Category Archives: alabama

I’ve Lost Total Control Of My Life

Have I already written a post titled that? I feel like I have. And if I haven’t, I’ve absolutely thought about it.

It’s because I’m dying.

13 days until this rotation is over. Hopefully (all my fingers crossed) it’s a little easier afterwards. Just a few more classes and a practicum left to complete. 101 days ’til graduation.

Anyway, a few updates:
1) Ben came to see me while he was visiting his grandparents in Florida a few weeks ago and it was awesome and I miss him every day.
2) I survived my first hurricane. Even though it was just a category 1 and hit New Orleans and Mississippi way more than Mobile. My power didn’t even go out.
3) I have a new boyfriend. And he’s awesome. So awesome, in fact, that when I was bummed about not being at Beaver Stadium with my family on Saturday, he made it better. I had class all day (yes, on Saturday… it was a make-up day due to Isaac) so I didn’t even get to watch the game. But when I showed up to his house afterwards, he was wearing a PSU shirt, had DVRed the game, and had a case of Yuengling in his fridge. Even though he’s an Ole Miss fan and we’ve been officially dating less than a month. Seriously, one of the nicest things anyone has ever done in the history of the whole world. This relationship terrifies me but I’m pretty sure it’s worth it.
4) I’m kind of loving SEC football because it’s crazytown and intense. However, I know next to nothing about it. Case in point… three teams I thought were in the SEC that actually aren’t: Baylor, Florida State (I really should have known that), and Oklahoma (don’t ask me why I thought they were). Also, I still don’t care one way or another regarding the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry.

I’m so damn happy that football is back. The joy of watching someone catch a pass in the end zone is always way more intense during the end of August and beginning of September.

And a few of us got two parking spots for the USA/Nicholls State game this Saturday. First crazy tailgate of the year! Although, since I’m used to Pitt and Penn State games, this is gonna be a bit of a different experience. All you have to do to get parking spots is claim them and pick up the passes. Same for tickets. That’s unreal since I’m used to the competitive unavailability of these things. I mean, South Alabama is still Division I (as of this year, haha) but like half as many kids go here… compared to Pitt, at least (and its 1/3 compared to Penn State). Lord knows I’m gonna be drunk and cheering my face off though, so that part’s the same. I have school spirit in all situations.

Except when Pitt continues to embarrass themselves season after season. I will totally stand by a team to the end if they suck just because they suck (go Buccos). But Pitt sucks because they call terrible plays and throw terrible passes and fumble around like idiots. Consistently. Every season. I refuse to stand by that. If you’re theoretically supposed to be good but still end up sucking, that’s not ok. Get your shit together.

I’m kind of ashamed to have gone there now. Especially amongst all my SEC friends. I think I’m just gonna pretend that I’m not a Pitt grad from now on. If someone’s ever like “Hey Liz, didn’t you go there?” during the humiliating ESPN highlights (which I’m still boycotting, BTW), I’ll just be like “Umm… what?… No…” because that’s totally convincing and not shady so it’s gonna work.

In other semi-related sports news, I’m obviously absolutely happy that the Pirates might be able to slide into the playoffs… even though it’s actually been looking kind of grim as of late. I’d seriously cut off my left hand if it meant that this would come true though. Every time someone posts a status about being at a game or a picture of PNC Park, my heart breaks a little. Up until this summer, I’m pretty sure I’ve gone to at least one game a year since it opened. There are pros and cons to every major life decision.

And I know that on Sunday night when the Steelers play, I’m probably gonna put on my Polamalu jersey and curl up on the couch in the fetal position and be really freaking sad because it’s not the same.

TLDR: Despite not having posted for almost a month, nothing’s really changed.


This Is How You Send Me An OkC Message That I Definitely Won’t Respond To

I like a lot of what your profile has to say. I only worry a lithe thing like you might be too active for a homebody like me. I’m not a paleontologist but I wanted to be one when I was seven and amazed everyone with my knowledge of dino-names. Soccer is boring. but so is football and baseball. I’m all about stupid jokes, and in Alabama we canoe. Kayaking is a good way to tip in gator-water.Halloween is my favorite Christian holiday, but I never got a taste for beer. Been wanting to try some Christmas beer though.

