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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Miss You Much

I’m leaving tomorrow! Finally! I stayed around Georgia a little extra time to take care of some things, make some more money, humor my mother, and blah, blah, blah. There is a slight chance that I was just maybe a little bit scared too, but I’m freaking-fracking going. Tomorrow!!!

I’ll miss fried squash and non-frigid temperatures too, but here follows my top five most likely to be missed people, places, and things.

4. My bed.

My queen size bed won’t fit in my tiny room in Astoria. Not even without the iron head and footboard, not if I want access to my closet. I’m buying a futon so I can have more space in the room regularly and the extra bed space when I have visitors. You know, like my parents.

3. My dogs.Doggies

I can’t take my furry friends with me. Sad, sad. These dogs aren’t city dogs. My folks had talked about trying to find them a home with a bigger yard upon my leaving, but they have changed their minds for now (go team puppy dog eyes!). I’ve gotten even more attached to these dogs since living here. I’ll miss waking up with Gilbert’s head on the corner of my pillow and Abbey at my feet. Hairy bed-hogging monsters.

2. My parents.

The 'rents

They are pretty awesome people. This photo was taken before they went to see a Pink Floyd cover band at the Fox. I’ve spent more time with them since moving back than I have since… I don’t know. I think I got out more in high school. Hahaha. I’m so cool. Tonight I’ll watch Dancing With the Stars with them one last time. We like Mya.

1. My girls.Gals at the Clermont Lounge

I miss Sheeji, Jessica, and Alicia too, but I have already come to terms to their departures to Tennessee, South Carolina, and Korea. Ashley and Marissa though, not having you guys around every weekend is going to be a challenge. Who will be my wingwomen? My dogs, my parents, and these girls have been my best friends this year. I’ll miss these babes most of all.

(5. Clermont Lounge)

My favorite Atlanta nightspot. Alive since 65! (Dancers alive since 47!) Good times, always.

I’ll really miss you much.

BUT… I’m so bleepin’ excited about NYC! Yippee skippy!

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Oh blog! I put you in the corner, and we all know that nobody puts baby in the corner. Sorry bout that. I suppose I could say I’ve been too busy living life to write about it, and while that is almost true something tells me I just got lazy. Blog, I’ll buy you flowers and take you out to a nice lobster dinner if you let me try to catch up quickly and make it up to you. K honeybee bloggy-boo?

OK, some blog worthy events I have missed since I went AWOL:

Mom and Dad spent their 40th wedding anniversary back in February watching the Super Bowl. How romantic.

February also marked the nine year anniversary of my becoming a vegetarian. Next year I’m throwing a party. No giant sub sandwich needed, maybe giant falafel?

The same month I visited Chapel Hill for NCCAF. I saw a lot of great improv. My group Elaine was reunited for a really fun show. I played a French terrorist who was lured into capture by Girl Scout cookies; singing orphans made an appearance at one point. After our performance we tried dabbling in modeling… good thing we’re funny.

The Basement held the Spontaneous Combustion Festival in March. Also a great time. Furbus and penthouse after party, oh yeah!

I had been spending time with girl friends already, but in early March The Unit was formed. The Unit core consists of five fun gals up to no good. The group has been hanging out in various incarnations in Atlanta and Athens ever since. We see concerts, we dance, we drink tequila shots with Marissa’s parents. We talk all night. These amazing friends are the reason I have not gone insane while living here. I’m so thankful for having these girls in my life!

Chances are any Friday or Saturday night I wasn’t with The Unit I was probably hanging out with a group of French foreign exchange grad students from GA Tech. I randomly met these kids in January at Opera, the biggest club in Atlanta. They liked to dance so we became friends instantly. I drank many a room temperature beverage with these European nerds (not referring to Cécile of course, she is no geek) during their spring semester. They were only here until the beginning of May, so they had to live it up America style while they had the chance. I thoroughly approved of this pursuit of fun, and together we explored Atlanta. They even taught me a little French. Let’s just say my French vocabulary isn’t in the text books. Pictured below are my friends, the first six, and two of their classmates at Sweetwater Brewery.

In April, Ashley, Alicia, another friend, and I took a quick, spontaneous road trip to Austin, TX with a pit stop in New Orleans. We are talking salsa, margaritas, and dive bars. We were there for my birthday, and it was a good one. Ratatat guest DJed at the place we were dancing. The adventure was, as Marissa would say, epic. Pictured below is our traveling group plus guide seated on a massive rock at Barton Springs Park.

