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Local Friends

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last night's slightly bummy mood was quickly turned around after a Dip in the Sea, followed by some Observing in the Sand. I smiled at the tough looking high school/college kids playing hand slapping games we'd play as kids in line at Disney. (Cousin Lindsey! ;) ). 

I also spotted a homeless (which we're now calling LOCAL from now on) man dancing away in the sea. I laid there for a while, remembering that night months ago that I ran passed him by the pier. He brought a smile to my face then, watching him dancing with so much joy. I contemplated stopping to tell him this simple fact of the joy his joy spread, but I kept running, immediately with regret but not enough conviction to turn around. 

After another time, seeing a Happy Go Lucky old man shoveling away in the sand, building what looked like a giant moat, (but rooms said was probably him burying his wife), and letting that interesting Character Conversation pass too, I vowed to never let that happen again. 

It still took a little conversations in my head, but I got the gusto and just found myself pushing myself up, heading toward the man. 

Willis was his name. He's been here for 6 years, staying up and down the coast. He gets his exercise dancing in the sea and has "learned how to run with the waves." 

We talked for a little bit and a couple more guys came and greeted this friendly man. 

I was excited to have found the person I'd been waiting for to share some gift cards with, so I asked if he was a fan of Subway. "Do you have any coke?" Was his reply. 

"No, but I'm sure you can get some at Subway!" I replied. Only now did I realize the humor in if he was actually referring to cocaine. I'm sure not though. 

I came back with the gift cards and a lemonade that he was so excited about. 
"We didn't have coke, but we have lemonade, if that's cool!"

"Oh, lemonade is my flavor!" 

He gulped that down with a smile in his eyes. 

See you around, Willis. 

Local: much more appropriate term for people without a physical home of four walls. The beach could still be their home. It's just different. 
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Drinks, Discoveries, and Dipping

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This weekend was one unexpected crazy night after the next. Friday night started with hanging with a new coworker friend, Sarah. We biked over to the bars and laughed a lot at our bikes that were way too big. We needed a sign saying, "we're not hammered, our bikes just don't fit." Our night involved debunking my Foreign Radar Shoe Detector Theory but meeting a foreign looking surfer in the process, meeting a guy that's building merry go rounds in Africa to provide water, assisting in a scavenger hunt, celebrating a stranger's 21st birthday with a fun group of dudes, and making several new friends. 

After this crazy night, I had to work at 8am the next day. Rough. But it was a good shift followed by a not so beneficial nap. Are they ever? I did some domestic things before joining Dana, Martin, and another friend for biking around. Lemon Bar time commenced and ocean skinny dipping plans were made and executed. Twice. Giant cards were played, dancing done, and way too spicy food eaten.  
It was a good night... a good weekend... Of which there are no pictures. Sorry, guys. 

If you haven't gone skinny dipping in the ocean at night, do it. Or anytime really. 

Hyperboles I'm tired of

Friday, July 18, 2014

"I have the best mom/dad/husband/whatever in the world."
Ok he/she is probably really great and you may even believe she's "the best mom you could ask for (thank goodness we don't get to pick em), but let's not forget there are lots of awesome moms and it's just utterly impossible to judge, so don't even try. 

"I'd only be half the person I could be without him/her."
Well that sucks. Hopefully they don't break up with you or die. 

"I love ____ with all my heart."
Sucks for everyone else in your life to realize there's no room for them in your heart. 

"We need more chivalry in our society." 
So maybe this isn't as much of a hyperbole as it is just a stupid phrase I'm tired of. So maybe dudes don't hold the car door for you anymore (which is totally doable for your independent self), but you're also not just a trophy wife that can't even work and is just expected to pop out babies and make sandwiches). Ya win some, ya lose some. I'll take a little extra arm effort over being property. 

"Only in ______," when referring to one's hometown in which something redneck, crazy, or skeezy happened. That shit happens everywhere. Don't try to put the spotlight on yourself even for a bad thing, to try to make yourself feel different. If I went to my Social Psych class I'd probably know the official term for that kind of attention seeking behavior. 

