Trip vignettes

Whenever anyone recaps their vacation, I never know if I want to read it out of sheer interest in the location or if I want to close the window because I am jealous of their time off and angry I cannot take my own vacation. So I’ll spare you most of the details and wrote some short daily paraphrases of what we did in big ol’ new York City.

  • Friday we got into New York around 9:45 and it took until 11 to make it from JFK to Jamaica station to our subway stop near the hotel. They showed us to a room which was not a park view so we had to wait until 3. In the meantime, Ash and I walked around Central Park since the weather was really nice. We watched a bunch of  musicians and dancers and then sat for almost an hour and a half watching people skateboard. By the time we got back to the hotel, the room was still not ready but they claimed it was well worth our wait. And it was – our view of the park was crazy! We were at the Southeast end and you could see it all, with the buildings on either side and the skating rink, the zoo… it was amazing.
  • Friday evening we went to the Garage, which is a restaurant with live jazz nightly. We figured you’d need reservations for just about everywhere in NY, especially on a Friday but honestly, we could have walked in there at 6 or 6:30 and been fine. But it worked out because we ate our dinner and listened to the band over desert. They were pretty darn good and you can check it out here.
  • When we got back to the hotel, Ash gave me the rest of my birthday present: (as if a trip to NY and a stay in a swanky midtown hotel were not enough) tickets to Wicked. Off-Broadway but still awesome. I was surprised by this and to make my birthday all that much better, we flipped through the HBOs in the room and we caught the very beginning of Batman Returns which I had been wanting to see again. Amazing, right?
  • Saturday began cold and foggy. We ate at a little place called the Astro diner and then walked down 7th and up 6th back to the hotel. We hit Times Square and scoped our theater for later. We went into Midtown Comics – I bought something – and then to a little pizza place below. I gotta say: the pizza was damn good but I have had some thin crust around here that is the same if not slightly better. I didn’t need to go all the way to NY for good pizza! Though hot dogs… well, we had about 5 while there and for the most part, they were all super tasty. Only one – the first we had in Central Park – was boring and small.
  • Saturday afternoon – when the sun had finally come out – we saw Wicked. It was pretty cool to see live entertainment of such caliber. I mean, we got the circus in Tallahassee not that long ago and it was sub-par. This was talent. This was quality. Having read the book a while ago, I wondered what they’d change and the things they did rework were not that vital. Though, I knew Fiyero was not a white guy with light brown curly hair. But I guess that doesn’t matter to the overall story. Except… oh, if I said anything, I suppose there would be spoilers and you don’t want that, do you?
  • That night was Jeff’s all night party thing so we took the subway out to Queens. I suggested to Ash we not show up right at 6 when it supposedly began but he’d have none of it. The thing was, we got sick of being there by about 9:30. I had taken about 5 shots on the ice luge, had two beers and 4 Jell-o shots but I was only slightly buzzed. There’s only so much Rock Band I can watch people play before I want to shoot myself. And that’s when Ash and I made the decision not to board the party bus at 11 and not to go to the Bulgarian club where they were going to dress up like soldiers and take as many shots of vodka in two minutes as humanly possible in an ice cage out of shot glasses fashioned from ice. You know you’ve reached a different point in your life when you’re at a supposedly fun event and you’d rather be in bed reading.
  • Sunday brought even crappier rainy weather. We went back out to Queens to have brunch with our friends and their friends.Though we had already eaten it was nice to hang out. We said our goodbyes and went back to our end of town to hit up the Museum of Natural History. By this time, we were both starting to reach that part in the trip where we appreciate our time off, etc but it’s getting a bit tiring. I like to think Ash and I are in good shape but on a daily basis, we do not walk that much. (The elliptical for 34 minutes does not count here). So I think we were fed up with it. I know I was sick of the rainy cold weather and only felt like sitting in the hotel. Though, I was also very gung-ho about doing as much stuff as possible. We did manage to squeeze in a nap before dinner. Admittedly, mine was not very good. Rice was undercooked and my burrito didn’t have half the reported ingredients in it. Though, the margaritas and salsa were tasty, and Ash and Jeff liked theirs.
  • It was pouring rain when we got out so the three of us got a taxi – something I definitely thought I should do while in the city – and we got dropped off at the hotel. We both sat for a while and just looked out the window at the lights of the city. It was peaceful even though there’s so much chaos down there. In our room, high above it all, I felt tranquil. I sat there a lot longer than Ash and wrote in my journal for a while before turning in.
  • Monday morning we ate breakfast at the 6th Avenue diner and then got all ready to leave. Our flight was actually early, we both watched all but the last 5 minutes of The Wrestler, and we made it to Orlando and back to my parents’ house by 5. We then drove back to Tallahassee at 7:30 and got home and in bed by midnight. Trip concluded.

