Just got a haircut, after waiting for over a half-hour in the half-full waiting room I was finally called back to the chair. I told the barber that I wanted “scissor cut” (because I hate the noise/vibration against my head), and he replies: “Right, okay, like a 4 or 5? Okay, I see, gotcha.”
“No longer like-”
“You mean like a 6 or 7? Okay. Okay, I see. Gotcha,” he pulls out his clippers and starts giving me a 5 anyway.
When I tell him I wanted a scissors cut, he says “you did not. Your said ‘give me a 5 with clippers.’ Yes, you did, and that is what I am giving you.”
“No, YOU asked about a ‘4 or 5.”
“I told you that was too short and you recommend ed a ‘6 or 7.’ Why would I tell you to give me a clipper cut when I know I hate when barbers do those things?”
“Because you did,” he shrugged, “maybe if you told me in Spanish…
“What, you don’t speak Spanish? Pfft,” he said putting his clippers down and picking up a large, shoddy looking pair of scissors. “How do you understand what the people in the next chair are saying if you ‘don’t speak Spanish.’ I mean come on, this is Florida, EVERYONE speaks Spanish.”
He then proceeds to spend the next ten minutes manhandling my head with his giant hands (good thing I’m sensitive to touch too). I REALLY wanted to rip my apron off dramatically and walk out (wouldn’t be the first time), but I didn’t because “!el Stupido” or something – especially since I knew without even looking that it was already too short.
He then pulls out the razor for my ears and neck which is even worse from a noise/vibration stand point and doesn’t seem remotely phased by how clearly uncomfortable it is for me (as I had a stylist in Baltimore nearly cut my ear off doing that). He then puts it down, shows my hair and it looks like a damned buzzcut – and a sloppy one at that.
“See, what did I tell you? I gave you a great haircut. Huh, huh, huh,” he said elbowing me annoyingly. “Ya look great.”
On the plus side, he charged me full price for it (couldn’t understand how I couldn’t be happy with such an “awesome” cut), and I gave him a $2 tip simply because I already had too many 1s on me to get change from him. Very frustrating and disappointing, and it happens nearly every time I get a haircut.
Probably the reason I avoid them at all costs, just like my dentist…
I was having a rather dull dinner with my mom and her friends in a restaurant I’d never been to before. As we sit down, my mom points out that they have “mozzarella sticks” here (because I apparently can’t read menus on my own) and how terrible the ones we had the night before were.
As I’m looking over the underwhelming menu, a harried waitress comes up from one side of the table and a woman I’d never seen before comes up the other: “Oh, hi, Liz.” “Linda, hi, wonder seeing you here, how are…”
“JONATHAN,” my mom’s friend Barb shouted to get my attention and successfully scaring the living crap out of me. “YOUR turn to order!”
“JONATHAN,” my mom snapped at me for dropping my phone on the table. “That is completely unnecessary! Just tell her what you want to drink and be done with it.”
So, now, I’ve got my mom, her friends, the waitress and half the restaurant staring at me. No pressure.
“We’s got Coke, Diet Coke, Ginga-hale…”
“Water,” I replied only hearing the first three.
“All this shit,” my mom said exasperatedly, “and you’re ordering WATER? Jesus-fucking-God. Anyway, Linda, did you hear about…”
“What ’bout you, ma’am?”
“Um, water with lemon… Wait, Jonathan, you said wanted the mozzarella sticks.”
“Um, no, you asked me about them.”
“So, he wan’s the mozza sticks,” the waitress asked from three tables away.
“JONATHAN, do you want the mozzarella sticks or not?”
“Yes, he does. Thank you.”
Wait, WHAT? I literally just said “no” three times.
“Okay, I’ll put d’em in with ya order.”
A few minutes later, she returns with Barb’s soda, my water and my mom’s water with lemon, and immediately proceeds to take our orders. It’s now, 45 seconds before I’m expected to make my order, that Barb points out that there is a “special board” behind me that I missed before I sat down. Mom is still talking to that lady so, congratulations, it’s bumped up to about 35 seconds.
“Honey dipt [sic] chicken with fries”
“Fries, coleslaw, side salad, apple sauce, corn, lima beans…”
“I said ‘fries.’”
“I know d’at, but ya need a SECOND side.”
“Why? I don’t need a ‘second side.’”
“Ya meal comes wit a second side.”
