2017…

I never finished. I decided it was over.

I apologize to those of you who were looking forward to the rest of my 2017 bitching. I decided it was over.

December found me in a whirlwind. I allowed myself to feel something new. And although I could definitely run a car on complaining, I chose something else instead.

FEBRUARY

February is the worst month. I don’t say this because of Valentine’s Day or whatever you onlookers assume my rotten heart despises – but because I grew up in Anchorage.

February in Anchorage is straight from the Ninth Circle of Hell. It’s colder than your grandma’s scowl when you wear shoes in the house and darker than Paul Ryan’s soul. I’m like, 99% sure Judas and Muhammad have their own bar stools at the local hipster dive there. Shorthanded: IT BLOWS MAJOR ASS.

And so it did for me.

I landed back in Anchorage on February 1st. Burning my corneas giving a SAD light the thousand-yard stare, I swung hard into a depression and hit that self-loathing curveball into the parking lot. Your girl was dying inside and didn’t know where to turn.

And when I don’t know where to turn, I somehow always end up on the Alaska Airlines website typing my credit card number into further debt while it rolls its eyes at me in contempt. “This isn’t going to fix you.” YES, IT IS, YOU DUMB, BLUE PIECE OF SWEET FAKE FREEDOM PLASTIC.

And to the City of Angels I went.

And in the City of Angels, I spent four days in a hotel room, taking mirror pictures, crying, and reading.

Oh, and I reluctantly went to a hockey game with a friend – er, acquaintance – from high school who blocked me on every social network as soon as we turned our tassels and then promptly unblocked me, re-added me, and slid his greasy ass into my DMs as soon as he found out I signed with Ford. Meh, I was bored and lonely. And drunk. Because I bought Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Satan’s drink of choice – trust me) from a Wholefoods by selling my kidney in the parking lot beforehand. It was the highlight of the trip, so glean from that what you will. A bitch was mad depressed.

I don’t remember much else about February. The dark seems to thread days together, their seams all fitting as one. I lost track of time; waking up in the dark, sleeping in the dark, moving in the dark.

But I decided to go back to Chicago.

And so to the gym I went. Losing weight, cutting inches, and eating things that made my tongue sad. A broken compass found me back on the Alaska Airlines website booking an endorphin-inducing one-way. I would leave in March…

2016, I let you finish, but 2017 WAS THE WORST YEAR OF ALL TIME

18 days left, you guys. Only 18. Make it count OR better yet, light that piece of shit on fire and send its ass to Valhalla.

What a year. What a doozy. I hope you all faired well in this shit storm, but since this is MY blog, we’re going to talk about me. Hurricane/Tornado/SuperStorm TWENTYSEVENTEEN ripped the door off the cellar that I had been living in all of 2016 and if I was ducking out and shaking the year before, 2017 made me shit my pants while it ripped off all my clothes and then made fun of my naked, feces covered body.

I’m going to break it down month by month, post by post. Hopefully I’ve repressed most of the absolute horse shit, but one of the many poxes put upon my infancy was a memory that never lets me forget (apparently everything BUT calculus – and that shit could’ve gotten me somewhere in life).

THE BAD

JANUARY:

The clock strikes midnight. Its January 1st. My nipples are putting the Mohs Hardness Scale to shame as I light off fireworks with my siblings. Sighs leave my mouth and fill the air with condensation. My sister is kissing her boyfriend. I want to puke. Three guys are texting me. I’m praying the cold will freeze my phone and it will shatter. My prayers go unanswered.

By the end of the month, I feel stuck and wildly unhappy in Anchorage, so I decide to pull my feet from their cement blocks and see my besty friend, Jen, in Portland. One four-hour flight later and I’m waiting in PDX, (an airport which brings me an onslaught of horrible memories that hit me like flash bombs – which is a post for another day) scoffing at its carpet and how many times I’ve admittedly taken pictures of my feet on it. For whatever evil reason, Portland is colder than Anchorage this day. And for whatever eviler reason, that makes the highways back up like crazy. I’m camping out in this arrival gate waiting for my friend to pick me up. But no worries, we are going to see the Blazers play the Lakers in a couple hours and I was more than elated to see Jen. I honestly can’t be bothered. When her Honda Civic pulls up to the curb, I can tell something is wrong. Her grandfather HONEST TO GOD passed away while she was driving to pick me up. Our plans unravel and waste away in front of my eyes and hers welled up with stingy tears, telling me that she is sorry, but not as sorry as I am. I want to turn around and get on the next flight out, but she assures me we will go see Meyers Leonard’s fine ass. We leave the game before half time finishes. I stay in her apartment for the next two days while she attends to family – as she should.

I board my flight and arrive in Anchorage early February 1st.

Flowers

“SORRY I STOLE YOUR MONEY AND SPENT IT ON MY DRUG HABIT”. That’s what the card would’ve said – but there was no card. Because Hallmark doesn’t have a crackhead section yet. White dahlias wrapped in burlap came as an apology from my landlord’s too-old-to-be-living-at-home son and he handed them over with a smile that made the Grinch’s look like a fucking Colgate commercial. My skin crawled.

