Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ode to a Mattrress

I got my bed today! I rented a U-Haul van--not a truck because it rains all the time and unpredictably--and my roommate helped me move the bed. I felt like a goon because I forgot to bring the money to pay the woman for the mattress so I left my roommate there and luckily there was a bank two blocks away and the woman was really nice. With a really awesome dog. I love her dog. And her cute little house in the Garden District!

Whew. The mattress move went pretty quick and easy. I cut myself on a boxspring staple and then got a bloody partial handprint on the mattress before I noticed.

I was going to take a picture of my new, great, terrific bed all made up and I started to put my sheets on and they don't fit. Oy. I thought they would because I bought these sheets sophomore year and I'm pretty sure that was a queen size bed, but this mattress might me thicker? I don't know. But I cannot get the sheet to stretch to the fourth corner. Now I have to decide what look I want for my bedding. It's going to be a whole big thing.

When every seasons starts, every year, I declare "Spring is my favorite season!" followed in three months by "Summer is my favorite season!" all year long, forever and ever. I think it's good that I don't actually have a favorite season but instead of saying "I don't have a favorite" and sincerely declare them each my favorite until the next one comes along.

Right now the reason summer is my favorite, though, is because of the summer foods. Summer really does get the best foods--except for pumpkin in the fall--and I try to eat as much of them as possible because they're just not as good any other time of the year. I love peaches and fresh corn the most, I think. I had three peaches one the edge so I cut them up and put them in the fridge for the right moment. Which was after dragging the mattress through the house into my room by myself. And I had probably about two peaches worth of peach covered in heavy cream. Delicious. I love peaches and I love cream and I love that together they make a delightful food.

I'm pretty happy right now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


One of my friends posted a list on Facebook titled "100 Things in 1000 Days" and it's a long-term list of goals you want to complete. The ten categories are Health, Travel, Monetary, Education, Entertainment, Literature, Friendship, Family, Environment/Giving and Growing Up. Ten things in each category, with a little less than three years to check everything off the list. I think it's a really neat idea. A collection of things you want to do, with a reasonable timeline and tailored to you. I'm working on my list right now. I wish I would've learned about this two months ago, though, because then Travel would've been an easy category to move through. Instead I'm focusing on this city and the region, and since it is a long-term list, visiting some people I don't see that often.

One of the things on my list--under Education since I didn't know where else to put it--was to enter writing contests. I already had one to enter through Good Housekeeping and then just this morning I found another to enter through Real Simple. Good Housekeeping wants fiction about an aspect of being a woman today. Real Simple wants a story about when you realized what love means. I think the Real Simple topic is easier and I had a moment pop into my head almost immediately. No spoilers, though, because when I'm done I'll send it to everyone to read.

In 2 hours I'm going to go look at a mattress!! If it has no bugs, blood, or urine stains it will be mine! Hopefully tomorrow! I have to rent a truck and I didn't want to rent it before I saw the mattress it case it ends up being a dud. And then after that! I'm going to go apply for a job! Yay job! I can't wait for one. I love working. It makes me feel useful and worthwhile and tired. Being tired at the end of the day because of a good day of work is great. You sleep so well!

The storm is right overhead right now so you can hear the thunder as soon as you see the flash. It's a little gloomy, but I do love a good storm. According to locals this weather is unusual so it might clear up any day. Or last until winter. We'll see.

Little Things

Some of the greatest joys are the small ones. Like a coke fresh out of the freezer after 2 hours of assembling cheap furniture.

I got a writing desk and a small chair so that I would have a place to sit when I typed up posts or wanted to write something or just sit if I wanted to. It isn't great, but it'll work. It does work. I'm sitting at it right now! I might be unfairly judging the chair's comfort level since I didn't sit in it until after hunching over the desk assmbly for quite awhile. My air mattress also deflated through the night so my back had a bad start anyway.

Mattresses! I found one on craigslist for $250 and I'm going to go look at it tomorrow. If that goes well, then I'll rent a truck--hopefully--and go pick it up. I really want a bed. Did you know that?

Such slow times! I'm going to go apply for a job tomorrow at an emergency vet clinic. The hours are nights and weekends so it should work with my internship. The ad said to call for an interview between 6pm and 8pm and I rushed home from Wal-Mart to do it and I made the call and they said "Oh, now we're having people fill out applications instead so you can come pick one up after 6pm. We're on the Westbank." Right near Wal-Mart. Now this isn't far or anything, but there's a $1 toll to cross the bridge so I'd like to not do it multiple times a day. The toll is only crossing the bridge into Orleans parish (where I am) and not going into Jefferson parish, so the first time I went I didn't know about the toll coming back and panicked a little bit and ended paying most of the toll in pennies because it's all I had.

Since it's been slow, I'll share a story from today I don't know that I would otherwise.

On the way back from Wal-Mart I had the radio on and "Boys of Summer" came on and I love that song. I love The Eagles and Don Henley and The Eagles almost always remind me of my mom. She's where I learned the music from and we both really liked them. The song was over and she was on my mind and the next song to come on was "I Hope You Dance" by Leanne Womack. You might not remember--or you might not know--but this was one of the songs played at my mom's funeral. It was picked out by my friend Terra, meant to be a message from my mom to me. I don't hear it that often and when it came on the radio today it seemed to come at a strange moment. It came after a song that already had me thinking about my mom, my mind was already there, and the song is something I need to hear every once in awhile. When it comes at moments like that one today it really does seem like a message.

I'm going to transcribe you some of the lyrics.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance 

Like I said in the "Quotable" post, sometimes it's nice to just see something that seems to tell you what you're doing is right and worth it, especially when things seem questionable. This was one of those moments. Except this felt like it was coming from my mom. I guess people might think it's silly, taking signs like that. But I can't help it. And I don't want to. It makes me feel close to her. Having a message from her, saying she's watching me and is proud of me and what I'm doing makes me feel good. Reminding me to keep going because it's right. Having that message from the person I love the most. It feels good.

This leads me to something I was thinking the other day. I've had a lot of people tell me I write well and that I should write, that I should write a memoir. I love that feedback, so thank you to everyone who has complimented me in that way! But I was thinking, about how a memoir would have to include my life. This road trip and settling in New Orleans has been exciting, but it's not my life, it's not a memoir. It's six weeks. almost eight, I guess. It's a chapter, but it's not my life. A memoir would have to include so much. So much more.

And that's the thing about a memoir. You can write it anyway you want to. But I would want to write it with complete honesty. Otherwise it's useless. And honestly, I don't know what that honesty would do to some people. 

There is a lot that a lot of people don't know. They don't ask, it doesn't come up in conversation, I don't have a reason to tell anyone. Not because they're secrets, not because I'm ashamed, but because people don't know how to react. And because, I don't know if I'm unique in this, there are some things I like to keep to myself because the fewer people who know the more mine those moments and those stories are. 

