I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. Things were crazy and emotional and I haven't wanted to talk about them. I went back to Milwaukee last Saturday. I flew in over Lake Michigan with the sunset reflecting over the water. I normally feel very grateful whenever I fly over the city because it feels comforting and familiar to me. This time I just felt sad. Waiting for my luggage, a muzak version of "Kiss From a Rose" was playing in the baggage claim area. That was the song that the Registrar's office played after James and I were married (because we didn't bring in a cd for them to approve beforehand, so they just played their own music). I started to tear up then. My mom picked me up and all I could do was hug her and cry. I miss her so much. Plus I knew I was coming home to close a chapter in my life that includes seeing my mom often.

We went to Shana's and again, as soon as I saw her I started to cry. It felt so good to be with people I care about so deeply. But at the same time I was sad because I knew it wasn't going to be for long. We went downstairs to visit my babies. Gir has a huge tumor on her side that James didn't tell me about (he didn't want to worry me). The vet wanted $450 to remove it, so she will just have to live with it. If it gets larger, it could become troublesome, but at the moment she is alright. Of course seeing the rats made me cry as well - especially since I now know I can't bring them back to Florida with me. Rats are not acceptable as carry-on animals, and they are not allowed in the lower area either. BOO on the airlines for discriminating against which animals they allow!!

I had a lot to do while in Milwaukee, so I really didn't have much time to see friends or have fun. I had things in my grandmother's attic, my dad's basement and my mom's basement and attic that I had to go through and pack up to be shipped. I was able to purge some more and then fit the rest of it in 3 suitcases and some boxes that I shipped via media mail (DVDs, books and CDs). Kelsa was a super trooper and helped me all day Memorial Day. She rocks.
We finished a lot of the packing so we went to Liv and Josh's for their cookout. It was such a nice day - 81 degrees and sunny - but as we were standing outside, these clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped suddenly. And by suddenly, I mean less than 30 seconds. And by dropped, I mean it was 47 degrees after those 30 seconds of wind blew through. This is exactly why I don't live in Wisconsin anymore. At least when I get up tomorrow, I know it's going to be in the 90s and I'm going to sweat my tits off.

I was able to wrap up my life in Milwaukee fairly simply. It was a bit stressful getting everything done, but I managed it. I closed out a bank account, changed the address on another, relinquished my keys to my PO Box (the longest address I've ever kept), packed and shipped everything but my toaster (because I didn't have a box that fit), donated a bunch of stuff to Salvation Army and changed my address. I really don't live there anymore. It's so bizarre.

It was really amazing to see my friends. I love them so much, and I'm really going to miss them (like I have been missing them) but I know I will see them again. In fact, I am flying back in August for Green Lake and a doctor's appointment. Mark it on your calendar: 23rd - 30th!

Seeing James was really difficult. For those of you that are completely clueless as to what's going on, I guess I should fill you in on the background. We got married in England on January 23rd 2004. I had to leave right away because my visa was expired. We were told that it should only take 6 months at the most for his application to be processed and visa issued. 5 days after our 2nd wedding anniversary, James finally arrived in the US. Those 2 years were the worst and most frustrating I had experienced. The following 2 years were almost worse still. We had grown so much apart while physically separated that we were nearly incompatible by the time we were together again. We tried everything we could possibly think of - took every suggestion - and yet things weren't working. It breaks my heart, but we just don't work as a married couple.

Near the end of last year we decided we were going to get separate apartments to see if that would help the situation. I then took my roadtrip to Florida to visit Danelle, Jacek and newborn baby Adam. On my way back, I was informed by my employer that they no longer needed my help. I was coming back to no job which meant no apartment. It was then that I decided to start selling everything and just drive off to find what feeds my soul. I figured it was the perfect time - James and I were separating, I had no job or place to live and nothing else tying me down. I just wanted to go and let the Universe direct where I was supposed to go. This is what you've been reading about the past few months.

Anyhow, I have discovered that there are a lot of things that I've been neglecting while fighting for a dying marriage. James has found some things out on his own as well. We decided it was best to terminate the marriage. This is one of the other reasons I had to come back to Wisconsin. We needed to file for divorce.
I'm writing this now as though I'm telling of someone else's life. One moment, I'm completely absorbed by my emotions, and the next I'm completely detached. It was so difficult to see him. I wanted to hold him and kiss him, but scream at him and cry all at the same time. I was looking at a familiar face, but I no longer know the person. My heart aches. My chest feels hollow. I want to remain friends, but I have no idea how to behave around him at the moment. Which is why it is good for me to be in Florida.

