Category Archives: Antics

Prompt: Unexpected Night

Standard

Sometimes, when I’m in a writing slump (which lately, is always), I allow Twitter to feed me prompts. There are an astounding number of tweeps whose sole tweet purpose is to motivate others to write. It’s pretty great. So here goes: an unexpected night.

Mystique-as-a-child-teen-and-adult

Blue paint was creeping into my nostrils and caking around every crease of my lips but I was two drinks down and feeling anything but blue. I guess I can be more specific—it wasn’t blue paint exactly, that was curdling around my eyebrows—it was (unfortunately) more like periwinkle. Luckily, I had a BLUE long-sleeved t-shirt, BLUE shorts, and BLUE tights to combat any confusion: I was blue (even if my face was periwinkle). A long, RED (orange-red, if I’m being honest) wig draped itself around my splotchy neck and YELLOW (definite on this one) cat-eye contacts continued to rotate creepily since I was wearing them over my regular contacts.

In other words, I was a bit of a mess. The paint wasn’t spreading onto my skin very evenly, in fact, it was being downright exasperating. I had chunks on one side of my face that were thick and wet, spots on the other side that were thin and dry, flecks in strands of my hair (real and wig), flecks everywhere else within a 10-foot radius… I looked like something out of a budget Smurf production. An elementary school’s Spring performance. An understudy for a second-grade Smurfette.

Luckily, I didn’t give a damn. Amazing friends, Halloween excitement, and vodka do wonderful things to a mind, body, and soul. I hopped around my living room in my beige canvas slip-ons (apparently I don’t own blue shoes), sipping and laughing and unknowingly splattering a few paint specks on couch pillows and the likes.

“Girrrrrl, you are BLUE!” Anne giggled in her goddess dress and I eyed her (cat-eyed her) jealously. She looked like a goddess, with or without the costume. Giant green eyes, dark hair, olive skin, white dress, curves for days—she was straight out of a Greek myth.

“Do I even look like Mystique, though? Or do I just look like a blue girl?” Mystique has been an idol of sorts for years. First of all, holy hell she’s smokin’ hot. Secondly, she kicks ass. Third, she can literally be ANYONE she wants to be. I’d thought about buying a latex suit to look more like her—I mean, let’s face it, clothes really aren’t her thing. But um, tummy pudge is also not her thing, so yeah, I decided on the t-shirt-shorts-tights.

“Yes, you really do. You really, really do!” I knew she was lying, but in a lovely, daughter of Zeus kind of way.

“It’s actually creeping me out,” Jennifer the 80’s rocker chick chimed in. I was surrounded by such happy, “fluffy” costumes. Athena, the Molly Ringwald-esque punkstress, Tara was Rainbow Brite, and Sandra was a cute pirate. I stood out, obviously. I looked pretty evil, but like I said, Smurfette. So a Smurfette gone bad.

We eventually shuffled into a taxi and met up with a few more friends on Rainey Street. Here’s where I cut to the chase. Fill in the holes with (what else) drinking. There was lots of that. Also, random guys shouting out things like, “Ohhh, I get it! AVATAR!!!” and “Genie chick, cooooool.” To the bro’ who guessed that I was Beetlejuice: You. Are. An. Idiot.

—– cut>>>>chase:

Two pedi-cabs and lots of walking later, we drunkenly made it to our final destination: Gypsy Bar on East 6th to see our friend Brian’s band play.

Here’s where it’s important to know a couple things about me and alcohol.

  1. I’m pretty good at it.
  2. I get suuuuuper ballsy and confident and seductive sometimes (i.e. when I see something I want).

Also, I’d told Anne earlier in the night, “I’m gonna make out with someone tonight, OK? That’s the goal. You in?” And she was in, SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO EXECUTE THIS PLAN WITH ME. However, the goddess, Molly, Rainbow, and One Eye watched as I, and I alone, smoothly decided to yell at a stranger, “WHY aren’t you wearing a costume?! How lame! It’s HALLOWEEN, HELLO!”

Super sexy, amiright? Paired with my crusty paint job and rotating, wompy contacts, I was basically a catch. Did I mention that my skin was starting to itch underneath all that periwinkle? Downright foxy.

