"Go, dear friend! if need be, give up all else, and commence to-day to inure yourself to pluck, reality, self-esteem, definiteness, elevatedness; Rest not, till you rivet and publish yourself of your own personality." --Walt Whitman
So so sooosoososos much has happened in the past whatever months since I last wrote. I'm getting really good at disappearing for a while! Wooo I'm a magician. Do you like my bunny?
So anyway, yeah. My new life plan, as it happens, currently, this week is as follows:
Move to San Francisco. (Hopefully with Debra!? and maybe Adaye and Adam?!? and Annie? AAAAAAAAAAAA). Go to Culinary Arts School. Huh? What? I know, shut up, whatever. Live in that sweet, sweet city. Work in restaurants. Eventually open up own vegetarian/vegan/health conscious cafe-restauranty thing. I have an interview with some dude on Monday and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely 100% psyched.
Oh yeah, I'm going to San Francisco for Spring Break. WHAT!? AWESOME! SHUP!
Once upon a time in the land of College Park, Princess Robin and Princess Debra decided it was high time for an arts and crafts project. So away they flew to Target to find some fun things to make. While overall they were dissapointed in said store, Princess Robin happened upon an awesome castle/fort in the REDUCED FOR CLEARANCE section. For only $2.61, they would have their own castle! And not just any castle - a cardboard, assembly-required, colour-in-yourself castle! It was the bestest castle in alllllll the land. Princess Robin and Princess Debra had so much fun putting it together and colouring it, and they were so surprised to find that 2 whole people could fit neatly inside! The two princesses were very excited and they lived happily ever after, (until Princess Debra left with Sir Mike of Fratinshire to go play with him, the slut).
Right, um, so I'll just slip back in here quietly and pretend like I've been updating my blogs all along...
Well hello again! So, ok. I'm back in America. And, yes. I didn't update any blog whilst I was away in the UK. I'm a bad, bad person. But I'm here now, doesn't that count for something???
My travels and tribulations throughout the UK and parts of Europe were exciting, invigorating, vomit-inducing, sleep-deprived, burnt-out-i-fied, and pleasantly edible.
Here is a list of countries I have now visited and/or travelled through:
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden.
Sadly, I don't have stamps in my passport for some of them, like Sweden. When I got off the train in Sweden, I looked for signs to the passport control office and found it tucked away in the back of the train station. The small, dilapidated door was locked and there was a sign next to it but unfortunately, I don't read Swedish, so I just knocked loudly. Sadly, no one answered and my passport remains unstampified to this day. Fuckin' Swedes and their lousy meatballs.
I have lots of interesting stories, but instead of boring you with those here, I'll move on to more boring things. Like this coming semester and the rest of my LIIIIIFEEE.
So it's my last semester as a college student. Whaaaa? Yeah, I know. Crazy-town. I'm taking some sweet-ass classes, though - like drawing and painting! haha!, and this LGBT class. Other new things in my life include the following:
-I'm still the same height
-I have a new-found appreciation for Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-I came out of the closet
-I have a girlfriend who is Scottish
-I am moving to Scotland in June/July
-I have THREE, count them!, new scarves
-I drink at least 2 cups of tea a day - preferably English Breakfast or Assam, WITH MILK!
-I got 2 more wisdom teeth out (the other hung on for dear life, so the good surgeon kindly left him there).
-I have a radio show with Debra! and it's gonna be soooo kickass.
Besides all that, *sigh*, I'm boring.
I will be back in good ole' CP in just a few short days and promise to update my blog as much as I feel like it.
Not only is Hiatus a fun word to say outloud, but I can legitimately say it outloud as I will be taking one from Rose-Coloured Blogging whilst I am abroad in London. For those of you who are cool enough, you will be sent a link which you can follow to my new travel blog. Don't cry too much, Rose-Coloured Blogging will return as soon as I come back to the states.
Within the next 18 days, I will unpack my Maryland stuff (finally), serve as maid-of-honour at my sister's wedding, re-pack my stuff for London, and arrive in DC to fly across the pond. I'm excited, are you excited?
Soooo much has happened in the past few weeks. Julie came to visit! Yay! Then to NYC for a crazy fun bachelorette party weekend. Lost my wallet in a cab in NYC. Moved out of my apartment in CP, had problems with the movers, car broke, car got fixed, found out a nice woman found my wallet and mailed it back to me, drove home to NY. Now I'm home in Delmar, and I have 18 days till my sister's wedding and 26 days till London. WOOOO.
I also was looking at more air travel possibilities whilst I'm over in London and I found out that flying to say, Germany, will cost me only 35 pounds. I then realised that this is less than the cost of a pair of jeans over there (in London), and this makes me a) want to travel a lot and b) not want to buy jeans over there. And I REALLY like jeans.
I wonder if I'll actually spend any time in London if I can travel this easily and cheaply?
