I thought spring was supposed to be the season when animals and people get all twitterpated. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and romance/the instinctual need to procreate is in the air. But it seems like this year autumn is giving spring a run for its money. First it was my sister. Then I noticed a whole slew of single Facebook friends dropping like flies. And the other day I was confronted with yet another type of rather interesting news…my ex-boyfriend is engaged.
In movies they always make out that finding out your ex-boyfriend is engaged is some kind of soul-shattering experience, but in this case the relationship was ancient history and we haven’t spoken for years now. It was actually quite an amusing discovery! He has a Web page where he posted pictures of him in front of a waterfall getting down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend (who was dressed in top-to-toe spandex, but I will bite my tongue). It’s funny to see that he is still at least part of the guy I knew so long ago. The elaborate surprises and the need to pictorially document every aspect of his romantic genius were blatant. I texted Kelly to tell her and she asked how I felt about it. I told her I didn’t care at all, which was the truth. Better that other girl than me! I wouldn’t want my future child to have a fivehead anyway.
While I’m on the subject of romance, I should mention that Kelly’s back in England visiting her dear Mark again for two weeks. She left last Monday and will be coming back one week from this Tuesday. I don’t like it when she goes because I can’t talk to her every day! And if my cats hadn’t chewed through my computer microphone wire I could’ve called her cheaply on Skype, but so much for that. Thankfully, she’s the one person in the whole of the UK that I seem to be able to both send and receive texts without difficulty.
The last time Kelly went to the UK back in August I’d found this really cool web site that let me track her flight in real-time. But wait, folks, that’s not all…it was in 3-D using Google Earth! It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever found online. I just typed in her flight details, opened the link in Google Earth and it zoomed in to where her plane was at that very moment, and I could zoom all around her plane from every angle. How cool! So after she’d called me from Chicago to give me her flight information I punched it in and found her plane once it had taken off. I was at work, but every so often I’d open the window and see what kind of progress she’d made. I’d been watching it for several hours, but then when I came back from lunch and sat at my computer I saw the yellow line of her flight path–plunging straight into the ocean. I kind of sat there for a minute trying to think why it would show that, because it had always accurately reflected the plane’s altitude and I just couldn’t work out how on earth it could have malfunctioned since the data was being fed to the system directly from the plane’s gauge readings. Then I started worrying. I opened up CNN’s web site to see if a plane crash had been reported. It didn’t show anything, but I thought maybe I’d witnessed it before the reports had time to go to the wires. My heart was racing and I went to Adriana’s desk and had her come help me look. I showed her the yellow line in the water that should have shown Kel’s plane over the Atlantic halfway between the East Coast and the UK. We both looked at it and I showed her where she’d started in Chicago and where the line dropped off into the blue. Then, when I zoomed out so I could see London on the map, I saw a yellow line emerging from the ocean a few hundred miles East of where it had submerged, and then Kelly’s plane cruising along at a healthy height on its way to Heathrow. I felt so stupid, but also so relieved! I’ve never been a nervous flier, but I tend to get a little anxious when other people do. So, to save me some grief, pick a side, Kel!
Things down here in Fort Lauderdale have definitely been much better lately than they had been a few weeks previously. The car stuff is finally sorted out at last and it seems now that the only thing for it is to get a new one. While that should be fun and exciting news, I’m not looking forward to the whole ordeal of the negotiations and then the payments for who knows how long. I might just consider taking the public transportation around here. And while I’m at it I might take up crack as well.
Down round the Fort it feels like it’s been so busy! But busy in a fun way. Last weekend I went over to Adriana and her roommate Hilary’s place in downtown. We were going to get some drinks on Las Olas with a few of their neighbors and one of Hilary’s friends, Lauren, who works with her at Citrix in Consulting. We were getting ready to go out and Hilary’s friend called to say she was on her way and would meet us at Mango’s. But when she said goodbye it didn’t sound like she was saying ‘Lauren.’ When I asked her to verify she had in fact said Lauren, an unpleasant wave washed over me when she said ‘No, Florin.’ Oh crap.
I hadn’t told either her or Adriana anything about it because I knew Hilary worked with Florin, but mostly because it had only been a week of nothing much punctuated by an embarrassing faux break up. So I had to tell them and explain to them that it might be a bit awkward, particularly because even though I’d said we could try being friends we’d only seen each other once since then. He didn’t know I was going to be there either. I decided I wasn’t going to let the situation bother me.
He walked up to our sidewalk table at Mango’s when we were halfway through our hard lemonades, which was probably for the best. Luckily, it wasn’t awkward at all and we actually all ended up having a great time. Crisis averted! It was for the best I think, because when I saw him outside last week during lunch he smiled and waved as opposed to ignoring me like he’d done once before a couple of weeks ago.
