It’s Time.

Boys and girls, it’s that time once again.

Vacation time. And you know what that means.

In just under an hour I’m getting to the airport, and in about four hours’ time I’ll be flying the hell out of the country …

And on my way to do a 10-day, breakneck, organized tour of Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Munich (where I will have an extra day to myself after that, to GET SOME SLEEP and try and process what I just saw).

Don’t ask me why, but even though I won’t be alone the entire time, I’m nervous. I suppose it’s a combination of excitement and anxiety (mostly about getting to the hotel in Prague in one piece without getting lost or pickpocketed. Yes, I’m neurotic. But that’s what you love about me 🙂 ).

I’m not sure when I’ll get near a computer next, but I’ll try to write about my travels at least a couple times over the next two weeks. Promise.

And if you don’t hear from me, it’ll probably be because I met some handsome European dude and I decided never to come back.

Kidding!

Will write again soon.

Just Because …

There really is no particular reason why I posted this, aside from the fact that I:

(1) Can’t think of a thing to write

(2) Love Jib Jab

(3) Saw it last week and found it hilarious

(4) Tried to get it straight from JibJab.com but to no avail, and I only just got around to posting it now (and you’ve probably already seen it), and

(5) Think that no one would ever try doing this with a Canadian election, since the appeal of having one in this country falls somewhere between “watching paint dry” and “prying my toenails out with a pair of rusty pliers”.

So enjoy!

Eating Pavement

When someone talks about falling on his or her face, you pretty much assume the talk is figurative.

But not me. I’m the kind of girl that likes to do things literally. At least, that’s apparently the mandate in my recurring role as Court Jester for the Cosmos.

In this latest installment of the ongoing comedy that is my life, I was at my friend’s house last night for a clothing swap, among the last of the stragglers preparing to leave.

We were out on her front porch when her sister spotted the bus and caught my attention.

She took off down the steps and ran up to the intersection. I tried to follow suit with my huge backpack.

I cleared the stairs, but missed the small step separating my friend’s property and the sidewalk.

I don’t really remember what happened next. It was like one minute I was moving; the next, I was prone on the sidewalk.

I kind of remember the sound of scuffing – like the type of sound someone might make if they were dragging a canvas bag along the sidewalk.

Only it was my face.

“Oh my God! Are you okay?” I heard a couple of people say. A couple of the women came to my side.

I don’t remember in which order, but I remember checking my glasses, and then my teeth.

And then I just remember being helped up, and me saying, “I’m okay, I’m okay.” And then seeing my friend’s sister waiting by the bus, its ultra-white lights glaring, I got up and loped towards – and onto – the bus.

In hindsight, maybe I should have taken a couple of minutes, dusted myself off and then wait, lady-like, for the next bus. But nope – no lady here. I guess I was in shock – or maybe I thought I didn’t fall as badly as I did. I know on the ride to the station, I was kind of embarrassed.

As of this morning, I am the recipient of a pavement-burned left shoulder, sore wrist, bruised forehead, bruised nose, slightly skinned philtrum, three bruised knuckles, and a slightly bruised ego. Everything still stings.

I sort of look like the loser in a parking lot fight, in which I’ve been grazed in the face lengthwise with a brass knuckle. It’s really quite attractive.

(At least I can now knock that off the List of Embarrassing Moments Before Age 35, right below “accidentally shitting my pants”.)

So if you decide to get me a face-guard for Christmas this year, I won’t be offended. At the rate I’m going, it may come in handy.

Eureka.

Apologies to any of my friends who’ve heard me yammer on about this in the last couple of days …

But looks like I’ll be going on my whirlwind romp after all.

I strolled into the travel agency near my workplace Monday morning looking for last-minute deals …

And walked out, signed up for an organized tour.

I admit, I was wrinkling my nose about it at first. And I really got hooped by the price of the airfare.

But I no longer care. Since I got my confirmation this morning, the feeling of dread has been replaced by the feeling of relief that everything’s pretty much taken care of, for the first time in about three weeks.

I’m apparently going to be bunking with two other people. I hope they’re nice and not clique-y.

(God, is this what it’s like when your parents send you away to camp as a kid? I somehow successfully missed that stage.)

But anyway … 

Time to stop floating on cloud nine, and start making a list and getting stuff done. I’ve got just under two weeks.

No Particular Place To Go?

So, it’s a dark and stormy night …

And instead of sitting down and thinking about the meeting I’m going to have with my boss on Thursday about my job and career objectives for the next year …

I’m on (and off) The Facebook and dreaming about vacation.

Actually, correction: kinda getting nervous about vacation. Like, reeeally kinda nervous. And panicky.

Several months ago, a good friend (also a lover of travel) and I had been talking and making plans about heading to Central Europe for a whirlwind romp through six or seven cities.

It could have been The Trip That Rivalled Spain.

But as misfortune would have it, my poor friend has had to scale back her plans, due to circumstances beyond her control. It was in no way intentional. So because I didn’t really have any backup plans for this summer, I’ve been half-frantically trying to cook up a Plan B.

