Posted by: Andrea | August 24, 2010

Things are getting interesting

So if any of you were thinking that it’d be such a great idea to marry someone foreign and how great that would be to hear a cute accent your whole life…maybe reconsider.

Just kidding honey!  I love you!

Malcolm and I are now officially engaged!  Yes, KB is Malcolm and I am Andrea.  For all my freaking out about my privacy and everything like that, I figure only about three people are reading this thing anymore so who cares about anonymity?

Anyway, after the crazy weekend of telling family and trying to get in touch with people over four different time zones and in three different countries, we finally settled down a bit.  And started thinking about visas.

OH MY GOD, THE VISAS.

This is an incredibly frustrating, horrible, mind-numbing, coma-inducing exercise, but unfortunately we have to do it.  And every option we discover is worse that the last.

Basically we have two options for visas.  There’s the K1 Visa, which is the ‘fiancée visa.’  This visa will take approximately 6-8 months to process.  It costs approximately $900 and can only be used to enter the US once.  Malcolm has six months to use it from the time it is issued and once he enters the US we have to get married within 90 days.  He cannot work or leave the country during this time.  One we get married, we have to apply for Adjustment of Status, which changes the status of his visa from Fiancee to Legal Permanent Resident.  We also have to apply at the same time for permission for him to work and to travel outside of the country.  This can take 1-2 months.  Oh, and it’ll cost us over $1000.  Visa total:  $1900.

Second option is the K3 visa, which is for a spouse.  This costs less as we don’t have do the whole ‘Adjustment of Status’ song and dance, but takes longer (8-12 months).  We’d basically have to get married in Scotland but Malcolm can’t enter the US until his visa is approved.  However, he can work as soon as he arrives into the US.  Cost of visa: $950.

With either of these visas, we’re pretty much going to be apart for most of the next year.  We are not happy about either of these things.  It’s frustrating to be planning a wedding with no groom to plan with!  Plus it’s also virtually impossible to take engagement pictures or pick out a wedding registry (which we desperately need, because we own NOTHING) with your other half in another country.  It’s a horrible situation.

Enter: Direct Consular Filing.

Now here’s the deal with the DCF.  It’s fast – currently processing in 5 months from application to approved visa.  It’s cheap(er) – approximately $750.  We can apply directly to the London Consulate instead of having to go through US immigration services.  Once the visa is approved and Malcolm enters the US, he can work immediately.

The only catch?  We have to be married.  And we have to apply while I am still resident in this country.

So we are now in the situation of having to decide, after being engaged for less than a week, if we want to attempt to get married sometime in the next four weeks.  There’s no Vegas here so we’d have to apply for a marriage license, which takes at least two weeks to process, possibly longer.  I have to give myself enough time after the wedding to gather evidence of our relationship (sworn affidavits to establish the legitimacy of our wedding, marriage certificate, evidence of shared bank accounts) and send in the initial application form before I leave the country in October.  This isn’t really how we wanted our wedding to be, plus none of my family are even here and I have no idea if any of them would be able to jump on a plane for a wedding a few weeks away.

However, the benefits of doing this are so huge that I’m starting to think we should just do it, even if it’s not exactly how we’d planned to get married.  We can always still do a big ceremony in the US, we may even manage to get married on the exact same day, just a year later.  We’d save SO much money and it would allow Malcolm to work as soon as he arrives in the US, but the best part is that he’d BE THERE.  We could plan our wedding together instead of being apart for the next year.

I think this may be the craziest idea I’ve ever had, but I’m starting to think it could be done.  Malcolm just wants to be together and married, so I bet he’d go along with whatever insane thing I decide would be easiest.  Can I plan a wedding in three weeks?  Hmm….

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Posted by: Andrea | August 20, 2010

Etsy Spat

This year for my birthday my parents bought me a kindle. I read A LOT, so I was VERY excited about this present, as you can imagine. As soon as I saw it and realized how flimsy the thing was, i immediately started searching for a cover.

Enter, Etsy.

