Depression Doesn't Care About That

I have talked, briefly, in the past about my depression. I have mostly, in my own opinion, whined about feeling depressed and upset and sad. Trust me when I say, I hate talking about depression as much as I hate having depression.

However, I've never really talked about depression as just the disease of depression. Because it is a disease, and not just because it's in a big medical text book about mental health diseases. After all, homosexuality used to be in that big book. No, depression is a disease because we know at least some of the causes (mostly chemical imbalances in the brain).

Not that that is what I want to talk about either.

I want to talk about the fact that depression doesn't care about race, sexuality, gender, or any other factor when deciding who to affect. It doesn't care about your politics, who you went to school with, or what your favorite color is. How things are going in your life can affect whether or not you have a depressive episode (it sounds like a TV show when I say that... if only it could be fixed in 30 minutes or less with a nice warm hug at the end and never return again). My worst bout of depression happened last year when Ace was on a truck and I was stuck living with his parents and feeling helpless about most things. And it was bad enough that I stopped eating almost entirely and barely functioned as a human being.

Before you say that I was just a whiny girl, keep in mind that I wanted to care about at least some of normal, regular, everyday things. But I just couldn't because it took all I had some days just to get out from under the covers, get dressed, and grab food that was sitting three steps away. I never wanted to hurt myself, I just couldn't seem to take care of myself either.

Depression didn't care that I was only a few months away from spending almost 24-7 with Ace again. Depression didn't care that I was finally starting to be more financially stable. Depression didn't care that my life wasn't truly getting worse (except the parts where my father-in-law was trying to sexually harass me, claiming it was to show me love, but that is a totally different topic). Depression didn't care about any of that. It just wanted to suck me down into it's seedy undertow.

And there have been times that just something less than good happening on some random day that depression has tried to suck me into it's midst. And while you might feel like that's me being somewhat entitled and stuck up, it's been about stupid things that have only minorly inconvenienced us. Things that didn't matter in the long run. Because depression didn't care that it was stupid and annoying more than anything else. It had found a foothold and wanted to drag me down.

If you ever have someone you care about tell you that they are depressed, please don't tell them to get over it. Please don't act like they can just choose to become happy again. Tell them that you care and you want to do anything you can to help. Tell them that it's good that they got out of bed and got dressed, because those things can be big accomplishments when you are depressed. Tell them that you are willing to listen or help them find professional help. Be willing to listen and help them find professional help. And for God's sake, don't act like it's not important that they are hurting and needing help. Don't treat their statements as light. If they are telling you, they feel safe with you and they want to confide in you and probably get help. If they tell you they've thought about hurting themselves or committing suicide, take them seriously. Help them help themselves and be willing to help them get serious help. Because it is a cry for help.

I considered asking for help last year. I knew that what I was feeling and how I was living was not healthy, but I didn't have anyone I trusted around me to help. Despite that, I did get better. Mostly because Ace got to take some time off and that helped tremendously. I had something to do each week that helped me focus on other people and that helped. But it was not the way I wanted to get better. I deserved better and so does everyone else who is hurting. Because those commercials about depression meds are right about one thing; depression hurts. And it hurts others to see the effects of depression on someone they love (at least it seems to hurt Ace when I'm hurting).

If you are depressed, please remember that it does get better. Sometimes it needs help, but it does get better. If someone you care about is depressed, please help them through until it gets better. Sometimes, that some of the help that is needed.

And no matter what, don't tell someone to just get over it. That never works.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Post About Nothing

I feel like I should write and pour my heart out. Only, I really have nothing that needs to be said.

I spent about 48 hours terrified concerned that I might be pregnant, because as much as I want kids now is so not the time for a pregnancy. And then I started spotting and now I feel like I can breathe again (don't tell me that until I actually start my period there is no breathing room, I know this, but I feel better knowing my body is doing something it's supposed to do right now even if it could mean something else.).

Hormones had me feeling nauseous more often that I like. And peppermints were helping, but bumps were making it worse. And there are a ton of bumps on the road.

Things are going well with the new company. We're keeping ourselves as put together as we can and it's been less stressful.

I have discovered which company makes condiments for McDonald's. That's kind of cool.

Yeah... I've got nothing right now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another Letter to an Unnamed Trucking Company

Dear Unnamed Trucking Company,
I'm sure you are wondering why Ace left you. Not that any one there except his driving manager seemed to try to really talk him into staying. And that is part of the problem. No one cared.

We even had one guy tell Ace that no one would care at any other company, so he might as well stay with you. That was a bad reasoning on why someone should stay at a company.

Someone else gave some excuse for how he wouldn't be stuck for the better part of a week starting in January. This was in September, so it wasn't a good excuse and the company he was switching to would have the same benefits under the proposed California law. This just made us confused about why that would be a reason to stay.

It doesn't help matters that Ace got stuck in California twice in a month. Nor did it help that no one apparently noticed that his info said that he doesn't drive in New York City. Or that before the second time we got stuck in California he had already declined 2 other chances to go to California that same day (really, why were you all so hot for him to go back to California?).

Your planners apparently decided to stop planning ahead and sending us info for the next load to pick up before we delivered, which was costing us lots of money each week. And left us sitting around more often than not.

His new company did send him to California on his first trip with them. And then gave him a trip right back out of California right afterwards. With no waiting and wondering what the next trip would be. In fact, we've had very little just sitting around between trips, and each time there was a logical reason for why we were waiting (once is because we were having work done on the truck... and we had our next load before it was done being worked on).

Working with people up at your company was stressful. Ace and I hadn't been off the truck since July 1st, but you were not willing to help with a hotel room when it became apparent that quitting the company was going to take until the next day (because the truck wasn't needing work that would keep us off the truck, apparently). The new company rented us a car and had a hotel room paid for us to stay in from Saturday until Wednesday (we paid for 2 days because we got there on Thursday). Quitting cost us way too much money, but we'll happily make more (even if I'm not driving yet) with the new company. So far, there has been no stress when talking with anyone at the new company.

Basically, your company sucks and that is why Ace quit. We miss the size and some of the storage options of your truck, but that's it.

Much less stressed,
M.A. Smith

I'm Not So Superficial (Any More)

I kind of understand why we judge people, in general, on stupid surface things like looks, what music they listen to, what clothes they wear, what kind of car they drive, what their occupation is. It's a quick way to start sorting out whether or not we'd be friends.

But it drives me crazy. The people I've found with the biggest hearts and that I care about the most are the people I know little to nothing about most of those things. I, obviously, can know what they look like and what they wear, but I may not know much else. And none of that really matters to me.

Having money to buy expensive clothes or cars does not mean you have a heart that cares for others. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt and driving a car that looks like it needs a paint job does not mean that you don't care about anyone. Sometimes it just means that you've had some hard times and this is what you have right now.

When I was in 4th-6th grades, I had some fairly close friends that weren't popular. Sadly, I lost touch with them after 6th grade, so I have no idea where they are now, but they were better friends to me than I probably deserved. I loved them with all my heart, except when I got asked why I was friends with them by the popular kids. And then I was a bad friend and dropped them like a hot potato. And they kept forgiving me and taking me back when I pulled my head out of wherever I had stuck it and went back to actually being friends with my friends (usually within a few days). I feel terrible about it now. At the time, I just wanted to maybe be popular (because I was kind of stupid about what being popular meant).

But I had gravitated toward people with big hearts and lots of love and forgiveness for someone who was kind of stupid despite being so smart. People who believed in me and were fun to be around. And that shaped me, even when I was being stupid.

So now, I don't really focus much on what people wear, or what they drive, or what their favorite things are. At least not for judging if they would be good friends. Because I had friends that looked past any of that while I was learning that people who care about you are worth far more than people that sort of like you. Because I'd rather judge my friends by the content of their hearts than their interests. Because I can find people who are amazing and who bless my life by being in it without needing to share interests in tv or movies.

Part of that lesson came when in 7th or 8th grade I had a "friend" who one day just decided that she didn't like me any more. And then a few days later, she liked me again. But I was shut out of most of my group of friends because one girl didn't like me for no apparent reason. And I think it helped me realize what a bad friend I had been in the past. I gave that friend a second chance, but the friendship wasn't as close and when she decided that she didn't like me for no apparent reason again, I just gave up on the friendship. Not quite as forgiving as my friends a few years earlier had been (the time frame on my random self-conscious idiocy was closer to once a year, not twice in as many months, which probably helped them too). But I had already started figuring out who were the type of people that would care about me vs caring about themselves.

