Friday, May 27, 2005

Men weren't meant to ride with clouds between their knees.

It’s when I'm sitting on an airplane on my way to Las Vegas for the long weekend that I start to remember how much I hate flying. Really. Right now, the 20-bajillion-hour flight from Baltimore to Palau looms large and menacing on my horizon.

The truth is, I probably hate being bored more than I hate flying, per se. I hate being cooped up and cramped and unable to cross my legs because airline seats were built for midgets. Now, take off and landing, I really and truly hate. If by “really and truly hate,” I mean, of course, “regard with a white knuckle terror that cannot be soothed, even with alcohol and/or prescription depressants.” (I call that cocktail, the “Marilyn”). I’m that crazy person you see with her eyes squinched shut during takeoff when you think to yourself, “Jesus, that woman’s got to be at least twenty-five [I am nothing if not generous, particularly to myself]. She shouldn’t act like such a baby.”

My upcoming flight to Palau involves four take-offs and four landings (scheduled). Most of them over open water. This shall not be pretty. I may need to get (as opposed to “borrow”) drugs. Put that on the ever-growing to-do list.

I’m told that my impending cross-the-world journey will involve many, many movies and tons of bad food. I think this will do little to prevent me from going out of my fucking mind. I’m contemplating the upgrade to first class, at least for the long leg. My new employers will pay coach but not the $1200 to upgrade. Naturally, being the indecisive git I am, I have solicited many opinions.

As you would expect, my boss the law firm partner thinks I am crazy not to upgrade. Of course he does; he practically wipes his butt with dollar bills. Well, not really, but lets just say he's had more of a silver spoon background, while mine has been more plastic spork. Not that I don't like him anyway. To his credit (and much to my chagrin), his logic is sound: “You’re starting a new life on the other side of the world. Don’t you want to do it comfortably? You don’t want to set out on the wrong foot.”

His point is duly noted. My cohort, the Hotel Heiress (my name, not hers), backs him up, trying to seduce me with tales of warm towels and champagne and leg room. It is this latter point that’s starting to appeal to me most saliently right about now.

Of course, anyone who, you know, lives in the real world looks at me and says, “Are you crazy? $1200? !!!” And I think they’re right. I mean, from where I’ll be in Palau, $1200 means a trip to Australia. And quite comfortably at that. I feel I cannot in good conscience choose 20-bajillion hours of warm towels over the lure of a dingo that may or may not have a belly full of baby.

I wonder if the toilets flush backwards in Palau. Is that an equatorial thing? I think it is. I’ll let y’all know.

See? I’m very stream of consciousness right now. I think it’s lack of sleep. Last night I slept all of two hours. That’s been the norm all week. My mind’s racing with details and questions and to do lists that I fear will never get done.

I decided to give most of my furniture away. Much the better than trying to convince somebody else that it’s good enough for them to spend money on. Plus, selling it would probably require me letting multiple strangers into my house and we know how I feel about that. Besides, when I went to band practice, there was a fellow flagliner who’d just been kicked out by a stupid boy, coincidentally the Friday night hours after I’d technically got my job but before I knew about it. She’s now holed up in a one-bedroom with her kiddo and no furniture. She asked me to think about it and let her know what I wanted for the furniture and she’d come up with it. And I thought to myself, with all the coincidences of late, I can’t ignore this one either. So I just gave it to her, provided she’ll let me use it for a few more weeks. She cried and then I cried and it was pretty pitiful. But, at least I don’t have to worry about it now and I get to pick the pick-up date. Plus, leaving with a little karma on my side can’t hurt. I think it’ll be a great comfort to me when I’m spiraling in a fiery pit of hell toward the Pacific because the plane engine died on the take-off from Hawaii.

I would end there (you know, leave on a high note), but I’ve still got some flight left and I’m bored, so I won’t. I will say that I’ve been less than impressed with America West Airlines during the four hours and counting that we’ve spent together. They made me pay for a breakfast snack and wanted to charge me $5 for headphones. This seems too high to me. Especially for a “rental”. Plus, there’s a really bitchy “air steward” who just told this guy he can’t use the bathroom. And the guy’s been waiting near his seat the whole time because they also tell you that you can’t wait at the restroom (because that’s where the terrorists stand) and people have been cutting in front of him but he keeps waiting, hoping for that window in which to seize his moment – like a child trying to jump into a double-dutch jumprope game – and he keeps getting jobbed on the whole deal. And then he gets his chance and starts that quick I-have-to-pee-SO-bad walk down the aisle and the captain slaps on the fasten seatbelt sign and Bitchy “I wear Calvin Klein boxer briefs, one size too small” McBitcherson just gives him the flat palm and makes him sit down. The quiet, seething rage painted on this poor man’s face makes me understand why people have violent outbursts. Why Joe Schmoe the insurance adjuster loses his shit one day and takes out the clerk at the Piggly Wiggly for smushing his Wonderbread.