I am glad to be back, though I have felt a little fuzzy today, trying to get caught up on things. It was sort of confusing to me that this morning at 8 AM it was only 24 hours ago I had been looking out over Central Park and a magnificent sunrise, feathering the tress with its warmth. But then I was there, in a campus parking lot in dire need of repaving and  cold, lamenting my lack of good clean clothes and I felt sort of lost. Vacations are wonderful yet cruel.

Pictures will be up on Flickr soon as I can edit, etc. Perhaps tonight, in between ginormous loads of laundry and various unpacking and the settling back in process. So! What have you been doing???

Quickie

I am back from New York and trying desperately to catch up. I have a lot of work things to do and I have mounds of laundry and a house that we left trashed to tend to. But on my plate:

  • Change layout and design of this here blog
  • Blog about NY trip and post pictures to Flickr
  • Blog about comics/Batman/writing
  • Run another contest, soon as I can figure out a suitable give-away prize

So stay tuned – don’t forget about me! :)

Recollecting my childhood as I move into my 30s

Tomorrow, at 12:31 PM EST, I will turn thirty years old. This I am not afraid of; I am not reeling with fear or doubts or any of that cliche birthday sort of thinking. Actually, I kind of like the sound of thirty. It’s much… rounder than twenty-nine. I don’t “feel” old or older; I am interested to see what I can accomplish in this next decade. I did a lot in my twenties and made huge strides in my life and as a person in general. I grew, I learned, I did. But I am also very tied to my childhood, as I think all people are. I think a huge reason adults have children is so they can feel that again, though it is not entirely the same.

I spent the majority of my formative years in Hollywood, Florida. We lived at 44th ave and Monroe street until I was nearly fifteen. In that time, I attended four different schools, made a lot of good friends, and created some of my most vivid and influential memories. In categories, here are some of the aspects of my youth:

Books – We used to go to the library and my mother let me pick out a huge stack of books. I loved it; can probably attribute it to my love of them today and my writing degree.

Foods

  • My mother’s carbonara, which she always let me help with. I got to stir the eggs and Parmesan cheese together.
  • Tuna casserole – peas and all.
  • Salmon patties
  • Ham steaks that my dad made on nights my mother worked. We, unfortunately, also had lima beans with them. ICK.
  • Sausages with red peppers. Another dad meal that I hated. They were weird red polish sausages; I only ever liked eating Bratwurst (with mustard).

Places

I must say, I had a pretty good childhood. There was the normal stuff like issues with parents and I didn’t really ever like my sister very much; she was almost six entire years younger than me so I treated her more like a pet. But on the whole, I couldn’t ask for much more. All I ask, now that I enter my parenting years, is that Elliot can also look back some day and feel like we did a good job giving him a fun childhood.

And now, onto thirty. :)

Bullet cop out post

I’m sorry I can’t piece together more than this. I have way too much stuff going on in my head for more coherency.

