Friday, December 31, 2010

It's time to talk about Walmart.

This post may appall and infuriate many of you... Those kind of feelings just help to remind you that you are alive, so... You're Welcome!! 

Before I started this trip I was not one of the people who was adamantly opposed to Walmart, but it wasn't my first choice; in fact, it was generally my last. The small college town I went to University in had very few options for shopping at the time that I attended, and Wal-Mart was the best option, especially because I didn't have a vehicle and had to mooch rides to get anywhere so the prospect of one stop shopping was very alluring. 

During my post college years I lived in San Francisco. There is no Walmart there and I'm sure, because of the amazing amount of anti consumerism/anti capitalist activism that goes on there, Walmart will not be allowed to set up shop inside the city limits. Plus there are about fifty million other, better options to get the wares that one might need. In the decade that I spent in the bay area I went to Walmart (in Oakland) twice, to escort my Pop who swears it's his favorite store. 

One night, just before I embarked on the RV adventure I went out with a friend who drives a VW Westfalia camper van. We were out very late and didn't know if we would make it all the way home. He saw a Walmart and remarked that we could always stay there. I thought he was just saying that because they have a big parking lot and that it would make sense that we could stay there. It turns out that Walmart (corporate, each Walmart gets to write their own policies on the rule) has a policy that people can use the Walmart parking lot for overnight parking. That probably seems like not that big of a deal, but I dare you to find a place to park at 2 am in the middle of a medium sized city while driving a vehicle that obviously has a bed or two inside. It isn't impossible, but it is very difficult and nerve wracking especially when sleep deprivation is at play. 

So, since embarking on the cross country adventure I now call my life I have stayed at over twenty different Walmarts across the United States. I know that many of the anti-capitalists are appalled that this corporation has taken over so much of America that it's nearly impossible to pull into a town without spotting a Walmart, and that's valid. However in the case of my life, it is brilliant. I have a place to stay almost anywhere that I go. Not just anyplace either, a place where one can get almost anything in the world (consumable) for ridiculously low prices. 

Before I get rolling eyes or mean comments please know that I understand the policies for which Walmart has gotten a bad name, I understand that the business practices and employee treatment deserves the fire that it gets, but every cloud has a silver lining.

There is another aspect about staying in the lot that makes it easier to acclimate to the particular place we are in, and it is that every Walmart is a little bit different based on the demographic that it serves. I know that probably seems obvious, but, for example:

Some Walmarts have guns and ammo, those are the places where the boyfriend and I have to put all traces of queer in our pockets or risk having the way our faces look by the fists of rednecks
Some Walmarts put the make-up section right next to the food and the baby section just behind that. Those are the places where the boyfriend and I don't drink the water for fear of falling victim of the overwhelming patriarchy and unplanned pregnancies.

There are a few that have extensive craft sections. These, in my experience NEVER have guns or ammo, have brighter colors of makeup and nail polish and tend to have a more vibrant display of produce. The boyfriend and I tend to make friends easily in those towns.

In towns that are surrounded by farms and/or many other small towns, Walmart tends to be a little more sparse. They tend to carry bulk food items (like 20 lb bags of sugar) and the fashion options are jeans, overalls and sweat suits. 

I think it would be fair to say that the boyfriend and I have become Walmart connoisseurs. Though there have been moments where my future looked bleak waking in the parking lot of Walmart for the fourth or fifth day in a row, all-in-all I'm happy about their policy and glad I always have a place to stay. Walmart even says it on their sign. 
Thanks Walmart!

Tune in next time when I Zia Sophia sing the praises of McDonald's, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Halliburton. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Miracle.

This Christmas has been filled with joy and happiness. This morning was spent doing interpretive dance to traditional Christmas carols, watching a yule log burn on a laptop screen, drinking peppermint mochas and eating homemade crepes. Something about all the love and togetherness makes me feel more alone. 

It seems a lot more likely to me lately that I would prefer living all alone with occasional visitors and consistent internet access. I understand agoraphobia more than I ever used to. Does one get disability payments for having agoraphobia? I'm not sure that it has hit actual "phobia" level yet, but I think it has some pretty great potential to get there.
I'm still at the "preference" level I think.

Throughout my tiny human years I thought that the route to happiness was surrounding myself with admiring fans, constantly, and by any means necessary. That seems like a healthy phase to grow out of.

