Radiogurl a la Carte

Friday, Oct. 22, 2004
Ghost Walk

It's Fridaaaay! I survived another week, thank goodness. And it looks like I am going to go to Tucson tomorrow, something I figured was impossible. It's a last-minute thing. Former Traffic Girl and I did lunch today and while we were talking she volunteered that she's going to Tucson tomorrow to visit her sister. I commented that I was glad she was getting away, that I was hoping but hadn't gotten the opportunity.

She offered to take me with, and I plan to take her up on the offer. If we split the cost of gas it'll help us both. I phoned one friend in Tucson, who was either exceptionally gracious or she's as excited as I am.

It's rare for me to meet Internet friends in real life. The positive side of virtual interaction is that you get to really see a global picture, for good and bad. You see the US as it's seen from outside; or Italy as it's seen from inside! It's an incredible equalizer.

The negative side is that when your friends live on the opposite side of the planet, visiting for real is an expensive and difficult proposition.

That's not to say it never happens, and with only one exception, my experiences with meeting 'net friends have been terrific. I'm looking forward to this connection, too. We've talked on the phone a few times now, and exchange emails and the like. I am looking forward to meeting her in person. Virtual hugs are nice, but they'll never replace the real McCoy. She's promised to do a reading on me, which I find intriguing. I'm more than a little curious about how she will assess me the first time she meets me in person. I suspect she'll be very close. In my experience, most people are probably more honest on the Internet than they are in person. While nothing is absolute, there is a freedom in writing on a fairly anonymous venue. You can say all of the things you think in real life, without the real life repercussions (at least most of the time.)

There are a few exceptions. I dealt with one individual that faked a suicide online during a live chat. I fielded phone calls from teary kids (college age and younger) at 2am thanks to that trick. When I was able to track the culprit down a few days later and prove that the whole thing was someone's sick idea of a joke, I made sure the kids knew what had - and hadn't - happened. I always remind kids to keep their personal information to themselves. Sad to say, there are some very convincing creeps out there, too.

I encountered one of the predators personally. He's one of the men I've mentioned who's all about the chase and zero substance to back it up. I survived but I don't deal well with someone of that dubious caliber. He's lucky I've mellowed with age. At one point in my life I'd have lashed out at him in my pain. More recently I simply closed the door and removed myself from the whole sordid situation. I won't say it didn't affect me. It added one more layer of distrust to the armor already in place, a steel shell I've built over a lifetime. I've been trying to convince myself lately that it's time to set the armor aside, that I don't need it any more. I don't know if it's something I can do alone, and I'm still not wholly convinced it's worth the risk.

Today was slim pickings for news, but we had enough public service announcements to pad things out. In fact, I'm kind of glad. As my previous entry noted, I live in an itty bitty town that excels at celebrations that are off the beaten path. Some are even more wide-ranging than that, as I was reminded today. Come Halloween, we're having our annual Ghost Walk.

With all of the dangers to kids for Halloween, our downtown merchants, police, fire, and other community leaders have created an annual event that's a safe alternative. The kids go down to the main drag to trick-or-treat. There's a pumpkin carving competition and other goodies geared for the younger set. It's safe and the kids have a ball, and the number of participants grows every year.

And then there's the Ghost Walk.

Apparently this community's downtown structures house some Old West spirits that decided to stick around for an afterlife. The Ghost Walk is quite literally a walking tour that visits the haunts of the more active specters. Tour organizers start at the Old Jail (no longer used for incarceration purposes, the landmark houses business and various community activities.) Participants are advised to wear comfortable shoes and warned that the tour will require them to climb some stairs. There's a $5 per-person fee for adults, $3 for kids under twelve, and kids 5 and under get in free, though it's not something recommended for the younger set.

I've never been on one of the tours, at least not yet. 00 and I were talking about going this year. I do know I've heard some stories that, even overheard in vague snippets, stood my hair on end.

As for other things that go bump in the night (and probably in the day, too, if Clinton's any indication,) it's only twelve more days until our election. I hope that the US gets its head on straight afterward, because I'm sick of the ongoing insanity and heightened level of irresponsibility the political quagmire spawns.

One last note. I borrowed this from at least two diaries I read tonight. Thank you chaosdaily and boxx9000:

You Should Be a Sexy Bunny for Halloween!
You Should Be a Sexy Bunny for Halloween!

I have to giggle at that one. My work life is relatively high profile. Most people across the community know who I am and what I do. Even if they don't know me by sight, they know my name. (To the point that there's a bank teller who shares my first name, and some people assume she's me. The things she's told me that they tell her...)

On the personal end, while I'm not anti-social, I am very private. I don't date, really. I am not a party animal. While I do have a limited circle of friends with whom I socialize, I don't get to actually go anywhere often, thanks to my schedule. I'm a pretty darned boring person, when it comes down to it.

A sexy bunny, huh?

I guess someone was reading my mind.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )