When in Rome…

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I have been in Rome by myself for the past week. A lot of things happened while I was there and I did a lot of thinking as well. So here comes…

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(like the banners by the way? I think it adds some spunk)

The Good:

  1. Art: In case you are new to my blog, one of my majors is art history and its truly what I want to do with my life. To be able to visit a place like Rome…it was like walking through the beginning of my art history text book. I saw structures and sculptures and paintings I thought I would never get to see because they seemed so far away and fantastical upon studying them. But I really did get to see Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew and I really did get to sit in the Sistine Chapel staring up at the ceiling for 45 minutes. It was a dream come true when I think about the fact that I got to see so many works of art and history from my dreams. Walking through the Roman Forum made me feel like I was transported to Roman times. It was astounding.

  2. Sweets: Ok this may sound really childish (but you know what, if you thinks sweets are childish you seriously need to rethink your life) but I ate so many pastries and gelato and yummies. The gelato is good no matter where you get it and everyone makes pastries different and its so fun to try different ones in different parts. Seriously, there are about 4 pastry shops on every street. But you know whats even better that they have? These INCREDIBLE hybrid gelato/pastry/coffee shop/bar/restaurant style things on literally every street and they are the greatest things (and relatively cheap for Rome). If we put these on every street in America, our unemployment problem would be solved. You’re welcome Obama.

  3. CATS: Ok so you know how I’m always telling ya’ll to have a day full of kittens? I ACTUALLY HAD A DAY FILLED WITH CATS! Let me tell you, all of you wonderful followers (you guys need to come up with a cutsie name for yeselves) need to have a day where all you do is literally cuddle cats or dogs or whatever suits your cuddle fancy. Go to a shelter and just ask if you can cuddle their dogs for a bit or cats or lizards whatever. It will warm your heart and instantly make you happy. But let me say, the 2 hours I spent at the Roman cat sanctuary is on par with my day spent in the Sistine Chapel. Thats how amazing it was. I literally had a cat stands on its hind legs and HUG. ME. I had a cat who curled in my lap and fell asleep. It was an amazing experience and I wish it upon you all.

The Bad:

  1. Price: Rome is ridiculous. I paid 11 euros for a really mediocre plate of not a lot of pasta for 3 days before I learned my lesson. So you pay a lot for not great food, but then you’re thinkin’, “I’m in Italy, I should get a glass of their house wine. Thats cheap in other parts of Italy.” but you’re wrong because Rome thats why. A glass of house wine costs about 9 euros. I can get a pint of beer in LONDON for less. So no wine. Fine. Whatever. Just give me some tap water. BUT NO. Can’t use tap water for some reason even though literally there is tap water pouring out of public fountains for you to fill up your water bottle with literally EVERYWHERE IN THE CITY so they charge you for a bottle of water and before you know it you’ve spent 20 euros on a plate of not great pasta, bread you didn’t ask for and WATER. So heres a pro tip: Bring a water bottle with you to every restaurant, you really don’t need that wine, and if they bring you bread, decline it.

  2. Men: Now here is where men will say, “Not all Italian men god Zoey you raging fucking man hating feminist.” but let me tell you, it really felt like all men. I have never felt so uncomfortable walking around a city by myself before. Yes I’ve been cat called. I’m from Miami, I had men cat calling me from out their car windows when I was trying to cross the street on my bike sweaty as hell and gross. I thought that was bad. Nope. In Rome, I had men outwardly look me up and down. Even when I was wearing baggy clothes, I had men whistle at me, attempt to coax me to come to them, call me beautiful in one moment and then a whore the next when I didn’t react to their “compliment”, follow me, and even walk with me attempting me to get a drink with them. This happened to me every day. It was pouring rain and I was covered in my rain gear and men were still saying “Hey beautiful come here”. It was terrifying to be a woman in Rome and I hated it.

  3. Selfie sticks: I’m not talking about actual selfie sticks. I am talking about the people who attempted to sell me selfie sticks, umbrellas, scarves, tickets, everything. It was so horribly obnoxious that I couldn’t walk down the street without some guy shoving a selfie stick in my face or blocking my path to look at a fucking umbrella. I get it, they’re trying to make a living but it is just ridiculous.