And there is another list of the things people don't know that I know. Which, I have to say, insults me. I know you aren't supposed to harbor hard feelings towards people, but sometimes they're hard to let go of. Things people thought they were hiding from me, because I couldn't know, shouldn't know, whatever misguided reason. But I knew a lot. I know a lot. I know what I grew up in and around. Knew then, know now. 

Right now I want to relate a story. But I don't know how it would be handled. And that's what I mean. If I wrote a memoir it would be full of stories that people might not handle well, might not like hearing and might not like me telling them the way I feel like telling them. I wouldn't be telling any stories in order to upset anyone. Memoirs aren't meant for your family, I suppose. 

So if I write one, ya'll can't read it, okay?

Anyway, maybe a more personal hard-to-handle story will come later.

But the rest of the song from my mom story goes like this:

I sang it at the top of my lungs and started to tear up driving down the freeway.

Then I got to the toll booth and gave the woman a dollar bill.

Because now I'm prepared for it.

(It's funny that I called it a "freeway." That's what we call them at home, because we don't have tolls! Here it's just a highway.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

When It Rains...

Today I changed out of my pajamas for the first time in 48 hours. To take a shower and change back into pajamas. I put real clothes on briefly to drive to Wal-Mart with my roommate to rent Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It's been a lazy day to say the least.

I started reading The Hunger Games last night and stayed up a little bit too late. Woke up this morning--I use "morning" with a lot of creative license--made some food and then continued reading until about 8pm. That was my day. I hardly moved. But I did read a whole book!

I want to finish reading the Harry Potter books again but now I'm inconveniently far from the Barnes & Noble and the local bookstores are sure to notice me hanging around all day, ruining the binding on a popular book and not buying anything. When I get my first piece of mail, though, I can get a library card! Feel free to send me a postcard (or a care package) so I can get to that right away.

Tomorrow I'm going to go look at mattresses at the place my roommate got hers and see if they have anything else decent on sale. Then I might go to Wal-Mart to look at desks/tables and then! Go see the last Harry Potter movie with my roommate. It's nice that we get along okay. I also really like her pets. Her cats will come cuddle with me and her dog will, too. He's supposed to ask permission before coming onto my bed, and he tried that out at first, but I usually wasn't paying attention enough to shoo him away or invite him up so eventually he took control of the situation and jumped up. Today I could see in his eyes that he really wanted up--my bed is the air mattress, by the way, in case you were confused--but I had to many papers and notebooks strewn about and he didn't know what to do. As soon as I cleared a big enough spot on the edge he hopped right up and curled up and went to sleep. He's sweet. Very ugly. But sweet.

It rained again today! My ceiling started looking worse than ever. It was raining in a whole corner of my room, almost. If I walked through the doorway to the kitchen I would get wet, every time. And my car is parked on the sidewalk again. Lovely place.

I found a great deal of yarn that I very much want because I have at least 4 things on my list of things I want to make. I'll keep filling up my shopping cart and looking at it longingly until I talk myself out of it. Or find some miraculous way to justify it.

I can't believe it's already almost August. This summer is going by so fast.

It still surprises me and sort of saddens me when I realize I won't be going back to school in the fall. Without school life seems much less structured. School gives you a schedule and a routine. And it's been the same routine for so long that it's weird to be out of it. I haven't decided if I like it. Though to be completely honest, I don't think I do. School stressed me out a lot. But it's always been where I felt most comfortable. With paper and pens and taking notes and reading books and writing. Every once in a while taking lab class where I got to see how things really worked. And having someone ask you some strange, seemingly mundane question about a topic makes you think. I like being made to think. I don't want to get lazy. I don't want to only read for fun. I want to read to learn and to think.

I already want to go back to school and summer isn't even over yet.

How weird.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Before Bedtime

Re-reading my blog posts irritates me because of how many typos there are. I'm going to say it's because I write most of my posts late but I can't be certain that's the case.

Tomorrow I'm going to wake up earlier than usual and I'm going to change out my pajamas at some point during the day.

I'm having this struggle about not wanting to stay in the house but knowing that if I leave the house it will be really hard not to spend money. It might only be on a drink or lunch, but it's still money and I just do not want to spend it. I'm looking for jobs and I know I'll feel so much better when I have an income. I found a copy editing job I think I'm going to apply for, which would be nice because they send you the manuscripts and you work on them on your own time, but compensation varies for each project, so I don't know how dependable that would be. Also found an emergency vet job that could be nice and could be awful, depending on how much sleep it means I'll get on any given night since it includes overnights. But anything is better than nothing.

I need to get a TB test for the zoo and I can't find a place that does it so that's going to be my project for Monday. Hooray shots!

I really want a desk. I might go back to Wal-Mart. A desk and a chair would make me very happy. I have some writing projects I want to get to and real writing always works better on paper for me. I still haven't made up my mind about the whole mattress thing.

This isn't interesting but my internship starts soon and then things will get very interesting again. Can't wait!

A Whole Day

I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain. I love that sound, especially when I'm cozy and drowsy in bed. Until I remember that pouring rain could mean a flooded street and water in my car. I jumped out of bed and started looking around my room for shoes and a coat. My rain jacket is in my car and my "water-shoes" (Old Navy flip flops) are also in my car. I put on my nearest pair of shoes, grab my keys and go outside. The street wasn't flooding but that never means it won't be flooding shortly so I parked my car with my driver's side wheels on the curb, which gives you a few more inches before you have to worry.

I went back inside and decided to go back to sleep. I'm in bed and I start to hear a weird sound but try to ignore it because I want to sleep. It starts to sound like the cat might be chewing at something or ripping something so I sit up to check and then I realize the sound is coming from the corner of my room. And the ceiling is leaking! It may seem weird that a water droplet could be confused with a cat chewing on something, but we have something like 12 foot ceiling so the drops hit the wood floors in a very strange, noisy way. I get out of my bed, again pretty flustered, and try to find something to catch the water in. The leak is so close to the corner, though, that the baseboard molding is actually in the way. I used the box my Wal-Mart bookshelf came in to prop up a water jug that had the top cut off. I tried to sleep again but it didn't work and by this time it was too late to justify sleeping anymore.

I spent the next hour or so trying to menu plan for the week so I could go back to the grocery store and get food. Then I spent about an hour trying to decide whether or not I should go to the knitting store because I found a really cute pattern that I want to use as a gift for someone but yarn isn't what I need to spend money on right now. But I could probably make two or three things out of the yarn which would make it a really inexpensive gift. Then I thought I could go to Michael's because their yarn would be cheaper. But it's further away and there's a $1 toll to get there so would it really be cheaper? I was literally pacing in my room trying to make this decision, but the yarn store closes at 4 so by 3:30 it was really too late to go and the decision was made for me.

Then I went grocery shopping. I was going to go to Winn Dixie, because it was the next grocery store closest to me, but on the drive to Winn Dixie there is another grocery store! I got to Winn Dixie and decided the other store looked nicer so I turned around and went back to it. Does it ever surprise you to find out what your happy places are? I love grocery stores. I think because I'm surrounded by food and things I can make into things. They had a big case of dry-aged beef and I wish that I knew how to cook something that amazing and had the people to cook it for.

