Posts Tagged ‘adventures’

Inspired by posts from Sky at Sky vs World:

Saving for Travel – April Spending Freeze

Saving for Travel – September Edition

Saving For Travel – No Spend November

travel

 I get a lot of questions on how I manage all these trips I’ve been going on, and sometimes these are less intrigue than people trying to remind me I need to be saving for other things. But, more and more, I’m getting people genuinely interested in how I do it, because they want to embrace the idea of seeing more of the world. And when I was reading the new post on Sky vs World about saving, and it made me decide to post my own ways of saving for travel.

Now, the type of traveling that I am doing usually requires different types of saving methods.

When I’m preparing to travel for a Comic Con, I figure out the exact amount of money I need and keep that number in my head. Then, I will put away random amounts of money in a jar behind my computer that I regularly forget about, so unless some sort of emergency comes up – I don’t touch it. Then, the actual paycheck or two before I go, literally every cent aside from what’s needed for bills goes straight to that trip: Be it for the con itself, or for travel expenses, or whatever. Usually, I hit over my goal and have random spending money. Sometimes, I have a desperate scramble last minute because I’m a bit short. One time, I spent my taxes right after I got them back, and was both relieved and heartbroken that I did.
For other travels, I do a similar jar-behind-the-computer concept, and I have some sort of end goal amount in mind, and then write down every dollar I put in the jar and keep that log inside of it. Sometimes, I decide one month that every single $1 bill I have goes into that jar. I’ve had a lot of success with deciding to save every $5 bill that comes into my possession. I am a change hoarder, and separate dimes into one jar, quarters in one, and a huge jug for nickels and pennies (this particular jar I plan to leave alone until it’s absolutely full, then use it for whenever I move away from home for whatever expense I need.) And then, again, the paycheck or two before I leave becomes devoted to my trip aside from bills.
I also sell Scentsy products, which brings me a little extra cash I forget about every month and leave alone until I use it for trips. A few months ago, I started doing surveys on a site called InboxDollars, and was surprised it actually paid off when I made $30 from just doing surveys and random junk, and that went to my most recent Orlando trip. Plus, I’ll save any gift money, do some extra photo shoots, maybe sell some random junk I really don’t need, etc. I always find a way to make it work. Currently, I’m (attempting) to start saving for a road trip to New Orleans in January. It’s always rough around holidays though, and with all the medical nonsense being extra awful lately. But I’m working on it.

Plus, on top of that, I’ve decided today to start planning a BIG adventure. Quite possibly the biggest one I’ve been on, if it works. No details yet. But I’m ready to figure out the financials and a solid game plan so I can pick a date.

But, basically, that’s how I do it. Not a millionaire. I just work hard at it.

~Angel

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BoondockSaintsIt’s no secret that my faaaaaaaavorite movie is The Boondock Saints. I’ve written papers on the techniques used in it for my film class, watched it countless numbers of times, and even have some nifty neato stuff like posters, a canvas print, and a fairly badass lamp. Plus shirts. Etc. You get the idea. This is MY movie.

It also just so happens I’ve gotten to meet the three above individuals (my favorite guys in the movie, too): (from left to right) Sean Patrick Flanery, David Della Rocco, and Norman Reedus. Yes, the very same Norman Reedus that plays Daryl on The Walking Dead. I have hugged the Reedus. He has called me Batman. ALL YOUR JEALOUSY IS UNDERSTANDABLE. lol

BEHOLD THE PICTURE TIME:

1451511_10200315001351295_796098530_nSkylar and I are over-eager and entirely too excited about life.

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Skylar and my Spider-Vans.

1186206_640702062659389_129511697_nReedus photobomb.

1378870_10200241347549996_1680746604_nI signed David Della Rocco’s table, and this is what he added to it. 😀

1393529_10200241329149536_533857585_nSelfies with Rocco!

