Thursday, August 12, 2010

Well, yeah...

Either I'm the world's worst procrastinator at restarting this thing or I have the biggest case of writer's block EVER!

I've wrestled with the thought of scrapping this for something new but that feels like I'd be that guy dumping his wife who he had all those great memories with for a hot new piece of ass. Ok, the metaphor is there because I just saw "It's Complicated" earlier this week.

I'm back...I promise this time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Much like a moth to a flame, Twitter has taken all my attention but I cannot deny my love for this blog!

I'm back people - watch out! I'll still update the rest of my trip but for the most part, I'm typing from this point forward.

This resurgence has been inspired by Karen Seeta.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Arrival of the Girl from California

It felt like a whole day had passed when I finally arrived in Germany. Because of the time difference, I arrived at 5pm which made me feel like I had travelled for a whole day since I had left at 530pm the day before. I have to say that for as much as I hadn't slept - I was feeling pretty good. I could guess that most of it was the excitement of actually arriving in one piece and that I was seeing Kostas again for the first time in about 3 months. Let me state for the record that exiting the airport at Stuttgart felt like I was a mouse in a maze experiment. We went down these tunnels that were covered and it made it really easy to find baggage claim. I thought it was hysterical.
We leave the airport and we arrive at Kostas's sister's house for some dinner and chit chat.

I've arrived!!!

I wasnt sure how chit chatty I was going to be because I felt like I was going to crash at any minute because of the jet lag. I figured if I stayed up until 9pm or so - I should be able to adjust in one day...SHOULD. We hung out and talked until 9pm and then I decided to hit the sack. Might have been a great plan in theory but it didnt work in reality. I woke up around 1130pm and couldnt go back to sleep until 2am...then I woke up at 6am and waited for everyone else to get up. Let me say that its really weird when the sun doesnt come out until 8:00am or so because it feels like its night FOREVER. And on top of that, I didnt have a watch so I had to always go in search of a clock.

The next morning, Kostas was going to take me to meet his parents. They run a stand at one of the local farmer's market and I was excited to see some of the city since I had only seen it at night on the way in.

Here are his parents at the market:

And this is me...freezing my ass off and enjoying a nice cup of soup to warm myself up.

We hung out at the market with them for a bit and then headed back to Stella's to relax, eat, play with the baby, and get ready for our departure to Venice the next day.

On the way back to her place, I saw this clearing and insisted that we stop for some pictures.

Ok, I'll admit that it was more of a "I want to have a Sound of Music moment" but still!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amsterdam Airport

After my flight lands, we off load and I take off to my connecting flight. Since I dont know the airport, I make a note of my new gate and head over there.

During the last 30 minutes of the flight, the airline showed a little video about the airport and the different things you can do there. I was kind of excited to check the place out since I had 3 hours to kill and decided to take a look around while I made my way to my gate.

If you recall the last post, I was wearing my comfy pants on the flight. This part of the story requires a bit of background.

I've had my velour pants for a while and occassionally use them to run quick errands to the market or to get gas in addition the their laying around the apartment responsibilities. One time, I wore them to go to the market with Kostas and he gave me such shit about "wearing my pajamas" out in public. And when talking about the trip, I told him that I was planning to put them on for the flight - I could hear the eye roll over the phone. Back to our regularly scheduled program...

So I'm walking through the airport, in my velour pants, and no kidding - I got some looks. And I'll be damned if I'm going to admit this to him - he'll have to read it on my blog like everyone else!

Because of the lack of sleep, my body was all wonky and all I wanted to was to sit down somewhere to relax. I also had to stop and get some souveniers. Let me state that the dollar is worth effing nothing! Its not that I didn't know this but its different when you are signing those charge slips.

After my purchases, I headed to the immigration checkpoint to get to my gate and because of my lack of sleep, it really didnt occur to me that once I pass I probably wouldn't be able to see the rest of the airport. So I pass the immigration point and get my little stamp - my first stamp in my passport!!!!!

I put my things on the belt for the xray machine and as my stuff is passing, I see the video lady giving my bag to the security guy. He asks me if the bag is mine and asks for permission to look inside. I was thinking if there was anything in there that might be an issue but couldn't think of anything. Until he pulled out my water bottle that I had bought at LAX. He proceeded to give me a lecture on liquids and the appropriate sizes and all I could do was apologize. I jokingly said that it was probably because of the lack of sleep from the flight - to which he looked me up and down and well...lets just say that sarcasm doesn't translate very well over in The Netherlands.

