“Miss von Trapp said the family did not cross the Alps to escape Austria. They crossed the street and boarded a train.”—Best line from Agathe von Trapp’s obituary in the Baltimore Sun which I stumbled onto after falling down a wikipedia rabbit hole started by Sacha Baron Cohen, which led to Sacha Cohen (figure skater) which lead to the Olympics, which led me to reminisce about Baltimore and DC’s bid to be the 2012 host city back in 2002 which led to me reading the Baltimore Sun which led to me learning that most of The Sound of Music is false.
Things that make me surprisingly happy: trouser socks
Yep, that’s what this blog has come to.
I’ve always been the super fashionable professional lady who never wears socks but yesterday was cold so I bought a pair from Wal-Mart. Well, best purchase ever this week. They make my feet feel so warm! So at a time when my personal life is boring and lacking any semblance of fun, these trouser socks are bringing a smile to my face. It’s okay for you to feel sorry for me :)
In other news, this weekend I’m adopting a cat. I’m one step away from this:
No wise man ever said this [or maybe who knows, he did] but I am going to try to commit to blogging more often because Lord knows, I have a lot to say. I just get lazy and don’t want to write it down. And then those memories fade into the distance never to be remembered again, because seriously I have the worst memory ever. And I wish I could ,blame it on my brain injury from earlier this year, but it was bad before then too.
I think I have the entirety of my sophomore year of college blocked out. It was probably the worst year of my life but I am still impressed at my brain’s ability to protect me from those memories by erasing them. That year my grandparents came to visit from Ghana [something I have almost no recollection of] and we threw my grandmother an 80th birthday party… that I don’t really remember. I know it happened because I saw pictures from it, but I don’t really remember being there. The stories I do remember are ones that were told to me by other people, so I remember their memories of the party but nary have one of my own. Scary, right? Well that’s why I want to remember to blog more [random thought: what if my memory is so bad that I forget my commitment to remember to blog more?? I’ll have to figure that part out… if I remember]. Also because my friend Sarah and I both share a love of reading other people’s random blogs and I figure I need to contribute to the blogophere that I so gladly take from. Plus, there is some pretty funny/ crazy stuff that happens to me so I definitely want to remember that stuff.
And since I would you like you to laugh at least once in this blog post here is a funny story about me and my memory loss: Last summer my friend was telling a story about how during the Last Day of Class concert/celebration/party in college someone had seen an empty wheelchair in the student center and sat in it and wheeled away. This person was very excited to have found the wheelchair because it was always their dream to sit in a wheelchair [this person was really weird]. Well things got odd when the person who was originally in the wheelchair found the wheelchair thief and demanded it back. The wheelchair thief knew deep down inside, the original wheelchair owner did not actually need the wheelchair [because if he did they wouldn’t have left it in the middle of the student center, duh] but he too just liked to wheel around in it. The only problem was that there were two wheelchair lovers and only one wheelchair and no, he did not want to share. So wheelchair thief relinquished the wheelchair and miraculously got up and walked away [well everyone nearby who thought she really needed the wheelchair thought it was a miracle]. My reaction to my friend’s story: haha that’s hilarious! I think I remember that happening, who was that? My friend looked at me for a while and said: Are you kidding? That story was about you! You were the wheelchair thief but I didn’t want to embarrass you, so I just left your name out of the story. Did you seriously forget that happened?? Me: Um, well it sounded familiar…
And to this day, what I remember of the story is exactly how she told it. I remember her memory, I don’t actually remember it happening. Someone get me a doctor! [They’re called Rememberologists, right?]
If you have a good memory, you’ll remember that I’ve promised to “blog more often” about 635 times so I won’t take it personally if you don’t believe me. But for real y’all, this time is different!
That time I got to fly a plane and got nearly kidnapped by the pilot
So this one can be filed under: Whoops I should have posted this, but I just found it in the drafts folder.
July 2, 2013
So I’m on my way back to the states and had to fly from Andros to Nassau before going to Baltimore. I’m here in Nassau safe and sound, but I had quite an interesting adventure getting here. When I got to the airport I found out that I would be sitting in the front of the plane. Cool, no problem. So then the captain was like hey you can be my lady copilot and help me fly! Um, ok cool, no problem. So I put my hands on the “steering wheel” (whatever it’s called) and pretended to fly. The pilot looks over at me and he’s like you’re doing a great job! You should give me your number so I can fly you to all of the other islands! And I just smile and nod. Then when we were going to land the plane, he was like hey push this button, pull those levers, and next thing I know, I’m helping him land the plane. So that was pretty cool/ unexpected/ illegal?
