I'm dying. I'm physically dying. 

Do you know that ache you feel in your core after you've been single for "long enough," and all of a sudden you decide that your bed feels cold and empty and goddammit, it sure would be nice to have someone to go plunger shopping with and to annoy when you're feeling fat? You know that feeling? The kind where no amount of chocolate cake even slathered with chocolate frosting or quality friendship over bottles of wine is enough?

It's like that. Only about another country. Or two. Or three. Or seven. 

I have this friend who claims to have friends (sure, sure) that are on a "race to 100." Women, that is. Gross, I know. Literally and figuratively gross. But I want to be on a race to 100, too - well, 196, but you get it. But why? What's the big deal about a stupid number? What's the big deal about amassing a great deal of by definition paper-thin experiences?

I don't know. But I want them.  

All that gray in the above map is killing me. It's taken all my restraint to not include the layovers I had in Iceland, China, and Qatar just to round it out to a nice, even 20. Hey, in Iceland and Qatar I even touched outside ground! I felt the respective cold and heat! Doesn't that count? I know, I know. It doesn't. 15 seconds doesn't count, but does an hour? Six hours? Where's the line? What do I need to do turn all that gray into blue?

I just moved to North Carolina a couple of weeks ago and the itch to live somewhere more exotic is already raring its ugly head. I need to be appeased with Asheville, DC, Charleston, Boston, and all the other myriad semi-nearby places I've never been. This is closer to the past than I've ever been in America. This is a step in the right direction. Irvine is a 30-year-old city, Irvine is almost younger than me - at least now I get to hit triple digits. One-hundred year old buildings? Bless my little heart. 

But the other thing is that I really don't want to hop on a plane and spend three days somewhere. I want to get accustomed to the smell of the air, I want to blaze a path from my kitchen to the grocery store, I want to wear a dent in a mattress. Heck, I even want to make an asshole of myself in front of an accumulated-over-time dozens of people. Why is life so short? Why don't I have enough time to do these things? Why haven't I won the lottery or been heir to a great oil fortune?

Why? Why? Why? 

</existentialism> </rant>

I'm sorry. It's just...it's difficult. All this writing for Matador (shameless plug ftw?) is just rubbing it in, too. I'm running out of pitches. I'm running out of stories. I'm running out fuel. I'm starving. Just don't tell Africa I said that. Please. I know how I sound.

But at least this race won't give me VD?