I have been spending the last few days since my last blog update catching up on my alone time. Which means that I have been watching embarrassing  television shows and crafting. 

Here are some of the highlights:
I created: 

*a new Etsy account which has nothing on it currently, but will soon

*an 18 pocket wall length organizer for tiny things out of a curtain and a pillowcase (total collaboration w/the boyfriend) looks cooler than it sounds, see?

* 6 homemade stockings (also a collaboration) (here are mine and the boyfriend's)

* 18 peppermint chocolate cupcakes

* 2 new pairs of earrings

* 2 barrettes

* and a miracle for a 9 year old named Mackayla
That's right, I created a miracle. 

Oh yeah, and since last update I fixed my digital camera (maybe that's obvious?) and I got a speaking role in the movie. I get called a fucking husky bitch... A-mazing.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Shopping

This year, although not much different from every other year, I am totally broke. 

Last year I spent the holiday with my Dad and his family which was very nice but pretty ritzy. They were very welcoming and didn't expect anything from me, but nothing reminds me that I are broke more adequately than being the weird girl in thrift store dress at a formal dinner party. To add insult to injury, the family members gifted each other with computers and home sound systems and other high priced goods, and I brought the homemade chocolate covered pretzels in a jaunty aluminum pan with snowmen on it, and I didn't even buy the stuff to make them myself. Yeah, pretty comfortable saying that there has never been a Christmas where my poverty was so out of place. They seemed to like the pretzels, and they all needed something to eat while playing with their new playstations and computers. Plus I put a little love into them. Come to think of it I gave best gift of all. Yay me!
So this year, I am spending Christmas in my RV that is parked in the driveway of very dear friends. It seems they might invite us in for a cup of apple cider or something, but probably, there is no formal dinner party where game-show-prize-like gifts will be exchanged 
(Grandma, tell her what she's won... A NEW HOUSE!!! complete with home sound system, state of the art robot maid and a three car garage already loaded with 3 NEW CARS!!! Merry Christmas Jane, thanks for playing)

So I made some cards and was very excited that I was on top of it this year, I had them ready for stamping and addressing before Easter... (big deal for me, I am usually at least two holidays behind) I proudly went to the post office ready to buy some Christmas stamps. The handmade envelopes are white with red detailing and I was hoping for a stamp that could match the childlike charm of the envelope. 
The person at the post office desk boasted that there were several options for Christmas postage this year, so I took one of the cards out of the bag so I could visualize the perfect stamp. 

Here were my options:
Virgin Mary, holding Jesus
Virgin Mary, holding Jesus (slightly different color scheme)
Virgin Mary, holding Jesus (old fashioned, renaissance-type styling)
Virgin Mary, holding Jesus (abstract-ish)
pine cones

Many of my beliefs in the magic of Christmas blinked one last time before extinguishing themselves permanently, and I bought the stupid pine cone stamps. I really wanted Santa Claus or Elves or a Reindeer, jumping, anything except Mary, Jesus, or pine cones.

Besides those cards, I sent only gifts that are at least two holidays behind. I sent my pop a gift that was supposed to be for Father's Day, but I missed it. I reassigned it to his birthday but then I missed that too, so in my usual fashion he's finally getting it for Christmas. I think it makes it better anyway, because some people wouldn't get a gift on say, Labor Day or St. Patrick's Day but you might if you are on my gift giving list. Sure the card will say Happy Halloween! or Happy Birthday! but you get to open it on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I am very thoughtful. 

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

On a serious note.

I've been thinking lately about censorship, the personal kind, that we do to ourselves everyday. I put on different standards for the places I go or the people that are going to be there. 

Writing a blog makes me realize how much I keep hidden from the world. There are thoughts and events and ideas that I feel compelled to share but when I realize the diversity in the audience that might be reached I realize that my self censorship spikes out of control. 
It's very rare that a person would say the same thing to their friend that they would say to a lover or a parent, but I want to be able to break that wall. I want to be able to say what I want and not fear the judgment or persecution of the groups that are brought together by my writing. 
Honestly, it's probably not a big deal since only about 4 people read this. It is probably a safer medium for my personal thoughts and feelings than the journal that I hide under my bed. 
I have been feeling very disconnected from myself lately and the little voice that keeps my identity and social safety in check has been letting me know that it's time to try harder to "be myself" 
That time honored quote that gets passed down from generation to generation that has virtually no meaning. It seems that one has no choice but to be oneself. Though often a person finds that the oneself  thought to be is not as shiny and good and acceptable as they would like, reluctance or guilt does not make anyone less authentic.