When we landed he was like hey I can give you a ride to the international terminal. Ok, cool no problem, I thought. I didn’t have any money for a cab (as I told Kevin, I only have $4 to my name) so this sounded like a good idea to me. Then we get inside the GAC and they’re like, ok the flight cost $3, which would have bankrupted me! But then luckily my pilot was like, I’ll pay for you! And when was the last time I turned down anything free? Now that this man had paid for my flight and offered me a free ride, I was beginning to feel like I owed him… Which is never how you want to feel when you climb into a car in a foreign country with a man you don’t know.
We started to drive towards the international terminal and he was like what time is your flight? 4pm, I said. Great! I’m going to take you on a tour of Nassau! (And then it occurred to me that this is how many “girl gets murdered by airline pilot” Lifetime movies begin). I didn’t refuse his offer because I felt like I owed him (again, big mistake). So as he’s driving he asks me to write down my name and number so he can contact me when I get back to the Bahamas. I start writing “Esi” but after using my brain for a second changed it to Elsie and made my last name Hightower. He already knew I was at Small Hope so there was nothing I could do about that.
During our ride, he told me that I had caught his eye at the airport, that he liked my attitude and that he wished I lived in the Bahamas so that he could “spend the rest of his life with me”. You don’t even know me, I countered. Well I can get to know you, he said. But I have a boyfriend! (Standard method for diffusing such situations… Which actually works less than you would think). That fact did not seem to worry him. You can tell your parents you’re running away to Bahamas and then we can get married, he pressed on. But then I would have to dump my boyfriend, I argued. Again, this mysterious boyfriend was inconsequential to him.
Eventually he brought me back to the airport and he wanted to sit in the car and chat more, but at that point I had heard enough of what our life would be like together if I stayed in the Bahamas and married him. I grabbed my bags and darted out of the car, grateful that I wasn’t left for dead in a Nassau street alley. So yea, basically my life is never dull.
Moral of the story: Always carry cash with you, because you may regret the things you end up doing to get stuff for free.
Yes, this summer I’m doing a summer internship in the Bahamas. Since there are a few questions that people have, I figured I would answer them here and do my best to blog about my experience.
Q: What exactly are you doing this summer?
A: I’m working at a small dive resort doing some environmental sustainability work. There are four of us here from Duke [I kind of knew two of them and had never met the third], three people are working on designing and installing a solar hot water system for the resort and I’m working on more general sustainability stuff. My main projects are updating their Environmental Management System, conducting a lighting retrofit and communicating their sustainability initiatives internally and externally.
Q: Where exactly are you?
A: I’m on Andros Island, the largest island in the Bahamas. It’s kind of remote, even though we’re about a 15 minute plane ride from Nassau, mail takes forever to get here [if it ever gets here] and I don’t think there are any real grocery stores, just corner stores. In the three weeks I’ve been here I have left the resort only 3 times, once on a bike ride the second day I was here, once to go out last weekend and last night for Crab Fest.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Well, living at a place where everyone else is on vacation is a little bizarre since every day is different yet lacking in any distinctive features that would clue you into what day of the week it is. For instance, yes today is Saturday but I’m still working and yes, yesterday was Friday but all I did was hang out, watch a movie and then go out with friends. So we don’t have a typical Monday through Friday work schedule because we never know what day of the week it is. Monday might as well be Thursday which might as well be Saturday. [And I know I did a terrible job explaining that, sorry. ] Anyways so since every day is the same but different, it’s hard to say what a typical day looks like. So I’ll just tell you a general idea:
8:45a- Wake up and go to breakfast. [The only reason I wake up is for breakfast, if I had a fridge and didn’t have to rely on breakfast being served, which is awesome don’t get me wrong, I probably wouldn’t wake up until 10.]. If I’m going diving that day, I scarf down my breakfast and run to the dock to make it to the boat. If I’m not, I take my time and eat s u p e r slowly. 10a- Go back to my room which doubles as our office to check email, think about what I want to do that day, browse Facebook, etc. 11ish- Go for a swim in the ocean/ paddleboard/ kayak/ read in a hammock 12:30- Lunch where I ask the people who went diving that morning how their dive was. [Many conversations here revolve around diving]. Afternoon- Do work 4:30ish- I didn’t do a water activity in the morning, I usually do it now. Or I go for a walk on the beach/ explore. 6:30p- Mandatory happy hour. Nope not kidding. During this time we mingle with the guests. And drink. And eat appetizers. It’s actually pretty fun. I’ve become somewhat of a bar tender which is something I might write about later. 7:30p- Dinner where I ask the people who went diving that afternoon how their dive was. 8:30p- Daily dive video where we watch a video of that day’s dive. It’s pretty cool getting to see what everyone saw that day underwater. 8:45p- That crucial moment where you decide between going to bed immediately or staying up until 1am. [In the beginning I totally went to bed early, but now that I know everyone, I stay up. ] 9pm-? Party/ hang out at the bar. Yes this happens every single day.
