Question 1:

Question 1:

So the other day I asked my followers on facebook what they would like to see me write about on the blog and what questions they had for me, so now I am taking the time to respond to them … Continue reading

Roofies, let’s talk about them.

*** TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!*** This post talks about Abuse, Violence and Drug Use.

Least to say my first New Years in San Diego was a little interesting, as most of you know I work in the service industry as a host and lo-and-behold I was closing New Years. For most people in retail working New Years Eve isn’t the most terrible thing on the planet, generally you get to close early and really you can still go out for at least a little while even if you have to work early the next morning. In the restaurant when you work New Years you generally are gong to be at work until 3-5 in the morning depending on the laws regarding bar closing times in the area you are in. Also on how fucked up the Bar got because you gotta clean it.

So it’s was a pretty insured bet that I was going to see some shenanigans and sure enough they started creeping in slowly which more than quickly escalated into fully blown dance party. With in no time the DJ had the place bumping, people were REALLY getting into the dancing (if you can call some of it that *cough*TMI PDAs*cough*.) Mostly it was just a lot of “Yes you can order drinks at the bar or with a server”, “no you cannot bring your drink outside,” “No, I don’t mind working New Years Eve.” “Yes, I am being sarcastic.” But soon things started getting a little *too* exciting when a girl suddenly collapsed at the bar and became completely unresponsive. Then another girl dropped, also unresponsive. My mind of course automatically went into wonder wonder woman mode, getting someone to get water, bringing the second girl a puke bag (at least she was puking,) and taking every ounce of self control I had not to kick her boyfriend out of the bar for disorderly conduct. That self control got seriously tested when he started yelling at her and slapping her cheeks to try to wake her up, I completely lost it after I watched him pick her up from the chair and drop her on the floor. The police stepped in and dragged her away and then he had the nerve to tell me what was going to happen. I promptly told him off, and felt rather okay with the fact that he promptly got arrested for grabbing an officer and trying to rip her out of their arms.  Now as a few of you know when I was living in New Orleans I was roofied and it was terrifying, but it also gave me some insight into what roofies were and what they looked like but more importantly how to deal with them.

When I was roofied in New Orleans it was intense, but thankfully I am really in tune with my body and could tell within ten minutes that something was very, very, wrong. I took a sip of my Redbull and Vodka and cringed, it tasted salty which no alcoholic beverage should taste like unless salt or olive juice or something similar is used in the making. My first reaction was to ask Brian if it tasted funny to him, he took a super small taste and didn’t really notice anything unusual, I took another sip and put my drink on the bar. Within five minutes (now up to 15 minutes after the initial dose) of placing the drink on the bar it felt like my entire world was falling out from under me. There was absolutely no way one drink had gotten me that screwed up, I had only had two drinks at the previous bar. I immediately told Brian we had to leave, that something was wrong, and within two blocks of the bar we had been laughing in not 15 minutes ago my entire world dropped for three full days. It took me almost a week to fully physically recover, I have still not emotionally gotten past the experience.  Thankfully I had Brian there who fed me, forced me to drink more water than my body felt like it could handle and held me as I tried to get control of my body back.

These girls did not have the luxury of having themselves so in tune with their own bodies, or the understanding that this isn’t something that will never happen to you. It’s very real, very scary and shouldn’t ever happen but it does. You could turn away from your drink for just a few seconds and never know and you may not have friends near by to help you. Thankfully the first girl had her best friend with her who had no problem calling 911. The second girl was not so lucky and her boyfriend (abusive ass) was promptly arrested for his actions.  As far as I know all the people who were drugged are safe and were taken by ambulance to the ER. I really, genuinely, hope that these people are okay. I hope that girl 2 ditched the douche in red plaid, I hope that the BFF’s keep their buddy system just as strong as it was this NYE, I hope the third party got just as much help as the two girls did.

Now on the road safety is always a huge concern, after I was roofied I realized just how far I needed to take that. Since that night I have carried test strips with me to every bar I go regardless of who I know and who I am with. The thought of someone taking that kind of control from me again terrifies me, but not nearly as much as my concern that it will happen to someone else when there are ways to ensure your safety more so than if you had nothing at all. Below are a couple of links to items you can buy to test your drinks:

Color changing Straws and Cups

Color changing Test Strips

I hope everyone has a safe 2014!!!

Love always,

-Nerdy Gypsy

Host Stand Fun and Thoughts on San Diego.