Now, a bit of story time for you. Some of you may know that some… shenanigans took place on this adventure. Shenanigans involving myself and Sean Patrick Flanery:

SeanPatrickFlenery

Here’s the story:

Skylar, my mother, and myself took off into Nashville to meet our boys, the first up of the three being Norman Reedus, because we were terrified of Walking Dead stalker girls. While we were waiting,  I eagerly looked around for Norman. Then, something glorious happened. I looked to my left and saw three very familiar faces. I nudged Skylar, who had taken a seat on the floor. “They just walked in,” I whispered. “Seriously, stand up. It’s the boys.”

Skylar jumped up and looked to where I was pointing. Sure enough, there walked Norman Reedus, accompanied by David Della Rocco and Sean Patrick Flanery. My heart was pounding in my chest. This moment made it all worth it, I knew. All of the stress and drama over coming to Nashville, over going on yet another ridiculous trip, was suddenly justified in my mind.

Norman broke away from his pack and walked up to his table, a mass of fans excited behind us cheering at the sight. Skylar and I were shaking while he talked to us before we came up to his table. “I’m going to pass out,” Skylar said. “I can’t believe this is really about to happen – are you seriously staring at Sean Patrick Flanery right now?”

I turned back to Skylar, only slightly embarrassed I had been caught, before returning my attention to Norman Reedus.

I walked up to him first while Skylar tried to compose herself. “Hey, I’m Norman,” he said, shaking my hand.

“I’m Angel,” I said, placing a still shot photo of his character in front of him, followed by a small movie poster.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Angel,” he said. He reached for a sharpie while I reached into my pocket.

“I actually saw you briefly in Chicago, but I didn’t make it up to your table,” I said, sitting a neon green piece of foam shaped like a circle in front of him. “You actually shot me with this.”

To the left, the ammo Skylar was shot with by David Della Rocco. To the right, the ammo Norman Reedus shot me with.

To the left, the ammo Skylar was shot with by David Della Rocco. To the right, the ammo Norman Reedus shot me with.

“Oh yeah! I remember that Nerf gun.” He picked up the ammo off the table. “That’s awesome that you kept it.”

“Not everyone can say Norman Reedus shot them, now I have proof.” We both laughed while he signed my stuff for me. Before I stepped away, he hugged me, and fan girls behind me had a meltdown. I moved out of the way so Skylar could go up to him. She was too nervous to do much other than squeak her name out for him.

“That’s a beautiful name,” he said to her. “I’ve never heard Skylar before.”

When we were walking away, Skylar was shaking. “Norman Reedus just said I had a pretty name.” I patted her on the back and directed her toward Sean Patrick Flanery.

Let me just throw this out there now: I have had a ridiculous crush on this man for more years than I can remember. I didn’t go psycho crazy stalker girl on him or anything, but I could readily admit he was my Hollywood Heartthrob. My heart was ready to explode out of my chest and bounce off the walls from excitement.

When I finally made my way up to him, he shook my hand, and my brain instantly went into ridiculous babble mode. “Hey, I’m Sean.”

“I’m Angel, and this is the greatest moment of my life,” I said. I tried to make it sound a little less creepy by laughing afterwards, but mostly I just tried to keep from staring at his chest.

“Angel, that’s a beautiful name,” he said. “Have you ever heard the song Angel by Jimi Hendrix?”

“I’m not sure,” I said.

“How’re you not sure?” he said, smiling at me.

“Do you realize how many songs have my name in it?” I said. “And how many people show me songs because they have my name in them?”

He laughed and looked down at the photo in front of him. He wrote:sean (1280x1022)

“To Angel:

Angel came down from Heaven yesterday, stayed with me just long enough to rescue me.”

He held the picture up in front of me, “This is the first verse in the song, and my favorite part. It’s a great fucking song. You need to listen to it, alright? Tonight.” I promised him I would. Moments later, we were hugging, and his assistant was taking our picture together, before he generically signed Skylar’s photo.

“He ignored me because he was so focused on you,” Skylar said as we walked up to David Della Rocco.

“I can die happy now,” I said, admiring my picture.

