fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
So last month I went on a big fun trip to Europe with my friends, and it was awesome. I'm hoping to post some pictures in a few days, and eventually write up all of the trip, but for now, I'll just post this summary of our traveling (primarily plane and airport) adventures.

::traveling:: )
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
I did not sign off on this snowstorm! W-T-F, people? SERIOUSLY. I was supposed to ! I was supposed to make foolish, last-minute, anxiety purchases at a box store today! I was supposed to get TRAVELER'S CHECKS (at the bank, not the aforementioned box store). Instead I was trapped inside the house, incapable of accomplishing anything, save watching Ed and annoying my friends on the phone! I capped it all off with a solid hour or so of snow-blowing and shoveling, followed by stressed-out last-minute packing, which is the best way to spend your last evening before a trip, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I have packed, I have written explicit instructions for my parents so that I can tape General Hospital for the next two weeks (I kind of resent GH for becoming interesting and watchable to me right before I'm going on a trip), I have called trusted friend to ramble on about fear of flying and fear of what the relaxy-pills I've been given will do to me (what if I vomit? Or drunkenly approach an attractive fellow flyer? What if I vomit while drunkenly approaching an attractive fellow flyer? HORRORS). I have also found out what movies are showing on the plane (FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX is one of them! ARE THEY MAD?), and have left ample room in my personal bag for the candy and other comfort foods I will need to get me through the flight.

I must stop talking about my flying anxiety (anxiety about flying, not anxiety that flies about under its own power - though, come to think of it, that's kind of an apt figurative description) before I freak myself out further. Subject change!

The other day my mother was telling me about one of her coworkers, who is having trouble getting a promotion, possibly because she's married to the big boss's wife's ex-husband. This prompted me to ask if there were more than thirty people in our tri-county area, or if it just seems that way.

Another example of this arose from my grandfather's visit to the dentist. The dentist in question was:

(a) the son of a couple my maternal grandparents used to socialize with;

(b) my dentist since I was a little girl;

(c) the brother of a girl I went to high school with;

(d) the father of a girl I once baby-sat at a Montessori fundraiser my aunt threw; or

(e) all of the above.

If you chose (e), you're probably one of our area's thirty residents!

Anyway, my grandfather insisted that I accompany him into the examining room with him, where I watched him have impressions done for dentures and made small talk with the dentist about items (c) and (d), mainly. During the conversation he said something about how people are always asking why he hasn't had another child (he has one daughter). He said that having one of her is like having seven, and that he couldn't handle that.

I chuckled in a polite way and my grandfather sat there silent, goo from the impressions pooling at the corners of his mouth. I did not realize at that moment how fortunate his temporary inability to speak was because, later, when I was in the nursing home van with him and the driver, and, in a vain attempt to make bland small-talk, told my grandfather that I could understand what the dentist meant when he said that - I baby-sat his daughter once, and she was a handful - he said (and I quote), in his most booming voice,

"That isn't his decision! That's God's decision! CONTRACEPTION IS WRONG!"

(I wish I was exaggerating with that emphasis there, but I swear I am not.)

I almost died of embarrassment. After coming back from the brink, I asked him to table the conversation for later and responded pleasantly to the van driver's comment on the weather thirty seconds later - the usual social niceties one must be familiar with if one wishes to spend time with the Grandpa Unit.

Now it is late! I must away to bed. I am leaving tomorrow and won't be back until the 24th, and that evening I'm going to a young alumni mixer for a bunch of area colleges. SO LAME and I can't resist. I'm making my friend Jo go and the only reason my friend Andrea is escaping is because she's leaving the state.

It's actually pretty great because since it takes place the day after I get back from Europe, I can start all of my conversations with that fact, instead of my usual opener: "Well, I'm unemployed at the moment, but I've been temping for the past few years, living with the parents. And oh! I just got a new cat! Want to see a picture?"

Those of you who have my cell number can leave messages there if you need to reach me (I will be checking the voicemail while I'm away), and my internet access will be sporadic at best. If anyone needs to get in touch with me, my AOL address still works but I do have another gmail one - fearlesstemp@gmail.com.

And that's it! I'm outta here!
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
There are 86 million, but I will limit myself to the following for the moment:


2. Obtain money order, because I have totally caved to parental pressure and have decided to send in money for the MOST UNFAIR TICKET EVER instead of showing up in court Tuesday night (the night before I leave the country) to Fight the Man. Briefly: Ticket was issued three weeks ago when I parked overnight on the street in front of my aunt's house. There were no signs restricting parking, nor was there snow falling to justify a snow emergency, nor was I on a busy city street where parking is an issue. This was a suburban development just like the one I live in, where I park my car on the street every night! But I got a ticket for illegally parking overnight. I called the town and was informed that the parking restrictions are posted every November in the town's weekly newspaper and that they're posted at the entrance to town. I drove in at night! Am I supposed to wear infa-red goggles to see such things? AM I, YOUR HONOR?

I was all prepared to make that argument but my mother was stressing out so much about me being there for HOURS and NOT HAVING TIME TO ADEQUATELY PACK and ETC. that I finally caved and wrote a strongly worded letter to enclose with my ticket and check.


