Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What to do when there's nothing to do

It was one of those days where I had nothing to do at work. Now that is a golden opportunity to whip something up to blog about – but I couldn’t think of anything for that either. It doesn’t really work when you just sit there waiting for inspiration to strike. *sigh* It doesn’t.

So instead I made a list of things I need to pack to take to Dallas. I’m almost trying not to think of the trip. You see, it's so far outside of my comfort box. When I drove an hour and a half to meet Cindy – that was a Big Thing for me to do. A few years ago I went to a RT convention in Toronto by myself and that was an even Bigger Thing for me to do. I’m headed back to Toronto the weekend of the 22 to meet up with some fellow Canuckian bloggers and that is a Big Thing.

But to fly from my little home town all the way to Dallas is a HUGE, ENORMOUS, OFF THE CHART thing for me to do. First of all, I haven’t flown anywhere in 27 or 28 years. The last time I flew was when Brent was 6 months old and Ron and I went to Bahamas for a week to give my parents bonding time with him (wasn’t that nice of us) Ron was so freaked out by flying we just didn’t do it anymore. I’m going to have fly out of here, pass through customs, wait in the Detroit airport for an hour and a half between flights, and then fly from Detroit to Dallas – all this by myself. Now to most people it’s not a big deal, but for me, going to a movie by myself was a huge step *chuckle*.

And when I think of meeting with Jane, Sybil and Wendy and sharing a room with them – I almost start vibrating with excitement. And since it’s still a month away, it’s a bit early for the vibrating.

This is also the furthest I’ve ever traveled I think. Ron and I went to BC when we were first married – before he said no more flying for him. I’m not sure of the distance differential but I think Dallas is further. Plus it gets extra points since it’s in the US instead of Canada.

I think I almost need a trip planner for some of the details. I told my sisters how much money I was thinking of taking and they looked at me in horror and said I couldn’t take that much!!! But I don’t really like using my credit card.

And speaking of money, when do I get American money? Right now the Canadian dollar is going up and up and the US dollar is going down and down. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, the Canadian dollar was only worth about 74¢ to a US dollar. Now it’s up to about 94¢. So – do I get some American money now figuring the Canadian dollar will start dropping again or do I wait, hoping (selfishly according to my accountant son who has taken a number of economics courses) that the Canadian dollar will go up even higher?

Details, details. I’ve never been detail oriented. Ron was always good at that and he was the one who took care of all that kind of stuff.

And then of course there is the whole laptop computer thing. I’d love to be able to blog from Dallas but I don’t have a laptop. I’ve never really wanted one that much, but should I get one to take to Dallas? It seems rather extreme, but then the thought of having one to have for my very own is rather appealing. But man they cost a lot!

Anyway, these are just some of the thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain ever since I found out for sure I was going.

'til later


Megan Frampton said...

I am so excited for you, Kristie! I hope someone will be taking pix, esp. when (I hope it's when, not if) you meet Lisa K.

Suisan said...


Just a tad jealous.

You're going to have a tremendous time. Take pics!!

nath said...

I'm so excited Kristie!!! :D

Can't wait for the trip and I am jealous about your trip to Texas :D I think you should wait, I too think the $CDN will still rise :P man, remember a time, when it was worth on 0.5$?

as for laptop, I think you shouldn't buy one. Yes it is appealing, but it's also a headache... all the technical troubles you can have and no offense, but you're not that technically savvy. Perhaps someone else will have a laptop or the hotel has computers or an internet cafe.

Wendy said...

I'm hoping Jane brings a laptop :) Is that wrong? Otherwise I'll either pay for Internet (assuming the hotel has a cafe/station of some sort) or declare a Blog-Free zone until I get back.

I'm no help at all with the currency thing. When I lived in Buffalo that was when the Canadian dollar was worth squat. Seriously, a po-a$$ college student could have a killer time in Niagara back in those days.

And flying - I would suggest taking something like Bonine for motion sickness (even if it's just a precaution). It's like Dramamine, but without the drowsy side-effects. I don't mind flying, but the turbulence (and my nerves!) tend to make me sick to my stomach.

CindyS said...

Phew! I was getting worried that I was the only one thinking stuff around me is HUGE!!!

