Unexpected Changes to Avery's Psyche and Life while Living in California:
1. I have mastered a perpetually frustrated, don't-bother-me-I'm-working face that is indispensable when I'm pretending to work around the office. I walk around in a quick, determined manner and carry things to appear heavily burdened. I type noisily. I sigh sometimes. And nobody seems to question my supposed busyness.
2. I saw my very first hooker in Burbank. Something about it felt like a Rite of Passage and so I was gleeful about telling everyone I met. And everyone seemed considerably less enthusiastic than I was about it. It's very tragic to live in a world where the topic of hookers doesn't provoke any emotion from the general populace.
3. Alternately, I saw my first drag queen in Hollywood.
4. I have an unfailing radar for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shoppes that are within spitting distance from any decent locale in the San Fernando Valley. It's because of their ice-blended drinks (the better-tasting, fraternal twin of Starbucks' frappucino, which are also just as accessible down here) which I consume with much enthusiasm and zeal. And hey! Coffee-free!
5. I hang around a whole lot of 50-something men (because I hang around my dad and they are his friends), and it leads me to appear as some kind of groupie.
6. Make-up application time has been reduced considerably, and you think that'd be a smart choice but in all reality it's just an ugly choice.
7. I have a decidedly fake 25-year-old boyfriend.
8. I am quite the impulsive buyer, suddenly. And that's how I ended up with a vintage prom dress, two CD's of bands I had never heard of but I liked their cover art from Amoeba Music, and an apple pie even though I don't like apple pie (but I'm trying to because you can't be a good person if you don't like apple pie, you just can't).
9. I had to do emergency friend-making around here, and that's how I ended up with five new laugh-and-drive-around-and-have-inside-jokes friends, which is surprising considering that it took me, like, fifteen years to make any friends back home. Maybe my anxiety and lack of social ability is seen as endearing in California, in which case, I should move here.
10. I'm hopeless because sometimes I re-use my old jokes and people laugh like, "Oh Avery! Did you just think of that? You're very clever and spontaneous!" and I'm all, "Yeah well."
11. Yet to love sushi.
12. I have morphed into one of those irritating journal-toting girls that writes things while you're talking to her and makes you feel self-conscious and irate.
13. One time I jokingly yelled "I'm so indie!" like me and Addy always did back home, and then my friend took me seriously and said "Yeah, I'm more boho.." and then I was embarrassed because she thought that I'd made the dire faux pas of acknowledging the knowledge of indie. Gah.
14. There is a real live place here called Book Heaven: Books for $1. Isn't California the best?
15. I eat parfaits and granola. And organic fruit roll-ups. And Gushers, because I'm obsessed with them. I drink Sprite at 9 in the morning because I can. I act evasive when people ask why I don't drink coffee.
16. I find humor in slutty girls and their boyfriends, and sometimes I yell "Get a room!" even when they aren't doing anything and they hate me, but that's reasonable.
17. I visit the Wildlife Preserve in hopes of seeing turtles in the pond, and there never are any even though Dad swears he sees them regularly.
18. It was free slurpee day at 711, so I obtained one even though it's horrific how much food I eat around here and free food really shouldn't be offered to me.
19. I can walk to the mall from where I work.
20. I miss my friends and I miss my mom and I miss Dylan, but he's in the Philippines and I've been missing him for 11 months already. I miss Orange Leaf, even though it was a crappy, tween-infested hangout anyway. I miss Gilmore Girls at 3:00 and being loud and female in the house and Sunday pizza and angsting with Mom. I miss Bri and her animal necklaces and the Geo. I miss the Drama! of Juliana. I miss Katie and how she sometimes doesn't even bother laughing at my jokes anymore and us getting angry about the world and talking about how it would be better. I miss pretending to hate The Alpine Girls even though I've never actually met them. I miss being sarcastic and heavily witty with Addy and having someone that understands my jokes and likes to be Dramatic! about things with me even when the Drama! is on the tepid-side that day. I miss long, impromptu book chats with Emily or Kaitlyn or Addy. I miss the red-headedness of Zack. I miss Nathan Gallagher (just kidding, that was for Emily's sake). I miss going to the spinning park and the library and Del Taco (did you know they don't have one in Burbank at all??) and Snoasis, and Hawaiian Ice even though Snoasis is better, and I miss my room and I miss Eddie and Mundie and I miss the black-and-white Fox top that I forgot at home. I miss everything. But things here are good, too.
21. Everything is fine.