Tag Archives: North Carolina


This is a Public Service Announcement from Cleveland, Ohio to Wilmington, North Carolina.

June 30, 2011
7:00pm Mike and Erica will leave Cleveland and drive down that gorgeous Interstate-77.
July 1, 2011
6:00am Arrive in Raleigh, North Carolina, where they will have breakfast with Hopie Juan.
9:00am Pull into Scott and Michelle’s house, where they will drop off their crap.
9:30am Beach (probably).
July 1-5, 2011
Let’s play “Where are Mike and Erica?”
July 5, 2011
AM Depart for Cleveland again.

During their time in Wilmington, they will not be scheduling things with anyone, so as to not cause “unfair you got to see Erica and Mike and I didn’t!” feelings.  I will post on Twitter and Facebook where we are and what we’re doing.  You are MORE than welcome to come hang out with us.

At some point we will be at:

Carolina Beach
Kure Beach
Wrightsville Beach
Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn
The Mellow Mushroom
The Reel Cafe
The Goat and Compass
Downtown in General
Indochine (?)
The Guppy Ranch
Carmen’s House
The McDonald’s on Wilshire and College

There will be other places.  If you would like to be told when I am at a specific one of these places, please let me know.  🙂  See you soon, Wilmington.

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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4th of July Traditions

Sparklers.  Red White and Blue cookies.  Baseball.  Swimming.  Fireworks.

Lighting your cousin’s pine tree on fire with an intricate system of trash found around the yard and burning sparkler embers…

Whatever your tradition is, GO CELEBRATE!  July 4th is my favorite holiday.  You don’t have to get anyone a present.  You don’t have to stuff bread crumbs up a bird butt.  The food is good and simple, and smells like charcoal.  And you get to drink beer and play with fire.  What else could you want from a holiday?!

My family always got together on the 4th of July at Aunt Mary Lynn and Uncle Todd’s house.  Our parents drank and cooked.  And when it got dark, each father held a blowtorch to light our sparklers, and to set off bigger fireworks in the street.  And all the while, my cousins and I gathered shreds of paper from the yard, dry grass, and anything that looked like it might catch fire, and we built a pile under a tree and lit it on fire with our sparklers.  The tree caught fire.  It was saved.  🙂

I’ve spent 4th of July in a lot of different places.  Ex-boyfriends’ driveways, West Virginia to 4-wheel in the mountains, East Harbor with a friend from college, to Jimmy Bukket’s in Fremont.  But this year, Mike and I are going to spend the holiday weekend in Wilmington, where the fireworks go off over a river, and where our friends will get all liquored up with us, and where we can get all romantic and mushy about where we first met.  🙂

What are your 4th of July traditions?


Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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My Vice and My Blessing

I hate to hear the phrase, “You can’t do that.”  I’ve hated it since that show on Nickelodeon called, “You Can’t Do That On Television” and I hated it because they did it anyway.  This is not me raging against The Man or anything.  It’s just something that has always affected me in some way or another.

And then LOST came on.  And John Locke hated when someone told him he couldn’t do something.  Multiple episodes featured him chanting, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”

Now, I was never so angry that I yelled it, but it became more of a silent battle.  Let me explain.

When I went to college at Ashland, I was still dating a boy from back home.  He believed I could do anything; we just weren’t a good match.  A few months after breaking up (and I’m not necessarily proud of this), I began dating one of his friends (their friendship had fallen apart upon our break-up) and he was a bit of a…I don’t know what to call him.  He was a good guy, but he didn’t necessarily expect much out of me.  When I wanted to quit college around Christmas time and make my living at Whirlpool, he said, “I didn’t think you’d finish college anyway.”

That did it.  I was finishing college, and I was going to prove him wrong.  And like college kind of makes you do for a lot of things, I outgrew him and had to walk away from our relationship.

Something similar happened in grad school in NC.  I was fairly over it after the first year, and thought that I could make a living doing my own thing up in Ohio.  But the boy I’d left behind in Ohio echoed my previous boyfriend.  When I said, “I’m not sure grad school is for me,” he said, “I never expected you to finish anyway.”

And the thing is that when they said these things, they thought of it a victory for themselves.  They thought, “Yay, she’s coming home.”  “Yay, no more long distance.”  “Yay, we can be together now.”

But they didn’t realize that their doubt in me spurred me to stay where I was and to finish what I started…in terms of school anyway.  I’ve yet to officially “finish” a relationship with marriage and so forth.

Mike knows about this vice, and has tried to leverage it to get me to publish the book I wrote in grad school.  “I knew you wouldn’t publish it.  You wouldn’t be able to if you wanted to,” he says.  But I know he doesn’t believe it.  He doesn’t doubt me one bit.  He believes I can do anything.

In other words, it doesn’t work when he tries to use it.  It just makes me hunker down, intent on not publishing my book.

Wanna know why?  I’ll tell you…tomorrow.


Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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The BIG Weekend

Tomorrow on my calendar is outlined in red, and in the middle of that square, it says, “JUDGMENT DAY.”  It says this, because two years ago on March 19, Mike and I decided that we would JUDGE whether or not we were going to try to make a relationship work.

