There once was a very sleepy black and white cat.
Who was impossibly cute.
His mom and dad decided to move all the way across the world to a strange city named "Philly". This bothered the kitty.
Okay, the kitty was bothered by the unnecessary draping of scarves around his being. But had he been a smarter kitty, he would have been worried. He was about to be packed up and shipped off like these boxes!
And this suitcase!
(Which was 11 kilos overweight but somehow was let slide by the nice lady at Continental airlines.) Meanwhile, his parents were a little stressed as to how he would handle the move.
Especially because the meteorologists were calling for snow the day of their flights. The fact that kitty wasn't on the same flight as them gave them serious worry. (But actually kitty was flying AirFrance, where I am sure they serve free champagne, even in the cargo hold.)
While his parent's fret, kitty wisely watched the weather reports.
And cuddled with his mommy for solace.
And come the day of the flight, kitty was TOTALLY ready to get in his carrying crate and leave the country. This is what "ready" looks like:
Yes, as it turned out, flying meant that the kitty would be locked in a 16 x 20 inch box for 9 hours. Or - as it turned out - 16 hours, because even though his parents flight was only delayed by an hour (spent in the plane at the gate), kitty's flight was delayed for five. Which is not the correct math, but just go with it.
Despite the various delays they all flew over the ocean!! -- Where I stopped taking proper photos, and for some reason left all the pictures on my phone camera THERE until my service ran out and I couldn't access them anymore. But there was still a story!! So it went on without photos...
When they got to the airport, everything went relatively smoothly on the human end because humans are relatively efficient. Except when there is inclement weather. This meant that when his mommy and daddy arrived to pick up the cat from the bowels of the airport cargo system in Newark (seriously OFF THE MAP) kitty was not yet there.
And in time spent waiting to receive him, his tired mommy had a nervous breakdown. Poor, unsuspecting cargo service people. Thankfully daddy was there to save the day, pay the unexpected 40 dollars required to release kitty and they went on their way. Two very long hours later, mommy, daddy and kitty were all safe and sound in their new (temporary) home in the country. Just and hour from the streets of Philadelphia (insert song by The Boss HERE.)
While the flying kitty hid under the bed, just out of reach of little kid hands, mommy and daddy had their vacation. First stop: Paris.
Mommy watched from the inside while her man went out and played in the snow. For three hours. What a crazy guy!!
They wandered around the city in subzero temperatures (if we count in Celsius). They did not see Tom Hanks.
And just generally made the best of the last ten days together before daddy left mommy and the kitty to go back to France. This is how much fun they had:
(It really was an awesome vacation.)
And the kitty? He has a brand new tante, and cannot be happier.
(Even if his mommy can't WAIT to move the kitty to a space where his litter box is not in her room. But that is a whole other story...).
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
There once was a very sleepy black and white cat.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Did I mention something about blogging every day? I did, didn't I? Ah well, one more failure. Just building character over here. A bullet list to tide you over?
- I packed my boxes. Mostly. And then realized I would need some of the stuff in them (After I taped them, of course). I will be unpacking them again this weekend.
- I closed my bank account. It was painless. I even got a free le Creuset teapot out of the deal.
- I haven't yet closed my cell phone account. They do not understand the meaning of the word "painless".
- The cat is officially certified for travel. He doesn't know it yet. I am scared that he is going to be terribly traumatized by the flight. I am hoping my neicephew's Christmas present to him will assuage him.
- The Boy got sick. Fever and the whole gammit.
- We got cabin fever (to go with the real one) and got all mad at each other.
- Then we got over it.
- And moved on.
- I did not get sick.
- I am betting it will happen right about hour five on the flight back home.
- (But we hope not.)
- I have to figure out how to (cheaply) get to the cargo shipping area buried in the maze surrounding Charles de Gaulle airport at 7:30 a.m Christmas eve eve. Without spending a hundred euros. STRESS.
- After this week, all I will have left is to pack my bags for the trip home.
- And clean the house.
- Because EW.
- Then I am having a going away party.
- I am going to pass around a tip jar.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I hadn't any idea what to blog about. Sister L suggested Christmas-y type photos and I have decided to elaborate on this theme by including photos from my cell phone. I know. You cannot wait. (And yes, I am feeling that uninspired lately. [But hey! At least I am blogging.])
So follows, photos with various commentary.
I got a hair cut!!!!!
And it never looked this good again.
There was Thankgiving Dinner Chez Sarah.
Boo is continously and excessively cute.
Because we couldn't go to the Marché Noel in Strasbourg like we planned, we went to the marché at La Defense. Equally fun.
And equally cheesy. I wish you could smell this picture, DecoyBetty. It's cheeserific.
It snowed. I stayed inside.
Boo Radley got his transport crate that will take him home to the United States of America. I haven't told him yet that he is going to hate that crate in a couple of weeks. Poor Boo Boo.
Galeries Lafeyette put up it's Christmas decorations. Honestly? It's amazing, isn't it? I wish I could have Christmas morning under that tree. (With all my family and friends, of course.)
Christmas ornaments as big as my head!!
Floating Christmas presents!!! I don't know that you can tell, but the tree is, indeed, four stories tall.
And then there were the Christmas windows. Zoom in to see the SMILES on these reindeer. I want to hug them.
