Well gang, after 10 hours in airports/planes today, I’ll be done with my traveling binge for the year. This final surge started in October with a quick trip to Omaha to see family, and it ends with a LAS-PHX-DSM return from vacation.
The trips have all been enlightening in their own ways. San Fran’s wine country experience left me feeling uncultured–I know next to nothing about wine. And Vegas is so full of attractive people and nightlife that it makes one feel very plain and uninteresting. After Lubbock I am confident in my choice to leave grad school, and every trip confirmed that that my friends and family are good shit.
In all these places I’ve gotten to do a crapton of awesome things: from shopping at Those Iowa Girls, to touring Anheuser-Busch and the Zephyr showroom, taking in the mountainous Red Rock Canyon area at sunset, hanging from trees at Wash U and walking down Las Vegas Blvd. I ate at Fuzzys Tacos, Empress of China, Capriotti’s and Le Thai – to name a few. I enjoyed Bud Light at the O Bar, a Hemingway Daiquiri or two at Herbs & Rye, multiple pumpkin chai at Daybreak, a Grey Goose + Sonic special a la Megan Hansen, a quickly-downed fruity and delicious somethingorother at Frankie’s Tiki Room, and a sip of a bad-behavior-inducing drink called the “Amen” made by a bartender named Jim.
Thanks to everyone who made it happen. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to go home right now, but at least I can happily and exhaustedly surrender myself to working through the holiday season and into the new year… where a fresh batch of vacation days awaits.
I’m in a weird a place. I’m torn between calling it good or bad, or maybe pathetic. I don’t know if it’s conceited or thoughtful. I just don’t know.
The thing is, I don’t smile a lot in Lubbock. Outside of routine courtesy situations–the “Thanks” and a smile for holding the door or bagging my groceries, or the smile I can’t suppress when I type “Thanks!” at the end of my work emails–it just doesn’t happen much in the grand scheme of things. One doesn’t often find a bright, toothy grin emerges from talking about slavery, textual criticism, or drama analysis. Who knew?
Anyhoo, I’ve realized that I now tend to notice when I experience a genuine smile, and it’s sort of embarrassing when it happens because it’s almost entirely when I’m alone. Statistically, that makes sense, and I’m sure I don’t notice it as much when I’m socializing with the few but awesome people I am friends with here. Yet I realize it mostly when it happens because of something I was watching on Netflix/Hulu or something I found that I wanted to give to someone. Lately I’ve done quite a bit of late Christmas and accidental birthday shopping. I see something and I just know that PersonX would love it and I have to get it. I smile, some big, stupid, happy smile because I’ve found something that I think would make him/her happy. And to some degree, I think that’s awesome that I’m thinking of other people. Gotta keep battling that only child stereotype and all. But it’s also… I don’t know, that’s the part I’m torn about. I just know that the answer to “What kind of a person smiles because of things they see on TV and not because of the real life they are living?” isn’t a flattering one.
I digress here because the second sentence of this post gives me the right to remind you of the awesome days of putting a smile on your face, turning doubt inside-out and not wanting to talk about it. I hope it induces one of these :).
Tonight I was hanging out with Justin (we decided Chick-fil-A pizza with nuggets, sauce, and waffle fries would be the greatest. thing. ever.) and I started thinking about the guys from home. I know we’re all grown up and stuff, but I sure do miss ’em. A lot.
I’ve been a Texan for a month now (although my license plate and driver’s license say otherwise. Suck it, system!). A month ago last night I slept on the floor of my living room. Since then, not a whole lot has happened. I’ve been in school for two weeks and I spend 80% of my time watching Netflix while doing homework. It’s not bad, but there are some things I am definitely missing from the homeland.
Family & Friends
Top of the list, no question. Sometimes it’s a bit lonely. But even worse, it’s hard to not be around when you want to be there for someone.
Food: Fong’s, China Place, & Planet Sub
Just, yeah. I missed it if I didn’t have it often enough in Des Moines. So how can I not miss it here?
Panera, Caribou & Grounds
I could use some of my old stomping grounds for quality study space. Coffee, food, and a comfy atmosphere.
Tis’ [almost] the season. And oh do I wish I had some Buccs or Muskies to get rowdy with.
Things that only happen in the fall
Sorority recruitment, Heelan debate, Hawkeye football, and Fall Kill.
I’ll get right to the point.
I went to Las Vegas over the weekend.
Yes, yes. My life is pretty fantastic. I’m probably cooler than you. At very least, I know people who are cooler than you.
It was a delightful trip to visit a damn great person. I ate. I drank. I saw some bands. I pondered about other people’s lives. I watched some good TV. I heard some good tunes. I also slept well, relaxed in a pool, gawked at the strip, encountered an awesome family and left an obnoxious handprint on a mirror–I just don’t have any links for those.
I basically spent three full days living. And “living” includes taking two naps a day and staying awake for 26 hours. I love my life.