Sunday, August 31, 2008

Three dots in the sky

I find that my homesickness manifests itself in very strange ways.

I almost never get homesick until right before I'm about to go home, but I think that has as much to do with going home as it does with just wanting a break from real life (and some Chick-fil-A).

I started going to sleep-away camp when I was in 6th grade and I would watch these girls cry and cry when their parents left them and then cry and cry every night and then cry and cry when their parents came to pick them up. Whereas I would wave goodbye at my Mom without so much as a second glance and then kind of forget about my family until Friday when they came to pick me up and I would beg to stay longer.

Sleepovers? No problem? Weeks with other peoples' families at the beach? Cake. My younger self had no problem with separation issues (which is apparently hilarious because my very younger three year old self apparently couldn't handle being separated from my mom for more than like 47 seconds without flipping out).

When I went off to college, my Mom dropped me at my New York City apartment and she was about to leave when I (shrilly) exclaimed, "but I don't have any food!" So she took me grocery shopping and that was enough. After the groceries, we hugged and kissed goodbye and things were fine. I think the only time I remember getting really emotional about being homesick was right after my Mom and Caroline and Belinda left after being in NYC for my 18th birthday, but again - life is more fun with my family around so it might have just been that.

I keep moving further and further away and while I feel the tug of the East Coast its nothing like some of my friends experience.

When I went to South Africa, I went the longest I've ever gone without actually vocally speaking to either of my parents (almost three weeks) and I knew I was upset, but I was also having so much fun that I couldn't decide which emotion (sadness or excitement) had the most power (I ended up drinking a whole lot, obvi, because I didn't want to make the choice).

I found that when I was feeling upset, the thing that calmed me down was finding the constellation Orion's Belt in the sky. I'm not a huge stars person, but its one of the easiest to pick out and one of the only ones you can see both in North America and South Africa.

Every night after drinking as we stumbled back to the dorms I would look up in the sky and announce that I had found Orion's Belt, as if it hadn't been discovered several thousand years ago. Then I would fall asleep, wake up and everything would be just fine.

Since I've gotten back from South Africa (about 3 and a half years ago), Orion's Belt has been one of those things that has remained a touchstone. Let's be f'real. You can see it pretty much from anywhere in the world and so I've found it in England, in New York City, on Nantucket, in Chicago...

Everywhere I go, when I'm feeling kind of lost and alone (which tends to happen most at night) I look up and find it and am okay again...and by okay I mean, I might end up crying or screaming at some point but when I wake up in the morning, everything will be just gravy.

So that's why, if you're ever standing next to me, and I exclaim that I've found Orion's Belt with an absurd amount of happiness-- don't roll your eyes. Just give me a hug because its probably what I want.

Friday, August 29, 2008

D. N. Flippin' C.

Its over. Its all over. I've sent my last blog (which might not even get posted), I've put up the rest of my pictures

I have all the buttons I'll buy here. Which isn't very many because I didn't get as much shopping time as I wanted. But I have plenty of schwag and 1300 pictures and this story to tell my grandkids.

It was really, really, reaaaaally overwhelming. By the end of yesterday I pretty much lost it and had a freak out for a solid 30 minutes before I managed to get myself back together. And I almost got hit in the face by a cop (you're going to have to ask me for that story). I loved getting to take pictures, but the life of a photographer is nuts and I wasn't even a real photographer so I can only imagine the added pressure when you're trying to get paid for your work. Also, your camera is probably pretty heavy when it is as big as most of theirs.

But I have to say, the once in a lifetime-ness of it all made it so worth it. I mean, I was there!! I saw Barack speak. I was 5 yards from him when he surprised everyone on Wednesday. I listened to Michelle and Bill and Hillary. I watching Hillary letting her delegates go, which was one of the most heartbreaking things ever (being a loser sucks and losing on this level probably sucks even harder and yet you have to keep smiling all the time). I saw Dennis Kucinich rev up a crowd more than I've ever seen (for the number of people in the audience, which wasn't many, making the amount of noise they made, which was a lot - I think it was one of the most well received speeches of all 4 days).

