Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Number One Feeling is Sunshine

[Photos by Alex Vega]
On Monday we decided to go to Florida, so on Tuesday we went to the Newark airport to fly to Florida. Our flight was delayed and thus, over variations on salad at the JetBlue terminal's Chili's Express, I subjected my traveling companions to about an hour of my favorite conversation topic: "What should I do for a Top Ten?!". We considered some of yours, some of ours. Some I've done. Where We Are Going and Where We Have Been. We may or may not've spent the next four days throwing out ideas for "Top Ten Critters" at random, which ultimately we realised would have to be an extended feature, like those predictable yet annual "sexiest women ever" lists run in men's magazines -- the ones where Angelina Jolie & Halle Berry always make the top ten. They won't make ours. They may be sexy, but they are not critters.

I try to make Top Tens relevant to that week's activities and said as much, and so we tried to think of things that have been happening lately. One of our Top Ten phrases of the moment is "I have a lot of feelings" (and variations on that), so someone suggested "Top Ten Feelings." Now, our new favorite phrase is: "My number one feeling is [INSERT NOUN OR VERB]." Really, it's hard to keep up with us, we're like Juno. Anyhow, so, as I dipped my lettuce & crisp-bread into my ramiken of ranch, we brainstormed my Top Ten Feelings. It was very educational, I learned a lot about what my friends think of me. I'm not going to go into explaining the list formed in the box in the upper-right, you can make of that what you will. Also, usually my handwriting is way neater, but I was eating and writing all at once:

This list seemed depressing, especially since most people wouldn't understand that "impatient" can be a good thing. That box became a new brainstorm that led to the actual Tuesday Top Eight. Also: clearly kidding about loving animals, which I think I named as my number one feeling. Howevs, I changed my tune re: animals later on in the week ... and when I say that, I'm not talking about Alex leaping over lawn-chairs/tables and torpedoing into the pool (much to the surprise of our compatriots) or our primitive fondness for wrestling like children/monkeys (that's not a veiled sexual reference, I'm quite serious about our wrestling). I'm talking about Tinkerbell, obvs, my new dog (see left, and more on this later).

So, I will get back to this about lists of feelings in a bit. Firstly: a Tuesday night JetBlue fight from Newark, New Jersey, to Ft.Lauderdale, Florida, is essentially a retired Jew-train. If you were to loot the Sunday return flight, you'd establish a healthy supply of Juicy separates and fancy sunglasses, as well as a number of screaming children who I wanted to kill with my bare hands, but Tuesday is 95% peoples in their golden years. Cait was seated next to and thus became besties with a couple she called "my grandparents." Grandma read the news-ticker on her back-of-the-seat teevee out loud to her husband, 'cause old people like to read everything they see out loud to each other, e.g., street signs, newspaper headlines, the titles of other people's books, slogans on other people's shirts, etc. (Imagine aging Jew accent: Gpa-"Big bellies cause DIABETES!" [pause] Gma-"I KNOW!")
Here's the thing about Key Biscayne: we were steps from the beach, there were even hammocks available should someone care for certain degrees of relaxation. Palm trees and perfect temperate weather. Food without washing dishes, drinks without consequences. Freedom. From our balcony we could see two large glassy blue pools and their respective hot-tubs, and the paths and green space between them. Night-time is quiet and therefore belonged to us. The humidity mutes out to a perfect 75-degree-cool. There's that ocean. There's the possibility of wine delivered to a hot tub, and of being with friends who make you laugh more than just about anyone. That's an advantage to meeting people on the webbernets via bloggetry: they've already got your sense of humor and basic belief system mostly.

I don't like Miami the city 'cause the people are made of plastic and they all have shiny cars that intimidate me and believe in strange things, but I wouldn't mind visiting Key Biscayne every week or so. Also I don't like Republicans generally.


So Alex decided she only has five feelings, but then -- later and drunk, she couldn't remember all five, only: hunger, happy and "dancing."
Dancing isn't a feeling, Vega, Cait & I told her.
It is, she said. And also, she said, my number four feeling is music, and my number five feeling is RuPaul.
We told her RuPaul and Music are also not feelings, but nouns,
but she said, no, RuPaul is a feeling.
Okay Alex, we said, if you want dancing to be your number one feeling, then you go for it. You dance.