Two weeks would pass before I mustered the courage to leave. I looked my landlord in the face and told her I was going, conjuring up some half-truth that I couldn’t afford it but told her plainly that I was uncomfortable. Has a 71-year old ever squared up to you? Let me tell you, I’ve never had adrenaline pump like that in my life. Words like “nasty” and “disgusting” were spat in my face over the fact that this woman legitimately felt I was stealing HER money. You put my life in danger by making me live with your son, but I’m stealing YOUR money. I could’ve died, homie! Bizarre is an understatement.

I packed my suitcases with the anxiousness of knowing an anvil could have dropped on my head at any moment; throwing shoes in with shampoo and dirty jeans in with newly washed lingerie. I clutched my face wash and toothpaste in my left hand and led myself out the door with my right, picking up my feet quickly while an elderly woman screamed at me through the gate.

A white Audi packed with friends pulled up to the curb: my getaway car. The wells from which my tears had sprang ran dry immediately. Relief and the slowing of my pulse found me comfortable in the backseat, left hand now release, touching leather like it was land after months at sea. I was safe.

home

I long for the feeling of going back to the place that is all too familiar when you’ve been away for a while. Where you collapse without bending your knees, face landing in pillow, inhaling every memory, knowing where you are.
When I left for my first year of college, my childhood bedroom fell into cardboard boxes. The hangings on the wall, the bed frame, the books dripped down to the floor. A flight and longer drive across my hometown would find me in a new room, one with white carpet and a queen size bed and paint I didn’t pick out.
I’ve been a vagabond since then. Much less glamorous than the 1960s painting I had in my mind. I was supposed to look like Carly Simon. Magic was supposed to find me in the form of rich men wanting to dole out their pool houses to me. And I would walk across the marble in a satin robe, letting my brown hair sashay against my back.

Instead, I’ve folded myself into the vinyl seats of airport benches, stuffing my legs under the cold armrests, keeping my face lifted. Instead, I’ve slept on the chaise in the spare bedroom of a house the man my friend met on a dating app let us stay in. Because we had no money, because we had nowhere to go. Instead, the room next to my uncle’s room invited me, with its purple bedding and hardwood floors. Instead, the king against the window of a house with a crack addict who would open the door when I was gone. And now, the guest room in a house with people who rescued me from the former situation.

10 Reasons Why Sydney Is The Shit

My (now tanned) ass hails all the way from Anchorage, Alaska. Yes, Alaska. Many of you reading this already know that, but whatever, someday in the future this blog will reach MILLIONS OF PEOPLE NOT FROM ALASKA, ok? As an ex-pat, I get to see the city of Sydney from a different perspective. I wasn’t born here. I wasn’t raised here. I was pretty much tossed into the bustle of it as soon as I landed.

My rent is $320 AUD per week in the spare bedroom of a Balinese style house smack in the heart of Bondi, an ever-exclusive Eastern Suburb, basically the Manhattan of Sydney. Loads of tourists, backpackers of wealth, and the good ol’ boys who have been here since their grandparents stole bread and were exiled or whatever.

Sydney is THE SHIT and I say that confidently while I’m simultaneously absolutely broke, single, and essentially jobless.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. ENGLISH IS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF AUSTRALIA.

The POS American that I am revels in this shit. I never have to stumble on words or conjugations like the hell Madame Clifton put me through during high school. There is beauty in saying, “where is the bathroom?” correctly and understanding the answer. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had to take a dump in a foreign country.

2. It is 70 degrees right now at 11:51 PM on November 24th.

Shout out to my big homie, the MUTHALOVIN AXIS. But for real, the weather here is usually heavenly. Save some nasty ass storms that no doubt came straight from the palms of Poseidon, Sydney has gorgeous, sunshine filled days.

3. Everyone is healthy. Like, too healthy, but it’s not annoying.

It’s easier to eat healthy stuff when its hotter than Hell outside. Also easier when produce is like, always in season. Take that, Alaska. You shithole.

Recycling is also a social requirement. Everybody does it. There’s no arguing or side-eyeing your stupid neighbor who only drags out the black trashcan. I’m talking about you, Hank.

(Also, the minimum wage here is 17.70 AUD/hour making nutritious food affordable and attainable. The United States keeps the poor unhealthy so they can poke and prod at them and say things like, “you can’t be that poor if you’re that fat. Maybe you shouldn’t spend all your money on food,” and asshole comments of the sort. The Man keeps you down, man.)

4. Its gorgeous everywhere.

This city dedicated a lot of land to public use. Parks, beaches, walkabouts. There is no shortage of beautiful shit to look at. Even the birds are stunning. The other day a rainbow lorakeet made me feel insecure, I swear to God. Nature is overwhelming here. They’ve even sprinkled plants on the busiest streets to make the city smell like your grandma’s best candles.


5. Poached eggs.

The first time I was introduced to the word “poached” was in a Roald Dahl book and I inferred it was a bad thing until these ethereal things called POACHED EGGS appeared out of a vellum covered brekkie cloud and graced my lips. Being able to make poached eggs is some wicked power and the Australians have been gifted this power from the dark lord, himself. Seriously, poached eggs on toast. Poached eggs on rice. Poached eggs on peanut butter. I’d eat it. Any of it. All the time.