Anyway, you don't really need to hear the excruciating details of my emotional turmoil... just know that I hurt, and understand if I look sad or cry sometimes. It's a sad thing to go through, losing a husband.

On a lighter note, I got to spend some quality time with my friend Chris (we watched HAARP) and got to eat at Comet with Shana and Katherine. I also learned a lesson that although I want to help my friends out financially, it's not always wise to do so. Even if I did shoot myself in the foot, I'm glad my friend doesn't have to worry as much.

I got back to Tampa Wednesday night after 2 very smooth and very empty flights. Actually, on all 4 of my flights I had 2 seats to myself. It was seriously awesome. And I finally figured out the perfect combination to avoid a pressure induced migraine! That is the most exciting thing that could have happened.

Thanks again to anyone that has helped me out in the most recent past - and I'm sorry if I didn't get a chance to see some of you in Milwaukee. Remember to mark your calendars for August!


Holy Crap

I was planning on driving up to Wisconsin this weekend so I could pick up the rest of my belongings. However, I just got a call from the studio asking me to do some prepping on Thursday. So I checked flights. I arrive in Milwaukee at 9 pm tomorrow. I will be around until Wednesday at 6 pm. Not much time to pack up and decide what I'm keeping and what gets donated to friends. I will be getting rid of my entire winter wardrobe!

I need this money so badly, and I knew that if I said no to this offer, they quite possibly would never call me again. So anyway, that's the deal. I'm frantically trying to get my stuff done here before I leave. I have to finish painting my room and then pack quickly. Wish me luck!!

(I'll post pictures of the new place when I get back here)


Vinyl Fever and Other Things

I am the newest employee of the record store called Vinyl Fever here in Tampa. Super sweet. I start June 2nd (so I have time to come back to Wisconsin and get my stuff). I'm way excited - it looks like I will be moving up quite quickly there as well. He told me he was going to make me a keyholder right away.

Other than that, I got Smurfette back yesterday. It was a pretty rough day aside from the interview going well and getting my car back. I was starting to question if I did the right thing by signing a lease and being in Florida. I felt pretty out of place and lonely. A few things happened that made me really miss my friends. It would be much easier to deal with certain heavy issues with my loved ones closer. Anyhow, everything seemed to work itself out by the time my head hit the pillow.

I decided to go for a drive last night. I wandered around Tampa for a while, getting my bearings. Then I decided to cross the bay. I drove around St Pete and headed up to Clearwater. Clearwater totally creeped me out and I laughed out loud when I drove by the Ft Harrison Hotel. I'm pretty sure the Scientologists heard me and have recorded my license plate number to make sure I stay in line and not cause any disturbances in the media. There really are cameras everywhere.

I went out to Sand Key and parked my car on the side of the road to run to the coast and spit in the Gulf for my dad. He always asks me to spit into or off of famous landmarks and natural wonders. Then I drove to Clearwater Beach. Someone told me I had to touch the sand there (even thought I LOATHE sand) just because it is so different. Let me tell you, I hate regular sand, but this stuff - OMG - I wanted to tear my skin off. I couldn't get the feeling of the sand off my fingers!!! It was a terrible nightmare! It felt a lot like powdered sugar, except when I tried to brush the sand off, it didn't have enough texture to actually brush off. Again, just like powdered sugar or flour, it just got rubbed around on my fingers. Oh I'm totally cringing thinking about it right now. I HATE SAND! It's really too bad I have such bad OCD when it comes to texture because I absolutely love the water. I love the ocean and lakes and really any large body of water, but dammit I can't handle the sand. That's why I loved Brighton Beach so much in England - it was all smooth stone.

So besides my sand reaction, last night was pleasant. Driving over the bay is so much fun. I just love being surrounded by all the water. I think I've got a better idea of what's around now that I've got Smurfette again. I found a Super Target and got some stuff for the new place... I'm really excited to move in tomorrow. What's really cool is that I get to reinvent my space. I have nothing. So I've been buying furniture for cheap off of Craigslist. I found a rad computer desk, a dresser, TV stand and DVD/CD rack. I have just resigned myself to the fact that I will have to take a cash advance on my credit card to pay for stuff like my car and bed, not to mention simple things like a shower curtain and towels (yeah, I got rid of EVERYTHING).

