Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

18 June 2006

Adventures in Tallahassee

My brother and I flew out of LAX at 7:10a on Thursday morning and arrived without event in Memphis, TN, heading from there to Tallahassee's little regional airport in one of those aircraft they call puddle jumpers (i.e. the noisiest fricking airplane you ever sat in.) Michael made me laugh the whole way there, as tired as we were. He decided that our cabin attendant looked exactly like a pterodactyl on the flight (and he was absolutely right), so he started making pterodactyl squawking noises in addition to this sound that was supposed to resemble her flapping her enormous leathery wings. He carried on like this for the 90 minutes of the flight, making me laugh the entire time. I swear, this shit never got old. I could barely contain myself. We were both pretty hungry by this time and had started to get a little slap-happy. We invented images of the pterodactyl hatching and emerging from her shell, snatching fish from the sea, and being killed by dinosaurs larger than she. It was hilarious.

We got to TLH without much trouble. I had my rental car waiting, and we headed to the hotel. I, of course, got lost. California is so much easier to navigate. The signs in Florida (and in Virginia, too) lead to nowhere. It's impossible not to get lost your first time there. The signs don't mean a damn thing and none of the streets have names. They're all called FL-131 or FL-93 or FL-199. It's out of control.
Our hotel was a total hole in the ground: disgusting, really, but it was just outside of the campus, so it ended up being very convenient for me. I was able to walk all over the campus and look at everything. Most of the buildings (even the theatre) were unlocked and open and I walked right in to all of them, just checking it out. The campus is unbelievable. There must be a hundred and fifty buildings, each and every one of which is made out of red brick. It's absolutely gorgeous. Mike and I also went over to the football stadium after we ate some barbecue (I regrettably ordered fried corn) and it was open too! We walked out into the arena and checked it out. It must be the biggest football stadium I've ever seen. Here are a few pics from the internet. Mike took some with his camera, but I don't have them yet...

I mean, look at the thing. It's massive. It's also surrounded by all of these different atheltic fields: soccer, baseball, practice football fields. It's crazy.

The weather is shockingly bad. Although, I must admit I started to get used to it after a day or two. It's hot like palm desert but the humidity is such that it feels like a scarf of warm water is wrapped around you at all times. As though someone were walking behind you and spraying you with water as you walk around. And there's no wind until late in the evening, like 9:00 or so, and that was just a paltry breeze, really. The good thing is that everyone, and I mean everyone has air conditioning. You walk into McDonald's and there's air conditioning. Every building, every restaurant, every room that can be cooled is cooled.

I signed a contract for my house at like 1:00p on Friday after looking at, like, six or so developments. It's not built yet. It's part of a new subdivision in Tallahassee called... oh, something or other... and it's beautiful. It's a lot of money and of course I'm terrified, but it'll be big enough that I can have a roommate again and be able to make my payment lower. The area around the school is not very nice, I have to admit. And it's the South: another thing that I find really scary. I'm going to be out there in the South all by myself with a new house and no friends. But being scared doesn't really help me much, so I'm not going to bother too much about it. I wil try to recognize my fears and own them and then push past them. This is what I'm doing and this is where I'm going and I am going to succeed.

We came back yesterday at around 8:00p. Mike and I spent, like, eleven hours in airports. At one point we couldn't get into Memphis because of weather and the pilot landed us in Jackson, MS for about an hour without letting us deplane. Then, once we got into Memphis we were stuck there for another two hours waiting to get home. It was a nightmare.

But I'm here now and happy to be back in Pasadena. I will miss it here so much I cannot even tell you. Being in Tallahassee for two days made me miss its stores and restaurants and culture like mad. I know I will miss my friends a lot, but spending as much time as I do alone, I think I will miss being able to be by myself in a city like this more than anything else.


Okay. I have stuff to do. Impossibly, I almost have my cast for my R&J project and there is much to be done.