So anyway, if I had to describe the “air stewards” on this flight, I would call them curt. To say the least.

My goal this weekend is to talk not about Palau. Or, at least, not to talk about it incessantly. I think it’s sad that I had to read an online journal to find out about my best friend's latest crazy adventure when I talk to her on the phone like every other morning. That’s a sign I’ve been acting like “that guy.” Either that, or she’s holding out on me, waiting to post her hilarity for maximum impact. I doubt that though. I seem to recall our recent calls sounding all lot like “Yeah, and this happened to me and then this and this is what I’m doing and what I’m thinking and me me me me me, oh wait, I just got to the office, I gotta go. Bye.” I’m a weeeeetle self-absorbed right now is what I’m saying. Oh well. I’m going to Palau, for chrissakes. This is big shit, y’all.

We haven’t booked our naked lady show yet, as the thought of topless vampires creeped her out. I find that odd, coming from someone who has attended a BuffyCon in her day. Yeah, that’s right. I outed her. That’s my thing.

My secretary recommended one called La Femme but it sounds awfully arty to me. I want feather headdresses and spangly thongs, that’s what I want (who doesn’t?). In a utopian paradise, there would be a celebrity impersonator show that involved titties and spangly thongs, but alas there is none (yet). Whoever makes a million off that idea better give me 10% though. As it is, I’ll have to settle for my celebrity impersonators dealing blackjack and my feather headdresses and spangly thongs worn by people who don’t look like other famous people. *sigh*

Bitchy McBitcherson totally just let me go to the bathroom over our poor sap up in 18C. The gay men, they love me. Of course, I seized my opportunity, survival of the fittest and all. It’s disconcerting that the bathroom still has an ashtray in it. This tells me something about the age of my plane that I would prefer not to know, particularly prior to landing or, as I like to call it, Yet Another Opportunity To Rely On Decades Old Technology and, Hopefully, Cheat Death. You think I look silly on takeoff, you should see me on landing. Hands white from gripping both armrests, chin pushed all of the way to my chest. It seems every flight I take, right before landing, I remember that plane in Burbank several years ago that couldn’t brake and just ran off the runway and crashed into a gas station. I usually share this information with my seatmate(s). It helps lessen my own burden, somehow.

Oh look now, we’re starting our descent… Ta!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No time like the present...

Well, thus commences my chronicle of the journey of a lifetime. I'm picking up everything I own (that I haven't or am not giving away) and moving, literally, across the world to live in the South Pacific. Palau, to be exact.

The crazy, she runs in my family.

I thought I'd wait until I got there to start. You know, use this space for my family and friends to keep up with the doings. But hell. Whose blog is actually for anything else but to feed narcissistic yearnings? This is for me dammit, and someday, I'll want to look back on the whole process and laugh. Or cry. Besides, the "how did I get to Palau (literally and figuratively)" is just as important as what type of fish I'm eating when I get there. And more entertaining, I should suspect.

So, we pick up our story here, wherein our heroine (it's my blog, I can be what I want) has applied, on a lark, for a position in Palau and, against all odds, been awarded said position. It comes with an official-sounding title that has suddenly caused her much consternation. What if, in fact, she's not actually qualified for the job for which she has been hired? Paradoxically, this precise issue never crossed her mind in the entire hiring process. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Our heroine, whom I shall call DeVita (for it is her secret wish to be a drag queen with the stage name, DeVita Montreal), is a newly appointed government official type. She has accepted, told her new employer she'll be there in six weeks and quit her current job.

Today, DeVita bought her plane ticket, fixing a date on her departure, which heretofore had been identified only as "mid-July". Upon selecting a date and committing to it by booking airline tickets, DeVita promptly freaked the fuck out. Seriously. She has an apartment what needs renting, a cat what needs a home, a household what needs to be sold, donated or packed and shipped and a whole community what needs to be bid adieu (at least for two years). And all in a matter of weeks.

And that about brings us up to date. Dear Lord, what have I done?

The answer to the latter question, of course, is slightly more than nothing (see above list). But I now possess a one-way ticket to Gilligan's Island, which is half the battle.