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In all fainess, why South Florida hasn’t been all bad

27 Aug

1. Because this is what I get to do every weekend:

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I’ve never been too much of a beach person, I enjoy them fine but I bore easily and can’t do it for too long. But being only a few miles from this, and having access to it (almost) every weekend, is doing a lot to change my mind. It’s hard to argue with ocean and palm trees.

2. Because this will always be the place where I fed a giraffe.

Yes. I fed a freaking giraffe. A few, actually. And they’re adorable and it’s insane to be so close to them. And I may or may not have contemplated quitting my job to work the giraffe feeding station at the zoo. I think what it would lack in the money department it would make up for in the sheer elation of being friends with giraffes department.

3. Mostly, it’s been a lot of fun to be close to family, to be around for birthday parties and Sunday dinners and whatnot. It was sort of exhausting in the beginning, but the novelty of us being around has worn off. So, we’ve ended up with a good balance of family fun and relaxing alone. Plus, I have a whole new group of people to make cupcakes for. And I do love making cupcakes.

4. Because I’ve made some friends.

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Okay, I haven’t really made many friends yet. But apparently Florida is where I feed animals. There’s tons of ducks in the various ponds we have around our apartment complex, and I may or may not feed them bread.

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Okay. I feed them a lot. So much that when they see me they run right up wagging their duckie tails. And when I don’t have bread it makes me very sad. There are different duckling litters (that’s the wrong word, I know) in different stages of growing adorable. There’s also turtles in the ponds. So, its not all spiders and alligators. (I’ve yet to see an alligator. If that does happen you probably will never hear from me again because I’m hiding under my bed, trembling in fear.)

5. Because Isaac didn’t turn into a hurricane and hit me, so I still haven’t had to deal with that nonsense. Whew. Til next time, fickle tropical weather.

Why I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever fit in in South Florida

24 Aug

1. Because this?

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Does not a skyline make. Looking at this gives me no warm fuzzies. Every time I look out the window and see this, exactly how much I miss Chicago punches me right in the stomach.

2. Because this?

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Is what the bugs look like, oh, dear lord. I’m sorry for shoving a gigantic spider in your face, but this is what I encountered – nay, nearly walked through oh my god – on my way to work one morning. The bugs here are ludicrous, and they’re everywhere. This spider is also probably one of the least offensive bugs I’ve encountered. Yeah. Think about that.

3. Because this?

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Is what a lot of the cars look like. I just… I can’t fathom why anyone would do this to a car. I’m not that into my car. I only want to spend money to keep my car going, not paint it sparkle dinosaur green and pump up the tires until they barely fit. People here are obsessed with their cars. They like their cars more than I think I have ever liked anything in my entire life. I don’t want to share this for fear you’ll judge me for being in the same general vicinity, but I’ve also seen a car painted with Scooby Doo, and a car painted with Sponge Bob. Who would do that? Also, you’ll be happy to know that the car right next to it? Under the cover? Looks exactly like this one. Twinsies.

4. Because this?

Is what a lot of the people look like. And it makes me cry. Because I am one of those people with the giant hat and the SPF 50 if I am even thinking about looking at the sun. I am terrified of skin cancer and this is walking skin cancer. And it’s everywhere. Everywhere. So much so that I even had a dream where overly tan people were trying to convince me to join their scary melanoma club.

5. Because Hurricane Isaac is coming to get me. And I know, it’s not a hurricane yet. But it will be. And I don’t care if the people around here are telling me, “Oh, it’s just a category one.” JUST A CATEGORY ONE. JUST 80 MPH WINDS. OH OKAY. LET’S ALL TO GO THE BEACH. Fingers crossed I don’t get blown away. Even though it’s more likely I’ll have a significant psychotic break from the stress of the build up to all this hurricane nonsense.

Things I Learned On My Never-Ending Car Trip

7 May

1. Indiana sucks. The only thing cool in Indiana is those energy windmills. And after a while, those get sort of intimidating. Just row after row of windmills. Watching you. Waiting for their chance. Sort of like the children of the corn.

2. Kentucky is pretty. I feel this is a secret America’s kept pretty well hidden. It’s all green and hilly and generally pleasant to look at. There’s a lot of signs advertising bourbon tours, as well, but I guess that would be cool if you were into bourbon.

3. Tennessee is terrifying. I knew, intellectually, that Tennessee had mountains. I also knew I would be driving through Tennessee. I did not, however, put together beforehand that I would have to drive through mountains. They sort of sneak up on you, too. You’re all oh, Kentucky, what pretty hills you have, then all of a sudden it’s Tennessee and you’re working very hard to keep your car from careening out of control over the edge into nothingness, wondering how in the hell something that sounded as little as a 6% grade can ruin your life, trying very hard not to think about those runaway semi truck ramps and if they actually work or if really they just launch the trucks into the air. The only plus side is Tennessee smells inexplicably good. Like I wanted to roll down the windows and stick my head out. There must be some flower in abundance there that makes it so pleasant, but whatever it is, I don’t want to know. It would be like finding out how hot dogs are made.

