Archive | March, 2013

Home

26 Mar

What is a home?

If you Google it you get:

Noun
The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.
Adjective
Of or relating to the place where one lives: “your home address”.
Adverb
To the place where one lives: “what time did he get home last night?”.
Verb
(of an animal) Return by instinct to its territory after leaving it: “geese homing to their summer nesting grounds”.
Synonyms
noun. house – residence – dwelling – abode – habitation
adjective. domestic – native
adverb. homewards – at home – indoors

Wikipedia will give a similar answer, but I am not the only one to contemplate the word’s meaning beyond a physical structure or area.

The saying goes that the home is where the heart is. What if you’re heart lives everywhere. Does that mean you are homeless? or schizophrenic? Then, what becomes of your body which can only remain in any one place at any one time?

Growing up, my family moved around a lot. My mother was never satisfied with the space we physically occupied. Never satisfied with the places that sheltered us. I never had one specific place to call my “home.” Perhaps that is why I wander so much, yet at the same time yearn to be grounded.

It perhaps is also why I struggle with that initial question so much. What is a home?

My home has always been where my family is. No matter where I go I always refer to where they are as my “home” (even if that changes often).

I also continuously end up calling the building where I sleep most often “home” as well. This can get very confusing in conversations I have with others who often find the need to ask “which home?”

To complicate things even further, although I would never verbally refer to either of these places as “home,” Gordon, where I found who I was, and Vermont, where I found who I was not, are both filed under the box in my heart as “home.”

The list could go on from there, but I think you get the point.

There is a line in a Something Corporate song that I love, “I met a girl who kept tattoos for homes that she had loved. If I were her I’d paint my body until all my skin was gone.” The song itself is fantastic, all about taking risks, seeing the world as an adventure and being a part of something bigger, at least that’s what I get out of it.

Its hard to leave the homes you love. Whether home means a place you’ve been your whole life, or the places your heart has found shelter. The more homes you have, the more full you feel, but the harder it is to look back, and sometimes to look forward.

LP and I went to Ikea yesterday. We bought a coffee table and while we were out I bought new sheets for my new bed along with some other random details that now are part of this home we’ve created. For now its complete, whole. She called it OUR home, and I agreed because that’s what it is. We live here together and form it into something that feels like we belong in it. Its a place to ground myself for awhile and I am blessed to share it with someone I love. I know I’ll have to leave it one day, and probably a piece of me will stay, always connected, but the memories will move with me me and I’ll always have this moment in time.

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“I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. But right now these moments are not stories. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.”

24 Mar

Turns out I’ve been in Tempe for almost 2 and a half weeks I guess, 3 by the time I’m posting this, since we all know I procrastinate. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Why haven’t you posted then dummy? I’ll tell you why…BECAUSE NOTHING HAS BEEN HAPPENING!! Ok stuff has been happening, fun stuff, really fun stuff. I should qualify that statement. Nothing productive has happened, well at least not until after I started this post.

Maybe I was naive, but I really thought I would have a job and a car and maybe, like, a life by now.

I’ve been busy for sure, everyday pretty much goes like this:

wake up way earlier than necessary
check my email
check facebook
surf youtube
watch that show I miss the night before
convince myself its time to apply to some jobs
watch series on netflix…or Downtown Abbey
sit by the pool for a few hours (I do have some nice tan lines at this point…that’s exciting…for MARCH)
hang out with LP…and do…stuff

Then the weekend comes and well….there’s a lot of alcohol typically, and a lot more pool time. That happens when you move from one college city to another I guess.

Today (Wednesday actually, the day I started this) is out of the ordinary because my things are finally here!! It took almost three weeks but my cheap ass moving company finally came and I got to spend the whole day actually really seriously moving in. You have no idea how excited I am. I have been feeling kind of like a vagabond. The few things I brought were just dispersed and messy with no real rhyme or reason. I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress, which after so long is really starting to hurt my back. Its been hard to find a center and feel like I really belong because I’ve had nothing to make me feel grounded.

Now, as I’m finishing this post, it is Sunday (did you follow that?) and not only am I entirely unpacked, I ordered a bed which will be here tomorrow (YAY!) and I will no loger be sleeping on an air mattress. For the first time in my life its not a twin mattress either. Its a freakin’ big girl bed, so now my big girl sleepovers won’t be so….crowded. Clearly that’s the only reason not to have a twin bed, because clearly when I’m the only one in it, a twin bed is just fine.

Anyway, speaking of, apparently it doesn’t take long when I move to find a new set of men to play with. Oddly that was one thing I was worried about when I moved, losing my network of cuddle/make out buddies. I can’t quite explain why, residual low self-esteem or something I suppose.