Ok… pro tip: If you’re trying to get someone to like you/respond/hang out with you/etc, you don’t want to emphasize the things you don’t have in common. Eventually those will come up, of course. But, right off the bat, you don’t want to be like “Our lifestyles are different in these 500 ways.” You’re supposed to emphasize why you’d get along/be compatible/have fun together/etc. and include maybe one or two things that are potentially conflicting. Because it’s almost equally as annoying when a guy is like “It sounds like we’re the same in almost every way!” That threatens my sense of individual identity. And also makes the guy sound like he probably has no personality of his own. And also makes him sound like he’s a huge pussy who spends his life overbearingly trying to please girls and make them happy which is maybe the single most annoying trait to find in a guy.

Let’s break this down:

“I only worry a lithe thing like you might be too active for a homebody like me.” Your supposition is probably correct. And that makes you sound lazy and boring. Don’t message me.

“Soccer is boring. but so is football and baseball.” Soccer is my LIFE and football is super important, too. And it’s very clear from my profile that I’m a huge soccer/football/sports fan so if you actively don’t like them, you know that we’re not going to have a lot of things in common. Don’t message me, lazy/boring/non-sports fan.

“…in Alabama we canoe.” That’s not true. In Alabama, I’ve gone kayaking more times with Alabamians than I’ve gone canoeing with Alabamians. Don’t message me, lazy/boring/incorrect/non-sports fan.

“Kayaking is a good way to tip in gator-water.” Universal truth: canoes are easier to tip than kayaks. This guy OBVIOUSLY does not get out much because everyone knows that. It’s SO DIFFICULT to tip a kayak. You really have to be trying. Also, this makes him seem like he’s the type of guy who never shares drinks with people for fear of getting their germs, and always drives the speed limit for safety reasons, and never has any fun ever if it involves even a 1% chance of something bad happening. Don’t message me, lazy/boring/even more incorrect/unadventurous/anal/uptight/anxious/non-sports fan.

“Halloween is my favorite Christian holiday but I never got a taste of beer.” Those are two unrelated thoughts. Put them in separate sentences. And Halloween is not really a Christian holiday anymore and it actually has Pagan roots that predate the Christian influence. So, anytime someone refers to it as such, my opinion of them is immediately a little worse. Also, if we say that the #1 pastime/interest in my life is comprised of sports and being active, then it’s true that good beer is a close #2. Why point out that you hate everything I love if you’re trying to get me to respond to you? This guy probably orders a vodka cranberry at the bar. Don’t message me, lazy/boring/even more incorrect/unadventurous/anal/uptight/anxious/non-beer drinking/non-sports fan.

We obviously wouldn’t have a shred of affinity for one another.

I guess he did technically start off with, “I like a lot of what your profile has to say.” But when normal guys send a message, they expound upon that part instead of the negatives.

Easily one of the worst messages I’ve ever gotten. If that’s how this guy tries to get a girl to be interested, he’s gonna be forever alone. Also, EVERYONE wanted to be a paleontologist when they were seven. I forgot to include that part up there.

1st & Goal

I’m straight up addicted to football.

And I never realized this until the relocation because football in Pittsburgh is a 24/7/365 sort of thing.

Even if it’s the offseason, people in Pittsburgh are still incessantly talking about it so it kind of never goes away.

In Alabama, it goes away.

Being in State College and talking about the Steelers with people who know shit about the Steelers has totally thrown off my “survive until the end of August” game plan.

In semi-related news, going a whole summer without at least one night at PNC Park is going to be the death of me.

I’m probably beating a dead horse with these posts at this point.

This is the theme of nearly all of them: I love Alabama, I miss Pittsburgh, I love Pittsburgh, I miss Pittsburgh sports, Alabama is definitely different from Pittsburgh, I’m happy with my life, I’m unhappy with my life, and/or what the hell am I doing with my life…

Dating In The Bible Belt

OkCupid in Pittsburgh is a good way to meet people and have fun and I had moderate success with it last fall.

