Sunday, August 30, 2009

Things I Have Learned So Far

I have lived here so far for a little over a week, and I have learned a lot. It's not that the big city is as foreign to me as it is to others, but Buffalo is very different from the places that I have lived. These are the things I have learned so far.

1.) Don't walk down Niagara St. at night, or wait for the bus there. Just walk home.
2.) Don't ever walk down Busti or Lakeview either
3.) Sometimes, you don't need an extensive amount of books to be a library.
4.) On that note, you can get free movie rentals at libraries if the library you go to applies to Lesson 3.
5.) Don't try to say hi to people. If you accidentally caught their attention, just nod your head.
6.) Don't give a cigarette to a guy you just saw get a cigarette from somebody else.
7.) NEVER shop at Rite-Aid, CVS, or Walgreens unless you go for perscriptions. Find a Family Dollar instead so you don't have to pay $9 for razors.
8.) Get a Bonus Card at the grocery store you go to. YOU'LL NEED IT!
9.) Get a bus schedule if you're riding the bus so you don't wait an hour to pay a $1.75 fair to ride a full, stinky bus for 3 blocks.
9.) a On that note, don't even take the bus to the grocery store. But apply Lesson 1.
10.) You will NEVER get the stink out of your apartment that it came with, no matter how much Febreze you spray.
11.) When registering for school, don't wear skinny jeans, and bring something to do. You'll be there for a while.
12.) Take the smoke alarm down before making bacon at 7:30 am.
13.) Teach your boyfriend to cook. It's ok if he ruins your last pound of hamburger trying to make Hamburger Helper; he'll learn.
15.) Don't trust the sweet looking old lady that looks like a man next door. She will someday push her way into your apartment and scope out all the nice things you have.
15.) Naps are really nice. Take as many of them as you can.

My First Apartment

Dear Readers,
I am sitting in my brand new apartment in Buffalo New York right now, with my back to the door so I can catch the internet that barely reaches my apartment room.

A week ago we made the 9 hour drive our here, accompanied by Don's dad and brother. It was a hot day, the worst day to unpack and move furniture and heavy boxes up a flight of stairs and down two hallways. But eventually we got it all in and turned the empty, small apartment into something nice and cozy.



I have been waiting all my life to have a place to call my own. And I can finally call this place my own. I can go anywhere I want in it [even though there isn't any room] whenever I want, wearing whatever I want. I can have my own food, cook anything I want, listen to my music any time. And it feels so good to finally have my freedom and independence. However, it's not the independence of not having rules or curfews, it's the independence of having to do things by myself. And I enjoy that. I enjoy having my own key to unlock my own door, I enjoy taking the bus to get where I want and not having to depend on someone else for a ride. I just enjoy doing all these things for myself. And that's what true independence is.

At first, it was a small place, but now, it's a cute, cozy place. We have all of our decorations up, I have all my candles floating and burning around the house, we have our bed which doubles as a couch, and we have this little arm chair that I do my work in. It's not perfect in anybody's eyes, but it's what we have, and we make the best of it. We are a small walk from the bus stop where I'll catch the bus to school at, and Don's school is only a little further than that. We're a 10 minute walk from Allentown, and 7 blocks from the grocery store. Our apartment is safe, if not mediocre, and our kitchen is nice, if not extremely small. But, we have everything we need, and we couldn't be happpier.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Packing Part 3; The Last Part

This is my last day in Michigan, and I spent it quite relaxed. My Grandfather had a heart scare and spent 2 nights and the most of today at the hospital. Luckily, this heart scare was just indigestion. So I spent the first half of the day cruising on the internet. I cleaned my entire room, turning it back into the beautiful guest room it once was before I arrived.

Compare this to the mess my room was before I got here.

When my grandparents came home, we went out to a nice, goodbye dinner at Wlitses where the waiter made me fried pickles that weren't on the menu.

And now I write this blog at Don's house where I will be spending the night since we have to leave at 6am. It's about a 9 hour trip from here to Buffalo in a van with little seating space left due to our severe packing.

