I'll warn you that this is going to be an unusually long post. I wanted to do half of it last week and then the rest of it this week, but, I mean, you see how that went, it didn't. It's kind of amazing how one little weekend can wear a person out. I don't see how some people do all the things they do over a weekend and go work on Monday morning like it was nothing. But for the people like me who sit around most of the time and maybe clean up a room or mow the lawn, an action packed weekend is extremely tiring.
So now you're asking what did I do that got me so tired last weekend. I went to see Jacksepticeye in Albuquerque.
Now you're probably asking how one little trip up the road wore me out as much as it did. With my mom, it's never one little trip up the road, granted I'm the one who wanted to go and since I knew my brother's kids would also like to go, Ma was all set to help make it happen. I needed to drive us 5 hours to the kids, then 3 hours to Albuquerque, and then do it all again in reverse when it was over. I should’ve written as I went, but that’s not advisable when you’re driving, especially around sharp turns in the mountains.
Now I can't just start the story in Albuquerque, I had to go get my brother's kids first. They live about 300 miles away, and being late August, they're back in school. So the trip had to go quickly. We had to have them back Sunday night so they could be up and bragging to their friends Monday morning. Ma and I drove 5 hours to get them Friday afternoon because she just had to watch Days of Our Lives first.
Friday was pretty uneventful. It was just the first 5 hour drive. Nothing eventful happened on the way to the kids so I’ll just start after we took them. Ky always likes to sit up front, I’m guessing because he’s so freaking tall and needs the leg room. Surprisingly enough, that little Hyundai has a lot of space, like I can sit in the back seat and have plenty of room if Ma is driving. On the way to Albuquerque, the car says that it needs an oil change. Well, tough.
Since the last time I've been to the Nuclear Museum, they went and got themselves a time travelling delorean with a flux capacitor. They even have a vest so people can take goofy pics. In case you didn't know, Back to the Future is my all time favorite trilogy. Yes, I love all three. Some people just like the first one and hate the third one for whatever reason, I love them all.
Loads of fun to be had for all.
From the museum we went to Dion’s for dinner. The people at Dion’s took forever. I should’ve gotten a salad or shared Kyra’s pizza or just gotten a slice all my own, but I wanted enough pizza to eat later in case I got hungry and to take home to put in the freezer, so me, Ky, and Kyra all got our own. She’s so small, I have no idea why she wanted to even try eating four slices. I know she was trying to keep up with Ky, but her brother had a bottomless stomach.
On the way to the show, I had to stop by a CVS or Walgreens to get them both something for their stomachs. The pizza gave Ky heartburn and Kyra ended up eating too much. Now, I've mentioned to many a person that Albuquerque has a large amount of Walgreens and CVS stores, one on almost every corner (the other corners have either a bank or a McDonald's except for that one area that has a McDonald's across the street from a bank that's across the street from a Walgreens), but when I was looking for one to get in and out of quickly on my route to get to the Jacksepticeye show, I didn’t see a one. Well, exactly one. Did you know that Kyra has never had Pepto before? She finds it as equally disgusting as I do.
Warning: Run on sentences and long paragraphs ahead.
I made it down to Central via any other street possible. I hate driving down Central and it’s even worse with the ART addition (Albuquerque Rapid Transit). No one in Albuquerque knows how to drive as it is, now they’ve added more confusion with a bus lane that goes down the center of the road that drivers aren’t allowed to use. Like, can I touch it if I’m turning left? I know I can’t use it as a bus lane, but can I cross over it? How would I turn if a bus is even coming? I don’t get how the damn thing works. No one does. So to avoid more confusion, although I ignore that street most of the time anyway, I went down adjacent streets. Good thing, too. Central was cut off at 3rd and I needed to go to 6th, but it didn’t matter because there’s no parking at the El Rey Theatre. There are a few parking lots in the area, but I kept trying to find close parking for Ma. I should’ve just listened to myself from the start and dropped Ma and the kids off at the theatre and then took the car to the parking garage on 2nd and Gold. That’s like a five block walk or something like that. But I didn’t listen at first, I kept driving around looking. Since I was desperate to get into the line, I eventually said screw it, stopped traffic near the theatre, and kicked everyone out. No one honked which surprised me. I guess we were all in the same boat.
I drove off for the garage and when I went in, all of the spots up to at least level 8 were taken. I saw that some of the exit side was open as I was driving up, so I turned off that way to come back down a few levels. I ended up parking on level 4 right by the elevator, but the elevator is way too slow when you’re in a hurry to wait in a line, so I took the stairs. I could’ve come down a few more levels, but I’ve parked close in Wal-mart before and refuse to do that ever again. It’s nearly impossible to get out unless someone wants your spot. That’s the way it was in that garage when the event was over. No one under level 3 could back out because everyone was fighting to get out of the garage.
