Home Sweet Home

Home is a weird concept. A very basic and universal concept but also weird. I’m sitting in Atlanta’s airport and someone just asked me where’s home, and I responded “Austin.” And that’s the truth. But when I was in Austin a couple weeks ago and people asked if I was going home for Thanksgiving, I said “No, Connecticut is too far.” Connecticut as home is the truth. And I still remember the first time while I was in college when I referred to Boston as home and my parents cried a little. But then, it was still the truth.

So yeah, home is this weird thing. It is super fluid and it can mean a lot of different things. It’s your billing address, but it’s also your childhood home. It’s a place and it’s a feeling. I feel it when I see the Prudential on the horizon from the Mass Pike. I feel it when I see the glittering dome of the Capital in Hartford. I will feel it in a couple hours when I jump in my boyfriend’s old gray Mazda when he picks me up from the airport.

I’m traveling home after a week spent with my godmother in Snellville, GA. A town about 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta proper. And here’s the thing, I feel home there too. My mom has been gone for 2 years now and my Godmother is her closest approximation. My mom was Southern in her values and in the way she raised me and therefore, being with my godmother’s home, despite the fact that I’ve only been there a couple other times in my life, is amazingly comforting. Atlanta is a place I’ve spent maybe a sum total of 30 days within in my 26 years of life, but it has a familiar buzz and a homey-ness too.

My godmother and I baked cookies for one whole day while I was there and I realized that her kitchen was a better representation of where I come from than my childhood home is. My childhood home has been co-opted by my Dad’s fiancée’s family and it’s no longer a place I recognize. Bristol is still home, but the dwelling isn’t really, and hasn’t been for about a year. Too bad, so sad I know. But the truth nonetheless.

So you see home is this really complex concept. Maybe it’s just me. But I doubt it is. Maybe the old saying is right, and home is where the heart is. If that is the case. I’ve left my heart in a couple places in my life and with a couple different people. I think I might be slowly collecting more and more homes as I move through this life. Multiple homes with no mortgages to speak of, not a bad way to do it.

Buzzing Thoughts: An example of What It’s Like To Be In My Head

Does anyone else experience that feeling where you know something but at the same time you don’t know anything at all?

I was just reading an article about bees. Evidently over the past few years it’s been hard to be a bee and whole colonies have been dying sometimes for what appears to be no reason at all. But who cares? Well Obama cares, because he just created the pollinator health task force.

Image credit: frank.itlab.us

Image credit: frank.itlab.us

The thing is I know that bees are responsible for pollination. That’s elementary level earth science. I get that. And I know that plants have reproductive systems and most rely on pollination to prosper and reproduce. I think that was middle school science. So logically I 100% understand that bees must be important to agriculture.

Except in reality I obviously don’t understand, because when I read the article title about Bee Die-Off, my first reaction was “so what?” And even reading it, I’m thinking “have we seriously not found a way to pollinate our crops without relying on annoying little bugs?”  Totally, suffering from a human-superiority complex thing over here.

So now my hippie-dippy, side has perked up and I’m spiraling in this whole thought process around how intrinsically linked all things are. It’s amazing really, the connections and cause and effect.

But what else do I know but not know? Here I am, I’ve been walking around completely ignorant of the plight of bees having given absolutely no thought to their really very vital role in food production. How many other topics are there where I am several steps away from really putting 2 and 2 together.

I’m definitely going to need another cup of coffee with all these thoughts….coffee, made from beans, which come from a plant, which likely requires pollination, back to the bees.

I’d Take Mean Skies Over No Sky

Dear United Airlines,

I wanted to let you know that there is a serious flaw in your current tag line. Unless Wikipedia is failing me it is currently “Fly the Friendly Skies.” The thing about that tag line is that is assumes that you actually get up in the air.

I used to be the type of person who scoffed when someone said they had a preferred airline. Must be nice to be so wealthy so as to be able to afford being picky about flights.  What a luxury!

But, you know what? I think I’m getting close to understanding those people. I cannot say I have a favorite airline. But I’m narrowing the field. Because, United, I’ve ruled you out. In the past 9 months you have delayed a flight I was on so long that I very nearly missed one of my oldest friends weddings. When my mother died and my best friend was rushing to my side you diverted and delayed her so long it took her well over 24hrs to get to me. And then,  this very evening due to your inability to appropriately schedule a flight crew you have made it so that instead of seeing my Dad promptly at 10:29am tomorrow after many moons apart, I will see him at 10:05pm…maybe, who knows, knowing you.

I know what you’re thinking. Boo hoo, what’s 12 hours? Well 12 hours is actually a really long time when you’re a girl on the brink of her 25th birthday sans mother, in a city where you can easily count your friends on your hands and your close friends on just one.

So I just think you should consider a different tagline. Because in all honestly I’d rather mean skies over no sky. And I’m really not convinced you’re all that friendly. The thing about a friend is that you can let them know when they’re being a dick because you’ve got an open line of communication. Your customer service section is a fucking maze and you practically ask for my finger print to leave feedback. Those shenanigans are not those of a friend, on the ground or in the air.

I am sure operating an airline is quite complex. I mean, seriously the fact that a giant hunk of metal can carry a bunch of humans through the sky is impressive, gets me every time. But, maybe go with that as a tagline: Fly, it’s kind like magic and you should be happy with that because chances are the rest of it we’ll fuck up. That’s kind of a long tagline, I’m a media person not a copy writer so you’ll probably want to get someone on that but I mean it’s a start.

