Tag Archives: arizona

Landmark Reflections

25 Mar

I am a little late in doing this, but the beginning of the month was my one year anniversary in moving to Arizona. I wanted to reflect now that things are mostly stable and I have a handful of experience.

Things I still miss:

  • My family
  • Friends which slowly seem to be losing touch
  • Boston nights (especially Saint Pattie’s Day)
  • The subway
  • Living in Salem, a city full of history
  • Dog walking believe it or not (I keep stalking their Facebook page to check up on some of the pups)
  • Knowing how to get around without thinking
  • The ocean
  • Wider range of job opportunities

Things I would not trade for anything:

  • Finally having an adult apartment
  • Michigan
  • Pool season practically year-round
  • Sunshine sunshine sunshine
  • Minimal precipitation
  • Logical city design so even when I do get lost it is not that hard to figure it out
  • Living with my best friend
  • New friends
  • New adventures and new places to explore

Life changes whether you want it to or not, that is not up to us. I may miss a lot of things and my heart may ache some days, but the likelihood is that that would have happened eventually. We can either be a passive traveler, letting the winds shift us from one place to the next, or we can take an active role and set sail (caution: cheesy metaphor). Either way, we move forward and I would rather have some say in where I end up, I am stubborn like that.

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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.

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!

The Marriage of Moving

26 Jan

Moving is like getting married. Before the proposal you get confused, so many questions run through your mind over and over. Is this the right time? Am I choosing the right one? Should I wait for something better? Am I financially stable enough? What about my family? My friends? And so many others. Then its time, THE question is asked and there is no other answer to give, but yes or no.

You hover somewhere between panic and the thrilling sense of adventure, nerves tingling, head buzzing with all the things you have spent way too much time contemplating in a haze of deliberation. It feels like it takes an eternity, but in reality, the answer escapes you in a flash, based on a culmination of heart and logic. Yes. As soon as the word bursts into the universe you are overcome with relief. The decision is made; you can relax for a moment, take a deep breath.

All of a sudden all of your concerns seem trite. You wonder why you ever doubted because everything just feels so right. You are overcome with joy and excitement. The world is bright and something inside you sings in anticipation.

Then come the baby steps in the planning process. Each one inching you closer to the reality of your decision coming to fruition. Each one bringing its own reminders of the worries you set aside. At first you are still jubilant, but eventually, as with everything else in life, everything begins to even out, come to a balance again.

As the days pass and plans continue to be set in motion, the uncertainties bubble and brew insecurity. It’s terrifying, too terrifying for words. Change always is. The bigger the change, the more times you seriously consider jumping the train. Every time you are on the edge, however, you look ahead and you look behind. You look behind to remind yourself why you ended up here, all of the choices that have brought you to this moment. You look ahead to remember all the wonderful things that this decision will bring. You step back from the edge and decide yet again that you will not remain stagnant; you will not choose to live a mediocre life.

The day arrives and all the stress you have somehow managed to maintain at a manageable level washes over you in waves. You aren’t thinking about your decision, only all the things that could go wrong to ruin your perfect moment. You surround yourself with friends and family to keep your head on straight and convince you it’s going to be ok. The day passes, you don’t explode, and whether or not its perfect, the moment comes and you enter a new phase of your life.

Now, I’ve never gotten married, but I have watched a lot of marriages happen. It is the closest thing I have seen to the process I go through every time I make a giant life decision. I have recently made one of those GLDs and I’m still somewhere in the beginning phases. I’ve said yes, and plans have begun to take form, but its still in the unreal charm of exhilaration. I’m terrified, but it’s only a low hum in some corner of my mind for now.

This Boston girl is moving to the desert, Arizona to be precise. It’s the most extreme thing I’ve done probably ever and it’s already very bittersweet. I’m going to miss so many people and whenever I dwell too long the tears swell. My family and my supports are here, but life isn’t meant to be lived in a comfortable bubble. I will not be the girl who has never lived outside of New England. I want adventure in the great wide somewhere (yes, I’ve been channeling Belle for a few days now) and I refuse to allow myself to say no to an opportunity I’ll always wish I had taken. Leaving may be hard, but staying would be harder.

Besides, I could not have asked for a more exciting living situation. How many times in my life will I get the chance to live with my best friend? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am moving in with LP. If I’m honest with myself, I know it very well could end in disaster, but I think we have both decided to make sure it doesn’t. We’re all adults here after all.

