Just Jul Lee is just me. I write my thoughts and observations.
I'm just Jul Lee, just a normal person with a talent, a talent others have as well. We have much in common...Welcome to Dragons Delyte and Faries Farce...Welcome to my world!
This is just a journal about me and what I feel and experience. It will speak of God quite often and since I am human it will speak of loneliness occasionally experienced and other emotions we all deal with.
I hope that you will read this objectively and rate it fairly, if you rate it at all. Please don't rate it if you're just doing it because you disagree with me. I am not you and you are not me, that's what makes us great. We believe differently and do things differently.
Sit back and enjoy but if you don't want to hear about God then stop now.
Just Jul Lee
Food, Session and the Highway Twice Traveled
DATE: July 22, 2005
We woke up fairly early in order for us to break our fasts and prepare for a day of sessions. The breakfast was buffet-style with eggs, potatoes and bacon, OJ and water, coffee…pretty typical buffet. But, the potatoes were NOT typical…in fact they were yummy and definitely my favorite of the meal.
After breakfast we had our campfire session. While waiting for everyone to arrive, we discovered that a few members had gone rogue and were in search of a Starbucks. I later found out, from Beyond the Cloud9 , that they got lost and thus missed the first session entirely unintentionally. During the session, the first campfire was stories and the second was poetry (gah!) and then it was time for lunch. (I don’t have the papers with me but check back in a week or so and I’ll add the campfires here!)
I skipped lunch because I had much better things planned. Yeah right!
While everyone else went to lunch, I got into the rental car, mentally reversed the AVIS card directions and braved the two-lane highway once again in order to return the vehicle, rent another from a different company and return to Bethlehem in time for Open Mic Night, which, by the way, I still had no idea what I was going to do up there in front of everyone. Procrastination strikes again!
Heading into Harrisburg was remarkably painless considering that it was daytime and that the traffic was not bad. I managed to maintain my speed for the duration of the 2 hour drive, which in itself was quite impressive. I stopped at a small town about 5 miles away from Harrisburg International Airport to gas up the car before returning it and noticed a McDonald’s. I made a mental note to return here before heading back to Bethlehem.
I then returned the car to AVIS and thanked them for helping me out, being patient and doing their best to get me out of their hair…I mean out of the airport. I then rented a car from Budget (they took debit cards…along with a $300 deposit) and was able to rent it for the remainder of my trip!
And would wonders never cease? It was a TOYOTA!!!
I stopped in the same little town where I’d gassed up (for once taking the intelligent route of travel) and got some lunch from McDonald’s. Then, I pulled out my handy dandy AVIS card and headed back to Bethlehem.
Bumper to bumper traffic and complete standstills awaited me as I sat contentedly in the rented Toyota (I mean, really! A Toyota!!) eating chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, fries and sipped a Sprite with no ice.
I finally returned to the hotel at 5:30 pm (I’d left, you may recall, around noon) and it was time for dinner. After wolfing it down and stressing about Open Mic Night the whole time, I sat at the table and took a few minutes to relax. Then, Open Mic Night began!
I was the third person and I read a snippet from my published novel; The Burning Blood Chronicles: VAMPIRES (buy my book!). It was a very entertaining evening full of laughter and deep lectures, interesting tales and dark horror (this latter one from me ) and I enjoyed the wonderful poetry. I must say, though, that I loved the comedy. The songs were truly inspiring and the stories were captivating. I must say that, if you are somehow unaware, that the talent at this site is massive and many folks don’t get the right amount of notice. But someday soon…
I hung out in the lounge until 1:00 am or so before heading outside to join the others. I watched folks play Texas Hold ‘Em and was doing well until I realized that my laugh was on a 5 second delay and that my eyes were trying desperately to close. I said my good night’s and dragged myself off to the room, where I fell asleep almost instantly and didn’t wake once.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
DATE: July 21, 2005
I got to my hotel after midnight. Allow me to pause here and say that I feel I could have spend the $135 used to acquire said hotel room in a much more productive way but it is a little too late for that.
Anyway, I marveled at the smallness of the room (I flopped onto the minute mattress and nearly fell off the other side due to the momentum of my movement and the tiny size of the bed) and watched TV until 3 am or so.
