Wow! I have 7 followers now! Hello, new friends!
So...I attend another write-in for NaNoWriMo…
Oddly enough, despite getting lost in North Austin, having to reply on some friendly nerds to give me directions to an obscure coffeehouse, and telling some somewhat embarrassing stories about myself to random strangers…I had a good time!
I embarked on my search to find this coffeehouse in North Austin after the Sun had already gone down. (First mistake!) I hate driving at night, especially to a place I have never been to before and I’m not entirely sure how to get to. And of course, I got lost... <.< >.> I realized I was lost and immediately turned into the parking lot of a shopping complex. As if by instinct, I pulled right into the parking space in front of a gaming store. I thought “hey, a gaming store…there must be friendly nerds in there that can help me…and they probably have a computer too!” So I went inside…and I owe a big thank-you to Michael the friendly gamer clerk for helping me find directions to the coffeehouse. I had apparently passed in several blocks back. I promised that someday I will return to that gaming store as a paying customer…someday when I’m not poor!
So turning back around, I quickly found the place (with a burnt-out sign and a tree blocking the building side facing the main street)…and went inside. It was actually a really nice coffee shop with an eclectic homey feel to it. It had lots of cozy chairs and spots to work, a good selection of drinks, a variety of music playing, and a friendly atmosphere. And I quickly spotted the small stuffed penguin signaling my fellow NaNo groupies.
I introduced myself to the hostess and several other members before settling in a small corner spot. There were no longer any tables left for me to place my laptop, so I settled for using my lap and patiently waited for my computer to start up. (Side-note: my laptop has issues…many issues. She doesn’t like to start up correctly, makes funny noises, doesn’t always do what I tell her to do, and randomly crashes. In some ways, my laptop is kinda like the Tardis. *sigh* I wish it could travel through time and space though.)
Anywho, as I waited, the hostess came around with a bowl of popcorn, offering it to people who wanted it. I took a handful and continued waiting…then she passed by again and I took another handful. As I reached for my third handful, I told her to stay away from me or I would probably eat all the popcorn by myself. I noticed a girl wearing a niffy hat behind her giggle at my comment. The hostess laughed as well and went back to her computer. Now armed with popcorn and my hibiscus tea, I attempted to start writing…
But shortly after I started to write, a group sitting at a nearby table (with comfy looking chairs) left…so I made a quick beeline to claim my spot. Then I noticed the niffy-hat-girl had done the same thing as me. We quickly introduce ourselves and started typing away silently. Then several moments later, the hostess came back by with free NaNo pins and stickers. I chose the sticker with a monkey on it…because the one with an octopus scared me. The other girl chose the watery octopus one because she thought it was cuter. I just shivered. She looked at me curiously as I explained that I have an aquatic phobia. (Yes, I really do! I don’t swim in lakes, rivers, or the ocean…even swimming pools are a little if-y sometimes. And don’t get my started on aquariums and oceans shows!)
“Shamu scared me as a child…” I replied off-handedly. And I was met with the typical wide-eyed stare that people always give me when I tell them this.
The short version: my grandparent took me to Sea World when I was about 5 years old. My pawpaw was saving seats for me and my grandma, and we didn’t know where he was in the crowd. So we walked to the bottom of the auditorium to search upwards for him, hoping he would see us as well. My grandma placed me beside the tank’s glass so no one would run into me as we rushed. Then I noticed water spilling on me from the tank. I looked over at the glass to see what was wrong…and came eye to eye with the large orca. I apparently screamed and fled the scene. I was later found in the penguin house by security.
Of course, this was only the first slightly embarrassing tale I shared with my new found friend that evening. I explained where my nickname comes from (“may-day”), how paper can “knock” me over, how cotton made me bled, and various “adventures in substitute teaching” stories. She too shared some of her life’s more humorous moments about her “mock trial” class, odd science paper over neuroscience, car-adventures between Wisconsin, Texas, and Alabama, and her newly found obsession with Doctor Who. Needless-to-say, we didn’t get much writing done, but we did enjoy each other’s company. Later on, when she was leaving, she asked if she could use some of my interesting accounts in her story. I told her only if I could use some of hers. She said she would probably never forget me, and I said…
“It all started with popcorn and Shamu—hey, that’d make a great title!”