  • I forgot my sandwich this morning and had to go back for it and then I also thought I lost my ipod. Welcome, Tuesday!! /eyeroll.
  • I leave for NYC in THREE days. I have not packed or thought about outfits or anything. Hold me.
  • I have to get an oil change this AM and I hate doing maintenance errands like that. Hold me.
  • There’s a guy who shops at my local Publix with his wife who looks JUST like Jake Gyllenhaal, only taller. And I see them there about 5 out of every 8 or so times I go. I hope she doesn’t think I’m staring at her hubby too much. :: drool::
  • Do you think dead people can hear your thoughts? I mean, hypothetically speaking. If you imagine “ghosts” the way they do in, say, that dumb Family Circus cartoon – as beings up in Heaven – do you think they know what you’re thinking about?
  • “Tales of the Black Freighter” came out on DVD today and I want so desperately to buy it. Except I have to save all available funds for NY. We’re apparently going to some four story club and you know drinks are going to be more than what I spend in a week on food.
  • At the party we’re going to before the ginormous night club, there will be a shot luge and I am actually thinking about partaking. Some day I can tell Elliot that when he was 19 months old, his mommy turned 30 and got trashed in NYC from a shot luge.
  • Am now broke thanks to oil change/tire rotation
  • Brought only pb&j for lunch
  • Am now going to do work.

Please, do tell, what are you guys up to this Tuesday? Come on, leave me comments; I love ‘em. :)

    Looking for the cure

    As much as I love Spring – the perfect situation for opening our windows and letting the cool breeze blow though the entire house (I remember when I was a child and the way the wind ruffled my mother’s 70’s blue and green flowered curtains above her bed, like ocean waves ) – I am having the worst allergies. I have had them all my life; pollen, mold, pet dander, certain trees (malaluca), and at one point, I was subject to the big back test – the one where they poke you with a modicum of allergen for each thing you could possibly react to. They drew a big labeled grid on my back and poke, poke poke. Turns out I wasn’t allergic to cats as we had all thought, but dogs instead, barring that they had fur and not hair. A list of other offenders was given to my mother. I never went on any sort of drug long-term but I tried all the allergy medications out there, finding that only Zyrtec got rid of all symptoms.

    To this day, whenever cars start to show that thin layer of yellow and the dogwoods bloom and drop their pretty petals all over the lush green lawns, you can find me stuffed up, sneezing, watery eyes and a Kleenex in every pocket. I recently discovered the magical powers of Afrin, however, and that helped some. It is a detriment to my every day life, it prevents me from wearing contacts which means I wear my out of date prescription glasses and get a headache. I suppose it’s time to just suck it up and move on but it’s oh-so difficult to accomplish my work with eyes that itch so constantly that all I can do is imagine removing them from their sockets and scratching them until the pain desists.

    You must take the good with the bad and the weather is beautiful; if you were to go to Weather.com and type in my zip code (32303) you could see the gap in green – rain – in which Tallahassee now sits. We are spared the storms, for now. Though my grass could use it. And my deck could stand to be cleansed of the pollen as well.

    **********************************

    It is time to get down to business so I shall leave you. But may I recommend that new show, “Kings”? I was impressed.

    Sunday filler

    • Went to the mall in search of clothes for me and shoes for E. Came back empty handed. Size 4 in baby shoes is a ridiculously dumb size. 1-3 are pre-walker sizes and Toddler begins at 5. Elliot, hurry up and grow, buddy.
    • My lips were dry at the mall but I forgot my Chap stick. Which is super annoying. Kept licking them to re-wet; think Joker only a whole lot less sexy. What, like you didn’t know? I have a problem ok?!?
    • By accident, I think I extinguished the pilot light on my water heater. I was blowing debris out of the garage when I smelled a weird sort of stink, as if the dust and dirt and dryer lint got up in the flame. Since Ash is playing Magic all afternoon, my neighbour is going to come over and take a look. I know nothing about gas heating.
    • Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone but I got an Oreo Shiver from TCBY and gave some to Elliot.
    • When E woke from his nap, I sat him down with the plate of what he didn’t eat of lunch and while I had my eyes and hands all up in the water heater, he dumped the entire tray on the floor. Chaos ensued: dogs freaked out, wanting to eat the food but scared by the loud noise of the falling tray plus E crying. All this prompted the trip to the mall. I was ANNOYED.
    • I am amazed by Elliot’s new ability to put words together. “Go out?”, “Blue car?” “Red Ball?” (Think outside Target). This kid is pretty amazing.
    • I went to a kick-ass baby shower yesterday.
    • I leave for New York in 5 days.
    • I am going to wash a dish. (I was in my kitchen washing a dish and I heard it so I came out. You were in your living room? I was in my kitchen, washing a dish.” Oh Dane Cook, you were once a very funny comedian. Now? You suck.)