I have been living in a perpetual state of trying to please other people with my words and actions, and it seems that no matter what I try to do there is always at least one person dissatisfied with my attempts. Obviously the only solution is to be sure that I am satisfied with each attempt. 

So, stay tuned as I, Zia Sophia take on the open road, and allow my authentic self be good enough for me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My name in lights

I did it! 
After only a few small (and not so small) hints I was able to secure myself a part in the movie.

We filmed on Sunday and I was a smashing success. I played the (very important) role of Diner number 3.
I didn't have any lines and I may have been directly behind the lead actor so that his head probably obstructed any view of me, but I was there. I know it and now all of you know it. I'm going to be FAMOUS!

The job hunt is still on, I found an adorable children's shoe store today and will apply there tomorrow when I am more appropriately dressed. Somehow I think it may dissuade them from hiring me if they can see my ass through the hole in my tights that is visible because the length of my skirt makes cheerleaders seem prudish and conservative.
Also, the whole job hunt may prove to be a moot point anyway because after some famous big-time director sees the corner of my face behind the lead actors head, he may call and arrange for my direct ascension to stardom. 
I'll go ahead and apply tomorrow anyway, just in case. 

Yesterday I came down with a 24 hour bug that had me bedridden all day. I had a fever and felt generally unwell. I have always used that excuse in order to get out of school commitments or work so that I could nurse a hangover or go ride rollercoasters, I had no idea that a 24 hour bug actually existed. 

Next thing a dog will eat my homework, a unicorn will come by to offer me a ride to the end of the rainbow where a leprechaun will be holding out his pot of gold and Santa Claus will come down my chimney bearing gifts.

Until next time, I Zia Sophia will attempt to take on the golden road to fame.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

No Business Like Show Business

I have officially become involved with the movie business. 

I know that many of you have found yourselves seething with jealousy. I would've too, before I got involved. It all seems very glamorous from the outside. 

Here is what I've been doing as a production assistant (fancy title right?) for the past 2 days:

Making Coffee
Setting cold food out on a table and trying to keep it cold.
Setting hot food out on a table and trying to keep it hot.
Making Coffee

We were parked on location (that's movie business talk for a Public Storage parking lot) and from the RV served food and coffee. Sometimes (not often mind you) we are called upon to move something, otherwise though, my days have been spent killing time until someone wants to eat. 
Yesterday I had a bit of a thrill when the Public Storage employee came over to see what we were up to. I thought there might be some drama and intrigue, I thought we might have to fight her and lock her in the RV bathroom so we could stay parked there. 
I forgot though that I am involved in the most glamorous thing possible. After informing her that we were set up to cater for the movie that was being filmed only feet away, her eyes lit up and she immediately wanted to be BFFs with us. She told us to let her know if we needed anything. 

Damn, that had great potential for some time-killing drama.

Today was a long one. I gave a little too much attention to a bottle of Jameson last night and far too little attention to my bed, so the incessant waiting and lack of drama got to me. I had no other choice and had to start picking fights with the boyfriend. 

When the cast and crew finally came to see us (they were there for the food and coffee but it makes me feel important to say they were there for a visit) the boyfriend and I couldn't stop spewing sarcasm at each other and some of it splashed onto them. They may come to visit even less frequently now, or maybe they'll come more often, with chairs and popcorn.

The film shoot is set to span three more weekends, Friday through Sunday. I have let some subtle hints out toward the director that I wouldn't mind filling in for any actors that fall through. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that. 


Stay tuned as I Zia Sophia take on the open road, and now the movie business too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting Paid to be Zia Sophia

I have a new goal. Well, I really only have the one, but it's new...

I want to get paid to be Zia Sophia. 
Kimya Dawson wrote a song in which some of the lyrics describe how she always wanted to get paid to be herself and now she does. That is a worthy goal. 

I have been job hunting for over a week now, and I realized that I just want to do what I do and get paid to be awesome. My fancy dad (fancy dad = step dad) says that it's highly improbable that anyone would want to pay me to just walk around and look at things, but Rachel Ray gets paid for it and she's pretty dull. 

I don't have any brilliant ideas for how to insure that people know I exist, which I believe to be step 1. 
I'm on facebook and I have this blog. I travel around the country and talk to people, but mostly I talk to poor people. They would probably pay me to be me if they had any money but... they may need showers more than they need to support my lifestyle.

