Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

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» Monday, March 18, 2024
Atomicon 2024
We had a fairly good Atomicon, despite being utterly exhausted from allergies and coughing. We arrived in Helen Thursday afternoon just about four, when several of our friends were checking in, offloaded our junk, and then lay down until I started texting to find out where we were going to dinner. Spice55, the Thai place, was the choice, and we had the usual yummy dinner. I wait for this every year, as they make the best pad thai.

Something sweet happened after dinner: Jessie and some of the others were enchanted by the black-and-white stray cats hanging outside the shopping center where the restaurant was. A lady was also interested in the cats and she and James started talking; she was ex-Navy and also had been a Marine. Now, we had had an appetizer, so I still a lunch-sized portion of leftovers, and it was supposed to rain on Friday. I suggested we stop at the Dollar General, which has frozen foods, to see if we could find him something for lunch there. We did find some taquitos. The same lady also was in the store, and she was quite disturbed by how cluttered the aisles were and that James could not get around in his power chair. She told us she was going to report the store for ADA violations. And on the way out she paid for his taquitos!

Thursday night I was feeling well enough to play some games, and we played Uno No Mercy, which is fiendish. I got kicked out of the first game almost immediately, and ended up winning the last one.

It did indeed rain almost all day Friday. It was probably good because James and I were both stuffy and miserable, and we stayed in with anyone else who didn't want to go out in the rain, talking, farkling around on the computer. I found Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent available and watched that, and last night's Law & Order as well.

For supper the weather cleared well enough to go to the Nachoochee Tavern and have some pretty good pizza. I had to share with James, so I had to eat cheese [bleah], but it was still okay.

One of the things James and I have begun doing since Atomicon has been held at the Country Inn and Suites is to have a daily walk downtown after breakfast. It's about a half a mile, and then we stroll around the little downtown area, maybe walk down to Hofer's Bakery, and then return to the crossroads of downtown and head toward the parking lots, strolling a road in the back down to the hotel. Total it's about a mile and a half, maybe more.

I was feeling so short of air from the congestion that on Saturday morning we took the truck instead; we haven't done that in years and I felt like I was regressing. But I did manage to totter around downtown. We visited the glassblower's shop, bought our annual candy from Hansel & Gretel, and visited the history museum that we missed last year due to food poisoning. This is in a building that used to be the City Hall. Helen was a tiny little logging town at one time, outside of what became Unicoi Park, and when the logging left, so did a lot of the population. Helen became basically a gas and food stop, so they turned the town into a "Little Bavaria" to attract tourists. We've been going to Helen with our friends for...well, Jessie and Aubrey both turned thirty last year, so...longer than that!

We also bought more white peach balsamic vinegar (love this stuff) and some blackberry ginger as well from the Alpine Olive Tree. I got James a neat gift: someone gave us a little turntable/light gadget: you plug it in and put a statue or something on it and it lights it up and revolves. They had laser-etched lucite items, and I got James a U.S. Navy one, with an aircraft carrier and destroyer and planes flying overhead. (I was going to get him a smaller one, but he said the planes weren't correct!) It looks really pretty on the turntable.

We then drove down to the Mount Yonah Bookstore—the owner always puts out a "Welcome, Atomicon!" poster and gives us a discount—and I found a brand-new copy of the annotated version of The Phantom Tollbooth, one of my favorite books in the whole world (seriously, what my life would have been without the Stadium School and Hugh B. Bain libraries I will never know). I also found a book about a woman FBI agent, a book by Robert Ressler (one of the first FBI profilers), and the book that inspired the series Homicide: Life on the Streets, which introduced Richard Beltzer's John Munch character.

And it was back to Spice55 for supper with Alice and Juanita. I had pad cashew this time, which was exquisite.

Sunday I was feeling strong enough to do the walk downtown, if a bit slowly, and we made it to the Christmas store before I started to be nagged by lower GI problems. It was a good walk, anyway. We spent the afternoon reminiscing about old television series, and had supper at Rib Country in Cleveland, GA. The ribs are so good and half the price of any ribs in the Atlanta metro area.

Alas, neither of us slept well, so we staggered up, ate the hotel breakfast, and packed up and left. Stopped at the outlet mall because I so much needed new socks. We also stopped at a knife shop where James went in; I sat and read. And finally, by the vet—$1300 for exams and boarding! Oliver apparently seems to be okay to them; it looks like they don't have an avian vet again. ::sigh:: Yes, they noticed he's shy.

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