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Winter Will Be the Death of Me Yet

9 Jan

HPIM0208.JPG

We had “snow flurries” yesterday.

Floridians call that “a near blizzard” and I am sure there are some enterprising souls who will be expecting their employer to declare a “snow day” today. But they won’t. They will expect everyone to scrounge around in the back of their closets, find something that will serve as a winter coat, bundle up and come on in to work.

Employers are like that—wanting you to show up for work and stuff.

I used to have a job that required me to travel to Maryland–often in January or February, as luck would have it. I stayed in a hotel that was less than a half a mile from the office.

One night it snowed big time. When I got up, there was white as far as the eye could see! It was hard to distinguish my rental car from all of the other big snow lumps in the parking lot because all of the cars were completely covered. “Oh, heck no!” I exclaimed–I am sure this had all the makings of a “snow day.”

Surely my employer will not open their offices today!

So I called the “Incliment Weather Hotline” with baited breath. The recording answered. A man’s voice recited the
date and then advised that the office would be open and said that everything is “business as usual.”

Business as usual?

Business as usual?! Has this guy even looked out his window? How is anyone expected to get to work under these conditions? A person could freeze to death or go snow blind (not sure what that is) or get snow sickness (might be making that one up) or something!

It is a good thing the rental car people had the forethought to provide me with a scraper-thing to clear my windshield. You can’t even buy one of those in Florida. You can buy pecan logs and gator repellent in Florida, but the scraper thing? Forget it!

As I was scraping the glaciers from the windows of the car, I felt the urge to share the experience with a friend.

“I know,” I thought (and it is a wonder I could think at all because you really would have thought my brain would have frozen solid by this point,) “I will call my friend and co-worker back in Florida–the one who grew up in New York, but was smart enough to move to Florida some years back.”

It is a miracle I was able to dial my friend’s desk phone–I don’t know how cell phones can even work in such bitter cold. Don’t the cells freeze up? I guess not because her voicemail answered.

After the beep I said, “Hey, Terri, this is Bill. And this is the sound of me scraping the ice off of my fucking windshield!” Scrape! Scrape! Scrape! said the scraper as I attacked the ice with all of my Flordian might.

When my friend got to work and listened to my message, she laughed and laughed.

Then she forwarded the message to HR and filed a formal complaint about me leaving obscenities on her voicemail.

True story! Except that last part about her forwarding the message and the formal complaint. She would never have ratted me out to those goons in HR!

After I got the windows cleared–all the while feeling just like William H.Macy in “Fargo”, I began the trecherous quarter of a mile journey to the office. While I was driving, I listened to local radio. The morning banter zoo crew people were going on and on about the weather and then they mentioned two things I had never heard of in my life:

  1. Did you know that car doors can freeze shut? Not helpful I am learning about this after I am alreay on the road. If I had had more advanced notice, I could have used this as an excuse not to go into the office. I bet those bastards would have expected me to walk! “It’s only a quarter mile…” Have they no heart?!
  2. Then they explained about the scariest cold thing of all. Have you heard of this “black ice”? It seems that sometimes during the day the snow starts to melt, but when it gets dark (which it does in the frozen north at like, 3:30pm) and the temperatures drop to below freezing (below freezing!) the melting snow–especially the snow on the roads under overpasses, freezes into sheets of ice that look for all the world like normal, la dee da, go ahead and drive as fast as you want road surface.

So your car slides, spins, maybe even rolls over–and you DIE!

That was many years ago, but I am pretty sure that is what they said–“If you drive on black ice, Bill, you will DIE!”

So of course I just assumed my employer would let me leave work well before sundown because they cared about my safety, right? Not so much, as it turns out.

Not only did they make me drive a full quarter of a mile to the office in post-blizzard conditions, they also did not let me leave early. I didn’t get out of there before 5PM. And, as I have already established, it was dark.

Time for the Black Ice to rise up and menace the innocent!

I white knuckled my way back to my motel. As I traversed inch upon inch of road on that harrowing quarter of a mile journey from Hell, I was convinced that at any moment the black ice was going to reach up and grab my rental car (I knew I should have taken that extra insurance!) and throw the vehicle, with me in it, into a dark, cold ravine.

Where I would DIE.

I don’t really know if there were any revines between the office and the hotel, but at that moment, as I was being terrorized by the sinister black ice, I was pretty sure that I knew exactly how that soccer team felt–you know, the ones who crash landed in the Andes Mountains who had to survive by eating their dead comrades.