Now, I am a recent discoverer of Etsy. I know, I know, what rock have I been hiding under? I feel like I have only scratched the surface of this amazing website. I admit to looking at quite a few items, usually jewellery, but as of now I’ve only bought four things. So i can’t exactly call myself an Etsy expert. I stand very squarely in the ‘novice, watch out so you don’t trample me’ section.

But I really wanted a pretty kindle cover that was unique, so I started looking for something handmade. I picked out a cover and design that I liked and sent along my money at the beginning of July. The designer told me it would take a bit longer than advertised, but said it would ship in three weeks. Disappointing, but I said that was all right.

Fast forward to four weeks later and I sent her an etsy message asking to be informed when the cover was shipped. She said it would be shipping that Monday.

Um…yeah, no. It did not ship. I kept checking the mail for two weeks, worrying that it got lost in the mail. Three weeks later she finally emailed saying she’d been featured in an article and was running behind because of lots of orders from these articles, and that the cover finally shipped that week.

FINALLY, after nine weeks of waiting, I received my cover.

I was very well made, lovely design work, exactly the fabrics I’d picked out. But…it was kind of big. It was bigger than I really wanted, to be honest. It was very padded, but it was probably better to protect the kindle that way. It was maybe not EXACTLY what I wanted, but it was as the pictures had shown it and besides, that’s one of the downsides from ordering on the internet, right? You can’t really know what it’s going to be like until you see it in person. Not really her fault.

The one thing that DID bug me was that this cover obviously hadn’t been designed with the Kindle actually in mind. It fit the size of the kindle, but not the way it is used. The way the cover secured the kindle was by four fabric corners, which in theory, is fine. Except that the on and off switch for the kindle is at the top left corner, which is partially covered by the corner securing it to the backing. To turn the kindle on and off, I can’t just reach up and flip it off, I have to sort of bend the corner to be able to reach the button. It’s annoying.

Now if I’d just LOVED that cover, I probably could have forgiven the long wait. But, well, I just didn’t love it. It was fine. It was as described, with some slight annoyances. So when I trotted on over to Etsy to give my feedback, I just gave neutral feedback, saying that while I felt the cover was lovely, I was disappointed with the long wait time to be shipped (seven weeks).

WELL. That woman FUH-REAKED OUT.

I got an etsy email back saying that I was ‘unkind.’ That I’d ‘hurt her business’ by leaving her a ‘POOR score.’ Oh and by the way, ‘it was so wonderful of you to do that.’

Um…WHAT?!

Now I was confused. Did I accidently press ‘negative’ when I meant to put ‘neutral’? Did I write something negative while I was sleep walking? Let me read what I wrote again:

Gorgeous cover with lovely craftsmanship. Only negative aspect was the long wait for the order to be shipped (7 weeks) but Karen was helpful and very accommodating with assisting me to pick out colors that I liked.

Hmm. Yeah, I’m sorry, but that actually seems like a pretty positive response to me!

I emailed her back to say that I WAS disappointed with the long wait when she’d told me otherwise. That it was a neutral shopping experience for me, which was why I picked neutral. If she informed her customers that it would take awhile to receive items, I’m sure nothing I said would effect her business.

WELL! I then checked on my own profile and she’d left what can only be described as a DIATRIBE of crap, giving me negative feedback. Again saying I’m ‘unkind’ and ‘felt the need to give poor feedback.’ Then she advertised for her own shop!

The only thing I can deduce is that this woman is crazy.

I looked into it a bit more and found that for every person who had left neutral feedback (two others, one negative) she’s done the same thing. On one of them she said the person had psychiatric issues because they kept asking her where the cover was! I ultimately wasn’t that worried about whatever she said on my profile because it makes her look crazier than me, but still! I feel like she’s being totally unprofessional and borderline abusive. Is it possible to complain to the Esty powers that be? I was just going to ignore her, but now I’m really mad about this.

I also noticed that right after I left my neutral feedback, another woman left some SERIOUSLY negative feedback right above me. Can’t wait to see how she deals with THAT!