So I race off to the theatre desperate to see my favorite boy do his show. I wanted to see Jack every bit as much as the kids. Ky called me twice while I was on my trek he was so desperate. I’ll get there when I get there. Ma says some guy came around asking what everyone was in line for. She swears that guy was Jack in disguise because he looked and sounded kind of like him, but she wasn’t sure and no one else seemed to be paying attention to him. If I had kicked them out and then parked like I wanted to when we first got there, I would’ve been able to see the guy and tell her if he was Jack or not, but I didn’t because I didn’t listen to myself.
There were tiers of pricing for the show. The $110 price was VIP and covered a Q&A session with Jack. Those sold out in seconds. I got the 3rd tier price that would sit us near the stage, but the annoying thing is that they did general seating. After the VIPs were seated and the Q&A was done, everyone else was let inside regardless of the price they paid for a ticket. So the person who paid $49 for a level 4 ticket could sit in the same chair as a person who paid $79 for a level 2 ticket. Those are examples. I honestly don’t remember the exact prices, but you get the point. If you got there early enough, you could sit as close as you wanted. We sat pretty close, but the seats were like card table seats placed side by side. We have more room in the car than we did in that theatre. Whatever, we’re all fans and therefore family. Everyone in Jack’s community is really nice because he wants them to be. It’s weird how kind they are. Well, to be fair, everyone in Albuquerque is generally nice anyway. The room was super hot, probably because it was packed with hot people on a warmish, humid night.
The kids wanted some swag and I wanted water so we climbed over the people in the aisle seats to get stuff. The swag line didn’t take that long and the bar with the water was empty. I jumped out of line to get everyone some water and then back in with the kids to get stuff. Now, I had every intention of telling that woman to give me three shirts and everything else the kids wanted, but those kids distracted that idea from my head. They kept saying they didn’t need shirts, well, Kyra kept saying that because she’s a good kid and doesn’t want to spend all of Ma’s money. I told them to get what they wanted, it was okay. I know they were told $25, but I know Ma would let them go over. I got a keychain and a shirt, Kyra got a plush, Ky got a keychain and a pin which averaged out to $25 each but it wasn’t because the shirt itself was $25. I wish I had told them three shirts, but I kept forgetting. I also didn’t get a chance to check the size, because kids kept distracting me and the idea kept leaving my head. I wanted an XL but got a L. It’s okay, though, because the large fits just fine. Ky kept saying he wanted a shirt after the fact. If I didn’t have to crawl all over everyone in the row to do it, I would’ve gone right back up there to get one for him and one for Kyra, but Ma said we’d do it after.
The show was hilarious. Since he’s a YouTuber, he started it with a video and then said that he’d come out from behind his screen if we came out from behind ours. He did some poses so we could take pictures, but after that, he requested that we were present. No filming, no more photos, just us and him. He told us a few stories from his childhood that were funny and called some people up on stage to play games. You know, if I listened to myself and parked in that garage right away instead of the 30 minutes of driving around, we would’ve been closer, perhaps on the end of an aisle instead of sardine packed in the middle. Doesn’t matter.
I took some pictures of him being an idiot. They’re kind of bad because of the distance and the dark because I didn’t turn my flash back on, but I think they came out pretty good considering. The one’s ma took look worse so I’ve clearly got the better camera.
The games he had people play were set up to be inspiring. The kid who played the Pokémon game had to defeat monsters with names like laziness, depression, you know, things that would stop you from action like thinking you can’t do it. The other game was from Shadow of the Colossus. You’re supposed to go around the open world and defeat giant monsters. The guy who did that defeated the monster and when Jack asked him if he felt accomplished, he said “not quite” and called his girlfriend up on stage. The crowd exploded as he took a knee and asked her to marry him. It was so loud in there. Congrats to Jeff and Ashley!
He told some more stories designed to make you feel good and like you can accomplish anything after that. He started his channel because he was lonely and liked to play games in some cabin in the woods. Now he’s got over 16 million fans who adore him. He loves to tell people that they can accomplish their dreams if they’re willing to put in the work and be yourself.
Good times all around!
The show ended so I was ready to go get some shirts, but it was like swimming upstream. I should’ve climbed over the people heading to the aisle again, but Ma was super hot and wanted out, so I led the way. I had a gift for Jack, I wanted to give him a copy of my book with the story of how he inspired me. He looked at his camera with those big, blue eyes, told his viewers “it’s never too late to accomplish your dreams” and “I believe in you.” From there, I started looking for book contests and places to submit short stories. That’s when I found the contest I entered. Jack is the reason my book exists in published form at this point in time because I had given up on myself. Cheesy, sure, but that’s what happened. So I wanted him to have a copy. I didn’t get a chance to look for where people were allowed to leave gifts, so we trekked back to the car.
