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MAR
31

California vs. Florida

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Just wanted to say that I spent last week in Florida, and believe it or not (frankly I don't think it's all that unusual although people seem to be aghast when they find out), it was the first time in my life I had ever been to Florida.

I'm an adult. Who lives in the east(ish). Is this normal? Don't answer that.

Bottom line? I can explain. I'm from the west coast, see, so whenever I think warm and sunny and Disney, I think California. I go to California. I dream about California. And why wouldn't I? I was born there and it has my heart in a way no other place does. This western loyalty runs so deep that even though it's much closer, the very idea of swapping Florida in for a California trip seems simply sinful. I've spent my whole life turning my nose up at Florida. It's interesting, isn't it? The things we hold onto. The things we resist.

I'm fully prepared to admit that I found Florida quite lovely. More than that, I wished I were there for play instead of work. And most of all, I decided I'd like to go back sometime and have a real vacation.

Whether or not in the moment of booking I'll be able to actually select Florida over California remains to be seen, but I got on the plane with a strong feeling that I'd be back again...on my terms. (My terms being a bikini and a good book...although, to be fair, if I were choosing terms I would also choose a tan and a more sizable bust. But you can't have everything.)

JUL
29

Ode to the Salt Mines

I hate you, salt mines.

Yes, it's day one back at work after a nice, long vacation, and while what I really need is a slap in the face (I'm grateful to have a job and all the benefits it provides me), it's always a bit depressing to return to real life. And Cleveland is always a bit depressing after NYC in particular. (Isn't ANY city?)

But, no matter, my real life is pretty fun too, at least that's what I tell myself. Sure, there are expectations of me, I have to cook my own food, and I end up at home most nights instead of out seeing a show or eating cheesecake at Carnegie Deli at midnight (or frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity). Sure, my editor has told me that manuscript #2 needs some work. Sure, I miss home and family and there are things about my life I wish I could change, but I'm fresh off a trip to the city, and for the moment I can't be anything but grateful. Hard to ask for more than a view like this.

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JUL
23

Specs and the City

If you're leaving on a ten day vacation and have an early morning flight and so throw on your glasses, you might want to make sure you have packed your contacts. Because if you don't, you might have to spend the first few hours of your vacation trying to convince an optician to sell you some contacts even though the brand your doctor faxed over on the prescription is not one they carry. This vacation city optician may refuse to so much as sell you a trial pair of lenses, so you might end up having to buy two full boxes of lenses that are not your brand and do not even match the curvature of your eyes. The ridiculousness of not being able to buy lenses even though a valid prescription has been faxed over might cause you to yell or cry, or both, or maybe it's just the vacation hours slipping by wasted that will wither you. Just remember as you walk out of the optician's office with two boxes of off-brand lenses (and a 4-pack of lense cases because they wouldn't just give you one like they give EVERY SINGLE PATIENT) that any price is worth not having to experience ten straight days in glasses. Even if they're cute.

MAY
09

The Greenest Grass

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Not sure why I always feel such a pull to be in New York City, but I do. I feel this pull pretty much every day when I think about the time I've spent there and the possibilities that undoubtedly exist. There's probably some rose-coloredness going on here, as living in NYC would be hard in some ways, I'm sure, not to mention it would drain my savings. But the pull is still there.

My good friend L lives in the city (she's the one I mentioned in this post who bought a one-way ticket), and every time I talk to her, I hang on every word. She's walking to Times Square, she's just coming up from the subway, she's smelling a street vendor's cart, she's afraid for her life in a sketchy block, she's shadowing a performance of Phantom of the Opera. Even the picture she sent me (now that I have a phone that can receive them) of a flamboyant character jump-roping in the middle of street filled me with a longing to be there. I could see the street in the background, the green awnings of various businesses.

I've had some very real examples in my life lately that completely disprove the "grass is always greener" theory, but why am I convinced that NYC grass is the greenest? Why can't I shake this pull? What I can do is book another trip, so that's exactly what I've done. I haven't been since the week of Hurricane Sandy (talk about a bizarre week to have been in NYC), and I've been feeling the need to get back. Never underestimate the power of the pull.

DEC
27

Daily Word Count

One of the best things about being on vacation (other than not having to go to work) is that I actually have time for writing. It's time I cherish because I get it so rarely, and I confess it's hard not to be ridiculously jealous of people who get to write full time. Sort of like when I sneak away from the office in the middle of the day to run a quick errand at the mall and see the throngs of people who apparently don't have to be at work. Who are these people?

While it's easy to say I would prize above all else a life where my full-time job is writing, I've never actually had any experience with having to write on demand, so to speak. Writing for me has always been a hobby. Something I fill my spare time with as I am able. A treat to myself after a long, hard week. I suppose it would be a different experience entirely if I had deadlines hanging over my head, or if my very livelihood depended on cranking out quality text on a regular (or even constant) basis.

It may be that I don't actually want the life that comes attached to a full-time writing job, but if that's the case, why do I pine for such a life so often? I guess because writing is what I love best. That, and corporate america can really wear you down. Despite the perks. Like paid vacations. Speaking of which, I think I'll head over to the mall.

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