Posted by: Andrea | August 12, 2010

I’m really only twenty, I swear

My mom told me recently that she heard on the radio that, on average, women feel eleven years younger than their actual age. Considering that at my last birthday I turned 31 and I feel like my life is still getting started, I can totally relate.

In the beginning of September, Kayaking Boyfriend and I will have been dating for a year. He’s completely loving, supportive, caring, he listens to me rant about my job and I can honestly say we’ve never fought. If we ever have a disagreement, we talk about it and work out a way to fix it where we’re both happy. I can honestly say I love him more as time goes on, and I used to want to vomit when people said that. Sometimes I look at us and think, god, we are SO MATURE!

I’m planning to move back to Portland in October after six years in Scotland. I’m very excited about it but scared too. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in the United States and it means leaving all my friends here in Glasgow. But I also have felt for a long time that I have two separate lives and it’s time for me just to have one life. I want to be closer to my family and back to my home. Of course, that means that KB and I have had to start making some hard decisions about where our relationship is going. Which, inevitably, means talking about marriage.

Now, the part of me that thinks, ‘wow, we’re so mature!’ is thinking, I love KB, he’s my best friend, I want to share a life with him. Marriage totally makes sense. Then there’s the part of me that still feels like a twenty year old. That me is thinking, um…what now? Weddings? Isn’t that for grownups? I AM NOT A GROWNUP!

It’s a really weird disconnect because I try to picture KB and I actually being married and I’m totally fine. But the actual wedding? Me in a white dress? People taking pictures of me? But that’s for actual grown up people! I’m not ready for this!

Presents, however? THAT I am ready for.

See, I’ve never been the type of girl who dreamed about her wedding. I can honestly say I have never even planned one single thing that I would want at my wedding. At lot of things I DON’T want, mostly music: the dj playing Celebration? VETO. Getting married is something that I hoped would eventually happen, but was never something I counted on in my life. And now that it’s actually happening, I am at a total loss at how to plan for it. I try to picture my wedding and all I can think is, I’m too young for this! Weddings happen to other people, the kind who have their lives all figured out!

Except I’m 31, not 20. I wish my brain could just catch up to reality, it would definitely help with my wedding anxiety. I’ll just try to keep thinking about the presents. That should help.

Posted by: Andrea | December 1, 2009

The Harlequin by Laurell Hamilton



So does anyone remember back when Anita Blake used to actually solve murders?  Yeah me too.  I miss that.  Oh, and she also used to avoid having sex with vampires.  I miss that too.

I’m not going to lie, I LOVE a good paranormal romance.  Though technically Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake series was around before there was a ‘paranormal romance’ section in book stores.  The Anita Blake series was my first introduction to modern paranormal stories and I loved them all immediately.  Anita is a necromancer who raises zombies for a living, since all the paranormal stuff is ‘out of the coffin’ now (to steal a term from True Blood.  Which I also love, but that’s another post entirely).  Wereanimals and vampires and a ton of other things besides are all real and all just trying to live their lives in normal society.  Anita also happens to be a vampire executioner and a federal marshall in her spare time, which includes assisting the police to solve paranormal crimes and hunting down and killing rogue vampires. The stories were interesting and witty and had fighting and crime solving and a female lead.  Anita was tough and strong and could shoot guns and fight bad guys.  What more is there to love?  The series is full of male eye-candy (well as much eye candy as you can have in a book) but Anita was always completely against casual sex.  She didn’t succumb to the flirty guys even though they all seemed to lust after her constantly (OF COURSE).

Anita isn’t exactly relatable due to all the zombie raising and vampire hunting and killing.  But she also was constantly being underestimated by the men around her due to her size (she’s just over five feet tall) and the fact that she’s a woman, which did ring true to me.  In a lot of ways Anita was able to be the smart-ass that I always wished I could be when people underestimate me.  Everyone can relate to being misunderstood or discounted, especially in work situations.  The police cases were also interesting mysteries with some sort of new and scary paranormal bad guy in each book.

And….then Anita decided to have sex with one of the main vampire dudes.  And then the books started to royally suck.

