Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

2008 was pretty amazing!

Okay, so we had to deal with more of W. Bush, but hey, we got Obama!!! And yeah, I failed at yet another relationship, but whatevs... being single is a lot better than it sounds. And sure, the economy sucks.. but hell, that's why I'm leaving the country! It's all good. Plus, over the course of the year I made lots of new friends (girl posse holler!!!) and even got back in touch with some old friends I'd lost. I was productive too-- I built a bike, joined a dance troupe (The Junkettes!), and rode my bike 125 miles for AIDS Action and raised over $1,500! I had a ton of dance parties, bike adventures, giggle fits, and enjoyed countless friendly shenanigans with the ones I love, and made so many incredible memories.

Last but not least, I finally took the necessary steps to realize my dream of living and working abroad, and now off I go to teach English in Argentina... I am so excited! This is possibly my biggest adventure to date, and who knows what the future holds? Hopefully lots of tango, new friends, and career success!

And now I am ready to welcome an even better year: 2009! That's right, kids, it's time to ring in the new year. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for it. After all, 2008 is SO 5 minutes ago... and 2009 is the new black.

In all seriousness, much love, happiness, health, and prosperity to you in the new year! May you have many bodacious adventures of your own ahead.

Here's to 2009 shenanigans!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Catty, jealous, and anorexic

Possibly the thing I will miss the most when I leave Boston is my girl posse. (Shout out, ladies!) I love these women. I mean, finally, after years of searching, I have found a group of women who understand my sarcastic sense of humor and can dish it right back, who can keep up with my unhealthy drinking habits, and whose minds are as deeply in the gutter as mine. It was true love at first sight.

And now I am leaving them. God, this sucks. But hey, on to new friends, right?

For starters, my amazing friend Ali lives in Buenos Aires (thank God), so I know I'll automatically have one girl friend when I get there! Awesome!

However, she issued me a warning: The girls there won't like me, she says. The fact that I am outgoing, confident, independent, and sarcastic means that I will probably have trouble making girlfriends there. (I thought those things were what made me awesome?! Well damn, I guess they didn't get the memo.)

As she puts it, Argentine women are "catty, jealous, and anorexic." Sounds like a winning combination... *cough*


Sunday, December 28, 2008

I've got BA on the brain

After last night's mini panic-attack (I had nightmares about my trip going to hell in a handbasket all night long), today I decided to focus on all of the great parts of this move, and to stop worrying so much about what could go wrong. After all, bad stuff can happen anywhere, and I am just going to have to handle it as it comes. Besides, my tickets have been purchased, and off I go on February 5th, ready or not! Deep down I know that even in the worst case scenario, moving to Buenos Aires can't be bad! In fact, I think it's going to be really, really good...

One thing I am really looking forward to is learning to tango while I'm there, because tango is sexy, and I absolutely love to dance. I can't wait to meet some boys who actually know how to dance! And when I say 'dance' in this case, I mean like, actual choreographed dances, not just wiggling on the dance floor. (And by the way, I am not smack talking right now, because dance-floor-wiggling is totally rad in its own right. But I can find plenty of that here in Boston.)

Also, today on the train from Philly to Providence, I met an awesome woman and her 14 year old son who were visiting the States on holiday from Santiago, Chile! Not only did I find out that my Spanish isn't so rusty after all (we happily chatted it up en espaƱol for a couple hours), but she also invited me to come stay with them if I'm ever in Santiago. And I definitely plan to be in Santiago!! Apparently it's only about a 1.5 hour flight from BA, which means it would make a great excursion, and is yet another fun thing to look forward to.

So yeah, after some careful reflection, I'm realizing that I'm choosing this challenging path for myself because I know I can handle it, and I know it will be worthwhile. I've never been one to stay put for long, and I thrive on adventure. This is just the next chapter in my already-kinda-nuts life. Bring it, BA!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


My mind is mud. I'm worrying. I'm realizing that most of my life goals are contradictions of each other, and I'm wondering more and more each day how and when I am ever going to 'figure it out'? I want to be settled, and to travel. I want my independence, along with true love. I want to write, teach, inspire, learn, explore, save the world-- all on my own terms. I want it all, I guess.

Which brings me to the situation at hand... Have I made the wrong decision?

I think this officially qualifies as Panic Mode.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Tonight, I will partake in my favorite holiday tradition: The Feast of the Seven Fishes. (read a bit about it here)... Which means you caught me. I actually do like certain aspects of the holidays, although I will say that all of the parts I like seem to miraculously revolve around food and alcohol. Shocking.

Despite my outward appearance, I am 50% Italian (my dad is 100% Italian). So whenever I am home visiting Dad for Christmas, we always head over to our Cousin Linda's house in South Philly to join my Italian half of the family for this traditional Christmas Eve feast. It is just what is sounds like-- a full-fledged feast, course upon course upon course of different types of fish (at least 7, but sometimes more), meats, cheeses, pastas, breads, salads, and desserts. And of course, wine. And beer. And whiskey. And more wine.

What's not to love?