More details on that adventure to come, for now I’ll leave you with the anticipation.

Sometimes the party gets the best of you

8 Jul

Well I almost completed epic week of posting. Then came the hangover from hell and I lost my rhythm. I’ll finish the Arizona part of the story this week, promise (?). I was going to do it last weekend, but then Friday night came, got way too hammered and wanted to die for the next few days.

Did you know that technically every time you throw up from drinking you have alcohol poisoning? So I wonder what it means when you throw up on the sidewalk the next day while trying to merely survive your dog walking job…more than once. Not classy. Nor is a two day hang over. Hopefully, knowing this was my weekend earns my forgiveness for not finishing my attempt at completing something.

I may also do a Half Baked video tonight. It is Sunday after all and I didn’t even have drunken baking last week either since I felt so shitty. I’ll have to look through my pantry.

While I’m typing lets do other updates, mine as well make this productive:

Rugged Maniac Training is still going, but much less intense. The initial hurrah has died off a bit, but I’m still motivated to get this done. I’ve been watching videos to prepare for the obstacles, a few of us at work started a running group a couple days a week, and I’ve been doing Jillian Michaels videos to work on muscle conditioning. I’ve been pretty lazy the last couple weeks, but I’m determined to regain my focus now that the 4th is done and there are no other excuses until late August not to be healthy and bang this shit out.

Boys…oh boys. Nothing, I got nothing. I’ve been dating pretty regularly which is nice, but nothing is sticking. I have no complaints, I just wish my coupley friends would stop looking at me like I’m some charity case. Especially now that SMC and the Seaman are engaged. She is my best friend from college and he is a good friend from high school who I used to sleep with. Never saw that relationship ending up here, but now that it is I feel like its work to be happy for them, and they just keep talking like I’m going to be their new project. Their intentions are good, but they don’t get how patronizing they sound.

What else? Oh, remember when I had that mini break down about my life? Did I write about that? Well, I am officially moving to Arizona, probably in November. I need to save and plan and well, find a job, but I’m excited about it. I haven’t told many people, mostly because I don’t want to deal with the negativity that will come along with the announcement (I know for a fact a few people won’t exactly be happy about it), but I have a few months. I figure I’ll live in the dessert for a bit and that will be a nice little adventure then maybe England, or some tropical island for a while. I went to see “Savages” and it made me want to be a beach bum, possibly with dreadlocks.

Alright, it was nice catching up, but I have a pile of laundry calling my name.

That’s What You Get for Waking Up in Vegas pt5

29 Jun

Thursday May 3, 2012

Up until this point I had been SUPER proud of the fact that I had not woken up hung over. I won’t say I was hung over, since I like to brag that I wasn’t hung over in Vegas, but I was a little hung over. I think it was more lack of sleep and dehydration, but it was a rough start.

We slept in, I spent a good amount of time unpacking, organizing and repacking (because I’m irrationally meticulous) and checking the room for remaining items that could come home with me.

We went to Mr. Lucky’s again to have chinese food for brunch and then wandered around the hotel. TOGA didn’t want to go anywhere, which of course drove me insane since we had left our bags with the concierge and checked out all ready.

Luckily there was a tattoo parlor right in the Hard Rock. Best souvenir EVERRRRRR!!

However, that only killed an hour or so.

I convinced TOGA to go at least see the pools with me. My bathing suit was packed and TOGA wanted to stick to the shade so no hope of lying out, but at least we did some exploring.

I began to go a little insane with his lack of cooperation so when Matt called and wanted to meet up, I was begging for any sense of relief from the monotony. He filled us in on what happened after we split up the previous night over another trip to the diner before (THANK GOD) it was time to drop me off at the airport. My flight left several hours before TOGA’s so we said our good byes, the boys ran off to do some male-bonding, and I rushing my tushy through the airport arriving just in time after a fiasco at the check in counter because my bag was too heavy (oops).

Where was I going? Not home, oh no, too early for that! A hop, skip, yellow-haired stewardess, and a jump later, I was in Arizona where my LP was waiting!!!