My immediate first option – a cool eight-day tour through Croatia, followed by a few days in Prague – was pretty much given the kibosh because of the astronomically high round-trip airfare to Prague alone. (Damn oil prices and exorbitant fees and taxes.) Getting to Dubrovnik would’ve been the cheap and easy leg of the trip.

So much for Black Girl Meets the Adriatic.

So right now I’m at a loss. I’m not really feeling another trip to London – I did it twice. I could aim for Paris, but – call me crazy – I’m not in a Paris frame of mind yet. I’m not yet keen on going to the Caribbean because it’s rainy season, which means when it’s not stormy, it’ll be unbearably hot and humid, and the mosquitoes will have a field day.

I know, I know – beggars like me shouldn’t be choosers. But I just want to have fun – even if I go away somewhere for a week and spend one week in town. It would be better than absolutely nothing.

I’m currently 20 days away, with no “Eureka!” moment yet in sight. A workmate and friend of mine have been kind enough to suggest me going to a travel agent and asking what their last-minute deals are.

Considering it would be probably during the busiest two-week period of the summer, I’m uneasy about what the results might be.

But I hope I find a solution  – and fast. I do NOT want to spend my time grumbling and wallowing in my own self-pity … especially when there are other people out there who have to work like horses during that time, and would probably KILL me for my time.

And hey – help a sista out by tossing out any ideas you might have for locales you visited last-minute – maybe it was the trip that ended up being a pleasant surprise. Lord knows I’m going to need one in about two weeks.

Stay tuned.

The Need to Clock-Block

Every other weekend during the month of June, as it turns out, I’ve been around either babies or small kids.

It’s made me more aware how my stance on kids has changed from only a few short years ago, when I declared that being around them made me kind of uneasy. I even find myself saying “If I ever have kids …”

No. Don’t bother saying what you think I’m going to say – that it’s started my biological clock a-ticking. ‘Cause it really hasn’t. There’s so much out there for me to do and see, the idea of children is still far away.

The “biological clock” is just a functional piece of furniture in the den of my mind. I know it’s there – I glance over at it every once in a while. I might even sit in the chair next to the table that’s home to the clock and chill out for a bit.

If only my mother wouldn’t come through and shove the clock right up against my ear to listen to the tick-tickticking, and then say it’s in jest.

I remember being 16 years old and having my mom tell me I was too young to be in a serious relationship, should I ever end up in that situation.

Now almost 16 years later and secure in my chronic spinsterhood, this same woman is now commenting off-handedly about how she’ll be too old by the time she becomes a grandmother. The first time she said it, I waved it off. The second time she said it, I wondered if she was joking.

Lately the things she says make me wonder if she’s joking at all.

A couple weeks ago – and I don’t remember the exact context of the conversation – she brought up the fact she’d asked my almost-29-year-old-brother – who was TEN at the time – if he’d ever want to have kids when he was older.

His response? “I won’t have the time.”

And seeing where he is in his career right now, it’s almost a bit prophetic. But whoa! Way to put the unfair pressure of childbearing on the kid with the ovaries!

A few days later, my parents and I were at the dinner table with the radio on in the background, and I guess there was some talk-radio host on, chatting about some topic with respect to child-rearing. And my mom piped up, “No grandchildren of MINE are going to day care.”

I immediately turned to her and said, “That’s based on the premise you’re even going to GET grandchildren. And didn’t you tell me when you were younger that if any of us had kids, that they could visit, but they couldn’t stay?” (Meaning that she wouldn’t be made the de facto babysitter.)

My mom just looked at me said, “Well, it’s still a visit …”

Perhaps I’m overreacting just a bit. And I realize that a few of her friends are grandparents, so they’re sometimes hard to get ahold of. I can understand the frustration, especially when you’re retired and don’t really have a lot of hobbies or whatnot.

But sometimes I think she’s putting the cart before the horse.

I’m staring down 32 and still live at home. I’m not sure how grandkids will happen if (a) I can barely take care of myself and haven’t yet truly established myself as an independent, somewhat responsible adult and (b) I haven’t met the person who might be the father of said grandkids. And he’s not going to be walking by my living room couch in the boonies anytime soon. Besides, right now I’d prefer meeting a half-dozen dates than a sperm donor.

I know a friend or two has recently gotten the errant comments in the same vein from their parents. And it’s seriously a bit much – it’s kind of annoying. We’re putting pressure on ourselves just trying to get OURSELVES sorted, established and figured out, once and for all.

And so, on behalf of some adult children to their parents:

Time is already our worst enemy. You guys aren’t helping. Put down the clock and leave the den – QUIETLY.

Checkin’ In …

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks.

Yep, I’m still here and still alive.

It’s been a bit nuts the last two weeks, and I’m coming off a jam-packed Canada Day long weekend of kids, Pride parties I’ve dropped in on, and fireworks (which included an ascent onto a rooftop that nearly made me soil my pants. But I got over it – and got down in one piece).

Probably because of a lack of sleep stemming from the aforementioned weekend, I’m currently at home fighting a passing illness and a slightly blocked left ear. (And damned if I will keep either from keeping me indoors all weekend.)

But don’t you worry. I’ll hopefully be back in short order with a couple of new posts for this month.