So, now a days, I try to not judge someone by superficial means. I am by no means perfect, but I'm getting better at it.

I hope to teach my children this without them having to go through what I did. I'd prefer their stupid decisions to be about something less likely to hurt people, especially the ones who truly care about them.

And to those friends, I apologize. I'm not sure I did that adequately when we were younger. You deserved someone being your friend who didn't randomly get ashamed about superficial things. I wish I had done better at that. Thank you so much for being willing to forgive me. I got better, but I never forgot that I was that person. I hope you found better friends as you grew up. Ones that didn't do what I did. Ones who loved you because of who you were and are. Ones who wanted good things for you. Thank you for believing in me enough to forgive me.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Change Has Come

So, this year I am not doing NaBloPoMo. I have been doing badly about updating this blog, and I doubt that I'd do better by pushing myself to post every day for a month.

Instead, I am going to try to post more often than every two weeks. I make no promises.

Ace has switched companies, something that he had been considering since June. Things are changing. Today we are starting our first trip with the new company. Later, I will probably write a letter on here to the old company explaining why we left. I have feelings about it and I need to vent them. I'm still not naming companies though.

I am surprised to find that I am getting twitchy about having sat still for so long. I'm not used to us not going somewhere, and while I know that eventually we'll be out of over the road truck driving, that time has not come yet. I'll probably feel twitchy then too, until I get busy.

In the mean time, I have things to do (like bags to unpack and get things settled into semi-permanent places as they seem fit to do so. And I've got to try to leave some open space for the stuff we have yet to put on our truck, but will need.

Life is fun and exciting, except it's not anything I want to write about because it's involved and probably somewhat boring to most people.

Life is changing. And right now, that is good.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Things You Should Know Before Getting on a Semi

Life on the road is... different. There are things that you should know before you even contemplate doing it.

1. If you are on a truck with someone, you can't really get away from them. The best you can get is being on the other side of a curtain or being apart during bathroom breaks (unless you are the same gender, then I don't think that will happen). You are going to have to figure out how not to make the other person want to hurt you and how to deal with the stress of seeing/hearing/being around someone practically 24-7. Ace can't do much that I don't know about. I can't do much that he doesn't know about. We are constantly around each other and there is almost no break from that. If we hadn't already gotten used to it, we'd probably have had some fights by now.

2. If you have an APU (alternate power unit), it helps keep you cooler or warmer. It cannot make you comfortable in 90+ degree weather. It is too hot to handle all of the cooling on it's own. You will have to idle the truck or you will have to stay hot. There are no other options.

3. There are temperatures that are impossible to sleep in. 100+ degrees outside makes it difficult or impossible to sleep soundly inside.

4. People in 4-wheeled vehicles drive like they are nuts. Especially around semis. They cut a big truck off and then slow down. They pass on the right. They slow way down from in front of a truck to get behind it when they are entering the interstate, just to zoom around it afterwards. They have almost no idea how long it takes a truck to stop, how wide the turning radius is, or where a driver's blind spots are. Given the number of crazy people on the road, there is a surprisingly lower number of wrecks involving semis and most of those are not the truck driver's fault.

5. Some companies don't care about their drivers. Some companies do. Some companies are good to start with to get enough experience to get to a company that will treat you right. Be careful who you work for. Talk to truck drivers to find out what they've heard, but take their information with a grain of salt. They have probably mostly heard other drivers complaints if they are talking about a company they have never worked for.

6. Sometimes you will have to stop somewhere you don't want to because you don't have any other options. Hopefully it will be a place that is open 24-7 and has decent bathrooms. Hopefully you will never be yelled at for using a bathroom at a truck stop (if it's one of the chains, they won't yell ever because that's what the bathrooms are for).

7. Playing make-a-space sucks. If you get hit, even if it's not your fault, you could be blamed by your company for not being in a legal space. Sometimes you may not have other options. If you can buy a space, cough up the money instead of making-a-space. It's safer and then you are covered. Plus it's tax deductible.

8. As much as you may hate it, you will eventually have to pee somewhere without a toilet (or one so nasty you don't want to use it). If you are male, use a bottle. If you are female, buy a pitcher with a lid and pour said contents into a bottle. You will probably always have a bottle around, because it is ridiculously easy to find 1 liter drinks at truck stops.

9. Eating out is expensive. The truck does not have any type of kitchen appliances. The two end up being related. You will either buy a microwave and a fridge, or you will constantly overspend on eating out. The microwave/fridge option is probably cheaper in the long run. Heat and eat meals are a lot cheaper at Walmart than at the truck stop.

10. You will not get to shower every day. There are plenty of times you will get to shower. You will probably have plenty of showers that expire before you use them. But after driving for 10+ hours a day, you will usually want to go to sleep. Sometimes, you won't be at a place where you have a shower available because it was the best place to stop for the night. You won't get to shower every day, and that's just a fact of life on the road.

11. Most truck stops have laundry rooms. Most of those laundry rooms are available to the general public. Sometimes the general public will take up all the washers and you will just be pissed off about it. Unfortunately, you can't do much about it but wait to do laundry, either at that stop later or at another stop.

12. Some loads take forever to get loaded. Some loads take forever to get unloaded. You will be stuck waiting at a shipper or receiver at some point. You will get stuck calling like you are obsessed to check on a load. This is especially bad when it's meat being hauled, but Ace and I just waited 2 extra days for a load of gum and life savors (which was still not fully right).

13. Deadlines for delivery (DLDs) are sometimes just given to make you laugh. I know because some shippers treat them as suggestions instead of actual deadlines. All you can do is tell your company and hope that either someone else will be able to swap trailers with you (so the load gets there on time) or that the receiver is willing to change their appointment so that you can get it there on time. If the load is ready by DLD and anything happens, the load is going to be late (unless you can swap trailers).

14. The internet is key to trip planning. Google maps, while not wholly appropriate for trucks, helps give you a good idea on what ways are likely to be good ones to travel. Pay for internet availability. It's not optional.

15. Verizon seems to have the best coverage for phones and internet. You will need a cell phone to contact people at your company. I've already talked about the internet. Most of the big name truck stops have apps for smart phones and there are other services that are useful with apps too. Smart phones are optional, but well worth the money. Plus, then you can play games while waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I have some more pressing needs to take care of.

Stay safe and be careful around semis if you are in a 4-wheel vehicle. We'd like you to all stay alive out there.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You Don't Want All the Details, Really

I'm going to stop apologizing for ignoring this blog for long periods of time. It keeps happening. Mostly because life on a truck is kind of boring unless I'm going to be complaining about the company Ace works for. Given that he's about to switch companies, that is the most ridiculous thing to blog about.

The good news is that we should have a better income and feel a bit more financially stable with the new company. Also, we can get me licensed and driving the truck with him, like we had originally planned. And I can get on the truck right away until we are ready for me to be driving, so no more time apart (they will let him train me, which is awesome).

The bad news is that the current company needs to sent proof of employment and driving records, and they do that once a week and did not do it last week. We're in this weird place where it seems they are trying to annoy us while supposedly they should be doing all they can to keep Ace as a driver.

So, we are waiting.

I'm hoping we'll have switched companies before my birthday in 2 weeks. But we'll see. At this point, all the current company can do is delay it a bit.

Things are looking up, even while we are currently in a holding pattern of waiting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Random Randomness

Okay, I am completely terrible about remembering to come back here and post. I think this has been established. Thus, today, you get some random bits.


On the other hand, Ace and I are talking a lot. We've come to some fair (to me) compromises on dealing with his parents from now on. Basically, I can do everything reasonably possible to not have to be around them and he won't complain. He's a bit annoyed about the part where his father sexually assaulted and harassed me, so he totally understands my desire to stay away.


Unfortunately for me, we've been in some of the rainier parts of the country lately. I am so ready for some sunshine. My emotions are being a bit more fickle because of the constant grey clouds.


We've added two new states to our list of states we've been to (new to me, not to Ace). I'd tell you how many that is, but I don't currently have access to the numbers.


One of the recent updates on my laptop has made it more difficult for me to use Word or Excel. This is part of the reason I don't have numbers on the states. This is really annoying me. WTF Microsoft?


Ace is considering switching trucking companies. Provided we can get answers to questions. Sometimes the weekend comes at inconvenient times.


I keep having dreams that I only remember like one thing about when I wake up. It's mostly annoying because I don't really seem to care about these dreams, but they won't quite leave my mind. Last night my dream had something to do with hair pulling (and that is pretty much all I remember about it).