Just like them, I was cold, I was scared and boy, was I hungry!

Fortunately the hotel had a happy hour buffet–after a few pigs in a blanket and two for one beers, I regained my normal intrepid composure.

And that is what winter means to me.

I had best scrounge around in my closet and find that winter coat because I need to get to work. I can only pray that those snow flurries did not freeze into black ice. At least I can take some comfort in the fact that between my house and the office, there are no ravines.

Happy Friday everyone. Stay warm!

Purge or Accommodate? That is the question.

8 Jan

Maybe it is the sink or swim transition from “The Holidays” to regular routine; maybe it is the weather; maybe it is a bi-product of my advancing years–what ever it is, I am in a really crabby mood.

It came on like a slow fog, enveloping my being and then just settling into the corner of my mind where my outlook resides.

Not the email kind of outlook–perhaps I should have chosen a better, less confusing term–thank you, Microsoft!–but it is early and cold and I am swimming in my stream of consciousness–I don’t really have the time or the inclination to consult a thesaurus.

You know, outlook–perspective, the way I look at things, the View Master of my soul, my world view goggles.

Point of view not so happy.

I need to find a way to work through this.

I have found that sometimes if you take the time to listen, life will send you messages, telling you the things you really need to know.

Hopefully at this hour, life will not repeat its familiar refrain of, “Reach for the Jim Beam.” That would be cruel. Life knows I gave up bourbon for breakfast last Lent. To tempt me now would just be wrong.

Life, I am listening.

Listening…

Really listening…

PATIENTLY listening…

What’s that, life?

My f-ing Drop Box is full?!

Unless this is a metaphor–and if it is, I don’t want to consider what my metaphorical “Drop Box” might be–I do not find this helpful.

Wait. Could it be that the “Drop Box” is anything you’ve had enough of?

That just popped into my head this very minute, after I swallowed a big gulp of coffee. And a little ran down my chin and that annoyed me and then BAM–insight!

I used to have a lot of insights when I drank breakfast bourbon but most of them just made me late for work. Coffee is a little more productive.

So how do you make more room in your “Drop Box”? You delete files. PURGE FILES–yes, yes, yes!

Wait–I might need that file. No, not that one, the other one. Only I probably need the first one too. No, I am saving those pictures for a rainy day. People pay money for pictures like those–especially if they are in the pictures, if you know what I mean…

“Purge files” seems like such a powerful message—I really will have to meditate on that.

Of course, you can have unlimited space in your Drop Box if you pay a little money to the right entity. Maybe that is the real message here:

Pay money to the right entity if you want your Drop Box to be more accommodating.

That is a very powerful, albeit somewhat disturbing message. So much to think about!

Let’s summarize this valuable message from Life:

Purge your Drop Box and do what it takes to make your Drop Box more accommodating.

I think that is what life is trying to say.

Let’s say that is what it is saying.

That’s what I think. Yes. Just sayin’…

I hope we all learned a valuable lesson today and if not a valuable lesson, maybe a helpful tip.

As you go through your day today ask yourself:

Is this going to make my Drop Box too full?

What can I do today to make my Drop Box more accommodating?

Will I have to purge first, or should I just pay money to some entity to expand my Drop Box so that my Drop Box becomes limitless?

Wishing you and your Drop Box much happiness today.

OH, By all means, feel free to take selfies with your Drop Box and forward them on to Cat Zen Space. My Drop Box loves to accommodate compromising  tantalizing photos I can cash in on  enjoy some rainy day…

Happy Thursday!

Synergy is a many splendored thing

7 Mar

It is a chilly Thursday morning–pre-sunrise, as I type.

The spirit moved me to take a whack at a stream of consciousness morning page, so I have stationed myself in bed, a cup of coffee and a cup of blueberry yogurt on my bedside table.

One simply cannot approach the written word without a beverage. My dog, Domino, is occupying her favorite spot on the bed, nursing a rawhide chewbone–her version of an after-breakfast aperitif. Meanwhile, my significant other lies beside me–not quite snoring, but performing a fascinating medley of breathing sounds which confirm he is both very much alive (Whew! I don’t have to bother putting the mirror under his nose to see if it fogs up) and asleep. Nearby, on the back of a chair, an orange cat–a very loving tabby named Alien Poodle (we call him Pooh for short) is washing his paws–the cat version of an after breakfast aperitif, as well as a cleansing ritual passed down through generations of felines–if you can call bathing in your own spit a form of cleansing.