    4. Being alone: I thought I could travel alone, but I was wrong and I found out in a lot of bad ways. See, being alone and not talking to people gives you way too much time to get inside your own head. I got in unnecessary spats with my boyfriend over things that shouldn’t have been spatted over because my mind over thought everything. It can’t just leave something alone without dissecting it and it ended up making a lot of things worse. Then came the loneliness. I had to ask for a table for one everywhere I went with nothing to keep me company except for Anna Karenina or solitaire on my phone. Waiters looked at me weird, customers looked at me with pitying eyes. The people in my hostel had people to giggle with and talk to at the end of the day; I had the Legend of Zelda’s Phantom Hourglass (great game by the way). My depression ended up trying to creep back the longer I was alone. And then the panic attacks. I got my first one while I was seeing La Traviata and luckily I was close enough to home that I didn’t think it was a big deal and I felt very proud of myself for handling it so well. And then I went to the Trevi Fountain, about a mile and a half away from my hostel. I got a ridiculously severe panic attack where I couldn’t just go to a quiet place. I was in a place full of people. So I found a little corner of the plaza and shook and cried for 30 minutes. I can’t handle that happening to me again so I will not be traveling alone from this moment on.

The What?!

  1. I met someone from Miami IN ROME! The last night I was in Rome, some Americans (finally) came into the hostel room so I asked where they were from. Turns out one of the girls went to a high school that rivaled mine! It was pretty sweet to share some familiar memories, even if only for a few minutes.
  2. I had a waiter sing “You are not alone” while showing me to my table for one.
  3. I had a guy think I was Italian because I “look Mediterranean.” (Keep in mind, I think the only thing Mediterranean looking about me is my huge Greek eyebrows, but I’m pale as fuck otherwise).
  4. One waiter only referred to me as “miss book lover” as he served me.
  5. The owner of the cat sanctuary’s favorite cat was a cat named Piopo who only had 3 legs, half a tail, one eye and he couldn’t use a litter box. He was her favorite because “he snores”.

Well I think that about wraps it up.

I got a Facebook page! If you like my stuff, go on over and give it a like!

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

Strange Encounters: January/February

Oof its been a while. Sorry about that. Its been a rough couple of days for little miss Zoey over here. I think I could use a laugh and all of you could use a laugh, so lets laugh at the weird shit that has happened to me thus far. These aren’t necessarily in chronological order because I’m remembering them as I go.

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1. The Proposal

I went to Glasgow, Scotland with my group two weekends ago. It was wonderful and Glasgow is a truly cool city when its not kinda scary at night covered in drunks, but its really awesome besides that.I had to leave late because of a meeting I had for my almost had job (long story) so I got on a train to Glasgow at 5 and didn’t get there until 11:45. Within that large span of time, a couple of things happened:

  1. I lost my train ticket
  2. I met a really nice guy who had the thickest Scottish accent I ever heard and he kept asking me why people liked Donald Trump.
  3. I was proposed to.

Here is how 3 happened.

*Zoey walks out of the train station. Looks at her phone trying to figure out which way she is supposed to go. She picks a direction and looks up.*

Cue a random guy walking on the street. 

RANDO (while making direct eye contact): MARRY. ME. *he walks away* 

*Zoey stands there confused* 

Keep in mind the entire time he did this he kept walking but maintained direct eye contact with me. Lets just say it was quite an odd welcome to the city.

2. Sometimes interviews get a bit weird

As you may know, my project while I’m across the pond is to interview strangers about art (CAN LIFE BE BETTER???) and while I do get a lot of great answers, sometimes I get the strange ones too. Here are some things that have happened when I asked people about art.

1.Me: Ma’am, where does your eye go first?

Her: The eyes.

Me: Why?

*Looks at me directly in the eyes* Her: Because the eyes are the window to the soul my dear. You can see a lot about a person by staring into their eyes. *Kinda bobs around while she says this* 

2. Me: Sir, why do you look at the light in the painting?

Him: I don’t know. Ask Vermeer. *walks away* 

3. Me: Sir, where does your eye go first?

Him: Did you know that this painting is made of pastels?

Me: Um yes it says so-

Him: It was done in 1760 and he is such a brilliant painter. He is the best French painter to come out of this era. I think…*He continues to trail on and on about the painting, basically re-explaining what the info card says* 

Me: Thank you sir, but where does you-

Him: Thank you, you’re welcome, goodbye. *walks away* 

3. I finally got hit on

Its not often that I get hit on, for whatever reason. Sometimes, I think its really awesome, and other times its kind of sad. This day, was not one of those days I didn’t get hit on. In fact, it completely made my day.

I was sitting in the Tate Britain taking notes on Ophelia and waiting for this large group of art students to leave so I could interview people about it. As they start to leave and I start making my way towards it, this happens :

*girl runs straight at me *

Her: Hello uh hi hhello! I just think you’re very beautiful and I couldn’t stop staring at you so um okay heres my number just call me okay?