It all seems so simple and easy right? It's all so easy to put things in a box and shove them in the back of a van. It's all so easy to drive nine hours, and then unload all of your stuff right? But underneath all the simplicity comes the compliactions of packing your life into a box and throwing things out enough can be shoved into the back of a van. It's the complications of driving nine hours filled with anxiety and worry, and then trying to fit our lives back into a small apartment.

Moving is hard, I'm here to tell you that. Fortunently, I've made many moves in my life. However, none of them could prepare me for this one. Before, it wasn't that bad because I still had the security blanket of my parents. I knew I had money, I knew I could go to school and it wouldn't matter if I had bad grades, I knew I had a good roof over my head and food on my table every night. Unfortunently, all of these are now my responsibility.

And nothing could prepare me for that.

I'm ready though, no matter how scared I am. After all, the fear of flying always comes before the spirit of soaring. I just have to spread my wings and fly finally.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Miley Cyrus at Teen Choice Awards

I guess everyone is buzzing about this, so why not me right?

I'm not even going to comment on how absolutely trashy that 16 year old is. Instead, I will comment on what an awful song that is. From what I understand from the lyrics, she goes to Hollywood and sees that everyone is glamorous and different and all she sees is stilletos [She claims she "didn't get the memo" yet... what is she wearing??]. She hears a song come on in the taxi, and all of a sudden "It's a party in the USA".

That has got to be the most contradictory thing I've heard from a pop star who claims to be all about the country. I would think that she would sing something about going to Montana and hearing a country song come on and THEN it would be a party in the USA right?

The song she decides to start this American party with cannot be anymore ironic. A Britany song comes on, then a Michael song. Two of the worst pop stars to idolize. One is a mentally ill wash up, and the other is a pedophile who just died of an overdose. Real nice Miley, that's exactly what America is.

And lets not even go to the part where her voice is so annoying, that it can't even redeem the fact that this song is flat, overproduced, and WAY to bubble-pop. Party in the USA with horrible music. Thanks.

Packing Part 2; The Hardest Part!

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much. I've been going through many personal things, and that seems to be about all I have on my mind. I promised that this wouldn't be a personal blog, so I stayed far away from it so I wouldn't slip into bitching and complaining.

I continued packing yesterday. I started with my clothes, which is the hardest part. I love my clothes. I love all sorts of clothes. I have never been able to have enough clothes either. But you know what, it's true. There were just so many clothes sitting at the bottom of my drawer and closet that I just don't wear anymore. And because there's only a little bit of storage space, I have to cut my wardrobe down.

Doesn't look that bad stacked up like that does it?

How about now, when its in two trash bags?

Granted, a lot of that stuff I didn't wear, but you know what, a lot of it I did. I'm a fan of t-shirts. Easy to wear, and match with converses. My shirt drawer was so stuffed, I couldn't fit another t-shirt in there if I wanted to. Now? I'm down to 15 t-shirts. I know I'm sounding like a whiny brat right now, but by George I loved my t-shirts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Moment Ruins Forever

Note: I wrote this for a writing contest on Fiction Press, the prompt was "Forever means nothing when you're living in the moment." We'll see towards the middle of the month how I faired! It's a little dark, and over a PG rating to forewarn you.
“Forever means nothing when you’re living in the moment”

I learned this about a half a year ago when Johnny took me for a ride in his beaten down truck. He gave me a lift after school and took the long way home. It was the ride that changed my life. I learned that afternoon what “the moment” felt like. “The moment” felt like a battered truck bumping along on dirt roads, dust invading my lungs and the strained heartbeat from the fear of getting caught.


I stood in the bus lot with my books held close to my chest, thinking that if I wished hard enough, the buses would come back and I wouldn’t be stranded here at the school. I heard the doors open behind me and I peaked. Johnny McMillan walked out jangling his keys. I pressed my books closer to my chest and my feet firmer to the ground. McMillan was one of those idiotic farm boys who never talked in class because he never knew what was going on. His long hair annoyed me, and his plaid shirts always smelled like manure.

