Monday, July 29, 2013

Understandings and Eyebrows

A few things:
  • A closed office door definitely means, "Please, come in without knocking, person I do not know! I did not close the door for privacy or for some peace and quiet to concentrate on work. That would be absurd! I also meant for you to leave it open when you left. Yes, that is what a closed door means."
  • Currently drinking a Diet Pepsi because I had no other choice. Suddenly remembered that when I lived in England, I developed a slight liking for Pepsi (gasp) because the Diet Coke tasted so different there. 
  • Have been drinking green smoothies every day, which seems contradictory to the actions in the previous statement (probably because it is). I have to admit, when I was out of town the last week, I found myself wanting one every day. Habit? Maybe, but I have found that I have been having less headaches since I have been drinking them. I don't want to hear anything from you, Small One*. 
  • Have forgotten how much I LOVE history...which is quite possible the reason I majored in it and intended to pursue my Ph.D., then travel the world researching and writing, and then perhaps settling down somewhere with a tenure-track professorship. My trip back east reignited my passion for history that I plum forgot about since I spend my days in the business world slinging around phrases like 'bottom line' and 'budgetary restraints' and other such things. 
  • Speaking of history - who is your favorite person in history? ClichĂ© question, I know, but I am curious. Mine is Robert E. Lee, despite the fact that he fought for the Confederacy, he was a great leader and a military genius. Think of the stories he would have to tell. I've read and learned enough about him to have a great deal of respect for the man. 
  • Living alone IS all it's cracked up to be. I love not having roommates and the drama that comes with them. This glorious state shall soon end, when I have to take on one roommate. Gone are the days of Han Solo. Get it? See what I did there? With the Han and the Solo? Am a clever hapa. 
  • This baby didn't see me for almost two weeks and I feel like she forgot who I am cause she just stared at me like this for about five minutes. So I scowled back. It seemed like the most natural thing to do. I also wanted to reach through the phone and wipe off whatever was on her cheek. 

You know what else seemed like a natural thing to do? This:

We were just sittin' there, not doing much, so I turned to Harm, "Let's draw eyebrows on that baby." 

"Yesssss," was the reply, and the rest, my friends, is history. Alhough, that nice and chubby baby (and her dad) was less enthused. 

*Small One = tiny older sister

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Packing Tips from the Child of One Who Packs for a Living

First he was an Army man, then an Air Force Pilot, now a commercial pilot. That is who I am the daughter of, so naturally I have acquired some very good packing skills from my father. I have found that I can fit into a small carry-on what the average 'did-not-get-packing-lessons-from-their-dad-as-a-right-of-passage' person has to put in a large, checked, suit case. What is the secret? Well, dear souls, I shall tell you:

Tight rolls and underwear in the holes.

Roll your clothes tightly, people, it saves so much space - AND they aren't as wrinkled when you take them out. How is this accomplished? Fold your shirt or pants in half, lay them out flat on your bed or the floor, and roll them as tight as you can like a sleeping bag. Put your back into it and VoilĂ !  (Seriously, put your back into it - it helps.)

Larger clothing articles in the bottom such as jeans. Lay the clothes you don't want wrinkles flat on top of everything. Once you've put everything in, stuff your underwear, socks, bras, etc. in the holes - the spaces between the rolls and in your shoes (most people waste the space in their shoes). Speaking of shoes, this is important, something my Dad taught us a long time ago and while it's annoying, it makes sense: Don't wear flip flops or sandals when you're flying. Seriously. There are two reasons, the second being more important than the first:
1) First class used to require a certain dress standard. My dad didn't let us wear jeans or sandals when we flew because we flew standby becuase there was always a chance we'd get put in first class. If you weren't up to the dress standard, you got put in coach or sometimes you didn't even get on the flight. This reason is not really applicable anymore because whenever I walk through first class to coach it seems you can wear almost anything. 
2) If you're in an accident and have to exit the plane there will probably be spilled, hot, burning fuel and oil. Use your common sense as to what that would do to your feet if you had to walk out of a plane crash wearing flip flops or sandals. Don't think it's likely to happen? It just happened in San Fransisco - there was fire and people got seriously burned. So, maybe you'll think next time before you slide on your flippy floppies for a flight. It took me until my adult hood to not scorn when I pull on sneakers instead of flip flops before flying, but now I understand why.
Last piece of traveling advice that I have learned for myself: if at first you don't succeed....TETRIS! Sometimes packing is like Tetris, move things around and try not to leave any open space. Trust me, if you treat it like Tetris, you CAN fit a 700-piece Lego set, a 60-piece Lego set, two boxes of Trader Joe's cereal, two boxes of Trader Joe's crackers, two bottles of Cookie Butter, a Jumbo sized back of Garrett's Popcorn, three bars of Milka chocolate, a new swimming suit and pair of shoes you picked up on your trip, a large box of tampons you had to buy on the way to airport, plus all the same eight day's worth of clothing and bathroom necessities you took with you originally...and you can do it all under 50 pounds!*

Just think 'light'!! There you have it, simple tips from an expert packer. Just remember - tight rolls and underwear in the holes! This philosophy got me through seven weeks of backpacking around Europe with everything I needed on my back.
Cinque Terre, Italy, 2009

Back in London after four countries but before four more.

**I feel as though I should explain myself. I went to Iowa to visit family for about a week, then I had to go over to Chicago for a business trip and while I was there I went to Lego Land and Trader Joe's. We have a Trader Joe's here, but it's relatively new and always packed with people so OBVIOUSLY the most sensical thing to do was to buy EVERYTHING there and pack it home. Also, the popcorn is famous and I had to bring home enough to share! And it's really hard to find Milka.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

River Bend

You guys, I've been having some deep thoughts lately, mostly related to a Disney song and the following quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. 
                                                                                    - Haruki Murakami
Isn't it interesting that life really is just a series of storms, tame or fierce, and we are always changing and evolving, no matter if we are experience trials and adversity or an abundance of blessings? We always come out on the other side a different person...and then I was thinking, it's kind of like Pocahontas said:
"What I love about rivers is you can't step in the same river twice, the water's always changing, always flowing..."
We're just like the river, always changing due to whatever storm we're going through, and if we play it safe we'll never know what's next, or in this case, what's "around the river bend."

So, whenever you're thinking about life, just find a Disney song to relate it to and you're golden.