Also: back to loving animals. We got Tinkerbell from the gift-shop downstairs -- one of many places within the resort who found our presence alarming/interesting -- Tinkerbell also doubles as a purse 'cause you can zip open her back and insert things in it, like illegal drugs, tampons, money and condoms for straight people. Last night (Monday) I brought Tinkerbell to Carly's party and spoke on Tinkerbell's behalf ("Tinkerbell would like a vodka-tonic." "Tinkerbell is very cold.") but Carly told me I had to cut it out and put that shit away. That's fine, I don't expect anyone to understand Tinkerbell like I do. Tinkerbell is a woman's best friend.


We spent heaps of time in the elevator -- traveling from our room to the ground floor and subsequently to the outdoors or traveling from our room to the food room upstairs, where we attempted to identify mysterious wrap sandwiches that'd later reappear as salads or mini-desserts the next day. Alex and I ate a lot of sourdough bread and Haviland had a lot of lettuce and Cait dropped her food off the balcony onto the lawn below, which was awesome, our heads exploded along with the lavash.

I tried to tell everyone on the Vlog about this woman who came out of the elevator super-stressed while Cait & I were upstairs waiting on it. She wore a business suit and a nametag and looked like she'd just been to hell in back, and said urgently: I'VE BEEN STUCK IN THERE FOR FIVE MINUTES. Cait & I waited about two minutes for the other lift to arrive before hopping right onto the allegedly damaged elevator. Someone else in the elevator car asked 'isn't this the broken elevator?' which seemed dumb, we were all in an elevator we thought we might never leave, which says a lot about our desires to move from floor to floor. This was funnier later when we tried to re-tell the story than it was at the time. This happens often to us.

I'm not good at being around other people for numerous consecutive hours and also I had a recap to write, so one afternoon the girls left me alone. I tried to go to the food floor alone but all the elevators kept going down and I wanted to go up, which's why I'd pressed the "down" button. It happened like six times, so I started hiding when the lift would stop for me (but not really at all for me) by pressing my back against the button-containing wall when the elevator doors opened, 'cause every time it did all its passengers would look at me like I'd just ruined their lives by making them stop on my floor when I wanted to go up and they wanted to go down. So once I was pressed against the wall being quiet like a mouse and a guy goes "What's this? Another false alarm," and I was like, "Sucker!"

Also there was a tropical windstorm so I went outside and tried to stand as still as possible and let the wind blow my hair around and took photos where Hav says I look like a fetus. Then everyone came back and I told them that housekeeping had come to fix the safe and so now I had the contents of the safe, how exciting! I assumed Cait had called housekeeping to tell them that she couldn't get anything out of the safe. But she HADN'T. They just KNEW. Our sense that we were communicating telepathically with the resort increased when Vega answered the door to a nice hotel worker lady and then told us the lady had asked if we wanted room service. Which's odd, as we'd just been discussing that very thing. Then we realised that the lady had said "TURN-DOWN service," not room service, but Vega didn't know what that is. I do, 'cause they did it on the cruise, that was when they brought the free chocolates and gay t-shirts.


Before Saturday, the resort was almost exclusively populated by attendees of a mysterious "Circle of Excellence" convention (appeared Midwestern or Southern, most of them, a lot of capri pants) and very old white people. Perhaps it was because we were dressed like bums or perhaps it was our youth & beauty, but we got famous super-quick, and it seemed everyone in the resort knew about us 'cause everywhere we went alone we were asked "where are the rest of the girls?" I decided they probs thought we were rockstars, 'cause who else would dare to be so foxy and also so bummily dressed? The man at the gym kept really close tabs on us and said weird things about Heath Ledger and the economy (he liked to watch the teevee too, like the woman on the plane, and read out loud to me), it kinda made me uncomfortable but who cares, it was also comedy gold and I got a great workout!

