Vacation Reports 2, 3, 4, 5: I Feel Nice Again

Apparently I am becoming nice again. In fact, as I write this there is a large group of about thirty people in the lobby of our hotel, all making noise and being the biggest pigs humanity has to offer – and I’m not even going to blog about them. Half of them are not fully clothed, with large guts hanging out the bottom of their shirts. They’re eating loads for fried chicken and all of their kids are screaming. A separate group brought down buckets of beer and have begun what appears to be a drunken Magic the Gathering. And some lady just came down having gotten locked out of her room with nothing but a towel to cover her. Well maybe I am blogging about these slovenly members of society by virtue of mentioning them, but the point is it isn’t even annoying me as much as it normally would. I feel nice again.

But I digress.

So I’m a little behind on my vacation reports, mostly because I’ve been so freaking busy that I barely have had enough time to sleep. We still have roughly seven days left of our trip and while it is winding down, there is still a lot coming up. So excuse my lateness of posting, but here are vacation reports 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Vacation Report 2: Heather has changed a lot in the 10 years away

All of you faithful blog followers may not believe it, but I wasn’t always the snarky, misanthropic bitch I am now. I mean, I’ve always been blunt and no-nonsense, but I also didn’t have such a virulent hatred of humanity. I wasn’t such a diva either, which I clearly am now after living in California for over a decade.

On the first night I got into town, my closest friends gathered at the local bowling alley for bowling and drinks, and immediately it was reported how much of a California girl I have become. I talk like a Californian, I have mannerisms like a Californian, and as my cousin Clayton informed me today, I’ve become a little posh.

I don’t like this.

After a few days of being back in my city, I felt like myself a little more. I could hear more of my accent returning, I felt calmer and less high-strung (like I do in California), and more than anything, I felt comfortable being myself. In California, we are very concerned about what everyone around us thinks. We gossip. We  judge. And we are fake. In the Midwest, I am sure there is still a lot of that, but people seem to care a lot less about what others think.

What hasn’t changed much, though, was the house I grew up in. It looks the same, which I documented with about a hundred photographs from different angles.

Vacation Report 3: My family reads my blog

So I just assumed that no one read my blog. Seriously, I know that I have a pretty good following of faithful blog followers – many of whom I have never met; but I never actually thought my family read it.

The first weekend we were in town, though, at least four of my family members said the words “… yeah, I read about that on your blog.” Then today, my cousin Scott told me that every time he read my blog I seemed pretty “liberal.” Whether or not I am liberal put to the side (to be honest, I don’t know if I am or not), I now feel this new pressure put on me when I blog. I even, for a moment, entertained the thought of cleaning up my content. Of course, that would mean no more donkey dicks, f-bombs, use of the term cunt, or talk of hooking and blow jobs. Clearly this is not an option, but you get the point – from now on the thoughts “what will my family think?” will be stuck in the back of my mind as I write.

But then I hearken back to Vacation Report 2 about being myself, and I realize that if they are reading my blog and able to tolerate such ridiculous, foul-mouthed verbal debauchery as has been my writing up to this point, then I say fair game.

The real Vacation Report 3 is that I love my family so much, which this trip has reiterated for me ten-fold. I don’t know how I will go back to daily life without them after these last few weeks.

Vacation Report 4: the Korean Hooker situation is a California thing

Holy mother of God, I went to a nail salon in the suburbs of Chicago with one of my long time friends last week after a great lunch and did I ever realize just how much the Korean Hooker situation is an isolated incident. I know, I know – it probably goes on in other nail salons around the country, but my nail salon in California is a total crack house compared to the place we went to this past week.

The real dilemma I have now, as well, is that I have a new standard by which I judge my nail salon experience. The place we went to had amazing chairs, more foot treatments for the same price, and they even gave me a bottle of water. Not only is my nail salon with all the slut-bag behavior and questionable customers a crack house, but the experience (by comparison) seems trashier than the lady that deep-throated the banana that one time after doing my nails.

 Vacation Report 5: I don’t want to go home

I know, I know – the grass is always greener on the other side, right? I’m not an idiot, though. I lived in Chicago for 18 years: I know that it’s fucking freezing in the winter, much harder to find work, and tornado alley in the summer. I know that what I’m seeing of friends and family now are the happy times, not the “everyone is mad at each other” times.

But there is something to be said for the fact that I know just how miserable I am in California, more so now that I am out of the situation than ever before. I always said I would not stay there longer than five years. Five turned into ten, though, and now I am about to turn 30 and wondering just why in God’s name I’m still on the west coast. Maybe it’s because there is nothing for me in California – after graduate school, I seem to have lost all semblance of order or purpose. Or maybe it’s because my family is all in the Midwest. After my mom left us when I was only 8, my family (aunts, uncles, cousins) became the most important thing in my life. Possibly it’s because my friends are more down to earth and available in Chicago – we have shared experiences and a history.