Actually…

5. (expanded) BREKKIE.

I have a Leslie Knope level admiration for breakfast food. Crepes. French Toast. Generic-Os or whatever my mom bought us growing up. I LOVE IT ALL.

Australians do breakfast like no one else. This is an event. This is sacred. Smashed avocado. Smoked salmon melts. Muesli with yogurt. This is their wheelhouse. Their bread and butter. Every bite is like a prayer.

(Low-key their coffee sucks, though. Alaska – I hate to admit –  knows, owns, and runs the coffee game.)

6. Public Transportation

All right, I know I complain about this a lot. The maps were definitely drawn by Hellen Keller (THERE IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION*) and make absolutely no sense, but hold on. Public transportation here includes ferries. You can literally ride a boat for like, two dollars, and get to where you need to be. Usually on said boat, you will see SYDNEY HARBOUR, which includes the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This is an everyday thing, you guys. You can do this every, single day. Like… holy shit. Not naming any names, but it definitely beats having to drive past a rundown Sears and the litter that dances on the corner of I don’t know, Borthern Bights and the Bew Beward Bighway.

The bus drivers are typically cranky jerks and you can’t put your feet on the seat in the trains (I learned the hard way), but the public transportation system is an incredible way to see this massive city.

*When the city of Sydney was founded, there was no anticipation that the population would grow to what it is today, so the public transportation routes are likened to scribbles. Seriously. Getting to a place that might take me 15 minutes by car WILL take me at least an hour by public transport, which is cool with me because driving on the left? Um, no thanks. I like living… most of the time.

7. Beaches.

I’MA LET YOU FINISH, BETTE MIDLER, BUT SYDNEY HAD THE BEST BEACHES OF ALL TIME.

Bondi. Bronte. Clovelly. Coogee. Curl Curl. Whale. Tamarama.

Ok, these words might mean nothing to you but they are the beaches I could think of off the top of my head. Some of the best surf, sands, and people watching in the world. Let your Tumblr dreams come true with actually seeing (and hopefully going in) those pools that are NEXT TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. Oh, and speaking of Pacific Ocean, it isn’t brown here. It will still make your nipples laugh at the Mohs Hardness Scale, but it isn’t brown.

8. HEALTHCARE.

Australian residents hardly pay a dime for healthcare. I, however, got a lovely case of pneumonia and had to pay. Being brilliant and traveling without insurance, my hefty fine came to $70AUD. When I expressed my disbelief, my doctor for real thought I was upset. I swear I was cured then and there, laughing through mucus filled lungs. Having grown up without health insurance, reluctancy kept me from going and I moaned the entire way thinking of how much I would have to pay. That bill was the biggest relief and I will sing my praises to this government until I die for that reason. Oh, and diflucan (the pill for yeast infections – come on, lets normalize this already) is OVER. THE. COUNTER. Over the counter. And only 12 dollars. I choked up. A bitch might’ve cried.

9. Diversity.

I had coffee with an Italian man and a Chinese woman at a Brazilian restaurant the other day. The buses are filled to the brim with different languages and customs and levels of personal space. But the city embraces the diversity and there are many events to honor and respect the hundreds of cultures that call Sydney “home”.

10. No judgment.

Australians are the nicest people you will meet on Earth and I mess HEAVY with Canadians. Canadians are eclipsed by the kindness that is an Aussie native. “No worries” is the national motto.

Side note: I’ve taken up yoga (ew, who am I?) and the women in my classes sometimes date me by DECADES. One woman rips ass the entire time. There is no judgment.
Have you ever been to an American gym that isn’t the YMCA or Curves? I have. A handful of times. Until I felt like eyes were tearing me apart and I was more than elated to slug my 10-pound curling self back to the YMCA.

10 REASONS WHY SYDNEY IS THE SHIT. COME VISIT. OR DON’T.

REASON 11: ITS FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING ELSE. 

are you out there? why u no leave comments?!?! (MEME FACE)

I can’t grasp the words right now. They are in my hands and I fumble with them until they drop like a flipped coin that slipped through the cracks of my fingers. Their fate is on the floor. I’m at a loss.

I never know what to write or where my voice should go. I ask for prompts. Stuff that bores me funnels in: travel, the model world, I don’t know… bugs? Its flustering. Its flustering to not know who you are and what you want to say because it could all change. Sometimes I’m THAT BITCH, you know what I mean? And other times, I’m just… the reserved girl at the back of the class who doesn’t talk but listens and silently smirks at the dumb shit people say and do.

Can I give you what you want? What DO YOU WANT?

“10 Reasons Why Sydney Is The Shit” I GOT YOU.
“Spiders Should Not Deter You From Coming Here” I GOT YOU.
“How My Heart Was Dissected and Tossed by the Hands of Some Quack Who Didn’t Know What He Was Doing” I. GOT. YOU.
“When Did I Become Someone Who Annoys Me?” Easy. I got you.

Do you want to laugh or do you want to cry? Do I want to laugh or do I want to cry?