I almost wanted to get the car and come back for Ma, but what a damn hassle. She could walk five damn blocks. She complained the entire time. I was feeling sad because I didn’t give Jack his present. The kids were happy because they got to see the show, but Ky wanted a shirt that I didn’t go back for and I wasn’t giving him mine. Normally, I probably would have, but for some reason I was holding on to my swag tooth and nail. You’d have to kill me to take my shirt from me. I didn’t mind going back for another one, but he wasn’t getting mine.
We made it back to the garage. Ma and the kids got on the elevator. That elevator is stupid small so I went up the stairs. Maybe 4 x 6? Stupid small. Kyra wanted to come with me, but Ma made her stay in the elevator. Kyra wanted to come with me a lot. She did get mad at me for not liking pickles, though. She’s all “I thought we were the same, but we’re not.” It was funny. I love that kid. Anyway, I walked up the steps in almost the amount of time it took the elevator. They were at the car when I got to the top. I heard Ma when I was walking up saying she didn’t know where the car was. Ky was all “it’s right here. She said it was near the elevator.” I love that kid too. He’s a bit hyper from time to time and messes with absolutely everything, but I did too at that age. I swear he’s going to be 7 feet.
I got out of my spot and let a few others back out because why not. We’re all in this together. I was glad I parked in that garage then because we’d probably still be fighting to get away from the theatre. There was another event in the same area too. They blocked off 3rd to 7th for whatever that event was. It was like a block party, well, a 5 block party. It was all day, though. A lady in line at Jack’s show said she was over there since 2 p.m. before standing in line around 6:15 p.m. That’s around when I kicked everyone out. I wanted to be there super early, which worked out for seating as I already said. Well, what I meant by liking that garage is that we were back at the hotel across town in 18 minutes instead of 18 hours of traffic fighting.
Sunday: time to take the kids back to Las Cruces.
We had lunch at Tucano’s because I love that place. Sunday brunch at Tucano’s is expensive as hell. They have breakfast items as well as some favorites. I especially found it funny that this Brazilian style restaurant had some tamales that day. A Brazilian experience and some tamales. Made me laugh.
I didn’t eat nearly as much as I usually do. I really hate that I couldn’t fit more lobster bisque in my belly. Next time I go, that’s all I’m getting. Two bowls of bisque, some cheese bread, and a bunch of meat. Then it was time to go shopping.
I wanted to go to Ross because it’s the only place I’ve seen this lavender soap I like. I found out that I can get some Yardley London brand soap at Wal-Mart, but I got used to getting this giant lavender bar every time I end up in Albuquerque so I went. I also found a giant jug of honey lavender body wash this time. Ma tossed some shirts and her wallet at me then she and Ky walked over to Wal-Mart where Chris was grocery shopping. Kyra kept me company in the line then carried all the bags to the car. I offered to let her slowly coast the car across the parking lot, but she declined because it's technically illegal. She told me that Steph let her play one of those racing games once and Kyra kept using both feet pressing both peddles. I reiterated what she said Steph told her, one foot at a time.
We went into Wal-Mart and had to find everyone. I sent her to find Ky while I went to the bathroom. He was actually next to Ma for a change. He’s usually in electronics. Don’t worry, he ended up there. He got a game. Ma got a shirt too. We took Chris home and the kids took up all his groceries while he said his goodbyes to Ma. He hugged those sweet children and then me and we were off.
Halfway to Las Cruces, the car message center decided to say that it needed maintenance NOW. Like, are you yelling at me, car? Excuse you. I didn’t stop at all on the way back because I didn’t need to, so ma and Kyra were desperate for a bathroom by the time I stopped just outside Las Cruces city limits. I wanted to stop anyway because the last time I got gas was when we were about to leave Las Cruces for Albuquerque, but we didn’t stop at a gas station I wanted gas from. Ky got snacks, I got a cute little dragon clip and snacks, and Kyra got snacks. It’s like we weren’t mere minutes from their house. I wish Ma or Kyra had told me they needed to stop. I’m fine with it. I’m usually the one that needs to do all the stopping, but I didn’t drink nearly enough water all weekend and it was starting to show.
