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Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh Boy

Well, they're not going to let Boy George into the country to tour. Sigh. A great lost for all of Americans. I'd wear a black arm band to protest, but I'm much too lazy to go find a piece of black material...cut it into arm band...I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Instead I will sit in the dark and listen to "Karma Chameleon" and "Bow Down Mister" until the neighbors complain. My only hope is that he'll be able to tour in the States in two years and then I'll be in the front row of the concert. Until then I'll just have to admire his talent for applying eyeliner (seriously, nobody does it better) and enjoy his music on my own.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why Now?

When do I leave the country? Except for a brief trip to Canada here and there, practically never. So why then are George Michael, New Kids on the Block (they only call themselves NKOTB because they feel stupid being called "kids" at 40-something) and now Boy George touring the U.S.? Answer: to be cruel. I would love to go to see all the acts on tour, but no, stick me on an island far away from society so I can't. I'd like to think that since all of George Michael's arrests came immediately after I got engaged and then married, that he was struggling to deal with the pain. That being said I do own some lovely real estate known as the Brooklyn Bridge. In my sick mind I can rationalize that it was too painful for NKOTB (especially Jon, he was my favorite) and George to tour with me out of the country because it would be too painful to see me now.

But really I'm owed a NKOTB concert. I did go to one as a kid, but at the height of their popularity my cousin, who as a former drummer for a band, (no need to mention which one--think 80s), had backstage connections and said he could get me backstage to meet the NKOTB. So I go to school and tell all my friends because my cousin's mom is telling me, "No problem." And of course, instead of being happy for me, the girls all get an attitude with me. So as the date of the concert nears (it was in January) and I'm drooling in anticipation, his mom calls to say he has just been promoted at work and that's his first night taking over the new job and it wouldn't look right...blah, blah, my heart broke, blah, blah."

So naturally half the people I told felt bad and the other half thought I made it up. Fast forward a few years to a funeral in 2005. I hadn't seen said cousin for a while since he had moved across the country. Meanwhile, every time the band was mentioned in the last decade, I bring up the heartbreak of that story. So, at the funeral he asks my mother, "I wonder if she remembers I was supposed to take her to a new Kids concert and had to cancel?"

My mom held her tongue and said, "You know, I think she might," which was the politically correct version of, "She only sullies your good name anytime you or the band is mentioned. And you're lucky she's showing restraint right now or else you'd find your brakes cut."

However, seeing as it was a relative closer to him than me, I didn't claw his eyes out because I am classy and reserved that way. Oh, but the pain will never die.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who Has a Parade at 10:30 at night?

When we first got here we were told to explore the island and, "don't worry, you can't get lost on an island." Lies. You can get lost on an island especially when they have detours that take you down teensy tiny streets with no street signs and no indication if it's one way and, if it is, which way you're supposed to go. We've had a few issues trying to navigate around those narrow streets, but thought we were getting to know our way around. Then came Sunday.

One thing about this place is there's always a Portuguese holiday and there's always a festival. So on our way home from exploring some volcano rock (I used to go to museums, now I look at steaming rocks, what's wrong with this picture? And does my insurance cover volcanic eruptions?), we found the road we needed to take blocked by a festival. It was ten p.m., and this place doesn't believe in adequate street lights, so we took a tiny, narrow road, ran into traffic confusion (if it's a one-way street, how about marking that and letting you know which way it goes?) and, a half hour later finally found a main road to help us get back home. We thought we were home free...until we came upon a parade blocking the next street. Who holds a parade at 10:30 on a Sunday night? Back to the tiny side roads and gritting my teeth as we nearly sideswiped walls.

Since there are hardly ever street signs, it took us forever to get back and, without decent street lamps, we couldn't even see the part of the island where we were. When we did get back I started thinking that this was my kind of culture. Festivals all the time, parades that only start after dark, stay up late and sleep in...I might just fit in here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Moving Where?

When I first found out I'd be moving to the Azores my response was, "Where is that?" I'm not a geography master, but I had never heard of it. I even misspelled it when I tried to "Google" it. Then, when I finally found it, it appeared it was right off the coast of Portugal. I imagined myself taking a little ferry over to mainland Portugal twice a week where I could shop and wander around the downtown wearing fabulous European clothes and heels. Then I was at a furniture store and looked at a globe. Apparently much like mapmakers like to stick Alaska and Hawaii at the bottom of the page as if they're south of California and within yachting distance of each other, the map I saw was off...900 miles off. There is no way to take a ferry from the Azores to Portugal unless you have a death wish. So I found out the cruel reality that I was going to live in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

As for me wandering around downtowns in cute outfits and shoes? The downtowns on the island have hills and cobblestone. I, who once only owned one pair of sneakers (a pair of Sketchers I only bought because they were cute), now live in a pair of sneakers. I watch in amazement as the Portuguese women navigate the cobblestone streets in stilettos. It had become a sick goal of mine to walk the streets once in heels without breaking an ankle. The initial goal was to do it without breaking or spraining an ankle, but I'm a realist.

So I hope you'll check in to see how I'm handling island life.