Destination: Florida

Hello, readers!

Lets all take a deep breath and smell that fresh Monday smell. It’s a combination of fresh cut grass, dew, and soul decay. A tantalizing bouquet, no?

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We’ve made it to Florida, you guys! I’ve actually been to Florida a few times, haven’t been there in years though. I think the last time I was there we spent New Year’s Eve at Epcot and that was awesome! I highly recommend it, if you get the chance. Each pavilion had a party with different music, the fireworks went on forever. Good times. Although, you have to get there really early and dress yourself in the color of so much fucking patience. Buddha level peace, my friends. But it was worth it in the end.

anansi_boysI ended up reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman for Florida. And, although a lot of the action takes place in England and the Caribbean, there’s a back and forth happening with Florida. Anansi Boys is the story of Charlie who after attending his father’s funeral finds out he has a brother he didn’t know about. Oh and also that his dad was a god and his brother got all the powers. With his brother in his life, Charlie’s life gets turned upside down, sideways, inside out, thrown into another dimension. Shit gets real, you guys.

I’ve always loved Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, get on it!), his writing is always simple, but incredibly engaging and entirely his own. There’s no way to mistake him for someone else and that’s awesome to me. He has a way of taking seemingly random, ordinary things and imbuing them with importance and meaning. Anansi Boys had that in the form of a lime. Charlie is visiting Saint Andrews, looking for a very old lady to help with all the problems he’d gotten himself into. Along the way he acquired a lime, and after this interaction….

“Do you have any luggage?”

“No,” said Fat Charlie, apologetically.

“Nothing?”

“Nothing. Just this lime.”

He filled out several forms, and she gave him a key and directions to his room.

Fat Charlie was in the bath when a knock came on the door. He wrapped a towel around his midriff. It was the bellman. “You left your lime in reception,” he said, and handed it to Fat Charlie.

“Thanks,” said Fat Charlie. He went back to his bath. Afterward, he went to bed, and dreamed uncomfortable dreams.”

Charlie became known as the guy with the lime. And that lime later became a fake engagement ring, chapters later. I think it takes a lot of elegance to turn something as innocuous and turn it into an engagement ring, in a way that you would’ve been surprised if the lime hadn’t been used as one.

The rest of the book is like that, full of graceful writing and funny situations. It’s witty, charming, and as imaginative as only Neil Gaiman can be. It’s got gods, cops, ghosts, and, of course, a lime. Definitely worth a read if you’re into awesome things.

Until next time, readers!

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!

Photo Post: England

Look at that, hanging out on a Tuesday and it feels so good!

As promised here are a few pictures from my trip. I figured I’d already shown you quite a few pictures from Scotland, so I started the photographic journey with England.

The Calder Piece was really interesting. It wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was still excellent. Entrancing is the word I’d use to describe it. Here’s what the Tate Museum says about the performance I went to:

Earle Brown was a major force in contemporary music and the American avant-garde since the 1950s and the creator of open form, a style of musical construction greatly indebted to the works of Alexander Calder.

In 1963, Brown and Calder embarked on a musical collaboration, for which Calder made Chef d’orchestre, where four percussionists are ‘conducted’ by the mobile. Some 100 percussion instruments are employed in a performance where the movement of the sculpture is read by the percussionists, responding to the varying configuration of its elements.

As well as functioning as conductor, the musicians actually play the mobile, making each performance both visually and musically unique. It was not until 1966 that the work was finished and Calder Piece was first performed at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in Paris, early in 1967.

Calder Piece is one of kind and Earle Brown insisted that the music must never be independent of Chef d’orchestre. This major revival of a work not played for over 30 years is its UK premiere, performed by the percussion ensemble of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in collaboration with Gramophone Award-winning conductor Richard Bernas.

 

There you have it, readers! I realized I didn’t take as many pictures as I should’ve. For example, I have no pictures with Liverpool guy. What’s that about? Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this brief journey through (some of) my trip memories. Stay tuned because the week of posts continues!

Have a good one!

Alphabet Soup: K is for Kiss

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, readers! I had my share of weird, unexpected, frustrating, beautiful moments during my trip. This is one that stands out in my memory.

K is for Kiss

I met a guy in Liverpool. It was unexpectedly amazing.

We’d actually met online, months before my trip. Here was a guy who was cute and funny and who I had things in common with, but we barely talked. A few messages here and there. We made plans to meet up when I was in England, actually the only reason I stopped in Liverpool was to hang out with him. When the time came for me to actually head down, I was nervous because it felt like we hadn’t spoken enough for me to take a whole detour just to see him.

I got to Liverpool on a Thursday, we went out that same night. He was late, which gave me more than enough time to wonder if we’d have a good time, whether there would be chemistry, if he’d show at all. My landlady told me to make him pay for everything, whether it was a date or not. Was it a date? “Thanks landlady, now I don’t even know what to call the outing”.

He did show up. He looked nice, smelled better. The combination of his smile and his accent and his nearness was enough to give me a buzz before I started drinking. He’d made reservations to a great restaurant. He was sweet and attentive and leaving because he had to work the next day. The ride home had been occupied with funny conversation and an inner monologue of “To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question”. I decided not to kiss him. He had to go and we still had the rest of the weekend, was what I told myself.