“And I’m telling you, I don’t want a ‘second side.’”
Why is this so hard to understand?
“So, ya want TWO plates of fries?”
“No, I want one plate of fries. I’m telling you I don’t wa-”
“Give him apple sauce and be done with it.”
“And you ma’am?”
“Um, yeah… I’ll have… um, I’ll have… whatever he’s having, but with lima beans instead of apple sauce.”
Then Barb starts on some meandering story about a feud she was having with one of her neighbors who had allegedly called cops the on her “out of spite – TWICE.” The kind of story that was extremely hard to follow unless you knew what was going on (who they were, what happened and how did it escalate so far). She gets about 2/3 of the way through her story when the waitress unceremoniously plops a plate of bland looking mozzarella sticks in front of me.
“Here ya go, buddy. Enjoy.”
What the fuck is this? When I order it? What am I supposed to do with them, and, more importantly, who the fuck is “buddy?”
“Jonathan,” my mom asked. “What the hell is wrong with you? Why aren’t you eating the mozzarella sticks you ordered?”
“I didn’t order them.”
“Yes, you did.”
“No, I didn’t. I didn’t want them, and I still don’t.”
“Then why the hell did you order them?”
“I DIDN’T. YOU did because YOU wanted to know if they were ‘any better than the ones we had last night.’”
“Oh, for God’s sake, just eat the damned things.”
So, basically, I’m now forced to eat bland mozzarella sticks I don’t want and didn’t order because I did order them and do want to eat them solely to satiate my mother’s mild curiosity. Neuro-typical logic at it’s finest, folks.
After a long tangent about how much money she’s make “inventing a phone [cord] that don’t get all tangled like the ones we got at work” (man, she’ll be disappointed to find out cordless phones have been around since at least 2001 – if not earlier), she finally gets back to repeating the second half of her story for us. I still have no idea what’s going on other than this neighbor lady is (allegedly) “psycho” or something, and worse, nothing was going on on Facebook or Messenger and I had zero new e-mails.
An excruciatingly long time later, the waitress returns and once again plops our food down with the enthusiasm of an abnormally excited rock. Barb got the fish with corn. My mom got fried chicken with fries and lima beans, and I got fried chicken with fries…and a humongous bowl of apple sauce.
Once again, I have no clue who’s eating it, but, my god, that’s a LOT of apple sauce. Meanwhile, the lukewarm fries were undercooked, but the chicken was actually pretty good.
By the time we were ready to leave, it was already 7pm. Mom wanted to get some ice cream t Mauer’s a few blocks away on Market Street, but one of the ladies loitering on the porch of the building next door rather curtly informed me was “closed” (no details, just “closed”). In the car, I made the mistake of asking what Barb’s rambling neighbor story was about.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” my mom replied.
“What was Barb’s problem with her neighbor and the police coming to her house?”
“Who’s house? What neighbor? Who’s calling the police for what? I have no clue what you’re asking.”
“Augh, that’s what I just asked YOU. Essentially, you want me to know the answers to the questions I just asked you so you can repeat the answers back to me in which case I wouldn’t need to ask them to you in the first place”
“Jesus-fucking-Christ, Jonathan, what the fuck are you talking about? God, ‘houses,’ ‘neighbors,’ ‘police?’ I have no clue what the hell you’re even talking about?”
“What the hell was Barb talking about in her long rambling story about having her neighbor call the police on her twice in the past week?”
“Thank you, Jesus, THAT I understood. It wasn’t a ‘neighbor,’ she was renting a property she owned out as apartments, and the current tenant was three months behind in her rent so Barb was forced to evict her, but she refused to leave so…”
Bo – ring. See? I knew asking was a mistake.
Now that I’ve “stressed [her] out,” she decides to go to Weis to pick up a gallon box of ice cream leaving me in the car as she shops. It’s not much, but it’s a break…
5:01pm – The pouring rain we’ve had for most of the day is finally gone. I check the radar on TWC and it’s clear through midnight, so I showered, got dressed, unplugged my phone (100% charged) and got ready to do some photographing.
5:35pm – As soon as I open the door to my condo, I heard thunder…or was it fireworks (it’s hard to tell on July 4th). The sky is half blue, half charcoal so it could go either way.