I am still obsessing about Welcome to Night Vale. I don't think I want help though.


And that's pretty much been it lately. Well, that and lots of sleep, lots of rain/grey clouds, and lots of driving/waiting.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Can Today Just Be Over Now?" "No."

I'm having one of those days today. The kind where I wonder who okays me being in public, except I have to be for bathroom purposes because I live in a truck and why don't trucks come with toilets? It's not a great day, is what I'm saying.

And it isn't even anything that Ace could fix if he wanted to, because it was something out of his control that made it feel like such a bad day. And something that happened yesterday isn't helping and my brain is going a million miles a minute and nothing is right and why did I get up? (It's kind of loud in my head, is what I'm trying to say.)

Yesterday, we almost had a wreck. It could/would have been a bad one for us. I could have potentially died or at least been in a hospital for a long while. It scared me badly and I don't think I'm fully over that yet, even if the idea of being on the road does not bother me today.

And then today, we had issues with a load that should have been a simple pick up a trailer and drive down the road. It was over-weight. We were picking it up from a drop yard, so we couldn't have the shipper fix it. It wasted a few hours of our day. It wasn't something to get nearly as upset as I seem to be over.

I've also been emotional lately. Weepy about the most random things. I just had my period, so it's not likely hormonal, but I can't rule anything out at this point.

I'm having one of those days. And hopefully the chocolate I'm about to eat will help.

(The title of this post is an actual conversation between Ace and I. He was sympathetic to my desire for the day to be over.)

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Dear, This Wont Text You (Ignore This Title, It Sucks)

The Ring has been destroyed. As I knew it would, based off the movies. I still want to read through the appendices, but I'm not subjecting Ace to them. He's not so interested.

And I'm trying not to obsessively listen to Welcome to Night Vale. Because I think I could do that, but that wouldn't be healthy. The podcast scares me and makes me laugh and makes me love it in equal measure.

I'd like to meet Carlos and his perfect hair. I'd love to meet Cecil and his dulcet tones.

Don't send help. I'm happy over here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Few, Short Letters

Dear Readers,
I have not forgotten this blog. I have just been caught up in a cycle of not enough sleep and focusing on reading Lord of the Rings (we're on book 6 and should be done with the actual story by the end of the month!). Hopefully some things will change soon (the lack of enough sleep).

M.A. Smith

Dear Unnamed Trucking Company,
Why did you decide on black trucks? And why do you think driving overnight in the summer is going to lead to anyone getting a good 8 hours of sleep when the truck is too hot during the day? You suck at making good decisions.

Tired and cranky,
M.A. Smith

Dear Miley Cyrus,
I don't even want to know what happened at the VMAs. But nobody respects you, based off of what little I've seen about it. You are not winning over any parents.

So over it,
M.A. Smith

Dear Heat,
I just want to sleep for 8 hours straight. Between you and my bladder that hasn't happened in a bit. Give me a break!

Overly hot,
M.A. Smith

Dear Ace,
You are the best. Even if it's too hot and I'm too tired. I love you lots. Don't change.

Your wife

Monday, July 29, 2013

This Post Is Also Pointless, But At Least It's Not Disgusting

We seem to have hit a small snag on things just running smoothly lately. Last week just had a bunch of fairly small issues that compounded and made for a bad week. This morning added a new, fixable problem that has not helped things feel like they are going right.

That said, we did get off the yard at unnamed trucking company within 48 hours, which is a record. It was going to be within 24, but there were issues with a load and it was just easier to go back to the yard and try again the next day.

And we have plenty of miles under the last two weeks. Which is good, because they pay by the mile, so any time spent sitting is somewhat costly. Especially when it is because of waiting on a load to be loaded or dealing with overages on a load (both of which happened last week, which is at least partly why it was a bad week).

Things work better, of course, when the people you are dealing with at your own company are not crazy. And when other companies don't lie to your company. Friday was not a good day (lots of sitting, not a lot getting fixed, no chance to actually do our laundry like we wanted/needed to).

I would like to urge anyone out there who thinks that going to a truck stop and doing your laundry there is a good idea, at least do the truck drivers a favor and don't use all the machines at one time. If you do, your laundry getting done is cutting into our break time and we only have 10 hours to get any laundry done and try to get 8 hours of sleep before hitting the roads again and driving vehicles that weigh up to 40 tons. Do you want a sleepy driver driving something that would then become a very heavy weapon down the roads you might need to take? (This has happened to us more than once. Why do people who have cars and can visit laundromats or friends or neighbors or family or anywhere else too think their laundry is more urgent than the truck driver who can, at best, maybe make it another day or two before he or she has to wash their clothes?)

It was not a good week last week. And we're both still a bit annoyed right now. (Especially since we only have one computer that can get online right now, because the other one seems to have some virus.)

Can things just smooth out a bit for a few days, please.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

In Which I Rant About What Makes a Fan

In a different part of my life, I spend way too much time on Tumblr looking at pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. It's a problem that has mostly been solved by being on the truck and adding more blogs that have nothing to do with Benedict Cumberbatch to my Tumblr dashboard.

Apparently, there are people out there who feel the need to dictate what a fan of something is and who it is not. And this has made me fairly angry. Because why does anyone feel they have a right to determine who is a fan? Who declared them king or queen with the power to dictate who is a fan and who is pretending to be one?

As usual, it was because of something stupid (with a few not so stupid but very childish threats) and it has grown into something even bigger and more stupid. It's growing into something that can hurt the show/books that all these people are claiming to love.

I am declaring, right here, that I don't care what characters you would like to see in a relationship on a show or in a book or movie. That does not determine whether or not you are a fan. If you like what you see, you are a fan. If you are excited about it, you are a fan. If you have only seen 5 minutes and wish you could see the entire thing, no matter how big it is, you are a fan.

Everyone else can back off. Because your opinion on what makes a fan is skewed there. If they like it, they are a fan. Period. That's all it takes. They don't have to dedicate time and energy into anything more than liking it and they are a fan.

There you go world, go be fans. Just stop bringing your drama into my already over dramatized life. I have sleep to catch up on.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Post Is Not Worth Reading

I apologize in advance for today. After ignoring this blog for way longer than reasonable, I came today to whine about how I'm not feeling as good as I'd like to.

It starts at about midnight last night. I had gone to sleep at 7 pm (Ace and I hadn't quite had enough sleep lately, and I was exhausted) and woke up between midnight and 1 and needed to go to the bathroom. While I was taking care of business, Ace texted me and asked if I wanted to get dinner while we were inside. Not seeing any particular reason not to, I said something along the lines of I guess.

After I finished eating dinner, I stopped by another bathroom, because my bladder was uncomfortably demanding I go again (I'm pretty sure I may have a mild UTI and maybe some minor dehydration, but without checking with a doctor it's hard to be sure). While in the bathroom, I grew uncomfortably cold. I walked back to the table, where Ace was still eating, and he handed me the key to the truck and told me to go ahead and go out (apparently I looked like I was needing to lay down). I made it to the truck and wrapped up in my blanket, but I couldn't seem to get myself to lay down and be comfortable.

So, I decided to sit in the front seat and watch for Ace (even though he was going to text me when he was on his way). I got out a slightly garbled text to let Ace know I wasn't feeling good (the word throw came out as hrpw), and then I was opening the door to throw up on the ground/steps to the truck. Ace then told me to grab the trash can (too late). He bought me some peppermints and some Pepto Bismol before he came out to the truck. Unfortunately for him, the sight, sound, and smell of vomit causes him to respond in a like manner, so neither of us got to actually digest the meal he had just bought for us. While he was recovering from his reaction to my stomach's protest, I suddenly had to rush back inside.

Apparently, my body was not satisfied with just throwing up. All I will say is that I felt amazingly better after and was just tired. The Pepto at the least didn't hurt my now calm stomach. And I slept until the alarm for us getting up and taking a shower went off this morning at 6:30.

While my stomach is still acting a bit more queasy than I'd like, I seem to be only tired at this point. And I will admit that sometimes my stomach can't quite differentiate between hunger and nausea (after last night, I'm being extra cautious). I don't think Ace has much of a problem with that. The only good thing is that I know it wasn't food poisoning because I threw up a bit too soon for that to be the case. Just my stomach being very unhappy.

