Point/Counterpoint with Marissa and Erin

Just a glimpse into our daily gchats. This is why we need our own reality show…

 

Marissa:  I think I should become a Professional Namer.

“Marissa! We need a name for a show about horses that is targeted at men.”

“Got it. Hay Dude.”

Me:  Yes. This is an untapped talent for you

Marissa:  But Wine and Dine is ours. It will be a cooking show we host. 

You are going to cook, while I just drink wine and make comments.

Me:  You can always put River Dog Tube Captain on your resume. So they see how quick you are.

Marissa:  I just laughed out loud and snorted.

Coke.

Sorry, left that part out.

Me:  It’s ok. I’m glad I waited.

 

| Leave a comment

Drug Suitcase

I’ve lamented the perils of online dating before on the ol’ blog, especially the treacherous waters where the OKCupid sharks circle hungrily around their prey.

But this one…this one my friends…takes the cake.

Now, because I’m a lady, I will not be disclosing names. But I have no qualms with giving you vague details. The particular gentleman I had the experience of dating for a couple of months is a white male in his early 30’s, owns a bulldog (gross), and is an attorney. For this entry’s sake, let’s call him Jag Head.

(Let it be noted that I love dogs, but not bulldogs. All that slobber? Those face folds? No thank you.)

His cleverly written profile caught my eye as all of the words were spelled correctly, he refrained from using “lol”, and his sprinkling of dry humor did in fact make me LOL. But I hesitated in contacting him, as gypsy + lawyer does not a happy couple make. But alas his words piqued my curiosity, and my curiosity got the best of me, like it always does.

The first date was dinner. It was stimulating conversation but I wasn’t crazy about him, nor did I feel any physical attraction. I give it a “meh”.

He contacted me a few days later for a second date, and took me to an EDM concert. Interest increasing. But then he ordered Long Island Iced Teas all night. Interest decreasing.

The third date was dinner and a flamenco show at a Spanish restaurant – interest increasing. Plus he let me choose the wine, so I guess he retired his Arizona State sorority girl for the night.

At this point, I enjoyed his company well enough, but I wasn’t chomping at the bit. However, I had friend after friend after friend tell me I needed to give white guys a try (since I had a Latin-only policy) and so I thought it was my duty to oblige them…and myself. Cause maybe I was wrong on the whole Latin thing after all.

When you’ve only dated Latinos, dating a white man is very different. For one, I was never actually sure he was into me. Not in an insecure “does he like me?” kind of way, but an actual, “I am not sure this man thinks I’m interesting or attractive”, because he gives zero indication of his feelings. I was used to the overboard displays of affection and tenderness that Latin men are notorious for. That’s what I like, and that’s what I want. Jag Head was practically a corpse in this department.  So….cold. I had to poke him every now and then just to make sure he was still alive.

There were other things about him that I could never manage to get past. That’s right – I don’t just judge based on cocktail choice.

One, he used a “voice” when talking to his dog. I’ve heard men use a voice when talking to their animals before, but it’s always in a deeper, jokey kind of way. Jag Head used a voice that was several pitches higher than his normal speaking voice, and it made my teeth grind together in agitation every time I heard it. It was never okay. Not even when he picked up the dog and waved it’s paw at me and said “Hi Erin.” I didn’t wave back. I’ll never wave back.

Also, I think it’s gross when animals are allowed on the furniture and in beds. I do not want to come over and sit on your couch only to get up and have white dog hair all over my black clothes and you just look at me and shrug. NO.

Another thing – he was obsessed with those e-pipes. Not an e-cigarette. An e-pipe. Do you know how big an e-pipe is?! He was never a smoker (so he said) but he puffed on that thing morning to night, because “it tastes good”. What? It had a skull and crossbones on it too, and one of my friends pointed out that it looked a lot like a vibrator. Enter new name: Dick Pipe. Every time he pulled that thing out, I cringed, and a part of my soul died in embarrassment for him.

Jag Head is also a musician. A very talented one, I’ll admit. He was part of a band. For a music lover like myself, I first thought that meant major bonus points. Hahaha – FOOL. While we were dating, a new member was added to the band who was stronger on the guitar. So this new guy was made the lead, and Jag Head was bumped to backup guitar. He was so irate about this that he quit the band a few days after the change was made. He was either going to be the lead, or not part of it at all. Red flag.