When I write these morning pages blogs, I just try to go with the flow (a bit of the Tao) and just write whatever crosses my mind. Sometimes I check into my brain and find there is really pretty much nothing going on (a bit of the Buddhism) but usually there are thoughts bumping off the walls of the padded cell of my mind like (insert simile here…maybe something about rabbits or overly excited puppies?)

Lots going on in my head and in my life these days. Work. Lots of stuff going on there. For the most part, I do not write about work in my blog because a) I am a consummate professional who feels that what happens at work, stays at work, and b) I signed a confidentiality agreement and you think they won’t sue my ass?!

As you can see, my reasons for not writing about work run the gamut from a) to b), But what I can do is a word association game and throw out a few terms and phrases that come to mind when I think about my job right now: Change. Lots of change. (And I am not referring to the ceramic mug filled with accumulated loose change that I keep in one of the cabinets in my office)–I am talking about the “how dare they make significant changes, forcing me to (OMG) adjust” kind of change.  I am talking about words like “merger” and “realignment” and (just to keep things ecumenical after my previous mention of Taoism and Buddhism) dear, Jesus (a bit of the Christianity) “synergy.”

This is not a dig at my beloved employer, because they didn’t invent that word, but I hate the word “synergy.” I don’t really remember the moment someone slipped that one into the popular business lexicon, but one day, like a decade ago, people started throwing that word around like everyone knew what they meant and hey, isn’t this a fun word: Synergy!

My least fond recollection of this word is the time I was called upon to talk about something at an executive meeting (a meeting which I had never been invited to before because, well, I wasn’t an executive) and I actually felt my brain forming a sentence that then slipped right out of my mouth in front of the God, the CEO and everybody–“I am looking forward to this collaboration, I believe we have some good synergy there.”

Holy Crap! If I had been struck dead by a bolt of lightening at that very moment, I would have been completely happy. Instead, I must go through life, living with the harsh reality that I actually used the word “synergy” in a sentence in front of a group of people–just like that word is neatly tucked into my regular vocabulary. Oh, the humanity!

Don’t bother asking me what “synergy” means, because, in my experience most of the time, when someone uses that word, they are just throwing it in to spice up their talking points, without regard to actual definition.

Another form of the word is “synergism.”

Synergism is when two people achieve synergy at the same time.

“Was it good for you?”
“Good?! it was more than good. Baby, it was outside the box! I truly felt a paradigm shift!”

Ironically, after I finished typing the previous sentence, I noticed a pop-up window that had opened on my computer without any prompting from me. It turns out to be an add for Jimmy Dean sausage with a header that reads, FEELING THE GLOW YET?

No, Mr. Dean, I am not. But thanks for asking.

Since it is time for me to get ready to leave and spend time with the employer I love so very much, I will have to let this be the end of the line for this particular ride on the train of thought. Please disembark and remember to take all valuables with you. Thanks for riding with us today.

I hope your Thursday is synergistic!

Happy New Year

1 Jan

after the party

Happy New Year!

For those of you who may have had a wee bit too much to drink last night/this morning, I will try to type quietly…

How about that 2012, huh? For me, I must say, it was a very good year.

On Christmas Day, I was thinking about what a good year I was having. Then I took my dog out for a walk and wound up taking a tumble.

A neighbor’s dog got loose and came gunning for my dog, Domino. I yanked Domino’s leash and when I did, my left leg decided it was no longer in the business of keeping my body in an upright position.

You may know from your own experience, that when the legs won’t work together in harmony, the whole apparatus comes crashing down. And down I went. One minute I was pulling on Domino’s leash and the next minute my ass was on the ground. I released the leash during my down fall and I could hear the two dogs going at it in the middle of the street: “C’mon, bitch! You think you’re bad? Oh yeah?!”

Those dogs meant business.

The owner of the offending dog and his friend came running, as did another neighbor. I guess they pulled the dog away from Domino and put her back in the house. I never really saw what became of her. (Which is why Domino keeps insisting that she, “killed the bitch!” But I somehow doubt that.)

While my neighbor held Domino’s leash, I sat up and then tried to stand up. This was one of the scariest moments of my life. My left leg was totally uncooperative. I could not bring myself into an upright position.