And now for another peppermint, because this is not helping my stomach calm down.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Studying, But Not What I Expected to Be Studying

Well, I am obviously not getting any better about remembering to post while we are on the road. But, I have a good reason lately. I've been working on a project that spawned a second project.

It started like this: I was listening to a sermon that we had playing overnight. It woke me up, and I was awake, so I had little else better to do. In it, the teacher was talking about how his mother had typed up scriptures for the teacher and his wife to stand on when they were believing God for a child. And I thought, "I should look up scriptures to do that." So, I started doing that.

Well, then we took a week's vacation and I relaxed and didn't work on the list. But when we got back on the truck, I started back up. And then I saw a verse that I know I've read before, but it didn't quite hit me the way it did this time I read it. It was Colossians 3:21 and in the Amplified, it reads as "Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]"

So, I looked up all the things not to do to children and how they would become and feel if you did those things. Because words are important, and I wanted to clearly understand what God meant by that. And that lead me to I Corinthians 13:4-8, which is all about love. And I realized that we are supposed to be parents that live what is said about love, which would avoid all of those things.

Basically, I seem to be starting to get a lesson about parenting together, which will hopefully lead back to me getting together my list of scriptures on parenting. (In other news, I know at least one thing that God is obviously gearing me up for, at some point.

So, yeah. I'm over here (and there but maybe not there) doing research about parenting. (No, I'm not currently pregnant. I'm just finishing up my period, thanks for asking.) If nothing else, I should be well prepared when I do become a mother. But the timing seems to be right for doing all this research and getting this information together.

Nicely, I have at least one ministry that I've got CDs from that I know teaches about marriage and parenting. I'll go through all my CDs and make notes soon. I am going to have lots of information on hand about children and parenting. And maybe someday, I'll be teaching others what God and others have taught me.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


I'm in an odd mood right now. I think part of it is the fact that Ace and I finished the Harry Potter series on Wednesday and I'm not reading anything new currently. We'll be going through The Lord of the Rings trilogy next, but we don't get back on the road until Monday at the earliest.

Part of the issue is that the future is back up in the air again. Ace doesn't want to leave his current company while he is mad, so we've not talked to the company we think we want to go with next. I totally understand, and since we did get off the truck mostly on time I'm not going to try to argue the point.

On the plus side, we have enjoyed our time off. We got new glasses and prescription sunglasses. We replaced some clothes. We bought some toys. The only thing that would have been nicer would have been if I could have gotten the book I wanted (Good Omens, some day I will own you!). Well, that and our mail not getting lost in UPS's system (which has lead to one uncomfortable phone call to listen to already, and will probably lead to another).

So, I'm calling this vacation, the first we've ever taken, successful. Over all. And that's what matters.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Unnamed Trucking Company Letter

Dear Unnamed Trucking Company,
I am sorry that my existence seems to be troubling your lives lately. I know that it's frustrating that I want my husband to actually have some time off. I mean, in your eyes, he's had time off as recently as April and what does he need more time off for anyway?

The thing is, he hasn't really had time off since March. When we took a few days to visit some friends. In April, we were trying to get the truck fixed. And that didn't really happen until we were back on the yard and supervising the fixing ourselves. Even then, we left with one of the main problems still unfixed (unbeknownst to us at the time).

However, it is our 10th anniversary in just over a week. I have demanded only one thing: not to be on the truck (or in a car, really) on our anniversary. It's really the simplest demand possible. I'm fairly sure most wives demand something more impressive for their 10th anniversary, but my desires right now are fairly simple. We even gave you at least most of June for notice that we wanted time off around then and where we wanted to go.

The fact that this notice did not seem to be enough for you is hardly my fault. My husband cannot go back in time to change our anniversary for you. And he wouldn't even if he could.

While we are off the truck, we will be talking with another company. They seem to treat their drivers better, and that appeals to us right now. How things go from there partially depends on their answers and partially on how close to our anniversary it gets before we get off the truck. There are a few other factors, but those are some of the stronger ones right now.

So, Unnamed Trucking Company, maybe in the future you should remember that your drivers are people. They have lives outside their job for you. And if you keep treating them badly, it's not going to go well for your company in the future. After all, truck drivers are smart enough to know when they are being shafted and to ask drivers from other companies how that company treats their drivers.

M.A. Smith

Friday, June 14, 2013

Why We Are Considering a Change

One of the reasons we are considering a change of places of employment for Ace is how much he's being annoyed by, well, frankly everyone but his driving manager and about two other people (one of whom he hardly ever talks to, so there's that).

Case in point: On Wednesday, we get up at 2 am to deliver a load at 7 am. We finally get to leave with an empty trailer at 10:10 am. By the time we're done with sending off our load sheets (so we can get paid) and doing a post trip inspection (or PTI), it is about noon. When we get done with our trailer being unloaded, we have to send something off via the Qualcom (basically a computer with very limited things it can do) to the company to tell them what time it is, when we will be available for dispatch, how much unloading was, all that fun stuff. We wanted a day and a half to just relax and not deal with anyone at the company, so we put in Friday (today) at 8 am for when we would be available.

Somehow, the system didn't show that we had a trailer, despite one being put in on the unloaded message. That is potentially a glitch. That is only minorly an issue in this story.

So, the planner, doing his job, re-entered stuff in for us having the trailer. Only he didn't pay any attention to when we said we would be available for dispatch. So he sent us a load yesterday and called to let us know. Then he proceeded to interrupt Ace every time he tried to talk after Ace told him that he was planning on taking yesterday off. He proclaimed that Ace had had a day off Wednesday (since when is a 10 hour day a day off?) and that he had hours he could drive.

Nicely, Ace's driving manager was able to go talk to the guy, get us back off that load and point out that he was the reason he was seeing us as available when we had originally said we wouldn't be. A few hours later, we got a different load assignment, but before Ace could accept it, he was sent a message saying that it was for a different driver. This morning, after leaving us waiting for a while, he sent a message asking if Ace was ready yet. We are both annoyed with that planner, as he seems to barely be doing his job (The last time we had him planning something for us, he didn't send us a plan until after we dropped off a load that we had all day to deliver, so we wanted to know when we would pick up and where as we could wait to deliver until close to pick up time. We ended up wasting quite a few hours that day sitting around because of that.).

So, with the diminishing respect for anyone who works in the offices, it is not very surprising that we are considering a change. Preferably to a company that we haven't heard any complaints about thus far (in fact, we've only heard good things about them, even by their own drivers).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Anniversaries and Changes

Ace and I have our 10th wedding anniversary coming up. We're taking a week off. My only demand has been that we be off the truck by roughly 10pm the night before. (All right, I've also asked for cheesecake, but that is a request, not a demand.)

Ace has never had quite that much time off. At least not since his first break during training.

While we are off, we're going to talk do a different company. We've had a few too many problems lately with the current one. We sat from 7 pm Friday until 1 am Tuesday on Memorial Day weekend. We got paid $270 in compensation for that. None of that actually saw our checking account for various reasons.

We are not amused. And we are tired of Ace being called for favors and getting messed up financially for doing them, with no one willing to help us out in return.

It's coming up to being time for a change.

So, change we are looking for.

(I am still frustrated and tired and overwhelmed by some things. But I'm better, knowing we have a plan.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Don't Even Know Any More

This past month has been awkward for me. I have never wanted to say "I quit" more. And I'm not really sure what it is that I want to quit. Because it's not my marriage. Nor is it being on the truck.

I think we are both done with this company. I'm impressed Ace has made it this long. We're going to talk to another company Tuesday to find out a few things (like if it would be better to wait until he has a year under his belt before switching).

I'd like to blame it on this being May, but I doubt that's the issue.

I'm ready for a break. We aren't planning one for almost two weeks. But I'm ready for a break.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Harry Potter Part 4

After taking longer than expected, Ace and I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (this book had more days of delay than it should have).

Which means for the first time, we have the exact same amount of knowledge of what is going to happen. Namely, what was in the movies.

I am looking forward to Luna Lovegood.

(In other news, Ace made a Harry Potter reference today. It made me laugh. I love this man.)

My Crazy, Let Me Show You It

I have a really strange mind sometimes. I say this with no pride about that nor any shame. I recognize that my mind is potentially really screwed up. I blame my mother, mostly because she was so instrumental in breaking it in the first place.

I have a totally irrational fear of making phone calls. The only person I can reliably feel comfortable calling is Ace. It's crazy, because I know there are other people who would love to actually hear from me on the phone. People like my dad, who would just not answer if it was a bad time. And yet... I have been crippled at the thought of actually talking to someone that I've called. (I have no fear of answering my phone and talking, but calling someone else... I told you my mind is strange.)