He wasn’t funny, and he didn’t think I was funny. Red flag. But we had intelligent and challenging conversations, which I loved. And I figured the above issues weren’t severe character flaws, so the problem was just me not being able to let things go. So I stuck it out, lobbing zingers over the fence all day long with nary a chuckle.

Then one fateful night…

It was his birthday weekend, and his brother and sister in law were coming to town. He was super excited about this, telling me how they are the funniest people he knows and that I am going to just adore them. My expectations were high. I have the kind of friends who make you spew wine out of your nose holes, so I know funny. I meet them, and it’s one of those really awkward encounters where nothing works out:

Me: So nice to meet you! I’ve heard lots of great things!
Them: Oh.
Me: (rocking back and forth on the balls of my feet) You live in Fort Worth? That’s where I’m from too!
Them: Yeah, it’s great.
Me: So…(clear my throat) So.
Them: (looking up at the ceiling)
Me: (looking down at my feet)
Them: (talking to each other)

———————————————————————————————————-

None of Jag Head’s friends had planned anything for his birthday (red flag; did he have friends?) so we were to attend another party that one of his colleagues was hosting. But first, we order pizza and sit around together…watching YouTube videos. What?

The party had all the promise of being fun. People, DJ spinning EDM, beer pong, dim lights, lots of booze. I’m lubricated with several glasses of wine and attempting to engage the brother and sister in law in some form of conversation that won’t leave me glassy eyed and watching the football game on TV instead.

I look around at one point and realize every single person in the party is sitting down. No one dancing, no one talking…it was strange. I spy Jag Head in the kitchen chatting with another lad so I figure I’ll go see what they’re up to.

As I saunter over, I overhear Jag Head’s companion say: “Well man, let me show you what I’ve got!” And he reaches down and picks up a hard silver suitcase and places it carefully on the kitchen counter, casino style. Jag Head leans in eagerly, as do I.

As he opens it, I still don’t know what I’m looking at, but Jag Head begins salivating. Drug Suitcase owner starts describing the contents: “So I’ve got all the finest stuff here.” He pulls out a vial of crystal rocks. “This here is the purest you will find.” He pulls out more vials, points to more bags. “Ecstasy, meth, cocaine, mushrooms, acid…whatever you want, dude.

At this point all noise around me silences and my vision tunnels into a fine narrow point as I realize what’s happening. I’m standing there, knots in my stomach, alarm bells going off, while Jag Head bounces up and down begging the guy to stay so he can go get some cash from the ATM. He wants everything. I stare at him, aghast. THIS is how you tell me you’re into hard drugs?? You thought THIS was the right moment?

But he doesn’t even notice I’m there. Like my ex boyfriend with African hookers, he won’t be distracted from his goal. I look around, and the party has continued as if nothing out of the ordinary is taking place.

Am I the ONLY one who thinks this is weird?

I say I need some air and go outside. I’m trying to sift through my thoughts, as the alcohol I have consumed seems to be clouding my judgment. Am I overreacting? No one else seemed to think it was weird. Am I weird? I’m not weird. How do I get out of here? Do I need to get out of here? Do I play it cool? What do I do if he offers me meth? What does meth even look like? What if I accidently inhale something? Why can’t I see any stars? It’s cold out here. Where is my jacket?

Eventually, they come out to find me, and we leave. Jag Head never went to the ATM, so not sure if he was able to procure any drugs. I don’t bring it up, and neither does anyone else. Awkward.

The normalcy with which this whole transaction was carried out made me think there was an entire rite of passage into adulthood that I somehow missed, and “handling drug suitcases as a part of every day life” was in that lesson.

The next day, he tells me that his ex girlfriend’s birthday is that night and he’s taking her to dinner. What? At this point I can only laugh, because the entire situation (and his life) is so ridiculous. “You are taking your ex girlfriend out on a date?!” He brushes it off. “She doesn’t have many friends.” Red flag. “And it’s a thank you for taking care of my dog last week while I was gone.” She took care of your dog?! And then I recall how I had asked him a week ago who would take care of his dog while he was gone, and he merely replied: “a friend”. Red flag.

After further probing, I find out they dated for 2 years, and just broke up 3 months ago. Red flag. I actually laugh into the phone as he tells me that none of his girlfriends have ever minded that he still takes his exes out, and alludes to the fact that we will never work because I “am so jealous.”

Yep. That’s why this won’t work.

Good luck out there, guys. It’s a cesspool of chum.