This year will be slightly different because all of my cousins (Larry, Richard, and Jimmy) have had kids in the last couple of years, totaling 7 kids in all. So what used to be a meal at which I was the baby, suddenly I am one of the adults and am no longer banished to the kiddie table. Yup, I'm all grown up.. at least compared to a room filled with screaming infants. This should be interesting...

Anyway, I'll be festive for a moment, and say that I love any excuse to eat, drink, and be merry with my crazy family. Sure, I'm the black sheep-- I mean hell, I'm a redhead at a table filled with Italian-looking Italians-- and I generally only see these people once a year. But when we get into a room filled with Cousin Linda's home cooking and enough alcohol to knock out a cattle farm, suddenly we all have something to smile about.

So cheers to eating, drinking, eating, and drinking. And family. Merry Christmas Eve, peeps.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Official Masshole

3.5 years after moving to Massachusetts from Oregon, and less than 2 months before I leave the country, I have become an official Masshole.

I am weeping with pride!!!

Yes, I went to the RMV and got myself a Massachusetts driver's license, because my Oregon one expires in March. Possibly the best part of this is the fact that I'm not only leaving the country, but I just had my Banks St address put on the ID, even though I'll only be living there for like 1.5 more months. So basically, it is the most obsolete ID ever.

More pride!!!

And-- oh, the pain!-- they took my Oregon license away from me! I begged and begged, smiled, pouted, winked, and offered sexual favors (j/k?), but the girl simply would not budge. She had to pry the thing out of my desperate little hands. After a farewell kiss, I was forced to accept that I will never see my precious Oregon ID again.

This is a big deal. Oregon was a huge part of my life (I lived there for 5 years), and it's likely that I'll never live there again. It's looking more and more like I'm going to be a Masshole 'til the day I die. Well, minus the whole moving-to-South-America thing. That license was a souvenier from that time of my life, the tangible proof that I was once a stinking goddamn hippie.

Le sigh.

At least I still have my other nostalgic treasure, my University of Oregon ID. No one can take that away from me! And if they do, I make no promises that I won't go all kinds of Chuck Norris on their ass.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't ask questions, just watch

You can facepunch me later. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ham Sandwich = <3

I recently started eating meat again, in preparation for my big adventure in the beef capital of the universe. And what was I most excited about? Duh, the ham sandwich of course.

One day about a year ago, I was lamenting my vegetarianism as I dealt with a craving for a ham sandwich. And not just any ham sandwich. A Dave's ham sandwich. [drool] And as hard as I tried to supress the feeling, it was all I could think about for a pretty damn hot minute. In true Erica form, I was very verbal about my craving, and my friend Ali (who now lives in Buenos Aires!!!) wasn't having any of it.

"Goddamn it, Erica!" she screamed at me. "You know, if your body is craving a ham sandwich, that's just your body telling you that it needs a ham sandwich, so you need to eat a goddamn ham sandwich!"

At the time, I told her she was an idiot, and pushed through, opting for some sort of eggplant dish.

But now... well, I'm thinking she may have been onto something...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Goodbye 19 Banks St!

Life is moving so fast right now. Last Wednesday, I posted an ad on Craigslist to sublet my room, and got zillions of responses. Then I put in my notice at work on Friday (my last day is January 16th! ahhh!!). I spent most of the day yesterday showing my apartment to potential subletters (while Kirsten baked cookies in my kitchen!), and then did the same again tonight (minus the cookies). [nom nom nom]

... and now all of a sudden, my room is rented! Just like that! It was so easy, and I'm so disturbingly on top of things.

I know I should be really really happy right now, and on a purely logistical level, I suppose I am. But right now, I'm sitting here, knowing both my job and my apartment have a finite end, and I'm a little bit sad. No more AIDS Action Committee. No more 19 Banks St. They are so much of my life here, and soon they'll be gone.

February 1st. The day that someone else moves in and I am no longer a part of this household. New roommates will come and go, walls will be painted, my landlord will continue to be a flake, and the guy next door will continue to play solitaire naked in his bedroom. And I'll be somewhere in Buenos Aires, doing SOMEthing. It's the "what?" that freaks me out.

Will I be happy? Will I find an apartment that I feel as at home in as this one, with roommates that I love as much as these ones, or more? Will I like my job? Will I even like teaching English, this career path I have chosen, yet haven't even tried yet? Will I be any good at it?

I mean, I know myself, and I know deep down inside that I've done crazier things than this, and this is just the next stop on my crazy life adventure. Hell, I moved to Cuba, where I couldn't communicate with my family almost at all because of that piece-a-shit embargo. I bought a one way ticket to Mexico and disappeared in Central America for 6 months. So I can do this, right?

It feels different because it's so "grown up" (whatever that means). In the past, my travels have always been either somehow connected to school studies or an internship, or they were me just being young and frivolous, with no more plan than to travel, camp, surf, meet people, blow through my money, and have the time of my life.

This time is different. I need to make new friends, find a new apartment, get a job... discover my new favorite divey drinking hole, find my local sex shop... I need to create a whole new life.

*deep breath*

Starting now, I am at the point of no return... I have no job and no house here! So it's official. I HAVE to go. (!!!)