"I can't function without coffee." Now I'm all about some coffee, but I'm convinced the energy aspect is 75% a placebo. 
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Afternoon Thoughts; Struggles

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Woke up late today. Threw on a dress I'd set out the night before. Rushed to work. Didn't eat breakfast. Didn't pack a lunch. Got to work and realized the dress is too big on me. And it's white. And my underwear is dark grey. And according to the period tracker I just downloaded, I have 0 days left. So I can't go commando. Was just made aware the only way Moes is still running is their queso. 

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Some Self Lovin

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You know what? I realized that, though I have so much single time, and I do enjoy solo exploring, I actually haven't been treating myself to it as much as I should. My solo Sunday exploring was beyond lovely, I've added several routines to my days to show myself appreciation, and am trying my best to appreciate this "independent time I have." But there's definitely still more I can do.

When a friend canceled our river date plans the other day, I just ended up running errands... I totally could've still gone and had a solo day at the park. 

I think I'm pretty awesome. To the extent that I don't understand how my awesome dude has not come around and discovered this yet. I had been getting bummed that I don't have a guy to do all the romantic, fun things I want to do. But I'm not gonna let that keep me from doing these things. 

So until that day comes where I get my Partner in Adventure, I'm going to enjoy my time and still do just what I want. With no second opinions, no canceled plans, no wondering if they're as excited about the plans as I am, or what their expectations are... Noneathat!

I know what I love. I know what my expectations are, and also the openness to changes. I know I'll appreciate myself for whatever plans I do with myself. 

So I will open myself up to more opportunies. If I want to go somewhere new? I'll go somewhere new. Even if I don't have a dude or an available friend to come with. I don't need to wait around for someone to take me there... To do something I wanna do. Silliness, y'all. Silliness

So yesterday, I went to Memorial Park,
my favorite, near the sweet area of Avondale where I've been working lately (and not taking enough advantage of!) Shame. 

Took the journal, arts, ideas and open mind and heart, and had a little picnic.  On my way in, I stopped to talk to a sweet lady with a sheltie (always gotta pet shelties when I see em after Dolly, the best dog ever). But she used to be a teacher so we shared a lot of stories and laughs about our experiences. Then she, or her pup really, led me to the chance to meet another adorably happy, corgie pup and his owner. Just from one decision I met two people and their pooches!

So anyway, for now, I'll be dating myself and enjoying the heck out of it. This reminded me of MacKensie's post. I can definitely relate.

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Fourth of July, St. Augustine Style

Monday, July 7, 2014

Making a decision about my Fourth of July plans this year was basically my hardest decision I've ever encountered. I had to choose from family and friends' traditional Lake Weir festivities, celebrating in Infamous Jax Beach style with some old friends and potential to make more, and later had the addition of St. Augustine with Les and Brad to confuse me even more. After more than a week of debating, getting advise from everyone, and setting my GPS to the lake once out of work on Friday, I wound up changing route and decided on St. Augustine. Though the lake is always a good time and I'd be spending with some of the bests and family, the idea of celebrating in a whole new way was too enticing. 

Once Brad and I made it to St. Augustine, I was so glad I chose this. (A statement made several times throughout the night). We met Les and Gabby at Conch House Marina, where they were working/hanging with us til fireworks time. We passed a good friend, Diane, on her way out, who fortunately decided to turn back around and celebrated with us. 

This ended up being such a great fourth. "Sittin on the dock of the bay, wastin time," with Brad and new friends was so appreciated. I got a warmer heart, just from the perfectly joyful on-looker next to me that would literally shake from excitement at every burst of her favorite firework. 
"This is when they start playing Proud to be an American at the fort," said Leslie. 
Commence our rendition of the song, making one of my favorite moments of the night. 
I attributed my hoarse voice the next morning to this instance, plus another belting at a pub, but as Leslie pointed out,
 "Pretty sure we had enthusiasm with every sentence that came out. Haha. BEST FOURTH EVAAAARRRR." 
After the fireworks, we walked cartwheel over the bridge to the British Pub (I'm sure we would've gone to The American Pub had there been one?), continued to White Lion for friends and dancing jigs, and then made The Fort our playground, for some extreme entertainment. Les and I attempted a Fort Invasion but unfortunately that's not as easy as hoped. I continued, convinced that another entrance had to exist. Along the way I fully took on character... 
"Shhh! Don't give me away! I'm a Brit... Or Spanish? I'm not really sure. But I'm invading!" as I alerted the surprise(d) picnickers around the corner.  
"I think it was the Spanish," oh so helpful strangers said. 
"Ok yes! Spanish! I'm just gonna climb this here fort. Don't mind me." (Said with an attempted British/Spanish accent)
"Do you want some encouragents and cheers?"