Posted in dating, My Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Leaving India in my dust

Greg’s Indian cell phone buzzes at 4:45AM and wakes us up. It’s our rickshaw driver letting us know he’s waiting outside. Oh sweet lord baby Jesus Ganesha and all that is holy! There are many gods. We throw everything together and rush outside to meet our savior.

He drops us off at the train station, where I was really hoping we’d get to wait a long time. Wish granted.

haven't seen this view in a while...

haven’t seen this view in a while…

We rummage around in our packs and make s’mores for breakfast with what we find. #resourceful

598761_10151497739953536_1999119885_n_2And at last, our train to Kochi!

planning Greg's next move

planning Greg’s next move

Once in Kochi, we have our last meal with Greg before we send him off into the world alone. We picked this restaurant because of the name: GB, for Greg Bryan. Plus, it was the only restaurant around.

579133_10151497739988536_1017849312_n As he walks away, I keep saying under my breath, “turn around! Just one more time, turn around and wave…” But he doesn’t. Rude.

going....

going….

gone

gone

Kochi –> Delhi, check

522571_10151497740118536_1103480249_nOnce in Delhi, we have a ton of time before our 3AM flight so we hop on the Metro to go eat at the same restaurant where we first began our journey as a group. Awwww sentiments. This guy on the train starts unabashedly taking pictures of Cerrie and me. Bobby starts taking pictures of him to show how creepy he was. Instead of being shamed into sitting down, the guy starts posing! Way to beat us at our own game, sir. Well played.

541536_10151497740193536_626613364_n_2“We’ve been extremely resourceful in the face of Communism.” – Chad

Despite a 48 hour strike, we managed to secure all the transportation we needed. Get owned, commies!

Back at the airport, this is how we occupied our time. I’d like to tell you we did this only once, but that would be lying.

Earlier, Bobby and I got held up at a security desk where we were trying to get our itineraries printed off. You would not believe what is involved in so simple a process. I’m with our bags while Bobby is at the counter, so eventually I just sit down on my pack. A security woman sees me and comes over and asks if she can bring me a chair. Bring me a chair??? Oh India. Just when I’m ready to slam the door in your face, you go and butter me up again.

Once we’re all in the terminal, Chad sweet talks our way into the British Airways members club where we can eat and drink and wait for our flight. I read newspapers with breaking headlines like these:

IMG_2795

IMG_2794And then it’s over.

Chad and Cerrie fly to LA, and Bobby and I back to Houston. I swore I’d never go back to Asia, but now I have some friends moving to Bangladesh and, well…I’ll probably go.

My India posts are now done. A year later.
<curtsies>

Posted in Amma, Amritapuri, Delhi, India, Kerala, Kochi, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Amma’s Ashram in India (Part 2)

Once inside the ashram, I am surprised to see it’s mostly Westerners. Wasn’t expecting that. We head to the information window and I’m feeling very Eat, Pray, Love all of the sudden. As we fill out our paperwork, I’m wondering if I should stay here for 3 months and meditate.

I’m just working out the logistics of my new plan when the German guy at the window tells us if we hurry we could go into the temple and receive darshan from Amma. Cerrie and I look at each other and gasp. We had checked Amma’s website while in Varkala to see if she would be in residence when we arrived, but the site told us she was traveling.

It was fate! I was supposed to receive a hug from Amma!

temple entrance

temple entrance

We put our packs down, take off our shoes, and go into the temple. It’s organized chaos, just like the Indian driving system. We enter through the front doors and are immediately funneled into a line where chairs flank the wall. Devotees are sitting all over the marble floor, eyes closed, deep in meditation. There’s chanting and prayer all around me. I keep watching them, wondering how they can sit on their knees on the hard floor for that long. Why can’t I do that too? Am I not doing enough yoga? It’s thoughts like these that occupy my mind as I shuffle along. I barely sit in my chair before the line moves and I sit a couple more chairs closer to Amma. The line moves so quickly there isn’t time to sit before you have to move again.

Soon we are in the final stretch, and men and women are separated into different lines. I watch everyone in front of me to make sure I have the proper darshan etiquette: get on your knees, hands at prayer position, no talking, walk on your knees to Amma (dreading that), don’t touch her, arms at your sides, let her hug you, get out of the way for the next one.

One of the volunteers asks me what language I speak so that Amma can give me a proper blessing. I’m all jittery and full of anticipation. I can’t believe I’m here, in THE Amma’s temple in India! What an exceptional thing to experience by pure chance! I’m going to walk away from here a changed woman!

