Tomorrow

I am driving to another city early tomorrow morning, so that I can view and examine and, possibly, test drive a scooter…

My hope is that the scooter be perfect for me, and that I, therefore, purchase it and bring it back to Houston with me.

I will have to take my motorcycle safety course, and purchase a cover and lock before I get to have it at my house, but that’s okay – it will sit in the garage of the family friend who is meeting me in a truck to go pick up the scooter in the first place, and he is extremely trustworthy with anything motorcycle related (and scooters are related, like cousins from Europe).

I am nervous to go to bed, because tomorrow will be here sooner, so far as my conscious kind is concerned, and the excitement of today will have ended…, but tomorrow will be perfect, for whatever reason, in whatever way it happens… of course, I am biased in the direction of this beautiful scooter becoming my friend and coming home to Houston with us… yep…

Anyway, I have my alarm to wake me at 5:35am, I think, so I really need to giddy up and go to sleep now, seeing as how it is almost midnight already.

And then, after we get back home, I have to do muscle testing at the gym, to see what maximum weight I can lift doing a certain motion, now that we’ve completed an eight-week cycle focused on building strength…, so I have to make sure I have proper energy and food for that tomorrow evening.

On that note, I bid you a wonderful night. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

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Crazy lady travels free

I was just thinking about when my coworker and I took a group of kids to England and France a few summers ago, and things associated with that.  At the end of the trip, I stayed in France to go visit my old stomping grounds down south, and so I left the group to go home on a flight with my coworker (per our own full agreement and arrangement ahead of time).  I waited too long to decide to do that, so I had to pay $350 for the flight change (Ugh).  We also each had to pay $937.50 for the trip in the first place (Meh).  Therefore, I had to pay a total of $1287.50 for a 10-day trip that included all accommodations, food, tours, and transport, and another ten days on location at my own expense, which is really not bad at all.  At all.

However – and this is a BIG however – as part of our arranging and hosting this trip in the first place, the tour company gave us each a training trip.

Mine, as I selected it, was a long weekend trip, with food, housing, tours, and transportation included, to downtown Rome, Italy.  Therefore, my just-under 1300 dollars actually got me two separate trips to Europe, with almost all expenses paid for most of the time on the trips.

I really do come up with the craziest stuff to have happen in my life.  And – what is possibly the best part of this all – I don’t even seem to notice how absurd it all is, until I find myself ruminating on this and thats one afternoon, years later, and it suddenly hits me that, say, taking a free trip to Europe is not a normal thing in life.  I take this moment to nod my head to my cousin for the question she exasperatedly declared one evening at my apartment a few years ago: “Hannah, do you even know what real life is like?”

Indeed, fair cousin, it seems I do not know that most of the time – reality bites, so I live somewhere else, and I love it.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Effective Toilets

One thing I love about the Europe in which I lived is the practicality of concepts and mentalities.  The main example of this which comes to mind right now is that of toilets.  Public toilets, specifically, I mean.

At my campus in Toulouse, France, was my first experience of the idea of one set of sinks for toilets of both genders.  There were the individual stalls, as in any US bathroom, though with doors and walls that closed off each stall more effectively from outsiders’ views.  However, each stall was labelled as for male or female users. Then, over to the side, was the countertop sink area.  Just one sink area for everyone to use.  It was practical, efficient, and sufficient.  It was odd, at first, walking into the same bathroom as the guys, and even talking with them while in line in the bathroom and at the sinks.  But I never felt uncomfortable, because I still got my own, private little space to do my private business.  The privacy part was kept even more private than the stalls in the US, where we have nonsense structures that require us to avert our eyes whenever we enter the bathroom, because we get that one-inch-wide view all along the length of either side of every stall door, and, whether we like it or not, leaves us knowledgeable of the color of everyone’s underwear.  (No joke here.  We totally have trained ourselves to look away as fast as possible, and also not to remember what we see, but it doesn’t change the fact that we totally see it and on a regular basis.)  (Also, the urinals were still kept for the men, the  private trash bins by the toilet were kept for the women’s stalls, and girls didn’t have to worry about guys urinating on the seats or floors around where we’re dropping our pants.)

