Monday, August 31, 2015

My grandmother is dying. It's been less than 7 months since we lost Poppa and now I'm going to lose my grandma too. And I'm stuck here in NOLA, and can't get to Houston until after the 4th, because that's when I get paid. I feel like I should be there, even though I know there is nothing I can do for her, and she might not even be aware of my presence. I just can't shake this feeling like I'm about to fall into a dark hole and I might never come out again. And I have no one to talk to about it. I just feel so alone, and I can't stop thinking about her. Wishing I was there, and yet also not wanting to be there. I don't want to sit in a room with my dad's family, who I am not particularly close to (except for Jenna), and watch my grandma die. I don't want my last memory of her to be her lying in a hospital bed, looking and feeling miserable, and unaware of her surroundings. ((Sigh)) I don't know how I'm going to deal with this, I really don't. 2015 has pretty much sucked so far. When will I catch a break???

Misadventures in Central America: Part I

Alright, I know I said my next post would be about my 2nd Tinder date, but because it's been a while since I've blogged regularly, I realized that there are some things I should probably catch you guys up on. The first being my trip to Central America. Sophie has been living in Guatemala for the past year, doing social work with a local youth program. She loves it there, and had been begging me to visit, and finally I had the time and the money (sort of) to go. Sophie is a Type A Personality and therefore likes to be in control and have a plan for everything, so I gave her my dates and let her plan the trip.
This was the itinerary: Louisiana > Houston > Guatemala City > Lago Atitlan > Antigua > Rio Dulce > Livingston > Belize > Guatemala City > Home

So do you guys remember when John invited me to go to Belize with him a while back, but then (as per usual) it ended up not happening? Well I got a bit tipsy one night and told him I was going to Belize finally, and that he should come! And he said he would. I didn't actually believe that he would though, because he's not the most dependable person. But he did! I'll get to that later...

So I drove to Houston first because flights were way cheaper and that way I could fly direct. I spent an evening with my dad and then he drove me to the airport the next morning on his way to work.
I'm not gonna go into ALL the details of every day, but let's just say there was a lot of rain, a lot of boat travel, and not a lot of sleep. The first night we stayed on the lake at Jim's house. Jim is this American guy who's retired in Guatemala and has a huge fancy house on the lake with its own private dock. He is currently dating a 21 year old from Texas and apparently regularly invites American girls to move in with him. Sophie moved in with him on a part time basis because it was free, and nice, obviously, but they don't have any kind of romantic relationship. So, other than the horrific boat ride across the lake in the driving rain, it was nice and peaceful at Jim's. I woke up at like 5am to take photos of the sunrise on the lake too. It was beautiful.
The next day we took another boat to the other side of the lake and spent the day sight seeing sort of. On day 3, we drove to Antigua with Jim and his child bride. Sophie and I stayed in a hostel, while Jim and his gf went to a fancy hotel. The hostel was decent, and we had our own room, but it literally poured rain the whole time we were there too.
Keep in mind, I didn't bring any rain appropriate clothing, or even a light sweater, because it was June and I was going to Central America and I thought it would be hot. But 80% of the trip was spent soaking wet and freezing.

So Antigua was fun, but also exhausting. We ate in some cool little boutique cafes and did some shopping. Then we hopped a bus at 4am to Rio Dulce, a little town on the river (obviously).
We stayed at the most amazing place!! It was like a bungalow village in the middle of the jungle. We got our own little hut, and there were hammocks everywhere, and the couple that runs the place had a dog and a cat who were super cool, and they cooked a communal dinner for us. We were the only ones staying there so really it was just like family dinner, but it was awesome! I spent a lot of time taking photos and laying around reading, which was nice. In the morning we went swimming and kayaking with the dog (who loved kayaking but hated actually getting in the river, lol).
Then the next afternoon we took a private boat to Livingston, which was the last stop before Belize.

Livingston sucked. Well, the hostel sucked. There were thousands of like genetically modified mosquitos everywhere, and we were surrounded by tons of 20 year old hipsters, who just wanted to sit around in the hostel and get wasted, instead of actually going out and doing/seeing things. Also it was hot as FUCK. I should clarify though, NOWHERE that we stayed had air conditioning, but this place was just awful. And we couldn't get out of there soon enough. And of course with all the boats and traveling, and lugging my bags around everywhere, I was just ready for some actual vacation time on my vacation. I had one bag just full of camera equipment and one rollerbag for all my other stuff. Sophie had her backpacking bag, but since I have back problems, I can't carry backpacks. :/ We did eat at an awesome restaurant and I had a boozy drink in a hollowed out coconut, and we took a really informative tour of the Garifuna village. So that was cool. But I couldn't wait to get to Belize!

So we had to go through customs before we could get on our boat to Belize, and they had to take a photo, so of course I made a stupid face. Hahaha. The boat ride was the worst yet. It was about an hour and a half of really, really choppy water, scary boat driving, and being slammed back and forth and up and down, and the luggage was all piled in the front, and I was so sure we were all just gonna tip over and spill into the ocean never to be seen again! I was also really sore and wet by the end of it. It was like riding one of those watery boat rollercoasters at an amusement park that NEVER ENDS.
But when it did finally end, we were in Placencia, Belize. An island paradise!!