The point is I’ve had a few encounters since moving in, one that almost got me arrested, one that was entirely unexpected…and a kind of odd, and one that may in fact be something I want to not just dead end because I get too bored to even try anymore.

Maybe I’ll tell the other stories later, but let me talk about the Hipster for a New York minute. I met him a little over a week ago while Lucky Penny and I were sitting at the pool all day drinking and decided to invite people over to join us. The Parasite buddies came who are two boys I knew from previous visits and then LP invited a friend from work, the Hipster. It was a fun day of feeling young and invincible, some other people dropped by, we threw the football around, went swimming, yada yada. The Hipster and I got to talking here and there and it turns out I was intrigued by him.

Of course boy-crazy me tends to like most boys that pay me any attention right off the bat so I didn’t put too much stock into it despite the make out session that ended the night. We have hung out a few more times though and I find myself getting excited every time I see a text from him and looking for excuses to talk to him. Obviously, I don’t need a boy in my life yet, I just started on this new chapter, but having one around isn’t so bad…right?

Minute over, I refuse to dwell and analyze because that would mean I’m in farther than I’d like to be already. Instead lets talk about the day after the pool, aka Saint Patrick’s Day.

I’m not even Irish and yet every year this holiday gets out of hand. This year it started at 6:30am and lasted 21 1/2 hours. It was almost going to last 24, but at around 4:00am it was very clear I was being irrational and needed to pass out. Instead of trying to remember details I’m going to give you a vague timeline of events (and clearly I’m into doing this today).

6:30 am crawl out of bed, kick the Hipster out, and get greened up
7:00 am go to the bar that was giving out t-shirt to the first 100 people, not get a t-shirt but share a pitcher for breakfast
8:00 am go home and actually eat breakfast because clearly that should have happened already
After breakfast, take a nap, then shortly after wake up from said nap because you feel like its time to get on with celebrating. Spoiler alert later comes the regret for not taking a long enough nap.
11:00ish go to Mill Ave. aka the street with all the bars
Drink all day at multiple bars. Meet up with a cop LP knows and try not to be awkward. Realize there are free tickets to see and meet Flogging Molly at the park and need to go.
6:30 pm get to the park, get tickets, never actually find where to go to meet the band and instead lose LP in the crowd and find a new friend that someone back home told you to meet up with. Go find LP, elbow to the front of the crowd, stay for less than a song and leave. On the way to the back of the crowd bump into Parasite2, have photo shoot, go back to the bar.
By this time it was like 9 maybe, met back up with the cop, drank some more, then went in search of food while Parasite2 went to find his wallet or something. We got food but lost Parasite2 because his phone died, but luckiest night ever means that we found him again wandering the street on the way to the cop’s car. On the way home I invited Parasite1 over and all of us continued drinking and chatting.
LP had to work in the morning so she went to bed early. Parasite1 passed out on our floor. Parasite2 and I went to the park.
4:00 am Parasite2 and I got back to the house and I got the fantastic idea to be up 24 hours straight. Instead we got into my bed and fell asleep to SNL.

Despite how awesomely entertaining the experience was, the next day I felt like hell. The decision was made that the rest of the week was detox week and mostly I kept to that resolution.

By Wednesday I was feeling much better and super excited for my things to come (like that full circle there?). Thursday I rented a car because I had two interviews! Neither was super close and the cost (and joy the driving would bring) outweighed that of cabs. Not only did one of them offer me the position, the other went really well and has contacted my references making me feel super confident that may end up being an option as well. Either way I finally have a job lined up.

The only thing missing at this point is a car and I am determined by the end of the week I will be mobile again.

Being as it is the last week in March all of this will mean that in less than a month I somehow managed to completely uproot my entire life in New England, transport it to Arizona, rebuild it entirely, and even add in some improvements. This has been the most terrifying and nerve-racking month of my life. I have never doubted myself more, never second guessed so many of the decisions I have made, and never been so happy with the results.

Wow this was a long one.

PS The quote is from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”…in case you were wondering. I edited it a bit.

NO!

9 Mar

Telling yourself no is probably one of the hardest things ever required of you in life. Food. Men. Alcohol. Drugs. Etc. All those things you just want and make you feel so good in the moment that just don’t have any benefits past the right now.

This is something I am constantly struggling with. I find this surprising because in general I am a pretty responsible person. Just sometimes, I forget that the goals I have are bigger than what is right in front of me. I like to feel good. I’m human. I am sure most of you can relate.

