Alphabet Soup: Y is for Yeah…

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, readers!

I know I’ve been a bit AWOL recently, I’m trying to get better! The road to recovery is long and arduous, but I’ll do it for you guys. Because I love you.

Y is for Yeah

This week I ended up at an impromptu hangout with the wife, a friend of ours, and a Frenchman who is here visiting. The wife and I were out book buying and figured we’d be sociable because, why not? When we get to the place, we find that the Frenchman is wasted, our friend is soberly feeling uncomfortable, AND they’ve got an almost catatonic Brit in tow. Having just written it down it sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke, which it was and wasn’t.

The atmosphere was relaxed as it can only be when you’re somewhere doing something you’ve done many times before, spending time with people who are already familiar to you. That is, until you came to the Brit, staring off into space. Saying absolutely nothing. At some point we all tried to make conversation with him, but it was too painful.

“So, how are you liking the island?”

“Yeah, fine.”

I nod, look around for inspiration.

“Is it your first time here?”

“Yeah…”

“And you’re here by yourself?”

“Yeah…”

“Wow, how was your flight?”

“Yeah…okay.”

I looked around. Eyes wide and pleading, hoping someone would rescue me. And rescue me they did, because thankfully my friends are only dicks sometimes. As the night wore on, he managed to scare off a girl my friend had gotten to talk to him. He told a lady she couldn’t bring her child into the bar. Which granted, you’re really not meant to have children in bars, but also you probably shouldn’t be telling people what to do when they’re hanging out with the bar’s owner. This was followed by him coming up to us and saying he couldn’t find his money and so we had to buy him more beer. Yeah….

By the time our friend and her Frenchman ditched us, leaving us stranded with a demanding and wildly plastered Brit, the wife and I were ready to call it quits. We were figuring out how to get out of the situation when he waved us over and introduced us to a couple he was talking to. It turns out, they were really, really cool people. Funny, smart, charming, we had a blast just chatting with them about everything and nothing. The Brit left at some point, leaving behind him a wake of “Who was that guy?” and “He was so odd”.

It was one of those chance encounters that leave you feeling energized and happy because you realize connecting with people doesn’t have to be that hard. All you need is a little luck, the willingness to try, and a wasted Brit to quicken the pace.

Alphabet Soup: L is for List

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

You’re halfway through the week and I’m right there with you, telling you stuff you don’t need to know, but that will hopefully amuse you! I live to make you guys happy. And in the distance I’m a Slave for you plays softly, Britney’s ethereal voice encasing the moment in perfect memory. I’m clearly a poet. (In case you’re of the Sheldon variety, that was sarcasm.)

Moving on…

I don’t know about you guys, but I love lists. Crossing things off them makes me happy and making them makes me feel like I’m getting shit done. But there’s a whole thing about lists, people use them in poetry, in art. They’ve become a something beyond what’s practical, fearlessly entering into the realm of the abstract and the conceptual. They’re interesting stuff, lists are. So, in honor of my love for lists and my post travel funk I’ve decided to list some things for you.

L is for List

5 Things I Did For The First Time During This Trip

1.

I ate venison, mussels, lamb, and langostines. I had a variety of candies from the UK for the first time, like Crunchies and tea cakes and tablet. Seriously, going grocery shopping was kind of an adventure. There was also Millionaire Shortbread and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The stuff I tried, foodwise, was amazing! I kept thinking back to people saying that food in the UK was bland and uninteresting. What a lie! I had a cheese and tomato risotto that I still dream about to this day. Of course, I had fish and chips dinners – some good, some less so. Also, who knew beans for breakfast could be so good? The Brits, that’s who.

2.

In keeping with the stuff I put in my mouth for the first time theme (go on, chuckle, you know you want to), I discovered Zubrowka. It’s a type of vodka flavored with what I’ve seen described as “pungent” Bison grass. I hung out with a guy in London who offered to buy me a drink and bought me this. Now I’ve never been into vodka, but he was nice and he paid, so why not? HOLY SNACK BALLS! I was wildly unprepared for it to taste that good! It was mixed with apple juice and pretty much just tasted like apples and cinnamon, without the tinny flavor I’ve come to associate with vodka.