On Saturday, the herds arrived -- neatly tanned middle-aged women with taut stomachs and lipo'ed thighs and their fleshy hairy husbands &  cherubic hypnotized children, and some young couples & groups of pretty thirtysomething girls reading Janet Evanovich novels at poolside in overpriced sarongs -- but by then we'd settled in and we would've stayed forever, even with all the people. All of 'em! I'd never loved this kind of thing so much in my life.


When we went to the spa to get massages, during which Alex bff'ed her masseuse due to shared heritage and Cait got her masseuse to reconsider her stance on gay marriage and I got pummeled by some dude, they gave us these robes that totally swallowed Alex and we thought that was high-larious too. Cait took a photo with her phone, it's one of the strangest photos ever, we're like Samurai warriors. I cut off my head in this photo 'cause I look silly in it but you can see I'm preparing for Zen. Alex looks silly too, but I put it up anyway, 'cause it's precious:

Though Cait and I didn't want to go out (other people, crowded rooms), the going-out-to-a-lesbo-bar idea was proposed every night. But the last night we decided to get really crazy, which always means that Riese has to drink a lot and then do something really crazy no one else would want to do like get a tattoo. Holla! So I did, we went to Miami Ink, which apparently is famous amongst people who watch television. It was AWESOME. Here it is:

It's Ancient Hebrew for yud, which means "hand." It's here.

I'm so tough! I didn't flinch, I was like, I feel no pain, I am Yoda.
Then we went out and did crazy things I can't talk about, they're just too crazy. But the best part was when we got home and I took a swig of the Dasani water and it turned out to actually be one of many water bottles we'd filled with vodka on the food floor because we're very Savvy. Then I tried to make everyone talk to Tinkerbell but no one wanted to for some reason. She's very soft. Then I got sick, obvs, 'cause that swig of vodka was an unwelcome visitor. Seriously I drank A LOT of it on accident. Also I wasn't the one who put it in the Dasani bottle, the "girls" did that, I was in the room writing my L Word recap like a weirdo.

Mostly we just laughed a lot, like A LOT, and like about everything. It was breezy and beautiful and everything I needed right now. I'm not entirely sure what we talked about but somehow we moved effortlessly and everything was funny and sunshine. I can't really explain it I guess, but it was the most fun. I wanted to stay but instead we're home again. The problem with home is that Key Biscayne was significantly better than home. That's okay. Maybe we'll go back soon. I'm also looking into a Walden Pond-esque situation, let me know if you have any leads. JK. I would never miss the Super Bowl.


Bourbon said...

First comment, sah-weet!

Okay that paragraph about hiding when the elevator doors opened and the fetus thing was high-larious!

Hot tattoo. Have you mentioned getting that symbol before? Shame you didn't go to Miami Ink when Kat Von D was there, that girl is hot. I'm saving my first tattoo for her.

Also, whose handwriting is that? It looks eerily like mine at 4 am when I'm hopped up on Red Bull.

Also, also, you make me wanna vay-cay something fierce.

DH said...

Killer tattoo. I really liked this post, btw, really.

I feel a little for that elevator woman, sometimes they can really stress you out, for real, it's like their sole purpose is not to transport but rather mock and taunt.

The Circle of Excellence is an employee performance/leadership awards program. I learned that at the Centre of Excellence. I bet you were losing sleep over that mystery, so, you know, you're welcome.

Mercury said...

I can't see your pictures, probs the government is behind this.

That sounds awesome, I want to go to florida or hollywood or ann arbor or seattle or kansas city or tokyo or paris or venice or rome or anywhere really...

I had a weird thing last night, I closed my eyes and I was like literally on an airplane that was about to take off, I could feel the air pressure and hear the distinct-yet-not-unsettling rattling, hear flight attendants' footsteps and the engine and people coughing and taking their navy blue fleece blankets out of their plastic covering.

I loved that you hid when the elevator door opened. I would so do that.

Anonymous said...

reading this made me happy, cause you seem so happy and wheee. also i am sad that you figured out how to spell biscayne cause i loved it the other day.. obvs my number one feeling right now is veronica.

Anonymous said...

I hate lifts, I can't use them. I freak out about them breaking down and I watched this film when I was little where too many people got in and the cable snapped. It scarred me for life and I now always take the stairs.

