Just a place for random rantings and ravings.....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm not READY!!!

This summer has been one for the ages! I've never done so much travelling in such a short amount of time, and frankly, I'm happy the summer's over. I just wish I didn't have to go back to work and all the badass kids I'm gonna have this year! All I need is another month to recuperate from all the relaxing I've been doing and I'm good to go, but alas, that's impossible. Shit.



(Did I just say "alas"?)



As a form of therapy, I think it's neccessary that I share my summer experiences with the masses, and maybe that will help me cope with the inevitable fact that soon I'll be surrounded by lots of snot nosed, smart mouthed, 4th graders who want and need my attention 7.5 hours out of the day, five days a week. In the spirit of Mr. Eyechan, (and welcome back to civilization young Sir) here's a pictoral version of my summer. Let's start from the beginning shall we.....



Pudge

This here is Pudge, our newest addition to the family. Pudge and his brother were found under a tree in a school playground by Yours Truly one day in early June. Normally I don't pick up strays, but something inside me told me that I couldn't leave these cute pups to die in the summer heat. They were obviously hungry and thirsty so I went home, got some water and a few leftovers from the fridge and came back to do my best Animal Rescue 911 impression. I put them in the car to take them to PetSmart so they'll be adopted by some loving family, and how do they repay me for my compassion? They THROW UP in my CAR- three times EACH!!! In an instant, I went from being a good samaritan to wanting to leave their flea infested, stinky, car sick asses on the side of the highway in a crate. As you can see, I did the right thing instead and drove my doggy vomit riddled car to the adoption center and after getting them shots and a lengthy conversation with the "adoption lady" I decided to keep them and give them away on my own. After giving Pudge's brother away to a neighborhood kid, I decide to let the runty Pudge stay and bug the shit out of Alpha, our other dog. As you can see, Alpha's not too happy having to share her space.



Montreal

Since November, I've been taking a class trying my best to learn the French language. I started out by taking a class with a teacher and bought a language program on cd. On a whim, I decided that I needed to immerse myself in some French culture over the summer to help with the process. My first choice was to go to France......then I saw the prices for plane tickets and scratched that idea QUICK. Who's got $1700 laying around the house these days? As an alternative, I chose to go to Montreal (pr: Mon-ray-al). I'd never been, and until I calculated the hurting Paris would put on my bank account, I had never considered going- but I'm glad I went. Montreal is actually a very cool place with all the beautiful architecture I love to see when I travel.






The strangest thing is that I met more French people (from France) than I did Canadians. Apparently, Canada is a hot (and CHEAP) tourist destination for the French. Who knew? Anyway, I was able to meet a lot of interesting people who were able to help me speak French just a little bit better.

As an inexpensive alternative to expensive hotels, I decided to stay in a youth hostel called Auberge Chez Jean-which cost me all of $20 a night. It has none of the comforts one expects from a hotel, (like privacy), but it provides the basics: A roof, a bed with clean sheets, bathroom, kitchen etc. Jean is the balding cat in the white shirt sitting at the desk. He's a bit of a strange bird and I think he's technically homeless, he just sleeps in whatever empty bed is available at the hostel. I mean, it's his place (Chez Jean) so he's not "homeless" but he doesn't have his own room. We actually heard a story that he crawled into bed with a traveller at 2 am because he had nowhere else to sleep, nothing sexual, he just needed a place to lay his head. Apparently he told her when she checked in that he'd have to share the bed with her and she thought he was joking.....Oops.



Vincent was my partner in crime and we travelled around the city together a few days, learning a lot about each other's cultures and personal lives. He lives in a small town close to Marseille and I was really surprised how easy it was for me to communicate with him in French, even if I didn't know how to say something specific (merci Flo!). He was completely understanding and would help me out a lot, even telling me the correct phrase in French. He's a very cool guy and I'm glad I got the chance to meet him and expose him to everything American- from big breakfast portions to cheddar cheese to "CP time". Oui Vincent, je croix aussi que las femmes la bas sont tres délicieuses!!! :)


Alexandros was a cat from Brighton, England who didn't even speak French, but came to Montreal for vacation ("holiday" as he called it) before he continued his studies in art design at his University. I asked him how long he was staying and he bluntly said, "Until my money runs out." That's the way to travel!!!




My timing was perfect as I arrived in Montreal right as the Montreal Jazzfest was kicking off. It's basically a month long festival with venues hosting local and international bands all throughout the city. There were these street performers everywhere, decked out in crazy vibrant costumes acting out different parts- juggler's, dancers, stilt walkers, mimes etc.

















I even met a girl on the street, and in the span of 3 minutes, fell in love, got engaged and left her when I realized she was crazy.


Minute one (l'engagement) and a moment of "What the hell am I doing?"

Minute two (l'amour). Ahhhh, the bliss.





Minute three (la divorce). Let's just say we had communication issues.