I'm very excited about Toronto but you noticed I'm only coming for the afternoon. When I had mentioned dinner Bob had looked at me and asked if I was ready for that - which of course had me backpedaling fast! I started to think of how the seating would be and I seem to recall it's like stadium seating and what if I had to get out NOW.

What's really cute is Bob was surprised he and I were only going on Saturday - he was all, 'I thought we were going to stay for the weekend'.


I was telling him about how blogging has re-introduced me to people again. There are people who already know my crap and STILL want to meet me! That's just crazy. While talking I mentioned about you going to Dallas to meet other bloggers and how we are all finally meeting and he said 'Should we be going to Dallas?' You could have knocked me over with a feather. I said 'uh, can't fly, remember?' and he said that next year (although I don't think it's in the same city) he would take 2 weeks off and we would drive down, stay for Romance Book Extravaganza!! (Okay, that's what I call it) and then we could drive on back.

Yep, my panicky self don't know what to do with that one! Although there was a book fair or show in New York there just this past month that I told Bob sounded like the place to go. Free books by the hundreds!


And I'm so glad you made the BIG STEP ;) Just think, we're all just as excited and nervous as you.

If I had a laptop I'd give it to you but I'm cheap and can't see why I would need two computers.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie:
You'll do fine on the flight and take lots of deep breaths. Jets have come a long way!! *grin

Buy some American $$ now and then more just before you go. Then if it does go up again, you bonus.
Have a wonderful day.

Casee said...

I wouldn't get a laptop. Usually hotels have some sort of computer station. Or maybe your roomies will bring one. Plus you'll probably be too busy to blog. :)

I hate flying. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I have flown so much in the last two years, it still amazes me. Thank Gawd I have a direct flight to Dallas. I hate layovers.

Good luck packing. Just remember how fun it's going to be!!

Rosario said...

LOL about you selfishly wanting the Canadian dollar to go up! That's so like my mom; a couple of years ago, when Argentina (our neighbouring country) was in a pretty big economic crisis, she told me she hoped they'd go into hyperinflation, so she could go on a monster shopping spree in Buenos Aires. Apparently, she has good memories of the late 80s, when they had something like 10,000% inflation and she went with her Uruguayan pesos and could buy everything for peanuts.

And flying - I would suggest taking something like Bonine for motion sickness (even if it's just a precaution). It's like Dramamine, but without the drowsy side-effects. I don't mind flying, but the turbulence (and my nerves!) tend to make me sick to my stomach.

Yes, do that, and I would also recommend chewing gum during takeoffs and landings, to keep your ears from popping when they depressurize.

Rosie said...

I can't wait to see why hijinxs and mayhem you all get into at Dallas.

It's always stressful getting ready for a trip. Who likes packing and planning? I'd love to just get up, get dressed, get on a plane and have all my stuff at the destination.

It looks like you've gotten some great advice here and I have nothing to add except Wendy is a sweetheart and has a brain like a steal trap remembering books and plots.

Next year I'm going...it's in San Francisco and I'm going dammit!

Wendy said...

I'm good with plots, horrible with names! I can't even remember character names for my all-time favorite keepers.

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: I'm the same way. I can't remember the title or the characters names for the life of me. But I do pretty good in remembering authors and plot lines.

Rosie: I'm going to try and take a yearly trip so who knows - maybe I'll see you in San Fran *g*. And I figure the only way I'll be able to do it is to start packing very soon!

Rosario: LOL - Ryan gave me a whole economics lecture; how the higher our dollar went, the less other countries would want to invest in Canada. What I got out of it, was the higher the dollar goes, the more we want it to go down - which is kind of wacky. I can sort of see what he's talking about. But I tell you - economics is a wierd thing.

Janice: the only things I know about flying a) the seats are much smaller now b)we won't get fed c)be at the airport veeerrryyy early and d)wear sandals or Crocks.

Cindy *chuckle* most things I do are out of my box. But I'm determined to break down those cardboard walls

Wendy: I'm kind of hoping she does to - or there is an internet cafe. Being away from blogging that long will cause severe withdrawl.
I'm not sure my sons believed me, but when I was a kid, the CDN$ was higher than the American$. I grew up in a border town and we got some great deals by going to the "States" shopping. I still remember my mother hiding food under her coat 'cause she didn't want to pay duty *g*

Nath: What to you meeeaaannn I'm not technically savy? Just 'cause I manage somehow to break a port on the computer and now I can't do everything I need to do?