...I will leave you with this BHV display. I am pretty sure that there are a lot of people out there that wish they could physically do this (and some who can???). Weirdos.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I have started to say my goodbyes. It's surreal - none of them feel like goodbye. Nothing really feels like it is ending yet. I think the real end point will be when I put the Boy back on a plane without me New Year's Day. I plan to cry like a baby.
Despite that things are moving along with appropriate speed. The cat has a transporter (600 euros at a bargain from 1000, but still renders me broke), I have an appointment to close my bank account and I have the necessary paperwork to turn off my phone. I picked up boxes today from a friend whom I wish I had spent more time with. She, her husband and her two cats are moving to Boston. These days I feel like all of Paris is on it's way out.
But I am, surprisingly, not really that sad. As I told Gigi, "I am just doing things. They are related to the move and I know that but I am not allowing myself to think about the correlation." She agreed she is doing the same. A kind of compartmentalization. I guess this is how normal people get through big things like this. Strange.
In other news, I am pretty sure I am getting a cold and I have this bothersome inner ear thing that I should probably treat with some French Pharmacy magic. It is most likely related to the cold, or maybe to the jaw clenching I am still doing, despite the fact that I no longer have a soul sucking job. It's good timing, I mean I certainly don't have a million things to do or anything that would keep me from shacking up, watching the snow and movies and drinking tea all day. No, I got nothing going.
I shouldn't complain though. At least I don't have to do all of this PLUS the soul sucking job. I am certainly thankful for that.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I'd like to try a little experiment here. Try and think of one good thing about job searching. Just one. And no, getting a new job does not count.
Did you do it? No? Yeah me either. Because, as we ALL know, job hunting SUCKS.
The plain truth of the matter is that none of us really want to work, but we have to don't we? And so we'd best at least try and search for something that we'd at least enjoy. Yes, that's how it oh so innocently starts.
I think The Oatmeal could illustrate the process quite well, actually. He should do a comic on it.
A few weeks in and I am already losing
hope steam. I have a half a dozen really good resumes and twice as many really good cover letters but trying to find something that I want to do - trying to find something that is not going to be a repeat of my last soul sucking experience - is oh so miserably hard. Here is why:
- The job ads are too simple: Read - "In search of Administrative Assistant to wipe up the conference room table when we're done with the meeting."
This job is appealing because it would be so easy a monkey could do it. In three months, however, I will wish that they had hired a monkey to do it.
- The job ads are too complex: Read - "In search of stellar administrative assistant to be the right hand to the CEO and all of his ancillary staff. Primary job duties will include: Answering telephones, filing, sorting and distributing mail, faxing, making travel arrangements, making travel arrangements for the CEO's wife, making travel arrangements for the CEO's dog, all expense reports, all book keeping, billing, calling clients to pay up, organize and over see all other administrative assistant's duties, get coffee, get breakfast, organize the Christmas party, organize the entire division's conference on how to organize things in the workplace, write and distribute memos, buy office supplies, set a new budget for office supplies, know how to run and repair all applicable office equipment, shine the CEO's shoes with your spit, clean the bathrooms and kitchen, assist all other employees with their extra work flow. This is a temporary position. Salary 10.00 per hour."
I swear to God above these kind of job postings exist. Of course, why wouldn't I want to be overworked and underpaid? I mean, 10.00 per hour IS the amount that a Starbucks employee makes, but I would get a desk. Hrmm. No thanks.
- The job ads are FAKE - "An opening for a full time Office Assistant has arisen in Philadelphia within an established organization supplying the education sector. The successful applicant will have strong computer skills, good attention to detail and a drive to succeed. Salary: $13.50 - $15.50 per hour. Hours are from 9:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday thru Friday. Please send your resume and contact details to be considered."
Looks real doesn't it? I have taken the time to apply for more than one of these, oh so unfortunately, on to receive in return an email like this:
"Terrific news! We took a look at your resume and we’d like you to come in to talk.
There are a couple things we need to discuss. Namely, salary requirements and hours. But we think we’ve found who we’re looking for.
Some logistical stuff we need to take care of: we need a credit and background check from all of our employees during the hiring process. The background check we’ll do in person, and as long as there isn’t anything outstanding in your background, you should be cleared.
However, we use the credit report to narrow down our hiring process. It’s basically step one, and step two would be the interview. Don’t worry, your credit score won’t affect your eligibility—we just need to know who we’re dealing with. It’s our company policy. And of course, the credit check is free and won’t hurt your credit.
Click HERE to get your free credit report. ALL WE NEED IS THE VERIFICATION # for your order. Please DO NOT SEND US ANY personal information. Once we get your #, we can set up a time and day for you to come in."
Seriously? Seriously. Since when did scammers start using the job listings for their bullshit? It makes me so furious.
Which is all to say that I have not yet found a job in Philadelphia. It seems like there are plenty of opportunities but I am just not right for any of them so far. Or else I have a french cell phone number on my resume which DOES. NOT. COMPUTE. and shorts circuits up in the HR department.
"It starts with 33 and has looks funny! How do we dial it??? Ah forget it, that's too hard, just shred it."
That is what I imagine happening, anyway.
I am trying to not give up just yet, after all I have only just begun. Actually, my goal is to win the Postitive, Upbeat Jobsearcher of the Year award (also called working at Starbucks). Suffice it to say however, that while I would love to start working in January, I am not going to hold my breath for it. At least I'll get a free credit report out of the whole deal.