I am really picky about music and shoes/socks. And sometimes food. Like insanely picky about music. Enough to annoy Ace if I were in charge of the music in the truck. And I hate wearing shoes for long periods of time. If I feel comfortable in your house, my shoes will come off. It makes shoe shopping torturous. Let's not even talk about me buying socks. The food thing is the only one that makes sense. My taste buds are really sensitive. And they don't like complex flavors for the most part. Or really strong ones. And yet, I have somehow convinced my taste buds to like licorice (black and red, because I'm just that weird).

I occasionally try to pick a fight with Ace. Without realizing that's what I'm doing, until I've said something stupid. No clue why, as I hate fighting and love Ace.

The main reason I didn't want to be an engineer: the number of hours it would take to get my degree (also, because my mother wanted me to become one). The degree I chose to get: the second highest number of hours required for getting a job (accounting, which at the time required 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA exam... don't know if that's changed).

I read about grammar for fun. I don't think I got enough knowledge of grammar in school.

This is not an exhaustive list of my bits of crazy. These are just the bits that seem important right now.

Hopefully I won't cringe and beat myself up mentally for posting this later.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dear Life...

Dear Life,
Hi. How are you? Doing well? I ask because I'm concerned.

It seems that you seem to think I did something with your spouse. Or at least that's how you are treating me. Given that lately I've barely had the time/the inclination to do things with my spouse, it seems unreasonable to think I'm doing something with yours.

I don't even know if you have a spouse. I'm not sure I care.

Please give me a break and bother someone else. Or better yet, follow Wil Wheaton's advice: Don't be a dick.

And now, I'm going to go back to trying to forget how much I'd like to be at the end of my day. Because it seems to be a bit far away right now.

M.A. Smith

Monday, May 13, 2013

I am starting to be able to tell which bathrooms had a woman's help in planning them and which a woman was only consulted to make sure nothing was missing.

To explain, there have been multiple bathrooms I've been in where the trash can for feminine hygiene products was behind the head of the person going to the bathroom. Until today, I didn't use one while on my period. Not that it's stopped me from thinking it was a dumb design before today. Today, it just made me want to scream. Because what woman, while dealing with cramps, wants to have to figure out how to avoid blood dripping off a tampon and onto her clothes?

Whoever designed that bathroom clearly was just trying to cram as many stalls in, and had to have someone (probably a woman) point out that they were missing something from the stalls. With no extra space on the walls (except next to the toilet paper, which would have made more sense), they put it the only place they thought made sense. Behind the woman's head/shoulders.

Yes, I am feeling disgruntled about it. After last month, where my body decided to play with what it was doing, it has decided to bleed like a stuck pig this month. Meaning I've had my period for less than 7 hours and have already had to change my tampon twice. There is a reason I'm eating a king size bag of M&Ms and following it up with a regular sized bag.

So, whoever is designing stalls for women's bathrooms, I implore you. Do not make a woman suffer more when she is on her period. Especially if she lives in a truck. Her life is already hard enough. Make the bathroom as pleasant an experience as you can.

And now I'll go back to eating my chocolate. Because chocolate understands me today. And it thinks my jeans are evil too (Ace claims pants aren't evil, but he doesn't have cramps).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I'm Hiding Today

Today is one of those days I have mixed emotions about. Most of them have to do with hiding from anything proclaiming anything about Mother's Day and waiting it out until tomorrow, when I'm safe from all the commotion for until next year.

It's also my mother's birthday today. This only complicates my feelings for today.

On the plus side, Ace is wonderful. He is fine with me ignoring that it's Mother's Day. He's fine with buying me chocolate/sweets/whatever and letting me hide away from the world. He understands why I flinch, mentally, at the reminders.

I hope that if you are a mother, you have a wonderful day. Don't let my issues with the day ruin your day. Celebrate. Take a day off or spend it with your children or celebrate however you want.

As for me, I think I'll spend part of the day eating the Swedish Fish Ace bought for me. He really is the best husband ever.

And hiding. Because avoiding the reminders is better than flinching all day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Depression Sucks Enough On Its Own

Lately, I've seen a few things about depression online and they've got me thinking. The talented Allie of Hyperbole and a Half wrote about her long, staggering bout of depression that she's still getting over. And I'm glad she is.

On Tumblr, I read about people who are being treated as not in need of help because while they are depressed, they don't self harm.

And I find that to be hurtful. Just because I don't wear physical scars does not mean that I've not got scars on my mind. Depression is not something to ignore just because I don't react the way that someone else expects me to.

I imagine that everyone who suffers from depression long term comes to a point where they want to give up. I did. It was difficult to just keep doing the very little that I was doing. And the only thing that provided me with hope each week was prayer night (praying for a local ministry). The only reason I didn't end up just laying in bed for about a month straight (other than trips to the bathroom) was because of prayer night.

But I didn't hurt myself. The worst I did was not eat enough. I ended up losing 15 pounds because of it.

I spent days laying in bed, watching tv, not caring about anything. I had no passion. And the only times I felt normal were times Ace was home from driving.

I needed help. I needed someone to know that I needed help and to get it for me, because I wasn't comfortable asking for it.

I hate to think that if someone had gotten me the help I desperately needed (and wanted) that I would have been turned away because I wasn't harming myself. I hate to think that we don't take depression seriously as a problem unless someone is harming themselves or considering suicide. I hate to think that we are hurting people that are already hurting because we don't believe them when they say that want help because they aren't doing what we expect them to.

We need to remember that people have emotional and mental scars too. That not all scars are physical. That someone can be hurting or numb and need help without any outward signs.

I am glad Allie got help. I wish I had gotten help. I'm thankful for the people who reminded me of my blessings when I couldn't see them (by asking what was going on in my life). And I hope that we can help people more often when they are hurting this way.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Harry Potter Post 3

We have now made it through the first three Harry Potter books. We're in the middle of watching the 6th movie (we were watching it, but then had to stop to drive for several hours, so we'll finish it later). And we're both really interested in what is going to happen.

I did have to look up Luna Lovegood to see if she lives, because I like the character, but didn't want to commit to loving her if she was just going to break my heart by dying. I've been hurt by fictional characters enough. But she lives, so it's all good. I can love my fellow random person.

I am now trying to figure out why Professor Slughorn's name is so familiar, without looking it up. It's kind of annoying me. (And I'm probably going to look it up here in a moment.)

As I told Ace last night, the magic will never end, because we (or I) can always reread the books or re-watch the movies.

And I think I'm done with my random, barely coherent post. I think Luna has rubbed off more than I expected.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Harry Potter Mania Continues

So, Ace and I have finished book 2 (Chamber of Secrets) and are just over halfway through book 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban). And before you say, "I thought you weren't going to push so hard to finish books any more" I'd like to tell you that we finished book 1 on the 26th of April, and I've only been reading 5 chapters a day at most (I've skipped a few days). Book two is fairly short (18 chapters), so it wasn't hard to get through that quickly and book 3 is only 22 chapters, so it's not that odd that we might be over halfway through it right now.

We've watched through Goblet of Fire. We've now got all the movies (Walmart had them for a good deal, and we got all of them for $40 because we were willing to look for the last two at another Walmart because the first one didn't have those two.). And we are frustrated because while our TV works, the place it was plugged in does not. But we have laptops that will play the movies if nothing else.

I think Ace is excited about the stories. Which makes a change from 10 years ago when he asked me to not bring the books into his house (which is why I stopped reading them after book 4. So looking forward to more/new plots). And it's a nice change. He's grown as a person. And I no longer have to avoid most things with Harry Potter, which is great because it is huge in the nerdy/geeky things that we love.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Harry Potter, Part 1

Ace and I have now gotten through the first Harry Potter book (Or we did a few days ago, oops.). My throat is more sore than I'd like, because I read over half the book to him last night/this morning. Since we'd already watched the movie, it was easier for him to follow the story without getting too distracted or needing me to reread stuff to him.

Still, it was a lot to read in a few hours.

But, we will continue the same pattern with books 2-6. After that, we'll hopefully either have found the movies for book 7 or I'll just read it to myself and fill him in. Or he'll be so invested that he'll have me read it without having the movies available. Whichever.

I'm also trying to figure out if I should read him The Hobbit after this. I think he'd like it, but I'm not sure he'd want to hear it before we can see all the movies.