I think I’ll save the rest of that day for tomorrow 🙂

My Lucky Penny

8 Feb

There are people that walk into your life and become more to you than you ever imagined they would. I’ve already written a little about Mr. Wrong, TOGA, and HB, but this isn’t about that kind of love. The last few days I have ruminated on the limitless amount of shapes love can take. The romantic kind generally gets a spotlight. In my life, in the stories I hear from others, in the media, we just seem to hyper focus on who we are with or finding the person we should be with. I would beg to argue that we cannot put that much pressure on one kind of affection to fulfill us. We HAVE to have to fuel ourselves as a whole being and romantic love is simply not strong enough for that task.

Over the weekend I helped a dear friend of mine pack to move across country. She and I have spent a lot of time together as of late and she took a piece of my heart with her when she left in the wee hours this morning. Driving home last night, late, and exhausted, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling until I had cried them all out. Reflecting on the road that had lead me to that exact moment, I was amazed at the unexpectedness of it all.

I had met Lucky Penny at a Halloween party in 2009. She was TOGA’s new roommate and part of me was jealous of this girl living with my best friend because he couldn’t stop talking about how great she was. They had clicked right away, I can’t say the same for LP and myself. Those were the days of the infamous Red Room and mid-beginning of the crazy years we now sometimes look back on with disdain, but yet still aren’t entirely over. She was like a firework – loud, bright, colorful, but could explode in your face if not handled correctly. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way that first weekend we met, and I don’t think I entirely got over it until she moved out. Maybe it was all those latent romantic feelings for TOGA I was harboring, maybe it was the general negative attitude my college confidant, Mrs. F, had for her, maybe it was her ability to control a room that I envied, whatever it was, it made us becoming a friends a slow process.

After LP moved out of TOGA’s she was still around often. She’d come over and invite us out on adventures, we’d meet her at the bar, mostly our activities centered around drinking of some sort. That first year is fuzzy. She didn’t play a starring role in most of my memories of trips to the NEK, but she was in the background, intriguing me. The first solid memory I have of an outing of just her and I was exactly a year after our first encounter. I had gone up to TOGA’s for Halloween and we had had a mini-party the night before (the same party that destroyed any remaining hope I had of TOGA and I ending with a happily ever after). LP wanted to go to another house party and dropped by to get us to go. TOGA of course was not entertained by the idea, but I certainly was. We found some hats to wear, took some pictures, and ventured out into the night. The party was lame and if not for it being a meaningful step in our friendship, it may have faded into the recesses of my memory.

LP and I began hanging out more and more. slowly at first, and then she became a part of my Vermont trips I looked forward to. She moved often and towards the end of her senior year of college was within walking distance of TOGA’s house. One of my favorite memories is drinking with TOGA and realizing I was out of alcohol. I was teasing the idea of going to Cumbies to get a six pack of Smirnoff which I probably wouldn’t have done if not for TOGA betting me that I couldn’t get crazy Mary to sell it to me. I determinedly put on my winter boots and jacket to make the quest to Cumbies. After successfully completing my task, I wandered to LP’s to tell my tale and share a victory drink. We had a dance party and I disappeared there for a while, leaving TOGA to wonder what had become of me.

I loved those few months she lived in that apartment because she was never more than a walk away and always up for adventure. Like midwinter snowman invasions, wandering the streets with a beer in hand, determined to build a snowman on the library steps with snow that just wouldn’t stick. Or random no-pants dance parties. Why I hadn’t seen how much we had in common before is still a mystery, but one I’m glad I got solved.

The summer after she graduated college she moved on what felt like a weekly basis. She finally semi-settled near Concord, NH near the fall and I went to go see her more than I saw her the previous year and a half combined. We quickly discovered a shared passion for football and watched more than half of the Patriots games together this past season. Then, after the falling out with my roommate, she became such a huge part of my life, I couldn’t imagine living without her.

That’s the thing about letting someone mean too much to you though, eventually there is a good chance something will happen. In this case, LP got fired, got sick of New England, and drove across country to Arizona to start over. I can’t express how hard it was to not be selfish and convince her to stay despite knowing she needed to leave. Love will make you do selfish things, but real love, forces you to set aside your own needs and lift up the needs of the ones you care about, no matter how much it hurts.

Saying good-bye never gets easier. There are always so many things you want to say, always knowing that whatever you say will never be enough. You have to say it everyday, because if you don’t, those last words are meaningless anyway.