My Central America vacation was great. Natasha and I made new friends, rafted, hiked, rode horses, snorkeled, swam, played cards, consumed adult beverages, rolled cigars, smoked cigars, ate lobster, saw ruins and did all sorts of other way exciting things. I've been back home for a week now, and while I love being able to drink water from the tap and the fact that my legs are no longer disfigured as the result of about 25 mosquito bites, I think I'm ready to go back. This might have something to do with the fact that I have to start working tomorrow. To be honest, I'm kind of excited to start working. This is because I have a great love of the law. And it is also because I am broke. But even though I'm not dreading entering the real world, I do keep thinking that this is kind of it. Like when am I going to have another chance to take Caddy on a leisurely weekday afternoon walk? Or watch a daytime marathon of America's Next Top Model (that show is best watched in marathon form)? Or take another 5 week long trip? I recently figured out when all these things can happen: when I retire. Seeing as though I have a bit of a vacation addiction (as well as an ANTM addiction), I'm thinking retirement might have to come sooner rather than later. Like maybe in a few years? Over the course of our trip, Natasha and I met more than one retired lawyer who had ditched the US for the islands. Maybe this will be me! Probably not, given my new fear of skin cancer, but maybe a year long sabbatical to the tropics will be in order. Soon.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Cara has been called to work this week, which means I have to plan my own New York adventures and motivate myself to get out of the apartment and actually go on them. So far, I'm acing the planning. But seeing as though I've been up for a couple of hours now and am still in my pajamas and glasses, I can't say the doing part is going very well.
Yesterday, upon my return from Carrie's wedding in Vermont, Cara and I decided to take a trip to Coney Island, the birthplace of the hot dog (possibly invented by Jewish people!). It was quite the experience. I have never seen a beach that crowded before. I have also never seen a beach that dirty before. I guess I'm spoiled, coming from Oregon and all (I consider Seaside dirty), but there was trash everywhere. Still, I had a good time. There was great people watching, and again, coming from Oregon, where the white people roam, it was really different seeing such a diverse crowd, different in a good way. Unfortunately, we were too full from brunch for hot dogs, but I did get in some ocean frolicking (don't worry, there was a pre-frolic phone check. I've learned my lesson). I'm not sure I need to go back to the CI anytime soon, but I would recommend it: not necessarily for the beach, but for the experience.
Besides visiting Coney Island, I experienced another first this weekend: going to a wedding where I don't know anyone. Technically, I knew some people. Like the bride. And her family. And her aunt and uncle we stayed with in Michigan while driving cross country. And I did meet some of her friends at the bachelorette party. But I had no real friends there, which made me nervous at first, but in the end was fine. I generally enjoy meeting new people, and nothing makes schmoozing easier than some brewskies and an 80s cover band. Plus, seeing as though my plans for the wedding changed last minute and everyone felt bad for me, I got upgraded to rehearsal dinner attendee (on a tour boat on Lake Champlain) and ended up staying at the bride's mom's house (the farm where the wedding was held). I do have one teensy complaint about the wedding though. Malia and I were specifically told guests were not to bring dates. I'm a little confused about this, however, because basically everyone there brought a date. Obviously, some of the dates were actually fiances, but I sort of did some asking around, and it seems like no one else got the no date memo. Which is fine. You would likely need a fiance in order to find someone to accompany you to middle of nowhere VT for a wedding where they will know no one, but my issue with the whole idea is how do you determine when a relationship is "significant" enough for it to slide through a loophole to a "no guests!" wedding?I understand the whole money issue, but it just seems to me that when you do have a wedding where the majority of attendees will be couples, both invited to the wedding either outright or as an acceptable guest, it doesn't really make sense to tell the minority of invitees that they can't bring a date. Anyway, thats just my opinion. It was a really beautiful wedding (there was even a bagpipper in a kilt), and even though it ended up being a bit of a hassle getting there, I am really happy I was able to go. Plus, there was steak.