And suddenly I’m being enfolded and pressed into her soft bosom. I keep my arms at my sides, she pulls me tight, mutters something in my ear that I can’t understand, releases me, I’m pulled to my feet by the volunteers hovering next to her and sent on my way. The whole process took about 4 seconds. I soar out of the temple on a cloud of bliss, stand in the sunshine, close my eyes, and know that everything from now on is going to be very different.

Just kidding. I felt nothing.

The others come outside, and we take the stairs to the second floor to watch from the balcony above. From our lookout point we have a complete view of the floor below, and can watch as Amma gives her final blessings while other volunteers rope off a section of the floor where she will leave. People are jostling to be the first behind the ropes. Amma leaves the main room, and everyone is reaching out to touch her robes and the floor where her feet were. As luck would have it, we are standing along the exit route, so she comes up the stairs and walks right past us. As she walks by, I lose interest and look down below to see what everyone else is doing. The entire room is gazing up at Amma as she meanders through, eyes not leaving her face, hands at prayer position, no one moving or speaking. It was….weird. I frowned to show my disapproval, but no one saw.

After that charade, we have dinner, then attend bhajans (evening prayer and singing) blah, blah, blah. I duck out early to go take a shower, only to discover that there are no towels in the room. I make this discovery post-shower, naturally. And I use the term “shower” loosely, as it involved a bucket and a tap. I’m soaking wet and hopping around the room, praying Bobby and Greg don’t suddenly come back as I fish through my pack looking for the cleanest shirt to dry off with. I finally go to bed before the boys come back, fingers crossed our rickshaw driver will return in the morning.

You can read all about Amma here–> http://amma.org/

Posted in Amma, Amritapuri, India, Kerala, Spirituality, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amma’s Ashram in India (Part 1)

We were planning to spend our last days in Varkala, but our 2nd day there we learn that the Communist Party of India (official name) is planning a 48 hour strike and all public transport will be shut down. This strike is scheduled to happen when we will need to make our way back to Kochi, to catch a flight to Delhi which will take us home.

Eff.

Because of Communism, we have no choice but to leave our beloved Varkala early and start heading in the direction of the airport. In case everything shuts down and we get stranded, we want to be as close as possible to Kochi. So we book new flights, figure out train times and pack our bags.

Kochi is 3 hours from Varkala, which really means 4 days. Amma’s ashram (the hugging saint) is right smack bang in the middle and we decide we will stop there along the way, where Bobby has a cousin and we can stay for the night.

We are hoping that once we get to Amritapuri, we will be able to hire a rickshaw to take us to the ashram. However we aren’t entirely sure this will work out, or what we will do if it doesn’t.

IMG_2776

the majority of our time was spent waiting on trains

the majority of our time was spent waiting on trains

IMG_2781

The train drops us off here -

IMG_2783

Desolation?! So unlike anything we’ve experienced in India.

Bobby leaves us with the packs and sets off to find a rickshaw. We have no idea when we will see him again. We do this for the next couple of hours –>

IMG_2782IMG_2784Bobby eventually comes back with one rickshaw for 5 people. The boys sit on the seat, and Cerrie and I fold ourselves into pretzels to sit on the ledge behind the driver, facing the boys, all of our knees wedged next to each other. It took 20 minutes to get to our destination and I was pretty sure I was gonna break my spine.

We arrive at the ashram, and do our best to communicate to our rickshaw driver that we need him to come back to get us at 5am the next day. We watch him drive away, and it’s like I’ve swallowed rocks…there goes our one chance out of this hell hole. If he doesn’t show, we’re screwed. We sigh and turn and walk into the ashram.

Posted in Amma, Amritapuri, India, Kerala, Travel, Varkala | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Varkala pt 2

IMG_2727Nighttime is my favorite in Kerala. The bars and restaurants turn into an ambient lighting paradise, with thousands of fairy lights strung on the branches of trees that grow straight into the restaurants. Like tree houses for adults. Lounge music plays, delicate hints of Indian music infusing the rhythms, each place seducing me as I walk by.

IMG_2732

IMG_2733

IMG_2753

IMG_2754

IMG_2751

I just can’t get enough of this Arabian Sea.

At night, the cliff side walkway is full of fish stands – freshly caught Marlin on display, slathered in ice, ready to be chosen for dinner. Chad tells me to look for clear eyes. I pick a Blue Marlin filet, tandoori style. My meal arrives, the fish cut into tender chunks. The texture is almost like butter. It melts in my mouth. Fish has never melted in my mouth before.