Suisan: I will take lots of pictures. I have a digital camera just waiting to be used. Now all I have to do is get someone to show me how to delete all the pictures I have on it now so I'll have more room.

Megan: I hope I get a picture of her too. I read on the website that she is going to be a keynote speaker - and since Sybil got her to swear.......
I'm hoping we have lots of stories to share *huge grin*

Rowena said...

OH wow, you're going to be meeting some really great people, you lucky duck..both times!

I have no idea when you should get American money as I totally suck at those kinds of things.

But you're going to have such a great time!

ReneeW said...

Me jealous too. But I've got butterflies in my stomach just thinking about doing all that. Meeting other bloggers would probably make me pee my pants (I'm very shy) or have a panic attack.

But I'm very excited for you and I know you'll have a wonderful time. Don't get a laptop - just one more thing to worry about. I want pix too. I agree with the suggestions about bonine and chewing gum. Works.

Tara Marie said...

You and the rest of the ladies are going to have a great time :D

Post pictures and stories!!

I'm only a little jealous as I'm thinking about doing RT in Pittsburg next year.

Anonymous said...

I love to travel and EVERY SINGLE TRIP IS HUGE. Mostly, I admit, because I'm going towards more high-tech countries (usually)and I stress endlessly about showing my third-world ignorance. But that's another story althogether.

I have relatives in the US and CA, plus I live in a country where the exchange rate can do surprising things. So my advice is to leave CA with US$. If only because you might not get a good rate wherever you are going; also, banks tend to treat non-clients like crap ie mysterious fees.

If you still want to see where the rate is going, change about half your travel budget right now. And wait and see how it's working out. I doubt there'll be this huge jump forward overnight, though.

As for the plane trip itself, definitely medicate yourself; you have a short lay-over, and that doesn't help.

Don't forget all those rules about liquids: no lipstick/chapstick, no perfume bigger than 3oz, no creams, shampoos etc. Oh, and you know you might have to take off your shoes so mules and a pedicure, LOL!

As for computer access, the hotel should have either a cyber cafe or you'll find one nearby (libraries!)

I'm insanely anal so my bags are usually packed a week in advance, either mentally or physically. I like to plan ahead, sue me. So I usually take out the clothes I mean to take and TRY THEM ON for a) fattening of my chest and/or behind or, worse, b) forgotten holes/stains/missing buttons. But that's just me...

Can't wait to here all about this. I soooo want to go to a RWA thing. 09 or 11, definitely since it's NY and DC, IIRC. And I have people in these cities I can stay with so no hotels to pay, yay!

islandelf, worried traveler

Anonymous said...

Oh, forgot one last thing. I always travel with two suitcases, which surprises a number of people. The 2nd suitcase is for hoarding books (obviously romances for the most part).

Thought of that when I read your sisters' reaction to your budget. I figure you have a wishlist to fulfill, right?

islandelf, book packer

Nicole said...

I am SO jealous. I want to go and meet all of you! Okay, so I've met the fabulous Jane, but meeting the rest of you guys would be great.

One of these conferences needs to be in Chicago or Minneapolis. I could so swing going to it then.

Kristie (J) said...

Casee: Oops - missed you the first time:(. I'm not sure how I feel about flying. It didn't bother me at all 26 or 27 years ago (I'd have to do math to figure out exactly) but then - that was 26 or 27 years ago!

Rowena: I know! I'm so excited about both trips. But I'm trying to stay focused on one at a time - without much luck though :)

Renee: I'm very shy too - but every so often I can get past it. I'm hoping that the shy Kristie stays away *g*

Island Elf: I'm going to get American money - I'm just not sure how much yet. I think I'd get a better deal getting it here rather than there. I've been trying to think of different places to hide it. The only thing is when I hide something - I usually forget where I hid it! And sticking out like a sore thumb - traveler wise - is one of the things I'm worried about. And I'm looking at bags - ones that will scrunch up real small on the way there, but able to hold a lot on the way back *g*

Tara: I'm thinking we'll have loads of stories. And Pittsburg next year eh? Well - that's not too far away. I've been to Pittsburg years ago when I went with a friend camping there.

Nicole: I'm not sure which is more exciting - going to the RWA or meeting Jane, Sybil and Wendy - but I think meeting the 3 of them wins out.