I like the tattoo, just nice and simple.

Anonymous said...

I'd be lying if I said I didn't get legit scared earlier when your blogs weren't showing earlier. Seriously, I think I died a little. This is my crack...*totes proud* But seriously, I loved this post a LOT. Makes me wanna get drunk and go swimming, in no particular order. (first comment on my palm pilot, yay!)

frank said...

i have never torpe-done a pool. typos are awesome sometimes.

re: old people reading stuff. you should see Forget Paris. there's an LYAO scene in there about that.

if bff can be a verb, dancing can be a feeling.

semicharmedkindacolon might have the greatest pale/tan ratio ever. i refuse to believe that's her.

i think you should get the hebrew word for job on your other hand. ha. i kill me.

Anonymous said...

oh my god, this made my morning. I believe I was smiling constantly while getting dressed in my mango candle scented room.

I have a lot to say... and a lot of feelings, obvs, that I am about to share with someone:

1. Wow, we really did throw ideas around about "Top Ten Critters" for 4 full days. I mean, how did we have time for anything else?

2. I love the gradual shift of feelings from: anxiety, exhausted, sadness etc
to: 'Miami', 'Rupaul', 'cookies', 'sunshine', and 'mango candle'.

3. The Dasani/Vodka incident made the Top 10 Moments of My Life list (which may or may not say something about my life... moving on...)

4. My number one feeling right now is Riese.

Anonymous said...

This day just keeps getting better and better!

Unknown said...

I am not sure if somebody's already beat me to it before or not, but I'm putting my vote in for Alex's cuteness!

I love that you put into words what we all do (or really really want to do)...hiding from the sneer given by elevator riders when you stop them, standing in the wind so you can get that great windblown look, doing hard know, that kind of stuff.

Also, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I watched an episode of Making the Band last night, and that girl Aundrea really reminds me of Haviland. Does she get that a lot? Or at this point should I just be super embarrassed that I admitted to seeing it?

Anonymous said...

wait? is that cait in the clown picture? do we finally get to see the infamous cait?

jenn said...


the tattoo is fab.
i so want to go to miami now and that confuses me as i have always kinda not liked the idea of it?!!?

my mum is petrofide of elevators, so when i was wee i used to bug her to use them, then when inside id pretend i could feel and hear things breaking, her face was just pure comic dream! still do it now, i need to grow up!!
i would still be secretly giggeling now if i had wittnessed that bird leaving the elevator

oow a puppy dog thats a bag? and afriend? u can take anywhere? tinkerbell is rocking my world, end of!!

Cara said...

Am I the only one that thinks Riese and Alex look alike? In some of the pictures they look like they could be sisters. I don't know, maybe it's just me.

eric mathew said...

the jew train comment...too amazing and too true! the trip seems like it was a blast. and the tat is amazing. was ami there? such a fine israeli boy. umm but yeah...i wish i had more intelligent comments to write but i feel like shit and i just had a wonderful art history test.

Chloe said...

Did you know that Jetblue is the airline with the most legroom? And also, try Siesta Key...according to the travel channel it's Florida's #3 greatest beach. I think Miami is #1, but obvs the people on the travel channel are smoking crack. I mean they choose to go to weird places and eat bugs.

I don't like Republicans in general either, p.s.

Anonymous said...

The resemblance of Riese and A;ex is why the "hoodie" vlogs are so funny. Especially when the blond wig comes into play.


riese said...

razia - I mentioned getting the tattoo before ... in fact that's what I looked up to find the drawing I needed to get it done. There were no ladies there unfortunately aside from the ones I brought along. It's my handwriting, though I'm not surprised it looks like yours at 4 AM when you're hopped up on Red Bull.

Crystal - I knew it sounded familiar. I'm into all kinds of geometric shapes related to excellence, anything, obvs, to get deliverables delivered.