Look: he had dimples and he was really tall and someone obviously needed to yell at him for not wearing a costume (that’s just dumb…why even go out?).

Even closer: goddamn he was really tall and he had a random sprinkling of freckles and gray hairs and his eyes were kind of caramel in the light and he immediately matched my bluntness with, “Well, at least my paint isn’t weirdly coming off. And your contacts are all kinds of crooked too.”

Barely a breath between us: “Well then here.” I pulled the cheap tube of paint out of my purse—it was almost the only item in there. “And while you’re at it, go ahead and rotate my contacts for me please.” I leaned up towards his stubbly chin and opened my eyes wide, not allowing him to hesitate, my lips pursed in amusement.

All of our friends had vanished by this point, leaving us in a strange bubble we’d created within minutes. This is apparently the point in which I tell a stranger everything about me: teaching, my novel, moving from Hawaii…I don’t even know what else I told him, I just know that we were locked in conversation and we’d moved to a picnic table and it was ten minutes ‘til the bar closed.

“I really want to kiss you but you’re going to get blue paint all over your face.”

Yeah. That came out of my mouth.

He must’ve said he didn’t care or he might’ve not said anything at all, but as people shuffled out of the back gate and the lights were being shut off, Mystique made out with the costumeless man with two last names. He looked like he’d been periwinkle-pied. I giggled and tried to wipe it off of his lips. He asked for my number. I gave it to him, scampered off, and expected to never hear from him again.

Five months later and my friends still affectionately call him “Blue Man Group,” but usually just behind his back.

Sometimes it’s not a terrible idea to paint yourself periwinkle, take a few shots, and yell at a stranger.

When is it OK to do NOTHING?

Standard

Feeling superrrrr unproductive lately. As in…I’m FORCING myself to write this blog post simply to feel that relief of “Yay, I checked ‘blogging’ off the list!” It’s bad, y’all.

My next novel, my lovely WIP, is sitting at the saddest ONE chapter halt, just eyeing me with pure hate, daring me to wait another week and then another and then another…

In fact, I actually did my taxes in order to avoid writing. Gross.

I’ve been traipsing around Austin like some sort of Hilton brat…pretending I have loads of cash to throw away on mimosas and sushi. This past weekend, I laid in Zilker Park with the boy and let dogs come up to lick my face—when I could’ve been writing. We went to a freakin’ improv show that was downright terrible—when I could’ve been writing. I went to brunch TWICE. I even took a damn nap. I hate naps. I could’ve been writing.

Decided: Happiness gets in the way of getting shit done. And I think that’s OK?

I typed my first novel so furiously, post-break-up. I was like, “I hate you, I HATE YOU, I hate me, typetypetype, BOOM- NOVEL! WHAT NOW, BITCH?”

When you’re super happy, you’re usually also super busy…with, ya’ know, happy-life-things like kissing and snuggling and park-lounging. And then WHOA before you know it, another weekend has flown by in a whirlwind of pancakes and sunshine. Your gut is kinda like, “Um, excuse me, ma’am, remember when you used to go to the gym and WRITE and schedule haircuts and WRITE and read and WRITE and stuff…?”

Heart: stfu I’m having fun.

Head: Don’t worry, I’m sure things will get crappy soon and then we’ll have all the time in the world, like we used to.

Heart: BUT WHAT IF WE’RE HAPPY FOREVER?

Head: lolz

Gut: omg you’re both so effing annoying. We’ll find a balance, chill.

Life gets crazy. Busy as hell (seriously though, taxes? Who thought of that, the Brits? Didn’t we gain our independence?) and superrrrrr happy-insane sometimes. It’s OK to do nothing for a while, especially if you’re like me and you’ve been some sort of psycho Energizer Bunny since birth.

Decided: Be productive when you can, learn to adapt, evolve, whatever…find a balance and chill, like Gut says. Don’t let go of your passions, but don’t freak out and hold them so close that you lose creative control.

Heart: k!

Head: sigh, k.

Gut: kduh.

And then there’s this ^ …

People Don’t Change: Except on Halloween

Standard

Mystique

 

Yes, I was Mystique last night. Not a smurf, not an Avatar, not Genie, and DEFINITELY not Beetlejuice (to the bro who guessed that at Container Bar on Rainey: You. Are. An. Idiot.)