I am still in need of a cheap car, but I will be able to drive Smurfette up to Wisconsin and back so I really have to find it down here. That being said, I will be heading out Saturday night to come home. I plan on staying for the LOST season finale (so I can watch it with Shana) and then possibly leave after Friday night. I need to take my time driving back so I don't tire my car out, and I start work on June 2nd. I was hoping to make it to Rebecca's ordination, but I don't think I will make it back to Tampa in time for work if I drive up to Stevens Point. I hope she knows that I will be there in heart and spirit no matter what.

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a great day!

PS I saw this the other day in a bathroom at a Thai restaurant. I'm pretty sure only my dad and Kevin Gille will appreciate the photo...

Feel free to help me out with gas money to get to Wisconsin and back!!


Send Good Thoughts!

Tuesday at 1pm EST, I have an interview at Vinyl Fever - an independent record store in Tampa. When I came down to visit Florida in December I stumbled upon this place and told Danelle that if I lived in Tampa I would want to work there. So now I live in Tampa, and I may have the opportunity I hoped for.

PLEASE send good thoughts my way! I remember telling a few people along the way on my journey that all I needed to be happy was a job in a record store. I applied at stores in New Hampshire, New York City and would have in Oceanside, but no luck. I would be incredibly grateful to get this job. So keep your fingers crossed for me!
(I would still be doing the freelance work on the side, which is what it's meant to be in the first place - not sole means of support.)

I will let everyone know as soon as I know the outcome.

Oh yeah, and I get Smurfette back tuesday morning (after dropping another $300). I will be coming back to Milwaukee after I move into my new place this weekend. Need to pack up the rest of my stuff!


The Woes of Moving

Yesterday Melanie and I signed our lease! I'm really excited about having a place again (that's a picture of our front door with Christina). Unfortunately, because I sold everything I now need to buy stuff. This puts me in a pretty uncomfortable place. I had to have Smurfette towed again yesterday. She's not even able to drive around the block without dying. I don't know what's wrong. But apparently "Bruce Lee" is the best and he will fix it for cheap. But cheap is still money. And I basically just need to fix her to get her back up to Wisconsin one more time to park at my dad's (so he can use the parts)... Which means I need a new car as well. Preferably with air conditioning. I found a 2000 Escort ZX2 for $2300, but that's money I haven't got. BOO!

Forgive me for vomiting my voes all over the interwebs, but I just need to put them out there and voice that I'm afraid... So I changed my car insurance this week (because Florida has different requirements for insurance than Wisconsin). My coverage back home was $178 every six months. Yes, that's just $30 a month. And it wasn't just liability. So the equivalent coverage in Florida costs $719 every six months!!!! WTF!?!?! I had to drop down to just $20,000 in liability and the required Personal Injury coverage, and still every six months I will be paying $287. That's nearly twice as much for a quarter of the coverage. BOO!
I also need to register my car here. But I'm going to wait on that because I don't think I'll have Smurfette much longer.

I need $200 to cancel my Verizon air card service (since Melanie is getting internet for the house). That's going to save me a butt load of money in the long run because it's worked out to $73 a month after taxes and crap.

So besides the car and the internet, I need to buy a bed. I've got nothing to sleep on. I've got sheets and a blanket for a full size bed, but no full size bed. I found a cheap working TV yesterday at Salvation Army which is cool. But no bed. I could also use a dresser and some shelves. I would drive around to garage sales and check the curbs if I had a car to drive around in! lol

Oh yeah, the other reason I need to come home besides bringing Smurfette to my dad is to pick up the rest of my stuff (my remaining Cds & DVDs, DVD player, journals and keepsake items). I also have a freaking kick ass toaster that I left with James.

SOOOOOOO.... If any of you have any ideas on how I can accomplish this nearly impossible feat, I'm open to suggestions. If you know of anyone in Florida that has a bed to offer me for cheap, or simple furniture, let me know. Maybe you know of a cheap car, or some place that will finance a loan for me to buy a cheap car. Anything. In turn, I can offer you a place to crash any time you want to take a vacation in sunny Florida (the lease is for 15 months, so I'll be here a while).
Awaiting your suggestions!!

