Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

Ok, so, first things first...we did pretty well re-creating the picture! Take a gander...

At first I tried to have everyone line up in the exact opposite/incorrect order because apparently I'm not the brightest (and had already been drinking). Luckily, Danielle (the one on the right...the other two are also named Danielle...it gets confusing) was there to set me straight, like she is so fond of doing, and get us all in a perfect queue.

Afterwards, we took photos reminiscent of the prom in front of the vineyard. Pretty sure we were the only ones doing that.

So, now I'm back in Flor-ee-da. I was supposed to fly back on Monday, but I ended up changing my flight and flying back on Sunday instead because Florida was getting hurricane Isaac on Monday. It wasn't supposed to be bad in central Florida, but I figured it would be wise to not be in a flying object in the sky when it hit. That, and I figured I could forego one additional day of spending money, eating whatever I wanted, and drinking whatever I wanted. It turns out I couldn't and ended up following the exact same protocol on Monday anyway. 

I'm not going to bother posting more photos on here because they're all on Facebook anyway. I was good about taking photos, just like I promised myself...I took a shit storm!

Overall, it was sooo fun to be back in CT and see everyone. I majorly lucked out by having the best.weather.ever! It was literally sunny every single day, no humidity, windows open all day/night, crickets, etc. Couldn't have asked for anything better. I figure God was rewarding me for being such a loyal follower. 

And, I got to see everyone I wanted to with the exception of like 1-2 people. Lots of hiking, lots of walking, lots of being outside, lots of eating & drinking out, lots of eating & drinking in, wineries, tubing, bbq-ing, bon fire, a couple concerts, etc. Ahhhhh, so nice!

I want to end this post on a high-note and a philosophical meandering of sorts (so, it doesn't just seem like I was eating and drinking during my whole vacation). So, heed my advice young ones. Hint: Heed my advice with a huge grain of salt. Remember? I'm single and living with my parents in a retirement community at almost 30 years old, so clearly I may not be the best advice dispenser around.

But, seriously, I think it's important to do things like this, take time out, and go on vacations. As the saying goes, "we do not remember days, we remember moments." And, it's so true. When I look back on various parts of my life, days that stretched into weeks and even months/years seemed so long at the time, but now are only viewed as a particular snapshot in time. You remember the moments. You remember vacations. You remember the memories. You don't remember all the shitty, little, in-between stuff. Granted, the grass is always greener at the time, but one of the greatest parts about being human is, when reflecting back, your mind conveniently grasps tightly to the best times. You remember all the good stuff. 

So, keep in touch with the people that matter the most to you and don't be surprised when there's a natural falling out with others. That's bound to happen. It was fun to see some of my good friends but then also see people I hadn't seen in quite a while and don't necessarily keep in great contact with. The sporadic connections are fun in order to see where everyone's at at that point in their life. And, even though people, situations, and circumstances change, it still feels the same, in ways, because of the rooted platform we all jumped off from. 

Ok, that is all my darlings :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mid-week Music & See Ya Later!

I'm leaving for CT tomorrow morning, super early, on a jet plane…and by jet plane, I mean a Village Shuttle Van with boat loads of senior citizens. It will take me to the Orlando Airport for my 9-ish am flight. That all translates to me waking up at 4:30am, which I couldn't be more pumped about…at least I'll be in CT before noon! 

So, since I'm going to be gone Aug. 16 - Aug. 27, don't expect any blog updates from me any time soon. I mean, you can still check my posts obsessively (like I'm sure so many of you are quite fond of doing) to see if maybe I decided to post something wonderful while on vacation, but don't hold your breath.

One of my goals is to recreate this picture…which I think is possible with enough perseverance and hard work (or, neither of those things…pretty much all that's needed is a winery and 3 girls all named Danielle).

Monday, August 13, 2012


I forgot to mention in my The Villages post that this place has a really high STD rate. I'm not sure how that tidbit slipped my mind because it seems like pretty important information...a retirement community with a very sexually active demographic. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Also, I've heard (mostly from my brother, who may or may not be an authority on such topics) that if you're wearing gold sandals or have your tag sticking out of your shirt, then you're DTF. That's how the classy men can pick the classy broads out of a crowd, evidently. I imagine it's a lot like the way a male baboon picks out the female baboon with the reddest butt. If you don't know what DTF means, watch an episode of "Jersey Shore" (I can't believe I'm recommending that). Or just google it because apparently it runs rampant in organic search results.

BTW, my one lone pair of gold sandals have yet to be on my feet since moving to this area. Such a shame considering how stellar they could look with some gold accessories!

That little epilogue aside, I hope we all have some closure and can move on now...

My mom was telling someone recently that I have OCD. Moms are always saying the nicest things about their kids. I don't reeeeally have OCD. It's just that I prefer everything to be neat and tidy and clean and non-shedding...aaaaand, deliberately placed at perfect 90 degree angles. I mean, who doesn't like that shit? Riddle me that.