I had an amazing time with my friends (a goddess, an 80’s chick, a pirate, and Rainbow Brite), drank that PERFECT amount that only causes a slight morning headache, and somehow managed to convince multiple people (friends AND one handsome stranger…or WAS he handsome…?) to help reapply that cheap blue paint when it started to crust off.

It was win complete with food truck tacos, our friend’s band performance at Gypsy Lounge, and next-day Kerbey Lane brunch.

All of this coincides with an overused, but relevant expression: People don’t change. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–the catalyst being the same catalyst for so much in my life…doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (insanity as old Alby calls it).

I’m usually so good at recognizing it and steering away, self-solving. When I applied for Teach for America Hawaii. When I forced myself to finish my novel and self-publish. When I decided to start teaching high school instead of middle school. When I promised myself at least one new country per year. But I guess those are so internally-based, 100% me, myself, and I…it’s so much harder when you’re only 50% of a relationship. Your expectations of another person- a friend, a family member, a boyfriend, an i-wish-you-were-my-boyfriend, etc…are probably insane. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately at least.

Here’s what I mean: if people don’t change (I mean the true, real, nitty-gritty of a person), then why do we keep expecting them to? Human nature I guess. WELL I QUIT GODDAMMIT.

I shall expect nothing. Except, ya’ know, normal things that I’ve always expected and that are totally normal to expect because they derive from that person’s true self. Like…I will always expect my mother to use the word “Behave” via text/phone call on Halloween night, regardless of the fact that I am nearing 30 years old.

But other than that sort of stuff- nada. People rarely change. I like that better. Because, ya’ know, there are those fall-through-the-crack exceptions to the rule who truly, truly change. But if a guy has been treating you fairly shit-tastically for quite some time…chances are, that’s not changin’ any time soon, darlin’. Yes, I’m talking to myself here, people, just allow it. Stop insanely expecting some life-altering 360-degree turn-around. That’s just the Disney princess inside of you.

On October 31st, you’ll see tiaras, cat-eye contacts, wigs, fake tats, masks, and tutus. It’s really fun and you’ll be like, “OHMERGERD YOUR JON SNOW HAIR IS LIKE, SPOT ON.” But people don’t change their entire personality/outlook/morals/ethics/attitude.

People get haircuts and people have good days where they’ll say something particularly nice to you. But if, on all those other, normal days…they don’t say anything nice…ever…why keep ’em around? Choose who you surround yourself with. Choose to surround yourself with people who you can expect to be there for you- people who make you feel completely safe having that expectation of them. NOT people who constantly let you down and leave you expecting “maybe a different outcome next time…or the next time…or the next time.”

Happy Halloween, fellow bloggers 🙂 I hope the night was everything you expected it to be and I hope your company was everything you expected them to be. Mine sure were!

This Is Where I Leave You: Not even close to a review

Standard

this-is-where-i-leave-you-trailer

Have you seen the trailer for This Is Where I Leave You? It looks phenomenal; I can’t wait to see it. I also just found out that it’s a BOOK. So now I of course want to read it first. I think the reason I can’t stop watching the trailer is because of the symmetry I feel it has to my life right now. A monarch of the family passes away and brings the family together. They are a crazy family to say the least. Spending that much time together is like torture. Yup. And then of course there’s the line that we can all relate to: “Is it the whole world or is it just this family?”

I hope it’s the whole world.

I’ve lost two people this year—my amazing Uncle Chuck and my lovely grandmother. It’s strange to me that there are so many different reactions to death. Funerals seem to bring out the best and worst in some people. And I guess that makes sense when you think about it.

I find myself NEEDING to write about it—not to vent, not to talk shit, not to complain or whine or bitch or moan or whatever—but this is MY way. This is what I do. I think that’s clear to my friends and family by now, that I write (about everything). If they haven’t figured that out, I’m not sure what more I can do…I’ve already published a freakin’ novel.

In This Is Where I Leave You, in true movie fashion, the family comes together even though they’re insanely different and maybe-kinda-sorta hate each other at times. Tina Fey’s character puts it perfectly when she says, “You guys are idiots, but you’re MY idiots.”

