Monday, August 31, 2009

Hungover

Burning toast in order to avoid a hangover was unsuccessful. However, it is possible that all of the water I had to drink in order to choke down burnt toast helped lessen the severity of the hangover. All in all it was a very hungover day, though. Naturally I am headed straight to bed for a nap and then it's time to get packing. Last night we enjoyed our apartment as is and all put together for the last time. We had a gorgeous dinner party for our friends Vince and Emily on the third floor who are moving to Minnesota. It's terribly sad to see them go. That seems to be the way things go though. Make some friends you really like and then they move. Get your apartment just so and then it's time to move. Ah well. Nap time.

Hangover

I'm in the process of burning toast in order avoid having a hangover. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In the Mood

School is just around the corner, and with the stress of a new job as apartment manager, a big ring of new keys to our new apartment in hand and all of our worldly possessions looming in front of me waiting to be packed, I've given little attention to school. After months of leisure time, it's hard for me to get in the mood of school and now with all this, it's even harder. So today I am attending a workshop at Montessori Institute Northwest. Yes, I am a poster child of sorts for Montessori - you'll know what I mean if you click on that last link. So I guess it's good I'm living up to my pictorial reputation by attending this workshop and getting the creative Montessori juices flowing. It just occurred to me that you may think it's strange that this is the first time I've really come right out and talked about my career on Folio Rose, but I guess that's really the point of Folio Rose; to indulge in the things I really don't have time for otherwise. Wouldn't it be great if blogging could be a form of exercise? Who has time for that?!? Anyway, the stress has diminished slightly now that all of the dotted lines have been signed and the decision to hire movers to carry all of our things up to the third floor has been made. I can't think of a better way to spend a couple hundred bucks. I really can't. I'll be sweat free pointing to where things should go. Heavenly. Now back to that school year starting. I think I have time to do a couple loads of laundry before heading off to the all-day Montessori fest.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Moving

If I were to start seriously freaking out right now it would be completely understandable and appropriate. Well, maybe I already did start to freak out last night. But I got lots of sleep and now I'm coping well and managing to be madly efficient. What's the fuss, you ask? Between now and September 7th, Joel and I are moving to a new apartment in a building we shall be the managers of and setting up for the school year. Nothing major. Haha! Just kidding. So fucking major!

This morning I awoke at 6:30 am and being a decent person, killed time doing the dishes until 7 when it was acceptable to call my mother. I was mentally categorizing tasks and devising a strategy as to how we'll pack and what we'll get rid of as I cleaned the kitchen. Then, what should happen? My mom offered to come down for a visit and help us move! My mom has a lot of friends in Portland, so I won't be terribly surprised (or offended for that matter) if she actually doesn't want to help move all that much, but I know she'll be a big help. How fabulous. I spent the rest of the morning changing our address with everyone and Joel did a lot of that too, although he did have to work today.

Now we're off to a meeting to get our new keys and sign on all sorts of dotted lines as we take responsibility for managing a multi-million dollar property. We only found out this was happening for sure on Wednesday (up until then we were about 90% sure, banking on it, but still nervous) and now the stress has hit full on. Hopefully we'll manage to keep at it in manageable chunks and stave off an all out freak fest. I'd really like that. Send us good, calming thoughts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

{tc} Dublin

Folio Rose shall now have a new category, {tc} which stands for travel companion. My friend Andrea, who works for a big, not-to-be-named airline company, has named me her travel companion, or in fancy Folio Rose terms, {tc}. Being {tc} means that I basically get to fly around the world for *free*. Fancy! However, while being {tc} has its bright side: the obvious one I just mentioned, it also has its very dark side: being the standby passenger, or as I've been the past couple of days, non-passenger. Let's start at the beginning when my very first {tc} experience began just ten days ago.