PS. Just so you don't think I'm whining and moaning all the time, I really like it here. Really. I'm not lying. I wouldn't have signed a 15 month lease if I didn't. And if I get that job at the record store, I will be the most satisfied person on the planet.
Also I'm super grateful for Melanie. I wouldn't have anywhere to live if it weren't for her. She's so generous. Thanks Mel!

UPDATE: I just found a full size mattress, box spring and frame on craiglist for $75. They will deliver it to my apartment for free. :)


My Internet Stalker

Hey everybody! So as most of you know, I'm a little Craigslist addict. I've met some really cool people all over the country through Craigslist.org (including my Chicago twin, Amy!). Florida has proven to be lacking in cool kids on CL, so I decided to venture into the Yahoo personals arena to see what I could turn up.
This has brought me more entertainment than I could have ever hoped for. I just wanted to share with the rest of you what has filled hours with laughter for me... I'm so going to hell for this one.
(PS. This is the internet stalker I was referring to in my last blog. I could totally post his picture too, but I guess that would be going a little too far. I do have a heart)

On 05/13/2008 02:35 pm EDT, Andre wrote:
hi quirky girl im andre.totally probly not your type but i hav this weird like cyber crush thing going on for some reason,there i just blew it so cool.any way hope you enjoy tampa,um maybe write back some time.ok bye now then oh and yea mt pic is lame but my sis and i are putting up new ones im just really being a wimp about this whole thing.but yea ok bye

On 05/14/2008 01:06 am EDT, Andre wrote:
hi its me again[duh right like you didnt know] .but i seen that you veiwed again and i dont really hav the best frrling about the whole thing.but my sister and wer talking(shes like mt best olny friend down here pathitic right)but she thinks you seem like we all might click to and at least be able to stand a nite out together.so go to some random show at the state theater in st pete,itl be fun promise and its easy to ditch out there it you hate it.i dont know think about it.oh and i dont know if your a paid member,oh andddddddd if your waiting for a few new pics im puting some up tomorow fer real.but yea if your not a paid member my yahoo im id is bad_b_friend so if you want to talk or whatever.and also i was just thinking how i wrote that whole dont send me a rejection thingy i guess you can ill get over it.well ok im rambeling now so bye

On 05/14/2008 04:47 pm EDT, Andre wrote:
so yea hey funny bumping into you here again.hehe lame i know.but um i just wanted to say hi.....so hi

[OK. I admit, I'm an asshole for encouraging him by sending an email. I'm going to hell]
from V Bellamy
to bad_b_friend@yahoo.com
date Wed, May 14, 2008 at 5:52 PM
subject yahoo
I don't know if this is your email or not, but I'm not a paid member and I don't have yahoo messenger thingy.
So yeah. hi.
What kind of music do you like? Favorite bands? Favorite movies? Favorite books?
Basics, y'know

On 05/15/2008 01:18 pm EDT, Andre wrote:
hey i think you wrote my email cause your really the only girl iv wrote enough to get that far.sorry if im seeming so weird its just hard to try and be normal on here.but i think your a cutie and i hope we can get past this aukward(how do you spell that) part and at least maybe be friends.so yea write back please and ill try and be normal

from jon holmes
to V Bellamy
date Thu, May 15, 2008 at 1:03 PM
subject Re: yahoo
um hi im trying to think of who you are i only sent a
few emails out but you know.anyway iv sort of been a
bore lately but i like to like random
shows,skateboard.i dont know normal stuff i
guess.music goes alot of difrent ways for me but id
say my fav is like emo type stuff,alkiline trio used
to be my fav but im not sure anymore but saves the
day, the anniversery,i cant think right now i really
want to figure out who you are.tell me your head line
on your profile please then ill be able to think
better(i hope).ok hopefully you write back i must seem
like a total flake.bye

from jon holmes
to V Bellamy
date Thu, May 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM
subject Re: yahoo
hey are you the cutie with the lip ring.

