Moving on Up to the East Coast

At the beginning of this year, I though I was going to be moving with my husband and cats into a camper and tramping around the country while my Don Quixote chased his windmills. Well, C. is Don Quixote no more, and at least for this year is working with battery cells and some solar power. I can’t think of a book or play involving these alternative energy sources, so he’s also lost his little nickname for the time being. Anyway, so yes, I dropped out of grad school and quit my beloved G.A. position to go on the road with my husband and then… my husband and I both ended up sitting around our small Louisiana town for at least two months before he even went back to work. And when he did, it was 2 week trips and he came home way more frequently than he ever had in our four years together. Basically, his job completely changed and the plans we made just didn’t work anymore with two week turn-arounds and a month or more between jobs.

At first, I was just kind of bummed about being stuck with no job or school in Thibodaux all the time. This town has no outdoor activities (hiking, lakes, good trails, batting cages- anything!), no movie theater, no bookstore, etc. etc. it’s a total void as far as I’m concerned. There are bars, a couple of chain restaurants, a Walmart and many gas station casinos and daquiri shops.
Those being my entertainment options, and trust me I have scoured the internet and bugged the locals for four years, those really are the options, I mostly left the house only to grocery shop or vacation far far away. Which kind of gave me an idea… the idea being to move far far away, back to a place like those I lived in before moving down here, but warmer. It needed to be near the ocean, have actual hills, be more centrally located so that C. could drive more and fly less, be closer to most of our family, and not too big of a city or with too high a cost of living. I worked on C. for quite a while and he finally agreed that it was only fair that we live somewhere that I chose for a while, since with his job we can live anywhere and I lived in Thibodaux for 4 years despite pretty much absolutely freaking hating it. I chose Hampton Roads and let C. have the last word on which city we would live in and he chose our fabulous apartment as well. These concessions worked out fine by me because he chose Hampton, VA which is on the Chesapeake bay about 45 minutes from VA Beach. He was looking for a smaller city with more reasonable rent and I was looking for the ocean, sidewalks on roads so that I could once again walk everywhere as I so love (and need!) to do, and actual entertainment/food/outdoorsy options. We found our perfect compromise, at least my optimistic heart is telling me this, and are all set to move in on August 8th.

I actually meant to write a tiny little post about how I thought my life was going to be all gypsy-on-the-road and instead its all medium-sized-city-with-a-beach in an apartment with free yoga. So, yeah with C.’s job it is really hard to make any plans, as we once again learned, but I think this change of plans, this rolling with the punches and punching back all the way to the beach thing is going to be a very very good thing. I can’t wait and I expect to make a lot more healthy lifestyle choices in VA since it’s way more feasible and fun when there are outdoor options. I’m thinking running, paddleboarding and yoga are going to be much better hobbies than netflix, hulu plus and amazon prime (those are still going to be in rotation, just much lighter rotation). Oh yeah and I want a weekend job. So many plans. I’ll definitely be posting more when we move, probably less text-heavy than this huge entry where I spilled all of the thoughts and details. Signing off now…

One last night in New Orleans

C. and I decided to spend one last day and night in New Orleans before we move 1300ish miles away. I had to drop him off at the airport for an emergency work trip to Tokyo (because his life is way more exciting than mine!). There were pretty heavy thunderstorms but we braved the rain and checked out the art in Jackson Square since some vendors were still there despite the weather. We ate delicious appetizers for lunch (I finally tried fried green tomatoes- they were so good!!) and ate dinner at my favorite restaurant ever- The Palace Cafe. We were back in our room at the Westin by 8, watching tv and ordering room service before an early bed time
since he had to leave at 5 am.






The pictures of New Orleans are all from the rooftop pool on the 29th floor except the food and the night shot from our 19th floor window. It was a sweet and wholesome goodbye to a not all that wholesome city.

The Done-it List

I was thinking about bucket lists today and how they are a list of things that you want to do that you likely will have to wait a while to do and, of course, haven’t done yet. That’s fine, I like a good bucket list, I’ve made a few myself (and lost them in the approximately 25 notebooks and journals I’ve kept over the years, okay 40 is more likely). But, they’re so damn aspirational and they take time and money and other things that are hard to come by and it’s really kind of depressing sometimes to sit down and make a bucket list when you obviously want to do and go just about everywhere, so instead of compiling a bucket list, I decided a really great way to take stock of what I’ve done in my life that has enriched me and given me those moments of feeling like I’m living the dream would be to make a sort of bucket list of things I’ve done that I’m grateful for, or am happy I did, or were previous goals reached, etc. A done-it list. Because while I have many dreams, it’s good sometimes to sit back and realize how much you have been able to do. So, mine is here, but I’d love to hear about yours in the comments, or in your own blog.