My good friends from college Zac and Hollie got married in May. Ashley, Courtney, and I drove from GA to Iowa City for the ceremony. It was possibly the coolest wedding ever, so casual and relaxed. One of the groomsmen walked down the isle barefooted. We ate organic pizza, drank home brewed beer, and danced to Freak Nasty’sDa Dip” (which I should admit I supplied to the playlist). Below the couple do “the Hollie” with back up from the bridesmaids.

Unfortunately my grandma fell and broke her wrist. When she had to have a second surgery on it in late May I drove to Arkansas to stay with her for a few days. I actually left the day after I got back from Iowa. Lots of driving that week. We watched a good bit of The Dog Whisperer, The Game Show Network, and Lifetime. I cooked, and to my surprise my fried squash, my favorite food and a tricky dish indeed, came out to perfection. Grandma spent a lot of time complaining about what she couldn’t do, then yelling at me to stop with the chores and come sit down. That is Grandma. He wrist seems to be healed nicely now.

In June, Ashley and I made an exciting last minute decision to go to Bonnaroo. My disposable camera is still yet to be developed, but I can promise that we saw some things. So many stages, so many bands, so many wannabe hippies, so many degrees, so little showering… somehow all this equaled an incredible time. The highlight would be the outrageous late night dance party that was the Girl Talk concert. It began at something like 2am and went longer than scheduled (no one was complaining). We were then misdirected back to our tent. We got to camp at sunrise. Amazing.

Later that month my family and I visited my sister in Virginia for a couple days. I got to see her in a very cute production of Jack and The Beanstalk and a spectacular Wizard of Oz at the Barter Theater. Somehow my nearly 6′ tall sister played a munchkin. The wonder of costume! Obviously my favorite part of the play was when she, suspended on wires, flew her bicycle through the tornado as the evil Toto-hating neighbor of Dorothy. She always gets the parts of the witch or wicked stepsister. Typecasting? Winks. Love you sis!

I managed to squeeze a little work in between all this travel. I started doing antique shows for my parents again this summer and cut the retail back to only three days a week. It was a smart decision for monetary and family reasons. Dad is having some health issues and needs to limit his time working in the heat. I sell mostly in Atlanta and thereabouts, but I have been to a market in Charlotte, NC once and just a few weeks ago Brimfield, MA. I really like peddling the wrought iron. I will make sure to have my camera charged up when I go back to Brimfield in September. This is a week long antique show that happens three times a year where many dealers camp out in the fields they set up in. I spent three days in the tent and met some real characters out there including two old men and a 12 year old kid who all want to date me and a gruff old woman who sells jewelry and swears like a sailor loudly under her hoarse breath. Besides for the kid, a real sweetie, I’m not sure who scares me most.

I tried to quit my retail job at the end of May and was actually offered a promotion instead. The whole interview process was long and tiresome (don’t get me started about the interviewer who didn’t show up and the other fun BS I had to deal with), and by the end of it I changed my mind. I had pushed my lofty plans for NYC aside until out of nowhere my good friend Brannon came up with the perfect place for us to live in Astoria, Queens. This apartment is nice and has amazingly affordable rent for the location meaning I could live in NYC for about the same I would pay in ATL… basically I was being asked to choose between my dream and so-so retail promotion with a minuscule raise. It seemed like a really tough decision for about a second. Below is my future home.

I haven’t exactly kept to all my goals I blogged back in January (for instance I now put my resolve into untagging myself from those pesky double chin photos), but I think I’ve succeeded in staying true to the most important ones which are simply staying positive, having fun, and getting the hell out of here.

So blog, I’m back. I’ve got things to write about. I’ve got a life to live. I’m MOVING OUT! In October! My name is on the lease as of the first of this month (I got a friend to sublet in the meantime). You know, living with my parents (yours would probably be a different story) wasn’t so bad. It didn’t really suck after all. But please, don’t get me wrong; I’m doing a little dance inside my head just thinking about having my own place again. Thank you blog, friends, and nights out in ATL for getting me though this transitional phase only three months past my self imposed deadline. That’s right on time for a procrastinator like me!

Yep, I’m back. Back from Paris as of yesterday actually, but that dear blog deserves a post all of its own.