When I was in Germany most recently, I was using the toilet in the airport just before my flight.  When I walked out of the stall to go to the sink (in the women’s bathroom), a male cleaner walked into the bathroom with an indifference nonchalance.  He walked to the trash bin and emptied it to his cart outside the bathroom, and refreshed the bag.  Then he swept the floor a bit and wiped down the sinks, checking the soap and paper towels.  Not one person flinched during this process.  No one was embarrassed.  But there were other women in the bathroom, coming and going as though all was well and normal.  And, for some reason, I was delighted and warmed at that fact.  I think I even giggled when I left the bathroom, because I was imagining how people back in the US might have responded (and, potentially, panicked like no other).  Again, just like in France, he wasn’t in the actual privacy portion of the bathroom, so it didn’t really matter so much that he was there.  He was only passing through – it wasn’t like he was hanging out in there all day or anything.  He cleaned up and got out, just as he probably did in the men’s restroom.  So what that he was a man?

In the US, our restrooms are shut down from use whenever someone of the opposite gender cleans them.  And that really sucks at times.  Really.  Because, sometimes, you’ve just got to go.

However, one restaurant in Houston gives me hope for our city (if not quite our country yet).  It has regular-looking entrances for the men’s and women’s restrooms, on opposite ends of this one wall.  Upon entering either of those doors, one will discover a beautiful wall of sinks between those two entrance doors.  That is, both doors lead to the same room of sinks.  From that room, continuing in the initial direction, there is a second door, which will lead into the separate-gendered toilet rooms (men’s and women’s).  And, in those, the individual stalls are like their own little rooms, with real privacy to handle one’s business.  (None of that eye-averting necessary.)  It’s wonderful.  I ate at this restaurant with my dad once, and he and I specifically left the restroom from the opposite doors – he went through the women’s and I through the men’s – so that we might surprise the person with us at dinner.  She didn’t notice, of course, but we had fun being rebellious in a way that didn’t actually matter.  😛

Anyway, I really like that kind of bathroom, and I really like the general mentality of efficiency I have found wherever I have lived (and visited) in Europe.

Post-a-day 2018

 

::Sigh…

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t just be better to get a high-paying job in an office, and start saving up.  Then, after a couple or few years, start the process for adoption.  The only work so far that I have loved doing, without almost any question ever, is doing things with other people’s kids (nannying).  Maybe having a somewhat terrible corporate job in suits is worth it for having a kid…

I just don’t see myself happy each morning and each bedtime in a job like that, and that means bad sleep each night and a tough start to the day each morning.

I don’t know… sometimes I get depressive, and then desperate, and start calculating what ‘makes sense’ for life, as opposed to ‘listening to my heart’.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve even asked my heart what I/it want/wants to do with my life and time…

Now is as good a time as ever, I suppose.  🙂

 

P.S.  I’ve noticed that, whenever I get upset in the depressed, my life is going nowhere experience, I have an almost panicked desire to move to Europe, and it is most often France.  It’s not like I have any idea whatsoever what I would do there, or how that would solve any of my current issues.  Plus, it would create the issue of being away from almost everyone I know and love and who loves me, since most of them are in the US.  However, there’s just this feeling that arises that living in Europe somehow would just make everything okay, and in a good way (not just tolerable okay, but good okay).  Anyway, just something I noticed tonight.

Post-a-day 2018

Teatime with the girls

A sort of short story about a girl’s casual, 30-second train of thought.

……………………………………………..

“…I go on a job interview there, and that’s how we finally meet up, and discover that we really do like one another in a dating capacity.  And so, I start working over there, and we start dating.  That’s easy enough, you see,” says Eliza.

“Okay…” replies Karen speculatively.  “And then?”

“Well, and then we realize that we totally love one another,” continues Eliza, “and we’re ready to get married.  But the question is whether we get married here or over there.  If we got married there, it would be totally classy and cool, but then all of my family and friends here likely would miss out.  But then, I think, what people here do I really care about having at my wedding?  Most of them would be invited only so I could show off my amazing husband and wedding to them, anyway.  And wouldn’t it be accomplishing the same thing by getting married in Europe instead, where my husband is from?  It shows how he’s exotic, and so am I, getting married over there.  Plus, then all the ladies could wear their fabulous hats and everything would be so chic and practically straight out of some fashion magazine.
“I would have a dress that is inspired from the princesses’ wedding dresses in London over the years, with a hint of French flare and loads of my own personality, all tied together beautifully and stunningly.”