I liked my new grocery store but they didn't have the mayonnaise I wanted. This is really silly, but I'm going to admit it anyway. Every Southern cookbook says if you can't make homemade mayo for any recipe calling for it, then use Duke's. When I went to Florida over spring break I went to a Winn Dixie just to get a jar of Duke's to take home with me. Because you can only get it in the South. Wal-Mart didn't have it and Rouse's didn't have it. The little grocery I went to had it, but I didn't buy it then because I wasn't buying anything else and I figured the other groceries would have it, too.

The other thing the Southern cookbooks go on and on about is White Lily flour. Sometimes King Arthur, but really it's all about White Lily. I think it's higher protein? I'm not sure. Wal-Mart did have that so I got a bag. Rouse's didn't have it, so I'm glad I got it when I did. It's so strange because there are brands that are only available down here and people swear by them. I'm tempted to make cupcakes or something and compare White Lily to Pillsbury or Gold Medal, which is what I usually use because it's what's available.

It's also weird to have so many brands of something available. I think I've now seen 4 brands of flour, in addition to each store's generic brand. And Rouse's had so many brands of mayonnaise! Not flavors or types, like "with olive oil" or whatever, but actual brands. You can choose from Kraft, Hellmann's (Best Foods), Duke's, Bama, and Blue Plate. Plus the store brand and Miracle Whip (which doesn't count because it's NOT mayonnaise).  And brands of flour. Brands of all-purpose white flour. If I notice a difference I'll let you know. But I might go for a mayonnaise taste test because there seems to be a lot of heat about Blue Plate and Duke's.

My roommate invited me out with her and a friend today. There's a bar four blocks away and they went to get sandwiches in beer. I got there and wasn't really hungry and didn't feel like spending money on food after I'd just gone shopping and alcohol falls almost exactly last on the list of things I'm willing to spend money on, especially without an income, but I decided to hang out anyway because I'd like to get to know people and do something "fun." I talked to her friends a little bit and I'm glad I went. I talked to one of them specifically about looking for a job and he sort of confirmed for me that what I'm going to be able to find for the hours I need is waitressing or something, which I sort of dread. I would much rather work in retail. Gotta do what ya gotta do, though.

My internet is having a great time messing with me right now. Not appreciated.

I made cupcakes today! They were supposed to have a cookie crust and I completely forgot about it, but they still turned out. It was a new cupcake recipe and a new frosting recipe, and I can't decide how I feel about the cupcake. It's got a good texture but it's not my favorite flavor. The frosting was chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream. It's flavored like cookie dough and I put mini chocolate chips in. I even piped it on the cupcakes but my piping skills are sub-par. I want to practice.

Okay, so. There was one girl that was going to intern with me in the same area of the zoo. She friended me on Facebook before I even know about her. And she just got a job at the zoo in Denver so she won't be doing the internship. She also has an interview for the Birmingham Zoo. I know all of this via Facebook. She also interned at NW Trek, just like me, but the year after I did. This has me so discouraged it's unbelievable. I've applied for so many jobs. An enormous number. I haven't even gotten a call about one of them. Not one. And she has two. And we've had the same experience! I can't believe it. The only difference is she's an Animal Science major. She has a job and she's showing up for another interview, turning down the internship she accepted and probably preventing someone else from getting the opportunity. And not even a call back.

And you know what, I think I'm going to stop right now. Because I just made myself frustrated and upset and I don't want to think about it. There are a lot of reasons I think I deserve a real, paying job doing the thing I really, really want to be doing. But that's not what it's about. It doesn't matter what I think I deserve, what matters is what I can make happen. But, oh my, I'm wasting so much money to try to make this happen.

Yep. Sick and sad and scared.

No more right now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Safe and Sound

I found him!
He was in the bottom of a box in my car, but now he is safe with the other stuffed animals inside.

Crisis averted.

(It was a slow day. I did my laundry in a Saints themed laundromat and found out my milk is the official milk of the Saints. I'm scared for how out of place I'm going to be during football season.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I have no furniture. None. I've been looking for a bed because sleep is up there on my list of favorite things to do, and I'm one of those people that really values a good night of sleep. Without it I am grumpy and sore and not happy for most of the day. It's just not fun. But mattresses seem to either be suspicious or really expensive. Apparently someone caught on that people value sleep and now they're out there charging tons of money for something as essential as a mattress.

I had mentally decided that it would be acceptable to get a cheap mattress and live with it and then get rid of the mattress when I leave here. Most craigslist mattresses, though, are either still expensive or they are suspiciously cheap. When I learned that a new mattress is almost never below $500 (plus boxspring and frame, if you want to get fancy) the $50 mattress on craigslist suddenly seemed like a really bad idea. I haven't made a decision about this whole thing yet, we'll see what direction this lousy air mattress pushes me.

I started unpacking today, getting everything out from the middle of the room, but I haven't really unpacked. Since this feels temporary, I'm not really into completely unpacking only to have to pack everything up again in a couple of months.

There's also very little room in the kitchen for me to move in there. I got a bookshelf at Wal-Mart for $12 and I think I might go back and get another and use it as my in-room pantry so I have a place to put stuff. I was going through cabinets today to see where things were and where there might be more room and her "infrequently used goods" were on the top shelf. Guess what was up there? A one pound bag of flour and a bag of sugar. I went grocery shopping today and the first thing I bought was five pounds of each. I had two baking cupboards in my last apartment. They were the small ones, but there were still two of them.

When I was packing up my apartment I had a whole shelf of magazines that I had saved. I love home-making magazines. My favorite is Real Simple. But I also like Good Housekeeping and Better Homes & Gardens, and I'll read Family Circle and some other ones. I've recently discovered Southern Living and Country Living and I like those a lot, too. Anyway, I had a whole stockpile of them and knew that I could not take them with me. I spent 2 or 3 days going through all of them and tearing out the pages that had recipes I wanted, things I liked, or information I thought would be useful and throwing them into a folder, with the intention of one day compiling them into a recipe notebook or typing up the ones that would be too difficult to paste on a page.

Going through them the first time was fun because I got to see all these tidbits that I'd actually used over and over again that I had learned in these magazines. I think my favorite one is putting marshmallows in with brown sugar to keep it from getting hard or forming clumps. Works really well! And now I'm going through them and looking at all these recipes I have very ambitiously collected. But it's exciting because I feel like getting your own collection of recipes is one of those things--I don't know what words to use--it's just one of those things. I have a document on my computer of recipes I've done before. It's mostly cookies, but it's also got the pie crust I like to make the most. And I have a couple different sugar cookie recipes, depending on what I want to do with the cookies. It's fun.