I don't think of myself as really political, just opinionated and I went into this thing not getting the big whoop about Barack. I know people who love him, and I respected their love but there was always this voice whispering in my ear, "he's just a presidential candidate" but I guess its because we haven't had a candidate like this in so long. I mean, I didn't see Kennedy run and I didn't see Clinton run (well, I don't really remember it) so maybe its because these past 8 years have just given us lame candidates. But when I got up there and listened to him speak and watched the people react to him, it made so much sense.

He's a rockstar. Liberals love rockstars. And I know there's some seamy underbelly to his story, but that's politics. People want to believe in him because they're running out of things to believe in. And while I don't totally feel that way, I respect it and am very interested to see how he does for the rest of this election.

Also, I touched a Kennedy. Which, if you aren't a democrat before, you sure are after. Bobby Kennedy Jr gave a 15 minute speech standing on a chair in the middle of a Gumbo restaurant in downtown Denver at 10 PM on Tuesday and it was amazing. It was stump-y of course, but it didn't matter. He's got the genes for it.

So here's the blog - which hasn't been updated all day, which sucks, but might be updated tomorrow. And pictures.

I'm ready to go home though. A whole three days of work, class, packing, unpacking and then off to Nantucket.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama has an amazing backside

My first day at the convention was one of the most overwhelming of my entire life. I am feeling really guilty right now because everyone is getting ready for the day (my Aunt and Uncle who have so graciously allowed me to stay on their couch are now cooking me bacon) and I am sitting here blogging and posting pictures to Picassa. I'm going to put up a few more pictures before I get ready for day 2 (Barbara Mikulski! Mark Warner! HRC!). My blogs can be found here

And my pictures can be found here

So check those all week!! And check here, if I get a chance I'll post here, but probably not because the FNP actually hooked me up with the press passes so I have to keep them happy before anyone else.

I will say though that listening to Michelle Obama speak and listening to Ted Kennedy speak and being right there with them for all of it was one of the most surreal experiences of my whole life. I've never been all about the politics, more all about the Hollywood, and so never thought of these as real people. But they are real and they're spectacular.

More soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Its almost over/its just beginning

So, life is kind of crazy right now, for a bajillion reasons. Most of them being that at some point in life I was taught to save all the best parts of summer for the end of it. I don't know why- but it makes a whole bunch of sense and it makes the transition into fall that much easier. Although, now that I'm no longer in school there shouldn't really be a transition, and yet for some reason there always is.

The rest of this week promises a Cubs game, a job interview, my first time hosting a Chicago party, new improv classes, and my first Nats game (which will also be my third cubs game).

Then next week I fly to Denver to take part in one of the craziest things I've ever talked my way into. The Democratic National Convention. I can't really believe that we're actually flying all the way there - and we're going to have press passes and I'm going to be in Colorado! For the first time!! Ever! I keep going West!

Then I come home with just enough time to unpack and then repack before heading to Nantucket. By myself!! I've never gone on a solo vacation. If it isn't completely sad its going to be totally wonderful. I don't think I spend enough time just by myself not talking. I have a lot of writing I want to get done and there will be nothing better for the muses then sitting on the porch eating portugese bread and drinking Granny's bad coffee.

After that...its the middle of September. I might have managed to talk my way into a new job. And I'll be taking two new classes, interning, doing shows and keeping myself more busy than most people actually believe possible. And its football season! And the world series! And I'll be turning 24. And I get to go to Chincoteague!! And my baby sister is turning 16 (more on that later).

I've been getting less sleep lately, for a whole bunch of reasons all good except for the fact that, you know - I miss sleep.

I know this sounds crazy, mostly because I am always crabby and I complain a lot and I seriously have no money, but I'm pretty absurdly happy right now. I know that once winter starts things are going to get pretty depressing, but I'm trying to save up happiness, like a squirrel, and I'll have it to get me through January and February.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I don't like getting tricked.
I don't like being two steps behind.
I don't like knowing things last.

I don't like trusting people I don't know.
I don't like having to rely on my own judgment.
I don't like leaving things up to chance.

And yet -

Here I am letting all that happen because I'm trying to not be me for awhile.

It's hard.
And it sucks.

But it makes me kind of happy.

She's pint-sized and amazing.