Needless to say, I was hooked and bought a bottle without hesitating. Interestingly enough, it’s actually illegal in the States. The Bison grass has a chemical called coumarin which is prohibited by the FDA because it thins the blood and is, therefore, potentially toxic. The people who make Zubrowka have come up with a new blend that’s been scrubbed of the chemical, specifically for the American public. It’s called (or going to be called) Zu. I’m excited to try it and see if it holds up to the original!

3.

Speaking of drinking, I did the drunk peeing outside thing for the first time. Behind a tree, while Liverpool guy held my purse. It was more motivated by the fact that I’d never done it before, than it was by the need to pee. Although, not gonna lie, I really had to pee. Let’s just say it was a multipurpose affair. Good times. Especially since nothing bit me in weird places and no one caught me with my pants down. #Success

4.

This trip was the first time I’d had to take more than two trips to get somewhere. On my way to Scotland, I took four planes. I spent over 20 hours in transit. It was the same thing getting down to England, I took four different trains to get to Liverpool. Thinking about it, it was the same on the way back. I took 3 planes to get to Boston, which was beautifully offset by an 8 hour layover in London. (Where I bought my Zubrowka bottle and finished my souvenir shopping, so I guess I can’t complain that much).

5.

While I was in New York I had sex with two different people in less than 12 hours. That was new, also kind of unexpected. It was great though! 6’7 made another appearance (you can VERY briefly read about his first appearance here). This is a guy who was vacationing here in the island with some friends, my best friend and I got to talking with him and one of his friends at a bar, and the rest is history. By history I mean we most definitely hooked up and since we’re destined to repeat history, I hooked up with him again when I was in New York. It was really nice, afterwards we talked for hours. He’s funny and sweet and so very talented with his hands.

When I woke up on Monday, I was meant to go have breakfast with a friend. However, I also needed to pack and check out. He, being the wise man that he is, offered to deliver breakfast instead so that I could pack and generally be more relaxed about life. Who turns down food delivery? My first thought was, “Hell yeah, I don’t have to put real pants on! Sweatpants for the win!”.

By the time he came over, bearing more food than was necessary so that I’d have snacks and stuff while at the airport, I was already done packing. We ate, talked, napped because neither one of us had gotten much sleep the night before. Then the sex happened and WHOA, talk about the biggest dick I’ve ever had in my life. I had no idea what to do with myself. Seriously. The phrase “fuller than I’ve ever been before” suddenly made sense. He was also very talented with his hands. We finished with just enough time for me to take a quick shower, pick up the last bits and pieces I had strewn about, and make it for my 1pm check out. Because he called the hotel and got them to push it back an hour.

Yep. That happened.

As lists go, maybe it stretches the concept. However, there are still numbers involved, so I’m calling it a list. Come at me, bro!

Share some lists with me, guys. Let’s get the list ball rolling. I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday and if you’re not, just remember the week is almost over. Stay cool, readers!

Alphabet Soup: I is for Intoxicated

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Hello everybody!

I’m still relaxing in Port Logan, listening to the waves and missing my best friend. (My name is Flagrant Codependece, at your service) The weather has been forgiving, even if the cold hasn’t. All part of leaving the tropics as Winter approaches, I suppose.  Halloween is tomorrow and I’m fairly excited. My Halloween plans in Scotland fell through, but I still have hopes of things working out tomorrow. There is still talk of pumpkin carving and possibly a Star Wars marathon. We’ll see! I predict high levels of intoxication, either way.