Oh, but going through them also makes me think of things I don't have, wish I had, or haven't seen in my things yet. One recipe instructed me to "whisk" something and I froze and thought "Where are my whisks?!" because almost everything is out of my car and a whisk will only fit so many places. I sat and thought and thought and then it came to me: there are in my toaster oven which is still in the front seat of the car. Whew! I have, however, misplaced my most prized little stuffed animal and I'm in a panic about it. I took my teddy bear and my cheetah out of the car today and then went looking for the snow leopard. They've all been close together for most of the trip, but he was nowhere to be found! I'm going to go look again tomorrow, and I'm sure he has to be there, but it felt like I looked through everything. Keep your fingers crossed that I find him. He is my most favorite. I take him everywhere with me. Not in the little kid way, where he literally comes everywhere with me, but I took him to England with me and I took him to Italy and Greece with me. I take him on all my trips so that everywhere I've been, he's been, too. I'm worried he fell out of my car one day and I didn't notice. I'll keep you updated since I know you're very worried now.

Today wasn't a big day. I wandered around looking for furniture stores. And then grocery stores. I was really disappointed by the grocery store closest to me. The produce section is really lame and everything is a little higher priced than it needs to be, probably because it's a small store. There is a Whole Foods a little ways further away, and I love Whole Foods, but decided I probably would spend waaaay too much there. Partially because I get really excited around new, exotic looking foods and partially because everything is expensive there. And I don't need organic butter. It's not one of my priorities. I ended up at Wal-Mart. And their produce section wasn't all that great, either, but it looked like it needed re-stocking more than anything. Their peaches were super cheap though, so that was awesome. I got a bunch of peach recipes off the Southern Living website. I love peaches.

I did my staple shopping today and I'll do some meal planning and go back, but I think I'm going to have to find the Winn-Dixie and hope that meets my needs better.

My new roommates cooks and last night she made red beans and rice and tonight she made a stew with black-eyed peas, okra, and fairy eggplant and it was delicious! And I'm finally getting vegetables and home-cooked meals and I didn't even have to put in any effort. I love this arrangement so far.

Right-o. I'm kind of sleepy and want to type up a few more recipes from my folder before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Home!

I got a place today!!


I saw an ad yesterday and sent an email, made a call to see it today, and liked it enough to say "Right now? Please?" I'm in a house, with a roommate. She's 35? But we get along pretty well so far, and seem to have a lot of things in common. Hopefully it goes well.

Now. This house is a shotgun. I'm pretty sure this style of house is not common outside of New Orleans, because it seems pretty silly. I made a picture for you, to better explain what this looks like.

The left side is the front. The two front rooms will be "living areas" for now, they are connected by pocket doors that don't really slide closed. Then there is a door into the next room, which is my roommate's. Then a door to the bathroom, though the bathroom is it's only little room in this room. There is also an entrance here (that's the black squiggle to the side of "bath"). Then there is a door to my room, then there is a doorway to the kitchen. There are no hallways. It's just a stretch of rooms. It's not an ideal way to share space with someone you just met. But a LOT of houses are like this here. And see how all the windows are on one side (little blue lines)? That's because there's another half to the house, occupied by another family. So it's weird. The green boxes are the counters.

 The kitchen! See how nice the appliances are?! Hooray! There are washer and dryer hookups, but no machines yet, but my new roommate (her name is Sarah, in case it comes up) says she's interested in getting a set, so we'll see.
 This is my room, from the kitchen door. She has an air mattress she's letting me use until I get a bed.
 Sealed off fireplace, perfect for displaying my diploma and my very cheetah paw print art.
 His name is Frankie. He came with the apartment.
 This is the view of the apartment from the front door, so you can see how it just sort of opens all the way up. You can see all the way into my roommate's room.
 The fireplace in the living room. Every room has one.
Another friend living in the apartment with me! She's already on the bed next to me. It's like we're old pals.

I didn't start taking pictures until night time, so there's no picture of the outside. Maybe tomorrow.

The neighborhood seems mostly safe. Sarah has been here for a month and hasn't had any problems and she has friends in the neighborhood that have been here much longer and they haven't had problems either. So that's good.

Apparently, though, this street does flood when it rains. Hooray! Sarah had puddles in her car a couple of days ago. Apparently the strategy is to park on the sidewalk when it gets that bad. So this could be fun. But, take it as it comes. Hurricane season is fast approaching, too, so that could be an experience. Mildly terrified. Hopefully it's a good year. Hopefully my car doesn't get destroyed in this weather.

Meanwhile. Boy do I need furniture! I have two suitcases of books and no shelves. I have clothes and they're all in bags. And an air mattress. Interesting. A mattress is first priority. A bed frame is second. Unfortunately those are the things that will be most difficult to get into this place since a mattress with not fit in my car and a bed frame only might.

The internet she has is slow and doesn't want to load my Netflix shows and this is very disappointing. Though not unlike the Super 8.

Speaking of!

I sort of miss it. Living in a motel is really depressing, absolutely, but it felt comfortable and I felt safe and I had gotten to know the staff. And today when I was leaving the lawyer was in the lobby and he told me "If you need anything, you can ask us." And it was sort of neat.

That is what happened today! Also, I had red beans and rice for dinner. With sweet tea. I'm going to fit in in no time.


This is a little-effort post. But I felt like it needed to be done.

Barnes & Noble has a collection of "quotable" magnets and mugs for sale and while I was waiting for my sweet tea I was reading all the ones they had on display. There's a website, so I went to it to see what the whole collection looks like. I love quotes. Part of me thinks it's silly, because it's just a sentence or two. It's something some person said, and I'm a person, after all, so what makes what they say anymore important than what anyone else says. But some people just know how to say things. And sometimes you see those things at just the right time and they seem especially wise and relevant.

This blog has a few main purposes: to keep a record of this very transitional period of my life, to keep my family in the loop since I'm moving and changing my situation constantly (daily, almost), and to keep me writing, just to keep in the habit of it. But it's got this little bitty purpose, too, that's just a back-of-my-mind hope, really. 

Because this very transitional part of my life is hard and it's scary. It might not seem that way, because I'm not working and I'm getting to travel and that's a dream of many people, so it shouldn't seem hard. It's a privilege and I acknowledge that completely. But it's exhausting to be in new places all the time. I love it. But it's surprising how tiring it is just to explore a new neighborhood. To memorize a map enough so that when  you go out walking you don't look lost, because looking lost makes you very vulnerable. It's tiring to feel as though you might be vulnerable at any moment. And even though it's already been a pretty consistent part of my life it's hard to be away from my family and my friends during all of this. I chose to be, I know that. I chose it because I knew to stay with my friends and my family would mean to stay in the same place I've been and I want to see everything. And I'm really trying to see as much as I can, in case you haven't noticed.

I love what I'm doing. I'm glad I'm doing it. The couple of weeks before graduation I started to get really scared. Because it was coming so close and I couldn't believe I was going to get in my car and just go. A few times I thought I might not do it. But even then I was pretty sure I wouldn't back out. I don't like being scared of things. Fear is this little voice inside saying "You can't do it, you can't do it." And as soon as someone tells me I can't do it I become extremely determined to do it. It was a weird internal battle to have the scared part saying "You can't do this, it's stupid, it's impossible" and the stubborn part saying "Well, now I have to do it." 