Someone suggested that I put cameras in my motorhome and have a live internet feed that people can watch, but I fear that the boyfriend and I would need to produce more drama... we may need an evil twin or a stalker in order to provide intrigue, and then it would be more like getting paid to act rather than earning a living by simply existing. 

Maybe I could wear a sandwich board that says:
Hi, My name is Zia Sophia, I would like you to follow me around and tip me if I do something you like. 

That might at least get my foot in the door. I wonder where I could walk around wearing that. A business district? 

Now that I have decided to settle for a little while in Austin I bet I could gather a following, literally. 
I guess that I would need to set up some boundaries, like not following me into the bathroom or into the RV, but some of my best work is done there...

Hmmmm, If anyone has any brilliant ideas I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gone Fishing

I spent all day yesterday fishing. 
A couple days ago I was talking to a friend and she said that she asked her boyfriend to treat her like a queen, he laughed and said that he'd take her ice fishing. 
She thought that sounded romantic until another friend told her that it was just an excuse to sit on a frozen lake and get wasted on cheap beer.
That was pretty much how my day yesterday was, except we were on the bank of a lake that wasn't frozen. 
I polished off a six pack and then lay down on the rocky bank to work on my sunburn.
There was a young guy set up near me who must have been a fish whisperer, he put his line near the water and caught fish after fish. The boyfriend went to bribe some information out of him with a slightly warm can of heineken. The man gave the boyfriend a lesson that went something like this:

Man: See, to catch a fish you have to put a worm on the hook and then put the hook in the water
The Boyfriend: Oh, I see. 
Man: Then you wait a minute, they like to strike while it's sinking or else when it's been in there awhile
The Boyfriend: Right, right

At this point I can't imagine how the boyfriend was still listening. I think that either I am terribly rude, or he is terribly polite. If it were me talking to the "all knowing fish guy" who told me that I have to fish in order to catch fish I think I would have told him to enjoy his warm beer and have been out of there. Or I may have asked questions like; "So you need a pole?" "What is that clear string you have on the pole? Is that important?" "Oh you put a worm on the hook, that makes so much more sense." The boyfriend (who is a better person than me) stayed to hear the rest. 

Man: Then you set down the pole and when they bite, you'll know.
The Boyfriend: Okay
Man: Oh, see? There's one now. 

We had been trying with similar bait, in a similar spot all day and caught nothing, he put his line in the water and, presto, like magic, another fish. I'm pretty sure he was Jesus. He spends most of his days fishing, bought a condo on the lake for ease of access and fishes because he likes to cook. He was a fascinating man.

Three hours later with the helpful advice from Jesus, The Boyfriend (finally) caught a fish. 
It was a white bass. For those of you who don't know, the white bass is a particularly hearty fish...

The Boyfriend had to muscle it onto land, it was a fighter. 

--I picked up all my fishing lingo from the boyfriend, Jesus and an old fisherman in Cascade Idaho. For those of you who don't know, when a fish is referred to as "a fighter" it means that it had a will to live. That fish did not just jump onto shore, coat itself in bread crumbs and jump into the frying pan. Another important note about "fighting fish" is that the fight gets bigger the older the story is, same is true for the size of the fish. I share this with you because it took me a few (some embarrassing) attempts to use my fish lingo correctly with other fisherpeople. Anglers, like everyone with a hobby, enjoy believing that they are special, and therefore have a secret code. Probably why people have hobbies at all, because they like having secret codes--

So back to my story, the boyfriend got it onto land, after a hearty fight.


He took the hook out, strung it onto the string so it couldn't get away and hit it HARD on the head with a rock. Nothing happened. (it was supposed to die) So he truck it again HARD, nothing. 
This went on for a several more attempts. The whole time he was excitedly yelling at me that there were indeed fish in the lake and that I needed to get my line back in the water to catch them.

After about nine failed attempts at killing the fish the boyfriend decided that though it was cruel to make the fish suffocate, it couldn't be any worse that repeatedly beating it about the head with a rock, so he left it on land and continued fishing. 
About an hour later, after the sun went down and I could no longer feel my fingers or toes (I was in sandals, which apparently, even though Jesus (the real one not the guy who gave fishing lessons yesterday) wore them, they are not appropriate fishing shoes, unless one wants to be laughed at) we went back to the RV.