5:48pm – Trolley arrives. Unfortunately, it’s also “FULL.” It’s also raining out, and my rain gear is back in the unit (because TWC said it wasn’t supposed to rain for the rest of the evening). Now the entire state is red/green/yellow again.
5:56pm – Trolley #2 arrives. It is not completely full like the last one, but it was two stops later. Ugh, I hate super crowded buses.
6:08pm – arrive at Coca-Cola Orlando Eye complex, and stop at the Outback near the trolley drop-off. Hopefully, eating will ease my suddenly sour stomach.
6:15pm – as expected, it was crowded (mostly by people waiting out the rain). I was fortunate enough to be seated immediately at the bar.
7:28pm – Leave restaurant, and the rain IS gone. The sky is clear, but it isn’t dark enough for fireworks yet so I decide to take some pictures around the immediate area to kill time. Yes, my stomach feels better.
7:36pm – Decide to get some ice cream and make my way toward the courtyard. It is surprisingly crowded considering the rain ended less than 20 minutes ago (sidewalk and artificial turf are dry too)
8:13pm – post a bunch of photos to the FB page. I probably should have posted them here…. I still can, hold on. Done, I love WP’s “backdating” feature.
8:27pm – Sunset, however my phone is at about 33% so the planned “Live” video of the fireworks show is called off.
8:43pm – The trolley back to my condo arrives… with exactly four other passengers on it.
8:59pm – arrive back at the condo where there is a near constant booming from fireworks that I know aren’t part of some official show. It will probably keep up like this all night.
9:13pm – I log back into FB on my laptop as my phone charges. I feel horrible about going back on the promise to my followers to “go live” with the fireworks.
9:37pm – a loud rumble of thunder puts the noise outside to an immediate stop. I’m hoping for a huge storm so I can get some sleep, but, no, the auxiliary show continued less than 10 seconds later.
9:47pm – Stomach is acting up again. I may end up spending the entirety of SeaWorld’s Fourth show in the bathroom. I never liked fireworks anyway…
It’s just after 10am, and I am standing on the dock outside the newly renovated Waterside Marketplace waiting for the ferry to cross the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth. The weather app on my phone says its 65 degrees and cloudy, but the chilly ocean wind makes it feel colder than that.
The small paddleboat arrived around 10 past the hour, it dropped off about a half dozen people and let the three of us who were waiting on dock onboard. The inside had a rusted floor with benches along the sides. Apparently, there were more benches in the center of the boat at one point, but they were removed, possibly to make room for the three beaten up fare boxes. The bench wasn’t all that comfortable, but it didn’t matter since it was only a 10 minute ride across the river to High Street landing.
Portsmouth is a charming, quiet town that kind of reminded me of a cross between Federal Hill and Fells Point. Unfortunately for me, I was visiting on a Thursday morning so nearly everything was closed: The Naval Shipbuilding Museum (for refurbishment until “early 2017”), The Lightship Portsmouth (open weekends only), Virginia Sports Museum (permanently closed) and a half dozen “historic homes” (also open weekends only).
That left the Arts & Culture Center (which was “between exhibitions”), the Virginia Children’s Museum, the TCC (Tidewater Community College) Gallery and the exteriors of various buildings. Oh, and I could purchase cheap looking, neon colored t-shirts at the visitor’s center which is coincidentally where I had to go anyway to get the ferry back to Norfolk – and it was only 12:30 (it would have been noon if I hadn’t stopped for lunch at Jimmy Johns on High Street).
I arrived back at downtown Norfolk around 1:25 where it was a balmy 69 degrees with partly cloudy skies, and I was nowhere near ready to pack it in for the day so I walked over to Nauticus (though most of the parks were closed off due to construction of the various tents for next week’s Harborfest). I walked up the ticket counter and the somewhat disinterested cashier sold me a normal base ticket for $15 (included a movie and a limited tour of the attached battleship). I couldn’t decide if I wanted a snack or to just upstairs to see the exhibits on the 3rd floor first so I chose the latter.
The museum itself is hard to quantify. It has some exhibits that are geared towards kids (like the entry on port Norfolk, the touch a shark tank or the small “aquarium” area – which makes the former National Aquarium in DC look HUGE by comparison), but the majority of the labyrinthine museum space is ship life, Naval history, Naval recruiting and the nearby Naval base – not many of which would be of interest to the 3-12 set.
