Sunday, September 8, 2019

You Trippin’, Bro?

I woke up giddy with excitement and full of anxiety all at the same time.

Feeling like I need to take a handful of Xanax with a strong double espresso is nothing new for me on travel days, even though I had been packed for two days already. That’s the main cause for the anxiety; did I pack everything I needed? 
Two days ago I might have been under the influence of a full moon or Mercury might have been retrograde or some shit and now all I have packed is 3 pairs of underwear, 5 books I’ll never read and a couple of dresses that have been hanging, unworn in the closet since the Harlem Shake was still a thing people did on the internet.
I never second guess myself though. 
I figured I’d roll with whatever Gina from two days ago decided was necessary for this trip. 
I didn’t have to leave for the airport until 1:00 pm.  
I had gone out the night before but refrained from getting Ernest Hemingway drunk, knowing I’d be traveling the next day. I brushed my teeth and headed to the kitchen around 10:30 to grind the beans to make the coffee.  A double shot would work nicely to scare off any hangover nonsense before it even got started.
As I drank my coffee, I did my usual reading of the emails, loading of the dishwasher, and finally the making of the bed before jumping into the shower.  It was rolling up on 11 o’clock now so it would be nice not to have to rush to get ready.  
Grabbed my drawers and headed to the bathroom to begin the ritual: 
open blinds - turn on Bluetooth speaker - connect to phone - select music - turn on shower - ????
Turn on shower????
FUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK - disconnect the fucking Bluetooth - call the office...
None in the sink.  None in the toilet. 
“We’ll let you know when we find out more.”
What the fuck? I have to be at the airport soon.
I have to sit on an airplane for 9 hours and I sure as hell ain’t gonna do it funky as hell!! I NEED to wash my damn hair AND my ass! 
*marches said funky ass over to the office to get some motherfucking answers*
“Hey, what’s with the water?  We weren’t told it was going to be off.”
“We’re on the phone with Atlanta water right now. We’ll send out an email when we know more.”
“I have to leave for the airport shortly.  What am I supposed to do about a shower?”
“Do any of your friends live nearby?”
“No! And even if they did, they have jobs and are at work! It’s 11 o’clock in the morning!!”
“I don’t know what to tell you.  There’s some bottled water in the fridge here if you need it to brush your teeth.”

As I was letting myself back into my apartment, I glanced over my left shoulder and the rail just beyond when my eyes fell on the sparkling crystal blue that is the swimming pool just below me.
You know what I was thinking.

With great purpose, I strode into the house. 
I put on my bathing suit. 
I delved into my stash of tiny hotel sundries.... little bar of soap, little bottle of shampoo. (Should I shampoo my hair? We’ll make that call when we come to it)
Grabbed my beach towel and some flip flops and marched my ass down the three flights of stairs to the pool.  
The pool area was vacant.
Dropped my towel on the closest chair.  Kicked off my flip flops.
Opened the little bar of soap and in I dove with it palmed in concealment.
Surely this disgusting little swamp rat would emerge a glowing beauty like Daryl Hannah in “Splash.”
I scrubbed the hell out of my armpits and all the other funky bits.
A sunbather came down and so I decided to forego the shampooing.
Would be hard to hide that I was having an Herbal Essence moment in a pool.
I was pretty sure the chlorine stripped away whatever oils were in my hair anyway.
Got out.
Wrapped my newly bathed ass in a towel, tossed the tiny bar of soap in the trash can by the pool entrance and marched my ass back upstairs to dry my hair and apply massive amounts of lotion to my chlorinated body.
Problem solved.
Mermaid status not quite achieved but I no longer had swamp ass.
Win - win in my book.
No water also meant no breakfast.
Fuck it - I decided to go to the airport early.
I can eat AND get drunk while waiting for my flight.
I might even meet someone interesting.
Flight scheduled for 5pm.
Arrived at airport, noon thirty. 
I didn’t want a $30 dollar hot dog (thank goodness for iHop at the airport) 
I got a $9 breakfast instead. 
Things were looking up! ;)