There’s always something exciting that happens up at the host stand, whether it’s watching Shake Weight Guy (Anyone who lives in San Diego and spends way too much time downtown knows who I am talking about) or dealing with a man who clearly is coming off of some sort of drug walking around with a gun and muttering to himself. Least to say Gun guy was the other night. Let me just put it out there that the entire time I was living in New Orleans I never saw a person pull out a weapon, I saw plenty of people arrested for being drunk angry slobs but not one pulled out a gun and started waving it around. Not that I knew what to do anyway, my first response was to call Brian who is the gun Guru of the house and the conversation went something like this:

“Uhm… There’s a guy walking around in front of the restaurant caring a gun… Is that even legal here?”

“Wait, what?!?!”

“Yeah….”

“Why are you on the phone with me, call the police!!!!!!”

And so we did. I didn’t, but my manager, K, did.

Least to say I have no idea what happened to the guy but it certainly was exciting there for a few minutes and honestly I was more concerned with people’s safety than the fact that he had a gun in the first place. Was he okay himself? Did he need assistance that he clearly wasn’t getting? Was he even willing to get help? How the hell is there so much poverty here?!?!

San Diego is a pretty incredible place, it has mostly perfect weather year round and the hikes you can find here are amazing (see Black Mountain.) It also has it’s issues much like any other city. To be honest, this has been the hardest move I have made in my travels, it has also been the HARDEST culture shock to deal with. At current I am still dealing with the culture shock of the west coast on a daily level and the Poverty level here might be the hardest part of the entire move.

Perhaps it’s because there is such an obvious difference between the higher upper class and the poverty or maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention or sensitive enough to the issue for it to effect me as much as it does here. It may also be the fact that every single day I am at work I watch people dig through garbage cans, beg for change and they seem to mostly do it with a smile and deep appreciation for when they do find what they are looking for or receive that extra parking change you don’t really need. Many of them wish me well on my way to work and cheer me on at the end of the day when they see me head to the car. Many of them know me at this point, they come in and I let them use the restroom or I have volunteered with them before, regardless of how they know me (if they even know me) they all show me respect and I have no problem giving it in return. I have almost gotten into really heated arguments with people who refused to do the same even though the homeless person was just trying to help me help them get directions.

Least to say I have been working on this blog post for about two weeks now to find a good way to wrap it up but I just can’t seem to let it settle and so I am cutting it off here to perhaps be finally finished at a later date.

Louisville (Loo-we-ville)

When I left Vermont I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was going out into a world by my self and it was exhilarating. I remember crossing the state border into West Virginia and opening my windows to the smell of wild flowers and the summer heat, how lost I got on my way into New York City and how I was fairly certain that I was going to die (Thankfully my Grandparents are AMAZING and guided me through the city to their apartment,) but what stands out to me the most out of the traveling I’ve done so far is Louisville, Kentucky.

Maybe it was the fact that Louisville was the first city I ever moved to on my own or perhaps it’s the fact that Louisville is seriously underrated. Go ahead, have your giggle. Every time I bring up Louisville, or the fact that I even lived in Kentucky, I generally get some pretty interesting reactions. Generally they have to do with the fact that everyone seems to think Kentucky is all Hickville but it’s really not and Louisville in particular is  very very special.

Why Louisville? Well partly because my best friend Ronnie lives there with his wife, Rehna. I met Ronnie online way back when I was 17ish and we became fast friends. Together we trolled the internet, ready to take down any uneducated fool who dared to comment idiotically on something they obviously knew nothing about, played ridiculous amounts of games and most importantly we talked. We talked about everything, he helped me get through the worst break-up of my life and I helped him open up more in his marriage to Rehna. After we met over Thanksgiving in Vermont we decided that I should move to Louisville and out of the amazing grace of their hearts they gladly shared their home with me. It was hard, four people living in a two bedroom apartment, but it was home and we had a BLAST. They had another roommate named Leigha (That’s Lee-uh not Lay-uh, sorry SW’s homies) who was one of the quietest people I have ever met but when she does get comfortable and she talks she is one of the most hilarious people you will ever meet. The other part was because my mom lived in Louisville when she was in her early 20’s and she loved it herself, my mother and I have the same taste in many many things and Louisville is just one of those things.