I wish I always felt like all the people in my life (friends, family, coworkers, students, ex-students…) were MY idiots. But ya’ know what? It’s OK to just think they’re just idiots sometimes (or most of the time…or all of the time).

When a student decides to say, “Chinga tu madre!” to another student riiiight in front of you, it’s OK. When your cousin chooses to go to a sorority function instead of Grandma’s memorial, it’s OK. When people freak out about what’s was left for them in the will even though everyone knows there was barely anything more than a teacup collection…it’s OK. When a student decides it’s acceptable to bite your arm…it’s definitely fucking OK.

[See how I sandwiched that? Teachers: you can always use funny student stories to buffer real-talk.]

I wish I hadn’t started bawling for no apparent reason last night at Aunt Gigi’s as we were celebrating her birthday. But I was looking around that house and suddenly, all I could see was the absence of my uncle, flipping tortillas and laughing. I wish no one was that interested in money. I wish everyone cared about celebrating peoples’ lives more than they care about celebrating their possessions.

I wish everyone could be calm and collected and poised and respectful about death, but that’s like saying I wish everyone was the same, which would be terrible. I guess, mainly, I just wish that love was visible—in everything, in everyone, even in the darkest, most selfish times. If it was only peeking out, barely noticeable, I don’t think I’d feel as rage-cage.

But just like it’s OK to feel like some people are idiots and not MY idiots, I guess it’s OK for love to hide. Maybe it’s one of those, “How would we really know what it was if it wasn’t gone sometimes?” things. Whatever.

All I know is funerals are the worst, people can also be the worst, everything is the worst sometimes. But love is drinking tea with your grandma and flipping tortillas with your uncle and when those people are gone, love is hugging your idiots who know exactly what you mean.

Liebster Blog Award Nomination

Standard

leibster-badge1

Yay, I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Kaleidoscopic Kites! Thank you chica:)

liebsterawardrules

Here are my 11 random facts:

I’m obsessed with tomatoes (they’re delicious). || I write a lot of poetry and song lyrics that no one is allowed to read. || I am considering getting a tattoo of a Cummings quote or an Angelou quote. || I’ve been to 16 countries. || I have a weakness for dimples. || My mom tried to have more children, but I was the only lucky winner winner chicken dinner. || I had a spinal fusion and now have a crazy scar that I tell fibs about. || I sobbed uncontrollably while reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and then started writing my novel. || I haven’t seen my father since I was very young, but I have the best step-dad EVER. || The color yellow is everywhere in my apartment. || I used to hate beer; now I love it! ||

And my answers to Kaleidoscopic Kite’s questions:

1) If you were any movie character, who would you be? Hermoine, maybe? Magic rocks.

2) Do you tell the truth, lie, or keep secrets the most? Hmmm…I feel like I tell the truth TOO much sometimes. My friends say I’d be Candor if we lived in Divergent‘s world.

3) If you could try any exotic food, what would it be? I looove trying new food. One I haven’t tried yet is Ethiopian- I’ve heard good things.

4) Do you have a hidden talent? I am fantastic at NOT showering, but looking like I did.

5) Who is your biggest role model? My madre, for sure. She is a genuine badass.

6) Why and when did you start writing? I’ve been writing since I was really little- being an only child forces your imagination to run wild.

7) Would you rather be invisibility powers or be able to see things that are invisible? Why? I don’t believe in ghosts/spirits so I guess I’d have to go with the first option!

8) Favorite book? Oh, goodness, tough. I will always have a huge spot in my heart for the classic, Catcher in the Rye.

9) Put these in order to your liking for which is most important to you the most to the least: Money, Love, or Time. I’m a teacher so money is obviously last, ha! Love and Time are super hard to choose from. I’m one of those people who freak out -often- about wasting time/not having enough time. But love is something I dream of having again.

10) Do you have any weird habits? When I eat pizza, I take one bite of the “front” and then one bite of the crust and then repeat. It drives my friend Jennifer crazy.

11) Favorite topic to write about? Just…life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Realistic fiction.