After my mini-security incident, I get on the moving walkway to head to my gate - this airport is very nice but effing huge. Because I was so tired, I was tempted to just stop where I was to take a short nap (which work out since I had my pillow and was already wearing my jammies). I took a few pictures as I made my way to the gate and figure that some pictures were better than none.

After finding a phone to call my mom and Kostas to let them know I had arrived, I went to sit at the gate until my departure time. I was so tempted to fall asleep but decided to fight it because I just couldn't do it. I could hear my mom's voice in my head "Don't fall asleep!! Those Europeans will steal your things!" and whats worse was that everyone around me was asleep. I changed into my jeans and washed my face and teeth to try to wake up.

A couple of hours later, my connecting flight is called and we get on a bus to get shuttled to the plane. When I sit down at my seat, I notice that I am, in fact, in the emergency exit row. Sweet lord - I HAVE LEG ROOM!!! I was so excited that I fell asleep for 45 minutes.

Flying The Friendly Skies

The flight leaves on time and I get settled in for the long trip. I have to say that when the flight was booked, I was told that KLM had the best in flight entertainment. That everyone has their own little screen and you can pick and choose what type of entertainment to keep you occupied until you arrive at your destination.

This was not applicable on my flight.

I accepted defeat and figured that I loved myself for having a plan B - my sudoku game, iPod, laptop, a book, and my crochet. My flight left at 530pm and since it was a 10 hour flight, I figured that I had to get at least 5 hours of sleep to fend off the jet lag. So really, only 5 hours of that needed to be filled with a distraction. Whats worse is that I got stuck in the middle of three seats. I didn't have much room to maneuver and was slowly getting more and more frustrated with the arrangement.

Here is a picture of my legs and my seat.

I was even prepared to be comfy by wearing my comfy pants and that shall be revisited in another post.

I ended up watching more of the in-flight entertainment than I expected to because I couldn't get comfortable. And its not like I didn't try, I had two beers and had two benadryls to help the sleepy-time to come. But nooooo....I think I ended up sleeping a total of 2 hours. The times I managed to fall asleep, the girl who was sitting next to me had friends on the flight who would come visit and they would chat - loudly. And its not that I mind people having a good time on the flight but this was teenage girl chit chatty and my lack of sleep and room to move around was not taking kindly to it.
The food was pretty good and I watched an episode of The Simpsons, an episode of Big Bang Theory, the movies "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" (which I had seen before and loved) and "Hancock" (which I hadn't seen and managed to cross that off my list).
We finally arrive at our destination, which is Amsterdam, and I have about 3 hours to kill until my next flight.

European Vacation - Taking Off

This whole holiday season has passed like a blur with me. If I wasnt distracted by wrapping up work, I was distracted by getting ready for Christmas - if I wasnt getting ready for Christmas, I was getting ready for my trip. Everyone would ask me how I was feeling about my trip and to be quite honest, I didn't really allow myself to think about it. Not that I wasn't invited but there was so much stuff to do!

Jake was none too happy about my departure and I was nervous about flying. I had never really been a nervous flyer but for some reason this trip was freaking me out a bit. I voiced my concerns to a few people and the comfort I received was not comforting - at all.

"Oh, I wouldnt worry about crashing into the ocean - I heard that if you are going to crash, the air pressure is lost so quickly that you actually lose conciousness, so you wouldnt feel anything anyways" is an example of what one person said to me. Yes, warm and fuzzy feelings all around.

Anyways, Christmas came and everything went off without a hitch. Jake cracked me up because he was tracking Santa via NORAD and as the time got closer, it occured to him that we didn't make cookies for Santa. So he did the next best thing...

Gotta love his creativeness. So Christmas Eve, I'm packed and ready to go. Surprisingly enough, it didn't take me that long to pack and I feel confident that the next day will go well. Santa arrives and we do our holiday thing and head to bed.
The next day...
I wake up and feel that since I did so much the day before that I can afford to relax in the morning. I had to be at the airport around 2:30pm - 3pm so I had plenty of time. Around 11am, I start getting ready...then Jake gets picked up...then my aunt shows up...then I have to pack my carry on.
Packing my carry-on was an adventure all on its own. Lets just say that my persistance to take my pillow and laptop was a blog post on its own that I'll spare my loyal readers. Because of all that and some last minute running around, we left my apartment around 215pm. Luckily, no traffic and a fast check-in allowed me to get back on track.
Finally, I was in the airport and just waiting for my plane to leave. It was a good sign that my flight was listed as early and I was ready to start my adventure.
Europe here I come!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Holiday Haze

The first thing I had to do this morning was to get gas for my car. So off I went to the gas station.

