Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Days

I used to love first day of school. Of course it was sad to see summer end but if truth be told it was getting a bit boring. By Labor Day the weather started to turn, Nickelodeon programming went back to the preschool shows and my brothers were wearing thin on my nerves. The night before I'd line up my school supplies and lay out that first day outfit. Counting the number 2 pencils and 3 ring binders I reveled in the newness awaiting. I can still feel the weight of one hundred sheets of wide-ruled loose-leaf paper wrapped tight in shiny plastic. A fresh new start in a brand new classroom. A new desk. A new teacher. A new me. Of course the first day came and went and it was mostly the same as the year before but the possibilities were there, and seemingly endless.

Tomorrow starts the new job at "Bloggle" (yep, we're still calling it that). I'm excited about all the perks and the cool gadgets. The health insurance and the paycheck will be welcome as well. But, more than anything I'm looking forward to a fresh start and new possibilities.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Are We There Yet?

So, in the last month I have gone through: 4 planes, 2 trains, 3 automobiles, 6 time zones, 5 houses, 6 hotel rooms, 3500 miles (driven) and countless pit stops. And still, I am not at my final destination though I'm hoping to sign a lease in the next few days. I'm exhausted. I'm sick of living out of a suitcase, and I am so glad I put myself through the whirlwind. Really excited to start the new J-O-B next week (as is my bank account) and I can't wait to settle back into a reliable routine.

PS, I'll be back tracking and blogging about the 2 weeks in Europe and the trio cross-country just as soon as I unpack and find the chord to upload photos from my camera. Words won't do the pictures justice!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quick Like a Band-Aid

I have vivid memories of myself as a child pulling slowly at the sticky mess formerly known as a Band-Aid, my mother assuring me it was time for it to come off. And I remember how much it hurt with each tug pulling just one teeny bit at a time. "Just pull it fast. It'll hurt less". First one brother and then the other insisting that quick was better, but my mind couldn't fathom how all those little pulls together could hurt less than one at a time. Of course eventually I learned. The mind doesn't have time to process each sting, nor anticipate the next. So has it been with the move west. It took over a month to say goodbye to a job, a city, a neighborhood, an apartment, colleagues, friends, and family. And just like the Band-Aid, each goodbye has stung exponentially more knowing there were so many behind it and so many more ahead. Today was the last pull as I said goodbye to one of my nearest and dearest friends who was kind enough to make the drive west with me. And while it was a difficult farewell, it feels good to know that that hardest part is finally over. And if I ever move again, I'll say my goodbyes quick, just like a Band-Aid.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An American in Paris

I've been entirely too busy falling in love with Paris to devote any time to a computer but Sunday is a day of rest and Saturday was very much a day of play so some down time was much needed. This morning I ventured out for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Bad idea on a Sunday morning in Paris. I wandered past several closed cafes before conceding to be the American and grab a Starbucks (Judging me right now? Ya? Okay let's see what happens when it's you rolling out of an all night bender in desperate need of caffeine m'kay?). Please be advised, Starbucks isn't Starbucks in France. It's some type of substandard swill the French government engineered to assure Parisians french coffee is the best. It's a disgrace to the American cup of Joe and I'm writing to the embassy to have it removed immediately, if not sooner. (For the record, I ordered a black coffee, not one of those sad sugar laden things they call a latte. And yes, I love the espresso here but sometimes you just need a whole cup of caffeine not just a shot).

I should have quit while I was behind but I guess I'm just not that smart. I finally found a boulangerie that was open on a Sunday and hopped in for what I thought was going to be a tasty little lunch. I have to say that thus far I have only occasionally encountered the stereotypical french attitude towards foreigners but this particular bakery had it in spades. After being ignored, snapped at, passed by and snubbed, I walked out the door with what I thought would be a french bakery version of a pizza. No, I was not expecting American pizza. No, I was not expecting Italian pizza. What was I expecting? Some tasty bread with some interesting cheese. What did I get? A tastless carbohydrate dish with tomato soup/sauce and a non-descript cheese substance that I couldn't identify and didn't enjoy.

In the last few days I've had some of the best meals of my life. The french know how to do many things very very well, possibly better than any other culture and that makes it hard to remember that not every gastronomical experience will be a good one. When I go back to the states I'll spend weeks raving about the culinary experiences I've had, but the first thing I'm going to get is a giant cup of coffee, closely followed by a piece of pizza pie.