Sincerely,

I Just Ruined My Chances of Ever Working For Whatever Agency Currently Has You (WPP?) But It’s Ok Because You Seriously Need To Re-evaluate Your Operations, Customer Relations & Brand Touch Points Anyway

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

I love Christmas more than almost anything else in the world. It’s not always the luckiest time of year for me. In fact it is often the time of year when my best laid plans are torn a sunder. I have lost two of the 3 grandparents I ever known at Christmas time. Most recently this Christmas season has begun with the notification that while the cancer in my mom’s stomach, found in August, has not gotten any bigger, the pieces in the liver had.

But I’m not upset. I’m not upset mostly because she is not upset. She is an amazing woman and praise of her strength would warrant an entirely separate post. But I’m also not upset because it is Christmas. And Christmas is a time of hope. Beautiful wonderful things happen at Christmas.

For me the most wonderfully hopeful thing about Christmas is what I know won’t change. As a liberal twentysomething living in Boston one could assume that I don’t consider myself traditional. But don’t even think about messing with my Christmas traditions.

I love Christmas because no matter what else is going on I know that the smell of a real Balsam Pine decked in white lights will calm me. I know that even though the directions say to add flour and then mix in the spices, you sift the spices into the flour and then add it slowly. I know that on Christmas Eve I will be with my family and we will eat apps and open presents and then we’ll go to church and sing Silent Night over candle light and when it’s all done it’ll be midnight Christmas Day. I know that in the weeks leading up all my favorite shows will have a Christmas episode before they take their hiatus. I know that ABC Family will play Harry Potter. I know that I’ll hear the bells of Salvation Army Volunteers each day.

No matter how stressed I am at this time of year. No matter what personal tragedy I suffer. I can’t stay sad at Christmas. It’s the stability. It’s in the knowing what’s coming. It’s in the familiarity and the warmth. It’s like this time of year holds on the the joys of the last and they grow interest overtime. I believed in Santa Clause much longer than the average child. But even now I truly do believe that Christmas holds magic.

 

If You Don’t Love the Olympics We Can’t Be Friends

I have always loved the Olympics for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of watching the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and being absolutely obsessed with Dominique Moceanu. I was 7 then and did Gymnastics at my local rec center. I wanted to be her so bad.

Unfortunately for me, not only do I lack the raw talent and determination to be a gymnast, I pretty much lack any athletic ability all together. I wised up to being bad at gymnastics around 9 or 10, but it took a solid 4 more years from there for me to realize that sports as a whole were not my thing.

Despite being atrocious at just about anything you’ll even be asked to do in gym class I still love sports. I just love them from the stands. And I don’t really discriminate. With the exception of maybe golf, I’ll watch just about any sport if that’s what everyone else is doing. And I’ll get wicked into it too.

That’s why I love the Olympics. Because for 2 weeks everybody who is anybody is watching them and you get to see a whole slew of sports that you otherwise wouldn’t give two shits about. For example, it has only been two days since the opening ceremonies and I’ve already watched Beach Volleyball, Handball, Rowing, and Field Hockey in addition to those tried and true favorites that America only gets excited about every four years because we’re good at them – Swimming and Gymnastics.

I mean I wish I watched more swimming year round. I’m never going to not tune in to see Ryan Lochte’s abs. They sadly just don’t get as much air-time outside of the Olympiad.

Some of my other Olympic favorites are Synchronized Diving and Pole Vault. I’m always in awe and within five minutes I’m jabbering on as if I’m an official commentator. “Ooo, too much splash.” “What a tough break for South Africa.”

My only complaint about the Olympics is that they’re over too fast. But I guess that’s the point. Some people say it’s a sham of world peace. And I agree, just because a bunch of super fit athletes can get along for two weeks does not mean the world as a whole is functioning any better than it did before.

But I do think that it’s a nice reminder of just how big the planet is. And as much as I like seeing team USA win, it’s always kind of nice to watch them lose too. I feel like it’s always good to be reminded that dreams, talent, hard work, and determination are not just American ideals, they’re universal qualities of any one, any where who succeeds at something. We might be the big fish no matter what side of the pond we’re on, but in the end we’re just one fish a in a pretty bad-ass aquarium of talent, and that’s pretty up-lifting.

Moving is A Bitch

I think everyone can agree that moving is a bitch. Despite this universal fact, I have yet to live in the same location for more than 11 month since I turned 18.

I know what you’re thinking. College moves don’t count. I don’t necessarily agree. I think once you have kitchen stuff it counts. If you have to pack up a coffee maker, that’s moving.

The thing I hate most about moving is having to confront just how much stuff I have. I have so many belongings. So many. There is no way I need all of it. But there’s no way I’m going to part with it either.

Case in point, I packed today and the these are the only things that made it into the donation pile:

  • 3 books
  • 2 pairs of work out pants
  • 1 pencil skirt
  • 1 sun dress
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 2 pairs of heels
  • 2 over-sized t-shirts

You might think that’s pretty good. But it’s about perspective. Today while packing I also counted some items and realized I have over 50 pairs of underwear and exactly 40 dresses. Yes, 40 effing dresses. (I was in a sorority so I’m going to blame at least the shiny or sparkly ones on that.)

The photo below shows my (half full) suit case (I filled 2 just with the clothes from my dresser). That entire top layer is just college t-shirts. Those don’t even include my Tri Delta t-shirts. I didn’t even dare count those.

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Coming to terms with my near hoarder-ism is hands down the worst part about moving. But now that it’s all boxed up and out of site, the fun part of moving is starting to creep in. Like what new furniture I can purchase to make my next move even more difficult! Ikea here I come.