We spent several minutes just talking to David Della Rocco, taking pictures and laughing, before I took Skylar over to wait for Stan Lee. While she stood in her line, I made my way to find my mother, still in the insanity of Norman Reedus fans. By the time she made it out to me, I was eager to see Sean Patrick Flanery again. I grabbed my mother, and toward his table we went.

I’m still sort of lost in the chaos of what happened, because somehow, before I could really grasp what was going on, Sean Patrick Flanery had my phone. That was the only thought I could process at first: Sean Patrick Flanery is using my cellphone. Then it occurred to me what he was saying to me, and who he was calling. “Taylor, right?” he said. “That’s your boyfriend’s name?” I nodded, smiling like the dumbstruck fan girl I was.

Somebody else snagged a photo, not me. I was waaay too busy laughing.

Somebody else snagged a photo, not me. I was waaay too busy laughing.

And then, I could hear him talking to Taylor. On my phone. He was calling my boyfriend, on my phone, and using his Irish accent he used when he played Connor MacManus. With my mother standing beside me, he was yelling at my boyfriend as his character, and saying an embarrassing amount of dirty things he had done and was planning to do with me since my boyfriend let me go off to con alone. Then, he hung up.

Everyone around us was laughing hysterically, and I was blushing brighter than I ever have. Just as Sean moved to hand me my phone back, the screen lit up: Incoming Call. Taylor.

We both dove for the phone, accepting the call in the process, before I finally retrieved my phone and ended the call. “I was going to answer that! It was for me,” Sean said, his grin mischievous. Lost in my girlish crush overload, I finished our conversation up before moving away to call my boyfriend back.

I started out this phone call laughing, still thoroughly entertained by the moment that I just had. But my boyfriend wasn’t as amused, and before I knew it, we were fighting, and my mood was ruined. Somehow, I had reversed the entire purpose of my trip. I went from radiating happiness, to hitting such a low; I only wanted to go back to the hotel.

I perked up long enough that, when I saw the boys a little later for our group photo of myself with Sean, Norman, and David, we all had the chance to joke around about my phone call. The photographer had to get us to settle down, and even moments after we were still goofing off. Sean leaned into my ear before I walked away and said, “I still don’t regret it.”

I told him I didn’t regret it, either.

theboys (1280x935)1375873_10200241607716500_492080940_n

The next day, we stopped by the con to say farewell to our new friends. I was long over my bad mood, and accepted that not everyone could say their boyfriend had a personal issue with Sean Patrick Flanery. I downloaded “Angel” onto my iPod and talked to Sean about how much I adored his recommendation. Finally, we started our drive back to reality.

For six hours, I babbled about my Best Weekend Ever, and kept telling my mother that next time – because there will always be a next time – I would be thinner, and it would be better. These were my boys, and I missed them dearly already. I turned the radio up every time my music shuffled back to “Angel”:

And then she spread her wings high over me. She said she’s gonna come back tomorrow.”

At least I got a fancy new Boondock Saints shirt, which was too small when I bought it, but I’ve been motivated to get skinny since then and it now fits 😉

countmeamongthysaintsWhen I raise my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance upon mine enemies, and I will repay those who hate me. Oh, Lord, raise me to Thy right hand and count me among Thy saints.”

So, there you have it ladies and germs. The trip of crazy wonderful-ness. I wish I could explain it better, but it was one of those You Had To Be There to completely relate lol. Anywho, until next time!

~Angel

Each way I turn, I know I’ll always try
To break this circle that’s been placed around me
From time to time, I find I’ve lost some need
That was urgent to myself, I do believe

Life is weird. I say this a lot, actually. Sometimes because my life is being weird, sometimes because the whole world is going insane around me, and sometimes as just a gentle fact. But here it is, staring me dead in the eye, being all weird and whatnot, saying “Behold my grand symphony of destruction and creation.” I’m just supposed to sit back and survive the ride, but I’d like to actually enjoy said ride. Even if it’s crazy. Even if I think I might die with every twist and turn. I need to grit my teeth and hold on and try to enjoy it.

Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home

So, one of my very best friends – Skylar – is about to leave for the army, and it’s eating me up inside. I know she’ll be back. I know it’s for the best, and I’m so proud of her for being so brave and jumping out there int0 this great wide world. But it doesn’t change the ache in my chest, and it certainly doesn’t change how much I’m going to miss her. She leaves the day before Brittaney and I head to Orlando. Then, while we are in Orlando, the anniversary of Eric’s death will roll around. It’s going to be the first time I haven’t spent the 23rd of June at the cemetery, and I’m somewhat terrified. I guess a part of me is worried he’ll be let down. I know I’m worried about how I will handle it when the day actually comes. But I know that if I stayed here, dealing with Skylar leaving, Eric’s anniversary, and the approach of Whitney’s birthday… I couldn’t handle it. Not this year. Not right now. So I need to be away. Fate gave me an opportunity and I took it. Even though there is peace when I’m alone at the graveyard with him, I know that someday I will have to leave the land of the dead and learn to hold myself up as one of the living.

Something that helps me rejoin the land of the living: Going to the zoo with my maniac friends. Hell, adventures with them in general is just.. Yeah ❤

ZOONINJASCREEPSHOW

I failed miserably at finishing my manuscript in time for my self set deadline (well, I wasn’t off by too much until work got in the way), which is why I haven’t posted really for some time. I was trying my hardest to make sure I accomplished that. But, things happen. I’ll get it done. But first, I need to finish my photo shoots with Little Red – aka Skylar – before she leaves.

Plus, I’m learning to deal with the Mysterious Sickness of Doom — erm, my bad — Sjogren’s. But explaining that is a post all it’s own.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” — Steve Jobs

Anyway, that’s all for tonight. I shall post more hopefully this week.

~Angel

Friday was a horrible scary unpleasant day. If you want to get technical, the last two weeks have been a living hell. Between losing Whitney, realizing some pretty bad things about the Mysterious Sickness of Doom, and random other pretty poorly timed news and stress. So, I really needed a night with two of my very best friends: Brittaney and Skylar. I’d be absolutely lost without these two girls.

“And if you’re scared of the future tonight,
we’ll just take it each hour, one at a time.
It’s a pretty good night for a drive,
so dry up those eyes, dry up those eyes.”

And really, I think all three of us needed last night. Skylar is leaving for the military in 106 days (she’s keeping track haha), and Brittaney has just had a lot of stress in general on her. Plus I have to be the party pooper and throw it out there that Hey, something is possibly very wrong with me guys. But we didn’t let that get to us: chinese food, a mini road trip to St Louis for some quick shopping and then a movie, and loads of drive-time fun. Simple, but a beautiful night. It’s the little things in life really that make the best moments.

So thanks, ladies, for the thereapy, shenanigans, and dance parties in my car. For a while, we kept the horrible thoughts out of my head.

crackheadsskylarmarioandluigi2CREEP

I haven’t been posting much since I returned from my amazing adventures in Orlando that I really, really didn’t want to come home from. But, never fear, I have hopes to return in February with my Nerd Herd. That’s gonna be a pretty big and pretty exciting trip, since it’ll be us on our own. A bunch of friends and no parents. Eek, lookout world. We’re gonna be on the loose.

Last week I was determined to get myself moving forward with my life: college, career, etc. So, I made arrangements to go tour the St. Louis branch of the Art Institutes and check out their Digital Photography program. I loved it, and am definitely interested in going to school there. I’m hoping to start in February next year, after my Nerd Herd and I return from our misadventures. I had a phone call with the admissions director guy yesterday about setting up my interview =) So exciting. I’m glad I’m finally taking my life forward.

The greatest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.
~Thornton Wilder

Unfortunately, this Saturday won’t be as fun or positive for the most part. This Saturday marks seven years since my best friend, Eric, died two months before my 15th birthday. He was only fourteen. Too young to lose a life so wonderful, so hopeful. I’ll write more about him later. But for now, I must get back to college related things.

~Angel