1. Got my bachelor’s degree (my one-time bucket list said “get my bachelor’s degree”, we”re using parallel structure here :) )

2. Parasailed in the Mediterrannean

3. Visited Paris & Nice, France

4. Stayed in a hostel

5. Lived in a state other than the one in which I was raised

6. Got married (I kind of never thought this would happen, I used to envision myself living in a custom-built one-room cottage because I’m strange)

7. Took myself on mini-vacations to California (Bay Area), New Orleans (before I knew I’d end up moving nearby), New York City and Boston.

8. Got a 4.0 in college and grad school (not overall, for 3 semesters)

9. Stayed close to my brother despite living far away and not having the closest family overall

10. Went to Puerto Rico (and now I want to go back every year, forever.)

11. Was published in a national literary journal

12. Made friends as an adult (I thought this was impossible)

13. Was an extra in the movies (this gig actually sucks, according to me. The people who want to be actors are way more into it)

14. Got tattoos

15. Went through that stage where you get your tongue pierced (twice) and immediately remove it. And nose (3x). And just lived out the rebellious first-time-on-my own stage until it was nearly immediately squashed because jobs didn’t allow those things.

16. Went horseback riding in Texas!

17. Tried non-hallucinogenic absinthe

18. Saw Incubus, Bright Eyes and Maroon5 live

I don’t know, I’m sure there’s more, but that’s a pretty good starting list of things that were once goals and now are memories/reality. It’s funny because as I wrote it I kept thinking that it sounded like bragging, and it was meant more as gratitude. I think maybe that’s an odd glitch, how it’s okay to talk about what you want to do, but it’s not okay to talk about what you have done. I say poo poo on that because we have this one life and we should be allowed to revel in it*.

*unless you believe in reincarnation, in which case, stop bragging. I kid.

I’ll probably follow this up with a bucket list at some point, but this seemed like a way to eventually make a bucket list without feeling like an unaccomplished slouch who, at 28, is just beginning a bucket list because nothing has been done yet. That’s just too one-sided. I enjoy a bucket-list/done-it list pairing. Anyway, I’m beginning to ramble, so I’ll call it quits now :)

BLEACH ( next step- more purple)

Brassy brass brass

Guys, I have way too much time on my hands and not nearly enough healthy or productive things to do with it, *at the moment*. These things will soon change as we move to Virginia, I get a weekend job (I hope just weekends) and have plentiful outdoor activities. In the meantime, I’m bleaching the absolute crap out of only somewhat select parts of my hair. Again. But more this time. Because why not, because who cares, really? Because I won’t be interviewing for grad school for a long time and I’ve never had this much freedom before. I just realized that I plan to substitute teach and maybe they won’t like nutso hair? I feel like a classy up-do can fix some of that.

I’m really psyched that the area of Chesapeake Bay (near Buckroe Beach) we’re moving to is super great for stand-up paddleboarding since mine can finally come out of it’s carrying case and get LOTS of use. Also: the ocean. The end.

Anyway, I’ll edit this post with pictures when I’m done, even if it’s awful.

Cooking and Wine

imageimageToday I indulged in one of my favorite (and most wholesome) new-ish hobbies and spent the afternoon with a glass of white wine, chopping, mixing, and simmering up a big pot of chili. It was even more fun because I used the stove, not the crockpot, therefore it was more involved and hands-on than some of the things I cook. I made a vegan 4-bean chili I found on another wordpress site, I made one subsitition, using shallots instead of garlic (but still in addition to the onion). It was quite easy and I tasted it and it tastes delicious. I got cheese and sour cream for C. so for him it will be vegetarian and for me, vegan.
I’ve actually been having a really hard time being vegan with all the travelling I do, so at home I’ve been vegan, but when travelling I’ve been pescatarian but still avoiding anything with eggs. I’m going to have to figure out a way to be my version of vegan (I’ve allowed fish if it’s not farmed, but fresh-caught)… I don’t really call it veganism unless I’m looking for recipes because I know I’m not properly vegan, but it’s the easiest way to order/find things with no milk, eggs, dairy derivatives, etc.

I’m also making a homemade vinaigrette with olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper to go with my spring salad.

Anyway, I’ve had a good time drinking white wine spritzers and cooking this afternoon. I just got back from the trans health conference in Philadelphia on Sunday and I will be posting about that, as well as our upcoming move to Hampton, VA, soon! The move has given me a lot of opportunity to research things on the internet which is another “hobby” of mine, just ask C. I’m driving him mad.


A historically fascinating photography exhibit

The following are pictures of photographs on display at the Onandaga Historical Association in downtown Syracuse. The exhibit was of George N. Bernard’s photography, spanning decades and much of the United States and Cuba. Included are photos of the pre-and-post civil war south, the great chicago fire, Niagara Falls completely frozen andSyracuse back in the day.















