succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, July 12, 2003

For Kate (from this week's Newsweek):

"There's absolutely nothing sexually threatening about an elf," he says. "Legolas is a good, safe guy for girls to pin their dreams on."

The Road Trip - 1,873 miles in 20 days.

Started out in Charleston, WV, drove up to Morgantown, WV, then Pittsburgh and Long Island. I think I'm pretty caught up until LI. I arrived on a Tuesday night, discovered that Carrie Ann, from last summer in DC, is also in LI, so she, Matt, Matt's friend Dennis, and I headed out to Friday's for drinks. Apparently this is a very LI thing to do. Apparently, it's much like Chas in lack of things to do. But that's ok by me, as I was exhausted. On the way home, Dennis decided to name my car, and he has determined that she shall be called Snowflake (though I somewhat prefer The Intrepid Snowflake). Wednesday CA and I went to Jones Beach, which was very hot and very fun (and full of bad, yet entertaining, NY stereotypes). That night we went out with a bunch of Matt's friends, which is very much like being the average girl out with the beautiful people, but they're all so incredibly nice that you don't mind. Hung out at Matt's place Thursday (there was a constant stream from both he and his mother of "Do you want anything to eat? Let me fix a snack for you...maybe a sandwich?" it was very sweet), then that afternoon Matt, CA, and I drove into Brooklyn (not the most brilliant idea ever, but worked out all right). Had incredibly good (and affordable!) Indian food with Carrie in the village, then CA left to meet Jay, Matt drove back to LI, and Carrie and I attended the aforementioned Vic Thrill concert. What I forgot to mention in that post is that the reason why some bands have started holding concerts on boats is because Bloomberg has started enforcing these Cabaret laws, old morality laws that are now convenient for collecting fines since the city is so damn broke (like every other city and state these days). So apparently it's illegal to dance in a club/bar/restuarant unless said venue is actually a licensed dance club (sounds too much like a movie to be true). So some people have started these concerts out on a boat, so people can dance and smoke and drink and do pretty much as they please. It was much prettier and more fun than a stuffy bar, so I think everybody wins. Friday Carrie and I bummed around Brooklyn, did some shopping, and had dinner in Chelsea with Jann and his Dad. (sidebar - we got bored waiting for them and decided to pretend we were on a very awkward first date, which was highly entertaining to us; we cast one of the waiters as an ex carrie was trying to make jealous and we kept giggling every time he stopped by our table) Saturday we went to the Public Library (beautiful) and saw the Gutenberg Bible (breathtaking sounds too cliche but there aren't really appropriate words for what it's like to look in through the glass box at the beginning of print culture), then lunch with Jann and an all-too-tempting book sale on the Columbia University campus (Labyrinth Books rocks!). Saturday night was the previously mentioned Leonard Cohen concert. He wasn't there, but tons of amazing people sung his songs, all of which are beautiful. Got to see Rufus Wainright sing "Everybody Knows" which was fucking awesome. Sunday was the free concert at Carnegie (well, it wasn't really a free concert, we just happened to be lucky enough to get free tickets). The piece was Faure's Requiem, one of Carrie's favorites and now one of mine too. We both cried. It was beautiful. Except for some obnoxious fellow patrons. Which I won't rehash again because I've already ranted to several people and it only makes me sound like a snobbish asshole. Afterwards we headed to the Pride Parade (how's that for contrasting cultures?) which provided entertaining people watching for about 5 minutes (the highlight - a six-foot-something drag queen adjusting her g-string) and then just became annoying. Jann and his band were playing the mainstage, except they went on 2 hours late and the majority of the acts before them were like some sad talent show. I wonder if the Pride Parade is just not regarded as a serious venue or what, because I find it impossible to believe that there are fewer talented people who just happen to be gay than there are talented people who just happen to be straight. Whatever the reason, the mainstage was not all it was cracked up to be. Ah well. Drink afterward, and the requisite melodrama, then the disturbing feeling of being herded like an animal on the way home thanks to NY's finest. Monday Carrie and I caught up with David Harvey for lunch (poor guy *really* needs a vacation) and apparently it was random, vaguely B-actors day in the city. Almost physically ran into Michael Rapaport and brushed past Breckin Meyer on the way to lunch. Caught the train back to LI that afternoon, more drinks with Matt and his friends, then a really lovely evening staying up way to late just talking with Matt. Which might not have been the smartest thing ever, since drove to Cleveland the next day on about 4 hours of sleep. Ah well, it was worth it.