We are built to satisfy needs, its just who we are. When there is alcohol staring you in the face you think, “hey, tonight would be really fun to get kind of fucked up,” or, “I had a really hard day, it’d be nice to forget that for a little while,” and you get drunk. Who cares if you are purposefully killing brain cells or affecting the functioning of your liver. Its good RIGHT NOW.

Possibly a bigger weakness in my world is men. So many bad decisions are made when a cute, or lets be honest, kind of cute guy is there and willing to satisfy that carnal desire (ore often than not when alcohol is involved and everything seems like a good idea). Bad decisions galore.

Keeping end goals in mind is tough, end of story. Being healthy when you’re fifty. Having a steady boyfriend and not a world full of people that question your morals. Long term happiness is hard to really think about in the moment to moment decisions. BUT SO IMPORTANT!

Its a struggle, but everything worth while pretty much is. Accept this and I’m pretty sure life will reward you.

I’ll let you know when I figure out a master plan on exactly how this is accomplished.

In the mean time, well love yourself anyway and figure it out as you go.

Ok this got cheesy, off to finish that glass of wine 😉

Reckless on the Road: Part 4

5 Mar

Day 4: Yukon, Oklahoma to TEMPE, ARIZONA! – 940miles

States: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona

Last leg of the journey, it feels kind of cathartic. I think I needed to drive and for it to be hard. I needed to have to make a definite and absolute decision and wash away all though of return. I needed the time to come to terms with that choice and to fully embrace the life I was walking into. I feel I have taken my spirit walk into the bush and come out the other side standing taller and full of purpose.

With that said, the drivers out here are worse than the drivers back home and I want to make them all retake drivers ed. I mean constantly as I am clearly going a constant speed, coming up to a truck or other vehicle in front of me clearly going a slower speed and some ass hole in the left lane will sit in my corner just close enough to box me in. It drives me NUTS!

But other than that the drive has been nice. It’s amazing watching the scenery change and adapt, morph into different terrains and become something new. Not only that but there is clearly a different way of living out here. Giant roaming ranches, tiny shanty towns, sporadic “metropolitan” areas. All along route 66 we kept seeing tiny strips that are clearly from the hay day when 66 was the mode of travel in the west, but now have become run down pit stops like the town in Disney’s Cars since I40 was built. I can’t imagine growing up with so much space. I keep imagining life as depicted in the movies, but clearly the reality must be vastly different. I constantly have been asking myself what they do for work, what they do for fun, where they shop for groceries, and so on. It’s fascinating.

The end of the journey is always the longest and I must say I am happy to be here and start getting settled. Its going to be odd living with LP at first I think and I don’t think my brain has fully registered I’m not going back to Massachusetts yet, but here goes. Now lets just hope I get a job soon…and a car.

Side story, out of all the years I have been driving in New England, so all of them, I have never once even come close to hitting an animal. See deer all the time, even got a glimps at a family of moose one time, but never have I hit one. Tonight, after crossing into Arizona, I literally came within inches to taking out a young elk. WTF.

 

Afterward from Tapas:

I think I’m happy we’re out of the car. Much safer inside.

Reckless on the Road: Part 3

4 Mar

Day 3: Gallipopolis, OH to Yukon, Oaklahoma – 1,007miles

States: Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oaklahoma

 

When I was in high school I had a major crush on the Assistant Pastor’s son at the Nazarene church I was involved with. PK was very metrosexual, although I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but he was funny, friendly, and well, I guess back then that’s really all it took. We were friends, but really the only legitimate connection I had to him was the fact that my parents were friends with his parents so we all got together often and I was able to construct a nice little fantasy world where there was more between us than in reality there ever would be.

Anyway, the whole reason I just told that story is because that is the family we stayed with in Ohio. I didn’t actually get to see PK, he’s married now and lives on the other side of the state, but PK had an annoying little brother who was always hanging around, Spencer.

You know when you don’t see someone for a while, but you still expect to see the same brat you remember, but then you are surprised that it’s a handsome young man standing in front of you instead? Yeah. I honestly couldn’t remember our age difference at first because I desperately wanted him to not be so much younger than me that it was gross I found him aesthetically pleasing. Turns out he’s 22 now and that is a comfortable three year gap.

Stayed up way too late catching up with him, but it was definitely worth it. Who knows maybe our new facebook friendship will turn into something fun (you know I’m kidding right?).

I say stayed up too late because dad woke me up at the crack of dawn today and proceeded to inform me that the new plan was to see if we could drive the rest of the almost 2000 mile trip straight through. Don’t get me wrong, I have regained my adventurous spirit, I just wish I had slept more than 6 hours. PS Clearly this didn’t actually end up happening and I am currently hotelling it up in the middle of Oaklahoma.