(Fun story: I took swimming lessons in first or second grade--not because I couldn't swim, but so I could learn how to swim with real form. Actually, this may have been my one and only attempt to become an athlete at a young age. Never realized that. Anyway. When we started diving I got really nervous, mostly because I didn't like the idea of head-first and not being able to hold my nose. I stood on the side of the pool for 5 minutes just sort of staring at the water and my mom goes "Alright, you can't do it. We're going home." Which she knew would be the thing that made me do it. "Yes I can!" And it took me about 3 seconds to dive in. It was such an effective motivational strategy for me that I told my best friend in third grade to use it when I started being a wuss in P.E.)

So anyway. This is scary and it's hard and it's weird. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I'm geographically close to no one that I know. Phone calls are nice, but it's not the same as being in the same room as someone. And every day I cycle through my options. What I should do, what I could do, what I might do. How I'm going to do it. I'm always thinking because everything is so uncertain. 

My little bitty purpose is the hope that there are other people in a similar boat that might come across my blog and see someone else going through something similar. Not exactly the same, because I don't think there are that many homeless, road-tripping, zookeeper hopefuls out there, but similar, in the figuring out life, just starting out, what am I going to do?! way. 

That's why I'm sharing these quotes. Because sometimes it's really cool to be standing in line for a sweet tea and see a sentence that makes you think "This is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life right now." 

(Emphasis added in all cases.)

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!" - Christian D. Larson

“Courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne Radmacher

"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." - Asha Tyson

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” - Souza

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” - unknown

"Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in the magic will never find it!" - Roald Dahl

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...” - Jack Kerouac (This, in case you weren't following tattoo trends, is a very popular tattoo quote. The "burn, burn, burn" part.)

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson

“Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel, meet people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.” – Lawrence K. Fish

"I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer…" - Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, July 18, 2011

And Then...

I've really started to get to like this blogging thing. It's a habit now. As my day unfolds I think "Oh, I could write about this today."

Today I didn't really have much happen.

I had a small crisis. The internet at Barnes & Noble didn't work today. I don't know why. It definitely messed up my schedule. I decided to sit and read until 2, because that's when check-in at the motel is. At 2, I still didn't want to give in because the motel is a very depressing place. I kept trying the internet and gave up at about 4. Ergh. Got in, ate some old pizza, and then had the desk call me. A couple of days ago, they called my room to tell me they could help me find an apartment if I wanted them to. There's a lawyer who has his office in the motel (I don't understand this arrangement at all, but room 106 has a sign on the door that's his law office) and he's from the area so they talked to him and he offered to see if he knew anyone. They called to tell me he was in and wanted to talk to me about what I was looking for. I went to the lobby and ended up talking to him and a then a real estate person he knew, and then we just sort of talked about neighborhoods and all of that.

It ended up not being really helpful, since they just gave me tips I'd already gotten or told me to do things I was already doing, but it was really nice of them to participate. He said he would keep asking around for me.

Those are my stories for the day. Not all that exciting.

Oh, and I had a weird flood of insects turn up in my room last night. I saw one, then I saw three, then eight, and then they were just all over one corner of my room. Little winged things, that I was pretty sure weren't harmful or anything, and I ignored them for a little while. I looked back and they seemed to have gone away so I relaxed. Started getting ready for bed and they had come back! And they were in my bed. Insects can be anywhere they want to be, but my bed is off limits. So I called the front desk and had them change my room and I made sure to leave a pile of dead bugs visible so they would know what I was talking about in the morning.

While I was in the bookstore today I was reading the fourth Harry Potter book and the woman sitting next to me asked if I'd seen the last move yet--I haven't--and we started talking about how amazing Harry Potter is. It was pretty cool to have that conversation with someone after just writing about it. I'm hoping to see the movie soon, but we'll see. 3D can make me motion sick so I haven't decided if I want to see it in 3D or not. Big decisions!

Ho-hum. I'll try to have an exciting day tomorrow. For better posting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I have no idea why I'm choosing to update right this moment. Something is compelling me. But it's not a good instinct.

Maybe it's a need for distraction.

I have an awful, awful migraine right now. I can't really see and I'm not really trying to. I was in the bookstore and it was going in and out as a headache and I thought it had gone and then I stood up and it came back and transformed into this awful migraine. It hit so hard that I was wincing while I was walking around and when the pain gets really bad I start to get nauseous and that had started to happen so I decided it was time to head to my room and give in.

I got to my room and it felt like the perfect storm of pain. My migraine, then my hip hurting and my back hurting. What a day.

I get headaches a lot. It seems to be the way my body tells me something isn't perfect; I get headaches when I'm tired, when I'm hungry, when I'm dehydrated, when I'm stressed. I get headaches for every possible reason. It's one of the reasons I've mostly quit drinking soda (though the primary reason is my teeth, and a closer runner-up is water is just a whole lot cheaper), because taking caffeine dependency out of the mix gives me one less reason I might have a headache.

So I get little headaches all the time, I'm used to them. I've had headaches last a week or more, but those are usually stress headaches. Migraines I don't get all that often, but they are awful when they show up. It's like you can't think as well because of all the pain in your head. You can't see or focus for the same reason.

I think I something else to say when I started this but now I have no idea.

I really want a pizza.

I know the guy with the chocolate lab puppy is still in the motel because his truck is still here and I really, really, REALLY want to go knock on the door that I'm pretty sure is his and ask if he needs someone to take his puppy for a walk or just take it off his hands for an hour or two. But I think that might be too weird of me to do. And I don't want to become the new creepy person at this motel.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Yep. I can't stop thinking about it. I had to stop right as Harry and friends get into the Shrieking Shack and are about to have the whole store explained and Sirius Black enters the picture. And I love Sirius. Maybe because he's a big black dog and I have a soft spot for big black dogs. I picture him as a huge Newfoundland. Adorable.

I had 100 pages of the book left. Almost exactly. And I had to leave it behind in the bookstore. This is a time when I especially want to use my Kindle but the series isn't available as ebooks yet. I think I might re-read The Golden Compass when I'm done with these. Books I read a long time ago that I loved.

It caught me off guard today while I was reading when I realized it's been at least 10 years since I started the Harry Potter books. I think it's been 11 because I remember reading the first one and thinking that I could still get my letter from Hogwarts and you get your letter when you're 11. The point is that even though it's been so long since I read the first three--because I got the first three at the same time--and I still know what's going to happen next, I remember everything. That's how much those stories stuck. How cool.