I need to get going. The longer I sit in here, the hotter it gets out there.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
So I am currently in New York City, staying with my sister Cara and her roommate Chelsie. Even though I am having a great time, I am having two major issues. First, being in New York, I obviously am feeling a need to shop. The problem is that I probably am not going to want to carry around a bunch of shopping bags full of clothes I won't be wearing while in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rice. Second, being in New York, I obviously feel a need to eat. There is just so much good food here, and I want to sample it all. And no, that it not an exaggeration. I really want to eat just about everything in sight. But I am going to have to be wearing a bikini a fair amount in the coming weeks and I'm not sure how comfortable I will be doing that after 5 pizzas and 20 rice puddings (which is what I really want to be eating).
Don't worry though. While I haven't been shopping, I have still gotten to eat some delicious food because I have no willpower. And am glad I have no willpower. For dinner tonight we went to a falafel shop aptly named "The Best Falafel in New York." We also went to a frozen yogurt shop where you serve yourself yogurt and toppings, as much as you want (and there were 16 yogurt flavors!) and then pay based on weight. I think one of these needs to open up in Portland immediately. I love paying by weight. If I ever open a restaurant (like maybe Sushi Territory, the western-themed sushi and bbq conveyer belt restaurant), its going to be pay by weight. Actually that might be hard for a conveyer belt place.
I've also managed to make new friend already! He was my cab driver from the airport and is the philosopher who coined the title of this post. He used to be in the construction business, running his own company, but he decided the money (juice) was not worth all the sacrifices he had to make to have that money (squeeze). So now he drives a cab, goes to school and travels a lot. We're going to be Myspace friends. And he didn't try to charge me $20 over the flat rate from the airport, like the sketchy cab driver who had my bags in his trunk before I realized something was a little off about the situation.
Tomorrow I head to Vermont for Carrie's wedding. I'm excited, despite the fact that I will know no one there except the bride. And her parents. Oh well, it'll be an adventure.
Friday, August 22, 2008
On Tuesday, I ventured out to Beaverton to visit Marie and her new kittens (kittens with very sharp claws, but cute nonetheless). On the way back, I ran into a couple of issues that interfered with my ability to drive safely. Well actually just one issue. And that issue was my vision. I have always maintained I have poor night vision. And I think what happened last Tuesday proves as much. I was supposed to turn onto Murray to get back to 26. However, as I pulled into the turn lane and waited for the light to change, I started panicking because I could not tell if there was a median in the middle of the street or not, and when I realized there might be a median, I upped the level of my panicking because I could not tell what side of the median I would need to turn onto. As I soon would discover, there was no median. At all. However, I did not discover this until I began to turn left, freaked out because I still could not figure out what to do about the phantom median, started to try and go straight (while still in the middle of the street), realized the light to go straight was still red, and then finally just decided I had no choice but to go for that left turn, median or no median. So I did. And was immediately pulled over by the Beaverton Police. He took his sweet time getting out of his car and over to my window, which gave me time to turn off the radio, grab my license and figure out what I was going to tell him that would sound less crazy than "I thought there was a median in the street, but there wasn't, so no worries!" Finally, he sauntered up to my window, and I quickly told him that I was not from these parts and was just trying to get back to 26. He kind of laughed and said he figured I was either lost or drunk. Good thing I had stuck to hot chocolate at the bar (which is kind of weird, now that I think about it. Hot chocolate in a bar in the middle of August?). He also told me that he had debated pulling me over or the guy who had been behind me, got tired of waiting to figure out what I was going to do, and had dangerously sped around me. Upon hearing this, I became very indignant ("Yes, that is dangerous! You would have thought he could have waited like 2.3 seconds!"). After giving me directions (I actually knew where I was going, I just was thrown by the presence (or lack of presence) of the median), the nice officer sent me on my way. Maybe the nice police officers is the reason people want to live in the suburbs?
Monday, August 18, 2008
I may or may not have spent the past 4 hours on the couch flipping between the Olympics and an America's Next Top Model marathon (one I have seen at least three times). But I see nothing wrong with any of this. Because I am on vacation. And once I get back from Central America, its unclear when I'll have a chance to spend this much time on the couch again. I need to live it up! On the couch.