from jon holmes
to V Bellamy
date Thu, May 15, 2008 at 8:07 PM
subject Re: yahoo
so hey i guess i messed up again.i was wondering if
maybe you could give me a few pointers on how to some
off less unapealing or whatever it is that im doing
wrong.iv been trying this yahoo thing for like a year
now and your really the first girl who even wrote
back.funny i guess.guess what else i never was a paid
member till i say your profile.i was so sure we would
click(that is if im even writeing who i think i am
that would be even more pathetic)but for real i dont
mean to come off so werid and stuff but im am in this
like super needy place,and thats whats wrong im sure
but hell i dont even know.so here i am super physco
writeing you and i am sorry(a little only cause i mean
heck this is it anyway)so anyway how weird huh,oh and
as you probley know anyway im from detroit so dont go
marking all florida guys as weird they are mostly
dicks though i can tell you that.ok and on the chance
i didnt blow it yet i thought of my fav movie,repo man
or raiseing arizona or the big lebowski welll i could
go on and on.so hey how bout maybe writeing back and
letting me down easy please not one of the courtsey
replys the hav on the personals i hate those thing fer
real please.or you could even decide we can keep
writeing that would be cool too(again thats even if
this is the right girl).ok well im done i guess.bye


2 Horrid Weeks!

I can't believe the LOST season finale is 2 weeks from tonight!! This means no LOST next week! I had 2 dreams with characters from the show this week. What's going to happen in the coming weeks?? I'm going to go crazy. .:GAH:.

So on a lighter note, I got a call the other day offering me a few more days of work at the studio. It's awesome. Maybe I'll have enough money to fix my car and drive back to Wisconsin to get my stuff! Possibly. But either way, I will now have rent for June 1st. It's been a while since I've had to pay rent. Makes me feel like a real human again ;)

I had the realization yesterday that I live in Tampa now, and I got excited. Christina and I were driving to Goodwill and I was looking at the water and thinking about my new apartment (Melanie sent me to look at a couch that was posted on Craigslist - we have a new couch and love seat now!)... I got all excited about being able to ride my bike over the Gandy bridge and along the Bay Shore sidewalk. Letting the fact that I never have to shovel my car out of the snow again sink in... I'm very excited. I like Tampa. It's very different. Nothing like Milwaukee or the midwest. But it's nice. There's a bit of a north-shore feel to the area (which I'm not all that fond of) but I haven't yet felt unsafe since I've been here. I'm even getting used to the heat.

Things started to change when I finally took my bike out the other night. Riding around the inlets near where Mel's parents live made me feel comfortable. It was warm and the air smelled of magnolia - amazingly sweet. I rode out to this point that overlooks the bay and I found myself tearing up. It wasn't a sad cry (even though Snow Patrol "Run" was playing on my iPod); it was more of a settling cry of relief and acceptance. I've had a great deal of change in the last year. It's all turned out exactly the way it was meant to turn out, but change is still difficult. I miss people. I get sad when I think about what things "could have been." But things aren't that way. And I know I tried as hard as I could to salvage and mend what was mine to salvage and mend. I wasn't the only one who worked at it.
Still, it's bittersweet. I am, however, happy at the moment. I've had an absolutely fabulous 2 months getting to know myself again. I've seen some great friends, and made some new ones. I'm definitely not done with my journey - just taking some time here to get to know myself in a new environment.

That being said, I went out a couple more times. Interesting. I think I may have an internet stalker (serves me right!) Tonight I had a lot of fun. I almost didn't go out... I was super exhausted after work and needed to shower. I just wanted to take a nap and watch LOST, but when this boy called, something in his voice made me change my mind. So I met up with him at Panera. He was really sweet and I would love to go into detail, but all I need to say is that I had a good time and I'm looking forward to seeing him again. :)

Now it's just gone midnight and I'm going to sleep so I can get up and iron sheets all day tomorrow. haha! Funny enough, I really like what I'm doing. It's very calming; almost zen-like. But I think I mentioned that once before. Oh yeah, wish me luck - I go into Vinyl Fever tomorrow with my resume. The owner is out of town until Sunday, but a couple of the employees said they would make sure my resume is the first thing he sees once he returns. Apparently I've got good timing.

That's all from the Sunshine State. How's the weather in Milwaukee? do you have leaves on the trees yet??


Day 60

Well, it appears my traveling adventures will be put on hold for a bit. Melanie and I got an apartment in South Tampa today. We are able to move in on May 23rd. Shocking? Yes. But not really. My car died again. I have no money left. No matter where in the country I could be, I would have to stay and work a while to save up for another leg of my journey (and pay off my father, as well as fix my car (or buy a new one)). So Tampa is as good a place as any.