3. Create lesson plans for R. to work on with his girlfriend while I'm away. This may not happen because I am the WORST LITERACY VOLUNTEER EVER and I completely forgot to do this over the weekend, and now will have to frantically throw something together tomorrow afternoon, sometime after getting the money order but before I meet with him for our last session pre-my-vacay.

Note: The literacy stuff has been going very well. I got some very nice feedback from his girlfriend and would like to take a moment to encourage people to take part in this - it's been a really rewarding experience for me, and the time commitment (once you get past the training) really isn't that bad. Basically, I have two hours of lessons, two hours of lesson planning, and two hours of driving time per week, max. That's six hours, and I know that a lot of people are so busy that cramming those six hours just isn't possible and would negatively influence their quality of life (and I totally get that), but if you have those six hours and it sounds like something that appeals to you, it's a great experience.

Here's a link to find a program in your area: http://www.literacyvolunteers.org/locator/

4. Take my grandfather to the dentist, which should be interesting since my father has just informed me that my grandfather is not aware of this appointment, and may not want to go. Awesome! So that's my morning tomorrow, wrestling him into the dentist's chair.

5. LAUNDRY. And, secondary to this, MAKE FINAL CLOTHES CUT for trip. I do not need 30 outfits for a two-week trip.

6. PACK. Right now I'm bringing three pairs of shoes and three different jackets/coats. I feel I cannot narrow this down further or I will die of hypothermia or improper-shoe-itis.

7. Figure out if brother's VCR is programmable since two other VCRs have died cruel, sudden deaths. CANNOT MISS AMERICAN DREAMS.

8. Return book to library that has been missing since last November! What a glorious day it was when I found you, Bandits by Elmore Leonard. I have spent the last two months cursing myself for giving in to Library Euphoria, the malady I fall victim to when I realize that the nice people at the desk will let me just walk out of the building with ANY BOOK I WANT for FREE (plus any late fines that have accrued since our last visit). I start picking up books I have never wanted to read in the past and probably never will, but oh! I really liked Out of Sight! And this book was made into a movie too, with Bruce Willis, who I loved in Moonlighting! Why not pick it up? And then I lose it and get a threatening letter from the library telling me I owe them $28.00 if I don't bring the book back, and oh! CURSE YOU, LIBRARY EUPHORIA!

But now I have the book back and only face the late fines which will, most likely, total as much or more than the book's price.

9. Frantically order what should be comfort reads from Amazon.com so as to have something to read on the plane that will take my mind off of my SOUL CRUSHING FEAR OF FLYING. I was planning on bringing the biography of John Adams but - though I love John Adams - methinks some Georgette Heyer may be more easily processed while experiencing SOUL CRUSHING FEAR.

Ah, I so love that I am ordering these mere days before my departure! One must always create new things to stress over.

10. See Item 1. To bed!
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
The only good thing I can say about my passport photo - the ONLY good thing - is that my right eyebrow looks pretty good. Well-groomed, appropriate (if slight) arch, good (also natural) color. Everything else? Horrible! Awful horrible terrible bad! Should be burned at the border!

The first thing that should be noted is my complexion which - as I have mentioned to several individuals - shines as if I rubbed vegetable oil on my face seconds before my photo. I look like one of those displays at the makeup counter for the T-Zone, where a perfectly normal girl has the forehead/nose/chin T-Line lit up in a different color, except in my case there has been no Photoshop or post-development touch up. This shine is all me, baby!

Also of note:

-my left eyebrow, which is both longer and more unruly than my right;

-the super-frizzy hair;

-my awkward, constipated expression (Not completely my fault! The post office photographer told me to smile when I'd read that you're not supposed to smile in passport photos anymore, and so we had this weird, "Smile!"/"But I'm not supposed to!"/"Sure you can!"/"But-"/"SMILE!" conversation with an entire post office full of people waiting and watching);

-the awesome double chin caused by my insane consumption of all edible things within arm's reach since Thanksgiving; and

-I think my right eye is bigger than my left, which I never noticed until now!

The moral of the story is that when one asks oneself, "Do I need to touch up my makeup before having this ID picture taken that will follow me around for a decade?" the answer is always - ALWAYS - yes.

If only one could travel back in time and apply loose power. IF ONLY.

This is a long introduction to this fact: I'm going to Europe! Soon! In 2.5 weeks! I am so totally, completely under-prepared! Today I decided to start preparing by going to Marshalls to look for new bras, because I desperately need new ones but am too cheap to pay full price. Right now I'm wearing these convertible ones, but I keep losing the straps. It's gotten bad, to the point that I kind of look like I'm making some kind of funky statement with my undergarments - wearing a tan bra with one pink strap, the the other black - when actually I just can't find all of the straps. I think the cats are stealing them.

(It's convenient having little critters around; you can blame them for losing things when really it's just your own carelessness.)

Anyway! No luck on the bra hunting. You may ask why I need new bras for Europe. The answer is, of course, just in case I run into my famous secret admirer while cavorting about the Continent. Also, my mother had a romance with a ski instructor when she went to Austria in her early twenties (she broke her ankle on the slopes and he quit his job to take her to the hospital! I KNOW!). Maybe it's in the blood!

Also, what if I'm in a terrible accident and become known as the American Girl With Mismatched Underwear and Horribly Unflattering ID? Oh, the HORROR!


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February 2009

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