For the last week of summer Joel and I really wanted to do something spectacular. We wanted summer to go out with a bang and so, in the days before {tc}, that idea was a road trip to California with a stopover at Crater Lake, a couple of days in San Francisco and a quick visit to Santa Barbara. Then {tc} happened and we quickly became far more grandiose in our planning. Bali? India? Nicaragua? Those places were all having very hot, sticky weather, and Portland had been hot as hell itself, so we decided, where else? Ireland! It's always freezing in Ireland!

When we arrived at the airport to fly, we did not get on our first flight to New York. Sometime later when we were in Houston and it didn't look like we were going to get out of Houston, the reality of being {tc} really set in because instead of being on Grafton Street and sipping tea at Bewley's, we were walking past statues of George Bush and drinking nasty diner coffee at the Bayou Cafe. Hmmm. During one very low moment in Houston I vowed to myself that in the future, if we didn't get on our first standby flight, we'd forget the rest of the trip right then and there. But it was fun being in first class on the way to Houston. Who cares if it's thousands of miles in the wrong direction? I lulled into a lovely sleep following a hot toddy in that big, generous seat. And the snack plate was top notch as well. Mango slices on an airplane? You betcha!

The longer we were in Houston, the feeling of being a princess in first class was quickly replaced with a terrible sense of dread as we raced from gate to gate, standing by, never getting on a flight and passing the bronze George Bush statue each time. Uggh. The one redeeming point was these echoey chambers on the ceiling that are lit like little starry skies. It was fun to walk under those and hear our echo. Joel liked whistling as we went through. But we were still happy as clams when a connecting flight from somewhere was delayed and we were on our way to New York in time to get our flight to Dublin. Yee-haw! as they'd say in Texas.

Once in New York, another stroke of very good luck put us on the flight to Dublin and we arrived on schedule. Crazy! Fabulous! Amazing! Being {tc} is tremendous.

What followed was a week of fun, sight-seeing, visiting with friends, walking around. We were delighted to be sipping tea together on the James Joyce balcony at Bewley's on Grafton Street. That is a must, by the way, if you happen to be a tourist in Dublin anytime soon. Joel and I rode bicycles, saw a huge prehistoric tomb, met up with Andrea in Belfast, partied like rock stars and then the time came for us to go home.

And that brings us to the present. I am still in Dublin.

Well, I did say that being {tc} has a very dark side. And I've been able to experience that in full force the past two days. If we thought being in Houston was bad, we were crazy, because Houston has more flights going out than you can shake a stick at. Oh no, Dublin is bad. Just two flights a day go out on my particular airline behemoth. Two!!

In such situations, being {tc} requires strategy and skill and dividing in order to conquer. This we did not fully understand yesterday when Joel and I turned down a seat on Andrea's flight so we could fly together. Oof! Of course we didn't end up flying together. Joel went on alone. In our defense, we were all exhausted and had had very little sleep, so decision making was not really even possible, actually. And furthermore, the gate agents at the airport were very laid back (they are Irish after all) and it seemed like it would be no problem to get on the next flight together. When I didn't get on, I was horrified. Mostly because we'd given up a seat and it was going to be 24 hours before I had another shot at getting home. Oh the agony! I did what any reasonable drama queen would do and waited in vain until the plane pushed back, then went quickly to the bathroom and sobbed for a minute or two. Maybe three. That felt good. Being totally exhausted, I became extra dramatic, more so than normally and I began thinking of how much I love Joel and how badly I wanted to be in our little apartment together. I was deeply, desperately homesick. And self pitying. Which of course led to a bit more crying and eye wiping as I sat on the disgusting airport floor and plugged my computer in order to send an email to Andrea, feeling she was the only person in the world who could rescue me from this airport hell.

It's amazing what a nap can do for a person.

By the time I'd come back into town, had a nap and a hot shower, I was a new gal. My life in Portland, I came to realize, would still be there 24 hours later. And in the meantime, I was allowed a life in Dublin. Dublin! As in Ireland. So Shelly and her flatmates and I went out to dinner and then I went and had a great chat and glass of wine with Jenny. Being {tc} is pretty damn great!