Thankfully I'm feeling comfortable here. I've made some friends. It's great to be with Mel, and Danelle is not far away. The job will pick up in a little bit, and until that happens I will just put in applications for retail work to fill my time.

Email me if you would like the new address... I'm not going to make that public since it's not just me that will be living there :)


Night Driving

How did I let so much time pass without blogging??
Wow, I've been really busy. It's nice to have things to do again! Thursday and Friday I worked again. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting more work now that they know how diligently I get things done. Melanie told me not to worry about it either way, and that I should just stick around here. She promised not to let me go hungry.

Thursday night I went on the first date I've had in 6 years. Pretty random. I really don't know how to date. It sucks to have to learn at 28 years old. I have a problem with discretion. I tend to vomit my life story on the table and wait for people to either run away screaming, or say it's not all that bad and they can handle my neuroses. Yeah. Not such a good idea. Holding my tongue is hard to do when you are impatient. I want to speed things up and already know someone without the time it actually takes to get to know them. This is something I've always had a problem with (think back to how you met me - I bet we were instant friends)...
So yeah, date was alright. But of course I haven't heard from him again. It's alright. I wasn't super interested. He would make a cool friend, though. He reminded me of my friend Gus back home.

Friday night I had an amazing time with Amanda and Christina. They are my two new BFFs. Christina is obsessed with music like I am. Amanda will listen to anything we tell her to. hehe. Friday night we were bonding by talking about boys and relationships and our growing pains and then Christina went to drop me off at home when Radiohead's "Lucky" came on her mix cd. We all sat in the driveway with the music blaring and singing. I mentioned that driving around at night listening to music was my favorite thing to do, and both of them said the same. So we decided to drive. They took me down Bay Shore (which is apparently the world's longest sidewalk) and out to Davis Island. We got to the end and I really needed to pee. I was prepared to just pee in the road, but magically at the end of the road outside the yacht club at the tip of Davis Island a port-o-potty appeared! "Super Sweet!" is what Christina called it. So I used the scary plastic toilet in the dark in Florida where god-knows-what is crawling around everywhere (let me tell you about the bugs I've seen already *shivers with the creeps*)...

We drove back and although I was exhausted, I stayed up until 4am making a mix cd to drive around to. I set my alarm for 11:30am to do it all again. C and A came to pick me up at noon and we went thrift store shopping. Found a Roxy belt for $0.99 which was pretty cool. But otherwise I was not much in the mood for clothes shopping.
We came back and Mel had planned a little dinner party. Nicole cooked this amazing chicken and rice dinner and a few other people that I hadn't met before joined us. We really didn't do much yesterday, but somehow we ended up hanging out until 4am. I like my new friends :)
It's nice to find people to relate to right away in this strange place. I now am going to get showered and do it all again. It's sort of a bittersweet day for all three of us. None of us can be with our mothers, for all different circumstances. But we hope they all know they are in our hearts.

Thanks for reading!


Back to the Grind

I started my job today. I was super nervous because I had never even set foot in the building before. I didn't know anyone, and could barely remember the name of who I was supposed to meet up with. I didn't even really know what I would be doing.
Although awkward, it turned out well. I got the hang of pressing sheets quickly (I've only prepped for fashion before, never linens) and fell into a zone where I wanted there to be more so I could focus on the meditative quality of smoothing out wrinkles and perfecting something in physical form.
I will really enjoy this.

Unfortunately I received some bad news. The woman who I am supposed to be replacing is staying on for the entire shoot next week, and for the catalog in June. This means the that after this insignificant 2 1/2 day stint, I won't have any more work until June 16th. This is a huge problem, as I have $8 in my checking account and no cash left. It's times like these that I get nervous trusting that the Universe will provide.

I've been down for the past two days. I miss my friends and it's proving difficult to make new friends with similar interests here in Tampa. It's nice to have Danelle, Melanie and Amanda around, however they are all very busy. I had met a nice boy and was excited to have alot of things in common with him. I bought Radiohead tickets thinking he would want to join me, but was dead wrong. I was so bummed about being "stood up" that I sold the tickets to Amanda and then went shopping for stupid shorts instead (which I found at Target, btw - I had to try on several of the same style shorts in the same printed size because apparently the number stitched into the tag no longer has anything to do with the actual width of the waist).
I met up with this girl Christina at Starbucks after making my purchase, trying desperately to not think of how disappointed I was and not allow myself to feel rejected. This is when Amanda called from the show.

