Thursday, April 9, 2009

It took an earthquake...

The earthquake that apparently annihilated L'Aquila, Italy the other day
kind of freaked me out – not because it’s one of my motherlands (what? You couldn’t tell I had Italian in me from reading my belligerent brilliant writing?) – but because my friend Lisa recently moved there from Chicago. To Vicenza, Italy that is, not L’Aquila.

At first I was like, “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, Lisa’s all buried and dying in ruble and shit!” But then instead of sending her an e-mail that said, “Dude! Are both your legs broken in six places from your house falling on top of you?!” I looked up the distance from Vicenza to L’Aquila, saw that L’Aquila is about 540 km south of Vicenza (roughly 385 miles and a 5 hour drive) and realized she was probably still in one piece and might have just felt a tremor or two.

Us Midwesterners are kind of fascinated by earthquakes since we just have them there tornadoes. Of course I’ve lived in area since I was 16 months old minus a few months here and there and I’ve never seen or even really been close to encountering a tornado. Huddling down in the basement with the pets and a radio while the warning sirens blare? Yeah, it happens every spring, but those things don’t mean a damn thing most of the time. Some old lady probably claimed she saw a menacing funnel cloud come out of the sky and frantically called Channel 5 News, who called emergency services who then flipped the switch. I’m all, “No Gladys, there’s no funnel cloud, those were your fucking cataracts playing tricks on you again.”

In fact, we’re so jaded by them used to them that they went off one time in college when I was in the McDonald’s drive thru and they refused to serve me so their employees could take cover. I was STARVING and I had been waiting in line forever so when I heard this disheartening news I practically screamed at the speaker thing, “You chicken shits! There is no goddamn tornado! Now give me my fucking double cheeseburger!”

Of course now I live on the second floor of an apartment building with no basement, so in the next couple of months there will be a mile-wide Category 5 tornado that will level my apartment complex and I’ll be found in a vacant lot a half mile away, naked and fuzzy handcuffed to the water spout of my bathtub. No, seriously, I have no idea where I’d go if those damn sirens went off. It’s Murphy’s Law I tell you. So much for dying with dignity.

I think my parents felt a few tremors from time to time when they lived in Reno, Nevada and I was all, “lu-cky!” The only thing I got when I lived out there for a bit was freakish weather. I went to my internship up at Lake Tahoe at 9 a.m. one hot June morning wearing capris and sandals and left work at 5 p.m. fearing frostbite in the middle of a blizzard. I was all, “where the fuck am I? Kansas?”

ANYWAY – back to Lisa. I thought, ‘cool, she probably felt the earthquake’ and sent her an e-mail to check in. She sent one back laughing saying I was the only one who checked the distance rather than sending her a frantic e-mail like the rest of her people back home and the response, “I guess that’s why you do what you do.”

It got me thinking about my practical ass self. At first I thought maybe my training as a journalist made me a check-the-facts-before-flipping-a-shit type of person, but then I realized I’ve always been a logical thinker. I look before I leap. I weigh the pros and cons. I make sure safety nets are in place before making decisions. I’m so practical I want to gouge my eyes out.

I’m just not one of those people that would pick up my life and move someplace else for the hell of it. That’s not logical, not practical and there’s always that fear that some fat kid is going to point his finger at you and yell, “FAIL!” because if you fuck up and end up living in a box eating rats because you wanted to be adventurous and moved somewhere without a solid plan, nobody’s going to feel sorry for your dumbass. Except maybe your mom, but mommy can’t wipe your ass forever.

Of course most people I know don’t do this either. They have a reason to move and explore – school, a new job, some sort of planned out opportunity – like Lisa – her brother and sister-in-law live in Italy and offered to pay her if she came to live with them for a while and help watch the kids. I’m like holy shit, will such an opportunity ever show itself to me? Probably not. I’m most likely going to have to look for it, but whether it falls in your lap, like in Lisa’s case, or you have to scrounge for it, it’s still a risk and you still make the conscious decision to make that leap. It’s OK to look before you leap, weigh the pros and cons and have a plan just as long as you seize opportunities and I’ve never had a problem with that. I was actually proud of Lisa for taking that chance because I think she’s a pretty practical chick like me and I’d like to think I’d do the same if this opportunity was presented to me.