I forgot to mention one item about my stay in Florida. Whilst perusing the plethora of pamphlets (doesn't alliteration make you tingle inside!? Or is it just me?) in the hotel lobby where I was staying, I saw the usual brochures for theme parks, water parks and shopping centres. However, one gem stood out from the rest, with it's bright yellow and black colouring and this friendly man in brilliant colour, smiling and giving me the peace sign on the front:
Yes, folks. Burt Reynolds has a museum - it is, in fact, called the "Burt Reynolds and friends Museum." The text tells me this history:
Burt Reynolds, an international celebrity for over forty years has made Jupiter, Florida his home for most of his career. In recognition of his cultural contributions the Town of Jupiter graciously provided a building to house Mr. Reynolds lifetime collection celebrating the historical impact he has had on the film industry and the town...
It even tells me in huge red letters that this building is "Florida's Largest Celebrity Museum!"
Friday, July 16, 2004 ::: F is for Florida and other things
Okay, now I'm convinced. The entire state of Florida has no redeeming qualities. This past weekend/week I "had" to go down to visit my grandparents. Fine, it'd been about 2 years since I had last saw them, but - and I mean this in the nicest, sweetest, favourite-granddaughterey type of way - can you blame me? Without getting into a long involved story which really would be of no interest to anyone, myself included, suffice it to say that they fully supported their daughter (55 years old) while she did some very, very bad things. Oh yeah, the other main reason I hate this state: my "aunt." I use quotation marks there for a reason: I've officially disowned her - the paperwork should be done soon.
Besides family, here are the main "draws" of Florida for those people who feel the need to vacation here: the sun. The sun is hot, and it sucks. It burns your skin, makes you thirsty, and your A/C bill is atrociously high. Plus, in some weird twlight-zoney type way, the sun is still shining brightly and hotly in the winter time. Let me repeat that - WINTER. So you're still sweating madly in December. No thank you.
The beach. Okay, fine. I concede that the ocean is in fact quite lovely. The waves crashing and all that. But when combined with the suckiness of the sun, the sand that always gets into your nether-regions SOMEHOW, and having to watch old greasy men walk around in hot pink speedos, the ocean really has nothing on the rest of the beach-going experience.
Palm trees. What the hell are these things anyway? They shouldn't be allowed to be called trees. Their classification should be something like "Shadeless stupidus." They are tall, lanky and they provide absolutely no shade whatsoever. I hate them.
Everything named after beach-realted objects and creatures. If I see another sign that reads: "Ocean View Way" or "The Sandy Pelican" or "Seahorse Daycare center" I'm going to puke. If I owned a house here that required signage, I would call my little slice of Florida "Snowball's Hell." I think people would get the point.
It's Bush-country down here. After reading all of these signs and successfully keeping down my chocolate chip pancakes from IHOP, I was pretty proud of myself. Then I foolishly looked up to read the sign that my mother's rented Kia slowly passed under "GEORGE BUSH BLVD." Oh god, up it comes.
The highways. Everything is white cement. It's ugly, perpetually dirty-looking - there's a REASON roads in normal places are black: cars are dirty and black hides the dirt! - and people either drive like foolish beach-bums in their top-down convertibles, or they drive like 80 year old men who had their license revoked 2 years ago but refuse to give up the freedom because it is the only joy in their sad, too-tanned lives. This is because everyone in Florida fits into one of these two categories.
I got a pretty horrible burn at the beach my first day there, but that was to be expected because my skin was as close to what neon-white would look like if neon-white was actually a colour that existed. I thought perhaps I was SO pale that the sun would simply reflect off of my skin, but apparently that didn't happen before it first made a pit-stop to cook me to a crisp. The funny thing (not ha-ha funny, but another-thing-to-add-to-my-list-of-why-I-hate-Floriday funny) was that my burn wasn't in a normal pattern. I swear to you, this burn looked like someone from that TLC channel took a look at my legs, said "oh, this won't do" and proceeded to take a wet rag dipped in red paint and rub it along my legs. The effect was nice, for walls. It looked as if I had a serious skin disease, or had perhaps contracted some sort of hideous rash. Either way, I was in a lot of pain, and because all of the stores in the entire state of Florida close at 6pm (yes, even the 24-hour Walgreens - I checked), I was unable to purchase any aloe-containing products and instead had to settle on a small container of Johnson's baby lotion purchased from the only place open - a HORRIBLY smelling convenience store. I think the store was called "Sun Stop." Puke.
Oh, and I didn't mention my mother's rental car. A lovely Kia Spectra or something. It looks fine from the outside, but I thought it was a bad sign when she had to lean over to unlock my car door from the inside. To my shock and horror, I found that not only did the car not have power locks, it also, somehow did not have power windows. The car had a CD player, but no power windows. Actually, in all honesty it was sort of cute at first - it brought back memories of when we actually had to work to get some fresh air - but the cuteness factor soon faded when we realized that either the car's antenna was missing or it never had one in the first place. At least we had a CD player, on which we could play all of the NO cds that I brought.