When I woke later that morning, the day of Bad Beginnings officially kicked off. I showered and traipsed off to Penn Station to change my train ticket in order for me to arrive closer to the rental car company. I thought it would make my life easier. This, my friends, is why thinking is dangerous and just may kill you, if not just drive you completely mad. Needless to say, my life did not become even remotely easier.
Instead of leaving at 11:30 am I was now leaving at 1:15 pm. Check out time at the hotel was noon and so I intended to milk this expensive, minute room for all it was worth. I walked up and down the street for about fifteen minutes before returning to my room to chill, as it were. I didn’t stop for breakfast on the way. Don’t ask me why…I just didn’t. I then proceeded to watch MORE TV until 15 minutes before noon. I then gathered up my oh so heavy luggage and went downstairs to check out. I managed, at this point, to cut in front of the line of 15 or more guests (oops) and check out within 10 minutes.
As I lugged my cursed baggage (a carry on backpack on wheels, a large and heavy garment bag with four formal gowns inside, and a good sized duffel stuffed to the brim with clothing), Harry Potter book under my arm, across the busy street to the station, I fully intended on grabbing a hot dog or something for lunch. I didn’t. Don’t ask me why…I just didn’t.
I sat upon my duffel in Penn Station reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while attempting to keep my eye on the garment bag and carry on backpack which were sitting on the right. I had my back against a cement pillar. I sat there until boarding, from noon to one, and though I could see and smell the food all about me, I didn’t once attempt to get anything, though my tummy rumbled constantly and I kept telling myself that I should eat.
My muse came lazily to my side and whispered inspiration in my ear. She smelled of coconut suntan oil and sandy beaches. She started her vacation long before mine and I believe she merely flaunted her wondrous ability to create just to remind me that I need her. I flipped to the middle of my devil monkey notebook (purchased for me by my mom) and jotted down a very rough draft of a dark and twisted short story.
Finally, it was time to board the train. After a 15 minute conversation with my mom on my cell phone, I was PA bound! I figured, in my hunger-starved, sleep-depraved, Harry Potter-fogged mind that there would be a food trolley on the train. There wasn’t, by the way.
The train ride took much too long in my humble and irritated opinion. I got to Harrisburg well after my rental car pick up time, take a cab to the Harrisburg International Airport, and proceed to rent my car.
Or, actually, try to rent my car.
For some odd reason (overspending, maybe?) my credit card is denied twice and I’m hungry, tired and officially stranded two hours away from the convention I looked forward to for the longest time.
I argue with the credit card company at least three different times to no avail, constantly call my mom in a panic, and finally manage, after 8pm, mind, to rent a car for one day and one day only. I have wasted a good two and a half hours or so in an airport far away from the writing friends I long to meet and I still have a two hour drive ahead of me.
I got on a two-lane highway that nearly got me killed each time the rubber met its hot pavement. There was countless construction, many highway signs that were very confusing, not to mention the hundreds, and no I’m not exaggerating, of semi-trucks that were a constant. There was always a semi-truck in front of me and always, and I mean always, one in the fast lane.
I was doing quite well with my little Avis direction card (only directing me as far as Allentown but beggars can’t be choosers, eh?) until it got too dark for me to read it. Cruising along, I decided, in all my great wisdom, to ignore my MapQuest directions. I exited into Bethlehem, relieved to have made it alive, except it was the wrong exit!
Driving about completely lost for about 15 minutes before asking for directions, I was not panicked, just tired, hungry and frustrated.
The first gas station I stopped at was not helpful in the least for the woman there had just moved to Bethlehem a week before I stumbled into town. The second gas station got me back on track but not before many fumbling attempts to understand what I was looking for exactly and I reached the hotel at long last.
I check in, gather my key and whatnot, drive my rental car around to my room and enter the safety of the hotel at last.
After settling in, calling my mom yet again to assure her that I am finally safe, I set out in search of Writing.Com members, though I’m not sure how I will appear to them as a late and disheveled arriver.
Since I was looking in completely the wrong place, I find no one.
I return to the room and see my roomies at last! “You made it.” Tevie says and I spill the story upon them all as they listen patiently.