    Excuses made, promises (to myself) broken

    For the past two days, I have not been able to conjure up an entry. I wasn’t busy; just not on the ball. I’m sure you didn’t miss me much, but there ya go.

    It’s Friday, though the week felt like it flew by in a huge rush, somehow. I had a lot of things to do and the time passed before my eyes- I maybe got 5 out of 9 things done. I guess I should be proud of that but really, I feel like I have failed. Those 4 other things sit out in space, waiting to be accomplished while I’m over here having very awful stomach pains (going on day 3 now) and procrastinating to the best of my ability. (Warning: YouTube and DeviantArt are gigantic time sinks.)

    I think I have felt disconnected from reality this week. In an attempt to forget how much work I really have to do, I have pushed the portion of my brain with the ability to be aware and make decisions to the back burner and have taken up a little cocoon where I feel safe and cozy and where I just finish a few things and say screw it to the rest. It’s not right; I used to be able to mentally keep track of everything on my plate. These days, I feel like I can’t quite get to that level of awareness anymore. It began with baby-brain, I am sure, but it doesn’t seem to ever return. I cannot quite reach that caliber of thought, of performance. It’s depressing.

    But I struggle on, push forward, cross an item off the list. I watch some videos, I finish a project. I check my email, I work on my class website. It goes on and on. There are some highlights: we went to dinner with Elliot’s godparents last night. I always feel like we’re doing something nice for them when they get the chance to see little Elliot. With the giant hole in their hearts where their son once was, Elliot fills a tiny part of it, bringing an inkling of joy to their lives.

    Ash and I watch movies and basketball, have a small meal together after Elliot has gone to bed. It’s that time of the semester/year – for me – when I am just waiting for something to happen. It’s all cyclical and it’ll go around again. I’ll get busy, we’ll start projects, and friends will be around in abundance. This I must accept and not wallow in the sadness of the mundane. Life IS like that, I tell myself; get over it.

    So I don’t mean to sadden you on what should be a happy day: Friday! To balance all that, I’ll list some happier things: my birthday is next week, it’s Spring!, I just bid on a cool batman tshirt (for myself), I have a hundred bucks to go clothes shopping with, the weather is still gorgeous despite allergies, and again, it’s Friday!

    Bullet points Tuesday

    • I had a dentist appointment for xrays this morning so I slept in ten whole minutes, went, had breakfast out with my parents, and got into work by 10. Sadly, I left my office keys at home.
    • The guy who does the voice of Batman in both cartoon series The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold is the dude who played Peter’s redneck neighbor in Office Space. I find that very odd;  I cannot picture that mullet sporting guy as doing the voice of the Dark Knight, you know?
    • At Publix Sunday evening, I was hit on by an old cowboy. He was maybe 40s-ish, tan and wearing a hat, tank top tucked into jeans and boots. He was in front of me in the express line and asked how I was that evening. I was polite but tried to indicate not interested in talking. He went on to tell me he’d been working with horses all day then blabbed about his daughter who wanted him to buy her something, hadn’t seen her in 10 years because of her mother, etc. As I was paying and he was still hanging about at the end of the line there, he told me to have a good night, then put his hand on my shoulder, squeezed it, and told me I needed a good cowboy in my life. Um, flattering but creepy?
    • I fed the dogs on Sunday and told Elliot to follow me. He didn’t so I went back into the kitchen to find him sitting on the floor supervising mealtime. He waited until they were done, stacked their bowls, then put the stack on top of the dog food container. The apple does not fall far from the tree, I tell you.
    • On Saturday night we watched The Machinist, which was depressing, slightly scary and be warned that a 120 pound Christian Bale is a disgusting sight. Ewww. I could barely stand to look at him. (I watched Dark Knight on Sunday just to make sure he was back to eating ;) )
    • No, we have not done our taxes. Yes, I am nervous about my NY trip next week, and no, I am not sad about turning 30.