I was so early that my gate hadn’t been listed on any of the boards yet.  
I asked around and was told that E and F terminals were the international terminals so I just decided to ride the train all the way down to F terminal.
I chatted with a guy from Ft. Lauderdale all the way through security so the time passed fairly quickly.
I hopped the train to F.  
As I was coming up the escalator, I noticed a large information booth at the top.
The guy informed me that my plane would be leaving from E6.
Back down the escalator.
This time I did not take the train but used the moving sidewalk to get in a bit of exercise.
I got to E and decided to grab a beer since it was only 2pm.
I drank the beer and moseyed over to the Duty Free shop.
I needed some perfume - remember that time when I took a bath in a swimming pool? Yeah.
They had my signature scent - the one that everyone compliments and makes me feel good about not smelling like a goat.  #ChanelisLife 
Anyhoo after I dropped almost 100 large on that shit - they told me it would be waiting at the gate for me to pick up when I board the plane.
This was an odd feeling - like I just handed my dog over to Cruella de Vil expecting she would return him after taking ‘very good care’ of him.
This was not the time for my trust issues to rear their ugly head because this was clearly out of my hands unless I wanted security involved and a big red flag placed squarely over my head.
I convinced myself it would be a good trust building exercise. 
I decided to grab some over priced snacks and go sit by the gate and wait to board the plane.
So I did.
I checked in at the counter just to be sure I was at the right gate.
They changed my seat from the middle seat to an aisle seat a little closer to the front - so that was pretty sweet.

Well, we were told that the flight would be delayed an hour and we would be boarding at 6 instead of 5 now.
What’s another hour when you haven’t properly bathed and have been at the airport for the better part of your life now?
6 o’clock came rolling around and we were then informed that the cleaning crew needed time to clean and we would board at 7.

Eventually we boarded and I totally forgot they changed my seat and sat in my originally assigned seat after throwing my heavy ass carryon into the overhead only to be greeted AFTER sitting down and settling in, by a man who insisted his son was sitting there - then I remembered they changed it and apologized profusely (seriously tho dude you could have inquired a bit earlier)
Now I had to pull my carryon back out of the overhead and go against the flow of increasingly disgruntled passengers to try to get forward in the cabin.
One man in particular was extremely pissed at me so I shot him a look that shut him up immediately, while the overhead was blaring announcements in German that seemed to get everyone more riled up just as I was reaching my new seat and settling in for a SECOND time - ugh.
We were now told this plane was unfit to fly so we would have to deplane and our new flight would be leaving from gate E32 at 9:30pm
Yay! Confusion and mayhem.
And where the hell was my Duty Free shit?
Of course the new gate was at the complete otherend of terminal E.
It had to be.
This was the kind of day it was.
Once more with the heavy ass carryon.
I got down to the new gate and looked around.  Meh.
2 more hours to kill. 
I walked back up to the center of the terminal, looked around in a sort of 360º movie-style montage and decided NOW may be the time to get Ernest Hemingway drunk.
Most of the ‘flying solo’ passengers from my flight seemed to have had the same idea and they all sat at a giant table that was assembled from smaller tables pushed together.
I chose to sit at the bar next to the guy you would expect to see at an airport bar. He had the biggest plate of nachos loaded with peppers and I felt for everyone of us that would have to endure breathing his recirculated flatulence.

I ordered potato skins which paired nicely with several Yuenglings. 

Time was nigh to maybeboard our plane.
The alcohol soaked brood moved back toward the gate in a swarm.
I decided to check in with the counter to see if we would be keeping our same seat assignments and lo and behold, I got another upgrade - ever closer.
“The sun has to shine on a dog’s ass sometime.” My ex-husband’s words ran through my head as my new boarding pass was handed to me.
Several passengers had gotten rebooked on other flights when they chose not to put up with Delta’s horse shit, which worked in my favor, I guess.
Everyone finally began herding into the boarding tunnel.
As I stepped onto the plane, I remembered DUTY FREE!
I asked the attendant and she said I already passed the station to pick it up.
I looked back recalling the last time I had to swim upstream.
These people wouldn’t put up with my bullshit again - half of them were drunk now. I was included in that half.
The attendant could see my distress, took my receipt and had me wait by the exit row seating while she retrieved my coveted Chanel.
I waited as the exhausted horde filed past.
Finally, I was presented with my tiny treasure and I proceeded to my new seat.
The correct one.  I had learned my lesson.
I settled in: -iPad (check) *place in seat pocket* -phone (check) *place in seat pocket*, -water (check) *place in seat pocket with much difficulty* 
-headphones (check) *shove in ears and connect to little seat back TV* 
-backpack (check) *cram under seat in front of me*
Let’s do this.
The plane does plane things and we are FINALLYheaded off into the 
wild blue yonder.
Time to check out a movie!
*Touch screen*
*Touch screen* again
*Have seat mate touch screen*
It’s broken.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rückkehr ins Vaterland (Return to the Fatherland)

Tomorrow I am returning to the only place I consider "home."