It was really unfortunate, actually, because I so enjoyed these books.  Don’t get me wrong, these are not works of literature, but they were the ultimate guilty pleasure books for me.  At least for the first five or six books Hamilton attempted to make them about a mystery with an actual plot.  Now?  In her latest book, The Harlequin, Anita spends 400 pages having sex with multiple partners, talking about EVERYTHING (I don’t think Hamilton has ever heard the term ‘show don’t tell’) and having paranormal visions about vampires and werewolves that ultimately do nothing to advance the plot.  There no longer even IS a plot that I can determine.  My mind boggles that Hamilton manages to fill so many pages with such utter rubbish.  How can I have read 150 pages and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED?!

Of course, this is the FIFTEENTH book in the series and I’m still reading them.  Yes, I’m pathetic.  But at least I got this one at the library.  I refuse to pay money for them anymore.  The thing that bugs me the most is they are SO badly written.  I think they’ve probably always been badly written but at least the plots were engaging enough that I didn’t mind.  Now?  OH I MIND.

See here’s the thing.  Ok here’s the first thing, anyway.  I find Anita’s characterisation  extremely juvenile now.  Or as if she’s written by a juvenile.  Hamilton goes to extreme lengths to describe how sexy Anita is and how every man in her vicinity wants to have sex with her at every opportunity.  And yet Anita spends the majority of the book downplaying her appearance, seemingly so that men can tell her all the time how gorgeous she is.  There’s even an entire chapter that goes into intense detail about how Anita wasn’t wearing a bra at one point and she had to wear a tight tee shirt.  Why do I need to know this?  How is this advancing the story?  Is her lack of a bra going to somehow tie into the non-existent plot?  Are her bra-less boobs going to suddenly burst out of her shirt and distract the bad guy?  No?  Then I don’t need to know about it.  SHUT UP HAMILTON.  It just reminds me of the stories I used to write when I was twelve and was intensely insecure with boys.  None of the boys I crushed on would ever come up to me in class and tell me how gorgeous I was, so I’d just write a story about a thinly-veiled version of myself and have those guys go up and tell HER!  Genius!  Except not.  And do you think it’s a coincidence that Hamilton is also just over five feet tall and bears a resemblance to Anita?  I THINK NOT.

Second thing, I wasn’t kidding when I said Hamilton depends excessively on dialogue passages to pad out her book.  The amount of dialogue is unbelievable, and goes a long way to explain why so little actually happens in the plot.  It’s because all they do is stand around talking!  Usually about Anita’s relationships, which is SO BORING when she’s dating about six different men and they all have problems.  I can’t even keep track of all these guys and I’m supposed to care about all the different ways they’re not emotionally fulfilled?  The dialogue also comes across extremely stilted, with people sharing far more information than would seem normal and in very odd ways just so that the conversations can delve deeper into all the emotional problems.  I was desperate for Anita to get distracted and go kill someone just so something could happen, anything!

On a related topic, as I said before there was FAR too much ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing.’  Anita would constantly make a statement, and then follow it up with ‘they just would’ or ‘it just would.’  For example: But if their sons could be as powerful as Thea, or even close, then suddenly Samuel’s family would rule the East Coast.  They just would.    I felt like we as readers were supposed to read that and think, ‘oh, ok Anita, if you say so!’  It bugged me.  A LOT.

Oh, and, if Anita says one more time that someone ‘let me see in his face’ some ridiculously complicated emotion that would be almost impossible to just ‘show’ on your face, I will throw that book across the room.  Anita does a lot of ‘letting people see’ things in her face, which just makes me want to vomit.  STOP TAKING SHORTCUTS AND WRITE ACTUAL DESCRIPTIONS.  God.

Breathe…I am breathing…

There aren’t a lot of books that make me as infuriated as Hamilton’s books do.  Maybe the Twilight books, but then I only read the first one before I did literally throw that book across the room and vow, NO MORE.  Alas, I just can’t give up on Anita even though it PAINS ME how much these books suck now.  They are complete and utter crap and yet I’m still reading.