“OMG! I can’t walk!!” I thought to myself.

“OMG! That old man has broken his hip!” my neighbors were no doubt thinking.

After a few more tries, I was able to stand. I limped home with Domino in tow and the profuse apologies of the dog owner and his friend still ringing in my ears.

I know what you’re thinking–I should sue that guy. Fortunately for him, I am such an animal lover, I would be loathe to do anything that might get a pet owner in big trouble. Plus, who knows what mischief my Domino might perpetrate one day. I’d want someone to show me a little mercy. So, karma.

Besides, one look at this skinny kid in a white t-shirt and flip flops with socks, and you knew he doesn’t have deep pockets…

I saw my doctor this week. He wasn’t too worried about my leg. He said I might have a “contusion” which is a medical term for “this isn’t serious enough to x-ray.”

Anyway, my leg is better. I had planned to attempt to blog about this Christmas day incident by changing the lyrics of  “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” to “I Took a Tumble on Christmas Day” but, now I’ve gone and told the story, so I am not sure it is worth the effort at this point.

And now it is New Year’s Day.

Last night my significant other and I followed a decades long tradition of spending New Year’s Eve at home with just us and our pets. It was, as always, pleasant enough. Our neighbors shot off fireworks, so we went outside to watch. Domino was fascinated. I have seen lots of dogs who were scared by the noise, but it didn’t seem to phase my dog. Maybe she is as tough as she claims she is. (I just heard her shout out to me, “I killed that bitch, I tell you–killed her!”)

Looking about the Internet this morning, I found a quote from a fellow named Brad Paisley:

“Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book, so write a good one.”

I had to do some Googling to find out who this guy is. Turns out he is a country singer and the actual quote is “tomorrow is the first blank page…” but it is a lovely metaphor either way. Being the blank book fetishist that I am, it really speaks to me.  I also have to mention that Google image has some very fine pictures of this Mr. Paisley. Not that I would let someone’s good looks be the sole catalyst for me listening to his music. (*Cough* Adam Levine *cough*)

THINKER

Thinking back on 2012, I am struck by the fact that the really good things that happened in 2012 didn’t just happen to me, they happened as a direct result of choices I made and positive actions that I took.  I don’t think it is important to write down specific resolutions for the year ahead, but just to remember what I did right in 2012.  I put fear aside and stepped outside of my comfort zone and it was a blast.

I’ll have to do more of that in the days ahead.

door with view

Have a wonderful 2013!

Happy Hour Blog, seltzer edition

2 Oct

 

Sometimes, fueled by coffee, I write blogs in the morning by following my stream of consciousness. I call those blogs Morning Pages–with a tip of the hat, as well as an apology to Julia Cameron.

Sometimes I write blogs after work. Still following my stream of consciousness. Until recently, I was also unwinding with an adult beverage as a wrote.

Nothing like a martini or bourbon to get your stream of consciousness a’flowing. Not so good for your typing skills, which is why Hemingway advised writing when drunk, but always edit when sober.

Well, this is a Happy Hour blog without the alcohol.

Yes–I have made the decision to quit drinking. So, this happy hour is fueled by Publix Lemon Lime seltzer, served chilled in a wine glass.

Cheers.

Not too long before I left for Paris, a voice in my head said, “when you get back from France, your next big adventure will be to stop drinking.”

Sometimes I have monkey mind chatter in my head; sometimes I have negative self-talk, sometimes I have old songs stuck in there–like “Brandy”, which I unfortunately heard at the grocery store on Saturday and have been toting around ever since; and sometimes there is a voice in my head that seems to be saying something worth listening to because it is saying something intriguing…

After I returned from Paris,  our doctor told my partner he needed to stop drinking for health reasons. So he did.

Well, I thought, if he was going to quit, then so was I.

Of course, I wanted to be supportive.

“Oh, hon–I am so proud of the way you’re not drinking. Would you be a pal and pass the vodka and cocktail shaker please?”

That just seemed counter-productive to me.

So, just before my birthday, I drank up all of the Jim Beam in the house–my partner had already quit drinking, so I was just being considerate and helpful, as per my nature.

No, we were not going to pour perfectly good bourbon down the sink! We could have given it away, but the last time I tried to give a bottle of liquor as a donation to Good Will they just pitched a fit, so really, what choice did I have?

One problem with stream of consciousness writing is the steam meanders a bit. Sometimes it forks off into a whole other direction.