The sound I heard over the line at first was muffled and unrecognizable. But then those soaring angelic vocals of Mr Yorke pierced my ears and prickled every hair on my body. I stood up from the table I was sitting at with Christina and some others and walked immediately to a quiet area near the parking lot. I was amazed at how clear the music was. They broke into "Everything in it's Right Place" and I started to cry. I sat mesmerized by this cellular concert and remembered that I was actually out to be social. I hurried over to Christina to apologize but said I was going to stay on the phone to listen to the rest of the show. I grabbed my bag and headed to the car. Song after song I kept pressed to my ear, tingling with every swoop of Tom's soaring falsetto. Just as I pulled up to park the car at home, Amanda's phone cut out. I pried the phone off my sweaty ear to see a call time of 40 minutes. Tinnitus set in, just as if I had actually been there. I sent Amanda a thank you text, and she called me back shouting into the phone "My phone is dying - listen!!" It was the very beginning of the amazing climax of "Exit Music (for a Film)," my absolute favorite Radiohead song. I had heard the haunting lyrics "You can laugh/A spineless laugh/We hope your rules and wisdom choke you/Now we are one/In everlasting peace" and then the phone cut out for good. I sat frozen on my bed covered in goosebumps and gaping. I could have shot myself for selling those fucking tickets. I had rationalized it by saying "oh I've seen Radiohead in England, I don't need to see them again" when really I knew it was poised to be a spiritual experience and I didn't deserve it.

So not only am I feeling bummed about the boy, I'm regretting not going to the show and terrified that I'm not going to have any money now that I will be without work for another month. How trying this living life as it comes thing is!
One thing for sure, I'm glad Amanda and her friend Claire were allowed to experience such a beautiful thing last night. At least I can take solace in that.

Scribbles for nibbles ;)


Settling In

I got to Tampa at 9pm on Saturday. Melanie helped me unload my car and drag my stuff into my new temporary bedroom. We sat up and talked about tons of things for quite a while. It is really good to see her and to have a friend that I've known for years around.

Woke up late on Sunday and half-planned my day. We went to Target. I have absolutely nothing to wear in the godawful Florida weather. I spent $125 on light clothing - a skirt, sundress, sandals and some tanks - clothing that I would usually scoff at in Wisconsin. Can you actually see me in a sundress??? Well, to be fair, it is black. :)

I will be sending the heavy t-shirts and winter clothes back to Wisconsin. I wish I had things worth selling. I really need the money now. Good thing I start work on Wednesday!

Later in the evening I cooked for Melanie and Amanda. It was so awesome to have fresh veggies again. I made red peppers and zucchini, broccoli and carrots... chili lime chicken and rice. There were two problems. The first was that there were only pots, no pans. Cooking chicken and stir frying vegetables doesn't work so well in pots. The second is that Melanie's parents don't cook, so the stove never gets used. I put the rice on the back burner, and it started smoking immediately. I waved the smoke away and thought it was probably something left on the burner from ages ago. After a while, I realized the smoke was getting worse. Amanda and I pulled the pot from the stove and saw that the entire bottom of the pot had been burning. I still don't quite understand how this happened. The pot itself had turned black on the bottom (outside!) and the rice was stuck to it - even though there was still some water left. hmmm...
Amanda, the trouper that she is, went out and got some minute rice and we settled for that.

Today I went to see Danelle and Jacek and little Adam. He is so big since I saw him in December. Danelle tells him I'm Auntie Vega. How funny. He laughed when I stuck my tongue out at him covered in the chocolate cookie that Danelle gave me. I bought him some Cookie Monster socks when I was at Target. I am determined to start his obsession with cool socks early. :)

I also spent some time finding a Forever 21 and Old Navy store so I could finish my new southern wardrobe. I was unsuccessful in my endeavors. Actually, I found another cute sundress - this one's not black. But I have been unable to find suitable shorts. That's the worst part is having to wear jeans and getting sweaty and them sticking to my legs. Yuck. I don't know where to find shorts. I won't wear those stupid girly short shorts. I like them to be knee length. Skater shorts, but not so baggy. It's impossible.