I even got to meet up with a fellow (former) blogger known as No Fearing Change. She came to meet up with me for lunch (**cough** shop). We ate at this nice downtown restaurant and chatted for a couple hours about everything under the sun. I learned a lot about her and that she's pulled the plug on her blog b/c she's planning on moving forward to a prominent career position and doesn't want anything written in her blog to come back and haunt her - and the way media is these days, who can blame her? I've always thought that the blog "community" was real, despite the fact that we are all communicating via a virtual world. We share our thoughts, lives and experiences through words and pictures on the computer, but I had always wondered if it would translate to real world encounters, if we'd still have a lot to say if we met face to face. I imagine that it's easier for people to share their crazy notions from behind the safety of a computer screen, where it might be more difficult in the presence of a real person. Regardless, I found my encounter with NFC to be fun and interesting, just like I thought it would be. I'll definitely miss her blog, but now I can call her and talk in real time if needbe, and that's the coolest part.

Suicidal Road Trip

The day after I returned from Montreal, we embarked on a crazy ass summer road trip, all of which took place in the course of a week! (roughly)
Here's our itenerary in a nutshell:

Day 1
Drive from Atlanta to Birmingham, Alabama
Pick up neice Kalani and nephew Tre
Pick up Mom
Drive back to Atlanta
Day 2
Drop off Mom, neice, nephew at ATL airport
Day 3
Fly to Durham, NC with Naimah and Michelle

Day 4
Drive with Naimah, Michelle, my sister Munirah and neice Chanelle to Saint Louis, MO
Meet up with Mom and Dad
Pick up Tre and Kalani

Day 5
Drive back to Durham, NC

Day 6
Fly to Birmingham, Al
Meet up with Michelle's family for her other daughter Jacqueline's showcase

Day 7
Drive back to Atlanta

All those long hours of driving from North Carolina to Missouri took us through Virginia, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. All that exposure to rural America eventually took it's toll on all of us.











And just when I thought the summer was done with its surprises....

My sister gave birth to child number 3!!!


Trelani Munart

He came a few days earlier than his August 1st due date, but he's a happy, healthy 7 pounder. So you know what that means...BACK to DURHAM.... Before he was born, no one knew if it was gonna be a girl or boy (my sister's old school like that) and no one knew what the name of the baby was gonna be so I started calling the unborn baby Trelani Munart (Tre, Kalani, Munirah, Art- my brother in law). It was unisex and a perfect name if you ask me. I thought FOR SURE they'd take my suggestion and name the baby Trelani Munart Harrell, but they decided on Talib instead. Congrats you guys!

Now can you see why I'm glad summer's over?!?! I have yet to log the mileage I travelled this summer, but I estimate it to be close to 3000 miles, if not more. Craziness, pure craziness. Next summer, I'm going to stay home, plant some foliage, drink beer and sit on the couch watching re-re-re-runs of Sportcenter all day!.....unless I can find a cheap ticket to France.....

School for us teachers begins in a week, but one of my coworkers told me something that helps make the year go by a little faster- the school year basically coincides with the football season. After the Super Bowl we only have a few months and then it's summer again. All I can say is GO BRONCOS!!!!

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no sympathy from me Paz. I hope the children eat you alive this school year!!

The nerve of you complaining about your TWO MONTHS OFF. You know what I did this summer? I took my ass to work Monday-Friday with an occasional use of PTO (paid time off) and TWO days home COMPLETELY ALONE. The week I had off....wanna know what I did?....Went to Sarasota to attend a never-ending class in Advanced Group Therapy!!!

So, you see....Rescue 911, Marathon Driving, Birthin' of Babies, and Life in Canada....seems to be a walk in the park. So while you poke out your lips and go to school this FOOTBALL SEASON...Remember there are others who never STOPPED going to work....OR may not have "work" to go to.

Count your blessing and drink plenty of alcohol on the weekends. :)

p.s. my passcode isn't working....so i'm anonymous.

The Counz

Sun Aug 03, 08:29:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Counz,

Your password probably expired from lack of USE! Hey, trust me, when I start complaining about all these basass children, I won't expect (and won't receive) any sympathy so it's a two way street. But you're right, I do count my blessings and although I SOUND like I'm ungrateful, I'm really not.... :)

Sun Aug 03, 11:10:00 AM

 
Blogger Woozie said...

I'm sorry, I was distracted during the entire post by your cute doggie-woggie.

A word of warning though, we had a puppy once. Only once. Motherfucker annoyed the shit out of us, pissing and shitting all over the house and what not. I am never getting a dog under 1 year old again.

Sun Aug 03, 10:02:00 PM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Wooz- He started out shittin' in the house but since Alphie goes outside, he's starting to catch on early (thankfully!!) He's still pissing on newspaper but he's getting better....damn mutt!

Mon Aug 04, 07:52:00 PM

 
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

take that damn Broncos jersey off my "Juice" !!

Mon Aug 11, 03:47:00 PM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Hey man, you know where here loyalties lie...in DENVER! She may talk like an A.T.Alien, but she's still a Broncos baby fo sho!!!

Mon Aug 11, 04:59:00 PM

 
Anonymous Slick said...

Now that is a summer full of surprises. Looks as if you stayed TOO busy!

Did ya'll start back yesterday?

Tue Aug 12, 10:18:00 AM

 
Anonymous moo said...

you're right- I am going to kill you!

moo

Wed Aug 13, 09:16:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Slick-

Yeah we started on monday and I'm already hoping for May to come as quick as possible!

Moo-

That's for all the years of, "Imma tell on you!" :)

Wed Aug 13, 02:33:00 PM

 

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