More on that in my next post or 2...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Misadventures in Tinder Dating

I've been on the fence about whether to blog about this or not, because part of me thinks it's been done before, and the other part of me is lazy. Lol. But what the hey.
So in light of my current situation, I thought it couldn't hurt to give Tinder another shot. I mean I'm not really meeting anyone, and I'm not getting any younger. So I thought I'd give it a try. I made sure to mention in my profile that I wanna go on dates, not chat online with strangers. So I made a few matches, and finally a guy asked me out.
His photos were a little iffy...like he could be really attractive, or not attractive at all, ya know? But I took a chance and swiped right, and he asked me out. He wanted to do dinner, but I suggested drinks, because it's more casual. So he picked the place and I went to meet him. Don't worry, I took a screen shot of his pic, and sent it to Bethany telling her where I was headed. In case I turned up dead the next day. Lol.
I got there first, and he was running a bit late, so I ordered a beer and grabbed a stool at the bar. About 10 minutes later, he arrived. I could tell immediately that he wasn't my type. A little too...rough around the edges for me, and not in a good way. I mean, he was really nice, just...I hate to say it, but I was definitely out of his league. Lol. But I figured I'm already here, I might as well just enjoy myself, and treat this like 2 friends hanging out instead of a romantic date. So I did. He was a bit awkward, and not much of a conversationalist, so I did most of the talking and asked him questions to keep the conversation going. He told me he was an electrician, and he recently moved here from Detroit.
Shortly into our "Get to know yous" he says, "You seem really cool and chill and I wanna be honest with you about something."
ALERT!! ALERT!! That's what my brain was saying anyway. I said, "Ok..."
"Um....Well I sorta been to prison before."
"Ok...." ALERT!! ALERT!! "Can I ask why?"
"Yea, it was just drugs. And assault. I mean this guy bought some shit from me and then he didn't wanna pay me so I kicked his ass. And then he ratted on me to the cops so he wouldn't have to pay me, and I went to prison."

Well that went south quickly.

So, felony drug and assault charges. Lovely.
The rest of the date is irrelevant. After being informed that I was indeed on a date with an ex-con, I figured, How much worse can it get? So I let him buy me a couple drinks and when I thought it wouldn't be impolite to take my leave, I let him walk to me to my car (despite my protestations). He was quite tipsy by this point and kept asking when he was going to see me again, and he even tried to kiss me! UGH. I turned away and quickly closed the door to my car. He walked back to the bar. Alone.
He texted me the next morning, and I figured it wouldn't be very nice to prolong his misery, so I just said, "Look, you seem like a nice guy, but chemistry is really important to me, and I just wasn't feelin' it. But good luck!"
I also wasn't feeling his smoker's teeth, or his prison tats, but that's neither here nor there. He took the well though I think. At least, he didn't act crazy. He just said he appreciated my honesty.

Now after a date with an ex-con, do you think I continued to use Tinder?? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I'll tell you all about my next date in my next post.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Sorry my last post was so weepy. This is the first time I've logged into the blog since I posted that, and I definitely was going through some depression. I think it was mostly the death of my grandfather. I still can't think about him being gone without tearing up. He's the closest person to me that I've lost, and I miss him terribly. But things have gotten a bit better. I'm not depressed anymore anyway. It's just hard for me to blog, because it requires me to examine my life from an inward and exploratory perspective, and honestly, that does tend to make me a bit depressed. So I'm trying to live more in the now. And I'm trying to get out more, and put myself out there more. But it's very difficult. Being in your 30's sucks. I don't know where everyone gets off telling you it's gonna be so great, cuz it's totally not. I'm too old to be irresponsible, hell, I'm too old to WANT to be irresponsible. And the weight of all my responsibilities is crushing! But I don't really feel like an adult yet. I'm still struggling financially and with my own identity, and I'm still single, of course. So it kind of seems like I'm just in limbo, waiting for things to distribute evenly so I can quit this balancing act that is my life. ((Sigh)) But I'm looking ahead, and I'm trying.
Anyway, today I was listening to this Tove Lo song where she says,

Into friends
Move on
To strangers

And my brain just took off with that. How weird is it that you can be in love with someone, be incredibly intimate with them, know all their nooks and crannies and secrets, and then BAM! One day, you're complete strangers. It's so unfathomable, isn't it? It makes me quite sad actually. But maybe that's just because I'm alone. But still though, something has been lost, and that's sad. Often it's for the best, but...I dunno. To think about how you can be so close with someone and never expect it to go away, but it does sometimes.
For those of you who don't know Tove Lo, or only know her single, Talking Bodies, I actually came across her album, Queen of the Clouds, a little over a year ago, and it's really amazing. I listened to nothing but that album for like 2 weeks. So check it out if you haven't already.