Me: Oh thank-

Her: I got to go to class bye!

*Runs away* 

Although I couldn’t call her to thank her for the compliment, I did find her on facebook and thoroughly thank her for the compliment and sadly break it to her that I am in a relationship but I would like to be friends with her. Haven’t heard from her sense. *sigh*

Anyway, sorry about the wait. I will try and post twice a week from now on.

Have a great day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

Follow me on: Instagram: okayzoeyk Twitter: @okayzoeyk

 

 

Thank god this year is finally over

I’m just gonna put it out there.

2015 sucked.

Like it really fucking sucked. I’m trying to think of good things that happened during 2015 and I can only come up with a few things but hey might as well focus on the good before we go into the bad shit right? Here is my list of the good, the bad, and the WHAT? Get ready folks. This is a long one.

The good: 

  • I got accepted to study abroad in London which by the way IM GOING IN 10 DAYS WWWWWWWHHHAAT IS LIFE. I am planning on going to a museum EVERY DAY and its going to be the best and I’m going to cry so many tears of happiness its going to be great.
  • I went to Hawaii with my choir and that was pretty bomb. I’m pretty sure most of us blinded the Hawaiians with our Portland paleness but it was worth it.
  • I got 2 new tattoos that I’m really happy with (and one I didn’t even pay for because my brother is the best)
  • My boyfriend and I celebrated our first anniversary and somehow my love for him keeps growing everyday and wow he’s great.
  • I didn’t spend the Summer in Miami!
  • I stopped being a teenager and turned into a twenty nothing so that’s always nice. I’m no longer one of those “dang nabbit teens with their gadgets and their kissing and their sex and their issues” oh wait thats still me but take out the teen.

But now we get to the bad. And there is A LOT of bad.

The bad: 

  • So.. I was pretty damn suicidal this year. I was constantly trying to convince myself why I shouldn’t end my life because my anxiety was so crippling. I didn’t want to end my life because I thought I was alone. Actually on the contrary. I didn’t end my life because of all the wonderful people in my life cheering me on. It’s hard to think of life worth living when its so difficult to just be alive because your mind is constantly against you and you can barely sit still at a dinner party because you feel like you’re being judged and all you want to do is take off your make up and crawl back into bed. What was scarier was that the voice that was trying to convince me was SO SWEET ABOUT IT. They were like giving me a choice and I was like, “gah this would be so much easier to push away if it wasn’t said in the voice of a fucking FAIRY SUICIDE GODMOTHER.” (Update: since I started taking some more meds and lots of therapy, my suicidal thoughts have dwindled to almost nothing)
  • The summer was pretty bad. Although it’s difficult to complain about living in wine country for 3 months, it is easy to complain about literally having no friends but your parents in an hour and a half radius. So I was pretty lonely, and I only worked once a week at a museum that was an hour away and saw my boyfriend and his friends every other weekend.
  • This semester. I just want to pretend this semester did NOT HAPPEN. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN GO AWAY.
  • I had to say goodbye to my boyfriend and I won’t be seeing him until May.
  • Literally everything that happened this fall.
  • I turned 20 and now I feel like I have to be an adult and lord knows I am NO WHERE NEAR ABLE TO ADULT YET.

There were some really weird stuff that happened this year too. Some that were rather humorous, but still strange.

The WHAT?! :

  • So this semester (aka the-semester-that-shall-not-be-named) I worked at this TEENY gallery in North West Portland called Yale Union that was run by some pretty cool people who were not affiliated with Yale University (I know that was confusing for me too) and I only went on Saturdays and spent 3 hours sitting at the “front desk” (it was a table with some pamphlets on it. I’d hardly call it a front desk) counting the three people coming in every time (sometimes no one at all) and trying to help people. I had to help people because this exhibit was insanely confusing. All of the names of the titles of the pieces and their artists were on a wall facing away from the exhibit. So people had no idea what they were looking at or who it was by and so they took their frustration out on little ol’ me. This exhibit was all about motherhood and so there were some cool things like three HUGE peitry dishes with spit samples and hair samples that kept growing to show how life is everywhere and there were some really neat-o photographs of spider webs. But then, there was this really strange pregnant mannequin that was always RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME when I snapchatted that had like twisted limbs and feet and hands and was supposed to show the pain of mother hood. Some people enjoyed it. Others did not. A conversation I had with a visitor:

Lady: Is there are pamphlet or something that I can have?

