The Scamp Hates Packing

I hate packing. Hate hate hate it. Most of clothes are currently in my shower. Yep. The shower. What isn’t there is littering my floor, stacked outside my room, and generally reminding me that I have only nine days left to get everything organized before I leave for Spain and then return to Scotland. I have three boxes packed so far and about six more to go.

I’m overwhelmed and stressed. I still have so many things that need to make it into a box. Things like shoes, bags, pens and bathroom supplies, chapstick, my wallets, rubber ducks, and family photos.

I have no idea where all of this stuff came from, and I have no idea how I am going to get it all to Scotland….or when. I want the packing and moving fairy to come and take care of everything for me so I do not have to. I’m going to have to buy the apartment I am hoping to rent so that I never have to move again. Not having a car makes things a little more challenging, and I know that everything will come out alright, but in the meantime, I am tired, and very, very overwhelmed.

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The Scamp and Memorial Day

“Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.  — Daniel Webster

The Scamp and Scottish Fest

While I should be soaking up the last few days of American culture, I was amercing myself in my new culture. It was a great way to spend a Sunday. Clans were lined up in booths, there was jewelry and  trinkets from Scotland, scotch tasting, sheep herding, and of course, highland games. People were decked out in kilts and their clan finery, and it made me excited to go home.

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I’m not so excited about all of the packing that I have to do. I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I have so much stuff that needs to go, and it is more than I thought it would be originally. I’m so overwhelmed that I have no idea where to start or what really needs to get done.

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 21

This is all about summer.

There are a lot of things about summer that I am grateful for. Summer is usually when I have the most time off. The time when I can lay by the pool everyday, wear shorts and sandals, and enjoy the fact that my mom has three months off without school.

Summer=time to recharge

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This year summer means Scotland. Summer means traveling, adventure, and then going home after two very stressful years. I’m still worried about what will happen when I get to Scotland. I’m worried that my apartment will fall through and I will have to look again for a place to live. I’m worried about sending my stuff on to Scotland, and having clothes and shoes that are professional enough for work, but fun enough for vacation. I’m worried about finding a job when I get there, and being able to afford all of the upfront costs of the visa, my rent, food, and phone and internet.

I am looking forward to summer though. Summer in Scotland is something that I have yet to really experience. I’m excited for the festival, excited to sit in the park and read a book, excited to watch the military tattoo. I’m excited to hike up Arthur’s Seat and not get caught in the rain (or a snow flurry). I’m looking forward to sunny days to explore new neighborhoods, reaclamating to Scotland.

I have 11 days left in the US. Tomorrow I will start packing and get ready for the move, and for the trip to Spain. I’mm not looking forward to this part of the process. There will be tears…lots of tears, for all of the shoes that I am going to have to leave behind.

The Scamp and Some Queens

This has been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I have a lot to say, and each needs to be its own post. I’ll start with The queens. No one loves drag queens more than I love drag queens. When I lived in San Diego, I was a frequent guest at Lips for Gospel Sunday Brunch, bitchy bingo, and two bachelorette parties. When RuPaul started RuPual’s Drag Race seven seasons ago, I was hooked. It was America’s Next Top Model meets Bad Girls Club. I had no idea that they taped the finale in Los Angeles, so when my favorite queen told me he had an extra ticket at the last minute, I cancelled my plans to lay in bed in my pjs all day to go see three queens lip sync for their life.

It was every bit as magical as I hoped it would be. Everything about the day was great. I got to spend some good quality time with my ride or die, his friend who was also a drag queen enthusiast was a blast and a half, and everyone that we met while waiting in line, and once we made it into the theater was great. The 18-year-old girls standing in line behind us made me feel old, and were the strangest groupies that I have ever met, and the group of 40-year-old men trying to look 20 in front of us laughed at my jokes, and provided some very colorful insight into how they thought the finale would play out.

Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Once we got into the theater, we got to watch the queens walk the red carpet, pose for pictures, and do interviews with Logo, and online blogs and fashion sites. Following the red carpet, the queens all went into a makeshift bar and lounge where they took pictures, chatted, and mingled with the guests. Of the 10 or so that we talked to, only one was bitchy. Everyone else was so fun and nice. Many of the girls made their own dresses, and some even offered advice about how to take a proper photo with a drag queen (Always have the flash on, and always put your arm around their waist). Ivan and Katie were starstruck, so while I snapped as many photos as possible with them and the queens, I failed to actually get myself into any of the photos.

Pearl, Violet, and Ginger Minnj, the Season 7 finalists. Photo courtesy of I. Noe

Pearl, Violet, and Ginger Minnj, the Season 7 finalists.
Photo courtesy of I. Noe

By far the best outfit of the night.  Photo courtesy of @rupaulsdragrace

By far the best outfit of the night.
Photo courtesy of @rupaulsdragrace

Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. This bitch stole the show with her opening acts.  Photo courtesy of @thebiancadelrio

Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. This bitch stole the show with her opening acts.
Photo courtesy of @thebiancadelrio

The taping was an interesting experience. As this was my first time ever being at a show taping, I was not quite sure what to expect. It was a bit strange to tape all of our reactions to different events before the taping even started. We laughed, we cheered, we looked shocked, we looked sad, we held hands and danced with the people around us….all before we ever saw any of the performances, or the show officially started taping. When the actual taping started, it was a lot of fun to see RuPaul try to read off cue cards, for the queens to lip sync their songs, and to see what their friends and family had to say about them making it this far in the competition. There was even a celebrity in the audience. To be honest, I thought she was one of the drag queens when she came in, but she was nice enough, and seemed very normal…a very drastic change from her usual public persona. It was quite nice to see her that way.

With goes to show you how tall RuPaul really is. Miley Cyrus is 5'4 Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

With goes to show you how tall RuPaul really is. Miley Cyrus is 5’4
Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

Posing with the Season 7 contestants. Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

Posing with the Season 7 contestants.
Photo courtesy of @mileycyrus

I cannot wait to see the finale all edited together when it airs next week. I’m team Pearl all the way, but Ginger Minj made a strong showing, so it is anyone’s game. Here is a video from the walk down the red carpet for all to enjoy.

The Scamp and the “C” Word

Of the 15,500 obscure words in the dictionary for the International House of Loggorrhea, 1,317 words start with the letter “C.” Of course, if you take into account the simple, ordinary, everyday words, I am sure that the number is might be about 8,000 or so words that start with the silly little inconsequential letter “C”. Some of my favorite words start with the letter “C”….cat, chicken, cactus, can, courage, compassion, but there is one word that starts with the letter “C” that I just cannot stand.

Cancer. According to dictionary.com, cancer:

noun

1.

Pathology.

  1. a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites.