When I went to Harry Potter Land over spring break I realized it then especially. I don't re-read the books regularly like a lot of people do, so I've only read each of them once. When we got to Harry Potter land, though, I could still name everything I saw and knew what book things were from and why they were there and it was great. By the way, Harry Potter land is both really amazing and very disappointing. Reading the books, all I ever wanted was to be able to go to Diagon Alley and then I got to! And it's so exciting but nothing is real and it's so depressing. Especially because some of the shops you'd want to go into the most are the ones that are "closed." And every candy item in the candy store is $10. Every single item. Makes it hard to stuff your pockets with treats like they do in the book.

I'm going to try to read something else tonight because now I have that super reading bug that hits every once in awhile, where you just cannot stop reading. You set the book down, and you just stare at wondering why you aren't reading. You do something else and you just think about how you could be reading. Does that happen to anyone else? All you can think about is reading. If that bookstore wasn't closing in 24 minutes I would go back right now and read some more. But I have my own books to get through so I'll work on those tonight.

Books are the best.

No new news about the apartment search. Still sending out emails and making phone calls. Soon, soon, soon.


I have noticed over the last couple of days that the same faces keep turning up in the Barnes & Noble I now call home. Not all of them, but there are some that appear every day, just like I do. One is an old man who always has a magazine on his lap but is inevitably asleep in his chair. There was another man that was reading the same book three days running, which is actually how I recognized him. A teenage kid who I think is here reading a series that he's interested in, but not interested in buying, because he has gone though two books, I think, with similar looking covers. It makes me feel less weird for being a constant presence here. I'm part of a community now. The weird people with no place to go any day of the week.

And we do similar things, this community and I. For one, we know where the outlets are. We know where the comfy chairs are. We know where the non-comfy chairs are.

I came in after looking at a room for rent and was hoping to find a comfy chair, but the chances are slim at this time in the afternoon. No comfy chairs, no non-comfy chairs. So I walked into the corner by Religion and Philosophy where there had been one of those plastic step-stools the other day. It's across from cookbooks, too, and I went through a book on jell-o. Made from scratch, flavored on your own, jell-o. Weird. Anyway, I went to that corner to find the stool and I turn the corner and there's the stool, with the teenage kid hunched over one of the books in his series! I laughed because of course he knows where the stool is when all the chairs are full, he's here every day, too.

Luckily I have a backup corner. It's by a window and an outlet and a shelf so most people don't fit back here and it makes for a nice spot. I'm also not in anyone's way if they're looking for books, which is the benefit over sitting in the middle of the floor elsewhere. Though there are plenty of people who do and it's pretty acceptable.

I went to look at an apartment today. Well, not an apartment, just a room that's for rent. But I get to use the rest of the apartment. It's less than a mile from the zoo. My walk to the zoo would be shorter than my walk to the library I worked out. And with no hills. It's in a great great great neighborhood and I was so excited. The apartment itself was a little disappointing, I'm not gonna lie, but it's in a perfect location. Absolutely perfect. I was ready to move in. And then the guy showing me the place says "There's someone staying in this room right now, she's a guest of my roommate's and I'm not sure when she's leaving. But he's out August 1st so it won't be later than that." I TOLD YOU in my email, I TOLD YOU, that I needed to move in right away. I said, "If everything goes well when I see the apartment I would like to move in the same day." Verbatim. That was in the email. WHY would you not share this little detail with me? So now I'm very upset because all this morning I was so excited, I thought this was going to be it, hooray hooray. I told him again what my situation was and told him he should call me when he found out when she was leaving because I would love to move in but I need to move in right away.

What a disappointment.

So now I'm back looking, but people seem to post less on weekends so there's not a whole lot I haven't seen up right now.

This is getting ridiculous. Flat out.

And I cannot tell you how sick I am of fast food. Of dollar menu fast food. Of those nasty grey little hamburgers. I'm eating less because it's such an unappealing activity right now.

In between craigslist searches I've been re-reading the Harry Potter books. I'm into the third one now. It's pretty distracting. Last night it got dark out--which is my cue to go to my hotel--before I could finish and I got back to my room and all I could think about was that last 40 pages. Today I'll have to leave the third unfinished and I'm sure that will have me thinking about it all night again. The third was my favorite so I'm excited.

Back to reading for a little bit.

Friday, July 15, 2011


There's a quote I very much like that is maybe only loosely related to this post, but it's "If the lion could speak,  we could not understand him." Meaning that he would be so different from us that it would still be impossible to understand his way of life.

I, however, find much wisdom in the lion's words.

The only music I've loaded onto my iphone is Disney music. I think this happened one more when my ipod was dead but I wanted music to walk to class to, so I very hastily put my Disney playlist onto my iphone knowing that would get me through. I was in a music mood and I started playing youtube videos on my phone, but discovered I couldn't text while watching a video, so I quit that. I decided to just listen to the music on my phone already and it's just Disney.

I'm betting most of you have never watched The Lion King II. It's not as good as the first one, but it's still good. This is the song "We Are One" from Lion King II, which came on second and I thought was sort of cute and relevant. Transcribed by me, just for you,

As you go through life you'll see
There is so much that we
Don't understand
And the only thing we know
Is things don't always go
The way we planned
But you'll see every day
That we'll never turn away
When it seems all your dreams come undone
We will stand by you side
Filled with hope and filled with pride
We are more than we are
We are one

If there's so much I must be,
Can I still just be me
The way I am?
Can I trust in my own heart?
Or am I just one part
Of some big plan?

Even those who are gone
Are with us as we go on
Your journey as only begun
Tears of pain, tears of joy
One thing nothing can destroy
Is our pride deep inside
We are one

We are one, you and I
We are like the earth and sky
One family under the sun
All the wisdom to lead
All the courage that you need
You will find when you see
We are one.

Did you know that they are re-releasing The Lion King in theatres this fall? THEY ARE!! In 3D, which I don't think is going to be that great, but I'm really excited to see it in theatres even though I've seen it a million times. This also means--get ready--they are releasing Lion King merchandise again! For the first time since 1994 when the movie first came out. For some cruel, terrible, horrible reason, Disney doesn't really sell Lion King stuff. It doesn't fit into their marketing plan, I guess. They do Disney princesses for girls, Winnie the Pooh for babies, and I really don't know what they focus on for boys, but it's not the Lion King. It's so upsetting.

If anyone needs gift ideas for me for Christmas or my birthday, Lion King stuff is always welcome. I'm completely serious. One hundred percent completely serious. So if there's a Disney store nearby and you want to get your shopping done early go visit it in September.

This was a pretty frivolous post and there might be a more serious one later today. Aren't you excited? Two in one day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Har Har Har

New strategy: when things go wrong, just laugh it off. It's a work in progress, to say the least. But I'm trying to acknowledge that maybe my plan has nothing to do (or little to do, I don't want to surrender all control) with the plan that exists for my life.

I said--publicly and everything--that today would be the day I would sign a lease. Without question.

It's 6:30pm (after office hours) and I'm sitting in Barnes & Noble mooching off the internet yet again because I still do not have an apartment. (Ignore the fact that I would have to mooch internet even if I did have a place since install takes anywhere from 2-13 weeks, depending on how motivated the company is.)