My 2-year anniversary with Mike is tomorrow!  Two years Mike and I have been together!

This is exciting.  Truly.  Two years ago tomorrow, we were in North Carolina.  We met up after Mike got off work at and drove down through Carolina Beach, through Kure Beach, all the way down to Fort Fisher. 

And we sat here:

Right on the steps of this monument, Mike and I talked about “us.”  We were just neighbors, who happened to smile at one another the autumn before, and once we began spending time with one another, we knew that we would have to figure out if we were going to be together.

Mike was moving north to Pennsylvania for a job.  I still had a year of grad school left in North Carolina–12 hours away.  Would we be worth it?  Should we take a chance?

Two weeks prior, my parents had rented a condo on Carolina Beach during my spring break.  I kept sneaking away to see Mike, and my mom said, “Why don’t you just have him come here?  We don’t mind.”  So Mike came over, hung out for a little bit.  Poor guy.  He met my whole family in one day, and this is what he had to contend with:

Mom–super cheery, two-beers tipsy.

Dad–6’5”, bearded, angry because he’d just quit smoking after a heart attack in January.

Brother Jason–drunk on Rumple Minze thanks to…

Bourne–a friend from grad school who got completely hammered, crashed his bike and ended up with a concussion.

Brother’s friend Drake–also drunk on Rumple Minze.

And as I stood on the balcony overlooking the ocean with my mom and Mike, I thought it felt good.  And when Mike left, my mom said, “He’s very nice.”

“Don’t get attached.  He’s probably moving away from here before long,” I said, knowing my mother’s tendency to get attached to guys that I never ended up dating seriously.

She looked at me and said, “Don’t dismiss this one so quickly, Hooty.”  And she went inside with the drunks and the grumps.  I stayed on the balcony for a little bit thinking and staring at the moon.

On Judgment Day, we sat at the foot of the Fort Fisher monument and decided we probably shouldn’t be together.  But in the car staring at the waves crashing against the rocks, Mike kissed me, and I said, “I want to be your girlfriend.”  He smiled, stared at me, and said, “Okay.”  We’ve been inseparable ever since.

Two years later, she was right.  Moms always know these things.

So so far, this weekend ROCKS because I got Delilah back today and because Mike gave me this for our anniversary (in silver):

Because I already have my present (I’m a weasly little goat), I had to give him the complete freedom to plan the weekend and surprise me.  So all I know is that we are going to spend Saturday in Cleveland, and I cannot wait.

Since I don’t blog on the weekends, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MIKE!  I’ll update the rest of you after the weekend.

Happy Friday!

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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Domesticity


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Long Distance Runaround

Me in the foreground. Loretta, Jenny, and Amy in the back.

I’m so excited right now! I just bought this painting from Douglas Hoover.  And it’s such a good story–our friendship.

When I was in grad school in North Carolina, my darling Carmen decided it would be a good idea to go to the Outerbanks.  And it was–oh it as.  The ride there was awesome–two cars and two ferries, a lot of beer, a lot of laughing.  A lot of seagulls…

All of us--after eating a HUGE meal.

Here we all are.  Jenny looks as though she may hurl.  I think we’d just gotten done stuffing ourselves full at a breakfast place.  It was amazing.

But something really cool happened on the ferry ride over.  You see, Mike and I had just begun our relationship.  I don’t know how much you all know about this, but we started dating on March 19, 2009.  Less than a month later, Mike moved to Pennsylvania to take a job, leaving me in North Carolina to wish that we were still frolicking around on beaches and eating at Kate’s Pancake House.

His birthday is in May, and I thought, “Why not take advantage of the artsy community and get him a painting?”  But I wanted it to be a very special–particular to something he would love.  So I began commissioning.





The vehicles on the boat--I believe one of which is Doug's. Verify?

We wandered around–relatively aimlessly–and made friends with lots of people on the boat.  Jenny made friends with the dogs, people made friends with us b/c we had a ton of beer.  We even made friends with a pirate.  But there was an artist on the boat, and his name is Douglas Hoover.

I don’t quite remember how it happened.  All I remember is that we shared a Yuengling with him, and somehow we got to talking.  I told him I wanted a painting for my boyfriend.  I hadn’t intended on being the subject of the painting, but Doug took some pictures.  He said that he had a lot going on, and that he may not necessarily be able to get to anything right away, but that he would call if he could find a way to do it.  We exchanged phone numbers.  He thank us for the beer.  And all I could hope was that I would hear from him again.




The Kids of the Cabin

So we went on the rest of our trip, and we had a blast.  Random barbecues with folks we’d never see again, exploration, shopping, horse graves.  It was freaking fun.  I drank two-liters of Diet Mountain Dew, and considered a hemp sweatshirt, which Jenny thankfully talked me out of.

And then we made it back to Wilmington, and there were thesis readings to go to, classes to teach, final pieces to turn in.

Mike’s birthday came and went, but you can imagine my surprise when Doug called me that summer and told me that he’d finished my painting.  He emailed me files of it, and I fell in love.  Completely in love.  He was nice enough to send two prints of it (one at my parents’ house, and one at Mike’s currently).

And now I am going to buy the actual painting!  I am so flippin’ excited.


Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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