I'm pretty nervous about starting work on Wednesday. Keep me in your thoughts so I don't screw up!

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Georgia is a Black Hole

I left David's house at 11am on Friday morning. I stopped at Cracker Barrel for some yummy breakfast and then headed out to Florida. According to mapquest, the drive to Gainesville should take 5 hours from Charleston. I was super exhausted from not sleeping much (the neighbor's dog was barking consistently through the night). It seemed like I was driving for forever. I pulled off at a rest stop in Georgia and that's when I noticed my completely toasted arm! My body is freaking out because this isn't supposed to happen until at least June.  :)

I fell asleep at the rest stop for about half an hour. I decided I had better get going so I could make it to Saara's on time. So I started driving again. It felt like I couldn't get out of Georgia. I was driving and driving and driving and driving...

I finally arrived in Gainesville at around 7:30pm. How it took me 8 1/2 hours, I'll never know. There was construction on all the major highways, but that shouldn't have tacked 3 1/2 hours onto my trip. The only explanation I have is that there is a black hole somewhere on I-95 in Georgia. I'm convinced.

It was great to see Saara. She looks well and is happy. Her fiancee, Eric, is very nice. They took me for pizza and ice cream and then we went back to sleep. It was then that I realized I'm completely unprepared for Florida weather. I was so hot in my regular pajamas that I had a tough time sleeping. BOO!!

The next morning, Saara and Eric took me to breakfast at this local restaurant called The Jones. It was really good. If you're ever in Gainesville, check it out. We stopped randomly at this estate sale and I found a cute little lion beanie baby *yay* 
We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around Saara's apartment watching Ocean's Eleven and the X-Files movie and napping on the couch. I'm so glad I'll be less than 2 hours away from her. 

ps I'll post pictures when I figure out how to hook up my camera to this mac.


Oceanic Dinner

Okay, so I had to include some LOST reference in the blog (even if it is only the title). Again, why do I watch this show every week???

Today was pleasant. I laid out in David's back yard for a bit trying to prepare my overly white skin for Florida exposure. I got so sweaty and uncomfortable that I gave up after 45 minutes and came inside to take a shower. I read for a long while and then took a nap (because I could). It was relaxing and pleasant. Once David got home from work he was gushing about what a beautiful day it was. He asked what I did and I told him that I tried laying out but it was too hot for me. This is when he changed his tune and told me I was going to hate Florida. I know this. I've been telling him all along. Everyone says I will get used to the heat, but I really don't believe it. Part of me hopes something else comes up - that someone somewhere else offers me a job - because I don't have any desire to be in Tampa during the summer. But as this was the only thing that has been offered, I pretty much have no choice at the moment... Gotta go where the Universe directs me.

That being said, I got the urge to drive to the beach. I stopped at Whole Foods and bought myself a salad and some oranges. I found my way to Folly Beach. The county park was already closed by the time I got there, so I parked in a public access beach lot and took my salad to the coast. The sign entering Folly said "Edge of America" and I couldn't help but repeat that in my mind as each wave lolled up onto the sand. It is so weird to think that James and I were separated by this body of water for so long. And now we are separated by much more than land. I had a million other trails of thought carving their way through my mind as I sat on a log facing the beach. Like the billions of tiny shells that wash up on the shore - not even the ones that people pick up and collect - but the ones that are the size of a pea. Those all belonged to living creatures that are long deceased. So much life; so much death. So much that we never even pay attention to because it doesn't effect us directly.

I began my recurring daydream of who we are as I was sitting there. Every few years I revisit this idea with a different understanding of who "I" am. I think I may have posted about this earlier in the blog. After selling all my things and leaving my friends and family, I had to re-evaluate who "I" was. I was not my job, because I've not got one. I was not my stuff; my talents or my abilities. So what's left but experience? If I am a culmination of my own experiences, then how would I exist without outside influence? If someone was devoid of all senses, and had no physical experiences, what is it in them that thinks and feels? The soul? The Mind? God? Nothing? But that's the whole thing is that we cannot exist without outside influence. Even the food we eat influences us; shapes us. Yeah, this is a normal evening inside my brain. Glad you joined me for a bit.