I went to a showing this morning. I was 6 minutes later and the realtor had left. So I called her and she told me to disturb the current tenant, which disturbed me because I wanted to be able to move in right that second, not wait for someone to move out first. He isn't leaving until the end of the month, which would leave me in motels for 2 more weeks. No thank you. It was also hard to see the apartment underneath all of this kid's junk. Siiigh.

So I went to my backup apartment complex. I looked at 3 apartments there. An older 1 bedroom, an updated 1 bedroom, and an updated studio. The older 1 bedroom is a third floor apartment with appliances from the 70s, which I don't trust to cook my food well because they didn't in my other apartments. The older apartment--the cheapest of the three--was $685 a month. Which is just an awful lot of money for an apartment far from work that isn't anything remarkable. And that doesn't include any utilities. I looked at a $700/month apartment, but that was utilities included and it was less than a mile from the zoo. (That was the dank basement, though, so ended up not being worth it, either.) Well, I was filling out the application and then it just started to sink into my gut that I didn't want to pay that much money to be unhappy and with a commute. If it had been $550/month, it probably would have been worth it, old appliances and all. The updated studio was about the same, and would've had me had it had a full-size oven. I stepped outside to make a phone call for advice--was I just being too whiny about my money and my expectations? I was counseled to give the search another go so I walked away.

I drove around the neighborhoods I want to be in looking for "For Rent" signs (and irritating everyone driving behind me). I found some, made lots of phone calls, but only had one answer. And he met me 30 minutes later.

That little break gave me time to go to Pink Berry for lunch. Pink Berry was my first experience with the frozen yogurt thing and it really made me love it. The first time I tried it was in New York City and I think I went four times in the 48 hours that followed. I've been using it as a lunch option pretty frequently. I'm not completely sure what that says about my health at this moment, but whatever. I also picked up an application because Pink Berry is close to the zoo and open until 11pm, which means they could potentially hire part-timers for the late shifts.

I meandered back to the apartment and it was a studio. With a mini-freaking-oven. Also a gas space heater in the wall, which made me very nervous, in part because the apartment smelled a little like gas. In a good neighborhood, though, and a less ridiculous price tag ($575). Considering it.

You know those mini ovens though? Why do they make those? WHY. I hate them. The apartment I last lived in was chosen over another--much nicer--apartment because it had a full-size oven and the other apartment--with hardwood floors and granite counters, for the same price and just across the street--had a mini oven. No one wants a mini oven! They aren't usable because real bakeware does not fit in them. They're an ornament of a stove. "Yes, I have a complete kitchen, but it's only for show." If you can't fit a full-size oven in, the space is not big enough to be a kitchen. Rethink it.

While driving around, I saw a great place! With windows! 3 blocks from the zoo! What a delight! I stopped my car to read the sign. $1000/month. I just started laughing and drove on.

Maybe I should write a book. Supplemental income would be excellent.

Here's another fun story about my day. I decided to call off the apartment driving when I couldn't stop yawning and when it started to pour rain, making it hard to see signs and dangerous to stop suddenly to write down a phone number. It was really, really raining, to the point where it was hard to see even with my wipers going full speed (doesn't it always look like they're going to fly off at any second when they go that fast?). I pulled over on a residential street to wait it out, since usually these torrential downpours last 15-20 minutes. Well, 20 minutes later it wasn't really stopping and there was no break in the cloud cover so I decided I better just head home (the Barnes & Noble). Shortly after, I had one of the scariest moments of my life.

No joke.

I'm driving along and all of the sudden traffic slows to almost a stop. I'm a little annoyed, but no big deal, I'm not in a hurry. Then I see that we're slowed because the road is flooding and everyone is merging to the hide side of the road to stay out of the water as much as possible. I can't really see ahead of me very far, but the water is probably a foot deep. My car is very low to the ground and I know cars will quit working when the water level gets too high. I can't see how deep the water gets in front of us. What I can see is the road next to my road--there's a barrier and I'm slightly higher--has water so deep that it's up the doors of SUVs. That would be halfway up the door of my car. Off in the distance on that road I see a man with a lower car pushing his car through this pond because it has stalled.

I couldn't believe that cars were wading through water that deep. I imagine they had no choice and were surprised when the water got that deep. I certainly was. It was like watching a car try to swim. And, like I said, I couldn't see how deep the water was getting in front of me. It got really deep, and cars were switching lanes to stay at the highest point possible, but it didn't last very long on my road. I made it through--asking my car to please please make it--and onto the highway, where I remained terrified I'd hit another low point.

I saw the highway going the other way almost stopped and I knew it was because of cars dealing with a flooded area. Yeesh.

It's moments like that that scare me. And make me realize how by myself I am here. I don't want to say "alone" because that's not what I am, but if something where to happen I am by myself. For example, if my car were to stall in 2 feet of water on the highway. And that creepy man from the other night? Scary, but people are defeatable. (Google says that is not a word, sub: "able to be defeated.") But mother nature isn't. If it's going to rain, it will rain; if it's going to flood, it will flood. And you get to sit there and watch it happen.

In first grade I had three fears so great that I still remember them: tornadoes, volcanoes, and the sun exploding when it dies.

I think tornadoes stemmed from watching "Twister."  I remember drawing tornadoes all the time and I remember knowing the classifications of tornadoes. They scared me and I loved them. I was also pretty confident they only occurred in the midwest, which soothed me, but it might be one of the reasons I still never want to live there.

I don't know when volcanoes became a fear, but they were up there on the list. I remember learning I was surrounded my volcanoes and it had me in such a panic. I never wanted to be near an eruption. Never in my life did I want it to happen.

And then the sun! Books said I had millions--or billions?--of years before it died, but how could anyone know for sure?! Couldn't a sun die a sudden, unexpected death like anything else? Did we really know what millions of years was going to be like? What if it went by really fast? Remembering this seems kind of funny, because I do remember thinking millions of years was a long, long time and I would be safely dead and unaware of the sun by then. But dying and being old seemed so far ahead, too, that the time frames seemed like they could overlap. It's also weird to assure yourself as a second grader that you'll be dead before it happens, so you shouldn't be scared. But I remember drawing the sun and thinking about the flames coming off of it. I gave one drawing to my first/second grade teacher (I had her both years). It was done in highlighter.

And then there was the episode of "The Twilight Zone" where the sun was coming closer and closer to Earth, but then it was a dream and really Earth was moving away from the sun. What if it happens!

To be clear, I'm not actually scared of this sun thing anymore, since I now am more positive I will not be alive for its death. And likely the human species won't be alive for it. So I'm good there.

Tornadoes, though. Still pretty freaky. I saw tornado damage for the first time in my life while driving about the country and every time I would pass obvious damage I would get that fluttery feeling in my chest that accompanies real fear.

Moving on. This is so long. I feel like so many of my posts are so long. But at least it means you have something that will take awhile to get through when you need to waste time. I hate trying to waste time with something that ends up taking me three minutes. Then it's already time to think of something else to do.