It took us a while to escape the mountains and the snow persisted the entire time we were amidst the hills, but once we got to the other side, the sun made an appearance and warmed up my long frozen limbs. Note to self, next time don’t just pack for your end destination.

It was somewhere in the middle of Kentucky I started noticing the scenery begin to transform and for the first time I really felt like I was out of New England. Dad and I had been switching off driving and I hate the passenger seat. I don’t like not having control. I get antsy. To distract myself, I started writing down fun things you would never see in New England!:

*Possum Junction, Indiana

*Santa Claus, Indiana

*Amish Buffet

*Poseyville, Indiana

*Illinois = “The Land of Lincoln”

*Oil pumps in the middle of the field

*Burnt Prairie, Illinois

*We stopped in St. Lois to get gas and use the bathroom. Dad found a meth spoon in the McDonalds bathroom.

*AH! (I added the !) 1 mile – and other roads only labeled by letters

*Jesse James hide out and wax museum

*Route 66

*Springfield, Home of the Simpsons? “Wait, I thought that was in Ohio”

*Speed Limit 75 MPH!!!

*Cherokee nation

 

Afterword by Tapas:

Tapas “I don’t bark I jingle”

Dad “That’s because you have a penis”

Reckless on the Road: Part 2

2 Mar

Day 2: Morgantown, West Virginia to Gallipolis, Ohio – 172miles

States: West Virginia, Ohio

I don’t think I am ever meant to get a car not out of necessity. After an extremely trying morning the decision was made to say good-bye to my faithful little whore of a car and make the rest of the journey without her. The garage couldn’t even look at the full damage, but the likelihood that it was not going to be expensive and time consuming was miniscule.

After much debate, frustration, and scrambling, we rented a car, transferred all of my things between the two, and decided to continue on to yesterday’s intended final destination to regroup and save money on a hotel. Ironically enough, the rental is also an Aveo.

I had intended to simply leave her behind and count it as a loss, but good old Toga jumped to the rescue. He had mentioned wanting to buy it off me if I got a new car before I left, and although the option seemed a feasible idea, I decided to take a risk instead to avoid a car payment just yet. Even with the engine possibly in shambles, however, he still wanted to try his hand at her. Feeling too guilty to actually ask for anything in advance, the deal is that he and I will flatbed it to Vermont where he will fix it himself (he loves his little side projects). Once she is good as new he is going to sell it, subtract the cost of parts and we’ll split the profit 70/30 instead of figuring out what labor would cost.

For being desperate, I find this an excellent plan and everyone wins. This leaves me in search of not only a new job now, but also a new car. FUN TIMES!

I was despairing this morning, but now that the decision is made I am doing my best to stay positive. Really, that’s all you can do when shit hits the fan.

Panic

Cry…a lot

Make a decision

Suck it up and make the best out of what’s left

I can’t tell if this process would have been harder or easier without my dad here with me. I think if he hadn’t been I would definitely be a lot more broke, but also more decisive. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than thankful to have such a supportive and caring father, he’s my world and the other likelihood is that I would have never left that hotel room and drowned myself in the tub.

Of course with the good comes the bad. The challenge of having my car explode is surmountable, but the challenge my mother has posed is an entirely different matter. She was against me moving from the start, and as the day grew closer and closer, her insistence that I was being irresponsible and stupid (her word) grew stronger and stronger. The car may very well be the last straw in our relationship and I find it difficult to believe we’ll even be able to speak again until I am settled and stable. I find this unfortunate, but there will always be people to stand in the way of progress. Her intensions may be well met, but I can’t have her negativity in my life when my strength is at best tenuous.

This move at its heart is about starting over. Turning the page and starting a new story. The past will always remain as a foundation, and a safe haven if ever I need it, but this journey is so much bigger than the life I’m leaving behind. The pain it takes to get there is the price and the ones that love me the most will understand and remain a part of the story. I have to believe that everything happens exactly the way that it should, there is a plan even greater than mine, and my only job is to play my role.

Tonight we’re staying with those family friends I mentioned and I am so excited to catch up with them and hear their story instead of remaining wrapped up in my own. I am thankful for the kindness of those who, even when not still prominent in our lives, are there to support and harbor us in times of need.

Afterward by Tapas:

I like this red thing, its so much bigger than the orange thing. They let me ride in the back today and that was a lot more fun. Bet they didn’t see the present I left for them!