Syracuse, NY: Dave and Buster’s/Mall Edition


It’s been a dream of mine for the last 3 years to go to Dave and Buster’s. It sounds silly, but as soon as I heard that there was such thing as an adult version of Chuckie Cheese, I was SOLD. So, of course while visiting my brother in the ‘Cuse, I had to hit up this magical land of skeeball (the only game I anticipated being excited about because I was born loving skeeball) and a ton of other, trendier, games.

M grabbed a beer, I grabbed a prosecco and we were off, playing a ton of games on our $30 worth of credits because we waited to go until half-price wednesday. All of the games cost half what they normally did, which I can verify because I scoped D&B’s out ahead of time, which meant that we got over 2 hours of play AND played the crazy games that normally cost too much to play. Our favorites were skeeball, the fake beer pong game, one where you throw balls to knock the clowns over (reminiscent of a carnival game) and even the game where you drop a coin to make others fall of the edge. We raced motorcycles, played Simpsons soccer, threw footballs (failing horribly) and I died while playing Dance Dance Revolution.

At the end I turned my tickets (1,566!) in for the “like” coffee mug, fun dip, nerds rope and a fake Rubik’s cube. The photo of the racetrack is from the mall as well- there’s a HUGE racetrack in the mall where the go-karts 35 mph winding through an indoor track. The fact that this even fits in a mall already loaded up with huge arcades, bowling alleys, an Imax theatre and a regular 17 screen theater just blows my mind. Apparently, the mall in Syracuse is the 6th biggest mall in America and after spending some time there, I definitely believe that… it has an indoor ropes and walkway course spanning the atrium in the 2nd and 3rd levels where kids are harnessed in and basically tightrope around amongst the rafters. Even without shopping, you could while away hours upon hours at this mall. They even provide parking and charging for your electric cars, which make sense because you could plug it in while on a roadtrip, then go eat or play in the mall for an hour or two. I can’t sum up how great this mall is, but I give it two thumbs up!

Huge Lifestyle Changes

Since moving to Louisiana, I’ve been living in a way that is not in line with my beliefs. Before moving, I was a vegetarian (who also didn’t eat anything with eggs) and was decent about recycling. For the last four years, I’ve fallen too deeply into the attitude down here, or at least, I’ve lived by it. Recycling is made impossible because it is just not done here, so to find a center is difficult and they still don’t take everything. It’s not like in my hometown in maine where we were issued, or could rent, recycling bins and they would be picked up once a week, filled with things ready to be repurposed. Here, there isn’t even bottle or can redemption, so that really compounds the issue. Not only is recycling in general very difficult here, but even our bottles and cans are added to our bulging trashbags and landfills.

For almost 4 years now, I’ve felt guilty about this lack of recycling, what I’m doing to the earth, but also for eating meat and, in so doing, encouraging the mistreatment of animals. These animals live and die horribly, cruelty free is not what we would consider cruelty free if it were being done to humans or dogs or cats, and really, it’s impossible in a small town to even find much better than organic. Organic around here is generally better for human consumption, but doesn’t mean much for the animals. Anyway, with that line of thinking, i returned to my old vegetarian ways last week, but my conscience has still been wagging it’s fingers at me, urging me to stop denying what I know is true: by consuming dairy products, I’m encouraging the same kind of treatment of animals that I’m trying to avoid through vegetarianism. If I am going to live my beliefs, being a vegetarian simply doesn’t cut it. The animals in the dairy industry have lives just as rough as those in the meat industry, and the dairy industry actually feeds the meat industry with the calves yanked quickly away from teh endlessly impregnated mother cows and those same mother cows once they’ve been exhausted, usually at only 5 years old. I know that a lot of people will think this is propaganda, and in a way I guess that’s true, but I wanted to write about how I came to my decision, why I didn’t feel that I could continue voting with my dollars for industries that do things that I can’t stand to think about. If I have to avoid the truth in order to continue eating meat or dairy products, then I honestly shouldn’t be doing it. That means that I know it’s wrong and I don’t want to bury my head in the sand anymore That’s why I don’t mind if this is considered propaganda… the people who say that are just like me, trying to avoid the uncomfortable truth of what their diets cost animals.

And, the recycling thing, well I’m going to start that today, even if I have to drive 30 miles once a week to drop it off. Laziness is no excuse to mindlessly pollute the planet, especially since, even when we recycle, we still produce a lot of waste. And what do I have to be lazy about?! I don’t even have a job, I am a housewife with all the time in the world to cut down my negative effect on the planet.

Basically, I’ve accidentally, and through following what my gut has been trying to tell me for years, gone full hippie. And that’s a decision that I’m very comfortable with.