any disease characterized by such growths

Word Origin
C14: from Latin: crab, a creeping tumour; related to Greek karkinos crab, Sanskrit karkata
Cancer sucks. Nothing ever good comes from the word cancer. All that being said, cancer and I have become good friends these last couple of weeks. It was not my choice to become friends, but cancer decided to move in with the one person who means the most to me in this world. Now, this is not the first time that my mom has battled cancer, and the sad thing is, it probably won’t be the last time, but it does not make it any less scary with each time that she has to go under the knife. She has given up quite a bit of nonessential space to cancer over the years (I mean, who needs lymph nodes, or a uterus, or even one of your auditory nerves?), and now she has to give up part of her leg to skin cancer. She has been largely silent while dealing with this, and I honestly went back and forth about whether or not I should make her struggle public. The thing is, writing about it helps me cope. I’ve written about horrible break-ups, deaths, being bullied, being expelled, dealing with horrible, soul crushing depression, so to write about my mom’s cancer seems only natural because it helps me cope.
I’m with my mom everyday. I can see that she is not dying, and I have a feeling that the doc will be able to scoop it all out tomorrow, and other than no longer being allowed to sit in the sun, my mom will be no worse for the wear. Logically, I know all of this to be true. There is still a part of me that is worried that they are going to take the leg, or that the cancer has spread in the month since they found it and are going to remove it. I’m worried that she keeps saying everything will be fine because she doesn’t want us to worry, when in reality, it is really bad. I’ve spent the last three years trying to learn to not borrow trouble before it is due, but it is times like this when I am sitting alone, it is late, and I have way too many things that need to be done, that my mind wanders and I start to think of all the bad things that might happen. It is times like this that I question my choice to move so far away. If she has to go through chemo, there is no one to sit with her and play scrabble, or make bad jokes. If she gets worse, there is no one here to make sure the house stays clean, to cook meals, and to watch bad reality TV with her. It would take me almost 24 hours to get home if something really bad happened. It makes me feel selfish that I am going off on this big adventure and doing something for purely selfish reasons when she could need the help here.
I already know that she would tell me that is ridiculous. She has my dad to help her, and she will be just fine. Well, I’ve been in the car with my dad, and I know how long it takes him to cook a meal, so things might go as well for her as she hopes….just saying.
While I am always a little bit afraid (okay, a lot a bit afraid) of the “C” word, I am also exhausted, and frustrated by it. How much more is one person supposed to take? When does my mom get a vacation from the health issues? Why can’t the cancer go bug someone else? Shoot, I’d take it this round instead of her. I can see how tired she, how ready she is to not have to deal with things like this. It makes me mad that she is carrying this burden, and for the most part, she is carrying it all by herself.
Since the procedure is not at the hospital, I am going to stay home and man the phones while she is at the doctor’s office. My time will be better spent here anyway. When she had brain surgery, it was the longest seven hours of my life, and we were camped out by the little room they took people into to tell them their loved ones had died. It was stressful. At least at home I can grade papers, watch TV, do yoga, and be distracted enough to keep my mind off things.
Tomorrow, I am hoping she goes into the doctor’s office with two legs and come out with 1.9 legs, laughing in the face of the skin cancer. I’m going to try and find local pet stores that sell parrots, just in case she comes home down a leg, and would like to transition into her life as a pirate immediately. I’d imagine it is hard to get your hands on a parrot, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
A couple of weeks ago we had new family pictures done, and despite my mom’s hopes for normal, I think the photos capture us (and her cancerous leg) quite nicely.
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You can see a person’s whole life in the cancer they get.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

I guess well educated sun goddess is a pretty accurate description

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 20

This week is all about friendship. I get to pick another friend that makes me feel grateful. The first one I was grateful for was my cat, Odin. He’s my favorite companion and he means a lot to me. Even as I try to get this out, he sits on my lap and drools all over my leg.

True story, here we are, me trying to write, him trying to figure out a way on to my pillow

True story, here we are, me trying to write, him trying to figure out a way on to my pillow

This week is hard only in the sense that I do not want to have to pick just one friend. Lately, all the ones that really matter to me have been amazing. Between baked goods and heart felt letters, to phone calls and reminders that I will be missed, and that I am loved, snarked with me, I am really feeling like I have made some good choices of people to have in my life. This was a good lesson for the week because in addition to being done with my job, and having to get serious about the packing, I have planned a little goodbye party. It is my last chance to see everyone before I go, and since this time is a little more permanent than the last time I left, I am taking it way more personally that some of the people that I have known for years are blowing me off. I’m not so sure why in a see of “yes” responses, I am letting the one or two “nos” really bother me. The wonderful thing about the friendships that I have made, is that when I voice this fear (and I have been moaning about it a lot), my friends have assured me that I am loved, and have reminded me to focus on the positive. These are the people that I cannot wait to Skype with, the people that I hope will come visit me, and the people that I know will be in my life for a very very long time.

and for that reason, and because the cat found his way to my pillow, I am going to refuse to just pick one friend that I am grateful for. Instead, I am going to look through the pictures on my computer, the photo album in the bottom of my nightstand, and my external flash drive from five years ago and take a walk down memory lane with some really good people.