And I am getting way too ahead of myself.

It's good to be sharing something with Ace. And it gives us something else to talk about.

Just don't tell either of us how it ends.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why I'd Prefer It If My Children Didn't Read Twilight

Let me preface this by saying that I've not read the Twilight series. I've read enough about it from people who have read it to know that I'd probably prefer to keep it that way. And most of it is not the story line (although I have my issues with that), it's because of the writing. Yes, I've read enough descriptions of the writing to know that I'd prefer to avoid the writing (ones that gave examples from the books).

I'd prefer it if my children don't read Twilight though. And part of it is the story line. I'd prefer my children not think that the characters in the story are good role models. I'd prefer they don't think that it's okay to break and enter to watch someone sleep or to get depressed because someone breaks up with you (for your own good, in their opinion) and then start pulling stupid, suicidal stunts. And hopefully, even if they do read the books (because I won't stop them, even if I discourage it), I will have taught them enough to realize why they should look to other sources for good role models.

I'd prefer, honestly, that my children are inspired by someone like Hermoine Granger (with less rule breaking, preferably) or River Tam, or River Song for that matter. Someone who found love, but was strong even without that. Someone who had a fully developed personality. Someone who shows that doing the right thing is more important than some teenage relationship.

I want my children to read freely, from lots of sources. I plan on reading lots of books, lots of different types of books, to them when they are young. I hope to cultivate a lifetime love of reading. I don't want them to see books as my husband does; non-fiction preferred to fiction, movies preferred to books. Not because there is something wrong with non-fiction or movies, but because there are wonderful worlds out there in fiction.

I'd rather they keep an open mind.

I'd prefer they read and re-read Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and similar books. I'd prefer that if they are interested in vampire fiction, they go for Dracula or Interview with a Vampire (even if I couldn't quite finish that book).

But I won't ban Twilight. I don't really plan on banning any books, if I can help it. I plan on encouraging them to read books that others have banned. Including Harry Potter. And Fahrenheit 451. And To Kill a Mockingbird. Because there are important things in these books. Some of those things are what got them banned in the first place.

But I want my children, especially my daughters, to have strong female role models. To know that they can be awesome and strong. To know that they can change their world.

And I'm not sure Bella Swan and sparkly Edward Cullen are the way to do that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hurry Up and Wait

Once again, we are waiting for our load to be ready (it's loaded, but there is a potential quality control issue). On the plus side, we know where we are stopping at night. Unfortunately, we aren't getting the one thing that is still not right on our truck fixed until who knows when. Which sucks, because until then we are having to idle more to control the temperature in the truck.


In the mean time, Ace and I have bought a lot of movies lately. We bought 13 in the past 48 hours. And now, Ace is watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the first time. Ever. And I haven't seen any past the second or third (I've read the first 4 books, but stopped there. The last decade was weird for me.).

It's exciting. At least for me.

And now, back to the movie for me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another List

It snowed in Kansas last night. Want to know how I know that for sure? We drove through it. We had turned the a/c on yesterday because we (I) got hot. I miss the warmer weather already, even though I know it will be back.

Anyway, more things I've learned on the road.

1. Sometimes things just keep happening one after another and you can't deliver on time. It sucks, but it's smarter to deliver safely than on time.

2. It's hard to stay awake when you are driving overnight because it's dark and there is nothing to see. And sometimes it's hard to go to sleep, or back to sleep, during the day because it's so light out.

3. Someone needs to come up with heated windshield wipers for trucks. Because ice accumulates there and it makes the wipers stop working as effectively. And the heater blowing on the windshield doesn't warm up the wipers enough to stop that happening.

4. Weather is fickle everywhere, not just Oklahoma. (I kind of figured this, but it's been more obvious on the road.)

5. Apparently, you can still get pulled for jury duty even when you are on the road. Hopefully I can get that issue cleared up quickly and easily (I no longer live in that county or state, and I didn't get notification until after it had passed, or I would have told them before hand. It sucks only getting your mail every few months sometimes.).

6. Some people seem to think, probably because they have never been on a truck, that a truck just stops being an issue when you climb out of it. Just because I can afford to eat wherever does not mean I can park wherever. The truck doesn't disappear just because you've gone inside.

7. Some people will ignore things just because it's inconvenient for them. This just leads to annoying phone calls. (No, we won't take some load to New York City just because you call it The Market. There is a reason it says "No New York" on Ace's file.)

8. New York City is definitely not built for a semi-truck with a 53' trailer. Also, they use a different measuring system than the rest of the country for measuring bridge heights. (A 13' 6" trailer will fit under bridges labeled 12' 2", if there is no snow packed on the ground in New York.)

9. Chicago needs to label a few more bridges. But they do a good job of labeling the ones that are 13' 10" and under.

10. Dallas' skyline looks cooler at night.

11. It's always better when the person fixing the truck has talked to the driver of the truck to know for sure what is wrong with it. Otherwise, it might not get fixed the first time.

12. It sucks when the a/c has an intermittent issue. It's worse when the APU (alternate power unit) goes out.

13. Some weeks, nothing seems to go quite right. Other weeks, everything goes your way.

14. It sucks being stuck at a hotel. Even if the company is paying you for sitting there. Even if they are paying for the hotel room. Especially when the hotel restaurant is closed on Sundays.

15. A semi-truck and trailer can block an interstate when it's tipped over. Hopefully it's not too loaded down, so it can be pulled out of the way and you can get moving again. (We passed by a tipped over truck early yesterday. After waiting about 30 minutes or so for it to be moved out of the way for traffic to pass.)

16. My husband is one of the sweetest guys I know. (He told the car that was sitting next to us that they were going to have to get into the right lane to pass when it was finally clear yesterday, and that he was going to let them get in front of us.)

17. Truckers apologize for cursing in front of me. I'm not quite sure why that is, other than I guess I look innocent. It amuses me each time it happens. (It amuses Ace more.)

18. If you are on time or early for an appointment with Walmart, they get you in and out in two hours. Because they don't want to have to pay detention pay. (Which I totally get.)

19. The worst smelling place I've been? Tyson.

20. The coolest (not temperature wise) place I've been? Hershey, PA. We drove down Chocolate Avenue. I only wished I could get pictures of stuff, but it was the wrong time of day to try to take pictures.

21. The best free stuff we've gotten? Chocolate chip cookies from a Nabisco distribution center and chocolate bars from a Hershey distribution center.

22. San Diego, CA is right on the border with Mexico. Literally, we were within a mile of the border.

23. The only thing more nerve wracking that trying to make sure we didn't accidentally go to Mexico? Trying to make sure we didn't accidentally go back to New York City.

24. The phone numbers that we get with our load assignments? Not useful for anything to do with us.

25. My husband doesn't want me visiting WebMD any more than I do.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Am Wordy Today

So, after ignoring the blog for most of the year so far, I am apparently wordy today. Go me?

I read a great post earlier called When Is It Time to Walk Away and it has me feeling inspired. Because it's nice to know that someone can understand, without details, that they may not have all the information about why I've made a decision, but it can still be the right one for me.

I am so over everyone telling me that I need a relationship with my mother. I love the people who don't try to tell me that they know better than I do about what I need in my life. No one but me (and possibly Ace) knows what all happened to cause the relationship to be so unhealthy that I needed out. No one but me should decide if I was being harsh or burning a bridge or just that I need to change that decision. And the people who truly care about my happiness either know enough to know that I am happier without her in my life (and why) or to know that they don't need to know the details unless and until I share them.

I read the post out loud to Ace. Then I talked about the fact that I expect to tell our future children something about why they (and I) don't have a relationship with my mother. They'll figure out that my step-mom is not my mom at some point, based on the fact that I call her by name, if nothing else. They'll have questions, and the younger they are, the simpler the answers will be.

I doubt that I'll ever tell them everything. They don't need to know all the details, and I don't remember all of them anyway. I remember enough to know why I stopped the relationship. I remember enough to not let nostalgia for the good times convince me that the relationship would be healthy if I tried to start it back up. I remember enough of the good times that the thought of her doesn't hurt so bad. I remember enough to not want to see her, because just being in the same place is awkward and frustrating.

There are things in this life that I will fight tooth and nail for. My relationship with Ace is one of them. That is a relationship that is worth the work, and usually it doesn't feel like we are working at the relationship. My relationship with my sister is another. I'd love to be closer to her, but we've almost always had a distance separating us (the age difference, if nothing else). But I'd work and try and push to keep a relationship with her. She is worth it. And she wouldn't make me do all the work.