Me: Nope. There’s just this collection of material the curator and the artist’s put together that inspired them to make the exhibit.

Lady: So I seriously have to go back and forth between this stupid wall and the exhibit?

Me: Yes ma’am.

Lady: with a sneer This exhibit is very…obtuse.

Me: That’s art ma’am.

Lady: Not all art.

Me: Yes ma’am all art. Goodbye now.

She left with quite a huff. (If you seriously want to have a discussion why all art is obtuse, I will GLADLY have that with you)

  • Yet another gallery story because all I do is work in galleries and tiny museums. Once again, I was in a super small museum in Sonoma as a front desk host (this was way more legitimate) and people LOVED  talking to me. The amount of people I had just tell me about their son’s for NO REASON or their grand children was astounding. We especially got a lot of older visitors who loved talking to me while waiting for their S.O to get out of the bathroom. An example of a conversation I had:

Man: Where are you from?

Me: Um… Miami. But I go to school in Portland.

Man: PORTLAND? Wait what on earth are you doing all the way over here in California Miss Miami?

Me: My parents just moved here and I’m spending the summer with them.

Man: Ah thats sweet. My son said Portland was full of hippies or something like that. Are you one of them?

Me: Well uh…I don’t know sir…Do you mean-(I was going to say hipster which is what I think he meant)

Man: Nah you’re too young to be a hippy. Plus you’re from Miami. They don’t have none of those hippies in Miami.  Have a good day now.

  • Other times at this same museum I had people try to swindle me out of paying the 5 DAMN DOLLARS to get into the museum. We were free on Wednesdays. One conversation with a rather wealthy looking woman caked with make up, probably about 60:

*She rushes in and doesn’t look at me*

Me: Um excuse me Ma’am, you have to pay 5$ in order to see the exhibit.

Lady: I have to pay?

Me: Yes ma’am we’re independently funded and its not very much-

Lady: This museum is so small though.

Me: Yes ma’am…

Lady: And you only have this Deeben whatever?

Me: Diebenkorn ma’am and yes. We only have space for one exhibit at a time but the exhibit is very wonderful and-

Lady: *looks around with her nose in the air* This museum isn’t WORTH 5$.*leaves* 

Me: BET I COULD HAVE PAID THAT MUCH FOR YOUR FACE LIFT. (Or rather I would have said that if I wanted to get fired).

Another conversation:

*man comes in and also doesn’t look at me*

Me: Excuse me sir, you have to pay 5$ to enter the museum.

Man: No I don’t. I didn’t last time.

Me: Well, you do now. You must have come on Wednesday. It’s free on Wednesdays.

Man: I’m pretty positive I don’t have to pay.

Me: Are you a member?

Man: Well no, but I didn’t pay last time.

Me: That’s not how this works sir. If you want to see the exhibit you have to pay 5$. I’m not sure why you didn’t have to pay last time but you do now.

Man: When did it switch to being paid?

Me: I’m pretty sure it’s always been 5$.

Man: I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

Me: I’m not sir. Are you going to pay sir or shall I call my manager and have her explain why it’s 5$?

*he promptly leaves* 

Me: I WORK HERE ASSHOLE IM NOT WRONG ABOUT THE PRICE OF THE MUSEUM I WORK AT.

I don’t understand people.

  • I dog-sat a dog who would chase his own shadow. It was probably one of the most frustrating things that has happened to me when it comes to dogs.
  • While I was dog sitting the greatest Bernese Mountain Dog, I also cat sat a cat who would walk with the dog and I. The two of them hated my boyfriend.

Well, I think that’s my year in a nutshell spewing poison. Y’know, it sucked. Really bad. And I wish I could forget that this whole year even happened but at the same time, I learned a lot this year. I learned a lot about my limits as a person academically and that I really shouldn’t have so many hours of class in a day that I have 10 minutes to eat and maybe 18 hours of rehearsal a week isn’t so nice and that maybe I should not take a class when the professor is clearly an ASSHOLE. But you know what? I did. And I’ve learned from that. I learned that when anxiety gets bad and you think no one gets it, there may be one author who makes your shitty world make a lot more sense (Thanks Jenny Lawson). I learned that working in museums can be great but not everyone gets art and sometimes they take it out on the person working there and thats just what the workforce is like. I learned that even when you haven’t talked to your friends in weeks because you’re drowning in work and mental illness that they will still be there with open arms, smiles and a bottle of beer (thanks New World House and those who visited constantly).

Alright 2016, let’s not fuck me up as bad as 2015 did.

Cheers, internet.

Have a new year filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.