I spent a good chunk of the day with my grandparents on Monday. Well, 'good' chunk is really the wrong term. Bad chunk, very, very bad chunk. It's not really my grandparents who are the problem. Because they are my grandparents, I am required to like them and I do like them because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here. Beyond that, they are seriously insane people. Not just the normal crazy stuff, but seriously insane stuff. My grandmother can't see, and my grandfather can't see or hear. Of course he refuses to wear hearing aids because that would mean he was giving in, that he was weak, and his glasses are his prescription from 22 years ago. Not exactly helpful. So in order to talk to him one must scream at unusually high levels - I tried: I saw Tom Ridge on the news he was "watching" and I said to him: "He came to my school to speak at graduation," trying to make small talk, chit-chat, with him. He just looked at me. I repeated myself, roaring to 4 decibels. "I can't hear you" was his aggitated response. So I tried again. Then I got up, went to his "good side" whatever that means and literally screamed into his ear. His response was "oh." Well, that was worth it. My grandmother lives in the past. She tells the same stories about the same 48 relatives over and over and over and over and over again, and my eyes glaze over and I start to hallucinate, but I nod and smile and say "oh, really!?" on the outside. She loves me better than my sister for some reason or another.
Tuesday afternoon I went with my mother to eat at 3Gs deli to meet up with her aunt. We were warned beforehand that this restaurant doesn't exactly cater to the younger crowd. I walked in and couldn't place the smell right away, but then I did: Chopped Liver and Old Person. 5 Old ladies sat around a large table talking about cribbage, and my mother, her aunt and myself were seated next to them. I counted 3 oxygen tanks and 5 walkers. One guy's oxygen tank sat in what looked like a tennis ball cage, and he happily wheeled it behind him, tennis balls on the feet of it so that it wouldn't scuff the floor. Well, maybe he wasn't happy, maybe he was just constipated.
After that I went "shopping" with my mother to Olde Village Towne Centre or something. In this strip mall there were 6 stores. One was a costume jewelry store full of plastic-beaded necklaces and broaches, whatever those are. One was "Glicks" (no apostrophe - AGH!) kosher supermarket, one was an optomistrist, there was a handbag store, a discount clothing store and a "bargain bin" store. First, my mother and I went into the discount clothing store where we were meeting her other aunt. I think my favourite rack in this store was one that contained neatly lined up polyester/nylon blend elastic pants, in various shades of tan, beige and off-white. Clearly there's a demand for them.
While my mother pawed through the other racks, hoping to find a gem of a deal, I decided to head over to the "Bargain Bin" store. I'm glad I did because now I know where every single grandparent in the entire state of Florida gets the candy that they put in their crystal candy dishes. Oddly, although the store was full of candy, it still smelled like old people. Lining the 3 isles in "Bargain Bin" were large clear-plastic containers of everything from those strawberry-flavoured hard candies, the ones with the liquidy centers, whose wrappers are made to look like strawberries, to butterscotch (a must in every grandmother's candy dish), to rolled oats (?), to bagels and bialis to chocolate-covered raisins. One old lady budged in the door beside me, clearly with a goal in mind. She walked directly to the plastic bag dispenser, grabbed four bags and began filling them up with loose oatmeal. I can think of at least 40 other places I would buy oatmeal before this place, but apparently she was a regular there as the clerk smiled and waved and said "Hi Dolores" when she went up to pay for her prized oatmeal. That's another thing, all old people are named Dolores or Harvey or Thelma. Would you ever name your little baby girl Thelma? I would, but that's only because that's the kind of person I am - cruel, but hopefully in a mildly funny way. I texted my friend Annie on my cell phone, telling her about this strip mall and she warned me to get out before it was too late. Suddenly I realized - I was feeling a bit old. At that moment there was nothing I would have liked more than a nap and an early dinner.
I thought I would literally jump out of my skin when I got to the airport on Wednesday afternoon. I couldn't possibly wait another moment to get out of this state. My mother believes in getting to places way too early, but whatever. We arrived at the airport at 2pm for my 4:15 flight back to sanity and normal trees, and I find out that it's been delayed. Very delayed. 3pm passed, 4pm, 5pm passed. I kept looking over at the Southwest Ticket Attendent, sending her ESP messages to pick up the damn microphone thingy and tell us our plane is in range. Just pick it up... that's right, lift your arm.. your hand... that's right. I was begging her in my mind, pleading with her with my eyes to give me SOME good news. Finally at 5:15 she said it. Relief flooded into my body, puddling in my stomach.
As my plane lurched forward and took off, I looked out the window to see the hell I was leaving below. Dante's hell has nothing on Florida, I'm convinced of it. I mentally waved goodbye to the white cement everything, the strip malls, the stupid trees, the too-hot sun, and most of all, the old people and sat back in my faux-leather Southwest seat, took in a long, deep breath and relaxed.