OkCupid in Mobile is confusing. Dating in the bible belt isn’t gonna work for me. I knew that in February but I decided to try again to fill the recently reopened void.

Real answers to real questions from real people:

Q: Do you think homosexuality is a sin?
A: Yes I think it is a sin if we define sin by the bible because it does say that but I don’t have a problem with gay people. I have gay friends and honestly think gay marriage should be legal. So yes I do think the bible considers it a sin but it also says the same about lieing or breaking mans laws such as speeding and we all sin I mean… We are human.

Q: Do you believe contraception is morally wrong?
A: Morally, yes. But until it is time for a ring, contraception is a must.

That second guy listed sex as one of the 6 things he can’t live without.

At least they’re trying?

And I respect people’s right to different opinions. But I can’t date people with different opinions like those. Especially confusing/astonishing/mystifying opinions.

I’m a 54% match with almost everyone here. In Pittsburgh, it’s rare that I’m below 75%.

But then again, OkC really does attract the weirdos no matter where you are. For every one good guy on OkC Pittsburgh, there were 30 weird ones. So maybe these guys aren’t really representative of all the eligible men here. But being that I don’t have time to really live a life outside of nursing school, it’s my only option.

In my dream life, I meet a guy during summer kickball and we fall in love and live happily ever after. In my real life, I’m hesitant to sign up for fear of the Alabama heat. And the fact that my summer clinical schedule is yet to be determined.

I think I’m also just having a weak moment. Because last week at this time, all I wanted to do was be single. But then there was the altercation with the ex. And now I’m broken and lonely all over again.

Really, I don’t even want to be with someone in a relationship. I just want to flirt with someone. And watch superhero movies on the couch with intermittent periods of making out.

In the 24 hour period between Monday and Tuesday night, I watched Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor by myself. And drank a fifth of whiskey (that probably happened in 12 hours or less) by myself. And at the end of this week, I’m probably going to go see The Avengers by myself.

Forever alone. Lolo Jones is my inspiration for being able to embrace and then publicly admit these things.

While trying to console myself by looking for New Orleans apartments on Craigslist (because I know for a fact that NOLA men are better because I’ve experienced it), I found out that during my whiskey palooza I was looking at apartments in Austin. What the hell, subconscious?

I mean, to be fair, I have more or less decided that Austin is what comes after New Orleans. Austin is where grown-up liberals who like hot weather and good music and a laid-back atmosphere go to live. So when I’m a grown-up liberal, that’s where I’ll be. But the 25 year old version of myself is headed straight to NOLA until I’m ready to act like I’m 28.

Sadly, drunk Liz was apparently skipping ahead a little bit on Monday night.

Ugh. I just need to get back into my groove.

This is a perfect summary of my life leading up to the post-afterparty situation on Saturday night.

Except my ex isn’t an innocent feeble old man. And I don’t have the power to have anyone thrown out the window.

The Frozen Concoction That Helps Me Hang On

Jimmy Buffet. You either hate him or you appreciate the ridiculousness for what it is and love him. I fall into the latter category.

The first line of Margaritaville is this:

Nibblin’ on spongecake

Best. First line. Ever.

That’s a sentiment I can definitely get behind. You know it’s gonna be an awesome song after that. Especially because the second line is:

Watchin’ the sun bake

Someday, I hope to have a swimming pool. Once this happens, I’m going to have ridiculous Jimmy Buffet pool parties all the time. Where everyone gets to booze it up. Obviously.

I hear Margaritaville at least once a week on the radio. Previously (i.e. pre-move), I’d heard the whole thing straight through maybe 5 times in my whole life. I don’t know if they play this excessively because I live near the beach and there’s definitely a relaxed Gulf Coast lifestyle that’s conducive to Jimmy Buffet listening or because Jimmy Buffet is from Mobile. It could be a combo of both. Either way, I’m not complaining. The fact that this is Jimmy Buffet’s hometown makes me love it so much more. If I didn’t physiologically need to move to NOLA, I would absolutely stay here. Maybe forever.

I love the radio.

And I love pop music. I know that’s blowing your mind right now. Especially because I used to be such a punk ass kid. After I get around to finally writing Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Part 2, I’ll write a whole post on how much I love Jason Derulo. Last year sometime, when I was listing all my current radio favorites (Whatcha Say, Ridin’ Solo, In My Head), someone mentioned to me that they were all by the same guy. I’ve never been the same since. It was an awakening. Plus, now there’s It Girl which is my current favorite song. The lyrics are DUMB AS HELL…

You could be my ‘it girl’
Baby, you’re the shit, girl
Loving you could be a crime
Crazy how we fit, girl
This is it, girl
Give me 25 to life

…but for some reason, Jason Derulo pulls them off.

And Fight For You combines my love for Jason Derulo AND Toto (Rosanna, Hold The Line, Africa). Sometimes, I just listen to Jason Derulo songs over and over, day and night.

Bruno Mars, too. Anything he touches turns to pop music gold, in my opinion. Proof:

He became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals and co-writing the hooks for the songs “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B, and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote the hits “Right Round” by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha, and “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan. In October 2010, he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Anchored by the worldwide number-one singles “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade”, the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
– Wikipedia

HE CO-WROTE WAVIN’ FLAG? I didn’t actually know that ’til right now. It was my favorite song for months and months during the summer/fall of 2010. On repeat 24/7. I mean, hell, even now I still listen to it way more than a person should probably listen to one song. And since I’ve acquired the knowledge that Bruno Mars had something to do with this, I love him 500x more… bringing my total Bruno Mars love to an astronomical level.

Plus, his performance at the Grammy’s was SO FREAKING GOOD. The man knows how to entertain. Goddamn. I’m about to watch that another 4 times in a row. I would catch a grenade for Bruno Mars.

Here are some other “atypically Liz” surprises:

I love Paradise despite generally being a Coldplay hater… sans The Scientist, of course. In my opinion, it was one of the greatest songs of the 2000s. Definitely top 10.

And I don’t even really hate Biebs as much anymore because the chorus of his new song is damn catchy. Although that whistle/hawk-sounding thing that plays over and over and over throughout it gives me a headache. And the verses are godawful.

There are a ton of good songs on the radio right now. Off the top of my head:
Call Me Maybe
What Makes You Beautiful
Good Feeling
International Love (I fucking hate Chris Brown, though)
Say You Like Me
Glad You Came
Rumor Has It
In The Dark 
Where Them Girls At

I could go on and on about my love for Beyonce also. But since you’re probably sick of hearing about my obsessions with select pop artists, I’ll spare you that. Still, I listen to Countdown at least once a day. And that video, like all Beyonce videos, is awesome. I want to be Beyonce. And Shakira.

Oye papi, vuelveme loca

…En serio.

I really need to move back to South America someday. Maybe that’s the step between NOLA and the return to Pittsburgh. My biggest life regret (aside from dating Matt for as long as I did) is not maintaining the semi-fluency I had after Chile. I’m sure it’ll be easier to pick it back up the second time around, but still… I should have kept going instead of letting my Spanish slip.

Anyway, all tangents aside, I feel lighter these days. And pop music reflects that feeling. So, that’s why it’s mostly all I’ve been listening to these days (aside from Rage Against the Machine because that’s good music for all moods). Mobile is a very healing place. I was thinking that maybe the peace was just due to leaving Pittsburgh in general or the nursing school distraction, but I really think it’s this specific place that’s responsible. If I’d gone to Chicago or something, I’d still be a bitter heartbroken mess.

If I had to do a campaign for the city of Mobile, I’d highlight the fact that it can basically be a sanctuary for people who are trying to escape emotional distress, huge life disappointments, severe shocks and unplanned events, general depression, etc. Good food. Good music. Good weather. Close to the beach. Not too big. Not too small. Not too busy. Not too laid back. Not too quiet. Not too loud. It’s pretty inexpensive to live here too. My apartment isn’t the nicest or newest apartment in the world but it’s clean and comfortable and it’s on a really safe and quiet street and it’s huge and only costs $475/month. The same apartment in the same type of place in Pittsburgh would probably be at least $200 more. And people consider Pittsburgh to have a relatively affordable cost of living.