The past few weekends have been pretty jam-packed. Weekend before last, I went up to Seattle to see friends and to meet up with Watari Sensei, my favorite Japanese English teacher from back in Mine. The plan was to meet Watari at Safeco for a Mariner's game, but we never really solidified plans before she left Japan. So when I got to Seattle, I was a little worried about how we would actually find each other. I became even more worried when I called the number of the woman Watari was staying with and left the following message for a man named John: "Um, hi, I'm looking for Watari Sensei? This is Abra, we are supposed to meet up for the game tomorrow? Um, so if this is actually where Watari Sensei is staying could you please have her get in touch with me?" I'm pretty sure John likely thought he was receiving a prank call.
Eventually, Watari Sense called me, and we met up at the game without a hitch (well, actually there was a slight hitch - she told me to meet by the big "grass" by Safeco, when apparently what she meant was the big "glass" glove thing by the gate). We had great seats on the first base line, perfect for taking pictures of Ichiro every time he made it on base. While the game was a great time, the highlight had nothing to do with baseball. When we were walking to our states, we heard someone shouting out names. I was like, who could possibly know both of us? I turned around and sitting exactly two rows behind us was Hayashi Sense, another one of my Japanese English teachers! While she knows Watari well from many years spent educating the youth of Mine, the two had no clue that both of them were spending their breaks traveling in Canada and Washington, and were also blown away to see each other at the game. Eventually, Hayashi came and sat on the other side of me, and it was just like old times in Japan with the two of them chatting in Japanese, and me flipping my head to side to side, nodding, like I am following the conversation when in reality I had no clue what either one of them was saying.
This past weekend was Jolina's wedding. Everything went really well, and I was really happy to be a part of it. The highlights beyond the ceremony itself were probably Brian dancing with my mom and Ryan (you know, the guy in middle school who looked like he was 30 and had a mustache when he was a twelve year old sixth grader) repeatedly hitting on Claire and calling my Abraham.
I'm currently at a crossroads. Another Top Model episode is about to start. I could continue sitting here, and wait to see who wins (CariDee, in case anyone was wondering) or I suppose I could get dressed and consider leaving the house. I think I'm going to stay on the couch.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I'd like to think the bar is behind me. And technically, it is. Exactly one week behind me. Last Wednesday at about this time I was halfway through my fourth Raspberry Stoli and soda and barely managing to stay halfway on my bar stool. But even though I'm done studying, I have yet to completely move past the Hell that was the past two months. For instance, almost every night I have some bar related dream. The scariest one involved sitting in the JELL office, trying to decide if I should take something called "Bar 2" which was an optional test taken a week after the bar that would increase your chances of passing. Messed up stuff. At least I've started to stop going through the elements of negligence every time I see a puddle on the ground. But I will admit that while running laps today at Reed, I considered explaining to a bunch of construction workers why their site was definitely an attractive nuisance.
I've decided though that I really am just going to put the bar out of my head until September 12th. What I think will help with this is that I can't remember any of the questions of the test and I decided it was not worth it to try and check my answers when I did remember the questions. What will also help is that I have a Central American vacation to plan. In less than a month, I'll be heading to the east coast for a week, followed by about a month in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where I will master surfing, get really tan, help Natasha make a sign reading "Second Base Only" in Spanish and visit tortilla factories. Its going to be great.
In other news, I have found my perfect apartment at a perfect location and will be moving in October 1st. I'm not sure I am going to have any perfect furniture with which to furnish the apartment, but I just finished reading this book, The Glass Castle, which is a memoir about growing up with parents who basically decided they would be poor, and I got a lot of ideas for furniture, including cardboard boxes for beds. I'm thinking cardboard boxes can also be tables! One of the reasons my apartment is perfect is because all dogs are welcome (except for aggressive breeds) so soon after I move in, I plan to adopt (a dog, not a child), name him Johnny Potato and take him for lots of walks at the park across the street (like I said, perfect location).
I'm thinking my life can't be any more boring than it was while studying for the bar, so if I managed to come up with some things to write about then, I will definitely be able to increase my blogging time now that (hopefully) exciting things will be happening. I think that the simple fact that my vow of sobriety has ended will up the excitement factor 200% at least.