August 2013, Pt. 1: Holley Reunites With Family & Takes A Rubber Ducky To A Bar
Stanley Tucci rebels against his parents // my brother, Ricky, and I on his birthday // the collection of smelly, beat up pointe shoes in my childhood bedroom // my handmade birthday card for my brother, whom I love dearly.
I'm not partial to diary-style blogging, in which I regale my avid, plethoric readers (Hi, mom) with a detailed account of my every move. But, I've decided to try this approach out -- only during this coming month -- for two reasons:
1. This August is bound to be wild, adventurous, and completely unforgettable.
2. I have the world's worst memory, and I will undoubtably forget 75% of this August within the first week of September. It will just fall out of my head and left on the sidewalk.
So, you have the lucky opportunity to read about my adventures on the East Coast this month as I visit family along the Jersey Shore, see my hometown for the first time since Sandy, and spend several weeks in Manhattan designing a cookbook, writing music, and venturing out alone into a giant city full of strangers -- a massive leap outside of my comfort zone that I'm hoping to force myself to enjoy. While I have a feeling that it won't be quite as hard as I think, as a "stranger danger" baby, the idea of rolling solo into an art museum, a swanky cocktail bar, or some shady/trendy street in Manhattan's newest shady/trendy neighborhood is at once daunting and intriguingly provocative.
These past few days have been the easy part. I arrived on August 1st (my little brother's birthday) after a two-day solo car ride from Nashville. That was an adventure in and of itself. Two days in a car -- not terribly exciting. But I did spend the night in East Nowheresville, VA (just a few miles away from Mountaintown and Walmartsburg) at a motel directly adjacent to an Applebee's, so, #win. I had a few cocktails at the bar while reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, and was treated to some K-Ci & Jojo which the three PONI's (People of Negligible Intelligence -- a family inside joke that you're now in on, you're welcome) next to me were pumping on an iPhone. Apparently, the alt-rock that Applebee's was playing didn't quite suit their fancy.
When I finally got to New Jersey, I spent the following few days celebrating my little brother's birthday and visiting my family. There was the day at the pool where my tiny Italian Nonna made her Vine debut, singing and dancing along to a Daft Punk song (watch the video, you won't regret it.) I also took a took of her house, which has been gutted and remodeled since the tragedy that was Hurricane Sandy. I was at once dazzled and distraught. While the new house is truly beautiful, the stairs on which my grandpa and I used to play Go Fish are nowhere to be found. This broke my heart a little bit.
Then, there was that night when my brother took my to a lovely local establishment called P.K. Shamrocks where I saw a grown man who resembled Santa Clause passed out in the street. Then, the next day, we had dinner with my Mom, and I introduced Stanley Tucci, the rubber ducky, to cigarettes and twerking (he didn't like either one.) Later that night, my brother introduced me to Bar A and fist pumping (I didn't like either one.)
Stanley Tucci, The Rubber Duck I Got From My Motel // Stanley Tucci, The Actor & Scarf
Today, I ride the train to Manhattan.