We drop off the kids and stay and chat for a bit before hitting the road. Yes, I drove back home after that. I wasn’t tired and there was a full moon that night, or so I thought. The full moon decided it wanted to stay behind some storm clouds all night. That’s okay, the lights on Ma’s car are really good. I can see the entire road and there were more than two lanes so my eyes could handle it. Ma also picked up some of those special ops night vision glasses at one of our many stops at Wal-Mart. Funny side note, if we stop at a gas station while using the GPS, the car practically throws a fit redirecting, but if we stop at a Wal-Mart while using the GPS, the car barely bats an eyelash. I’m waiting on the car to just start notifying us when a Wal-Mart is nearby and ask if we want to go. “I have detected a Wal-Mart within ten miles. Would you like to go there?” All except that Wal-Mart in Roswell. Not sure what was up with that.
I took the relief road and told the car to find Wal-Mart because “find Wal-Mart” and “go home” seem to be the only commands the damn thing recognizes. Sometimes it’ll recognize “call mom, home” but not always. Everything was going fine at first and I think I saw a small grey fox or maybe a baby coyote, I don’t know. The tail was fluffy so I’m more inclined to think fox. The ears were gigantic for its face. We got directions all the way to a stop light. I really only needed the street to turn on, but that’s cool. At the stop light, the GPS wanted me to make a left and then a U-turn. I was like, “why? It’s right there. I missed the truck turn but it’s right there.” I was even pointing like the GPS could see me pointing to the right. Why would I make a left turn and then a U-turn when I can just turn right? So I did. The GPS had a fit. It told me to make a legal U-turn and then make another legal U-turn. Why would I do that? I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot and it tried to make me go back out via the truck entrance that I missed and then go back to that light so I can turn left and make a U-turn. Why would I do that? That was the first time that GPS lost its mind in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
I rely on that car a lot, probably too much, but all those extra sensors really come in handy in the dark when I can’t see all that great but I actually can see fine because the lights are amazing and I had the night vision glasses. If the moon was out, I would’ve seen just as well as if it were daytime, but like I said, it was hiding behind storm clouds that had some awesome lightning all around me the entire way. What kind of storm just follows a person down the highway but never rains on them? Just drops some rain when I’m inside of a Wal-Mart or two and runs away. Anyway, the car was set to tell me when I left the lane, constantly monitored the blind spots, kept the speed since I set the cruise which also meant that if it detected something in front of me that it would stop itself. The only thing I had to do was steer and I wished it could do that. When I told it to go home, I wanted it to just do everything.
We made it home all safe and sound around 12:30 a.m., and then the moon came out. I was so tired and dehydrated on Monday. My fingers looked pruney. I drank a gallon of water and didn’t do much of anything, just some cleaning here and there, taking care of some trash, and paying bills. Tuesday was when I took on all the heavier stuff like mowing the lawn. Hell that’s almost a story with how much I always fight with the grass when it gets too tall. I didn’t cut it the week before so it was due to be cut, and I should’ve done that before we even left, but I just did it then. The mower is self propelled, but only when it feels like it. It’s usually fine in the front yard because the grass isn’t as thick, but it’s getting thicker. Tried to choke the mower a few times. I should’ve gotten the bag so it’s not such a chore for the mower, but then I’d have to stop the mower, walk to the back, get the bag, walk to the front, put the bag on, and then restart the mower, and who has time for that? I just pushed through and then had to sweep up a few piles of grass that I could pick up with my hands. Just the big piles. I left the other clippings to blow themselves back onto the lawn because all the trash in the entire neighborhood ends up on my lawn. Why am I going to go through all that trouble when it’s just going to find a few friends and have a lawn party? I don’t know what animals are bringing the beer, maybe it’s the birds, could be the cats, I doubt it’s the dogs, but they need to learn to clean up after themselves. Everything ends up on my lawn. At least the neighbors stopped their kids from rolling around in it and using my truck as a jungle gym.
The backyard was a different story all together. I had to have the bag for that. I didn’t empty it when it was full, though. But it’s an enclosed backyard, I don’t care where large piles of grass clippings fall. I just want it down so I can walk around barefoot in it.
So there’s my long story. Started exercising again, but where’s the benefit in that if I keep eating pastry and candy and Taco Bell?
Oh, so I may not have had the courage to give Jack my gift in person, but I asked the Universe for some sort of second chance and almost instantly came up with the idea to mail it to his last U.S. venue. They said they’d give it to him if it arrived before Saturday since Monday is a holiday, and according to UPS, it’s there. So here’s hoping that woman didn’t lie to me and he gets it. At least I know I gave it my best shot. It would’ve been a better shot if I just did it at the damn show, but whatever, I needed to learn something, probably. Maybe the lesson had something to do with bravery or intuition or something. Oh, the oil has been changed so it stopped yelling about it and I even took it through the car wash.
YA Fantasy author and amateur photographer living in New Mexico. A reflection of herself, her characters are timid at first but tend to stand up and push through when times get tough.