So there you go! The three most asked questions about my summer situation. I’ll be back later with more stories about this summer.
I had a miracle happen to me and I want to publicly testify to the goodness of God so here I go:
On Saturday I was driving up to Charlottesville when I suddenly lost control of my car (don’t remember what happened). My car flew off the road and was apparently 50 ft in the air at one point. Then it proceeded to land and flip over 4 times in the median as it rolled down the hill. I don’t remember much, but I do remember being upside down. Apparently as all of this was happening a truck driver driving an 18-wheeler was headed my way and my car was heading towards the opposing traffic. She stopped her truck in time, and used her truck to block cars from hitting mine. When I came to, this truck driver was the first person I saw. She was a registered nurse who took up driving tractor trailers in her spare time and she happened to be in town just for the weekend from Arizona. What are the chances? Lovely coincidence? No, it was God’s grace.
She stayed with me, taking care of my bloody nose and called my mom to tell her what happened. Then along came another man who was a medic but was on his day off when he saw the accident. He was able to stabilize my head and neck while we waited for the ambulance. Another coincidence? No, again, God’s grace. They told me not to move my head which it would have been impossible to do anyways because the roof was caved in, right next to my head. A few more inches and it would have been right where my head was. Another evidence of God’s grace. When the ambulance came and they pulled me out of the car and put me on the backboard, I saw my car for the first time and started crying. The whole top was smashed in, there was glass everywhere, the windshield was completely obliterated and yet I was still alive, and could feel all of my fingers and toes.
The ambulance took me to UVA hospital and during the ride I got scared because I felt really out of it. My thoughts were foggy and my head and neck were in excruciating pain. And yet, I still knew that I could feel all of my fingers and toes. Once at the hospital (after cutting off all of my clothes, including my second favorite pair of jeans and a jacket that I loved), the ran several tests including some CT scans and they all came back normal. Another evidence of grace: I was originally on my way to meet my friends Gillet and Kristian and they met me at the hospital and hung out with my for a couple of hours while we waited for my parents to come. I don’t know if I could ever put into words what you two being there meant to me. You two are amazing. Every doctor and nurse told me how “lucky” I was to even be alive, let alone uninjured for the most part. I escaped only with a minor traumatic brain injury (severe concussion) so if I’m slow to respond to email, it’s because I’m resting my brain :)
But let me tell you, I’m not lucky and I didn’t survive this because I’m a “good person”. Quite the opposite, I’m a sinner, saved by grace and the Lord who had saved my soul previously, chose Saturday to save my physical life as well. If Saturday had turned out completely differently and I had tragically died, I know for a fact that I would have been standing face to face with Jesus in heaven. I’m writing this to remind all of us that yes bad things happen all of the time to people we love and it’s extremely hard to understand, sometimes, more often than not, good things happen to people too. The same good God who could have in His goodness chosen to end my life that day, is the same God who for some reason, unbeknownst to me, chose to spare it.
So I want to shout it from the mountaintops. On Saturday, I could have died, but by God’s mercy, He protected me and I didn’t. This is a straight up miracle, there’s no other way to paint it. Too many things went “right” for this to be “by chance”. I don’t know why this happened but I definitely want to use this incident as an opportunity to tell people about the God I love and His mercies that are new every morning. Most people will go through life without ever having a near-death experience (which is good!) but God loves you just as much and is fighting for you just as much as he did for me on Saturday.
On a final note, I have been completely overwhelmed and humbled by the love my friends have shown me through this ordeal and I will be forever grateful to you all :)
During my Latin Dance final, one of the couples did a rumba to this song and I almost started crying. I’m not quite sure why, other than I really really love this song and its so sad. Reading week/ finals is making me emotional.
My friend Julie is pregnant, but that’s not even the most amazing part. On Saturday, due to a great idea by one of my friends, we had a virtual baby shower for her! With the help of Google hangouts we had a surprise 10-way video chat with Julie [it was a surprise to her, not us]. Two of our friends who were in on the surprise happened to be visiting Julie for the weekend which was helpful in setting up the surprise and getting Julie online. Overall we had “attendees” from San Francisco, CA [she had to get up super early because of her time zone… what a saint :)], Texas, New York City, Washington DC, North Carolina, Boston, MA and someone even video-chatted from her car driving on the road in Florida [she wasn’t the one driving though. We’re a safe bunch. The group would never allow ourselves to chat with someone who was videochatting while driving]!
It was great seeing technology bring us all together to share our joy and excitement for the impending birth of Julie’s baby. Just like any baby shower we had games and presents, but unfortunately, no food. Next time we do a virtual baby shower we should all cook the same food and eat it at the same time. We also had a website where we wrote well wishes for Julie and even suggested names for her baby. My personal favorite name was Meryl because then the baby would be Meryl Farrell! Pretty nice huh? It rhymes and she’d be named after the GREATEST ACTRESS ALIVE [said in your best Lil’ Wayne voice].