I find out that a squirrel had chewed through the electric lines outside the hotel and thus most of the convention goers couldn’t check in until 5 or so. They had to sit in the lobby and wait. Darn those nutty squirrels!
I had stopped at the front desk and gotten a Papa John’s phone number since I still hadn’t eaten. Yes, I had a car and could have stopped somewhere but I didn’t. My brain working overtime again, you know? I’m going to order a pizza, I’m so monkey-loving hungry, but they are closed.
“Come register and you can get your bag of goodies,” Beyond the Cloud9 told me helpfully. “I’ll take you there.”
She leads me to the room where The StoryMistress and catwoman wait patiently for the late arrivers like me. How much more welcome could you possible feel after that great testament? Especially since The StoryMistress smiles at me and says happily, “MystDancer50, right?” I nod. How great that they hadn’t given up on me! I receive my tote bag full of Writing.Com Convention 2005 treats and we return to our room, after stopping at the front desk to request more pillows and blankets.
Once in the room again, I chug a bottle of water, scarf down a small bag of pretzels and hit the sack for I knew it was only the Bad Beginning attempting to damper the great, fun and wonderful Writing.Com Convention for my poor planning was not through showing me the stupidity of procrastination.
Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Let's Fly Away!
DATE: July 20, 2005
What was that date again? July 20th?!?!? But that means...
Yes, that means that today I fly away to NYC (WooHoo!), that I read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at last (Yes!) and that in just 24 hours or so, I will begin a weekend full of fun, food and writers (Whoot!) and here I am at work...
But, everything will work out fine, I believe and all I need to do is take my time and things in stride. My neopets are in the neolodge, my dog is going to miss me but she and the cat (little demon!!) will be fine, I'm packed (can you believe it?) and I'm ready to go...I think!
Well, I won't be blogging until I get back, more than likely, but I'm going to try to handwrite blogs during the day and whatnot and then transfer them here. My brother actually told me I could borrow his laptop if I could download the internet on it. My mom said no......but that's okay. One less thing to haul to NYC, to PA, back to NYC, back to NM...eh?
My auction items are done and packed away! I don't know how much they'll go for but I'm quite proud of them. Although not truly gifted with artistic ability, I have a slight flair for creation and determination and thus, my artwork was born! There's also an autographed poem...three comics and a poem...you buy them all together...I'm tired.
My brother has lent Mom and me his Mustang GT to drive me to Albuquerque so I can catch my plane. Just four hours of work, one hour of driving and two hours in the airport and I'll be on my way!!
And so...EVERYBODY SING!!
Come fly with me, come fly, let's fly away!
Be back soon!!
What's That? Dirt! Oops, I Guess I Fell Again!
DATE: July 19, 2005
The gossip in me rose up again today. So, I have fallen again...thank you for noticing. Although, thankfully, God is forgiving...as long as I ask...and so, I feel bad but relieved that I have Him.
Otherwise, this day is going rather well...
I completed all my MVA's, both from yesterday and today and so all I have left are the citations...of course, there are lots of those!
My Auction Items should be done tonight and I believe I know what I'm going to do for Open Mic Night...all I have to do is practice it!
I need to pack but my shopping is done and so is my basic preparing...I have lots of Monkey shirts!
And, it's only 130pm...sorry for the improper way of writing the time but I don't really care.
I've been listening to Petra, spending my time praising God, except for the mistake mentioned above, and am trying to keep my brain from crossing the fence without permission.
Am I excited? I don't think the fact that I leave tomorrow has really hit me yet but soon enough it may...
There is still WAY too much to do for me to get stupidly happy yet but just wait, it'll happen!
Where Did Today Go?!?
DATE: July 18, 2005
I didn't get any work done...
I just remembered that I didn't do my blog for today and am rushing to do it before I leave for the day...
I only have tomorrow and four hours on Wednesday left before I leave...
Our system went down and therefore, only half my MVA's and none of my citations got done...
And, as I sat at my desk finishing up the project assigned to me last week that doesn't require a computer, I saw that it was already 4pm...
So, as the blur fades and leaves me puzzled, I must ask...
Where did today go?!?
DATE: July 17, 2005
Today was the baby shower for little Ernie. It went off rather nicely. Erica and Ernie were greatly blessed.
