Two finals: done.
What I did the rest of the day: Went to the beach and Rachel’s mom fed me again and then we went shopping again.
The beach was AMAZING. It was the whitest and finest sand I’ve ever seen and felt. And the water was SO CLEAR. It was the clearest ocean water I’ve ever been in. You can SEE THE SAND beneath the water as the waves roll in. And not just at the tide line, but farther out than it seems possible to see sand underneath the waves. Plus, in Orange Beach where we were, there’s a sand bar and this means that the water up to the sand bar is the most awesome blue-green then the water on the other side of it is the most awesome pure blue. And since the sand bar is infinitely long, that’s all you see along the whole beach. It’s amazing. The Pacific Ocean is a vast epic cold gray thing and I’m totally blown away by it on principle and the first moment I was in it was a life changing one. The Atlantic Ocean is seaweedy and and blue-gray and it’s what I’m most accustomed to in terms of what I expect an ocean to be. But the water in the Gulf of Mexico is pure heaven and it’s exactly what I think happily ever after must feel like.
Therefore, I’ve decided that this is my new habitable zone:
I can’t thrive in any other environment. And yes, that area was graphed with precision. I’m taking this map with me when I buy my first house. The realtor’s gonna be like “So, I’m about to show you a house that fulfills all your needs AND even includes absolutely everything on your wish list including an indoor rollercoaster AND it’s in your price range, but it’s two feet outside of your habitable zone,” and my reply will be “Do you want me to die?! Show me another house.”
Anyway, the shells on Gulf Coast beaches are better too. The tide line in the sand is like a wavy river of shells. Full of things like intact crab exoskeletons (which I picked up) and snails that are still alive in their shells (which I played with). It felt like kindergarten all over again. Sheer wonder and amazement. And the fact that Rachel majored in Marine Biology and worked at a sea lab for years made the experience even more amazing because she could tell me what everything was when I didn’t know.
I found my very first sand dollar today. I’ve seen and held them before when other people have brought them home from vacation but I’ve never actually acquired one on my own. To me, sand dollars are basically the only thing that could ever make me believe in God. I don’t see how there would be any evolutionary advantage to having such a cool looking skeleton. You’d never believe it used to be an animal because the design is so beautiful. Something out there in the universe must have thought this one out.
Sand dolla dolla bill y’all:
That’s not mine. I found a picture on the internet for you in case you have no idea what I’m talking about.
Anyway, I’m not the first one to feel spiritual around sand dollars. Some idiots made up a “cute” religious-type myth surrounding these echinoids. It’s basically the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Although, I do like the good will and peace part. That’s a universal thing.
This isn’t to say that I don’t love the “doves” on the inside though. But I love them because they’re sand dollar JAWS! Sand dollars have five of them for crushing food. Awesome. I love biology.
I also collected little bits of coral that get picked up and drift in from the Caribbean. I’ve never even held coral in my hand before today. Also, it’s amazing that it comes all the way from the Caribbean. I love how the earth works. It makes me feel so full of life. Little pieces of coral that used to be alive getting caught in the currents and washing up on beaches so far away.
More about coral… SAVE IT. Destruction of a coral reef = destruction of a living organism and also the backbone of an ecosystem which supports all kinds of other organisms.
It’s crazy to me that something like coral is alive. Again, I love the earth. The fact that all of this exists is extraordinary. We’re just on one nanoscale rock on the edge of the universe but this little inconsequential planet is so full of amazing life. All the physics and chemistry that had to occur in a certain way to make this happen is astonishing. We’re really lucky. I hope you know that. We’re really lucky to exist and be able to experience this.
Do more to protect the earth. Please. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll write an extensive blog about Evangelicals and environmental protection. It’s something that’s been bothering me for quite some time and has become even more bothersome since I moved to Jesusland.
What I’m also doing tomorrow is going back to World Market to get some rugs during their 50% off rugs sale now that I’ve measured floor space in various areas around my apartment. World Market was another first for me today. BEST STORE EVER. It’s basically the only place I want to shop for the rest of my life. It’s like someone went “Hey, let’s take everything that appeals to Liz’s aesthetic tastes and put them in one location.” Plus, it’s not outrageously expensive. They currently have an India theme going. You know how much I love elephants (and places I’ve never been but dream about going regularly). I was kind of flipping shit. I’m most likely going to end up buying more than rugs tomorrow. Like this. And only $7?!?! That would be like $40 at Pier 1.
But basically, to sum this all up, I can only live in a place that’s within 1 hour-ish of a good Gulf Coast beach, 20-ish minutes of a World Market, and 30-ish minutes of someone’s mom who will feed me red beans and rice until I can’t move anymore. The experience has been too good for me to be able to ever go back to my old existence.
Sorry, Pittsburgh. We had a good run. And I loved you more than I’ve ever loved a place before. But now I found a place that makes me happier and I have to move on.