But you don’t have to!  If you’ve seen these books on the ‘paranormal romance’ shelf of your local bookstore, don’t make the same mistake I did!  You’ll get sucked in too, you’ll think these books are good, but trust me.  As soon as Anita and Jean-Claude get it on, RUN AWAY!  It’s all downhill from there.

p.s.  Try Kelley Armstrong, if you want a good paranormal romance.  LOVE HER.

Posted by: Andrea | November 17, 2009

Be careful what you wish for

When I was a kid, every year I got the flu.  I knew that each year I’d get a least one day off school due to vomiting.  See, my mom had a rule.  The only way to automatically get time off school was vomit or a temperature.  Strangely it’s a personal rule I’ve still kept for myself when it comes to taking time off of work.  Unless I have a fever or am actively vomiting, I feel like I should go to work.

It seems, however, that I am the only person who thinks that way.  See, our sickness leave is organized kind of strangely.  We’re allowed to take two periods of sickness every year, but only two.  If we take more than that, we’re interviewed by the disciplinary committee (for what, I don’t know.  What else can you say?  I got sick.  THE END).  We can take up to a full week of sick leave before we need to get a doctor’s note.  So if I get sick, I can take one day or five days and it’s viewed exactly the same by personnel.  You can understand that people here ALWAYS take a full week off if they get sick.

My problem?  I never get sick.  My entire team are dropping like flies and taking full weeks off sick and I get nothing!  There are chest infections, multiple kidney infections and a kidney stone removal (SIX MONTHS that guy took off) and I’m still working away.  Recently it’s been pretty bad with tons of people off sick.  I have whined to KB a few times about my healthy immune system and how I never get time off and it’s not fair!  I should get sick too!

Um, yeah, I wish I’d just shut up about that.

Sunday night after dinner I started feeling funny.  My stomach was bothering me but KB has had a pretty bad cold these last few weeks so I thought maybe I was getting that.  Until the vomiting started.

Oy, did the vomiting start.

You know, it’s been A LONG TIME since I vomited while sober.  It’s not that fun.  It’s actually awful and painful and tastes bad.  And leaves me sitting on the bathroom floor wrapped in a blanket and shivering in the middle of the night.  Actually, barfing while drunk can do that too, but at least I’m not sober while doing THAT.  And you can almost make a game of lying on the floor and trying to keep the room from spinning.

I’m not sure if it was food poisoning or some sort of flu virus, but I became very closely re-acquainted with vomiting over the next 24 hours.  Thankfully KB was the perfect boyfriend and took very good care of me.  He made me tea and toast and brought me frozen peas for my forehead (better than ice!) and made sure I was comfy on the couch with lots of blankets and pillows.  I feel much much better today, which is a huge relief.

So here’s the even bigger question.  I’ve already taken two days off and I could probably go back to work tomorrow and feel ok.  But should I take another day off just because I can?  One part of me thinks, well, everybody else does it!  Why can’t I?  But then the other part of me thinks that I’m just not that kind of person, I can’t take time off work if I’m not legitimately sick.  Everybody else may think it’s fine, but if I just go along with it too, I’m just making the problem worse!  But then…it IS another day off work, which would be nice and I could use the rest.  So what do you all think?

Posted by: Andrea | November 11, 2009

Help!

My book group needs you!  As I mentioned earlier, we’re attempting to breathe some new life into our book group and have invited several new people to our book group this week.  All seem excited and we’re all excited to have new people in the discussion!

The problem?  The book we picked this month SUCKS.

Like seriously, properly, horrifically sucks.  It’s 425 pages and I’ve struggled to get through the first 100 and I can read ANYTHING.  We’ve already heard from two of our new people that they hate it.  I’m afraid if they’re forced to read this they’ll just give up and never come back!

So I’m asking for advice.  We’re going to suggest a different book for this month but I can’t think of one!  Can anyone suggest a book that made for a good read and that also inspired a good discussion?  Any and all suggestions would be welcome.  The fate of our book group is in your hands!

Posted by: Andrea | November 10, 2009

Oktoberfest!