I is for Intoxication

It’s no secret that I drink a lot. I’ve often said here I have a very strong relationship with alcohol, which is true. A good beer shared with people you enjoy can turn your whole day around. But my love affair with beer and alcohol goes beyond just wanting to get intoxicated. There’s a sweet spot when you’re drinking, at least for me, where your body feels good and you feel relaxed and for a little bit the whole world seems better than it did a few minutes ago.

Being there means anything can happen, some of my best adventures and memories have started out in that happy place. Like the time we all decided to take an impromptu road trip, just because we could. Like that time we were drinking at the beach one night and decided to jump into the water in our underwear, mostly because it was right there. Like that time I ran into high school friends and the sweet spot turned into drunkenness, but we had a hilarious time getting there. 

I know I’m romanticizing alcohol and intoxication. I know alcohol has terrible long term effects on your body and that when people get intoxicated they have a tendency to do astronomically stupid things. However, that’s true of so many things. This week I read somewhere that eating too much bacon and red meat can cause cancer. Too much sugar means Diabetes and blindness. Smoking means murdering your lungs. Too much of anything is bad for you, guys. We all do things that are bad for us, but make us happy. Drinking is that bad thing for me.

Honestly, there is nothing that makes me happier than getting a drink with friends. Having a beer with someone I’m getting to know. Sitting down for dinner with a glass of wine and having great conversation. Just like smoking, drinking can be a highly social experience. For me it’s meant meeting new people, feeling new things, and finding myself in the position to do things that weren’t possible hours before.

Plus, you know, it’s delicious.

Go out and have a drink tonight. Or two. Meet someone new, get in touch with old friends. It’ll (probably) be fine, I promise.

Until next time, readers!

Port Logan or Port Peace

Greetings, readers!

After getting evicted from our little abode, we spent a couple of nights in Edinburgh. Surrounded by bagpipes, new accents, and beautiful architecture, we spent two days exploring the city. We went up to Edinburgh Castle with intentions of going in, but bailed when confronted with the almost £20 entrance fee. What’s up with that Scotland? We took full advantage of the view and got some nice pictures of the castle, which is good enough for me.

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We also spent some time visiting a few of the many museums the city has to offer, as well as visiting a few its many fine bars. I highly recommend The National Museum of Edinburgh and The Hanging Bat. Spend some time knocking down a foam wall with a tiny catapult in the museum. It doesn’t sound quite as thrilling as it is, but trust me IT WAS AWESOME.

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Then unwind with Otto, an excellent Dopplebock served by the lovely people at The Hanging Bat. Which, by the way, has one of the greatest bathrooms, I’ve ever seen. Not only were the sinks and faucets made from kegs, they had a jar of free tampons and a little cup with bobby pins. When was the last time you went into a bathroom like that?! The answer, for me, is never.

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We only had two nights in Edinburgh though and on our way to Port Logan, where I’m currently at, we decided to do some ferry hopping. Guys. Let me tell you a thing. I’m that person who gets sea sick at the drop of a hat. That gentle swaying is a bitch. Ask me when I remembered this. When I was already on the boat, that’s when. So, murderous ferry (at one point it might have been 45 degrees from the water), followed by the curly fries of roads, and on to what? Yes. Another ferry. A SECOND FERRY. It’s a wonder I didn’t throw up all over anything. I’m quite proud of myself. My smoothness knows no bounds.

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Once we made it back onto non moving land (Thank Zeus) we still had about two hours of driving, which we broke up with food. Because, you know, that’s how you rest by stuffing your face. Which brings me to: Mushy Peas. Guys. What is happening? I don’t know, but it’s a thing. They taste good, but visually, you know, it’s like abstract art. You’re never quite sure what’s happening, but you pretend you do so no one thinks you’re a peasant. Do you know that feeling?

Anyway, we made it safely down to Port Logan, under the rain, in the cold. But, in front of the beach, surrounded by calm and silence. Sometimes being far away from everything has its advantages, it’s nice to be able to unwind even when you didn’t know you needed it.