4. Georgia sort of smells like Tennessee. Except with the volume turned up. So like Tennessee’s older, uglier sister who’s trying too hard and put on too much perfume. Sort of like whatever magic flowers exist in Tennessee became mutated by Georgia. I rolled up the windows for Georgia.

5. Total insanity sets in around hour ten. I was talking to myself, responding, laughing at nothing. Dancing and singing loudly in an attempt to keep myself awake. Possibly hallucinating gremlins. However, if you’ve driven 14 hours the day before, total insanity sets in at minute one.

6. I can, in fact, get sick of junk food. I want nothing to do with fast food chicken sandwiches for a while. See also, french fries. I cannot, however, get sick of breakfast sandwiches in any form.

7. It’s possible to see the skylines of Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, and Atlanta in one day. Which is sort of a cool trip, but you can’t do anything except wave at any of the cities.

8. You are not granted oranges the minute you walk into Florida. Also, it took me forever to find a palm tree. I call shenanigans.

9. Butts can, indeed, fall asleep. I thought that was a privilege saved especially for appendages. I was wrong. So very wrong.

10. Florida is one long-ass state. Which is especially sad when you’ve spent the past two days clinging to a sliver of sanity in your car. I became insanely excited the minute we entered Florida. It was a false sense of completion though, because we were really nowhere near where we needed to be. I have made you a pie chart of time spent in each state.

As you can see, that Florida pie wedge is stupid big. If you were picking a slice to eat, you’d want that one. That pie wedge trampled on all my hopes and dreams. Luckily, I plan on never driving ever again in life. Fingers crossed teleportation is invented soon.

Shifting focus

28 Mar

I feel I need to shut up about moving. Or, more accurately, buck up and stop whining about it. So here are the main things I am not going to miss about living in Chicago.

1. My kitchen.

Honestly? Are words even needed here?

2. The plumbing in this apartment. This building… she’s just so old. I love it but it’s got it’s drawbacks. Notice the plunger in the above picture? That’s our special kitchen plunger. Yes, sometimes we have to plunge our kitchen sink. Also, I think it’s safe to estimate that I have spent more dollars on drain-clearing liquids and foams than I have on lattes. Not joking. Also for some reason we have no hot water and no water pressure between 6:30 and 7 AM, the exact time I need to shower.

3. Tourists. Oh, my god, tourists. You have no idea how much you annoy me, with your fanny packs and your getting lost and your asking me where the Hancock tower is when we’re right next to it. The way you stop in the middle of the sidewalk to crane your head up at the buildings and then I run into you. The way you don’t know how to ignore the people asking for your change. The way you ask the bus driver for directions. The bus driver is not your tour guide. His job is to drive the bus. Get on the bus if it is going where you want to go. If it is not, then don’t. Simple.

4. Trying to get anywhere in my neighborhood during Cubs games. I will always have a special place of hatred in my heart for the Cubs and their fans. With the drinking and the vomiting on my sidewalk and the wondering if they even know how baseball is played, or if they’ve just descended upon Wrigley en masse for the beer.

5. Perhaps it’s optimism, but people here are really dumb about dressing for the weather. It hits fifty and out come the shorts. Stop pretending you’re not cold! You’re cold. Your lips are blue and you’re shaking. Put on some damn pants.

6. Some of the beaches on the lake here shut down from time to time due to high E Coli levels, especially if we’ve just had a big rain. Then they open again. Where does the E Coli go? You expect me to swim in the water just because the E Coli has spread out? I’m going to need a better explanation for that. Also a full-body, waterproof wetsuit. If you expect me to touch the water.

7. At least one time a week, I nearly get run over by a cab. Cabbies here are crazy muthas. They swerve all over the place and run red lights and don’t care if you’re in the cross walk. Leaving the area will definitely lessen my chances of becoming road kill.

8. They renamed the Sears Tower the Willis Tower. I refuse to acknowledge this change, and this is something that might be easier to accomplish outside of the city. Here, everyone keeps reminding me. Screw you, Willis Tower. YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

9. The wind. I know, I know, the wind is not why it’s called “The Windy City.” But the honest truth is this bitch is windy. I sometimes lie awake at night and wonder if tonight is the night the wind is going to break in and steal my soul. I’ve been blown over flat on my ass multiple times. You hear that? Wind has pushed me over to the ground. Normal wind. I’m not even talking about a storm or bad weather.

10. The hot dogs here are weird. They have on them: yellow mustard, chopped onions, relish, pickles, tomatoes, peppers, and celery salt. The fuck? You know what I want to eat on a hot dog? Ketchup. You know what nearly gets you stoned here if you eat it on a hot dog? Ketchup. I definitely look forward to eating hot dogs without judgement.

Perhaps, when I am sitting on a non E Coli infected beach, eating my hot dog with ketchup and thinking about my normal sized kitchen, I will be more at peace with the world.

The Dictionary According to Cally

12 Mar

I don’t remember how I stumbled on the personal dictionary on my phone. Sometimes I just poke around in there and see what I can come up with. Truth be told I’m not sure about everything my phone can do, and instead of reading about it or trying to learn I just screw around. The personal dictionary was fun to browse, though. There are five distinct categories of words that get saved to my personal dictionary.