“Brandy, you’re a fine girl…what a good wife you would be…but my life, my lover, my lady, is the sea…”

That damn song. It keeps coming up but I am determined to banish it. Moving on…

I mentioned in my potty mouth birthday blog, that for some reason, I felt a certain fascination with the fact that I turned 54 years old, which means I am entering my 55th year on Earth.

That really feels like a big deal to me–the fact that I am making my 55th journey around the sun.

Not so much from a “look how old I am” perspective. It is more like I feel a need or a desire to make this particular trip an especially special orbit. I don’t just mean “do fun stuff”–not that I don’t want to have fun, but it is more about when I get to the end of this orbit, I want to be able to know I am a better person for having taken this particular the journey.

I don’t know what that means precisely, but I am going to be giving it some thought–and will no doubt blather about it in this blog, if you’re interested, stay tuned.

We’re all on this spaceship together, after all.

You know, it never bothered me back in the day (1972, I believe) but today I find myself pondering, quite deeply, why, at night, Brandy walks through a silent town and loves a man who’s not around. WTF? Brandy, girl–he told you he isn’t going to marry you. He went back to his wife, his lover, his lady–the sea.

I’m not saying he’s gay, but… you have to ask, did Brandy ever wonder why this man preferred to spend time in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of sailors instead of her?

Oh, I know he gave her that braided chain made of finest silver from the North of Spain. you know the one–it’s got that locket that bears the name of the man that Brandy loves.
Just cause he gave her a fine piece of jewelry  doesn’t mean he isn’t gay. The gays are known for their good taste in jewelry. Well, not me. Or my  partner–but a lot of other gays have real good taste in lockets and such.

Oh, enough of that damn song!

Trying to rechannel the stream…

You know what I think?

I think Brandy needs to haul butt out of that port on that western bay and find her a real man, a true man–someone who will love her more than he loves a giant body of salt water and excessive quality time with other men on a boat in the middle of nowhere.

Surely I can find something else to write about…

Oh–here’s something cool. It started to rain just as I was leaving work. I didn’t cycle to work today, I drove. This turned out to be a good thing, because of the rain, but also because there was the most perfect rainbow in front of me as I headed toward home. There I was, zipping along 95, trying to look at the rainbow and drive at the same time.

At least I wasn’t texting:

A rainbow! OMG! WTF! SMH! LOL!

Rainbows are decidedly low-tech, but well worth a look see. It was a perfect arch too.  I craned my neck trying to see if there was a pot of gold, but no dice. Still, the rainbow itself was beautiful. One of nature’s most perfect moments.

The only thing that could have improved the moment would have been if a unicorn had leapt across 95 while I was driving past.

That almost never happens, so it was really just too much to ask.  I’ll just be grateful for the rainbow and call it an evening.

Rainbows and unicorns seems as good a way to end a blog as any.

Besides, I need to go put on some music before “Brandy” makes me rethink this whole being sober thing…

Happy PM!

 

In which I get all potty mouth and optimistic on my birthday

3 Sep

Good morning and Happy Labor Day.

Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. I didn’t realize until I did a little research that the holiday was fast tracked by Congress after the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike. The folks in Washington were hoping to avoid further conflict by making Labor Day a national holiday.

I was only ever a member of one union. When I was teaching, I joined the teacher’s union. That’s right, I was one of those “bottom feeders” Rush Limbaugh talks about. But let me tell you, when you face a classroom of teenagers all day long, day in and day out, you really need to feel like someone has got your back.

Anyway, this blog isn’t about unions, except for the whole Happy Labor Day part. So, what is this blog about? How should I know? This is one of those steam of consciousness things I do. No telling where that stream will take me.

My birthday was last Tuesday. I took Monday and Tuesday off from work and had myself a long weekend. That was nice.

On the morning of my birthday, I rode my bike downtown to Chamblin’s Uptown.

I don’t really do commercials in this blog, but can I just say, I love Chamblin’s Uptown? It is an amazing used bookstore plus a wonderful cafe. It was the closest I’ve come to a “Paris-esque” experience since I returned from Paris. But really, I see Chamblin’s as being more like Greenwich Village must have been in its boho hey day.

Admittedly, I am a bit of a literary romantic. Guilty as charged.

I managed to spend seventy bucks on books, and since it was my birthday, hooray for me. Then I sat in the cafe, drank a bottomless cup of coffee (not literally. A bottomless cup holds no coffee–but you know what I mean, right?), ate an egg and cheese croissant and wrote in my journal.

