It's almost New Year's Eve, one of the three times of the year I can't stand spending the evening doing nothing. It seems like a special time, set apart from all the other 364 days of the year as being substantially important. It also strikes me as a day/evening during which it is important (for me, at least) to be around other people, especially the people who are an integral part of my life. (In case you're wondering two times are Halloween and, to a lesser extent, Independence Day. Halloween is my favorite holiday, because for one day out of the year, everyone is just as focused on ghosts and terror and the supernatural and haunted houses and blah blah as I am all the rest of the year. I can't explain the Independence Day thing, since I'm not a big patriot, but as a celebration it just demands large get-togethers at the park or beach with volleyball and music or something.)
Anyway, here it is almost New Year's Day and there's absolutely nothing to do, and nobody to do it with. Over the last few years, even though I've lived in Tallahassee during this time, I've met almost nobody local -- even to this day 90% of the people I know and am friends with live on the West Coast! So I'm looking forward to a very boring, very lonely New Year's Eve. Last year I spent with M. in Miami. I stayed with her cool family and her and I went down to Bayside park there along Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami where they were holding a huuuuge outdoor festival. I mean, it was warm, there were palm trees with lights in them, thousands of people, a carnival, a great fireworks display over the harbor, and a huge Florida Orange dropping to ring in the new year. Plus my lovely girlfriend to share it all with. It was, hands-down, the best New Year's Eve of my entire life. No question.
This year I'm thinking of going back to Miami. I love that city. Not as much as Honolulu, but it is certainly my favorite in the continental United States. I'd have to stay by myself, and hotels are expensive. But last night I had a stroke of genius inspiration: stay in a youth hostel! They're inexpensive, and even though there is little to no privacy, every room comes with several young, energetic, youthful and interesting people from around the world who, like you, are on a budget but want to go out and see the town and have bonding experiences. Perfect strangers who become instant (if temporary) friends. I stayed in one in Waikiki in the summer of 2001 and had a great time. I made friends with a fella from Israel, and we split the cost of renting a car to drive around O`ahu one afternoon. On this inspiration, I decided to get a hostel room for New Year's... only to find they were all sold out! I guess I should have expected this, seeing as how Miami is a popular destination this time of year for its clement weather, but it really disheartened me nonetheless, because my brilliant idea was made far less brilliant by the mere fact that it should have popped into my head weeks earlier. Nevertheless, I might still go tomorrow -- stay in a hotel for like $70 for one night, then do the hostel thing for a couple more. I need to get out of here for a few days, meet some people, have some fun. My life is very static and sheltered. I've become a shut-in because I hate Tallahassee and have no friends or interests here and at this point I'm just counting the days until I'm outta here!
I'll let you know how it goes, if I decide to do this spontaneous and expensive thing.
p.s. Oh yeah, and as for Peace Corps-related information... I have no new updates. Still no word from my P.O. I can't stand the suspense... It's like a scene in a horror movie when the protagonist is slowly moving toward the darkened door to see what the odd sound was on the other side, and we know the killer is probably back there hiding in the closet, but the protagonist doesn't know so they creep closer and closer and the camera shot grows tighter and tighter and the music pauses with just one B-flat note sustained until our nerves are stretched to the breaking point and...... well, that's what waiting for your Invitation is like. Except hopefully there isn't a monster waiting on the other side.