I put my debit card in.
I put the gas pump in tank.
I pushed the button.
I went to sit in my car because it was effing cold.

After a couple of minutes, I heard a click and went to remove the pump from the tank and headed to work. A few songs into my drive into work, I look down and notice that my gas gauge hadn't moved since I put the gas in earlier. I had two thoughts 1) I have a hole in my tank and I should be seriously concerned and 2) my gauge is broken.

I figured it was #2 because the gauge wasnt going down quickly enough to be dripping gas on the freeway. Then my little gas warning light came on. Then...then I had a thought.

Could I have not put any gas in the car at the station earlier? I kept going through the motions at the pump and apparently, I never put the gas in!

I finally make it to Hollywood and find a station to fill up my tank - this time making sure that the pump actually works and puts the gas in. I even got a receipt for proof!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not...

I have something to admit...over the weekend I watched "High School Musical" and whats more is that I LIKED IT! I have to get HSM2 to see if Gabriella and Troy actually get to kiss this time around! I know - the SHAME of it all!!

Now I'm reading Twilight and I cannot believe I got sucked into it so quickly! I'm at the part where Bella meets Jacob and hears "the story". When I'm reading this book, I have this thing in the pit of my stomach of wanting to know what happens. This anticipation to see what happens with Edward and Bella. I can piece stuff together from seeing the film trailer but its just not the same as reading it and letting your imagination go wild. And let me state for the record that in my mind, Edward looks like this:

Sigh...ok back to the point.

My friend remarked about how Twilight reminded her about being in love for the first time and its totally true! Both of these things have reminded me of how it was being a teenager and when even catching a glimpse of that guy you were enamoured with was a great thrill. And then if he talked to you, it was just the greatest feeling. Even getting a hello with your name gave your heart a flutter. I remember being head over heels for this guy in high school and I would time it so I would see him going to one class as I was heading to another. And of course you couldn't do it every day because then it was just needy and stalkerish - but you did it to see him and just put you there with him at the same place and time. Those were the days.

These stories and movies put forth the optimism that the popular guy will pick the new girl or the quiet girl (also seen in Grease and Sixteen Candles) or the hope that some good girl can change the bad boy (Breakfast Club and Dirty Dancing). Its a great expectation to have but its makes you a hopeless romantic that sometimes backfires because no one or nothing will be good enough. I'll admit that I'm one that I wanted my crush to show up somewhere I was "just because he heard I was there" (sigh - Jake Ryan) but I know that I shouldn't have that expectation because I'll always be looking for someone that will never show up.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Missing Some Game

You know - I know I'm not ALL that, but I do have a little somethin'. But as the old saying goes, when it rains it pours.

Today, my coworker and I went to Starbucks for a little afternoon pick me up. As we were standing in line, this guy asks us if he could buy us our coffees. We decline and he insists because he just got a gift card from work and wanted to share. So we said sure and ordered our drinks. I usually order a tall and because its going to be a free drink, I upgrade to a grande. Then my coworker orders her drink and he's telling the cashier to "make hers a venti and give this one an extra shot with extra whipped cream!!". So we are standing there, thanking him for our coffees - he hands his gift card to the cashier and then leans over to ask us where we are from when the cashier says "I'm sorry sir, there is no money on this card"

"What?" - replies the guy.
"I'm sorry sir, there is no money on this card" the cashier repeats.
"But...there is supposed to be $80 on that card!"

At this time, my coworker and I are taking our own money out to pay for the drinks. The guy is standing there saying "Check again! Check again!" and the cashier checks one more time but its the same answer "No money on the card, sorry!" So the cashier takes our money to pay for the drinks and the guy is trying to get a receipt to show there is no money and then...he runs out of the store! No kidding! It was like seeing a little kid realize that he had peed his pants and he was running to go cry to his mommy.

Honestly, this is what it reminded me of...