So blog, doesn’t that feel better? We aren’t strangers anymore. Think we can make things work if we really try? Oh, caught you smiling! I knew you would come around. And hey bloggy-boo, if I slip up again I swear to go to conseling, like maybe take a writing class in NYC. And blog, if the screen on my laptop worked I promise we would cuddle like crazy.

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The only possible explanation for this is a death in the family. Today we went to my dad’s brother’s funeral. It was sad of course, but my uncle lived a full and happy life. He was almost 81. Being 19 years older than my dad, he was at times like a father to him. He gave my dad his first car, a 55 Ford two door, which Dad promptly wrecked. My uncle was well liked and respected by all. I have never seen a better attended visitation.  He owned and restored many antique cars and belonged to a car club. He was also a Freemason. Looking at the crowd, one of my cousins said she was going to have to join a club.

Today the Masons wore white gloves and had their aprons on over their suits. They looked funny. They did a ceremony at the funeral; like all ceremonies it was kind of strange. It involved holding Masonic staffs pointed over each end of the casket, prayers, a little tasteful chanting, and the giving of symbolic gifts (his apron, etc.) to be buried with my uncle.

It is always unfortunate to come together at such sad times, but it was nice to see all my family. They are the sweetest people I know. I had to remind many of them that I don’t see often which daughter I was, the oldest but not the tallest. I looked quite different at the last family reunion. I was actually told I should bring back the pink hair (fuchsia really). I had forgotten about that.

My dad is the youngest of nine children. He now has three living sisters. He was 37 when I was born, so this means I’m much younger than the rest of my generation on my dad’s side. I discovered that my oldest first cousin is 40 years my senior. A few of my cousins are trying to help me get a job. So far I’ve heard about part time work at the carpet mills and hiring at the new jail. This is not ideal, but I just may consider these options.

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My not quite 18 year old cousin (technically my second cousin once removed) brought her two children over to Grandma’s house in Arkansas this Christmas. My mom went crazy for those kids. They do happen to be super sweet little cuties. My parents desperately want to become grandparents. It is not my fault they waited so late in life to reproduce themselves. My cousin’s babies have great-great grandparents. I am not so sure this is a better situation.

My mom barked orders at my cousin for her to let me hold that baby so maybe “the juices” would start flowing. What? What juices? My baby making juices? Eww. I’m trying to keep those all sealed up. That is what birth control is for.

I had to remind everyone that I’m single. Grandma suggested I move down there and find a man. Ahem, no thank you.

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I had a fun Christmas visiting my grandmother in Arkansas. During our stay my family finished off three bottles of Crown Royal, a new tradition my grandma isn’t exactly wild about. My grandma is great. She is spunky and certainly a character, but anyone who has visited her knows why alcohol is a good idea. She started her old “I may have to move into a nursing home” talk (I’m not being inconsiderate) at breakfast the day after Christmas and my uncle told her we still needed her around for a while, until we’ve mastered her recipes. I made some mean deviled eggs, delicious sweet potato casserole, and a pecan pie that was tasty, but a little on the soupy side. My sister got the sweet milk gravy down and she and my mom are working on the dressing.

My uncle who has recently really gotten into alt. country singer-songwriters gave us a concert. He discovered that there is a limit of Crown and waters he can have and still be able to remember his songs. That night we only stopped drinking long enough for more ice cubes to freeze. The weather was really warm and my parents and uncle were continuing the party on the deck. My grandma said “I wish they wouldn’t go outside like that. I have Baptist Christian neighbors!” When she mentioned this to her daughter Mom said “Well, if they are good Christians I bet they would give us some ice!”

I was just happy my old Church of Christ Grandma acknowledged her Baptist neighbors as being Christian.

My uncle played this song for us. It pretty much sums up our holiday.

Christmas Pies!

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RV Living

I can’t say I’ve ever lived in a mansion, but I have occupied several houses and apartments all over the South. I’ve never lived in a shack either, but my family has stayed in a couple interesting places that M.A.S.H. just doesn’t cover.

The summer before my freshman year of high school we wandered all over Georgia and parts of Alabama. We were making a move from Arkansas and were trying to find an acceptable house not too far from Atlanta where my dad sold at a monthly antique show. It should be said that my family doesn’t do anything in the conventional fashion. We were originally planning on turning half of the warehouse we rented in Atlanta into a hip, urban loft apartment. We stayed there a lot that summer. We bought carpet and picked out paint but never built more than a bathroom. Our minds were changed when the raves started happening next door. Loud music no one in my family was fond of to say the least would blast through the concrete walls at night and empty water bottles and pacifiers littered the outside by the next morning. This wouldn’t do; we needed a house.