When I first moved to Scotland I figured I’d travel ALL the time.  I was going to be so close to Europe and flights are so cheap, I’d finally have the chance to see all the places I’ve been meaning to!  Except that when I was a student and had tons of time off, I was broke.  Now that I’m working and have money, I have limited vacation.  So I’ve hardly traveled in Europe at all.

The one thing I wanted to experience before I moved back home was Oktoberfest in Munich.  It was on my ‘list of things to do before I die’ and I HAD to do it before I moved and maybe lost my chance to go forever!  So I booked my flight.

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Then I bought some beer.

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LOTS of beer.

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And some chicken too.  There were lots of chickens.

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And LOTS of people dancing on benches.  The dancing on benches was fun.

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And leiderhosen!  Boys in leiderhosen all over the place!  I never would have thought there would be so many guys wearing them.  But they were EVERYWHERE.

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Leiderhosen air guitar.

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These are apparently some sort of traditional calf warmer.  Tons of guys were wearing them (see the young man above) but I found them so odd!  They’re like socks, but…with the middle missing.  So strange.  I actually asked this one german guy but his English wasn’t so good and apparently the reason they’re traditionally worn is ‘to keep your calves warm.’  So there you go.

There were, unfortunately, also quite a few drunk idiots at Oktoberfest.

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Kind of like this dude, who was barred for breaking FIVE beer steins.  FIVE!  I also saw a guy get kicked out for drinking beer out of his shoe.  Though that was pretty funny.

We had a great time though and I’d definitely recommend going, if you have a chance.  Just avoid idiots breaking beer steins and you’ll be fine.

Posted by: Andrea | November 9, 2009

Not always love at first sight

One Friday afternoon back in May, a friend of mine called me up at work and asked me if I’d like to take a kayaking class the next day.  Um…kayaking?  Will this involve any kayaking up rivers or against tides?  No?  Quick check of the calendar revealed not one single thing planned for the weekend.  So…kayaking!  Sounds good!

I’ll admit, when we arrived on Saturday morning for our kayaking course and in walked Not-Yet-New-Boyfriend, it was not immediately love at first sight.  I thought he was a lot older than I was, for a start.  He had long hair, which is not something I immediately go for, generally.  Also, how do you flirt with your instructor without seeming super weird or desperate?

Yeah, that’s right.  He was our instructor.

I really started to notice him probably about thirty minutes into our course as he was handing out equipment.  He’s actually pretty cute.  I thought to myself.  He was also a very good instructor and really knew what he was doing on the water.  I couldn’t help but like him, he was just so cute!  But that presented another dilemma.  How am I supposed to flirt with an instructor!?  He probably has to be nice to me regardless of what he actually thinks.  How do I know if he’s really flirting or if he’s just humouring me?  And add to that, I was in a WETSUIT.  The most unflattering garment ever invented.  I was DOOMED.

Needless to say, though I thought he may have been flirting with me, I did not get a date with KB (kayaking boyfriend) the first time we met.

(I still tease him about this, but KB was my instructor for an entire day on two separate occasions and he has absolutely NO memory of me taking those classes.  I still remember quite a lot about that first day and how convinced I was that he was flirting with me.  I was SO SURE that I’d made this super lasting impression and he’d OF COURSE remember me the next time I came for a lesson.  That was about six weeks later and…he did not remember me.  There I was, trying to look cute (NOT easy while wearing a wetsuit) and he didn’t even remember me!)

Now, this is kind of embarrassing, but after that first lesson, I actually almost turned into a total stalker.  ALMOST.  I didn’t actually turn into one, I will reassure you, but it was a close thing.  I thought he was so adorable and he’d mentioned a local kayaking club that he went to.  Hey, I thought, would it be SO strange if I chose to pursue my recently acquired interest in kayaking by attending his club?  Of course not!  And hey, if while I was attending said club, we had a chance to get to know each other, would that be SO odd?  OF COURSE NOT.