I would like to state that I have been in Barnes & Noble for the majority of my day for the last five-ish days (no concept of time right now) and have only bought one thing. And it was tea. And it was $1.90. The level of self-restraint should astound you. Because it astounds me. I keep thinking about this stupid motel cost and thinking how great my life would be if I could spend $65 a day on books instead of a bed. The idea makes my heart flutter because of the sheer joy of it.

Cajun festival is this weekend!!! I'm so excited! So so so excited! I hope non-Cajuns are allowed. I'm worried I'll get there and everyone will be speaking Cajun French and looking at me funny. I might get to eat raccoon! By the way, I found a Junior League cookbook that actually had a recipe for raccoon. Could not believe it.

I'm going to end this now, because it's so long. And I still need to get a room for the night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do or Die

I think I'm getting sick, but I refuse to accept it and am telling myself I strained my neck and that's why my throat hurts. One time when I had a sore throat I convinced myself I swallowed a spider in my sleep and it bit me when I swallowed it. I preferred that scenario to being sick.

Anyway. I'm at the same motel tonight that I was at last night. It was cheaper than all other hotels because of an internet sale, so I didn't feel like paying more to stay at a place with lower ratings. I also figured that the creepy guy isn't likely to come back and if he does, the whole staff here knows me and knows who he is. I feel surprisingly safe here now. When I checked in the guy at the desk didn't need my ID to look up my reservation and when I was walking to my room another staff member waved and said "Welcome back!"

While unloading my car tonight I saw a puppy! The guy unloading the car two cars away had been gesturing to something on the sidewalk, but I thought he was trying to get something to not roll off the sidewalk because I couldn't see anything. Then I got out of my car and a tiny little chocolate lab ran out! I asked to pet him and the little puppy was so so sweet. I asked if I could borrow him for the night. He had little green eyes! It was nice to get in some puppy time. Puppies are just the best.

I have, I think, come to the conclusion I cannot get a dog right now. I have not, however, come to the conclusion that I cannot get a kitten right now. So I've been kitten shopping. The shelter I think I'd get two kittens from (kittens come in pairs, don't act surprised) is also asking for volunteers to socialize kittens, so when I email them about one of the kittens, I think I'm going to ask about volunteering, too.

I'm going to look at an apartment tomorrow and if it's good (please please please be good) I'm going to sign for it on the spot! If it's not, there's a backup apartment complex I'm looking at and I will go to them right after and say GIVE ME A PLACE. And hopefully that will be it. I need a place. That's all there is to it.

I was in Williams-Sonoma earlier today and it made me want a kitchen so so much and that's 10% of why I decided tomorrow is IT. Apartment day, no other options. I love kitchens. I want to cook so much. I want to get better at it and I want to be great. And it's summer and the best fruits are in season and I want to use them.

I went to the mall earlier today to try to find zoo shorts (no luck) and also some better shoes. I can feel hips and my back not doing so well from wearing flats and sandals all summer. I found a pair of nice shoes and then remembered this whole dwindling funds thing so I couldn't talk myself into them. Especially since I still need to find zoo shorts.

I can't wait to start the job search next. It'll make me feel so much better about so many things.

Did you know a large pizza can feed a girl for 2 days?

Always a Story

Originally, I thought this post would start out like this:

"This blog is going to get terribly boring for awhile, since my adventure has quieted down until my internship starts in a month."

Instead, it's going to start like this:

I checked into the same motel tonight that I've stayed in the last two nights. The first night I arrived a little late and was creeped out. Last night was fine. Tonight I got in early so that I could avoid the creepy feeling again. Didn't work as well as I'd thought.

I checked in, like normal, and there was a man checking in after me. No big deal. I got up to my room and eat my pizza very happily. Then the room phone starts ringing. I almost don't answer it because it doesn't seem like they can have anything to say to me. And it worries me that it's another room calling my room because they saw me walk in alone and want to see if that's true. Anyway, I answer and it's one of the girls that was working reception and then she says she'll call me back in a second. Okay...

The phone rings again and I answer it and it's the other girl that was working reception and she says "That guy that came in after you started asking questions about you and now he's standing by your car waiting for you to come out so he can ask you to dinner. So just stay inside your room because he is really creepy and he's kind of creeping everybody out and we might have him removed from the property."

I tell her thanks, and I kind of think she's letting me know because she's younger, too, and just wants me to know there's a weird man outside because it would weird her out if she was me, too. I was just about to leave to walk down the street to get a candy bar before she called, so at least it was timely. Whenever I walk into my room at a motel, I deadbolt the door and do the extra latch thing, and if it's relevant, close the curtains so no one will be able to see in and see that I'm alone. So at least I had that going for me.

A little bit later they call me again to tell me he's still not gone and to stay put. Then they call again to say that they've locked him out of his room to get him to leave but it didn't work and he parked his car next to mine to wait for me to come out. The woman that had called first tells me "Just stay in you room. You're so small he'd probably just snatch you. We're probably going to call the cops because he's just being really weird."

Finally, I get another call from the guy that had been working at the desk telling me the man is finally off the property. He offered to switch my room, but I decided to stay put because I felt that if the man was waiting by my car it was because he didn't know which room I was in, but if I left the room it might give him a chance to see me. And if he's a dedicated creeper he might be somewhere around still.

Whew! So that's the story I got today.


I've been looking for apartments. It's stressing me out because I'm overthinking it, I think. (Ha) I'm looking more seriously into sublets now, just something to get me housed for now. I saw an apartment today, and it had a lot of pros, but the biggest con was that it was a dirty basement with no windows. Not tiny windows, but actually no windows. They also want proof of income for three times the rent, which I don't have. And which I find odd, because she asked me if I was a student right away and I don't believe any student would be making that much money either. I also think three times the rent is a silly requirement when the rent is $700. I can survive on much less than $1400 a month after rent. Anyway!

The apartment search is exhausting because there is so much pressure to find a place quickly right now and there's so much that I can't control about it. Like who returns my emails and my phone calls! I'll figure it out. But it's a time when I'm prone to panicking. And whining. Which I'm trying to limit here.

But right now I'm pretty terrified. I don't know why. But it has nothing to do with the creepy man. It has a lot to do with figuring out where my life is going next. I know I have this internship, and it will take up a lot of my time soon, but it really doesn't offer much in the way of direction for life after the internship. I don't like uncertainty. I know I want to do this internship, I want the experience, but part of me is arguing against it even right now because it seems too impractical. Too unstable. That puts me on edge. A lot. I like stability and security and right now I just don't have it. I have to find an apartment. I have to find a job that will work with my zoo schedule. And then I have to find a way to make it through that kind of work week for 3 months. It makes me panicky and makes my stomach flip to think about it.

So there's that. Though I'm going to admit that the above paragraph does not even come close to adequately describing my feelings.  That's the very calmed down version. Just so you know. I'm reigning it in.

Deep breaths! I need a kitchen to stress bake in.