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.
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:
Client: Can you add comments to the pages on my website?
Me: Sure, that will take me about an hour, billed at $x/hour.
Client: Oh, ok. Then can you just send me a step-by-step guide of how to do it myself?
Me: That would take about at least an hour for me to write.
Client: As long as it’s free.
I came to Duke with an empty wallet | The Chronicle -
Great Op-Ed about being poor at a school where everyone seems rich. For me, Duke was the first time I’d been surrounded by so much wealth. Definitely an eye-opening experience.
Duke Chronicle- An Oral History of Tailgate
An interesting read on the history of Tailgate at Duke. #RIP
A mermaid shrine built into a tree? Oh Norfolk, you really crack me up
Also spotted on my lunchtime walk #ChinaInVA (at The Pagoda & Oriental Garden)
Spotted during my lunchtime walk down by the dock (at HRT Paddlewheel Ferry Dock)
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!
So I was finally able to take that dialect quiz [after having overloaded server issues every other time] and I’m relieved to know that my speech is indeed indicative of where I grew up AND where I spent 8 years of my life.
This is a relief because I had 3 people while I was in NC within one week ask me where I was from after having heard me speak. The first time that week I was accused of “having an accent” I countered with, “no, I speak normally, YOU have an accent! A southern accent! I sound like a news broadcaster, my speech dialect is perfect!!!”. Then literally one minute later my friend came up to me and was like: “what’s up with your accent?” “um, what accent?”, I wanted to know. He claimed that maybe I had picked something up in the Bahamas. Nope I didn’t pick anything up while I was there, besides I sound nothing like a Bahamian. Then a few days later a sales guy at the store asked me the same question about my origins. Though my mother theorized that he was just trying to hit on me.
Either way, I have been very confused as to what these people were hearing but I have been vindicated by the internet! I sound exactly how I should and that is accent-less!! Well the internet didn’t say I’m accent-less but I know I am!
Too scared to eat our trivia prize this week! (at Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria)
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.
This glass had been sitting outside if my room. This morning it was empty. Then it rained. A lot. And now it’s full.