One month party

Tuesday was the one-month mark for me in New Orleans. I threw myself a celebratory nap and then ate some Oreo Cakesters and crossed my fingers that I would be able to go back this week.

 
Not so.
No power.
Still Sunday.
Daggers!
There are, like, 200 buildings here. Two of the only four damaged buildings on campus are schools of Social Work and Public Health. Those are the kinds of odds I live inside.

Yesterday the Grampies (that’s plural for Grandparents) left for North Carolina to check on the house-for-sale and hurry back before Hanna, Ike, Josephine and Unnamed threatened Flordia again, so I had to relocate. This put me on the road to Jackson, MS at 4:30—FOUR THIRTY—in the morning. It was a gloomy ride. Honestly, I haven’t seen the sun in days and I was passing busloads of Mississippians who were being escorted back to their coastal homes.

I was totally jealous.

The thought of not being home for another 5 days, along with a lack of Starbucks on Mississippi highway 49, along with being awake in another country’s time zone, along with not being able to get out from under the clouds of Gustav for the life of me, I almost cried. Almost. But it being so early and all, I slipped into a coma instead and pulled over for an hour and a half at Cups, and espresso shop.

I am now safely in Jackson, coma free, and staying with Sprinky’s sister’s nanny family. Strange? I know, but they offered and I said yes. I wanted to see Tulane’s shelter at Jackson State and also check up on Christy.  She just moved here last month and is still figuring things out. Together, we have located an Indian restaurant, a cute coffee/smoothie shop and a bike trail. Saturday we’ll be going to the circus. I do what I can.

Thanks to all the friends and fam who offered to host—Lawlers, Pam, Dian, Elaine’s friend’s sister.  It’s heartwarming that people love to love.

 
I should be home on Sunday.
Notice I’ve started calling NOLA home? My crazy grandma (the famous one) pointed that out to me.  Home. It has a nice ring to it.

PS- Baby Lil turned 5 months this week!

Oh man.

My dad is learning how to text. He called me tonight and said it took him 25 minutes to text “Are you watching the Olympics?”

I told him I think its hilarious that he had a blackberry before they were cool and didn’t even know what it was, figured out how to “wink” and “poke” and find a wife on the internet, but is just now learning to text. Dads.

Okay. Down to business. Yesterday I got back from Florida. Sometime between last Thursday and now, I forgot that New Orleans was my home- I kept thinking I was going back to Indiana. Even worse, no one here knew I left, and no one knows I am back. I went all day today without talking to a single person except Navigon. To her credit, we had some great conversations about how to get to Target and Wal-Mart and the importance of u-turns. I eventually tabled the issue as she was getting edgy through her passive aggressive use of the words “Please” and “When possible” and “Now” but it was great to hear her voice. At 7:30 I realized Navi wasn’t actually a human and started calling real people. I just felt like someone should know where I was and what I was doing.

Then I came home to the cardboard cutout of SJP. She was glad to see me, I could tell by her stare. Her eyes were saying, “Welcome home. You look fantastic.” I wanted to have some coffee and tell her about Florida, but her legs don’t bend and she can’t handle liquids of any kind. So I settled for Subway and the weather channel meteorologist.

I feel like a stranger in my own life. Especially when I am in Wal-mart or Barnes & Nobles and get caught up in produce or magazines and walk out expecting to see Jefferson Point, but instead see the New Orleans skyline. I typically gulp and wimper and suck it up. But it is an awful 2 seconds during the realization.

Earlier today, I went to the uptown campus to find out about the job (the lady was gone) and must have arrived right at the beginning of welcome weekend or something. There were a million undergrads everywhere all fresh-faced and cute and hopeful. There were parents and little brothers and looks on their faces like, “This is my best friend, Sue. I just met her 5 minutes ago.”

I could have cried remembering that feeling—although my family never actually moved me in, it was the Broadheads—but seeing Elaine and Sprinky on that first day and thinking I was going to die when I got a load of Sprinky’s blues clues bedset. Hello? Blues Clues! Then making instant best friends with everyone, and switching friends, like, every 3 weeks until we found our places. I just loved it. Even things like Cara threatening to rip out people’s ovaries for being too loud in the lounge. Even that. And Jill tearing my shirt, and Sprinky killing Jill’s hermit crab, and Elaine saying inappropriate things to Millenium Bear in her sleep, and all of us making Helen pee her pants in the middle of the night; stealing all the shower curtains, Crazy Lena firing me in my sleep. Honestly, I could go on for 4 years.

This afternoon, already reduced to conversing with my navigation device and a cardboard cut-out of SJP due to lack of readily available friends, I couldn’t help but feel unbelievably jealous and nostalgic for my college friends and the intimacy of life together—literally, next door from each other. Now I am just a way older version. With less fun. And less energy. And less metabolism. And less friends. Boo.

My good friend said I am good at collecting people and that I’ll have plenty soon.
I said I USED to be good at it, but that I didn’t think it was my thing anymore.
She said it’s who I am.
I told her I was too worn out for social awareness. Those types of things take a lot of emotional energy and motivation, which I had in abundance at 19.
At 27, I feel very comfortable settling for 25 Oreos and America’s Next Top Model at home by myself.

Us as freshmen- you guys will love this:

Hausser

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Me, Chuck, Steph, Beth, Trish

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Making Koolaid

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Finding moldy koolaid (we thought we had created a jellyfish)

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Bball- I miss this! Team sports are the best.

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Bethany (the person and the dorm :)

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Valentine’s Day- I actually got called off this shirt

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Millenium bear- the giant stuffed bear my grandma sent me for Christmas. Not quite how she envisioned us using it…

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Family weekend

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Twister in Bethany lounge

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Sprinky and the Bethany lounge mantel

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Miss you guys.
Love you guys.
(This whole college thing just isn’t the same without you.)