Friday found us drinking at a Circus themed bar. He still smelled good. He was still funny and charming and smart. We were on the clock though, public transport ended early which meant an early (ish) night for us. It was a good night. I felt instant chemistry with this guy who was quick to smile and wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself and the world. This guy who, as I got on the bus told me “call me if anything happens with the bus, I’ll get you a taxi.” I thought it was sweet then, it still seems sweet now. He’d said he was feeling the onset of a cold. Jokes were made about kissing and illnesses. About how illnesses ruin plans of kissing. We laughed.

Saturday felt like the day. The lights were dimmed at the Circus bar, where we found ourselves yet again after a brief stint at the Tate Liverpool museum and a dinner of Fish and Chips. He was warm and sitting close to me. We were drinking cider and talking about pretty much everything. Sex and kinks and past relationships. The couple in the booth next to us spent the night listening in on our conversation, while trying hard to pretend they weren’t. He kept talking in spite the fact that people were listening in, which I liked.

He was dying. Soldiering on, trying not to sniffle, but dying. We hugged as I got on the bus. I remember my hand on his neck and a small feeling of surprise. Partly because hugging him felt like the most natural thing in the world, partly because stopping felt like a disappointment. Saturday was not the day.

I woke up unnaturally early on Sunday. My train was due to leave at 8am and he was coming to pick me up to take me to the station. He was still sick. We parked, he took out my suitcase. We hugged again. He was so close. I told him I still wanted to kiss him. He reminded me that I would get sick. “Yeah, but I still want to kiss you”. “Well, what’s stopping you?”

And my hand went to his neck. And I kissed him. And I remember being surprised by how soft he was, his beard, his lips, his hair. He tasted like candy and I wondered what it was. It ended and I thought, “worth it”. I gave him another quick hug and walked away without looking back because looking back would’ve meant staying just to kiss him a bit longer.

In the end I didn’t get sick. I left and I enjoyed the rest of my trip. But I kept thinking about that one quick kiss, like one of those moments whose full potential goes unexploited. It just rests in your memory, like a pulsing seed waiting for the next chance to bloom.

Have you ever felt that, readers? A moment that ends before it’s ready to? Tell me about it. And, as always, stay cool.

Probably not dead

Hello, beautiful (and hopefully forgiving) readers!

I promise I’m not dead. In case I am just remember I’m haunting my computer just to write this post for you. Because I love you. I said the “L word” prematurely. I hope this doesn’t cause awkwardness between us, ultimately ending what was meant to be a beautiful, long lasting, and life affirming relationship….

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Did that make it even more awkward?

The last few weeks have been pretty great. I went to London and had a blast watching shows and shopping. Then followed that with a week in Spain, where I learned to make fire, discovered that I’m a talented Boggle player, and tried calamari for the first time. Generally enjoying life, as it were.

However, my beautiful Spain retreat meant I was in a very rustic house with solar powered electricity in a week that was all fog. The flashlights got A LOT of use, is what I’m saying. Also, because it’s a small solar powered battery, the house doesn’t have wifi or a way to plug my computer.

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It was an interesting week of being mostly disconnected from the world. A week where I picked up Margaret Atwood’s Bind Assassin from a little shelf in the house, which I consequently stole and am now calling my own. #ThugLife, you guys.

I’m now in Massachusetts visiting family for a few days, then heading off to New York City for a night. And, after that, home, where I promise to get back in the swing of things with books and pictures of my trip.

Oh gods and goddesses of blogging (that’s you, readers), please accept this humble post offering in the mean time. I promise to make it up to you. For realsies.

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Until then, know I miss you and think you’re pretty cool for putting up with the craziness. Have a good one!

Alphabet Soup: J is for Journey

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!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something, I know. I was enjoying my last week in Scotland! My last few days in Port Logan were absolutely lovely, even if they were blanketed in fog. They brought about interesting events like watching a game of Curling and picking mushrooms that may or may not have been safe for consumption. However, the journey continues….

J is for Journey

I’m currently in Liverpool. Yesterday was a long day of travel, followed by a lovely dinner. Today I’m tired and sore and cranky, so this might turn out to be a bit shorter than usual. I can’t help but wonder at how much traveling takes out of you. You spend the day sitting down, not really doing much of anything, but it’s incredibly draining. Is it the constant motion? Not being able to fully relax for fear of missing your train or your plane or your bus?

You can’t go anywhere for free. Whether it’s a physical or emotional journey, there is always a price to pay and it’s not always money. We pay by sacrificing hours of sleep, the possibility of comfort, in some cases more time than we’d care to. And yet we still do it, because no matter how draining it is and how much it demands of us, the rewards are far greater than the sacrifices would ever be.

My current journey through the UK has led me to new things, new people, new places. I’m tired right now. Writing in my pj’s while I wait for the pain medication to kick in. (My bag probably weighs more than 60 pounds, just think about dealing with that across 4 different trains.) But I’m grateful and happy to be where I am, to have the opportunity to travel. I’m constantly amazed that I get to do this, even if it’s for a short period of time.

I’m in Liverpool right now, my next stop is London on Sunday. Up until now they UK has been incredible, really everything I’d thought it’d be and more. Hopefully London won’t disappoint! 

Until next time readers!