We gave Julie two presents, one was a book of prayers we had all written for baby Meryl* and the other was a framed alphabet collage where each of us decorated two letters and mailed them to one of our friends who assembled them all into a beautiful framed piece of art. Even still days later, I’m still talking about how awesome it was to see some of my best friends from college all together “in one place”. Oh technology, sometimes you can be pretty helpful [ok just kidding, it’s always helpful].
Here’s all of us posing for the camera!
*her name will most likely [unfortunately] not be this
I wouldn’t consider myself a hipster by any means but I’ve lately realized just a few instances in which I prided myself in liking things other people didn’t and now that it’s popular I am no longer fan.
1. I used to be OBSESSSED with Adele my senior year of college which was the year she won Best New Artist at the Grammys. I downloaded her album 19 immediately and listened to it on a continuous loop for 4 months [which is usually when my music ADD makes me switch to another artist/ song]. When her album, 21 came out and everyone loved it, I refused to download it because everyone had discovered her. Still to this day, even though Adele is just as talented, if not more now than she was 3 years ago, I do not have her album and refuse to gush about her with everyone else [because true inner hipsters leave the room when mainstream topics come up].
2. I also used to really love Zooey Deschanel. I even declared my love here on my blog because she was hilarious in Failure to Launch back in 2006. Every time she came on the screen of whatever tv show or movie I was watching, I would screech, I LOVE HER! Well guess what, now that everyone else loves her because of her new show, New Girl, I refuse to join in on the chorus of I LOVE HER’s. In fact, I even refuse to watch her show.
3. And finally, I fear that soon my love of Arrested Development might go the way of my previous two examples. Though the chances are low because my love is so strong. But I definitely get upset when people rave about how much they love the show that they didn’t start watching until it was on Hulu. Where were you all when the ratings were struggling and my favorite show of all time was canceled after only 2 1/2 seasons? WHERE WERE YOU THEN???? I’m happy to welcome new people to the fandom, but it’s definitely bittersweet. I’m happy you like it now, but you’re 6 years too late. So maybe this situation is actually the opposite of the first two. If everyone had like AD at the same time as me, maybe it wouldn’t even be on this list and it would still be on tv.
This inner hipstertude selfishness is probably all just because I am first-born child who can’t share.
“Hello, my name is [insert name here], and I’m addicted to productivity tools. I find nothing quite so satisfying as organizing my to-do list and downloading new productivity software. Prioritizing my work is ever so much nicer than actually doing it.”—
He just described my whole life in 3 sentences. Incidentally, I came across this quotation while looking up bigger and better ways to make to do lists, when I should just be doing the things on those lists. But then again the first thing on my to do list is: “find a better way to categorize the items I need to do”. [I should also mention that only one of the things from my to do list last week got done, and then the nail polish peeled off within 2 days. #fail]
Yesterday I got into a parking lot altercation with the guy who runs a coffee shop I go to all the time. Looks like I'll never be going back there. So if I fall asleep when I'm talking to you, it's because my caffeine options have been limited.
I know people who go to fashion week are always saying things like “my feet are killing me!” and “this job will be the death of me,” but despite what Rachel Zoe would have you believe, nobody has “literally” died there until now. Maybe people will stop saying those things now?
95-year-old socialite Zelda Kaplan, who was by all accounts an incredibly awesome lady, keeled over suddenly while sitting in the front row at the Joanna Mastroianni show yesterday just as the second model was coming out, which is probably exactly how the socially active style maven wanted to go. According to The New York Post, she was carried out by security and taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead of natural causes. (The fashion show continued.)
This is a hilarious blog that celebrates the regular black people and their contributions to society. While Harriet Tubman is important, what about Netta Roberts, the first woman to encourage someone to talk to the hand?
Here are some of my favorites-
Connie Ann Woodard: First person to spank a child in a store for acting up.
Earline Dulin: First person to buy an outfit, wear it, and return it to the store the next day.
William J. Coptus: First black actor to be the first person to die in a horror movie.
Natoria “DontHateMeCuzYouAintMeBabyJustCongratulateMe” Offut: First person to have a ridiculously long and foolish middle name on Facebook.
Kahlil Robinson: First person to walk around the hood with a boombox on his shoulder.
Wish I could write more, but this café is closing, and the barista’s desire to go home and move on with her life is more important than my desire to tell a story about how much I hated lingerers when I was a waitress.
Closing time isn’t closing time. Closing time is 2 minutes prior. Respect that.
Welp, I failed at this. Last Thursday, I went out for dessert with my friend Lori and we didn’t notice that everyone had left the restaurant and we were the only ones left… 45 minutes after it was supposed to close. Whoops!