We put the dead looking fish in some saran wrap and stuck it in the fridge. We drove to an RV park about two hours away. We played a game of Skip-Bo and once the water was hot the boyfriend was ready to clean the fish. The fish that had been out of water and in the fridge for hours.

The boyfriend put it in water and it breathed. It scared the hell out of him, and then he cut off it's head as fast as he could. We never meant to torture the fish, but obviously we underestimated it's will to live. 
The head was cut off and inside a plastic bag in the sink, I walked past it and it moved. One of the fins was rapidly going and it's eyes were moving around. 

I screamed something like "It's eyes, aaaarrrrrhghghghg! Oh my God. Why is it moving?!? And then I did the only logical thing; I stood in one place and jumped up and down while flailing my hands at the bottom of my outstretched arms. 
Then I realized the actual logical thing to do and I walked away so I didn't have to look into the moving eyes of the fish head. Once the head was wrapped up in the bag and thrown away I went back to fillet the fish.

The fish tasted good, Yum!

Today, I take on the open road for a short jaunt to Austin, 46 miles away.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hitting the Road

Well, the Holiday weekend is over and it's time to get back to my regular life. Leaving the parents house today and venturing into the great wide open. Today the plan is to go from Silver City NM, to Fort Stockton, TX and then tomorrow will find me (hopefully) at Canyon Lake in Texas. Tuesday is the boyfriend's birthday so I'm taking him fishing. 
He is a little obsessed. This morning he spent over two hours figuring out the best bait to use to catch black bass. I have never been very interested in fishing. My mom and I went a few times when I was a kid, we never caught anything but that was probably because we were using cherry flavored fruit snacks and raisins. Last May the boyfriend and I went fishing in Idaho and we caught 10 trout. So clearly he knows a little more about fishing than my mom and I did. Admittedly, it's much more fun to actually catch something.
Every time I leave a situation to embark on a new adventure I feel refreshed and excited about another round. A few months ago while spending time at a queer artist community I got some brilliant advice. She told me "Make sure to leave before you're over it, leave while you're still in love with it." She meant that particular community but that advice works everywhere, and I believe it works for any situation. 
Before I get into the vehicle for extended periods of time I like to do some stretching and get a little exercise, this morning I found what may be the creepiest exercise video of all time and I wanted to share it. 

The shiny crotch of the grown-up makes me almost as uncomfortable as when Barbie comes to join them at seemingly random intervals.

So, now it's time to get everything together and get on my way. Wish me luck as I, Zia Sophia take on the open road yet again. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On the Prowl.

I'm looking for a job. The hunt for a job seems fruitless during this time of economic recession, all those news sources say that the recession is over, but they know it's a lie.
When looking at job descriptions I generally have the same feelings about them.
* I could totally do this job, I don't really know what at least fourteen of those words mean, but I'm sure there is a training program.
* Wow, they want me to do a lot of things for five dollars an hour.
* I would probably be ready to quit before they found out that I didn't really have an MD.
* Medical testing is probably not as bad as it sounds, and it really does pay a lot.

So the hunt continues.

I started early yesterday and was absolutely certain that it would only take about ten minutes. Then, though I got distracted thinking about toys. When I was a kid my next door neighbor had a magical catalog with every toy available encased within the shiny, silky pages. I was an impoverished child with no such catalog delivered to my house. I didn't even have television so I didn't get toy commercials delivered to my house either. It's hard to remember how I made my Christmas list every year, but even with those hurdles I knew about cabbage patch kids and Popples.

One year for Christmas all I wanted was a purple Popple. I wish that I could go back to the time in my life when a stuffed creature that is able to fold in on itself was the best thing I could imagine.

Around the same time that Popples were the craze, Tom Hanks starred in a movie called Big, where he got the world's best job. So,  my job search made me think of toys which led me back to thinking about jobs. Yesterday was a very productive day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks for the beer.

There are a million things to be thankful for this year. I am living the dream, on the road with my boyfriend and currently at my parents house watching an Australian comedy. I am filled with love and abundance, and I even have a new bike. 
On days like this though I like to think about the other people who are living their dream, so today's post is devoted to Steven Slater, a real American hero.
For those of you who were under a rock here's some of the media coverage.