 

And now my 11 nominations, check them out! These guys rock:

1. Anika: Saturday Night’s Alright for Writing

2. Jalal: My Success is Your Success

3. Nic:  The Tailor-Made Trilogy

4. Alex: Adult & Teen Fiction

5. James: Language Arts Blog

6. Christi: Novel Conclusions

7. Jess: Down the Road

8. A Collection of Musings

9. John: Write me a book, John!

10. Eric: Written Words Never Die

11. Jennifer Nicole Wells

And my 11 questions for you awesome people:

1. Screw, marry, kill: Oprah, Beiber, Ron Weasley. Go!

2. You have $1.99 to spend as you choose: what do you buy?

3. Guilty pleasure read?

4. Guilty pleasure TV show and/or movie?

5. Where would you like to be a fly on the wall?

6. What dish do you cook to impress people?

7. You can only consume 3 foods for the rest of your life. You choose:

8. Most-hated word?

9. Favorite element of a smore? (This tells a lot about a person, trust me)

10. Nose hairs- what are your thoughts?

11. What makes your palms sweat?

Damn you, E.E.

Standard

So I just watched The Notebook a few days before Valentine’s Day. That was just downright stupid, amiright?

I’m glad I did though, because I now fully realize…THE NOTEBOOK IS TO BLAME FOR EVERYTHING.

Oh wait, this post has already been done a thousand times. No, seriously, it’s been done a TON. Ok one more because this is HILARIOUS. It’s not about how The Notebook ruins lives; it’s about how composition notebooks ruin lives (but it came up in the top ten when I googled “The Notebook ruined my life”). I am laughing out loud.

So I won’t write about The Notebook (or composition notebooks).

I honestly just want to write about love. I can’t freakin’ help it, ok?! I want to write about that sick, disgusting, unshakable love that makes me want to read E.E. Cummings and lay in the grass for hours looking at the sunlight coming in through leaves. THAT love.

I haven’t felt THAT love in a very, very long time. But I think I remember it swallowing me whole. I think I remember realizing what that “head over heels” thing truly meant and I think I remember trying to soak up another body and soul like a sponge. I definitely remember not being able to breathe for a long time after it was gone. I definitely remember ache and searching and want.

And I guess what I’m wondering now is…is it ok, to be waiting for that crazy, tumbling feeling again? Or is that just, sadly, immature?

I’ve met nice guys. I’ve met smart guys. I’ve met funny guys. I’ve met attractive guys. I’ve met ambitious guys. I’ve even met a couple nice, smart, funny, attractive, and ambitious guys. All my secret inner checklist boxes were checked off. But no swallowing me whole. No head over heels. No soaking up body and soul or reading Cummings.

I guess chemistry is something else entirely. And of course I’ve always known that looking good on paper, so to speak, doesn’t mean much in the real eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind. The whole checklist thing is pretty hilarious actually. We all kind of have one, whether we admit it or not. But the people we wind up falling for never seem to have very many of those boxes checked, do they?

Anyway, it’s V-day time. Everything’s pink and cupid-y. And I really am fine with the fact that the extent of my agenda is: House of Cards and pizza with my best friend. I’m actually excited about it (is he really going to become President?!).

The truth is, I really do want to wait until I feel that crazy, tumbling feeling again. I don’t want to settle for just some guy I have chemistry with, just some guy who has a ton of boxes checked.

Who needs those damn boxes, anyway?

“I do, sometimes, all the time, maybe, I don’t know…” says the angel on my shoulder who knows all the tricks to avoiding heartbreak.

“Shut up and read this poem!” says the other bitch.

You Being In Love (excerpt)

solemnly
myselves
ask “life, the question how do i drink dream smile

and how do i prefer this face to another and
why do i weep eat sleep-what does the whole intend”
they wonder. oh and they cry “to be, being, that i am alive
this absurd fraction in its lowest terms
with everything cancelled
but shadows
-what does it all come down to? love? Love
if you like and i like, for the reason that i
hate people and lean out of this window is love, love
and the reason that i laugh and breathe is oh love and the reason
that i do not fall into this street is love.”

Ugh, Resolutions

Standard

Diet, exercise more, and get skinny? Nah. Been there, done that, I think I’ve peaked, people. I’m over it. I don’t want it as badly as I want cheeseburgers anymore. Sorry ‘bout that future hubby, ya’ shoulda hurried the hell up!