Plus, doesn't everyone have their shoes/socks grouped together by color, type, and style? And, doesn't everyone strive to have their clothes folded in such a way to resemble that of the Gap? Who wouldn't want their clothes to look like a retail clothing shop display? Ummm, I do, and it rates pretty high on my list. I think these are healthy semi-normal characteristics we can all agree on that don't cross that fine line into OCD territory. Right? I like to know the shizzle I have, I like it to be organized, and I like to be able to find it. Just because the rest of all you crazy people prefer to have piles of crap lying all around doesn't mean that I'm the one with problems!

Following suit, I have a scary and uncanny ability to be super observant about almost everything. My mom loves to make comments about how I'll take such great care of her when she is older. Usually she's being sarcastic because at the time, I'm pointing out that she has crumbs all over her face or tried to put two earrings in one earring hole. Nice try. I can't just let that shit slide. I can always notice if anything is out of place. It's not really something I'm proud of...it's just innately wired in my head I guess, and I can't do anything about it. Like, I used to be able to tell my ex-boyfriend, "you came home from work, went for a run, drank a beer, and then had this as a snack"...or something along those lines. And, then we'd laugh and laugh and laugh. Actually, I'd laugh, and he'd mostly sit there looking perplexed and wondering what he had done wrong in a past life.

Hey, it's not like I have to turn light switches on and off 17 times for fear that if I don't, my dog might keel over and die. And, it's not like I feel the need to clean my asshole out with a toothbrush after taking a bowel movement (not even kidding - that was a legit episode I saw one day on "Obsessed" on TLC). Those are serious fucking issues. Mine can still be considered "cute" or "not too crazy".

Organization has always been one of my number one strong suits...in fact, many of the jobs I've had in the past have focused on it. Maybe because I'm a Capricorn (if you believe in astrology...which, let's be honest, you probably shouldn't because it's kinda silly).

At any rate, I'm a great house guest. If you invite me over and I stay for a little while, I'll always leave the place in better condition than before I arrived. The only annoying thing is, this is exactly the type of shit messy people don't even notice. Ya know what they do notice though? The missing booze.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I don't really know how else to say this...

...so, I guess I'll just come right out and say it. I love Taylor Swift! Were you thinking I was going to say I'm pregnant due to immaculate conception? Probably'd be equally as shocking.

I'm just as surprised as you are. Normally, since I'm a pretty cool person, I like cool music like rock, indie, folksy type stuff. Maybe a little Slipknot here and there for good measure. Just kidding, I don't really listen to freaking Slipnot. See? I can't even spell their name correctly two times in a row. I mean, does anyone listen to Slipknot? Anyone that doesn't have long, black, dyed hair that is.

And just kidding, I don't really think I have the greatest taste in music. I just listen to what other people tell me they like or what Pandora tells me I like (I do like this? Meh, ok, I guess you're right)...and, when I find something I actually enjoy, I listen to it over and over til I go retarded and start to hate it and want to hurt myself or others. My playlists (I don't really make playlists - this just seemed like a convenient word to use) are a lot like the top 40 pop radion stations except with a lot more Avett Brothers and Brett Dennen all up in them.

But yeah, so Taylor. That reminds me, James Taylor is pretty good if you're ever in the mood for something sort of boring slash sort of "feel good" (even if you don't really feel good because of the music itself, a nice little side effect is the music can be so depressing that you might start to feel good organically)...which I actually am in the mood for that a good amount of the time.

Back to Taylor though...I don't know how it happened. I don't know how she wriggled her little way into my life and tugged on my heart strings. Is this getting weird?

I know she's only like 15 years old or something. Getting weirder. Ok, maybe she's older than that by now, but still, she's pretty frickin young. And she supposedly writes all her own music/lyrics and plays the guitar and has won all these awards and is really good at wearing winged, cat eyeliner. I'm not sure how that last part applies to her musical abilities, but I'm sure it's relatively pertinent in some way. So anyway, she's very talented in many ways. I don't think her voice is all that great live, but is that really all that important in singers these days?

She writes all these songs that are a very good combo of being relatable and whimsical and nostalgic, etc...and I'm not quite sure how she does it because I can't imagine she has all those real-life experiences to draw from, but it's believable nonetheless. And, they're all so damn catchy...and great for singing in the car or shower.

Just recently, I was driving home from Orlando, blasting Taylor (first name basis, right here) and I was so into the music that I completely missed my turn. I didn't realize it for a while because the song was so good. Actually, that's probably about 9% of the truth. Mostly it's because I'm directionally challenged and apparently have no real knowledge of where I live. But anyway, I blamed Taylor and then got home 20 min. later than I should have.

I've been listening to her a lot today and now I feel roughly about 21 years old. It's great. And, that will last until tomorrow morning when I wake up hungover.

P.S. I know I've made fun of Taylor before in a previous post, but that's just what girls do. We are dismissive to things we actually like to appear cooler and more popular.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Villages...Florida's Friendliest Hometown!

Ok, this is where I live...The Villages. Make sure your speakers are on to get the full effect...then, hit the little speaker icon in the top/middle of the page...scaaaaaaary, am I right?!

I can't believe I haven't really written an actual post about it (it=The Villages) yet. It's just that it's like, a big, huge undertaking to depict it accurately, and I've always been too lazy and found writing about crackheads to be exponentially easier.

