Sunday, March 28, 2004

Dorm Sweet Dorm

I have returned to the comfort of my dorm room after my week-long adventure with my parents. Good Jesus, am I ever glad to be back in my dorm room!

Like everyone, I do miss my parents. But I only miss them enough to want to see them for a few days. I don't miss them enough to spend every waking moment with them for a week, and therein lies the problem with my Spring Break. My mother irks me to no end. She's fine for a little while, and then slowly but suddenly, I start to twitch with irritation every time she opens her mouth. I do this not because she's painfully stupid. She's a nurse, an educated lady. I do this because she ruins perfectly good silences with innane commentary about whatever is outside the window. I don't understand why people feel the need to fill every singly silence with such irritating noise. We are not a family of talkers, Mom. We never have been. We don't relate to one another. This is not helping! Don't get me wrong, the woman isn't all this bad. I'm sure the reason I find her so annoying is simply because she's my mother. She had knee surgery a couple of years ago, and suddenly during this trip her good knee began to flare up (probably as a result of having to favor it for so long). So I took care of her and iced her down and everything for the first few days, like the good daughter that I've always presented myself to be around them. And then, as soon as we had left the San Diego part of our trip behind and began our much too lengthy drive to Arizona, I was no longer forgiving of her gimpiness. Rather, she was irritating AND malfunctioning.

My father and I spent a good 5 days wandering around San Diego while my mother was at her AORN conference and not unknowingly making me insane. San Diego was not as sunny as we had expected, so it felt very much like being in the Bay Area in springtime. Only, not as foggy. We went to the most amazing Wild Animal Park and the less amazing San Diego Zoo (which I cannot believe is so "world famous" in comparison to the Wild Animal Park, considering the sheer size and quality of the enclosures for the Zoo animals--so much smaller than expected). My father, sailor that he is, took me to every single Naval base in the San Diego area--and there are at least 4 of them. He drove me around the SD Naval Base, showed me places his ships were docked and where he had stayed and etc when he was stationed there. We drove to the North Island base on Coronado and all through the island. He bought me things. Because Daddy loves me best. (And the base is dirt cheap for all kinds of things. Where else in the world are you going to find Converse All Stars for 20 bucks a pair?) We drove around downtown SD looking for my father's old house, and finding a baptist church with the following sign on the marquee:

"Under same management for over 2000 years."

Our adventures also led us to SeaWorld one evening when the park was closed to everyone but AORN conference goers. Fun times were had by all as we rented my mother a wheelchair and I pushed her around the park at high speeds. It was essentially 4 hours of hopping from one show to another, with a free meal somewhere in between. But SeaWorld also contained the most awesome event of the entire vacation: I fed a dolphin. And got to pet him, too. This is me getting one step closer to being able to actually swim with one.

The drive from SD to Arizona was long and warm and a lot of me trying to read while my mother pointed out how dry everything is. ("Yes, Mom. It's a desert.") I got a sunburn from the UV rays penetrating the window. I was not happy. We got into Arizona very late that night, and got to stay in the swankiest cheap hotel ever. I highly recommend the Wellesley Inn & Suites. The best hotel you can get for $80 bucks a night (and thats for 3 people). I spent the subsequent two afternoons at baseball parks for A's Spring Training. My team lost both games. (Adam says I must have brought them bad luck.) I had to spend about 3 hours each afternoon in the hot sun. Barry Zito was not pitching (which is why we really lost). And I didn't get any autographs. Bah. If I'm going to spend 3 hours at a ballpark in the sun, not get autographs, and not get to see Zito pitch, then I may as well do it at my own ballpark! No more driving to Arizona for me! Besides, games are much more fun at our park in Oakland anyway. Ten times as exciting. (And garlic fries.)

I tried to convince my parents to drive all the way from Phoenix to Santa Barbara last night, but they gave up around Malibu Canyon and forced me to stay in a janky little inn where I had to sleep on the floor with no extra blankets or pillows because they didn't have any at the front desk. This is what I get for asking to stop and have food. Which is funny, because I thought my punishment for wanting to eat was having to eat in this creepy little middle of the desert cafe. It was the kind of place that, if my life were a movie, would have been run entirely by the dead. Or, if my life were a different movie, dead cowboys. So, needless to say I am glad to be back in SB with my roommates, because here I have a bed and sheets and blankets and pillows. And as far as I know, I have not yet been served food by a dead person.

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