He didn’t pay any attention to me, the only living soul in the parking lot. He opened the door to his country-boy truck and stood on the running board. He called towards me, but I ignored him. He couldn’t possibly be calling me. He called again. He finally yelled “Hey Smartie” and I looked up.

“Do you want a lift?” It would be the first time he persuaded me without trying.


My books remained close to my chest as Johnny’s truck ungracefully rolled over pot holes and gravel. I think I was trying to hold my vitals in since they were going awry. Eric would hate me if he found out I got a ride from another boy.

I don’t know why I took the ride. I hate Johnny and his kind. Looking at us now, we are so different. He is wore dark, dirty blue jeans and a white t-shirt. His brown hair went down to his shoulders. He had the window opened and he was leaning on the door with one hand on the steering wheel. He was the epitome of relaxation and devil-may-care. I wore a tan skirt with an expensive designer blue t-shirt. My shoes were sandals, and my hair was braided. I was clean; he was dirty. He was uneducated; and I was going to Harvard. On opposites side of the car were opposite people.

“Aren’t you going to ask where I live?” I finally asked, wondering if he forgot I was in the car.

“I already know” he said, his attitude almost meeting mine.

I looked at him with surprised look on my faceand he returned my look with a chuckle.

“I did yard work there once,”

“Oh…” I looked out the window. He drove on some back road and the trees were going by at a fast pace. The speedometer said we were going 65. My hands clenched my books further. Johnny noticed the small movement. He looked at me, then back out the window, then back at me again.

“Hey relax. Do you want me to slow down?”

I relaxed because he told me to. I relaxed because he sounded like he cared about how I felt. He remembered me and my house, and he cared about me despite the fact that we’ve never spoken. He noticed me. That’s when I felt it. The moment. How fast the car was going, how persuasive and caring Johnny’s voice sounded, how I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. I felt wild.

When I got home I called Eric.

“The bus was late.” I told him.

I thought of that ride all night. I thought of how in that moment, the future was too far ahead for me to even think about. Eventually, my worrisome mother and protective boyfriend melted away. My chemistry homework, and soon, the point of the ride melted away. I had never felt that way before. I had never done anything so uncalculated. I had never cared so little.


I asked Johnny to give me a ride home every day after that. I told Eric that the bus picked up a new stop and I would be a couple minutes late every day. I don’t know where I got the courage to lie.

Johnny and I started talking more and I began to see past his backwards upbringing. I don’t really know what I saw, but I didn’t see the same white trash I did before.

One day while taking me home, he stopped at the marsh and parked.

“Why do you want me to give you rides every day?”

I felt like he was mad at me, like he hated giving me rides. “Well, so I get home early? The bus takes too long… I’ve told you that.”

He gave me a sideways glance of doubt.

“If it’s too much….”

“Why don’t you just tell me the truth?” His persuasive voice unlocked me. It was then that I realized that I loved Johnny, if only for everything he represented.

“Adventure. I like them because it makes me feel like I’m human and I can do crazy things.”

Before I knew it, he had his hands in my hair, tangling my life like the fine strands in his rough fingers. He crushed my dreams when his lips crushed into mine. And I loved it so much.


“Forever right?” Eric said as we were about to get off the phone that night.

“Forever and ever baby,” I said, hoping that my voice held the same conviction it had before Johnny changed my world.

In retrospect, Eric and I were the perfect couple. We were the couple that wore nice dresses and button down tops to school in sophisticated pastel colors. We were the golden couple at school, all the teachers loved us. We were both supposed to compete to be valedictorian of our class and then go to college. In our parent’s eyes, we would grow up, get married, be rich and successful with three beautiful children.

In retrospect, I loved Eric because of everything he represented. We were perfect life mates. He represented everything I loved and followed; rules, family, school, future. But those weren’t the things I wanted; adventure, carelessness, strength, life… that moment. That was Johnny.


