Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in short

The moral of the story is you'd have a post to read if I hadn't just spent 42 minutes reading my own blog.

I reread the 30-posts in 36 30-days I did back in April. It seemed to stretch on forever, but I think that was some of the best writing I've done to date. Perhaps having a topic to rally around helps me focus my thoughts better. I'm considering another list but lack the topics. Start spinning your wheels for me.

Then go over to my Formspring account and shoot a question or a phrase/comment/topic you'd like addressed. Now I'll quit being bossy and go back to being good-intentions-to-write-but-with-limited-follow-through.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Using a pool hall to explain my life

One of you sasspot readers asked me if I'd quit answering questions after promising to do so. Well played sasspot, well played. However, the question is a valid one as I have an inbox of questions nearly two months old. (Including one about kissing! But I haven't formed an appropriate response yet, but it's hilarious, so stay tuned.) Tonight, I roll forward and answer the following question:

If you were to take a paid sabbatical, and could spend 6 months anywhere, where would you go?

My answer begins at a pool hall on Friday night. I do not profess to be great at pool. Decent perhaps, but I'm not about the fleece anyone $20. I attribute my ability to pocket balls to the Wms. Family Reunion of 1999 where our lodge had a pool table and I didn't have much else to do. (I attribute my ability to appropriately pen pool references to all the books I read about the seedy under belly of urban cities.) During any game of pool, I have within me the ability to sink balls two at a time or make a run of the table. Sure, I can make people sweat--but I'm no true threat.

So it was Friday night. Playing well enough to arch an eyebrow every now and then and keeping myself from soul numbing embarrassment, I still lost the six games we played. (Besides the point. And yessssss, there is one.) However, during the course of our time at the pool hall, I explained that I was not super great at anything, but decently good at most everything. (Don't let the fact that I lost six games skew your opinion, I got sharked by a rich kid who grew up with a table in the house.)

So it is with my travel. (Finally, we've turned the corner.)

I'm just interested in GOING. I don't care to where, I don't care for how long, I just like to go.

When you travel, there are two kinds--invest and discover or hit it and quit it. I'm not a scholar well versed in Italian art. Nor am I endlessly fascinated by the religious uprising of the twelfth-century peasants in the region. This doesn't mean I haven't any interest in these things, it just means I have limited focus. I'd rather keep going and see more. Breadth over depth is my passion. It's not important to me to know the minutia of any one topic or place, but rather expose myself to the world in all it's vastness. (Does this make me shallow?!)

This all starts to make sense when you see my travel patterns; my love of cramming in as many cities, regions, and countries as possible. I have minimal plans to repeat vacation destinations. (It doesn't mean I won't, I just relish the thought of exploring something new.)

What would I do with a six month paid sabbatical cruise? (Found another corner!) Easy breezy. I'd go on a six month cruise of the world. All you could see, all you could take in, a cornucopia of visual and intellectual delights.

AND I LOVE A CRUISE. (more to come)

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm Natalie, I'm a Project Manager

Nothing in my life but work these days. Why? Well the other project manager in my office is out getting married and my boss' wife's baby unexpectedly came early so they're both crazily out having Life Change Summer 2010 while I'm trying to keep it all together. (And mostly failing to be honest.)

In that work-y vein, I think you should please go read this post I wrote about what it means to be a Project Manager at an interactive agency (jigga-what?) and how it relates to the redesign of a very important website. I think you'll find it enlightening on how I spend my 50+ hours a week when I'm not entertaining (ha!) you here.

So I wish you all a happy weekend with maximum sun and limited bummer news.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

O Canada

Back to the Real World is the name of today's game. In more crybaby ways than you can imagine, but none so important as the fact it's a 95-degree Boston summer day, and the AC is out on our floor. The 11th floor. And only our floor. We're insulated to some degree, but it's still a harsh reminder of how vacation is over.

Oh wow. And a vacation it was. Sixty-six hours door to door, and you won't believe all we did and everywhere we went in those 66 hours. I'm still processing all of it and will surely have more to say. How could I not? I basically spent 3 days in France by way of Canada.

Everything was supreme about our trip to Montreal, including the following:


We hiked, we ate, we danced, we told stories, we read, we made food, we drove (and drove [and drove]), we rode gondolas, we tried to learn French, we fell in love with the front desk reception girls, we photoed, we rode bikes, we lit sparklers on the deck, we talked about why we loved America, we swam, we played games... and more!

Now if it could just hurry up and long weekend again soon, that'd be great, thanks.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Where there's a will there's a wall

It always catches me by surprise when someone everyone makes reference to the fact I travel a lot. I mean, I wasn't always this way. A few years ago, I decided I was going to make it happen and, well... look where it got me. A few stamps in my passport and a lot of miles on my wheels. (I know, what? Sorry, it's 11:58pm on a Friday night. My ability to make correct metaphors is impaired.) When I booked a trip to Kansas City(!) in August(!!) to see Alicia(!!!) on the spur of the moment, I think I finally realized that it isn't all in people's heads.

My love of travel, my love of photos, and my tendency to start planning extravagant vacations when I'm feeling super stressed (true story) joined forces in decorating my bathroom. Not the greatest execution, but it gives me something to look at when I'm forever blow-drying my hair. I'm clearly behind in updating my photos (Buenos Aires y Mexico City, my loving apologies) but this is what I look at every day:

Bathroom Travel Wall

Rome, Barcelona, Ireland, London, Monaco, Paris, Mexico, Prague. It's a pretty fun where's where. But seeing this collage every day isn't really seeing it. In fact, I'd completely forgotten Montreal was on the list of "Wants" in the upper left.

Subliminally though, my brain knew what my eyes see multiple times a day. This is an alert to let you know I'm going off the grid for a few days, and the title of this coming long weekend trip shall be "Patriotic Party in America's Top Hat."

The Fourth of July is upon us. While I'm severely (and at times handicappingly) patriotic, the 4th also presents a long weekend for those of us not used to having a rigorous 4-day-a-week school schedule. Free time off! Warm weather! 3-day weekend! Good exchange rate!

That's right. I'm talking Canada. Nothing smacks of patriotism like taking our BBQ habits to the French Canadians.

I found a deal on a "200-acre mountain top domain with luxury mountain residences that offer breathtaking panoramic views with spacious balconies for your outdoor relaxation." (Do you think their copywriter gets paid by the syllable?) Condos with full kitchens!, wood-burning fireplaces!, outdoor BBQs!, heated pools!, hot tubs!, tennis!, surrounded by hiking, biking, outdoor curling and other natural Canadian forestry. Including Sasquatch. We play outside, we cook our own food, we light sparklers on the deck. Sounds like a win to me.

But who knows, maybe it'll be a giant bust and I should get more exclusive with the classy post-it notes. Maybe I'll learn my lesson and stay home for a change.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!