Soooooo, here goes...The Villages is an "active adult" retirement community in central Florida...about an hour north of Orlando. Basically, it's in the middle of the sticks. The outskirts of The Villages (a.k.a. the bubble) are scary and look like a scene out of the movie "Deliverance"...i.e. a lot of run-down trailers and toothless rednecks that work minimum wage jobs, yet somehow find a plethora of money to spend on cigarettes. I guess it evens out somewhere along the way when you don't spend a dime on dental care (?). Anyway, I'm being mean and spoiled, but I'm just trying to set the scene accurately for ya'll (plus, it's not like any of these aforementioned rednecks would be reading my post anyway and getting annoyed because a) I'm not sure they can read and b) I'm certain they don't own computers...ok, sorry again, too much damn Tosh...stupid Daniel! I used to be a nice person).

The best way to summarize The Villages is that it's a Disney World for adults/seniors. It's a man made wonderland/paradise/utopia that is strictly controlled, kept perfectly safe, clean, Republican (vote for Romney! the fact that he's Mormon isn't frightening at all), mostly white, religioned-up like whoa, manicured, watered, flowered, palm treed, etc. How does it stay this nice? Mexicans, of course! I'm not even being stereotypical...it's completely true. They do a bang up job.

Golf cart paths line every street, and I believe the stats are that for all the golf carts here, it means that every household has an average of one or more golf carts. Because sometimes you need two. Most households have one regular car and one golf cart. Oh, and they have a separate mini golf cart garage in many cases.

The healthcare is excellent. Median income is about $80K per year during retirement. People wave happily, and when you accidentally cut them off in the grocery store line because YOU have somewhere to be, they say things like "It's ok, I've got more time than money." Little dogs are everywhere; some even in pink baby carriages. Now, I'm all about little dogs, but baby carriages? Don't dogs like walking? There's been a handful of times I'm expecting to see a baby and then a Maltese pokes its little pony-tailed head up instead. Ah yes, the common, every day occurences here that become "normal" are so far from it everywhere else. I should get a picture of it one of these days. It's just that one doesn't usually think to take a picture of a Maltese in a baby carriage until it's too late. Oh, and, just about every day while walking the dogs I hear, "Who's walking who?" It's a hilarious joke that never gets old.

Bonus: If you like hearing the song "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" on pretty much an endless loop ((on the ever popular Villages AM (I can't emphasize that enough, so I've bolded, underlined, and italicized it) radio station)), then you'll love it here. If that song isn't ringing any bells for you, thank your lucky stars, and then check it out here.

The Villages, like the name implies, is divided up into a bunch of different villages (clusters of houses and neighborhoods) with different names. For example, we live in the "Virginia Trace" village, whatever that means. Each village also usually has its own pool, mailbox station, shuffleboard, and pickleball courts, etc. There are also crazily decorated huge recreation centers here that each have their own theme. It's really all quite a sight to be seen. There's over 2,000 clubs you can join here depending on what you like to do...I just hope you're a fan of knitting, bingo, or backgammon.

Then, there are two big town centers...Sumter Square and Spanish Springs (a 3rd one is being built). They each have a bunch of different stores, restaurants, bars and a big band stand in the middle. Live music (don't get excited - it's 50's music 90% of the time) is played 364 days a year. And, there is a little alcohol/bar type booth on each corner (that's right - 4 of them at each square!) where you can get 2 for 1 drinks. Every day is a weekend because most people are either retired or on vacation. Everyone is drinking by like 4pm, easily. It's like a step away from one astronomically large AA meeting. It's pretty much like being on vacation 100% of the time...except that I ordinarily wouldn't freely choose to vacation at a place with such an inordinate amount of seniors.

There was a "ladies night" I went to recently at this particular restaurant. Needless to say, there weren't many ladies there (mostly sketchy men waiting for the ladies to show up), but it didn't matter because regular sized glasses of wine were 50 cents. That's right. Insane in the membrane! Even when it's not actually happy hour at most restaurants, they say it's happy hour all day anyway, and there are always drink specials. The seniors here are so catered to, it's ridic.

If I were retired, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. There'd be absolutely no reason not to live here. You feel safe, everyone is your age, everything is geared toward you and your outdated tastes, etc. At my age, it's quite a different story though, obviously, ha.

Ok, that was quite a rambling. If this were an essay on The Villages, I'd probably go back and make some edits to make the whole thing flow better and whatnot, but I don't really care yo. You get the gist of what this place is like. And anyway, you can't quite take it all in anyway until you visit here...which I'm sure you are all planning to do in the very near future. It's one of those things you gotta see to believe. And when you do, you'll rub your eyes in wonder and laugh about how amazing it is that a place like this exists. Just don't ever leave after you get here. Big mistake. The outside world looks really crummy, and you realize there is actually garbage (what?!), and then your palms will start to sweat. Who says crummy? Awful.

Ok, it's after 4:30pm on a Friday, and I haven't started drinking yet, so I have to go! Time to put on my sparkly visor and hit the town...until at least 8:30pm. Gotta head home before the mass exodus at 9pm.

P.S. My use of parentheses is a little outlandish, and I apologize.