I don't really have a point. I can't say things better than that post did. Sometimes, it's time to protect yourself.

I stopped a toxic relationship with my mother. I survived the emotional abuse that she heaped on me (and it was emotional abuse, which can damage a person nearly as badly as physical abuse can sometimes). I know that just because there were good times, that doesn't negate the bad times. I don't life my life based on the things she said. I don't blame that past on my current situation. I understand that emotional abuse is still abuse, and that I deserve better. I know that some people will never understand, and I don't let them make my decisions for me.

If you have never walked in my shoes, lived my life, you can't know what has caused me to make my decisions. Maybe I am not as strong as some people. But there are people who would be amazed at what I have survived. We all have something we are struggling with. Sometimes, it's time to stop struggling and let it go.

If you ever need to tell someone something without them judging you for making a decision, I hope that I can help. I care and I'd be happy to listen/read. I understand loving someone who hurts you. And I understand letting someone go because the hurt is too much. I know that I can never fully understand your life, just as you can never fully understand mine. But I'm here. And I care.

I'm Not Sure Why I'm Sharing This

Sorry I disappeared again. If I had posted the last week and a half, it would probably been about the problems with the truck, which were myriad at the time and would have really been me whining again. Right now, the only thing to whine about that has to do with the truck is the smell.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is my period. Because it's weird this month, and I don't have a doctor to talk to. So, I'm talking to the internet. I probably need help, and to stop over sharing with strangers (I didn't post about it on Facebook, because I'm classy like that).

So, while Ace and I were at the hotel in Dallas (because the truck was being worked on), I started spotting. Since I had left all my supplies on the truck (which annoyed Ace and I both), we had to go buy some. No big deal, there was a grocery store withing walking distance.

Got everything I needed and we went back to the hotel. And then, my period never quite started. Instead, it's been spotty. I feel fine, nothing hurts. But this isn't like normal (and I'll not talk about color, but that's worried me more than the spotting). And I'm trying not to go onto WebMD and freak myself out about what it could be. Because then I'll convince myself it's something serious and deadly and ahh send help! That way lies madness.

So, yeah. My body is being all mysterious and weird. And I'm trying not to freak out about it.

And why does the truck smell like rotting ham?

Maybe I should check WebMD. Just to be safe.

Nope. Not going to do it.

P.S.: I hate Ace having to drive all night after being at the yard for roughly a week. It screws up my sleep schedule for days. And makes me grouchy to boot. Send caffeine and chocolate.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Will Get Better About Posting Soon, I Promise

I'm still alive. I even have a good internet connection now. I'm just suddenly finding myself fighting off depression sometimes and not inspired others and exhausted the rest. It's been a busy time lately.

So, anyway. I'm alive and on the truck. We're still traveling around the USA. So far, I've been to more than half the states.

And we've had a few issues come up, but nothing that can't be fixed.

I don't really have much to say tonight, but hopefully I'll be back on with another list of things I've learned since getting on the truck.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

See, I Do Remember to Post More Often than Every 2 Weeks!

In addition to being a bad blogger, I've been a bad blog reader. Last year, in roughly August or September (or October, or rather, over parts of all three months), I had a really bad case of depression hit. I lost all my interest in, well, just about anything. I watched a lot of crappy tv and read a lot of fanfiction and didn't do much of anything else. Including eating.

It was really bad. I was eating about two slices of sandwich meat a day for a while. Because the fridge was just too far away.

So, because everything felt like too much effort, I stopped reading blogs. I also stopped reading comics. And playing most games. And on some days, sitting up. And Ace was worried from afar, because he was in training and couldn't be there to help put me back together again (and that was part of the problem).

It was really, really bad. I had a day of talking to Ace on instant messenger where he was offering to talk to my dad and see if he'd come pack my stuff if I could just get myself dressed, and that was too difficult that day (I also may have cried a bit during that conversation, because depression sucks and makes me an emotional wreck). It was epically bad.

And since then, I just haven't made the effort to catch back up on blogs or comics or anything. I'm still not fully checking everything on FaceBook like I used to.

I'm better. Worlds of better. Nowhere near where I was. But I've not started reading blogs again. Because even if I skip catching up on the backlog, which would be advisable, I've not found the desire to go back to reading all those blogs again. Not because I don't care about the people, I do. I just am struggling to find my own voice again, so I'm not ready to add other voices into my head. At least not yet.

So, to all those whose blogs I used to read, I apologize. It's not you. It's totally me. And that crippling depression. I still love you and I hope things are going well. I'm just not ready to immerse myself back in your lives yet. But someday, hopefully soon, I'll be back to reading. Right now, I've got to finish fixing my own head.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Hi. I've been MIA for a while, I know. The problem with blogging on the road is oddly not one of not having enough internet connections as much as finding a time when I'm awake and in the mood to write. It's difficult.

And then, Ace and I have take some time off and have been visiting some friends, and I've not thought much about my blog.

I am a crappy blogger sometimes.

Anyway, the other explanation I feel I should do have to do with the hours thing I was mentioning in my last post (I really should have followed that up sooner, but for a bit I was kind of mentally a zombie, only with no desire to eat brains so I wasn't a danger to others. I just wanted sleep.).

The hours of service for a truck driver are as follows: If your company operates 7 days a week (which most do), you have 70 hours in an 8 day period that you can drive, fuel, inspect your truck, and be available for waiting at a shipper or receiver. Everyday, you have 11 hours available time to drive and 14 hours available time to be on duty (driving, fueling, inspecting, waiting, etc.). Unless you have less than 11 hours available on your 70, then you have only those hours available to drive (you still have 14 hours available on duty, that is a constant). On day 9, you get back whatever hours you used on day 1 and it follows like that. In theory, you can drive it so that you never run out of time on your 70 hours. In reality, 70 hours is easily taken up in 6 days and leaves you needing to stop for 34 hours to reset your 70. At least that is often the case for Ace and I.

Everyday, after your 11 hours of driving are up, you have to take a 10 hour break in order to get 11 more hours to drive. This is generally when you eat dinner, sleep, and eat breakfast. It's also the only time a driver has to get on a computer, play games, do laundry (unless they do laundry during a 34). And usually, when you stop, your 10 hour break doesn't start for the better part of an hour because you are doing a post-trip inspection.

So, yeah. A truck driver's life (and that of their passenger) revolves around the 11 hours and the 70 hours. And it's been weird to learn about all of that.

Friday, February 22, 2013

We'll Just Have To Go Back Someday

I have survived us going to Brooklyn, New York in a 72 foot semi. It was one of the most stressful things to have happened. Brooklyn is not made for semis. New York City is not made for semis.

On the other hand, Ace and I went to Hershey, PA after leaving New York. That was cool.

Let me back up some to explain why Hershey, PA was cool, because it wasn't because of getting to see Hershey, PA (too dark, although they do have a street called Chocolate Avenue, which is awesome).

It all started when Ace and I left to go to Louisiana with a load of salad. One long night later, we get stuck sitting for 10+ hours waiting for Ace's break to be over so we can get to our next load. That load was supposed to be started loading onto a trailer at 5 pm and be ready to go by 10 pm. It was finally ready at 5:26 am. That's annoying, but it happens. It would be nicer if we got paid when things like that happen, but we deal as best we can.

So, we deliver the load on time. The place we are delivering to has all the trailers a bit close together, but we get our trailer dropped and we hook up to an empty trailer. All we know about where we are supposed to go from there is Amarillo is the right direction. We end up getting a 34 hour reset (which means Ace has a fresh clock for driving for the week) that we don't need, but it's no big deal (except that is money we could be earning). We head up to Liberal, KS to pick up a load of meat.

The load we are picking up was supposed to be ready by no later than 1:30 pm on Valentine's Day (Ace and I can't get there until about 4 pm, but it is supposed to be ready when we get there). It is finally ready at about 5 am on the 15th. It is already late and the company has to reschedule when it's delivered. Sucky, but not our fault in the slightest.

While we are hauling that load, there is an accident about 3 miles from our planned stop for the night that eats up time while we wait to be able to move. Then, we get a call on the original delivery date that they want their delivery that day, can we do it? The answer is no. Then it looked like we might get taken off it and stuck waiting on a different delivery, but that doesn't work out. So, they have to wait on their delivery because it just isn't going to happen on the original date.