I’m sorry to spill all our secrets, but yes, this is what girls do.  We scheme.  We contrive elaborate plans in order to engage an object of desire in conversation.  Even at THIRTY YEARS OLD we do this.  I know, I know, yes it’s immature, but whatever.  It’s what we do.  And I know there are women out there who will think, wait, I’VE never done that.  Ok yes, maybe you haven’t.  BUT YOU KNOW YOU’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

Anyway, cooler heads prevailed and I never went to his club.  Ok, that’s a total lie.  I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me so I never actually went.  I wasn’t about to go by myself, that would just be WEIRD.

Time went on and I still occasionally thought about the cute kayaking guy and mused on different schemes to allow us the opportunity for a conversation.  See for all my scheming (in my head only, none actually put into motion!) I only ever wanted to give us the chance to get to know each other.  I really hadn’t planned anything beyond that.  I figured, if we just have a chance to have a conversation we could see if we hit it off.  If we don’t have anything in common and it doesn’t go any further, then that’s fine, at least then I’d know.  But a month or two went by and no further kayaking opportunities came up.  I figured that was the end of the cute kayaking guy flirtation.

But, of course, you just knew that wasn’t the end of the scheming.

I had enjoyed kayaking and not just because KB was our instructor.  We went on an expedition down the coastline from the sailing centre and it was amazing.  We were able to paddle right up to about thirty seals sunning themselves on rocks in the harbour.  There were even baby seals!  It was amazing.  I also had no idea how big seals were until I saw them close up.  My friends had really enjoyed the kayaking too and we’d been discussing some more extensive classes or trips while the weather was still warm.

Hmm…

Why don’t we take some more classes at the centre?  I proposed.  They’re offering a course right now where we can do a few day classes at the weekend to train up and then we can go on a camping expedition!  How fun, right?  Very fun!  My friends all happily agreed.  Of course the possibility that KB would be our instructor, while camping overnight, NEVER crossed my mind.

Of course not.

Posted by: Andrea | November 7, 2009

Just a big of a delay

I know I meant to write more about the new boyfriend and the choosing to stay longer in Scotland and everything else that has been going on lately.  I even had ALL DAY to do it while new boyfriend worked.

But…

Then I slept in until past noon.  And cleaned up after book group.  And watched So You Think You Can Dance (they cut BIANCA?!  Really?  Poor thing has tried to get on that show for three years and they cut her in the second week?!).  Now I’m heading off to catch a train to Largs to go sit on a boat and watch MORE fireworks (YAY!) and I still need to dry my hair and become presentable for new boyfriend’s family.  And I have fifteen minutes to do all that.

So.  More to come tomorrow.  Promise.

Posted by: Andrea | November 6, 2009

Book Group Blues

Tonight is book group.  Where once we had at least eight people every month, I’m anticipating only two people showing up tonight. Another one is stopping by after a concert with her boyfriend.  This my friends, is a PATHETIC showing.

It’s starting to really frustrate me.  We started the book group about a year ago with a group of enthusiastic people who actually READ THE BOOK and wanted to come and talk about it.  Yes, the book group wasn’t just about books, we did a lot of talking about other things too.  But people seemed to be prioritizing it and were actually turning up to the group each month.  Now it’s extremely rare for people to come at all.  It’s actually getting rare for people to even pick up a copy of the book to read!

We used to pick a book at random, which was good because it meant we read a real variety of books.  But then people always procrastinated in getting the book and complained that they didn’t have enough time so books weren’t getting read.  So then I started picking up ‘book club books’ at my local library so that everybody could get a copy of the book at each meeting.  Unfortunately that’s kind of created a problem because the books don’t seem to have as much variety as they used to so people are sort of getting bored.  Ok, I’M getting bored.  I love to read pretty much anything, but there’s not a lot to SAY about a lot of these books.  Which is kind of a problem.

Which has led us here.  To a book group of three people, including me.  *sigh*  What should I do?  Is there anyone out there with any sort of group-energizing suggestions?  I really love book group but it’s totally dying a death here.  Should I get new members?  Draft up questions for each month to ensure a lively discussion?  Just accept that our book group is terminal?  Anyone have any ideas?

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