Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It must be Tuesday...

So I've been to camp. And now I'm home. Three days early. Oh, my.

I shall tell this tale with headings that really encapsulate the microcosm that each day was. It all started Sunday... *insert flashback music/wavery image here*


We worked from noon to midnight setting up for camp. I unloaded ALL THE KAYAKS EVER from the trailers (since I am the kayaking instructor), and set up the lake. Granted, I took some liberties and went for a nice long paddle all alone on the quiet lake, but I swear, the rest of the day was basically an extended exercise in endurance labor. I built six wigwams from plumbing parts, helped set up the kitchen, helped check in all the staffers, and moved seven ancient (and heavy) camp bunk beds into a new cabin after the first one flooded in a huge rain storm, and built the camp store twice (it also blew over in the storm).  By the time I got to bed around 2 am, I was thoroughly pack-muled out.

It was hard work, but essentially uneventful (plus, remember the nice peaceful paddle).

This brings us to MONDAY. I DON'T HAVE ANY FUN-DAY.

Monday morning started out with a bang. One of the counselors woke up having been sick during the night, and didn't want to tell anyone. She kept it secret because the previous night at the counselor meeting, one of the directors announced not to eat too much candy, because candy makes you puke, and pukers get sent home. It's just her funny way of warning the kids off eating too much junk and making themselves sick. Well, this girl went to FUCKING GREAT LENGTHS to hide her illness, not realizing she'd basically contaminated the entire camp with GODFORSAKEN ROTAVIRUS. So we had Typhoid Mary walking around all day, leaving her germity germs of death EVERYWHERE. When we realized she was sick Monday afternoon and sent her home, we were worried, but not too worried. We should have been...


The dominos began to fall. We had a few girls get sick by lunch time. Then a few more. By the time my kid succumbed at 7:30 this evening, there were 15 sick girls, and a few more who looked green around the gills. In the span of an hour, we went from a fully functional camp to a CDC quarantine zone. For crying out loud. So we had to shut down camp. I brought my little puker home, and I've been rewarded with not having thrown up, and by having access to the internet. At least until tomorrow night. If they decide to reopen for the final two days of camp, I'll go back, but I think the kid is done.

I taught exactly three kayaking classes. I was supposed to teach fifteen. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

So I'm home, and now I can get back to work, because editing is all but impossible at camp when you're surrounded by 75 girls who all need your attention RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. Read a sentence, change some punctuation, THEN HERE'S ANOTHER EMERGENCY HANDLE IT NOW. It's not even worth turning on the computer. So I'm secretly thrilled that my kid's sick. How awful of a human being does that make me?

In fact, the poor thing's curled up on the bathroom floor with a pillow and her kindle. :(

So hopefully the rest of the week is an improvement. I'm done.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Annual Self-Flagellation Week, AKA Purgatory

It's been a really long time since I posted anything here. I won't blah blah you to death with how busy I've been or anything stupid like that. Really, it comes down to the fact I didn't really have anything to say. No point in talking just to hear the sound of my own voice. Or in this case, to hear the sound of my own typing.

I have been posting more on Tumblr recently, though. I find the format there fits the silly snippets and pictures of my life a little more readily than a formal blog does. So for now, 99% of my postings will either be on Tumblr or Twitter. Check that out if you are on either site. I'm in and out, but I show up both places at least a few times a day.

But, the actual point of this post, is that I won't be anywhere online for most of the next week. It's my ANNUAL TRIP TO PURGATORY. *cue ominous music*

Too bad I won't actually have an angel to help me get through it. Nope. Surviving this is all on me.

What's going on? I get to spend a week helping to run a camp. I'm the kayak instructor, and general dogsbody. I'm awake before dawn, preparing for the onslaught of 200 girls aged 5 through 18, and then the day begins. Eight hours of camp activities (which boils down to eight hours of paddling for me), then another eight hours of managing the older girls' free time, followed by another four to six hours of preparing for the next day, I get between 2 and 4 hours of sleep a night. If I'm lucky. Between the intensely physical, constant activity and the complete lack of personal space or quiet, I think I'd rather be in actual purgatory for a week. And I do this 100% as a volunteer. Have done for years.

WHY?! you might ask? I love it. It IS purgatory for me. It's pure. It's a test. It pushes me to the edge of sanity, and I get to see if I can stay on this side of the line, or if I'll be dragged across into psychosis. It's the ultimate extreme sport, playing fast and loose with my own brain. Because, really, it's not that far a walk from "normal" me to "OMG SOMETHING IS FUCKING WRONG WITH YOU" me.

Last year I came about five minutes from breaking before a friend pointed out my weird behavior and sent me on a solitary hike until I could rein in the crazy. I chose the "difficult" trail up to Cunningham Falls, climbed the falls, and perched in a nook in the forest and just sat there for a few hours. I held on. I won. Victory over insanity.

Why would I put myself through that again? Because I have to. I have to prove to myself I am not the victim. I have to prove I am strong, both physically and mentally. I CAN DO THIS.

And nothing makes me feel stronger.
So wish me luck. I'll be back soon. I have a lot of editing to do, and that alone is keeping me from flipping out. At least the camp has power, if not internet. My work shall keep me sane.