Plus, with your free library membership at the Mobile library, they give you a keytag! If you want a keytag at the Carnegie libraries in Pittsburgh, you have to get the paid membership. To me, this is awesome. Because I hate having to pull the library card out of my wallet.

And Winn Dixie chicken nuggets are the best chicken nuggets I’ve ever had. Aside from the spicy ones at Wendy’s. But you can’t get those at the grocery store.

So… Need to get away? Don’t know what the next step is? Want to start over? Would like to reinvent yourself? Just feel listless and bummed out? Mobile, AL is your city.

Lord Have Mercy

Sunday was essentially everything I’ve ever wanted a Sunday to be. It was exactly how life should be lived.

Rachel’s mom was wearing a shirt that said, “Alabama girls know that sometimes all you can say is ‘Lord have mercy!'” I love southern moms.

For a good portion of the day, we just sat on their pier and fished but didn’t catch anything because it was the middle of the day. But it was still a damn good time. We were drinking a little too. A mix of quality beer and cheap beer. Like Blue Moon followed by Busch Light (which I’d never had before in my life) followed by Sweetwater 420 followed by PBR. It was 89 degrees and sunny. Love.

Then we ate. Every backyard BBQ I go to down here is amazing. The food is better than any BBQ place you can go to up north. We had magically delicious wings, ribs, and burgers. And the best baked beans I’ve ever had in my life. And hushpuppies and fried okra. And a ton of other stuff but those were the highlights. Plus, it’s just nice to sit at a big table full of people and feel happy to be alive.

As far as I can tell, all southern dads have their own “secret BBQ recipe” that they’re super proud of. It’s so funny. But damn, that pride is totally justified. You don’t know how good food can be until you move to Alabama.

Then we went blackberry picking. The goal was to get enough for a cobbler. Unfortunately, we didn’t. But the experience was still a dream come true.

I stepped on the edge of a fire ant colony by accident and got stung on my foot and ankle couple times. The ants are kind of hard to remove quickly. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I imagined it would though. But the little red bumps are still outrageously itchy 4 days after the incident.

I love new experiences. I’ve had a lifelong uneasiness about fire ants because they always seemed really vicious on the Discovery channel. But now I know that they’re no big deal.

One activity I refuse to ever experience is noodling. Rachel’s dad asked me if I wanted to do it and I was like “No way.” Then he said the banks were full of catfish and tried to convince me it wasn’t that bad. Clearly the man doesn’t understand my aversion to live catfish. I do not want any part of my hand or arm to be inside of one.

I can’t wait to see a gator in real life though!

Here are some pictures that I took with my phone from the pier. Rachel’s parents live up a creek about half a mile from the actual river. Their place is really nice and the decision to build a house on the creek and not the river was a good one, I think. It’s so quiet and peaceful. But if you want to get to the river, you just hop in a kayak and you’re there. Added bonus: they’re only 30 minutes from the beach.

That’s Cricket. She gets super alert and barks like crazy whenever people come past in boats, canoes, and kayaks. She’s the queen of that part of the creek and won’t even let other dogs get on the pier. It’s hilarious.

Long story short: I want every Sunday of my life to be a backyard BBQ with fishing/drinking in the sunshine and blackberry picking. I have really minimal/simple needs.

I want Alabama and Pittsburgh to somehow become the same place. Or for teleportation to be real. Because then I could do things like wake up at my Alabama river house, go to the Buccos home opener (I miss PNC Park already) and end the day at Belve’s, then be back to sleep at my Alabama river house and go kayaking the next day.

Sweet Home Alabama: Part 1

Atlanta was nice. Some parts of it weirdly reminded me of Boston. Other parts were like no other city I’ve ever been in. The traffic was godawful though. That part reminded me of Long Island. It’s weird that I live close enough to Atlanta that I can just go almost whenever I want. I mean, it is technically like five hours away but that’s nothing to me. That’s how long it takes to get to Alfred from Pittsburgh.

On my way, I went to Dunkin Donuts and felt like I’d just reached an oasis after being in the desert for months. And I hit up Ikea too and got this bookcase. Ikea said two people were required to put it on the cart thing and to lift it in general, two people to assemble it, and two people to pick it up and put it against the wall after it’s built. Well, Ikea, you’re wrong because I did it all by myself. Like a boss. I am a one woman machine. It obviously wasn’t the easiest thing to accomplish and required a combination of brains and brawn, but it’s done. I definitely had to improvise because it actually is way way way too heavy for me to pick up. There was a lot resourcefulness going on last night. Willpower and simple machines and ancient Egyptian techniques. And now my living room is awesome and I was finally able to unpack the last of my stuff.

The advent of this new bookcase brought some furniture rearranging in the living room and then that led to complete furniture rearranging in my bedroom and then complete rearranging of my office area as well. This is why I live alone. I need to be able to change and live and react to all my whims. I can’t imagine being married and getting a new couch or something and then being inspired to change every room in the house and having to tell my husband, “Hey, we’re moving every possession we own to a new spot in the house today.” I don’t feel like compromising in terms of my living spaces right now. I do what I want because I am the queen of my castle.

After I get all the art hung on the walls and acquire some lamps and put the finishing touches on everything, I’ll post some pictures so you can see what it looks like even if you can’t ever visit! The bookcase was the last big thing I needed and now I feel like I’m finally settling in. I’ve transitioned out of the “I recently moved from Pittsburgh” phase and into the “Alabama is my home” phase and I’m in love with my apartment and my life here. I love this apartment so much that I kind of don’t want to leave (and probably can’t ever leave because it might take five strong men to move the bookcase out of here). But on the other land, I probably will want to upgrade to something a little bit nicer when I have an income (and I need to get to New Orleans ASAP) but there’s definitely something to be said for living cheaply. As long as you can make it homey and comfortable, you’re good to go. I just ignore all the cracks in the walls/ceilings and the old tiles in the bathroom and all the other things that come with an inexpensive apartment in an old building. If you renovated this place even a little bit though, it would be incredible. The hardwood floors are amazing and the windows are huge and the ceilings are high. It’s classic. And super spacious.

Anyway, the bathroom is the only room that’s completely 100% done and so yinz can see the pictures. Sorry about the bad quality in some of these and the fact that they’re not all the same size. I used my phone to take them.

The bathroom was honestly kind of gross when I moved in. The person who lived here before me must have been disgusting. When I looked at the apartment, I knew it was going to take some work but I’m so happy with how it turned out. This is the makeshift ventilation system I used when cleaning it. It effectively sucked the chemical air out. And spread the chemical air throughout my apartment. But at least the concentration was more tolerable and safer.

Here’s the shower curtain. I get to memorize capitals while I shampoo and such. But first I have to decipher them because they’re backwards when you’re on the inside.

This is the shower/toilet area.

Andy Warhol hangs on the wall.

This is the sink/shelf area. I don’t have a hand towel yet obviously. That’s what pants are for? Gross. I kind of feel like Foul Bachelorette Frog now.

Here’s a close-up of the shelves. I LOVE HAVING MY OWN BATHROOM. I finally have space to put all my make-up in a place that’s convenient to where I put it on. Dream come true! And I love the white shelf liner with light pink polka dots that I got. The only problem with this set up is that the little eye shadows sometimes get lost behind the bigger palettes but that’s such a minor issue that I hardly care.

Finally, here’s the elephant soap pump that I had to have.

That picture is also a good close-up of the weird pink paint that’s all over my bathroom. Whoever painted the bathroom pink did a very poor job and whoever painted over it did a very poor job as well.

Anyway, there it is in all its glory. My bathroom is everything I’ve ever wanted in a bathroom space. It’s relaxing, it reflects me as a person, and I have space for all my bathroom things.