This past Friday night was nice. I’d been asked by my supervisor to take a candidate out to dinner with another girl I work with. I’d met the girl in Orlando when I was there for the recruiting trip a couple of weeks ago and she was really nice, so I thought it would be fun. That, and we could go to a really nice restaurant for free! Score! We went to the Samba Room on Las Olas, which is where I’d been taken when I’d been down here interviewing in May. It had been delicious then, so I was really looking forward to it and had been building up a good appetite bordering on starvation all day so I could really enjoy it. I ordered a steak and I was really looking forward to it until they brought it out and it was covered in some kind of bleu cheese sauce. I HATE bleu cheese. It was awful. Everything on the plate was tainted with it. I found solace in the fact that dessert was coming up and it had been amazing last time I’d had it, but when mine came out doused with rum I was severely disappointed. I also hate dark rum. Aww. The really nice expensive dinner served by a fancy waiter with an accent like JFK was a big flop and I left feeling only slightly less hungry than I’d arrived.
After dinner I was walking along Las Olas with the candidate to let her get a feel for the area, when suddenly she pulled up short next to a garbage can on the sidewalk. It looked at first like she was spitting out her gum, but then I realized she was primly vomiting the contents of her stomach. I didn’t know what to do. When I asked if she was ok she was obviously very embarrassed and didn’t want to be a bother, but I was worried about her and told her I could go get the car and pick her up. She wouldn’t have it and wanted to keep walking. It was so bizarre. I felt awful for her and couldn’t really get any more information without seeming to pry. So now I can say that not only do I bore people to sleep while I’m talking to them on the phone (you know who you are), but I also induce people to vomit simply by being in their company.
Yesterday morning was so stunningly beautiful that I had to get up and go to the beach just as soon as I’d finished my coffee. I stopped off first to pick up a beach chair from Target, and I was amazed to see row upon row of Christmas trees, inflatable snowmen and plastic reindeer stocked from floor to ceiling. I know they must start stocking this stuff at the same time each year, but it never fails to startle me when I walk in off the street fanning myself from the Florida heat only to see penguins swaddled in scratchy scarves and fake trees lightly dusted with polystyrene snow flakes. And there I am, looking to buy a beach chair, and none are to be found anywhere. It’s Florida, people! I know the northern states are beginning to turn on the heat, but go peddle the coats and gloves to them and let’s keep the beach chairs in stock down here, savvy?
I did manage to find a lone beach chair stashed in the garden center, so with that I went to my favorite stretch of beach and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It is still a bit too hot for my liking, but at least the water had cooled off and it was so nice and cool. Adriana came to meet me and we stayed for a while. Too long, in fact, because my face and chest got a bit too pink for comfort. It all worked out though, because later Adriana, Hilary and I decided to take the water taxi from the Riverfront to Beach Place, and I blended in with all the other tourists.
I didn’t know what it would be like, but we had so much fun riding the water bus! It took kind of a long time to get there because we were going along the canal, which is a no-wake zone. It was beautiful seeing all the ridiculously expensive and opulent homes built along the water, especially since we left at 7:00 and got to see it all at sunset. The people down here have too much money for their own good. We saw Leonard Nemoy’s house, some concert pianist with a guest house shaped like a grand piano, the guy who owns the Miami Dolphins and his yacht with the helicopter landing pad on the back and some other 89-year-old guy with a palatial house on a peninsula surrounded by dozens of royal palms at $15,000 a pop. Oh, and he’s married to a 30-year-old. I’ve seriously got to look into house-sitting gigs at some of those places! I’ve never seen so many houses with massive yachts parked outside as if they were any old practical sedan.
We had a really nice dinner at this little seafood restaurant right across from the beach on A1A that had these two cute old Cuban men playing guitars outside. We were eating right on the sidewalk next to the road, across from which was the beach. The moon was huge and beautiful and shimmering over the water, and there was a small group of people sitting on the low wall across from us listening to the men playing their guitars. There was a man salsa dancing with his daughter who couldn’t have been more than about six. She was so cute…she was switching her hips like a pro while everyone from the restaurant looked on, dancing barefoot with just a skirt on over her bathing suit. It was just so adorable. The food was amazing too, as were the giant mango margaritas.
The rest of the places on the beach are really pretty touristy and I’m not such a huge fan of them. I don’t like the built-up parts very much at all. We went to this one place called the Elbo Room that’s supposedly famous because of its fabled Spring Break past before Fort Lauderdale banned the breakers. It was just a dive. We’d gone to a couple of other places and they were touristy, yet civil, but as soon as we walked into that place it was just wanton drunkenness and suspicious puddles on the floor. I’m happy to leave the holiday-makers to the beach and I’ll take Himmarshee for my evening entertainment. I doubt Elvis would approve of the state of things over there now, either.
Tags: beach, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Himmarshee, London, Riverfront, Travel, water taxi