The culture of Louisville is unique in the sense that it is a lot of the Northern Culture with mostly the good Southern Mannerisms and enough of both the West and East coast fashion influence to create a style all it’s own. The musical aspect is another really really strong part of Louisville and the Local Bands rock the town regularly and will more than gladly have a beer with you provided you can find the bars they enjoy most. Beyond the people though you have places like Bardstown Road where most of the locals spend their time (Oh man do I miss Cahoots) and you can find secret places like Baby D’s Bagels (Insert picture of homer drooling,) as well as some incredible restaurants.  The falls of the Ohio is another part of that area that astounds me. It’s on the Indiana side of the Ohio River but it’s worth the quick drive over if you get the chance. The rock bed you walk out onto is covered and filled with fossils; on warm days it is amazing to walk out onto the ledge, pop open a book and enjoy the sun with the sound of the river roaring by.  It’s comfortable in the sense that it’s a little-big city that fits just right, or at least just right for me.

At some point I will type up some of the stories of Louisville for you, including when I moved there and mistook the Yum! Center for a Giant KFC and the first time I met my crew at The Levee.

Cheers for now!

-NG

Come drink fantastic craft beer and hang out with me!!!!

Come drink fantastic craft beer and hang out with me!!!!

Come down to Hard Rock of San Diego and chill out with me! We will have a Gravity Fed cask, excellent music and to add all that awesome together you also get to hang out with me!

Dealing with Home Sickness

So you know when you have a favorite food that you just don’t eat for a really long time because you had eaten so much of it you just couldn’t stomach it any more and then finally 6+ months later you try it again and it’s right back at the top of ‘best foods in the world?’ Well that’s how I feel about Vermont. It’s kind of funny actually because when I left I swore up and down that I wasn’t going to miss Vermont, I wasn’t going to miss the cheese or the maple syrup or the soft-serve ice cream and I certainly wasn’t going to miss the snow. Now a year and a half later I find myself missing exactly all those things, especially now that I am in San Diego.

I keep looking outside expecting the trees to be changing color (they did in Kentucky) but they don’t here. They didn’t in Louisiana either, and I clearly remember on February 20th (my 22nd birthday,) sitting out on the steps in front of the ghetto ass house I was living in, in just a t-shirt and shorts and swearing it was the hottest I have ever been in my life. Little did I know that it was going to get a LOT hotter REALLY fast as Hurricane Season tends to do. As I work my way across the US and the rest of the world I find myself comparing what I am currently experiencing to the home I grew up in and I have come to a couple of conclusions:

1. Vermont is a lovely state albeit somewhat sheltered from many of the things the rest of the country has to deal with, which makes it seem like sort of a paradise sometimes. For example the amount of crime you deal with in different cities.

2. Okay so maybe just one massive conclusion.

What can I say, growing up in Vermont keeps you sheltered from a lot of the world. In Vermont I never really experienced wide spread Racism, Homophobia, Religious Persecution or Massive shootings (while I didn’t experience them first hand New Orleans has Mass Shootings about once every couple of weeks.) Sure every state has a fair amount of Political Corruption (here’s looking at you Louisiana) and economic issues but Vermont had(has?) NOTHING compared to the rest of the country. Even now I am sitting here at my desk currently unemployed, although I should be, and wondering how hard could it possibly be to get a job in a city that has 1.32 million people. Oh wait… That’s right. 1.32 million people compared to Vermont’s population 626,011. That is 2.10 times MORE people than Vermont in just ONE city. I would say that it’s claustrophobic but west coast cities are much different from east cost cities and instead of growing up they grow out.

So how does someone cope with all of these changes and vast gaps in cultural understanding? I personally just accept that things are happening and instead of fighting them, I learn from them. I wasn’t always like this though, this Christmas will be my second Christmas away from home and on my first Christmas? I fought, I cried, I screamed, I almost bought a plane ticket home and said screw traveling. That was back in Kentucky. I used to see the way people had adapted to their cities and question why some people just couldn’t get their shit together (New Orleans is a prime example of this.) Then I stopped getting angry and upset and started listening. I would sit down with the locals with a cup of tea or a beer and I would shut up and listen to all that they had to say. The stories that came out of simply listening changed my perspective on many many things including acceptance.

One story sticks out to me the most, just watching him talk about surviving Katrina was haunting to me. His eyes zoned out, as if he could see through the wall of the dark, musty, bar and simply saw himself surviving something no 16-year-old knows how to cope with. He gave me a sheepish smile as he admitted that the only reason he coped the first three nights is because he was stoned, I couldn’t blame him though as he had been stuck up in a small crawl space with a box of cereal and one gallon of water, listening to the gun shots echoing off the rooftops. That is a terror I will never know and my heart went out to him, he was still tortured by it.

As I read this blog over to make sure everything sounds the way it should I realize that I have no idea how I am going to wrap this post up. I still deal with homesickness, I am still learning so much about the differences in the world, I am still here listening and I don’t see that changing any time soon.