The exhibits are small, superficial and dated with broken or worn out “interactives” and little to no flow between the tightly packed exhibits – which you can’t really skip as there is only ONE path through the exhibit area (as I found out when one of the barely crowded rooms was too noisy for my tastes). The only place in the gallery that wasn’t claustrophobically small was the end where the theater, the NOAA exhibit and the stairway to the actual Hampton Roads Naval Museum\walkway to the USS Wisconsin (which were both on the second level). Though I didn’t partake in either this time as I fell asleep in the 3d movie and took that as a cue to head back to the hotel… at 3pm in the afternoon.
Not yet, first I stopped into their gift shop (my favorite part of their museum), and then I went into their café next door… but they were closed so I looked around thinking I might be able to take some snacks back to the room with me. Then a black man in black shirt hauling a large trash can behind him comes up behind me:
“Ya know,” he said. “We got a full menu.”
“Yeah, thanks, but it’s closed. There’s no-one back there.”
“What was that? I said look up there. We got a full menu up there,” he said pointing up to the large black and white sign hanging from the ceiling that I’d have to be blind to miss (I couldn’t read it with my crappy vision, but I couldn’t miss it when I came in).
“And it doesn’t do me any good if it’s CLOSED because there is NO-ONE back there.”
“’No-one back there?’ I work the café. I’D be the one ringing you up. Now, if you want to order something. Order it.”
With that said, I immediately turned around and decided to get dinner in the hotel and then get a start on my packing. It’s going to be another long day of traveling tomorrow – and my toes aren’t even remotely healed yet…
Note: These are some actual updates from my Facebook page of the same name about my day going to\getting back from seeing the new exhibit at Orlando Science Center (a traveling one at that). Some of said stats have been edited to fit a more detailed narrative timeline.
10:56am – Chased out of the apartment by the obnoxious noise the landscape crew was making with their mowers and whackers. I got everything together to go out… just in time to see them packing up as well. Maybe a little adventure will give this headache a chance to go away…
11:35am – Disembarked at Lynx Central Station and immediately traded my transfer pass for a Sunrail card as I figured (wrongly as it turned out) that an 11-minute train ride would be easier than a 25 minute bus ride… or it would have been except the last morning train left six minutes ago…and “mid-day” trains come at TWO HOUR INTERVALS?
11:55am – I am strongly considering opening my Lyft app and requesting a fricken ride. The only problem is the battery on my phone is running out so I shut it down for the remainder of the afternoon to conserve power.
12:25pm – I am hungry, and decide to go into the actual station itself to get something to eat. It turns out, the building itself is pretty bare bones with restrooms (complete with not-at-all-creepy “these restrooms are being monitored…” sign #eww), vending machines and a rack of schedules across from the entrance (which was closed due to maintenance).
12:47pm – I just finished lunch at their tiny in-station café. No menu, no tables and the cashier tried to rip me off, but it filled 15 minutes so whatever. Yeah, meanwhile, I am sitting here realizing how noisy it is out here: birds, buses coming\going, station announcements and guys with leaf blowers (because someone hates me today).
-1:13pm – Only fifteen minutes to go. ^_^
-1:28pm – After watching two Amtrak and one southbound Sunrail train zoom past me, the Northbound train to Orlando Health finally arrives.
-3:38pm – On my way back from Orlando science center. I was there to see their temporary exhibit #AstronautOSC. I haven’t decided if it is worth writing a review of or not. I like space stuff, but this exhibition was kind of #meh.
-5:04pm – Got on at the wrong bus at the transfer so the driver rudely threw me off at the last stop. He did begrudgingly let me back on 15 minutes later with a condescending lecture about it being “YOUR responsibility to make sure you get on the right bus.”
Sorry, I keep forgetting I CHOSE to have a brand-new car totaled by a teenager I never saw coming. The best part, the state rewarded my pain and suffering by revoking MY license forcing me to deal with assholes like this. 😡
-5:21pm – Thanks to that blunder, I arrived at The Florida Mall about 40 minutes later than I planned. I have less than 20 minutes to get dinner on the opposite side of the mall before my transfer pass expires (as he refused to issue me a new one). Fortunately, it’s a food court, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
–6:20pm – On my way back now, I had to use my last remaining ones as my transfer pass expired just as I was leaving the food court… but I still haven’t decided if I’m doing a full write-up my visit to OSC. Fortunately, I have just over a half-hour to make up my mind…