Church this morning: I was so pleased to see men rise up to take their proper places and roles in the church! It was awesome to know that God has been moving on the hearts of the men and that they will finally be who they should be in Him.
DATE: July 16, 2005
So, today, my mom and I attempted to make and frost many little bears and round cakes to make for Erica's baby shower.
Thus, my mom went to Albertsons and ordered a CareBear cake for little Ernie. Erica likes CareBears so it worked out anyway.
We have church tonight, our second night of services with Pastor David Garcia. He's preaching on praise and I feel as though God is doing wonderful things in my praise life. I am drawing ever closer to my beloved savior.
So Far So Good, But Don't Expect Too Much On The Weekend!
DATE: July 15, 2005
Well, the entry a day until I go to conference has been working like a well-oiled machine but I don't know how well it will work on the weekend, considering two things:
1). My computer is not the fastest hard drive on the planet, if you know what I mean...
2). I have way too much stuff to do this weekend, i.e. pack, bake and decorate cakes for my sister-in-law's baby shower, shop for all the junk I don't yet have for the trip and claim I need for the trip, pray that I have money soon, buy Harry Potter (can't forget that ), complete my auction items, find something, ANYTHING FOR SOBBING OUTLOUD, for open mic night...
But I have decided that I can accomplish this goal of blogging every day quite simply indeed. It actually came to me as I was writing the title of today's blog. I can handwrite the entries (so middle ages, I know) and then type them in on Monday. Hmmmm...now the question is will I?
Have a good weekend all!!
DATE: July 14, 2005
Upon reading Psalm 106 last night in church, were the wonderfulness of God is shown only by revealing the nastiness of mankind, I have realized several truths.
First and foremost, our God is truly wonderful and deserving of all praise. As my Pastor said, "We haven't even begun to tap into all the ways we can praise Him, we haven't realized all that He truly is." He added that one of our church members 'got frustrated' while she was praising God in her car one day. "I kept saying 'I love You, Lord' until I finally stopped and said that there had to be a better word to use to express my love for Him." she said. "But I can't find one and so all I can do is say 'I love You, Lord, I love You, Lord', over and over again." Psalm 106 is an invitation to praise Him who is so worthy it is beyond description.
Second of all, I have 'dusty trust' as it were. Long ago, I believed the promises of God so intensely that none could have told me otherwise. Today, I look at my fears and put them above His promises to me. Last night, I realized how little I truly trusted all that He had spoken to me through the years. I trust Him but not the word He had revealed to me so long ago. I blew the dust off my trust of Him at the altar and fully believe in His calling for my life once more.
Finally, I realized that there is no better place to be than at the side of the King, in the hand of the Father, under the wing of the Protector, in the eye of the Provider. How marvelous He is! How great that we can open our mouths and praise Him openly and without fear. Americans take this for granted, murmuring praise while thinking of their daily projects, hoping they aren't too loud. Shout it from the mountaintops! He is worthy.
I admire those in countries where the penalty of serving God is imprisonment, abuse and death. How boldly they stand for the one true God and refuse to give up their Lord despite all that hangs threateningly over their heads. My prayers are with you.
May God bless and keep you all in His loving, protecting, providing, comforting arms until He calls us home!
One Of My Convention Posts Because I'm Too Tired To Make Anything Up Just For A Daily Blog Entry
DATE: July 13, 2005
So, today, I half completed half of my auction item...so I guess you could say that I'm a quarter of the way done with only 7 more days to work on it...hmmmm...
This is my first year at the convention although I tried to go last year but couldn't gather up enough pennies so I had to bow out. This year I forced myself to budget (that's why NM got so much snow ) and I am starting to wear a dopey smile all day due to the growing excitement within me.
So, all I have left to do:
Pack (horrors upon horrors!)
Adjust my formal gown (blah!)
Shop for film and whatnot needed items (bye money!)
Finish the three quarters of my auction item (hopefully)
Figure out something for Open Mic Night (I still have to do that?)
Stop dwelling on what I have to do (too late!)
Well, I know that everyone has lists like mine (some longer) and I can't wait until we're all together and laugh at the self-imposed stress we developed by constantly writing our lists. lol