San Diego Vs. Michigan

Oh man, Michigan. It is… a place. I caught a couple turtles, that was cool. Roman candles, wow. I would do that again. And…. Ugh I’m sorry guys every time I think about Michigan I just think about mosquitos and they are kind of totally a DEAL BREAKER.

Environment

IMAG1063Above all else, Michigan in summer is green. If you want to know how green Michigan is, throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party and then jam a green marker in your eyes. Because of the San Diego curse, the weather I experienced was fairly comfortable, ranging from slightly cool to fugly muggy.

These things are all fine but MOSQUITOS. The predominant environmental feature of Michigan is mosquitos. They are the reason Michiganians can deal with the fact it snows all the damn time because at least the mosquitos are FROZEN DEAD. They lay their eggs, crawl into a hole, and DIE. (Actually some of them hibernate. Actually no thanks I’m going home, bye.)

In San Diego, the weather is temperate af and we don’t have hordes of bloodsuckers.

Winner: San Diego

Wildlife

Ok, there are adorable turtles in Michigan.

IMAG1137There are cute little frogs. There are fireflies, which are the most magical bug I will ever see in my entire life.

But there was also a spider which I will call the “Detroit Tarantula” which lives in wood piles and which you narrowly warn your girlfriend about before it can eat her fingers, injecting a nasty poison that will make her itch with the fires of 100 mosquito bites and her limbs gravid with their own blood. (I am making this up but look at this spider, coin for size comparison, and don’t tell me you think it looks cuddly and nice. It is an evil bug, no doubt about that.)

IMAG0989In San Diego we have most of the same things (in smaller quantity), our spiders are cute in comparison with that demon, and we have a lot more lizards. But we have, very, very few mosquitos.

Winner: San Diego

 

 

Explosive Factor

IMAG1131Fireworks 10/10 they are not overrated. There’s this little instruction on your roman candles that say do not hold while lit — lol yeah right, definitely hold them while lit and point raging fireballs over the tops of the pine trees, chortling with glee.

In San Diego, you do not get to hold the fireworks. You have to pay something like 60 bucks to go to Seaworld, hang out with a bunch of oversized fish all day, and then strain your neck uncomfortably as you stand and watch them crackle above your heads, far in the sky.

Winner: Michigan

Food

In Michigan, you will wonder to yourself why you are eating at Denny’s all damn day. Every place is just basically Denny’s. White Castle is fucked up — the burgers are square and disturbingly grayish (but I gobbled up 3 just the same).

In San Diego we have burritos. Enough said.

Winner: San Diego

Winner: San Diego

San Diego wins. In San Diego, I can leave my front door wide open! You know why? Because there are no mosquitos. In San Diego, I can piss in the bushes without getting 43 bites on my left thigh. Same reason. In San Diego, I can wander around in the brush, completely covered (or not) and not get 67 fucking mosquito bites on the tops and ankles of my feet just because I didn’t feel like strapping my boots on yet again.

I am never going back to Michigan.

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Festival Packing List

A festival must-bring: tuna salad with crackers. Looks like sparkling cat barf, tastes like home sweet home.

A festival must-bring: tuna salad with crackers. Looks like sparkling cat barf; tastes like home sweet home.

Things You Bring But Never Use

  • 4 extra friggin shirts
  • 2 extra friggin blue jeans
  • Book for “downtime”
  • Pee funnel
  • Towel

Things That Prove You’re THE MOST Prepared

  • Toilet paper
  • Extra headlamp
  • Hot pink duct tape
  • “Portable bowl” (sandwich box from dollar store) and spork
  • Parasol
  • All of the sunscreen
  • All of the zip ties
  • Like 17 carabiners
  • Magnets to put up decorations / MOOP bags on your tent walls
  • Solar powered string lights from Amazon so you can find your tent at night
  • Hand sanitizer AND
  • Wet wipes AND
  • Mini spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol

Things You Took Out of Your Duffel at the Last Second (and Wish You Didn’t)

  • Dust goggles because this isn’t Burning Man
  • Dust mask because this isn’t Burning Man
  • Your extra zebra-print furry coat that you could have totally loaned to the shivering cutie you met at Ego Trip

Things You Forgot

  • Re-usable drinking cup. Shoot.
  • Scissors. Dammit.
  • Earplugs. FUCK.
  • Air mattress. FUCK FUCK.
  • Your super comfy galaxy-print leggings. 3X THE FUCK.

Things You Say You’re Going To Bring Next Year

  • More mixers. Way more mixers.

 

OK Hippies, You Win

I know, I know, I forgot to post last week. I was halfway to Mexicali when I remembered and I contemplated posting from below the border, but roaming data is something ridiculous like $15/MB.

Mexico

Anyway, the fog of fever has cleared, and I’ve thought about my life choices. Namely, that binging on Del Taco after several days of dried figs, almond butter on whole-grain bread, and kombucha is not what my body needs.

That was after my trip to SF, where I spent a week with a vegan. My body promptly responded to the Del Taco feast with the “horizontal cold” in which I spent 36 complete hours horizontal. I used several of my coping mechanisms, in part because I had less than 2 weeks to heal up for Mexico.

I did it; I healed it like a champ, blew out the last of my snot the morning of, and hopped in a truck packed with people and camping supplies. I am not intending, by the way, to write much about my trip. Normally I’m happy to exploit the fuck out of my friends’ fun-times for my blog but this is an instance where I’m a little too romantic about the whole thing and will keep most of those memories to me, myself and my diary. I will say (again) I encountered two scorpions and killed one of them. Over and over again with a rock. Then I shook with primal bloodlust, murderous joy, and sadness for its death.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America. She took a picture before killing it because she’s thoughtful like that.