Or really it’s probably just that I’m a Midwestern girl. I was born and raised here. Since we got here over a week ago, I have been happier than in the entire time I have been in California. Whether that be just because vacation is fun, or something else, I am sure I will never know.


  1. alienredqueen

    Haha…while I do try to be respectful of my family, I have a disclaimer on my FB profile saying how the F-bomb is frequently dropped. LOL. Maybe you need a “family” disclaimer.
    Why do you hate Cali so much? Just the fakeness? I would love to live in SoCal….the weather, the “stuff” to do… dirt-biking in the desert, or swimming at the beach. Yes, I realize this is a glorified view, but where I am now, there’s not even a liquor store. You have to go to the next county to get a six pack.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I can’t do any of the California stuff because I’m allergic to everything in the air in California. I like indoors things, like great museums and libraries which I just don’t find in copious amounts that are easily accessible to me in So Cal. Really, though, it is the fakeness and the judgmental attitude everyone has that gets to me. When I was in grad school I could ignore it, but now that I am not I just can’t handle it anymore.

      I think you are right … I do need a family disclaimer hahaha 🙂

  2. ghfool

    I have a difficult time with these kinds of things because I don’t judge anyone if I don’t know them and I expect the same in return. But I’m naive. What is it with people? Why is distaste, displeasure and hatred their primary reactions to others? Does it require too much effort to be nice? I know there are lots of good folks out there and I’ve met and been reuinited with many of them since moving away from Seattle and back to Texas. I really have no appreciation for Los Angeles. It doesn’t sound like you do either.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      No I don’t appreciate Los Angeles, not in the least. It’s too damn fake – all of it. And while I understand what you are saying about judging and hatred, I think we all do it to some degree even if we like to consider ourselves nonjudgmental. What I dislike about LA is that people judge but talk about it behind your back. If you don’t like something, just say it! Honesty is the best policy in my book.

  3. rich

    you cannot let your writing change because your family reads your blog. just can’t. tell me that you’re not going to do that, and it’s not just because i love when women talk like that. it’s because it’ll stifle your voice. can’t let it happen.

    you’re from chicago? i’m going to champaign in a few weeks. roger ebert film festival. oh, can i get the room number of the woman in the towel? 😉

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      No, I won’t let my family reading my blog change my writing haha … although I will have to get used to it. Yes I am from Chicago, and I think it’s wonderful. Champaign is sort of an eh kind of place, although maybe the woman in the towel will be there!! You should stay at a Hyatt, that’s where she apparently stays.

      1. rich

        don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the virginia theater, but that’s where the film festival is held, so i’ll be trying to stay close to there.

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        I haven’t but I have a friend that lives out there. I’m going to see if she is going now!

      3. rich

        it’ll be my first trip out that way. other than florida, i don’t travel much – but i have to work on that.

  4. free penny press

    I left Cali for the reasons you explained..fake tans, botox heaven and everyone trying ton one up the other.. ugh, got on my last nerve.

    vacation aside, maybe home is calling you… you do look very happy in the picture..

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Oh, well thanks! There are an entire cadre of reasons why I don’t like California and I know that we are not alone in it getting on our nerves!

  5. The Confluent Kitchen

    Wait. What the fuck? She deep throated a banana while doing your nails? Where is your nail salon? Van Nuys?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I KNOW! Isn’t it horrifying?! No, Ventura.

  6. Pitchgreen

    Thanks for your post. You make me laugh. There are good people everywhere; you just need to find them. And what you really need is not outside you but within you. That sounds kind of preachy, I know, so disregard it if you want to, but it’s my truth.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      No I think I agree with you … it’s the way you experience something that makes it what it is to you. It is all about perspective I suppose. Thanks for reading!

  7. jimcolv

    I firmly believe, that while you miss being home and you express how miserable you are in California, that should you move back, you may still experience the same misery. I live in Georgia but I am originally from NYC. I love going back to NYC to visit but I couldn’t fathom ever living in that wretched place again.

    The people are rude, the streets are too busy, the air quality sucks but I love it all. I can only stand being in NYC for about three days before I am ready to burn up the road and head back down south. Whenever I go home, spending time with old friends is great and all until I realize that a lot of them are still doing the same things or living the same lives that they did when we were growing up.

    Now, I’m not one to ever feel like I’m any better than any other person but I’m much better than how a lot of people act or how people remember me being years ago….

    Damn, I could be writing this for my own blog…. Thank for the inspiration, yet again….. 😉

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think you are right – it would be a much different experience if I moved back. I am just a much different person than I was when I lived here before. Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. Brian Westbye

    Awesome. Love me some Chicago, i do. People, in Chi or otherwise, not so much.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Haha, yes misanthrope does reign supreme, I suppose. I love me some Chicago too though 🙂

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