Cuss less? I considered that, but let’s get one damn thing straight—I don’t give a fuck.

Write more? I considered that too, but one blog a month is already getting to be a pain in the ass and the novel needs at least a full summer of attention, so that’ll have to wait.

Something gross and relationship-y? Like “be more open to love” or “stop being so open to love” ha! This could work. But ick. Who wants their resolution to be about boys…doesn’t enough revolve around those bastards already? Let me tell you something ladies, if you haven’t already figured this one out: even the ones that seem nice are disgusting pigs. You just gotta wait for the one whose disgustingness doesn’t make you wanna puke (now that’s a resolution).

Get a tattoo? Clean more? Pay off my loans? Apply to a PHD program? Yawn. I can’t think of anything worthy.

When I was in Sydney for New Years, my friends said that 2013 was the best year of their lives, hands down. That worried me…I mean, I definitely did the most I’ve ever done in one year in 2013, but I’d never say it was my BEST. I spent time in Hawaii, Japan, Thailand, Texas, and Australia. I was published, I got my masters, I got a new job, met new friends…but I feel like I’ve been happier. A long time ago. A year that I hardly traveled anywhere or did anything at all…but I was carefree, I was content without trying to be, without thinking about it at all.

 So I think that’ll be my resolution. To make sure 2014 is my BEST year yet. To make sure that on NYE this year, I can say that without a doubt. Should be easy enough, right?

Aussie Christmas

Standard

That time I peaced out of the country for the holidays. Oh yeah, that’s in two days. This. Is. Happening.

No awkward family Christmas photos, cold nights, or boring days lying around my apartment.

I’m planning on 12 full days of beaches, booze, and other Australian shenanigans.

No disappointing New Year’s Eve this year—not that last year was a total bust—this year I’ll be at Shore Thing watching Skrillex and dancing like a fool in the sand.

Get me outa’ Texas, I’m ready for a tan and a beer and my crazy Aussie friends whom I adore. But seriously, how the hell am I gonna keep up with them? They drink like fish.

 Oh, and I forgot to mention—Christmas Eve in Sydney with a house full of Colombians? Yes please. Badass. Get me there now!

Can I keep going? Boxing Day races in Newcastle the day after Christmas. Horses. Pretty dresses. More drinking. That’s all I need to know.

I want to hold a kuala and pet a kangaroo and find Nemo. In that order.

And I’ll be 17 hours ahead of you guys so I’ll letcha know what 2014 is like 🙂

I’ll be arriving back in the States with style, brown as a graham cracker, and probably hungover as hell on Jan. 2nd.

Short post, I know. But I’m sure I’ll be able to fill out pages when I get back! Until then, friends.

Happy Holidays mate!

P.S. Don’t be surprised if I buy a flat and stay forever… Oh wait, I’m broke, nevermind.

 

 

And this.

The #1 Way to Stay Young

Standard

Three words. Livin’ inda ghetto.

I love, love, love it. Living on the eastside (represent!) completes me. I can get a breakfast taco from a LEGIT, just-moved-here-illegally, mustached taqueria God at any time of the day. I also never have to mess with annoying apartment gate codes because my gate is rigged to stay open at all times. Safe? Well, there are cops and ambulances around regularly, so I honestly don’t worry.

I pay half as much as I would for a place this size in a “nicer” area. I’m close to downtown, super close to my job, and if I was ever in some sort of trouble, I truly feel like I could knock on a neighbor’s door and ask for protection. I definitely live next to some shady people. In exchange, I’d help their kids learn English. That’s when Lifetime would FINALLY contact me. Working titles: The Teacher Next-Door, The Teacher Who Refused to Move, A Project in the Projects. HAHAHA. I don’t live in the projects. But you know Hollywood.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning—I thought because of the thunder. But then I heard people partying. Loudly. I guess we Texans really do love our weather, but I didn’t think there was anyone who got wasted in the parking lot (in the intense downpour) and whooped every time lightning struck. This might not have anything to do with livin’ inda ghetto, but it’s awesome nonetheless.