Somehow, after a few close calls, it was time for school to start and we were still without a home. At the last minute we chose Adairsville, GA, a small town close to Dad’s hometown and only an hour from ATL. We decided (but never went through with it) to build a house there. The first day of school we didn’t have a proper address to put on all the forms we had to fill out. We were staying at the Ramada Inn.

Due to massive indecision we ended up living in our small, orange-red carpeted 1978 Ford RV at the Family Leisure RV Campground. We were practically the youngest people there. It wasn’t exactly recreational for us. It wasn’t like Road Rules. It was supposed to be temporary, but before long we had moved to the long term section. This section was denied access to the pool, game room, and the laundry facilities thanks to some of our trashy neighbors’ actions. We were allowed to attend the chapel there, and we did.

I will have to take a picture of this camper just so you can truly understand. It looks a lot like this. Ours had a brown and orange color scheme. My sister and I shared the coffin-like bed over the cab of the vehicle. My parents slept on the couch bed. I never had any friends over because I was an embarrassed, uptight high school kid, but my sister would sometimes invite a girl over. At those times I would sleep on the bed our booth style table made.

Did I mention we also had a dog? Thankfully Buddy is small.

The AC froze up and leaked all too often. The carpet would get wet and the orange-red dye stained the bottoms of our unsuspecting socks. There was only one tiny closet, so we kept our clothes in the cab and in trashcans outside. We ate a lot of Wendy’s and Patty’s Truck Stop during that time because of the cramped kitchen area. My sister and I were happy to participate in as many after school activities as possible to keep us out of that camper. Plus, we were just overachievers like that.

There was no such thing a personal space. I would stay up at night doing my homework with a reading light on at the table a foot away from my sleeping parents. My sister would pull the orange-red curtain that separated the cab from the rest of the RV closed and complain. Privacy was not an option. My sophomore year I would sit outside in the car at night and talk to my boyfriend on Dad’s cell phone. When I was 16 and allowed to date I was always paranoid that the one-legged old man next door was watching me when I got a goodnight kiss.

A year and a half later we upgraded. We got a camper trailer with slide out rooms. My sister and I had a bedroom to ourselves with an actual bed and a actual door. It was amazing. We had a washer and dryer too. Mom and Dad still slept on a couch bed.

Two other kids we went to school with moved into the campground during our stay. One guy was cool and I wished I had gotten to know him. He shared a big camper with his dad and he didn’t stay long. The other girl was made fun of at school for being “skanky”. Her crime? Being overweight and goth. Maybe they smelled the poor on her. I don’t know. I remember the first time I saw the school bus drive through the campground to drop her off. I almost had a heart attack. I was so afraid that kids would find out I lived at the campground, that she and I both lived there. I would see her at school and when we made eye contact I knew we knew we were keeping each other’s secret.

I am not really a snob. I was a timid high school kid at a new, bigger school in a new state. I know we didn’t have it all that bad, but a friend of mine from college told me we were considered homeless by the school system. This is funny because we had a house in Arkansas the whole time, still do.

Right before my junior year a miracle happened. We moved out of the RV. We weren’t ready for traditional housing though. My family bought a building on the sleepy downtown square and converted the upstairs into a beautiful and spacious apartment. After all that time feeling like a sardine this place was so impressive. For the first time in my whole life I had my own room (in AR my sister and I had separate rooms but we shared one anyway). Family time wasn’t forced. When arguments happened it was possible to just walk out of the room. We had space for our computer. We had a living room and a big tv. The couch wasn’t anyone’s bed. It was a mansion.

I’m going to do my best to not complain (too much) about living at home. I could always move back into that RV. Oh, that is not even funny to me. Nah, it isn’t going to be so bad. I’m an adult now and my parents aren’t going to try to control me, not that I’m going to need any controlling. My parents are cool, but I’m not going to get too comfy. This time temporary means temporary. No moving to the permanent section. I’m setting my personal and financial independence day for July 1, 2009. I know that the next place I live is going to feel like a mansion even though the apartment I plan on renting in NYC is sure to have more in common with that 1978 RV. Well, I sure as hell hope it has different carpeting.

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