The first thing I did when I got home from my treacherous camping trip was not, as I usually do, chuck my belongings in a discreet corner and procrastinate hygiene for a nap-crash. I shook out my sleeping bag and put it in the wash, I went into the pool to (remember what cold felt like and) buff out some of the dirt, I brushed all of my sister-wives length hair, I showered, I actually moisturized, I cleaned my room… Civilization was so much easier than everything I’d been through in Mexico that I might as well do chores.

And I ate. I did not stop by Jack n’ the Box on the way home. I made myself a plate of oranges, eggs cooked in minced garlic and onions, and baby bok choy. I ate carrots and prunes and drank water. I ate a spoonful of coconut oil. I ate hippie bullshit food, and I loved it.

For Mexico, I had packed garden burgers, Dave’s Killer Bread, and avocados. I didn’t do these things because I wanted to eat like a rabbit. 1. Garden Burgers are good cold and don’t spoil like regular burgers, 2. Dave’s bread tastes great even if it’s been sitting in the sun or if you massage it with your knee somehow whilst crawling into your tent, unlike other breads, 3. Avocados are the best food. Full Disclaimer: Katelyn helpfully packed me tuna salad + cracker snack packs, which I discovered contain FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, which I discovered is actually sawdust, and which I enjoyed anyway. Other than that, I ate wholesome things, and people fed me wholesome things, like vegetables.

I don't know why I took a picture of my cooler before my trip, but I'm glad I did because this thing is the most badass motherfucking cooler and you need to know about it. I had the last cold beer in Mexico.

I don’t know why I took a poorly-lit picture of my cooler before my trip, but I’m glad I did because this thing is the most badass motherfucking cooler and you need to know about it. I had the last icy cold beer in Mexico, and it came from this cooler.

I’m beginning to understand that eating good food isn’t just helpful for [insert sappy body and health-related reasons that I don’t care about because I’m in my 20s], but also makes for better partying. If I’m always eating healthy then I’m basically in a perpetual state of detox and can tox’ it up that much more. In Mexico on the first night I drank probably 1 flask of Jim Beam (I filled it twice but I spilled much of it on the rocky trails and in my friends’ mouths) and a few Tecates and I woke up not hungover. Now, that’s just anecdotal evidence but, I’m convinced.

My granola crunchy friends aren’t just getting into healthy diets because the universe and everything and love. They have landed on a formula. They are giving their bodies nutrients instead of Taco Bell and are rewarded with endurance and energy. I was trapped in a vicious whiskey / crunchwrap / gatorade cycle just trying to survive ’til next Friday. Now I’m enabling my liver to handle more abuse, and I’m so excited for that.

Next thing you know I’ll be aligning my chakras and reikiking my (uh…?) and whatever to party harder. You win hippies. You win for now.

 

 

 

The Curse

I am in San Francisco. It is fucking beautiful. It is the Curse.
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Like all true San Diego natives, I bring the weather with me wherever I go. I went to England in the summer (which is actually a shit time to go, weather-wise) and it only rained once in three weeks: the day I was leaving. So, this morning it is sunny, 65 degrees and warming. My phone’s weather icon shows 53 degrees and cloudy, but it’s wrong: I’m in a bubble of perfect sunshine. Just as I was yesterday. Just as I will be tomorrow.

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This is a Curse because it keeps us San Diegans naive about the world. We start thinking we can do things. We start thinking we could live in other places. Yesterday I started thinking I should live here. We walked out of the tenderloin. We walked through the Castro, and Haight Ashbury. We walked through the Farmers Market at the Civic Center where a yellow sign promised its daily presence (rain or shine!) and we bought and ate strawberries the size of apples. Then we went to the Mill, where racks of homemade bread filled up the place with that smell of racks of homemade bread. We went to the Rainbow, for which my only reference for similarity as a San Diegan is Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s also has a community board, but the Rainbow community board is actually used, with letters to and from the staff about BPA in receipts and why fruit ripens faster in bags. I waited for Katie to get out of the bathroom next to a bag of bat guano.
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I didn’t think I was the kind of girl who could sit in a park and drink Kombucha, but we sat in Dolores park and I drank my first Kombucha. I thought to myself, this isn’t a bad fucking life. On a sunny Tuesday, parks back home are deserted but here, there wasn’t a person less than 10 feet away no matter where you sit. A man, possibly homeless, played “Three Little Birds,” which could have been irritating because it’s too obvious, but I thought to myself that he is self-regulating, he is getting a needed dose of happiness. He is soaking up this sun and pumping serotonin through his brain, dancing as he sits and singing along and pretending he is connecting with the people around him (they’re ignoring him).

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At home we have plenty of crazies. I don’t see them often, because I don’t go downtown ever, but I know they’re there. These SF crazies don’t look at me twice just because I’m holding hands with a pretty girl. They look at me twice (rarely) because I’m a pretty girl, but not because I’m queer. I watch a man hold a fluffy white rose for another man to smell. A girl with buzzed hair smiles gently at me, knowingly.

I remind myself that every day isn’t like this. I remind myself grittiness is tasty in small bites, but I’ve never lived through a whole meal of it. I remind myself that back home I am disturbed by the crazies. San Diego perfect weather is relentless. San Francisco sunshine is just a little bit delirious. I know I can’t live here because in my heart of hearts I know how inconsolable I get on a “blustery” day. I know this, but the Curse tricked me into thinking I can do these things. So I am waiting in Katie’s apartment for her to get back with moleskin for my blistered feet, waiting for these 600 mg of Ibuprofen to kick in so I’ll go numb to my aching legs. It is quite lovely here, but I know it is only a vacation, and that I’m a San Diego princess, and goddamn why did I walk like 5 miles yesterday?