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For the record, I hate the rain. I know that our dried up valley needs the water whenever we can get it, what with the ring around Lake Mead showing more and more every single day, but there is something about rain that turns me completely off, and whenever I am in it, all I can think of is how I want to be out of it. We are into our second day of a downpour; the first I managed to get through without a single drop touching me, so here's hoping that I am as successful today as I was yesterday in staying dry.
Along with the rain comes all the dirt and gunk all over the damn place, wet seats on the bus, soggy newspaper and other litter in the street -- the people that think Vegas is all glitter, glamor and lights have obviously not seen Maryland Parkway through the dimly lit filter of a rainy day.
There was, however, the most magnificent rainbow in the sky just before sundown yesterday. J and I were on our way to my house from the bank, and driving down Harmon, sitting on the side of the Hard Rock hotel, we looked in the sky and were blessed to see the rainbow from one end to the other, glowing brightly in the sky and reflecting off of shiny buildings and windows. Even the glow of sundown was mystical. My memory card on my camera was full, and we rushed to empty it so that I could capture some of that beauty, but alas, we didn't make it in time, and we are therefore left with only our memories of it, and the shared memories of everyone else we saw standing on the streets staring in awe.
Then of course there was the whole coming home to see flashing lights going off in the back of my building. Apparently a hit-and-run accident turned into a high speed chase both by vehicle and on foot, and somehow it found its way onto our quiet backstreet where we stood and watched the remaining saga unfold. For the record, it took Las Vegas Metro almost thirty minutes to show up after 911 calls were made by three separate individuals to let them know about the escalating situation, and when they did finally show up, they turned the event into a three-ring circus, which J, Nakachi and I got bored watching after about fifteen minutes.
We watched Saturday Night Fever last night. Knaw'lej and J and had never seen it, so it was fun to watch it again with people that had never experienced the excitement that is watching young John Travolta shake his shimmy. As has been explained before, we are not passive movie watchers, so watching anything with us requires active participation from all members of the audience. Not only did we heckle the movie, but we freestyled hilarious remixes to Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back", and that means that anytime I hear that song, I will not be able to keep from giggling hysterically to myself.
Dinner last night was steamed vegetables, rice and pinto beans. We were supposed to have chicken, but I didn't think to take it out to thaw earlier, and realizing that no matter how much hot water we sat it in, it wasn't going to thaw any faster, we elected to have a strictly vegetarian meal. J and I polished off a bottle of Reisling by ourselves while Knaw'lej and D. Cute Boy had Guinness and Nakachi abstained from any alcohol intake.
She was probably the only one that wasn't cursing the alarm clock this morning. Even with having only four hours of sleep, I still managed to get up, get cleaned and ready and out the door in time to make the early bus to work, early enough even to not have to rush down the wet, filthy sidewalk to the bus stop. I was even smiling and grinning while I walked down the street, because in spite of the rain, I was in a very good mood. Good company, good times and good energy will do that for you.
I still hate the rain though.
I would first like to say that I have the best friends in the world, honestly. Yesterday, upon finding out I was puking my guts out due to some unworldly stomach virus, Knaw'lej went to the store and came back with cranberry juice and 7-Up, my favorite sick time remedies. Then he, Nakachi and Darryl sat with me in shifts, greasing my scalp and talking to me, keeping me company until late last night so I wouldn't be in my house sick by myself. I love me some them. Knaw'lej even cooked the ground chicken I had taken out pre-sickness and made sloppy joes which I didn't partake of because I wasn't sure if my tummy could handle it or not. I'm back in business today, although not necessarily feeling one hundred percent, but as a wise woman once told me, "the pay at home ain't shit", so queasy stomach and all, I'm here at my desk doing what I am supposed to be doing.
While sick, I started reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I don't know what I was expecting from a book that I only knew about because of a John Cusack movie, but I've actually found myself laughing out loud at some parts. I'm reading it considerably slower than I did "Hollywood Wives: the New Generation". I've always loved Jackie Collins. No, it is not that snobbish "literature" that we all want to seem so smart by reading, but it is deliciously entertaining nonetheless, and I read it in just over a day because I was that caught up in the story. With this new book, I find myself trying to make sense of all this new Brit slang I am picking up. Snogging, shagging, smoking fags etc... These all mean different things to me and my North American self.