Apparently the Americans had thought about this climbing the fort tactic and made it out of super painful shells. It was a no go. As was the search for my sandals after said climbing. 

Friends and I were reunited and enjoyed some serious laughs on the grassy knoll by the fort. I was trying to remember some of the awesome quotes or conversations but no luck. 
"OMG I laughed hysterically and remember nothing,
Leslie said, when I hoped she might remember. 

The night wasn't flawless though. This was made certain by the cab drivers that should not be cab drivers. 
It wouldn't have been complete without some misplaced keys, but they were retrieved with ease from the fort. Thank goodness. But these just added to the story of course of this epic Independence Day. 

What better place to celebrate the good ol' USA's birth than growing friendships with some of my favorites, with beautiful marina views, in the Oldest City in America? 

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The Sea and Some Heat

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I was debating whether to share about my Monday after this Sunday post, that could've been seen as one of those pretentious sounding, "my life is more awesome than yours," posts that "makes my life look better through my blog," etc like all these Facebook feeds are sharing.

But yesterday was honestly too good to not share. I got off two hours early, which at first was a slight inconvenience as I need the hours. But disappointment didn't last longer than my walk out the door, when it turned into excitement to enjoy the beautiful day. 

On my way home, I got a call from one of my favorites, Mr. James... mysterious funny dude I mentioned here and here. Oh and here. (Just guess which ones are about him). He was off work and interested in beach time, so he came on over. 

We had a delicious Brinner feast on the porch, shared poems and ideas, and laughed a whole lot with his reciting of my poems. It sounds a bit different, to say the least, coming from someone else. 

We enjoyed the sun for a while on the beach before I finally convinced him to get in the water. First just his feet, then halfway, then finally all in. It turned into quite the spectacle, watching him try to get out passed the break to join me for some relaxing floating. 
"How are you floating?! You have you relaxed for that!" 
"Yeah? You can't relax?"
I'd get excited when he'd almost make it out to me, then turn around and he's way the heck back. It was such a struggle. A very entertaining, laughable struggle. I think he attempted floating once to be pummeled by a wave. Bad experience. 

It felt so nice continuing my "Swim Every Day Resolution." That day I swam longer than I have in years, and it was fantastic. Lots of floating. Lots of empowerment conquering the waves. Lots of humbling tumbles in the ones I didn't quite conquer.  

We got in some more sun time, and one more swim before deciding we needed food. Off to Al's Pizza we went for one of the funniest dinners I've ever had. I thought the buffalo chicken would be too spicy, so we went with the spicy Caribbean chicken pizza. 
"Ooh, It's not too spicy," waitress said. 
"Spicy" is In. It's. Name... That should've been a sign. 

Two slices later and I'm across the table with a runny nose, lips burning, and snorting coke (the legal kind) from laughing so hard at Mr. James' similar struggle. That was the spiciest food I have ever eaten. Spicier than some buffalo chicken pizza I had from Mellow that turned my poor lips into lobsters. Spicier than that "mild" Indian food I ate in Scotland... It was rough. 

I proceeded to laugh for about 15 straight minutes, while he powered through to "be a man" and kill those last two pieces. The waitress came back at one point, with me dying of laughter and James sweating and rocking. We alerted her to never refer to that pizza as "not too spicy," and sarcastically requested some milk. 

Second time around, she comes back with our waters, asking if we needed anything else while I'm videotaping the ridiculousness, and he's soaking his lips in his water... Comes up from his cup with lips dripping wet. I was pretty much hysterically laughing at this point. 

I wouldn't have changed our pizza choice for the world.



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