Here’s what I wrote:

It is my motherfucking birthday!

What is significant about this opening line–besides the sheer poetry of it, is that I was actually feeling a little bit elated that it was my birthday.

I don’t get all that bummed out about birthdays, I am usually indifferent. I don’t want anyone to make a big deal out of it, but I do appreciate a simple acknowledgement–a simple, “Happy Birthday!” from a friend is sufficient. But elated? And this was before I had consumed one cup of coffee for every year of my life.  (Or so it seemed.)

Here’s the weirdest part about being so happy about it being my birthday–I wasn’t jazzed because I had just turned 54 as much as, I was excited that I am just beginning my 55th year of life.

I may be 54 on paper, but I have actually completed my 54th year on this planet–at least in this incarnation. (Not necessarily an endorsement of reincarnation, just leaving the door open…)

I know what you’re thinking–you’re thinking I was all a quiver over those senior citizen discounts that will start rolling my way. Yeah baby–cheaper movie tickets, Early Bird specials and the like.

Hey, someone wants to give me a discount for reaching a certain age, Ima gonna take it. But that had nothing to do with my elation.

Frankly, I can’t totally explain it. I just know that, for some reason, recognizing that I am beginning a new year of life, feels rich with possibility.

Maybe it is because my 54th year was such a special one. I stepped out of my comfort zone, actually left my house after dark on more than one occasion, worked on and performed in The Coming Out Monologues, met some amazing new friends, went to Paris. I didn’t see any of that coming when I ended my 53rd year of life and began my 54th. It was just another birthday.

I have a secret fear of being happy. (I guess it isn’t all that much of a secret since I just wrote it.) I can’t say when it began or why, but I do have this inner voice that tells me, “If you are happy, you will be smacked down!”

If things go well, then they are bound to go wrong.

You’re so in love, you get married, but you take your honeymoon voyage on the Titanic.

Or, something like that.

But somehow, passing through the time portal into my 55th year seemed like a really cool thing to be doing. For some reason, it made me happy. I know that life isn’t going to be perfect, but when it isn’t, maybe I shouldn’t take it so personally. Maybe I’m not being smacked down because I am happy. It’s just that, shit happens.

Sometimes good shit happens too!

Happy Motherfucking Monday!

Preparing for Paris

3 Jul

I wrote previously about The Coming Out Monologues.

The show was this past weekend and it was great. People really responded to the show. There was this whole exchange of energy between the audience and the players that made both evenings extrordinary. The response from the community has been wonderfully positive and appreciative. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of something so special.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and something terrific came of it. I am a richer person for it. Along the way, I met some extraordinary new friends. What a blessing.

I know why they call it the “comfort zone”–because it is comfortable. Comfort is a good thing. But it is also over-rated.

I have for a very long time, been a creature of habit. I am not sure I fully appreciated how attached I was to routine. I just kept riding the well defined grooves and another day passed. Another week. Etc. This is easy to do when you have a job, a home, a partner, responsiblities. Routines are comforting. Again with the “comfort.”

When I first heard about The Coming Out Monologues, a voice in my head said, “you should do this.” It was an opportunity to write. It was also an opportunity to perform on stage. I hadn’t been on stage since high school, and I didn’t even know I missed it.

Once I met the amazing people who were the drivers behind the project, I knew I wanted to take this ride. I am so glad that I did.

While I was involved in this project, an opportunity arose for me to join two friends who are going to Paris this month.

Now, in my head, if one is going to a foreign country, one should plan the trip for at least a year–learn the language, figure out travel iteneraries, etc. So, I was very reticent about running off to Paris with only a month’s notice. By my standards, that was like going off to Paris on a whim. Who goes to Paris on a whim?

Apparently me.

I gave it a little thought, checked the finances and found this was entirely doable. Then I said, “Yes, I would love to go to Paris.”

And so I am. I leave a week from Saturday.

“Bill–you were in The Coming Out Monologues and it was great! What are you going to do now?”

“I am going to Paris!”

Now that the show is over, I am focusing on what I need to do to get ready. I have my passport. I have ordered some Euros so I don’t have to flounder around trying to get cash when I first arrive. Flight has been booked. Hotel reservation is confirmed.

What next?

I am preparing for Paris. The question is, is Paris prepared for me?

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