Karen cuts her off, “You have the dress planned already?”

“Well, I’m not sure about the whole thing exactly, but I know how the sleeves would look, and they’re spectacular and classy.  And YES, they do exist, despite all this recent fashion of sleeveless wedding dresses.  So not my style.”

Karen shakes her head, and takes a sip of tea as Eliza continues.

“Anyway, so that could be cool.  And we’d have a super-fab old Church for the wedding, and that would be amazing and not cliché, because it’s actually just normal in Europe.  But then, we’d have to have some kind of something here in the US afterward.  I’m not sure what, exactly, but something to celebrate specifically with everyone here who couldn’t make the trip.  But nothing lame.  Too many people do a lame ‘Oh, we couldn’t invite all of you to the wedding, but we still want to celebrate with you’.  Aka ‘Give us presents, even though you weren’t good enough to be invited to the wedding.’  Not to be harsh, but you get the point…”

“Who’s she talking about?” whispers Lorena, who has just returned from flirting at the tea bar.

“The guy from the photo I showed you yesterday,” replies Karen, sighing.  Lorena accepts this, and begins to process what Eliza is saying.

“Then we’d continue living over there, and it’d be perfect, because it lines up with my wanting to live over there, and we’d be so close for an easy trip up to visit Christine and her husband whenever we wanted for a long weekend or whatever.  Or I could go alone super easily.”

Astounded, Lorena cuts in, “You mean you’ve already decided on wedding plans with this guy?!  You haven’t even gone on a date, yet!”

“He hasn’t even asked her out,” chuckles Karen.

Only slightly defensively, Eliza replies cooly, “Well, if we can’t agree on a wedding location and place to live, then it isn’t really worth bothering dating in the first place, now is it?  We’d be wasting our time if we knew so soon that it never would work out, yet went forward with it all, anyway.”

“She has a point,” allows Karen, raising her eyebrows.

After a pause, Lorena replies, “True…  I still hold that you’re nuts, Eliza.”

“I’ll second that,” throws in Karen.

“Third it!” laughs Eliza.  “Oh, I know I’m totally nuts.  That’s why it’s so important that a guy and I be compatible through and through before we bother starting anything.”

They erupt in giggles and laughter, enjoying the ridiculousness of the conversation, and knowing how true Eliza’s statement really is.

“Weirdo,” says Lorena, playfully.  “Okay, let’s have some lunch.  I’m hungry, and now all I can think about is smoked salmon…”

The other two frown questioningly at her.

“What?  You were talking about weddings.  Weddings always make me think of smoked salmon.”

“Weirdo.”

“Total weirdo.”

Lorena laughs, “Whatever.”

……………………………………………..

Post-a-day 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Lucia’s Day

In third grade, my friend and classmate Kristin and I did a project together around Christmastime.  We were to learn a bit about how other countries celebrated Christmas, and do a sort of write-up, and then a little presentation for the class.  I imagine that everyone had different countries, and that we weren’t the only ones presenting something, but I really don’t remember.

Our specific project, as my mother and I recall, was over St. Lucia’s Day, a holiday seen as signaling the arrival of Christmastide.  It is a Catholic and Lutheran holiday, mostly celebrated in Italy and Scandinavia.  All I remember from what we researched was that the girls in a family traditionally wore white dresses, made rolls of bread early in the morning, and sang songs at home, while wearing this sort of crown-wreath on their heads, with candles on it.  We dressed up one of my little wooden dolls to look the part.  She had a green pipe cleaner head-wreath, with rolled up tissue candles, and a tissue dress.

Since we had talked about how the girls in a family would sing traditional Christmas songs, we were asked if we could sing one of the songs.  We confessed, however, that we didn’t actually know any of the particular ones sung for the holiday.  Someone asked us just to sing an English Christmas carol, instead, and we somehow ended up with “Silent Night”.  So, Kristin and I sang “Silent Night” to the class together.  The irony of singing a German song for a mostly-Scandinavian holiday struck me only in recent years.  😛

Post-a-day 2017