So Steven Slater realized that his dream was not taking orders from grumpy passengers on an airplane. It seems that he also dreamed of leaving his place of employment with a theatrical exit, I relate. I have spent many early mornings, while trying to push myself to go to the job I hate, fantasizing about announcing my departure from the company in a way that guarantees I will never be allowed to come back. Even in my wildest, most amazing fantasies though, it never occurred to me to take some beer and slide down an inflatable slide to freedom.
Steven Slater has found a new job. He is a travel correspondent for CNBC, People look to him for guidance in what to pack and how to avoid stress at the airport. His job s especially important during the holiday season. Only in America, land of reality television can one man's temper tantrum make him famous. 

This Thanksgiving I would like to say thank you to Steven Slater and to all the other people out there courageous enough to throw caution to the wind and slide down that inflatable slide with the knowledge that something will work out; it always does.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Writer's Block

Yesterday I had every intention of writing a new post. I thought and thought about what to write all day. The same thing started to happen today and I remembered why I started doubting my writing in the first place, his name is Ron Johnson. R.J. was my English professor in college. 

<I tried to post a picture but I think he's a vampire or something because it won't post>

He had a full beard that he stroked constantly. 
He yelled and slammed books on his desk and threw things for emphasis. 
According to good ol' R.J. there is one correct way to write, and even with opinion papers there is one correct opinion to have. 
He told the class that we were horrible, chastised and belittled us, both in class and with his fucking purple pen.
Somehow, I was one of his favorites. I think that it was because I was never supposed to be in his remedial English class anyway. 

**I took a placement test for Math and English and the scores must have been switched because the results made it seem as though I was an illiterate, math genius. Since I was studying nursing I decided that it would be good to start off with the ability to take more advanced math and science classes and just suck it up with remedial English. The plan failed miserably. I wasn't ready for upper division math and science so I flunked out of those classes and I was more than prepared for remedial English which made the class I was in feel redundant and condescending. As well as providing me with a four year complete writer's block.**

So, as one of Ron Johnson's favorites I was "allowed" to call him Ron <shudder>, and I was encouraged, no, more like expected to join him in chastising laughter directed pointedly and my classmates. When I did neither of those, I was yelled at, or worse... he would stroke his mustache and beard in my general direction <double shudder>.
In his class I wrote a total of four essays, ranging in length from three to twelve pages. Each time it was time to write one I would sit in front of my computer for HOURS, writing a sentence, reading it in his head and erasing it to avoid getting yelled at or having it covered in purple ink. 
--Even as I write this post I am thinking of all the things that he demanded in an essay and I am equally tempted to both incorporate his asinine rules and completely
blow     off. most, of the writing! rules their is just for the sake of Rebellion.--

I would painstakingly use a thesaurus in order to come up with different words for "but" or "and" or "to" or "for" because we were only allowed three of each per essay. That little rule was easy enough for the three page  essay but once I was on the twelve page essay that rule made me cry more than once, and made my essay seem disjointed and robotic. "Disjointed and Robotic" would have been welcome purple criticisms but instead I got ALL the "mis-used" conjunctions crossed out and "Without these words present the sentence no longer makes sense". Well, yeah Ron Johnson, that's why I put them in there in the first place, you were the one who took them out!
The day the papers were returned to us still has a reoccurring slot in my nightmares, here's how it would go:
He would walk in with a pile of papers and a wild look in his eye that seemed like he was looking for a fight.
He would saunter in and SLAM the papers on the desk. His speech changed slightly each time but it was generally something like this
"Well, these certainly were DISAPPOINTING and a FUCKING pain in my ASS to read. LUCKY for you I always read THESE at the coffee shop so that at least I can enjoy SOMETHING about my weekend."
There's nothing quite like the feeling both being a terrible disappointment to writing and of ruining the perfectly good weekend of a "writing genius".
I ended up with an A in the class even though I had a "dangerously low D" at mid-term, but that was of little value to me. I had been emotionally abused all semester. I abandoned the novel that I had already written ten chapters of and I even quit writing in my journal. 
Years have passed and I think I am ready to stop living under the victim umbrella that Ron Johnson and I created in my head. Ron Johnson was really just an old man who was saddened by his failure at being a published writer and having to work at a community college teaching remedial English. He no longer gets to have power over my life and anyway, I have my own blog now and at least 6 loyal followers. 
In your face Ron Johnson!! I have my own blog now!!! And I can write whatever I want! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday!! featuring May 19, 2010

It's Friday, and that means it's time to introduce you to Flashback Fridays with Zia Sophia. Each Friday I will go into a time machine, take you with me and tell you what's happening on the random date I pick. This should be really fun, and it saves me from having to tell about the 1 million things that have happened since I left all at once. 

