Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's a chaotic roll out, but I'm on the road


June 13*

You've seen them here, the little Pocket Itineraries I make for the trips I go on. They include itinerary info in the first section, followed by critical miscellaneous info, all in one handy little booklet. I use the previous trip's book as a template for the next one, with appropriate adjustments for any differences in trip length. The info pages have been added a bit randomly over the years, so for this trip, I have a grand plan to rearrange the informational pages into a more logical order.

When I make enough little books for a tour group, I start the task appropriately in advance. This time, planning to make only one, I get cocky. I procrastinate. I've done nothing in advance. After all, how hard can it be to make only one? So here I am, jammed up at the last minute. For the two nights before departure, I stay up nearly all night enjoying an illusion of progress. Typing is interspersed with packing. You'd think I'd have the packing process down, too, but there is always an enormous number of "little things" that need to be sorted: take it or don't take it. This is a trip encompassing two tours, befuddling my brain somewhat. "Minimize" struggles with "I may need this."


A previous version...
What's with the ugly background?
Oh. I took the photo on my walnut dining table.
I'm down to the night before I leave for my sister's house, the launch pad to the airport, way closer to SFO.  I still have a motley array of papers to sort and select. I'm doing this PI on a new computer for the first time, in Win 10 Creators Edition, using my Win 98 Lotus software. (Yes, Win 10 takes it on like a champ but a lot of data and formatting have to be transferred from older computers.) I'm in a haze, dozing off at my desk, sporadically waking to work on packing. I've lost track of what the day is, the one I leave for Sister's, or is that tomorrow?


Eventually -- whether it's this day or a dreamscape -- the newscasts rattling on on the TV in the background have brought me Jeff Sessions being grilled by a Senate Committee, talking heads analyzing into the night; breaking news about a devastating London apartment fire. I'm horrified. It's a visual reminiscent of 9/11. I type on.

I realize I'm hearing George Stephanopoulous in the background with more breaking news about a shooting in DC, something related to Congress. I open my eyes, feeling warm and cozy in the big desk chair, aware of light outside filtering in through the shades. It's five o'clock, time for dinner. Until I realize it's 5 a.m. Time to go to bed for a short sleep.


"Please, Mama, you can't go.
I won't let you pack."


"We're not moving."
(Yes. There are two cats in this picture.)


I wake up, without much difficulty, thinking about what I need to do to finish it up. My suitcase and backpack are packed and zipped. My Pocket Itinerary isn't. I poke and rearrange, but after awhile, I realize I can't finish it in time to make my Sister's for dinner. I shove the fistful of printed-but-uncut pages and my laptop into a tote. I'll spend the night at my sister's, cutting and assembling. We plan to swing by Staples in the morning to have it spiral bound on the way to the BART for the trip to the airport.

I'm still printing, even as I eat my breakfast on Fly Day. Sister helps with cutting and stacking finished pages. The impossibility of finishing in time for spiral binding is upon us.

I'm rushing, I'm tired, and I'm making mistakes that take too much time to correct.

"I surrender."

I call a halt to all that stuff and Sister finishes up by punching holes in the upper left corner of the pages. We hook together what is done with a metal ring, and stuff it into a little zip purse to keep it from fanning out. I put unfinished pages my tote, with the fantasy that I'll somehow add the remaining info while traveling.


* For security reasons, these trip posts are being made after my return.

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