Week or so in Cleveland was very nice, Sara and company gave me a spare key, so I could come and go as I pleased. Got some work done, caught up on sleep and reading, discovered just how damn funny Tom Kondilas is, and spent quality time with S-Lo and Montelauro. Spent the evening of the 4th of July chilling on the porch and cooking out with Sara's highly entertaining friends from the zoo. Drove to Columbus Saturday afternoon and went to see T3 with Kate, Smike, and AnnaLisa (exceeded expectations, thoroughly enjoyable). Mostly just bummed around Kate's place for the weekend, drinking and watching movies. Actually had one of the best evenings of the trip sitting on the couch with Kate making lewd comments about Hugh Jackman while watching "Someone Like You." I always remember just how much I like Kate, but sometimes forget how well we get along (she's one of those people who's friendship I occasionally feel undeserving of). (sidebar - Kate - I hope one day to get to read your books)

Drove to Pitts on Monday, as missed several Pittsburgians on my first trip through the city. Got seriously sloppy drunk Monday night, for the first time in ages, and had a wonderful time. Slept it off most of Tuesday, only venturing out for a late lunch with Nate. Wednesday was the Pirate movie (mmmmm....orlandobloomjohnnydepp) and Thursday was wandering around the southside buying things I can't really afford. Came home from Pitts with lots of goodies - a beautiful bracelet from JL from Ireland plus a book on the Celtic tree of life, Nick's BA project (very impressive), a ring I bought myself, and a little book published in Kathmandu on the symbols, gods, and goddesses in Hinduism and Buddhism. Also spent some of the week annoyed with an acquaintance from high school, but don't really think it's worth getting into at this point. Things always work themselves out, one way or the other...

Drove all the way home yesterday with the window down and the radio up. Even after all those miles I still love being alone in the car, singing at the top of my lungs until my voice gives out. Perfection.

As expected, being home is lovely. Especially when the parents make a point of telling me how nice it is to have me home. Yay for the parents. The only minor downside was that my happy reunion with the car was marred by the fact that I think she's mildly injured. She seems much better this morning, and I'm actually not too terribly concerned. But she was walking around pretty gingerly last night, had some trouble jumping and landing, and didn't really want to be petted. She seems more herself this morning, so I don't think a trip to the vet is in order, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on her for the next few days.

All right, enough of the longest post ever. I'm off to do laundry.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Saw more of Devon tonight than I ever desired...which was...unexpected. (on a somewhat related tangent, realized just how much I like Devon. Anyone who cares about Jennings as much as he clearly does is all right in my book) Tonight is the last night of my road trip. Heading back home to the parents in Charleston tomorrow. Which is a little weird after very nearly three weeks on the road. S'pose Jennings's place feels just a little too much like home, since I sort of forgot to phone the parents to let them know I'm in Pitts, it doesn't feel at all like I've been here for almost 5 days, and much as I know it'll be lovely to be home tomorrow evening, I don't really feel the need to head home or the exhaustion or craziness I was expecting to experience at the end of the trip. Not that I'm complaining. Merely an observation.

In other Pitts news, I (finally) got to see Nick this week. (will probably include far too many details in this post, end up feeling somewhat passive aggressive, and no doubt will edit this post once become more sober) Arrived in Pitts Monday evening, dinner with Jennings, Rosenfeld, Timmy, and Devon. Then back to JL and Devon's for drinks and to meet up with Nick, then out for more drinking on the Southside. Lots of fun, too many beers and one broken glass later, we're all back (minus Timmy and Devon, who had to get up early for work) at JL's to watch XXX (ps - excellent drinking game for this movie - drink once each time you see his XXX tattoo; particularly effective if seen movie before and can claim to see tattoo anytime he turns his head). Thoroughly enjoyable evening by all accounts, which actually turned into thoroughly enjoyable night and early morning (bed around 6 am). Sparing unnecessary details, somehow ended up not meeting up with Nick for remainder of week. Roughly 60%-70% of brain (hey, I'm a statistician, I really do think this way) is ok with this, heard that familiar note of kindness in his voice over the phone, am confident that we both care about each other, and understand that both of us were only in town for a week and had many other obligations/complications/people to see. The remaining 30%-40% of my brain occasionally wins out in the self-confidence battle, and it frets that I am being avoided. Carrie provides perhaps the best explanation, but I don't particularly feel like getting into that now. Will only say that when the majority of my brain wins the self-confidence battle, I believe her. Le sigh. Realize that this post is highly imperfect, vague, and misleading. Decide that don't particularly care all that much since this one is mostly my (somewhat) drunken brain attempting to sort things out. Had a really lovely conversation with Carrie this evening that really helped with most of the sorting out, but clearly must still be thinking over things since felt impulse to post. There, that's as much of a disclaimer as you get.

Saw Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday. Five words - Orlando Bloom Johnny Depp Eyeliner. That's really all you need to see the movie. Though it is enjoyable for other reasons as well, not the least of which is the well choreographed fight scenes. (and the monkey! Kate - I nearly died laughing half-way through as my brain kept insisting on repeating, "The monkey's been shot!")

Have done plently of other things over the past 3 weeks, some of which have been dutifully mentioned here, others which have been unfortunately omitted (at least for the time being). All that I can hope is that perhaps after I land back in WV I'll sit down and write up a proper account of my road trip. Though I wouldn't hold my breath...