    Trippin’

    I was sort of waiting for David to write up the details of our Saturday trip but I know he has been busy. So, you get the quick and dirty version. Around 10 AM, I showed up to Dave’s apartment, where I finally received my Christmas present from Chris and Lauren (thanks, you guys!). This was fortuitous as I shall show you later. Anyway, I also then realized that although I remembered to charge my camera battery, I left my memory card in the card reader at home. Luckily, Dave also uses a Canon and he had an extra 2 gigger lying around.

    With that, we procured gas and coffee and were on our way to our first destination: Woodville Natural Bridge. By that time I must mention, the sun had come out, which was a surprise because it looked ridiculously gloomy all morning. We got some good shots here and reveled in the quiet a bit and then headed out.

    Our next stop was Wakulla Springs where folks around here go for swimming and boat tours and the pole vaulting fish? Yes, they apparently tout one but we didn’t see it. We walked around the property, watched some mullet jump, explored the sitting room, gift shop, and “Old Joe”, who you can read about on the site.

    Next, it was onto lunch, which was Hog Wild Barbecue in Carabelle. I would say it was very yummy (w/ the exception of Dave’s cole slaw) but not necessarily worth driving 100 miles for, as their sign indicates. (Please see my flickr). I felt all that pork and beans sort of sitting at the bottom of my gullet for a while as we drove onto our ultimate destination: The Cape San Blas lighthouse. By the time we got there, the sun had gone behind a bunch of clouds and the gift shop was closed, but the lighthouse ended up being open. Unfortunately, I didn’t have five bucks in cash. Dave went up alone and got some decent shots of the surrounding areas and then we sat on the beach a while, just watching a couple guys fish and the surf roll in (it was already pretty much high tide.) It was peaceful, which was exactly what I hoped to glean from the trip. Oh, and some fun, which it was.

    Planned on being home a lot earlier but we made it back to his apartment by about 7:30 where I wasn’t sure if I’d need to then take his memory card and arrange to give it back as some point or what. But, one of the Christmas gifts was a couple of Mimobot thumbdrives. So I copied the pics and was on my way home.

    All in all, I had a good weekend. I have a couple of three things to mention later so I my save them for another post. For now, how was y’all’s weekened? What exciting things did you do?

    Springtime and things

    bark1

    bark2

    spring-blossom

    springtime

    Spring has come to Tallahassee and I am glad for it, though it was a bit warm today. I appreciated it, however, when my office was frigid and I went out to the Westcott Fountain to thaw out. The last couple days there’s been a guy on his bicycle stopping there. He takes off his white t-shirt and dips it in the fountain, then wrings it out. He puts it on his bike’s handlebars, does some stretches and push-ups, then puts the shirt back on and rides away. Very interesting.

    Tomorrow marks the end of Spring Break – if you don’t count the weekend – and I a happy to see it go. I got a lot done in the silence but I am also ready for everyone to be back and for the end of semester push to begin. It’s a race to the end now; I love it. Things will get sort of busy soon with Summer assignments, Fall assignments, people requesting to teach their created strands in the Fall, book orders for said courses, paperwork for the incoming bootcampers… Yeah, it’s those parts of my job I really love. That and when TAs come into my office and we get to talking about the most random things. That’s really the best part.

    So, welcome to Spring and such. More content-filled post on the morrow.