And why the hell am I being all “leap of faithy” all of a sudden? Maybe it’s because I just gave half a month’s salary to the government or because my boss called me dumb yesterday (true story). Every time I deliver plans to an architect or a city hall, as I’m walking in I think, ‘I should be the engineer who drew up these plans, not the messenger girl. WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?!’ Life is stable as is, but it’s not what I want. I never pictured myself here, yet here I am, and I won’t be doing it for much longer. I’m finding an opportunity and I’m seizing it and that’s all I’m going to say.

In the meantime, I have to keep myself from slipping into the oh-my-fucking-god-my-life-is-so-boring-no-wonder-I-want-to-sleep-all-the-time mode because in reality, it’s not boring at all. The month of April will wrap up like this:

Wigging Out
Tomorrow night I’ll be attending a bachelorette party where we will all don colored wigs. Yes, just like in the scene from the 40-Year-Old Virgin where the girls were “totally wiggin’ out!” Except I’m pretty sure we won’t each be toting a color coordinated dildo as well nor will I puke shellfish sandwich and strawberry daiquiri on Steve Carrell in a PT Cruiser though I’m sure he’d appreciate the grand reenactment if he were in town.

At first I was like, ‘Are you fucking serious? This is going to be the duuuuuuuumbest thing I’ve ever done. Pass me the bottle of cheap vodka because I’m gonna need to drink like a $2 whore to get through this.’ But now I’m fully embracing it and think I need an alter ego complete with a name and fucked up attire for the night. Suggestions welcome.


Next weekend I’m in a wedding and while most people would go “yay reception and free booze!” I’m more excited for the hair, make-up and morning mimosas. Stop laughing. I fully admit to being a total girl. Somebody mentions make-up or hair products and I’m like, ‘What?! Where? GIVE THEM TO ME!’ Everybody I’ve talked to that has had their make-up done said they hated it, but unless they Tammy Faye Baker-up my ass, I’m leaving it the way it is. It’s all part of the experience. Plus, I heard they shellac the shit out of your face to make it stay so my face may resemble a shiny, tie-dyed Easter egg anyway and there won’t be dick I can do about it.

Two weeks from today I’ll be rollin’ with the Cajuns in New Orleans for the first weekend of Jazz Fest. It’s part of my birthday celebration (My actual birthday is the 27th for all of you who want to send gifts – preferably cash to put in my, “my computer is fried and need a new one fast” fund and “my taxes butt raped me, ow it hurts” fund.). Last year I spent my birthday doing Colorado-y stuff in Denver with the girls and this year I’ll be exploring all that New Orleans culture has to offer with the boy – a true NOLA native. I’ve only been treated to the really touristy stuff there, so I’ve decided to fully immerse myself in this opportunity in various ways, which I may regret later since I told the boy that I would try anything he ate. This includes crawfish and gator on a stick (Note: HATE seafood). I think I may have even agreed to actually suck the head of the crawfish or whatever it is they do down there. I guarantee there will be vomit on someone’s shoes. Jim better wear his shitty ones.

Congrats to you if you read this whole thing. Ridiculous. I suppose I felt the need to make up for the two Britney Spears posts. Cheers!


Kate said...

HA! Chicken shit McDonald's...I remember that. We were driving towards McDonald's and the sirens starting going off - we listened to the weather report on the radio and decided that we had PLENTY of time to make it through the drive thru since the tornado was ONLY in Junction City. Ahh, safety.

You do know, though, that naked/fuzzy handcuffed probably isn't going to be the most effective way to ride out a major storm, right? ;)

I need to start working on a good alter-ego name for tomorrow night...Electra? Lolita? Darlene?

Lara said...

Yeah, but then the sirens stopped and started back up again right when we got to order. McDonald's whores...You're totally supposed to get in the bathtub and strap yourself to something during a tornado if you don't have a basement. I would be naked because the wind would rip all my clothes off. It is my only option if one should occur. Though I think they just tell people to do that to make them feel better rather than tell them the truth which is, "wow, you don't have a basement? You gonna die!"


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