I’m here for a few more days. I might go to Ireland or I might couch potato it Scotland style. What does that mean? I have no idea. My guess is it involves beer. Lots of it. Because…. Fuck it. I have no excuse. Because in any country, my relationship with alcohol remains strong.

And Scotland has quite a few delectable beers on offer. Seriously. You come. You buy one of each Scottish beer you can find (maybe not one of each if you’re just the one, there’s a lot of them). You hole up somewhere. And you drink. I promise you’ll have a great time. Provided you leave your hole at some point, you caveman. Either way, Scotland has delivered. But it’s not yet over so you’ll have to wait and see what else is in store. After all, Halloween is coming up!

Amidst my drinking and drinking, I’ve been reading Calvino’s stories and they’ve been more fun than I expected. I won’t go into detail now because this post is long enough, but stay tuned for what will probably be me rambling about short stories, Calvino, and space. It sounds thrilling, I know. Try to stay calm.

I’m off to potentially eat leek and potato soup, which is apparently a thing. Who knew? Stay warm, readers.

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Until next time!

Rangent: I’ve Had the (Most Awkward) Time of My Life

A new week has begun, ending what was arguably one of the most awkward weekends in my life. Mind you, it wasn’t that I was being awkward, rather that I ended up in situation after situation that was. Lemme tell you.

On Saturday, my best friend and I were meant to be having a packing party at her place so she can get everything together for her upcoming trip. We’re both traveling for long periods, outfit planning is essential. It always is, but you know what I mean. Instead we ended up hanging out with a trio of guys whose idea of drinking together was watching a movie. In the dark. In Silence. With a beer in hand. Heap on that the internal issues that were happening in the group and you get a fairly awkward situation.

On Sunday, even though we stalled and procrastinated, we went to an ex-coworker’s baby shower. Attending baby showers is baffling to me, until I realize I’m 23 years old and that’s what people are doing at my age. Having babies, buying cars, settling down. And I’m over here just hoping no one asks me to hold a baby or talks about how of course I’ll have one some day.

No, I won’t, you hear me!? No. I. Won’t.

Back to the baby shower though, it was as cute and awkward as you’d expect it to be when you’re the expecting mom’s only two female friends at the party. Made worse by the fact that, of course, the brodude leading the games decided that we were the ones who JUST HAD to play. This lead to about five minutes of him begging and telling us he wasn’t going to beg. When that didn’t work, he sulked and expressed it by making unnecessary comments all night long. There was a long period of truly terrible jokes. I’m sparing you the details because I have no desire to relive it.

Thankfully, mom and dad were really nice and happy for us to be there. So, the weird was mitigated by nice, friendly people. Pregnant people, but that shouldn’t be held against them.

These are the times when it pays to have a stable, solid relationship with your best friend. That way the crazy and, at times uncomfortable, events around you become funny and bearable. And that’s true of a lot of things in life, having good friends who get your humor and the faces you make and that moment when you’re over everything. It means, at the very least, that someone will laugh at your jokes, respond in kind with a face of their own, and save you from murdering a few dozen people.

At the end of the day, that relationship is the one that keeps you happy and sane. It’s not about being the same people, but rather about having the same alcohol minded priorities and lack of shame.

So, buy your friends a beer. Get them some candy. Buy them a puppy. And say, “Hey! You’re a buttface, but you’re my buttface.” It’s something everyone needs to hear once in a while.

Happy Monday, readers. Until next time, here’s a weird video.

Alphabet Soup: C is for Chapters

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone! This week has been slightly brutal, so I write to you from the comfort of my bed. I’m debating whether leaving it every day is a smart decision or a poor life choice. This is the stuff of intense intellectual pondering, right here.

C is for Chapters

I’m always annoyed when people skip chapters in books or tv shows (I’m looking at you Whovians who skipped the 9th Doctor. Who does that?!). It’s always seemed lazy to declare this or that chapter unnecessary, how do you know it’s unnecessary without reading it first? As a child it didn’t make sense to me when a girl I knew told me she was reading Harry Potter, but skipping chapters because she wanted to get to the “good parts”.