1. “Fuck” and all its variations – fuck, fucked, fuckers, fucking, fuckton, frick, fricking, fricker, frickton, eff, effer, effing – It’s clear to me that this is my favorite swear word to use, even in its lesser forms. I only have two variations on “shit” saved, and only “bitch” with no variations. It’s just so versatile I can’t help myself.

2. Nicknames for my dogs – bubs, bubber, bubby, bubberball, bunnie, em. emmer. emmy, emmybemmy, goggie, kobers, kobiashi, kobina, martypants, smartypantsThat is by no means an exhaustive list, since a lot of their nicknames are real words (pants, princess, etc). I know some of them don’t make sense.

3. Words I’ve unnecessarily elongated – baaaaybeeee, cuuute, druuuuunk, grrrrreat, haaaate, hellllllllo, noooooo. puuuuuke, slooooow, soooon, wooooo, yaaaaay, – I guess I like my texts to convey a lot of feeling and this is the only way I’ve thought to accomplish that.

4. Words I never learned to spell correctly – catergories, discretly, devestated, embarassed, minature, pajammas, shephard – I relearn the correct ways to spell these words every month or so. Then I promptly forget. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve been spelling this certain list of words wrong pretty much since elementary school. Interesting to see I’ve made little to no advancements since then.

5. Words related to eating food – nom, nommy, nommers – If I were to type out this entire list, I would probably be there til Wednesday. Sooooo I’ll just let you know, there are a fuckton of words on my phone related to food.

Things that are going to kill me when I move to Florida

19 Feb

1. Alligators
2. Sharks
3. Scarily invisible jelly fish
4. Sting rays
5. Cholera, apparently, what the hell? I’m not moving to Oregon in 1840.
6. The water smelling like sulphur all the time, what’s up with that?
7. Hurricanes
8. Skin cancer
9. Rip tides
10. Over abundance of old people driving so slowly my head explodes
11. Snakes
12. Oddly high rates of prescription drug abuse
13. Mosquitos infected with whatever dengue virus is
14. Lightning
15. Monster lizards not native to the area but who people apparently buy for pets but then release and they hunt in packs like WOLVES, dammit, and find people mighty tasty

As you can possibly tell, I’m coming across both valid and suspect sources in my search for information here. I find both equally terrifying and am probably going to need to be drugged and dragged into the state at this point.

Five things I did as a kid that I still get that sinking, embarrassed feeling about when I think of them

29 Jan

1. I got an honor medal for academics in second grade. After second grade, I switched schools. Into third grade, I continued to wear this medal occasionally. This in and of itself what stupid of me, and did not endear me to any of the other students. I really feel my parents dropped the ball here. I get the sneaking suspicion neither of them was “popular” in school (perhaps it’s in the genes?) but they should have known this was not the right move to make. It gets worse though, because as I was eventually called out on it (Why do you wear that? You don’t even go to that school anymore. That means nothing here.) I then concocted a convoluted story about the medal meaning so much to me because I was so persecuted at my other school for being just oh-so-smart, and being able to wear it freely was very important to me. I think I included that parents made fun of me to give my story some extra pizazz. This was also not the right move to make.

2. When fighting with friends in fifth grade, likely for no reason other than we were fifth grade girls and that was what we did, I quoted a Billy Joel song. I’m going to let that sink in a minute.

I was in fifth grade in 1995. This was… not the height of Billy Joel’s popularity. The song I specifically quoted, My Life, was released in 1978. No one had any idea what I was talking about. I said the lyric “I still belong, don’t get me wrong/You can speak your mind/But not on my time.” I thought I was being very clever, because I was trying to say I still wanted to be friends but I didn’t want to deal with this drama anymore, didn’t want to hear it if people were going to be talking behind each other’s backs. Looking back, I probably should have just said that.

3. Stealing caution signs in the summer between sixth and seventh grade. My friend and I would literally ride our bikes around, sneak up on peoples lawns, and take those little caution signs people have after just getting pesticides sprayed on their grass. We thought we were so… funny? bad-ass? I don’t even know. What I do know is we amassed hundreds of those over the summer. I ran across them a few years ago, still sitting in my dad’s garage, and I was torn between laughing my ass off at the memories of the whole thing, or laughing my ass off over how stupid we’d been.

4. Wearing a tiara to the homecoming dance sophomore year. I was clearly not homecoming queen. But I had this tiara and I thought oh, this would be adorable to wear to the dance. And no one disagreed with me, pointed out the flaws in my idea, maybe steered me to something a  little more appropriate. Where I could look less like a desperate sophomore who felt like the true queen. Really, the idea that it was an inappropriate choice never even crossed my mind until years later. So I mostly blame everyone I know for this one, but the pictures don’t tell that story. They just show a weird girl in a tiara.

5. The red, cropped tank top I used to wear in high school. To school. It was so inappropriate. It was super tight, way low-cut, and showed at least five inches of stomach. I don’t know why anyone let me get away with this, parents, teachers, etc. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea. It was way slutty. As you can clearly tell, I was not exactly popular/slutty as I was awkward/shunned. Perhaps this is why no one called me on it. I wore it all the time. I really, really wish I hadn’t.