Today I tried to find an alterations shop to fix one of my dresses. You know how you always hear about “fronts”? I’m not gonna lie, when I walked into the hole in the wall shop, the owners definitely looked at each other as if to say, “Oh shit, an actual costumer. What are we supposed to be again, alterations, right? Not cocaine, definitely not cocaine.”

Then we get to one of the best perks about living on the eastside—something no one ever mentioned to me (or else I would have moved here a LOT sooner). There are some FYYYNE-ass people up in hurr. Think about it—everything is cheap. What kind of people are poor (besides the obvious people mentioned above…druggies, illegals, etc.)? Well, there are the starving artists—yummy. The hot, young college boy toys (I can look, OK). The skinny jeaned, scarf loving hipsters, if you’re into that. And then there are young professionals like me who simply refuse to pay $100 more every month just to lower their chances of getting raped. You should see the sexy people at Planet Fitness on East Riverside. It’s very confusing to see so many attractive young people in one place. It’s like college—and it always takes me a minute to adjust and realize, oh yeah, I graduated a long time ago…this is not the quad…none of these people will ever be serving me a cup of trashcan punch. Going to HEB is even better—right when I’m convinced that I’m 18 and I’ve been transported to that tiny HEB right off campus, one of my students pops out from behind the bread aisle. “HI MISS MENDEZ!” Bubble bursted. But so worth it while it lasted—I haven’t felt this young since I was young.

Then there are the hidden gems of bars and food trucks. Eastside is crawling with them. My latest find was The Vortex on East Manor—they have live performances of different sorts. Attached is the Butterfly Bar, which has the coolest 1920’s vibe. And outside is Patrizi’s, the most delicious Italian food truck, with tons of seating and a stage for live music. But can you see any of this from the street? No. There’s a shady lookin’ fence you walk behind and then you’re struck with the awesomeness. As is the story with a lot of bars, restaurants, stores, and food trucks on the eastside. It’s part of the fun.

So basically, if you’re feeling old or bored or stale or lonely or uninteresting, get your ass over here! We are waiting with open, tattooed arms and smiling, gold-toothed, taco-filled faces.

On a serious note, as a post script—the eastside is really not the ghetto. I think it used to be, maybe? But it’s changed a lot. I see more of the hot people I mentioned than the shady people I mentioned, ya feel me? I mean, it’s still not smart to walk around my hood in a skanky dress, but I don’t think it’s 100% safe to do that in any area. That being said, sometimes, when I’m driving down Oltorf, I really forget that I’m in America. Every sign is in Spanish! I dig it though.

Living Solo

Standard

When I decided to get a one-bedroom, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I saw myself potentially loving it and potentially preferring death. Turns out, it’s definitely a love/hate relationship.

+On the one hand, I can sing Christmas carols in August in my underwear while cooking pasta and no one can hear me (hopefully) or therefore judge me.

-On the other hand, I talk to things…that I shouldn’t talk to. And it’s not like I have a pet. So what I’m saying is I talk to my furniture, my food, my appliances, my clothes…today, this came out of my mouth: “Hey little fridgy fridge, what’s crackin’? You cold? I’m cold.” Yeah, I should probably look into getting a kitten.

+However, I get to decide where everything goes, I decided to paint my furniture all different colors—every piece of my place screams ME, which is pretty cool. I even have yellow dishes.

-I get so damn bored and lonely. I stare at walls. I call people. This has never happened before…I usually just walk into the next room and bug my roommate. Being bored together is not being bored at all. The last minute, “C’mon, let’s go to the gym!” or “Wanna go get ice cream?” or “I need groceries, wanna come?” Man, I miss those!

+On that note—I think I’m actually more productive living alone. No distractions. Just you and your humble little abode.

-If someone breaks in and tries to rape/murder/torture/kidnap me…there will be no one here to help me kick his ass or call 911. So that’s cool.

+I don’t have to share my food or my bathroom space and I don’t have to do laundry around anyone else’s laundry doing!

-There is no one here who shares their food with me.

+Any mess that is made is MINE and therefore it is not a mess, it is a rough area that is under construction.

-No one to help clean, carry things, or kill bugs?! I’m screwed.

What I need is a really cool neighbor. Or a boyfriend. Ok, fine, I’ll settle for lots of new teacher friends who like to drink.