Granted, I understand this approach when you’ve read the book before, but not for the first read. For me it doesn’t make sense because books are these little universes where each chapter builds up a new layer of (fictional) reality. It seems to me that skipping one or two or three would just leave you with a bare bones world in which to exist while you read. You’re leaving behind everything that makes a book rich and beautiful, missing out on what makes it complex.

IMG_0178A few weeks ago I was out drinking with my best friend and, while in the bathroom, I came across a quote that said, “¿Cómo ibas a leerme si te saltaste la mitad de mis capítulos?”. This translates into, “How were you going to read me if you skipped half my chapters?”. It sounds really pretty and as a book lover I almost want a quote like that to make sense to me. Someone to read all your chapters, more than once, and to love you despite all the weird things in their pages. Except, when it comes to life, the read every chapter philosophy loses it’s appeal.

It’s kind of impossible to read every chapter in someone’s life. You weren’t there for most of them and, let’s be honest, there are going to be some you miss at the end. You might even miss some in between. That’s just how life works. Asking someone to read every single chapter, is a bit like setting them up for failure because without sharing those chapters with you, it’s impossible to truly read them. It’s like telling someone to read a series where a few volumes have been lost and giving them the Cliffs Notes instead. Then quizzing them on the footnotes that the summary never even mentioned.

I think life is more like an audiobook. The book has already been written, now someone needs to take the time to sit down and read it aloud for someone else’s benefit. Even so, no one is going to be privy to all your chapters because life isn’t like a book, a closed universe of pre-conceived characters. People come and go, sometimes forever, sometimes only for a little bit, but they always miss out on something. So, is it really necessary to be disappointed in someone or annoyed when they’re not there forever? Yes, yes it is, because we’re human and there are times when you can’t help it.

However, I’ve come to realize that within the disappointment of life not being like a closed universe book, is the happiness of sharing unforeseen moments. They ebb like waves, they’re unreliable, but they always happen. And when they do, they’re absolutely blinding. Not everyone is going to be there for each moment, but I think some one person always will be. And that’s enough, at least for me.

IMG_0182Have a great Friday, readers! Cheers!

Throw Some Beer At It

Today I finished my bachelors degree. That doesn’t happen every day. It doesn’t feel so much like an achievement, but rather as something that I’d obviously do. You don’t get praise for doing something that was already your job, today feels a bit like that. And yet, deep down, I know it’s pretty monumental. It wasn’t obvious and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. They were years of work and frustration, but also years where I learned, changed, and ultimately became the person I am today. Therefore, like anything worth celebrating, I threw a ton of beer at it!
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As soon as my final was over and done with, I headed down to the nearest bar with my classmates. Beer and shots were had in order to celebrate what was the last day of summer school for some and the end of their degree for others, including myself. I talked to old friends, I made new ones, we were loud and probably crazy looking, but I hadn’t felt as relaxed and at home with a random group of people in a really long time. It’s strange when you consider how fleeting moments like those are. You end up thrown together by chance and it’s quite possible you might not see any of them again, but for an evening none of that mattered. It was pretty cool.

Before you ask: that tower was built by the young man staring adoringly at it, with help from all us! I offered up some building blocks, but it was a team effort through and through. I don’t think I’d be able to walk, much less type this, if I’d had that many beers!

In the end I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished, even if it doesn’t feel monumental. Years ago today seemed daunting and now that it’s here I have enough confidence in myself to feel ok leaping into tomorrow and it’s lack of a definite plan. This is not to say that I’m not terrified, only that I feel like I have the strength to walk down this new path and deal with the obstacles it might hold. She said as she stared into the distance while the credits rolled on the screen….

Tomorrow is a brand new day readers, but today is all about feeling satisfied. Congratulations to each and every one of you, for having accomplished things you never thought possible. It feels pretty good, right?

Until next time, stay excellent!