Slowly the transformation started. It began with the lies to my parents and boyfriend. Lies about things I never did and friends I never had, just so I can have an excuse to be with Johnny. It was the times we hung out in his room and made out. It was the first time I was touched so sensuously.

Then came the parties at his barn and the private parties between us and a bottle of liquor in his truck at the marsh. It was all the people that stopped recognizing me as Ms. Perfect at the parties.

It was Johnny teaching me how to feel the world in ways I never knew that the transformation grew on.


It’s 7 o’clock. To my parents I’m at the humane society. To Johnny and I, I’m on his mattress, lying next to him, facing him, lips passionately teasing the other’s. His hands inched their way up my shirt like they do every time, but this time I didn’t stop him. It has been a month since I first tasted Johnny, another since I first tasted his life. Each day Johnny has awoken me more and more. I wanted him to make this final.

I looked into his hazel eyes and felt his long hair tickle my cheek. I used to hate that hair, but now it creates a veil of privacy that I feel safe in. I look at him tenderly and run my fingers through it.

Eric is far from my mind as Johnny unbuttons my pants, keeping his eyes locked with mine. My parents are nowhere as he kisses me on the inside of my thighs. The future is too far away to think about as he touches every inch of me. What did any of this matter when you had life touching you in places you’ve never known you could feel in before?

It all changed for good when Johnny McMillan took my virginity. Forever was out of my sight forever from that night on. I was officially addicted to the moment.


I left them a note saying I was leaving.

I packed a suitcase and called Eric.

It was 2am.

I spoke the same way I always used to; calmly, quietly, and with no passion. That’s the language Eric understands.

“I’m breaking up with you. Yes, there is someone else…” I paused for a second. “And he’s fucking me.”

I jumped back into Johnny’s truck. This time I didn’t care if my parents heard his tires across the gravel. I was living in the moment, and the moment was a battered truck bumping along on dirt roads, dust invading my lungs and the strained heartbeat from the fear of getting caught.


I have a large, sweating fountain pop in my hand and a Butterfinger squeezed in between my arm. I am fumbling with a new pack of smokes, trying to get the cellophane off. I’m a little drunk and a lot stoned. It’s a typical lazy Tuesday evening. I finally manage to free a cigarette through my fumbling.

That’s when I see her. I almost don’t. She is sitting in the backseat of a car, leaning over, looking at me. Her elderly, educated, well off looking parents sit in the front, conversing about something. She has a sweet looking face with small blushing lips and small almond shaped eyes with a natural cat like look to them. Her hair is long and soft in a light shining brown color. She is clean cut and perfect looking.

I know her. She is me. Future straight ahead of her with nothing in the way, everything lined up and laid out. How different I am now. I look different, I look like a joke because that’s what I am. I am living at a party house because that’s the only place I could stay after Johnny kicked me out 2 months after I left home. My parents won’t take me back, my college savings are dwindling, and school is something I go to so truancy officers don’t come knocking on my parent’s door. I have nothing to live for anymore but this cigarette I’m hitting and the rum I will mix with my cold mountain dew later. I thought I was going to be getting so much more out of this, not runs to the gas stations late at night for my meal of pop and Butterfingers. Not a dirty floor to sleep on that smells like booze and vomit. This was supposed to be different.

I can’t remember the last time I felt the way I did in Johnny’s truck. Lately it’s all been a blur of constant sickness. There is something living inside me. It’s a clump of guilt, homesickness, the future I lost, and despair. It sticks together like hair and mucus and stays inside me like a hairball I can’t cough up. I never knew how bad I wanted to cough it up until now. I feel like vomiting.

As that girl and I look at each other, I see the life I should have, the life I would have had I not thrown it away. We look at each other, wishing to trade places with the other. I think to her, hoping she will catch my message somehow; “Don’t wish for this. Don’t wish for this. This is not what you want, you lonely, confused, perfect girl. Don’t wish for this. Forever means nothing when you’re living in the moment. And that’s exactly what this is… a moment. But a moment ruins forever.”