As a Third Culture Kid, I do not have the luxury of calling any place my hometown.
We moved from my birthplace (Baltimore, MD) when I was 6 months old so I don't think that qualifies as more than that, "birthplace."
The great thing is though, that I can select ANY of the places I've been as my hometown if I choose to be optimistic about it.
Munich, Germany is the place where I stake such a claim.
It is where I spent pretty much the longest stretch of residence during my formative years.
And boy was it formative!!!
Having lived there from the tender prepubescent age of 15 sprouting into the pseudo-adulthood of 21, I learned many things about life and love and angst and various vices during the Regan Era.
The dollar was strong.
The Euro didn't exist.
Neither did the internet or cell phones.
New wave and metal bands ruled the airwaves.
Parents were seemingly absent - as if it were a period piece written and directed by John Hughes himself.
Fuck you, Ferris Bueller.
You wish you had this much adventure!

One of the things I cherish most about my time in Munich, is that it is where I learned it was okay to be me.  Weird, artsy, intelligent, nerdy me.
The German culture seemed to embrace and nurture these qualities.
The people in our tightly knit community did too.
We are all still very tightly knit thanks to Facebook - love it or hate it.
It also taught me that it was okay if people were different, you still loved and respected them because they were their own unique little selves.
That seems to be missing today - people believe if someone doesn't believe the same religious, political or sports nonsense that they do, then they are the enemy of you.
This is complete and utter horse shit.
But I digress....

Munich is where I met my soul sister - sister from another mister; Marika.

I just turned 16. She was 15.
She was smoking cigarettes with my older brother.
How we became friends exactly, I can't say.
We didn't have many classes together but apparently something just clicked.
The universe conspired and that was that.
Turns out we had very similar home situations and attitudes.
We both loved Prince and would listen to Dirty Mind and Controversy on the turntable at her house ad nauseam.
We read the same books and comic books.
She was a musician and I was an artist.
We were both into gymnastics and working out.
Typical workout routine:
smoke on the walk to the gym; hit the mats to do some stretching and tumbling; take a break to go smoke; hit the free weights; take a break and go smoke another cigarette; play a few rounds of racquet ball; smoke cigarettes on the walk over to the bar; cool off with a few cold beers - perhaps a shot or two if the workout was a particularly good one.
It's all about balance.


Tomorrow I will be returning to my hometown for the first time since I left.
I will be staying with Marika at her mother's home.
I am giddy with anticipation and nostalgia.
Those were the absolute best days of my life.
It was where I found my life line.
It was where I found out who I was and not who I was expected to be.
It's where I told everyone to fuck off, this is me - love it or don't.
It was where I learned no one has to like me but myself and I need to be myself regardless of anyone else's opinion.
Most people don't make these discoveries until well into adulthood and some never lose their insecurities enough to ever fully be themselves.
Munich taught me to say "fuck that"
I think Marika and I learned that at the same time - growing painfully into that awareness together in sometimes dangerous but always interesting situations.
We have traveled the world together sometimes without leaving home.
I think the greatest thing about Munich though was meeting her.
Everyone should be so lucky (especially people in our unique situations) to have a best friend for life.
The person you can call day or night.  The person who walks through fire with you. The person who celebrates joys with you and you give it back to them in equal measure.
This is why I am so excited about this trip....
The two of us back together again in the place where it all started, for the first time since it all started. May the memories and growth continue over beers and laughter - PROST!


Friday, August 16, 2019

Trolling for Entertainment

Am I a troll?
The murky world of dating apps are my waters.
I know I promised a gem of a troll but this one is a bit more recent and I have all the resources available at hand.
The other one I have to go back and do some grabs etc. These I had grabbed in real time.
Sit back and enjoy a tiny bit of the joy that is my app dating life:

A while back I matched with this guy, Anthony:

Pretty cute, right?
I match with fairly cute guys, so it didn't seem odd at first
(I suggest you google Raoul Bova)

Anyhoo, this guy messages me and here begins our journey:

This was not the end of this conversation but he apparently unmatched me right as I was grabbing the next part of the conversation but it went something like this:

I asked if he shares this story with all of his matches.
He said only me because I looked like his mom when she was young.
I asked for a picture of his mom for comparison.
He asked if this made me hot and turned me on.
I said no, it made me think he was a sociopath who took advantage of a woman who was vulnerable when her husband left her 

and thats when
he was gone 
and with it the last of the screen grabs 
- before I was able to report him as a fake account.

I have learned that when someone opens with a bizarre story of this sort or a dead wife or child etc that the account is a fake and leading to a scam of some sort - I will usually do a Google image search of the profile pic (as in this case) which will confirm it

...then the trolling begins
if I have the energy and time 

Stay safe out there, ladies
and men, this is why women are sometimes shitty on these apps.
I know it happens to men too.

Dating sucks.