One habit I picked up before getting sick was actually cooking more meals at home and eating healthier. I carted breakfast, lunch and dinner with me all last week as I put in lots of hours in three different places at once. They say it takes twenty-one days for anything to become a habit, but I can bet you money it won't take that long with me, because the one thing this new habit has done is stretch the longevity of the dollars in my pocket. Between daily trips to Starbucks and buying lunch daily, I'm pretty sure I was spending upwards of $15 a day just eating. This doesn't include any dinners I may have purchased in addition to lunch and Starbucks, so all told, I know I am currently saving well over $100 a week. I am also eating much healthier, which is a habit you can't really put a dollar amount on. I'm talking vegetables with every meal, most times forgoing carbs and plenty of fruit eating at snack time. Fruit leather is your friend.
Netflix continues to be a money-saving favorite, as many a night has been spent sitting on the floor of my furniture-less (yet home theater surround sound having) living room watching movies, sometimes rewinding to comedic effect things that we missed the first time around. Watching movies with Nakachi and Knaw'lej is always an experience; we are not passive consumers. Much like our attendance at poetry readings, we like to fully participate in the experience. Plenty of shouting at the television, cracking jokes and later reciting lines to each other makes this our special kind of "us" time. I like it over here.
Last night we stayed up until almost midnight watching End of Days. I hadn't seen the movie since the night it opened in theaters in 1999, and I bought the dvd thinking I had actually liked the movie, but upon viewing it for a second time, I realize that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not my idea of the saviour of the world. When the credits started rolling, I actually laughed out loud, to which Nakachi responded, "Right," which is our standard response for "Girl, you don't even have to say a word."
We tried watching Capote, but the combination of a scratched dvd from Netflix (I'm averaging about one out of five being scratched) and a boring storyline made us shut it off, package it in its neat little red envelope and send it packing. I like Philip Seymour Hoffman, but the voice he put on to play Capote was more than annoying and added to us not wanting to watch the film. We elected to watch him in Boogie Nights instead.
Boogie Nights will forever remain in my top twenty-five movies of all time.
This was long and rambling, but incredibly satisfying.
It's Friday! Look alive!
Tonight? Undoubtedly spent with the homies either watching movies or waxing poetic.
Tomorrow? Poetry where I have been asked by the organizers of the venue to perform. We'll see. I haven't been feeling Vegas poetry in a minute.
Sunday? Much recuperation and preparation for the coming week.
I'm ready for a redesign and a fresh outlook on life.
I've been putting things away in my new place and walking around stark naked quite a bit. Life is good in your own space.
With Knaw'lej and Nakachi living right downstairs, we spend a lot of time having communal meals, watching movies and enjoying Knaw'lej's cooking. Oh, you ain't know? Baby can throw down, okay? Last night was spicy vegan spaghetti, cheap Mexican beer and homemade sangria. I slept good last night.
This weekend will be work, work, work, but it's all worth it at the end of the pay period, right?
School is, well, school. I got a scholarship, which was awesome, and it helped out a great deal with the tuition. I don't actually have to physically sit in any classroom, and the only time I really need to be on campus is to use the darkroom.
Surprisingly, for someone in her third week of a photography class, I haven't snapped one picture yet. My camera is sitting idly, with batteries in desperate need of a change.
It's different living right near the university. Everything is walking distance from my house, including the grocery store. I live on a major bus line, one that runs every ten minutes and goes to both of the city's transit stations. Einstein Bagel, Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea leaf, Chipotle, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Wendy's, Carl's Junior and the rowdiest college bar ever are all in my backyard practically.
Last night while Knaw'lej was cooking, we sat outside on the stoop drinking Sol and watching the dudes next door slap box with each other. Our entire community is made up of college students, faculty and the people that populate Maryland Parkway.
All of this, of course, distracts me from the Internet, so my website has been neglected, I have emails dating back to the beginning of August to answer and socially, a lot of people have been feeling ignored both on and offline. It's all good.
I'm still here.