Then comes the harrowing experience of trying to help Ace not get lost in New York. We made it to our delivery 15 minutes early. Then we get to sit and wait, while blocking traffic in one lane, for the receiver to be ready for our delivery. Everything goes fine during our wait and while backing into the dock was crazy, it wasn't a big deal. Getting back out of Brooklyn, on the other hand... We got lost. Thankfully, a cop car pulled up and lead us back to where we needed to be to get out. And while we got lost again trying to get across New Jersey, we managed to avoid going back to New York.

While we were sitting at the dock, waiting for our load to be unloaded, we got our next delivery assignment. Hershey, PA to Mississippi. We arrived in Hershey early, hoping that maybe they might be ready for us. They were, which was great because we were 6 hours early. Everything with that load (which we finished last night) went great. They had an easy place for us to drop our trailer. The trailer we were hooking up to was where they said it would be. And we got part of the way down the road towards the delivery before we had to stop for a 10 hour break.

We are currently getting another 34 hour reset, but this one is actually needed. We pick up a load tomorrow night. Hopefully things go smoothly.

Sometimes, trucking involves a lot of sitting around, waiting. But when it's going well, it involves a lot of driving.

I'm just glad I'm with Ace again. And that we are planning where all we want to go when we are seeing the US in a car/RV.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the Road Again

Ace and I have been on the road again since Saturday evening. And after a few days of not quite enough sleep all at once, I am finally mostly able to not feel like my mind is fuzzy. I'm still tired, but my thoughts aren't quite so mixed up.

The problem is that right now there is little to talk about. Exhaustion does not make me creative or provide many interesting stories. And my current description of Louisiana would include how dark it is (at night), that we could see trees even in the dark, and that we did a lot of waiting for loads to be loaded or unloaded. Not exactly the most accurate description. (The shipper for our current load was supposed to start loading the trailer we were picking up at 5 pm and be done by roughly 10 pm, which is a long time to take to load a trailer. They were done at 5:26 am. And the only explanation we got was that they were running behind.)

On the plus side, we are earning some money. On the minus side, we are both tired and already ready for a break (because Ace didn't really get one when he was supposed to). And we have no idea where we are supposed to be heading after we drop off this trailer tonight, at least we don't yet.

Sometimes, trucking sucks.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Time Off

Ace is currently taking some time off from driving a truck. He worked for almost 2 months straight, with little time not spent driving, so it works that he's taking a little time off. Not that our lives have gone as planned with this time off.

Ace and I have a bank that at least supposedly does not send out new debit cards until right before the old ones expire. How true this statement is is unverified at this point. But the debit cards play into how our time off has occurred.

Ace and I had debit cards that expired at the end of January. We had a delivery near Dallas, TX on February 1st. We had a funeral we were trying to go to on February 2nd. We had plans to rent a car, get our mail sorted out, get our new debit cards in our wallets, and attend a funeral.

Instead, we had problems with not having the funds available (despite having the cash on hand and the money in our bank account) to rent a car. Because of one day expired debit cards. And policies on having to have a card physically at the rental location for the deposit on the car (a situation that is frustrating to us both). We are planning on sending our mail to the yard our truck is currently sitting in (waiting for repairs), but we can't take care of that until Monday because the one person that could do that doesn't work until Monday. Ace did not get to attend his grandmother's funeral (neither of us is upset about that, but we had planned on at least paying our respects by attending).

We discovered, a bit too late on Friday, that my credit card had had it's limit upped. We rented a hotel room yesterday at a hotel that is commonly used by Ace's company. We'll stay here until Tuesday morning. It's good for Ace to get some time off the truck in addition to not driving. Unfortunately, tomorrow he has to be at the yard all day taking care of various things. But at least he has today fully off.

This weekend has not quite gone how we planned. But it seems like that is a good thing, because we are both more relaxed than we would have been if it had gone to plan. We had a somewhat long day Friday, but we had figured out fairly early after the car rental plan hadn't worked out that we weren't going to be able to go anywhere, which made the day shorter than it was originally scheduled to be (originally, we were going to drive an additional 550+ miles that day, after the 200 to drop off the load).

So, here I sit in a hotel room in Dallas. Life is strange sometimes.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Things I've Learned

Things I’ve learned so far on the truck:

1. Kansas is boring. It is full of rolling hills that all look the same. There is no signal for my cell phone or our current mobile internet. And it stinks.

2. Colorado has more trees in the first 5 miles than all of Kansas. This may only be a slight exaggeration.

3. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful.

4. Sometimes, the company can change their mind about where you should go after you’ve already started to head one way. That sucks.

5. Colorado has windmill farms. They have red lights on them so planes won’t fly into them.

6. Nebraska is flatter than Kansas. And it has more trees. By a lot.

7. If you know of a city in one state, there is likely a city by that name in another state (or multiple states). For example, there is a Lexington in Mississippi, Nebraska, and New York as well as in Kentucky.

8. 34 hour resets can be somewhat boring, but they are necessary from time to time. It’s a good time to do laundry.

9. There is always something to buy at a truck stop. Most things are probably things you don’t really need. That doesn’t make them less tempting.

10. Chicken plants stink worse than cow patties. A lot worse.

11. Tyson does something with beef too. I have no clue what, but they do something with it.

12. Sometimes, the smaller truck stops are actually the better ones. You may not want to take a shower there, but the parking lots are better and there is plenty of options for drinks. Bigger does not mean better.

13. Trees make for fascinating scenery when you've had nothing but rolling hills to look at for hours.

14. I have an irrational dislike of Kansas now. And a list of things that could make Kansas cooler. I never knew I could dislike a whole state before.

15. The heaters on a truck work really well. Like wearing a t-shirt warm. I like it.

I've been on the truck less than a week. I'm sure more posts like this will be coming in the future.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet Me in St. Louis

I have the best father in the world. Seriously, no one else is even a contender for the title.

Yesterday, my dad drove me 5 and 1/2 hours to East St. Louis, IL to meet up with Ace and get on the truck. This is only part of the reason he is the best father in the world.

My dad has back problems. He is in constant pain, unless he is doped to the gills. He does not do long car trips if he can help it. When I got up yesterday, he offered to drive me because he knew Ace was delivering near St. Louis. He wanted to see me smiling again, which he got to see every time he looked at me in the rear view mirror yesterday. I'm still smiling.

My father, who should not be in a car for 11 hours, was in a car for 11 hours yesterday to let me be with my husband again. He sacrificed his day and his body to bring me happiness. I will never forget that. Never.

My step-mom also rocks. She came with us, so that if my dad was hurting too bad she could help drive home. She had work today, and she works with little kids (under 2 years old). And she's still recovering from surgery (she seems to be doing well).

Today, I am with Ace. We are on the truck. Tonight, we pick up a trailer full of candy to drive it to Colorado. I don't know if I would be with Ace today if my dad hadn't driven me up here (I did help pay for at least some of the gas for the trip, and it was the least I could do).

I got to see the St. Louis arch up close (we made a wrong turn, and ended up right by the arch). I got to share in a new experience with my dad and step-mom. And I got to join my husband.

I have the best father in the world. And no one can convince me otherwise.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Waiting Still

I'm still alive. Hopefully, I'll be joining Ace on the truck soon. As it is, I'm still waiting for him to get close enough.

And maybe someday, I'll start trying to figure out why I seem to ignore this blog for a week and a half sometimes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Signs You've Grown Up

Today, I am posting signs that you've grown up (things that I've noticed that I'm doing around my dad that show that I've grown up).

1. Folding your laundry, especially your underwear, without blushing.
2. Playing Cards Against Humanity (admitting you know what some of those cards mean is... awkward with your dad playing with you)
3. Admitting you need to go buy supplies for your period.
4. Listening to Afternoon Delight on the radio without blushing or squirming (still working on that one).
5. Knowing when asking won't affect what happens, so you don't bother asking.

Okay, it's a short list. But still.

And Cards Against Humanity is fun, but it's not clean. Which is why it's awkward to admit knowing what the cards mean.

But I'm growing up, or I am grown up. Or I am at least not as immature/young as I used to be. Or something.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Make New Mistakes

This year, I've decided to take Neil Gaiman's advice from December 31, 2011 as my goal for the year.

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."

So, that's my goal for this year. To make mistakes. Especially new mistakes. I've survived the consequences of my old mistakes. I've gotten wiser from them. My life is not necessarily gotten better for those mistakes, but I've gotten to be a better, more mature person for having to deal with them.

So, this year I think I'll make new mistakes. And I invite you to join me in this.