Today was more airport hell, yet I had a new zen perspective. I was cheerful. I made a new best friend between the hours of 7 am and 1 pm named Jason. He is also an employee of the large, not-to-be-named airway giant. Jason has mad skills when it comes to standby. He can really analyze a screen of information and he even stands at the gate and counts the number of passengers boarding to make sure it's all legit. He chats with the captains and flight crew and gets the skinny on everything. Then he brings it back to me explains it all so I can properly understand my position, my options and make a strategic and calculated next move. Yes! Being {tc} really is like gambling as Joel likes to put it. Gamblers are always counting cards and stuff like that. I just had no idea how to hedge my bets before meeting Jason. On Jason's advice, I'm listed for the flight in the morning, and I am pretty damn sure I'm going to get a seat. When we parted ways, he said, "All right, kid. See you in the morning." He's like my standby godfather.

Tonight before I go to bed, I will be saying a little prayer to Saint Christopher, patron saint of travelers. First I shall thank him for my standby godfather, and then I shall ask that I get a seat on the 9am flight. Oh, and Saint Christopher, coach will do just fine, but Business Class wouldn't hurt a bit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Belfast

Our hotel is amazing. Just got out of the most satisfying shower I've had in a very long time. Off to meet Andrea and buzz around town. More later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What would I say?

I have been told by several friends that I give sound, true, helpful advice. Yet often times in my own life I forget to step back and look at my own dilemmas objectively. Today I asked myself, "what would I say to someone in my situation?" while trying to deal with conflicting priorities at summer's end. The practice of turning to oneself for answers is not only obvious, but essential. Our friend Goethe said it nicely in Faust.
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
- Goethe

Friday, August 7, 2009

FBC

Last night Joel and I joined my Uncle Cyrus and Aunt Lynne (my late dad's brother and sister) and a couple of Cyrus's friends for a ride with the Spokane FBC. The eloquently named Fucking Bike Club holds a Full Moon Fiasco ride each month and last night was particularly exciting. A huge thunderstorm was passing through Spokane and between dazzling lightning displays and thunder, we were rained on multiple times throughout our pub crawl evening. Nonetheless, it was a great time.
Hundreds turned out and dressed up for the event. As with any city, Spokane has its hipster track bike constituency. And of course the roadies were out and representing in force. I really had fun, much to my surprise. Here we are locking our bikes together as we started out. Note the glow stick halos. Very handy for sticking together in the peloton.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What a lot of Blarney!

My friend Andrea and I loved to wax poetic about the Emerald Isle when we worked together at Kathleen's of Dublin, an Irish import store in downtown Portland. We made several failed attempts at visiting Ireland together. Mostly we just dreamed of Ireland as we organized boxes of Barry's Tea and folded giant Irish sweaters while listening to Irish music and the ding-dings of the cash register up front. Finally our time has arrived to be in Ireland together. Andrea is a flight attendant, and as her brand new Travel Companion, I shall be flying to Ireland August 15th. Joel is coming along too and we're going to be bonafide tourists, something I am looking forward to quite a lot! Well, maybe not bonafide tourists. I do not intend to go around telling people, "I'm Irish!" I guess I'll just be a pleasure traveler, rather than a working traveler on the island. I can't wait! And although I spent several months working just around the corner from the Guinness Factory in 2002, I've never visited it. Touristy Ireland, here I come!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's in the Mail!

My daily trips to the mailbox have been so enjoyable lately. Check out this mail run - no pesky bills or junk mail here. Two issues of Lucky, three new Netflix and the Phantogram EP. Hello!The next day, I was greeted by a large package from Anthropologie upon arriving home. Quelle surprise! It turned out to be a wedding/anniversary gift from our lovely and dear friends Kate and Travis in San Francisco! The only thing better than getting an ultra-beautiful gift from them is knowing they'll be in Portland to visit in one week. Eeek!And, as if that wasn't enough, my fabulous fall boots arrived from Nordstrom. I can't wait to layer fun outfits with leggings, dresses, cardigans and skinny jeans and wear these babies in myriad different ways. Watch out fall fashion!

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