Mercury! - Yay! Hi. You can't see my pictures? I saw an article about a Republican in Alaska at the hair place today. Maybe it's related. I think if I closed my eyes and felt airplane, I would then feel bathroom, and my number one feeling would be scared.

caittttt - I am so happy and wheee and I love that you didn't correct me about bisquane. You know why I thought that though is 'cause you said "like bisque" when first spelling it to me. My number one feeling is haircut.

dewey - I always think of the opening of "Speed." They didn't have stairs. A lot of places are like that now. I always prefer stairs, 'cause it's good for the quads.

chrissy - Get drunk and then go swimming, would be my advice. And sorry about the blog scare ... you're not alone in being legit scared, there's a whole community of crack-users out there, hollaa

lozo- torpedoing is a word, did you know that? look it up. Is Forget Paris the sequel to One Night in Paris or is it that movie with Billy Crystal and/or Meg Ryan?

"I think you should get the hebrew word for job on your other hand" - killed me too. even better, alex had a book called "hand job" about typefaces or something that she was reading. too bad no old people read that out loud.

semicolon is semicharmed and semipuertorican, i feel this has something to do with her rapid tan. i'm just a pale jew.

a;ex - I was smiling constantly while writing this in my mango candle scented room, coincidence, or similar feelings? time will tell.
1. we didn't
2. sunshine will do that to you, as will veronica
3. when i dropped a tray on someone's head at the olive garden and said it was in my Top 10 worst moments of my life, my coworker said "wow, you must've had a really great life."
4. semicharmed.

in kc- this day just keeps getting better and better!
I've never seen making the band, but does Aundrea look like Laura Benanti or Jill Hennesey? She gets that a lot.

Anonymous - Yes, Cait is the one in the makeup with the balloon animal! (JK, but she sure is in it! It's a big day for Autowin)

jenn - I have never liked the idea of Miami either, so I have a lot of feelings about having good feelings about Miami. That sounds like the kind of thing I'd totally do to my Mom, so I say "awesome" to that.

Cara - It is totally not just you at all. Totally not just you. totally totally gotten that like 200 times, though we don't see it.

eric mathew - I'm pretty sure Ami was there, he was playing in the pool with our bff Veronica. I love art history, it's like time travel.

Chloe - oh you bet i knew that -- about jetblue, the legroom. I'm 5'10, so I can't mess around. The travel channel makes me jealous, like the food channel, but once i saw it and this guy was eating candy all over the world.

Len - Clearly we need to get A;ex in the blonde wig.

Anonymous said...

i really like reading about your vacations. it's like the l word but better because it totes is the way that someone lives, that person being you. but whatevs.

please leave new york more often.

eric mathew said...

especially my teacher is like margret cho but in the sex and the city it's basically like 50 minutes of heaven and some controposto poses.

frank said...

oh yeah. torpedoing. my bad. duh. i can't read in the morning.

Anonymous said...

this makes me want a vacation real bad. i'm glad you had fun in the sunshine!

i got a tattoo on my wrist too! stop trying to be like me. but no no, it's very cool!

i def think you should talk about critters more.

Jo said...

"Also I don't like Republicans generally."


I agree with everyone on the fact (not opinion, the FACT) that Alex is quite adorable. The paragraph about her five feelings made me laugh so much I was almost late for class.

cricket said...

holy shiznit. that's alex vega from the mhs drumline isn't it?

Anonymous said...

cricket, this suspense is killinggg me.

obviously, you know me... which means I probs know you. I'm sure(/hope) thats a good thing.

ooOOoo this is fun.

cricket said...

i know of you if that makes any sense. band camp stories i think.

jenn said...

ye my feelings about miami are getting more visiting the usa for first time in i need to change my plans and go miami..or should i stick to my plans because miami is just a automatic win dream?? oh the confusion?!!

also alex im feeling, well more hoping, that the band camp stories dont include a flute!! but if they do erm well good on u??!!

Mercury said...

I can see them now! they help a lot.

Adam Tiller said...

These comments just got a lot more interesting.

Now is the part where Cricket shares.

Chloe said...

I was unaware of the leg room situation until this summer, I'm 5'3 and I got to swing my legs like a 6 year old for an hour and a half. It was basically the best flight of my life. And also, candy all over the world is way to intense. It's like if the food network and the travel network got together and had a super smart kid that was in all AP classes.