IMG_2737

I leave the group at the table for a post-dinner solitary stroll in the moonlight. I walk along the path and look up through the palm trees to find the moon. Its light barely peeks out in between cloud cover, then disappears again. I see more evidence of it down below, on the water. The tide is out, and there is a huge expanse of sand to walk on. The moon makes a trail of glowing light from the shore to the horizon. I want to walk on that path until it ends.

We climb down the cliff steps to the beach, a precarious journey since we can’t see where we are going and tumbling down seems imminent. On the sand, bottles of Kingfisher that we open with a dinner knife, and Greg’s guitar. We sing “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” at the top of our lungs. Cliché? Maybe. Perfect? Yes.

IMG_2760IMG_2764I’ve left my sarong back in the room, so I sit directly on the sand, watching the waves crash against the rocks. The half moon illuminating the cliff and the large boulders that jut out from the shoreline, framed by withered but sturdy palms. They are just black silhouettes against the sky, backlit by the moon.

If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of “perfect moments.” Those moments when the Universe conspires to give you a moment so rich in happiness that all you can do is sit still and soak it up, afraid any sudden movements will make it disappear.  Varkala gave me a perfect moment. And she damn well better have after everything we went through at the Kumbh.

I’m exhausted, but fight my fatigue. I need the bathroom, so I go down to the water behind some rocks. I stay there for a while, letting the water rush back and forth over my skin. It’s soothing. I smile at how second nature it has become to go to the bathroom anywhere. What men must feel like, I imagine. I wonder if it will be hard to adjust back to first world standards when I’m home in a couple of days.

But before that can happen, India has to give us one final gift: a 48 hour strike of all public transportation…

 

 

Posted in India, Kerala, My Life, Travel, Varkala | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Varkala pt 1

After 2 days with the family, we say goodbye to auntie and uncle and the group splits.

IMG_2676

4 journey back to the beach, 2 stay in the jungle, and 2 head back to the States. I’m part of the beach group – duh. So Cerrie, Chad, Lo and I hire a driver and settle in for the 2 hour (or 4? I don’t remember) journey to Varkala. I think it cost us around $4 to get there.

I had no idea what to expect. I had never even heard of Varkala until Cerrie told me that was where we were going.

Behold…

IMG_2686

view from our room

view from our room

IMG_2693

IMG_2772

IMG_2694

Goa who? I’ve found my new love. And my legs dangle precariously off her cliff, while I sip a Kingfisher and watch the sun set into the Arabian Sea. Perfection.

The village of Varkala hugs the cliff, and you can walk along the edge – bars, restaurants, and shops to one side, and the ocean plummeting below on the other. It’s an enchanting place, and the best way to end our trip.

we are beyond happy

we are beyond happy

Lorelei and I have run out of money by the time we arrive. There’s only one ATM in town, so we grab our debit cards and start on the 20 minute walk through town. We arrive to find an ancient ATM machine housed inside a tiny building of glass. I see a glaring “VISA” sticker, mocking me. My debit card is Mastercard. Which means that Lo is now my sugar mama. She likes it.

Then, the next day, she leaves :(

goodbye breakfast

goodbye breakfast

And then there were three. We spend from 12-4pm in complete shade, usually in bars drinking our way through extra strong Kingfishers. Never in my life have I experienced a sun this powerful, and I’ve literally stood on the equator. She’s no joke, that Varkala sun. So this is what we do when it gets too hot:

base camp for the next 4-5 hours

base camp for the next 4-5 hours

the view

the view

Some of the bars are technically not allowed to sell alcohol, so you have to ask for “masala tea”.

IMG_2712

just your standard beerpot

Bobby and Greg arrive a couple days later, and while on a walk through town we decide to pop into a temple. Only problem – I’m wearing a dress that hits at the knees. We walk over to the shoe guy and hand our shoes over for some tokens. I figure he will tell me if I am not allowed in dressed like that. He doesn’t say anything, so we climb the steps. I manage to walk around inside for about 15 minutes before an angry man comes running out of one of the buildings dedicated to one of the gods, yelling at me and telling me I had to leave. So, I desecrated a temple in India. Worth it.

these stairs...i had to see where they led...

these stairs…i had to see where they led…

Sun is setting. Happy hour time y’all…

IMG_2699

Posted in India, Kerala, Travel, Varkala | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments