Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flying the Un-Friendly Skies with Nige; featuring my bucket list

*I drafted this on Monday, but didn't fine-tune it until now because I have ADD and stopped taking my adderrall 10 years ago.  Sorry, folks.  

"Oh, Alexandra." my mom purred disapprovingly as she playfully yanked my pony tail. Please do make sure you get a haircut when you get back to California."

"Ok, Mother!" I snapped back exasperatedly.  

"I'm serious!  Also, do you think we should look into seeing if there is some sort of special rehab group rate we can get for you and your friends?  You all drink entirely too much!"

I rolled my eyes and laughed as I always do when my mother delivers one of her unparalleled one-liners.  But my tolerance for being treated liked a 14 year old had begun to wane after 9 days at home.  Sure, I'd perpetuated said treatment from my mother as I do have a tendency to revert back into a 6 year-old teenager whenever I go to Newport, which is a place I equate to Never Never Land.  I'm fairly certain that I'll still be sneaking out of my room at the age of 40 to meet my friends (who I've known since before I was born - that made no sense, I'm glad you caught that) to drink copious amounts of alcohol by the ocean whilst playing games of Truth or Dare and Never Have I Ever until the wee hours of the morning.

And so it is on this almost unbearable workday monday morning that I find myself cringing as I sit lifeless in my cube, as visions of guzzling beachcombers and slurping clam chowder dance through my head.  It almost seems as though last week was only a short-lived dream.  Jesus, I must sound like an asshole.  Apologies.  I had a rough night last night - and I can finally say with clinical certainty that I suffer from aviatophobia.  That's right - my name is Alexandra and I'm an aviatophobic.  (Need some backstory?  Scour the Toe Pick archives, I've written about my experiences flying the friendly skies with US Scare multiple times)

My flight from Rhode Island to California is always excruciatingly mildly unpleasant but last night's flight was downright terrifying.  I was forced onto the plane against my will by my fed-up mother boarded the plane already shaking like a chihuahua feeling uneasy and tired from a week of partying. My eyes were swollen from my tearful farewell to my dogs, and remnants of mascara stained the skin beneath them.  I poked my head into the cock-pit as I always do and commanded asked the pilots to "drive safely."  I glanced down at my ticket as I made the poverty march past all the idiots in first-class.  There it was: Seat 46E.  T'was the middle seat in the very last row betwixt 2 middle-eastern men.  (Don't take that the wrong way, I am just relaying my observations.)  As we prepared for takeoff I could feel my heart race to the point of near-protrusion from my non-existent chest. I clutched my armrest (consequently knocking my neighbors arm off of it) and began to breathe heavily and obnoxiously as though I was participating in a special Olympics Lamaze class.    

Both of my neighbors shot me some pretty frightening side glances as I looked up and audibly silently freaked out as the plane jolted and jerked its way into the air.  "Just to warn you both, I have an intense fear of flying."  I managed to say to both men.  "Ahhh.  You'll be okay," one of them responded to me and for a split second, his rancid halitosis made me forgot about the fact that I was trapped in a tanning bed 74562743 feet in the air. The first half of the flight was a blur.  I tried to focus all of my attention on my US magazine but then realized that the turbulence was beginning to worsen whenever I got to an article involving a cheating scandal or Jay Z and Beyonce's imminent break-up.  I immediately assumed there was a direct correlation between the heightened degrees of turbulence and the salacious articles and shoved the magazine in my bag, vowing not to read it for the rest of the flight. 
oh, hey everyone else sleeping.  i'm about to have a nervous breakdown.  enjoy your naps, assholes. (this is from a couple months ago, and might be the only time i wasn't seated in the bathroom)
About halfway through the flight, the turdulence (let's call it turdulence, because it is quite capable of scaring the shit out of someone) became too much to bear - even reading a Cosmo article entitled The Top 9 Best Hand-job Techniques to use to Please Your Man couldn't distract me from it.  I began to sweat and gasp as I tapped Hali (this is my name for Halitosis man) on the knee, motioning for him to let me out.  I stumbled 4 feet past the bathroom and began to cry as I asked the flight attendant if everything was going to be okay.  He half-assedly (is that a word) promised me it would be and I assumed he sensed my dissatisfaction with his bullshit, piss poor reassurance because he then asked me if I'd like to talk to the pilot.  Let's just say the next 20 minutes consisted of me on the flight attendants' phone asking the pilot inane questions about flying and how it works. "But, like so - the plane can't like, drop of of the sky right?  Why do you think Amelia Earhart's plane went down?"  

The turdulence subsided and I finally went to sit back down after making a pit stop in the bathroom to splash water on my face and to take note of the weird palish greenish color I had turned.  About an hour later - the plane began to shake.  "We're going to be headed through an unexpected storm - please take your seats and fasten your seat belts," he warned.  The storm happened to coincide with us flying over the Rockies, which made for some extra fun.  It was as if God was having a sneezing attack whilst simultaneously seizuring (is that a word).  Even Hali looked scared.  "OHMYGOD, WE ARE GOING TO DIE!! AHHHH!" I screamed.  People turned around and looked at me, their faces illuminated by Virgin's signature purple mood lighting.  I disregarded the captain's orders to remain seated, unfastened my seat belt, stood up and ventured to the tail end of the plane in hopes of garnering more comfort and reassurance from the stewardesses.  "Sit down NOW!" one of them scolded me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. 
Flying the unfriendly skies and looking utterly beautiful while doing so
"Flight attendants take your jump seats!"  the pilot yelled.  Tears rolled down my face as I thought about all the things I've wanted to do and stop doing in my life but haven't gotten around to due to laziness and lack of adderrall procrastination.  I vowed that if we ever made it back to earth I would write these things down in list-form, partly to entertain you but also for my own personal reference.

Long story shart, the plane landed. People clapped.  I'm alive.  I sincerely hope I don't cross paths with anyone on that flight - especially the flight attendant who said to me "In my 15 years of doing this I have never seen someone with such an intense fear of flying."  So here's my bucket list, so to speak.  

1. I will finally buckle down and write a pilot or a book based on toe pick.

2.  I will call my brother who is mad at me and tell him I am sorry for making him mad.

3.  I will get my hair cut and my Jack Nicholson eye brows reshaped.  Also, I will wear less make-up and stop posing like this for fuck's sake:
4.  I will finally take a speech class to try and remedy my tendency to verbally draw out my sentences. (like, seriouslaaaay)

5.  I will start accepting dates from guys, regardless of their over-use of LOL.  Moreover, I will stop being so picky when it comes to dating.  

6.  I will volunteer at the ASPCA, stop eating meat and be more tolerant of cats.  They are people too!

7.  I will quit living in the past and future and shart living in the present.  Fuck me, I sound like Dr. Phil.  

8.  I will Stop headbanging so aggressively and bring it down to a light head toss or gentle sway.  (I'm too old to be playing risky games with my neck - that's what she said?  fail.)

9.  I will actually listen to people when they're telling a story instead of daydreaming about haribo gummi bears and whoever I have a crush on in that moment

10.  I will read more CliffsNotes books.

11.  I will move to New York while I still can.

12.  I will tell the people I love that I love them more often and I will try and be more accepting and tolerant of the ones I don't.  Also, I will continue to be in denial won't sweat it when people don't like me - they're not entitled to their opinion.  

13.  I will marry Tim Riggins.

14.  I will smile at people more. 

15.  I will stop playing practical jokes on my beloved sister but will forever cherish the time I flung creamed onions in her hair over Thanksgiving a couple years back, thereby duping my grandmother and other proper people in attendance - pretty sure they thought it was the other white sticky substance.  
Sorry, Elizabreast!

 16.  I will try harder to not piss my parents off like I did 15 years ago when we lived at the Virginia Military Institute:

This is from my 10th grade scrapbook. 

17. I will see a doctor and get Xanax for my hangovers the next time I fly. 

Ok. Bye.  Have a nice long weekend, worms. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Tribute to Robin Williams

As you know, we lost Robin Williams yesterday.  I can vividly remember watching his stand-up a few years back and being in complete awe of his raw talent, his improvisational abilities, his energy and his sheer light.  He was walking effervescence and a true comedic genius. Addiction and depression are two very real, legitimate illnesses.  They have held some of the most special people captive as evidenced by the deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams, among so many others. This morning I read an article about Robin Williams and his battle with addiction and depression.  I became infuriated when I read several ignorant comments posted by truly daft, uneducated people who foolishly sought to undermine the influences that these respective diseases can have on a person unlucky enough to be tormented by them. Their power is 100% indisputable. Addiction and Depression are both characterized by chemical imbalances.  To those of you who dispute this scientific 
FACT I implore you: Wise up, get your head out of your ass, do your research and show some compassion for fuck's sake. You're smarter than that.  Imagine what it must feel like to sink so deeply into despair that the thought of simply waking up in the morning is unbearable.  Just imagine that. When people like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams succumb to addiction and/or depression it isn't selfish, it's heartbreaking.  This is my first and only rant I will post on Toe Pick because I obviously like to keep things light around here, but I wanted to address this subject because it's something I have and always will take very seriously.  Ok, onto funnier stuff:

Mrs. Doubtfire is my favorite Robin Williams movie.  In it, he showcases his depth as both a comedic and dramatic actor.  He makes you laugh and he makes you cry.  He simply makes you feel.  It's one of those movies you can watch 27514 times and never become sick of.  Holy shit, I sound like Siskel or Ebert. I wanted to post this entry I wrote about 3 years ago (as evidenced by the blurry Blackberry photos and mediocre writing) as a tribute to Robin Williams and this amazing movie:

Daniel awkwardly poses on the famous stairwell on that fateful night.
It was a cool San Francisco night.  My friend Daniel and I found ourselves meandering down Steiner street after deviating from the crowd at Perry's.  As I went to adjust the straps on my cute new Anthropologie platforms I stumbled and realized that they had been replaced by size 12 Cole Haan Air Nikes.  I became confused and disoriented as I struggled to accept the fact that I cannot hold on to a pair of shoes for longer than 3 weeks.  Disappointed, I peered up and saw a large, beautiful, tall, structure that I had grown to love and become very familiar with, and I am not talking about Daniel. I was in the presence of something much greater than my Nike Cole Haan Dilemma. Before me stood the MRS. DOUBTFIRE HOUSE.  I immediately kicked my Cole Haans aside and embarked into free style of the opening scene song by House of Pain “Jump Around Jump Up Jump Up and Get Down..."  Somewhere during the free style I managed to get my camera out and began snapping photos.  The dancing stopped abruptly when the front door opened.  Not sure if I would be arrested or awarded for my dancing I stared sheepishly at two individuals who appeared to be the owners of the house.  "Haaay! I yelled. This is the Mrs. Doubtfire house, correct?"  The young gentleman confirmed this and I asked politely if my young apprentice and I could take a peek inside.  He motioned for us to enter.  I was elated.  Something came over me as I set foot inside.  After probably about 48 viewings of this classic film I finally felt like I was coming home.  Daniel (Daniel Hillard, I presume?), in a somewhat altered state and unsure of his surroundings asked the young couple for a glass of water.  I proceeded to host an impromptu tour of the house all the while recapping set design scene by scene.  That's right, I was giving the owners a tour of their house.  Daniel served as the ideal model to bring life into the photographs.  After I gave the couple a tour of the downstairs part of their house I began ascending the stairs in hopes of catching a glimpse of the infamous bathroom where Joey Lawrence's little brother discovered Mrs Doubtfire is "a he, hes a she she's a he she" (aka Me and Leila Ann's fave scene).  Turns out the young couple did have some boundaries, they forbade me from going upstairs and Daniel and I took that as our cue to leave.  All in all, it was one of the breast nights of my life.  Here are some pics of this very famous house.

Daniel's face is blurred in order to protect the innocent

As I hold this cold meat, I am reminded of Winston.

Same kitchen (this is the young man who let us in)

Recognize this?  Its the famous stairwell the children march down before they are about to meet Mrs. D.  (Same carpet!!!)
A compilation of photos from my visits to the Doubtfiya house over the years
This whole experience reminds me of the time I drove around the city for nearly 4 hours to find the real Full House house.  Mission: Accomplished.
that's me; the house has certainly fallen on hard times

tool. see- I can't keep track of my shoes.

The Doubtfire house this morning:

Rest in peace you magical creature.