So, strap on your safety belts and let's go back in time.

Friday, May 19, 2010

Last night I went to a very strange bar. Let me back up, so last month when I was in Huntington Beach I met some people at a party who went to high school with my boyfriend. We exchanged numbers and decided to meet up once I got to Portland, OR. So, last night I texted then and met up with two amazing new friends at a hole in the wall dive bar that is in a strip mall in Beaverton, OR. 
These women are teachers, one high school and one middle school and we chatted about their work/students for a while. I got stuck in the frame of mind thinking of them as my teachers and the whole night took on a different feeling. I was buying my teacher jello shots and talking about sex, drinking and music with  people who I (until that night) thought may not be able to leave school. 

-Embarrassing confession time- My mom was a high school teacher and I understood that she came home every night to cook dinner, watch tv and be a normal person. However, I was convinced (until I was a senior in high school) that teachers lived at school. I know there are probably others who thought that too, but I doubt there were others who had moms that taught and still thought that. I once saw my sophomore English teacher at the grocery store with her daughter, but I figured that she just wanted some snacks for her classroom so that didn't effect my theory.

So, back to the bar and my teachers who were suddenly talking about orgasms, what? Well, I kept having these moments of feeling like I may get in trouble for being at the bar and then remembering that I was with teachers so it was more like a field trip. Suffice to say, I got totally fucking wasted so that I could deal.

This morning, May 19th I woke up with the mother of all hangovers and called my teacher friend who told me the best place to get a mimosa. I ended up at Eastburn which turned out to be The Most Amazing Restaurant Ever! Boyfriend and I sat on the outdoor patio at a small two person table that had swings at the table! Not rubber bottomed playground swings, but delightfully charming personal porch swings with arm rests and backs. A-Mazing!!!
I ordered two mimosas, some overpriced food and sat swinging at the table in the sunshine for a couple hours. They even put little pads on the table legs so that one didn't bruise one's knees while swinging. 
Hangover cure from the gods. 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

When science fails.

Welcome back! 
Yesterday started out very lovely, I had coffee with a dear friend and we skipped down memory lane. Skipped is probably not the right verb, we more stumbled and limped down much of that lane.
After coffee I dropped him off at school so that I could use his car.

For those of you who have not had the experience of constantly driving a 24ft RV around small downtown streets in big cities, you may not be able to appreciate the beauty of being able to drive a small zippy sports car for a day. There was so much excitement and potential perfection wrapped up in my plan for the day. 
I got very clear and concise directions back to my friend's house and gleefully headed there.

I was driving for about 15 minutes when I realized that the abandoned lots and farm land that I was passing didn't look familiar. My friend lives in a pretty densely populated neighborhood in North Central Austin, so when I started passing livestock I realized I needed to turn around.
I took the first right I was able to because the street I was on had inexplicably become a one-way. The turn I took spun me around an industrial complex for about 15 minutes and dumped me back out on a fairly large, busy street, but by then I was completely turned around and couldn't tell if I was parallel to the street I wanted to be on. 

For those of you who are directionally challenged I'm sure that you are used to this sort of thing. You probably stay very calm, and have systems in place. I have always been unnaturally good at orientating myself and therefore have no such systems in place. The only other time I have ever been all the way lost is when I got off on the wrong bus stop when I was a nanny and led two young children on an "adventure walk" that lasted 2 hours. That time I didn't have any provisions and I think the children caught on that it wasn't a game when I made them pee on some lady's driveway and started quietly sobbing to myself as we walked. 