 

R.I.P

Skittles

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October 2009-March 2, 2013

Reckless on the Road: Part 1

2 Mar

A few posts ago I announced this little New England girl was moving across the country to the wild west, aka Arizona. Yesterday the movers came and hauled most of my things out of my little apartment in Salem, MA and will safely carry it to my new place in Tempe leaving me and my dad to load the rest of it into my, up to that point, sturdy but compact Chevy Aveo. That was a whole ordeal in itself, but I don’t feel like reliving it. It felt somewhat like this:

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Needless to say, I got a really good work out in that day. I spent the night at my parents’ house since my dad was making the drive with me and the plan was to get an early start today. Considering we didn’t get back until close to 1am, this morning started later than intended.

Sign 1 things might not go smoothly: the ENTIRE PLAN is thrown off on the first step.

Well I guess the first step would have been packing, which although slow, went smoothly enough. Wednesday was devote to it and pretty successful if I do say so myself and then the Mormon boy I’ve been fooling around with came over to help finish up. Although all he really did to help was move a table, but he was fairly motivating.

Anyway, skipping that entire side story for the time being. Back to today.

Day 1: Uxbridge, MA to Morgantown, WV – 600ish miles

States: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia

After running a few last minute errands, my dad and I were on the road before noon, snacks at the ready and energy drinks under the seat. I could even almost see out my back window!

The plan was to breeze through to Gallipolis, Ohio and stay with old family friends for the night. Up until about 175 miles before our destination, it was smooth sailing. I drove so we were making great time, we only had to stop a couple times for gas/food/bathroom, and traffic was pretty cooperative. Then I heard the noise. It was a weird scrapey/whooshy noise that last for maybe 30 seconds and went away. We brushed it off assuming it was something else…until it happened again. I pulled over and honestly I thought maybe something had gotten wrapped up into one of the tires. Popping the hood revealed nothing, but then the bitch wouldn’t start.

If I hadn’t been riding with my father any number of obscenities would have been streaming from my mouth, but not only did he keep my bad habits in check, he called AAA and pretty much took care of the whole situation. I am a spoiled princess and in times like this you have no idea how much I don’t care if you judge me for it.

Unplanned as it was, we managed, and I have to say people in West Virginia are really nice. We got towed to a garage who will take a look at it in the morning and since its where the tow truck came from, didn’t have to pay for the tow. The hotel we wound up at is in walking distance from the shop and gave a nice deal since I came in first and told a great sob story. The room itself is actually pretty swanky AND there’s a bar downstairs.

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LP reminded me earlier, maybe yesterday actually at this point, that everything happens for a reason. Until they tell me my car is dead and never coming back, I am thinking positive and looking at the bright side of things. This could have been A LOT worse.

For now let me leave you with a highlight real from the day:

*Quote from the radio: “People who aren’t scared, aren’t about to do anything interesting.”

*Tapas: best driving companion ever. He is a plastic piggy bank that looks like a pug and has a small penis. The dog walking company I worked for got him for me as a going away present and he has been an indispensable member of our traveling party.

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*Learn something new: How to spell Poughkeepsie

*Dad and I have very different tastes in music, but we found a common ground on classic rock which has become the soundtrack to this particular road trip.

*Dad: “I’m kind of glad Krispy Kremes didn’t make it up here. I’ve always thought of it as a southern thing and New Englanders have stolen all the other good ones: pecan pie…cotton…”

*In Unison: “BORN TO BE WILD!” then cracking up laughing

*We passed by signs for Turkey Hill a few times and every time I was reminded of Turkey Hill ice cream, but dad was confused why the sign kept making me think of ice cream. Until we had the best idea ever: Turkey ice cream. If weird things can be bacon flavored, why not turkey? I mean bacon can’t have the only hold on the market. We’ll start with ice cream and build an empire!

*We stopped at a rest stop in PA and not only was the Dunkin Donuts self serves, but we got a free joke with purchase.

You’re alone in a boat in the middle of a lake. The ONLY thing you have in the boat is a pack of cigarettes. How do you light your cigarette?

Open the pack, throw one into the lake. The boat becomes one cigarette lighter. BAHAHAHA

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*My car hates hills, and Maryland is full of them. (I’m blaming them for current circumstances)

*It never fails that there is never a bathroom when you need one most.

*When its dark and you break down in the middle of nowhere, there will inevitably be an ominous barn nearby…DON’T think of the Chain Saw Massacre! DO have Solitaire ready and waiting.

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Afterward by Tapas:

Adventure time!! I’ve seen so many things today and they even fed me some nice road snacks. I do wish they would stop making fun of my little penis. Its not really my fault after all. I can’t wait to see the humans tomorrow, I think they forgot me in the car. Oh well, good thing I can’t feel the cold!