So, back to yesterday. I took a right and then a left and then another right, all the streets were relatively straight. Scientifically impossible as it seems, I ended up exactly where I started. I tried going left, right, left and again ended up at the exact same intersection. At that point I was near panic, not only was I lost, I was defying science. 
I tried mixing it up with a series of lefts and rights and straights in order to prove my hypothesis that science no longer existed. My hypothesis failed though and at the end of my experiment I couldn't even find the intersection that earlier I couldn't seem to escape. So once science failed, I panicked. 
I tried to soothe myself with the affirmation that no one has ever been lost enough to die cold and alone in a city, but I left my cell phone with my boyfriend so I couldn't say the affirmation with any real authority. I drove around hoping for something to look familiar in this city that I've only been in for two days, but shockingly, it all looked foreign. I started asking people at stoplights how to get to where I was going.
The first guy I asked told me it was behind me so I made an illegal U-turn. I asked a lady at another light just to confirm that I was going the right way and she told me it was the other way. This same scenario happened literally four times. 
The panic got worse when I realized I had to pee. I was sure that my friend would forgive me for having to pee in the car once they found me, dead three or four days later. I was just about to let go of my bladder when I remembered that I could just pull over and get out of the car. I asked the gas station attendant where to go and he gave me very detailed directions which I reconfirmed with him three times. 
I was significantly more calm, my bladder was empty and I had actual directions. Seven minutes later, I realized the directions were wrong and I was driving on a street whose name changed every other intersection. 
I found a 711 and tried to buy a map from a very itchy cashier who couldn't stop scratching, but they only had maps for Dallas/Ft.Worth. So I bought a phone card instead. I had been lost for about and hour and a half and thought that my boyfriend had probably already called all the local hospitals, found nothing, and was already in stage 2 of the mourning process. I called once, no answer... I called again, no answer. Great, he'd already finished the mourning and was at a bar trying to replace me. I tried calling again, but my entire $5.00 phone card had been used up. (That phone card company will be getting a strongly worded letter from me soon.)
So, I did the only logical thing. I sat in the car and cried. I sobbed violently actually. After that I dried my tears, told myself that everyone had to die sometime. I made myself feel even better when I remembered that my boyfriend had already found someone else and that at least I wouldn't leave him heartbroken and alone. I dried my tears and just started driving aimlessly. An hour later I found myself back where I dropped off my friend, followed the directions he gave me and was home in ten minutes.

My boyfriend was in the shower, barely noticed that I was two and a half hours late. At least I didn't have to learn to love his new girlfriend as my sister-wife.

The moral of this story is simple; when science fails, panic.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My First Post.

Hi There, 
Thank you for joining me on my journey through the United States. I left my semi-cozy, semi-ghetto apartment, packed a few bag and set out on the road with my boyfriend in a 24ft. RV named Dolly in February 2010. 

So far we've gone through
*New Mexico
And now we're back in Texas. I probably should have started this blog sooner because about 1 million things have happened since starting and to catch you up would be a ridiculous feat, but through the course of telling  all future events I'm sure the older stories will be brought up again. 

The first night back in Texas I was in the RV with the boyfriend, a friend we met at a queer artist commune in middle Tennessee and a man from Costa Rica that we found on Craigslist. It was about 11pm, we had been driving for about 14 hours and we found ourselves getting pulled over. 
Minutes later the four of us were sitting on the side of the highway having been mistaken for drug runners and the entire RV was being tossed by two Texas cops. 
Some highlights:

Cop: Do you have any weapons?
Me: On me or in the RV?
Cop: On you! Do you have any guns or hand grenades?
Me: (laughing) No, no hand grenades here. 
Cop: (angered at my laughter, had nothing to say)
Other cop: (clearly excited about his find) What's this?
fellow traveler: It's a smudge stick
Cop: A what?
traveler: A smudge stick, you know, made of sage. Used for purification and... 
Cop: (smells it) oh.
A list of things that made us seems sketchy:

-When asked what we do for work we all replied "odd jobs"
-When asked where we live, we all replied "we're traveling"
-When asked to provide an address, none of us had one.
-Each of us has a different name that we use than the one on our licenses and we didn't know each others legal names so we referred to each other as if we didn't know each others names.  For example, I called my boyfriend "the driver" and my good friend "the one in the green sweatshirt" or simply "green sweatshirt"
-When asked how we met, the stories were very long and convoluted, because most stories of meeting someone are, but by the time we were done telling the stories of how the four of us ended up together on the side of the highway in the middle of the night, well, it seemed very drug-runneresque.

There were 5 squad cars on scene and each one of them was very disappointed at having found nothing of black market street value in the RV. It seems like they could have at least thanked us for bringing them an adrenaline rush or something, but instead they "let us off" with a warning. The ticket said that it was because they ran the license plate it came back as not registered, but it really should have warned us against being out after dark with bored cops in rural Texas. Why isn't that an optional check box on the citation?

I guess that pretty well concludes my first post. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures as I, Zia Sophia take on the open road.