The Tears Are Almost Flowin’

September 30, 2008

I was riding the bus this morning and I checked the RSVP list for my going away party and I almost shed a tear. Almost, but I know my tear ducts are getting ready to flood any moment now. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. I can only imagine the scene on the beauty bus of a chica crying for no apparent reason. Lots of things happen on that bus as you all know by now, but just like in baseball, there is no crying!

I’m not sure why the reality of what I’m doing decided to hit me today, but it certainly did. I’ve been so excited (and I definitely still am), but I’m feeling really nostalgic. I’m no master psychiatrist, or even a psychiatrist at all, but I have a sneaking feeling that my last week of work probably has something to do with it 🙂

I’ve been taking more trips down memory lane lately and soaking up each day. I’m just really grateful. Whenever I write feelings like this, maybe somewhat dramatic, my friend’s comment always flashes back, “You’re not leaving forever. You are coming back.” Of course I know that, but what can I say? I guess just, “Giddyup!”

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Last Week of Work

September 29, 2008

On Friday, I will be saying goodbye to the best place I have worked. Wow, what a great 2.5+ year ride at my company! From incredible managers to awesome teammates to an overall cool, young staff, I will definitely be moving forward on a high note and smiling when I think of this work experience.

Even though I was leading my own account at my last agency, I came to my current company so naive and with so much to learn. I started my tenure working with UGOBE and Oakley, two great companies with fun products. From there, I have worked on clients in the online video, search, online shopping, advertising, etc. industries and have learned more than I ever thought I would.

It’s going to be strange waking up and not riding the 30X to come down to the financial district, or “fi di” as I like to call it, for work. More so, 7 days after I graduated college, I started working and 5.5 years later, I have worked non-stop.  I was instantly thrown into the real world, so work after college is what I know. Now I won’t be working in the traditional corporate sense for a while. It’s a strange feeling.

So anyway, I’m going to save the real sap for my last day on Friday. For now, check out the chicas of the jteam..


1 Month, 1 Month!

September 28, 2008

Yes, that is right, t-1 month one until my journey begins. That is 30 days and 720 hours. Yikes!

Ok, so I’m not exactly freaking out, but now is when my adventure truly feels just around the corner. Now is when I have to get serious about my checklist, get serious about making sure I’m all set, get serious about seeing people, etc. No more funny business Hoolia.

Speaking of seeing people, my brother and I had our “last hurrah” yesterday. He is getting married in 3 weeks, so life is a bit hectic for him as well, so we planned a brother/sister day, which was really nice. We didn’t do anything all that exciting, unless you think getting a suitcase is exciting, but it was great we could spend the day together with each other’s undivided attention. I have always thought highly of him and I definitely appreciated spending quality time together. For dinner, his fiance joined us and we later went to a wine bar, all courtesy of my generous bro. Overall, a great day/night before all the wedding festivities begin.

So I would normally use this Sunday to start marking more items off my checklist, but it’s football Sunday! I have to soak up these times when I get to see my Niners and other teams live and in action. My checklist will always be there tomorrow 🙂

Here is George and Callie…


Taxis

September 26, 2008

Last night, after spending an evening across the bridge in Berkeley, I took public transportation back to the city and spent almost an hour looking for/waiting for a taxi. Time and time again, I wonder why it’s so hard to find a cab in a city where there is such a high demand. SF is definitely no NYC in this respect.

I finally ended up catching a cab and for the 12 minute ride, I was almost in hysterics laughing so hard. I can only hope taxi drivers in Barcelona are this entertaining! The cab driver and I talked the entire time about the “cab scene” in San Francisco, chatting about the following:

1. How I get frustrated when I call a cab and the cab doesn’t come because someone else flagged it on its way to me. My driver last night said only rookies do that and experienced drivers, like himself, will not stop for passengers along the way to a call. On the flip side, he gets frustrated when people call and they are not there when he shows up. Don’t waste his time.

2. The best places to catch a cab in the city. If you are an experienced driver, again, like him, you know all the best routes and all the best times to get people. He always knows his “next move.”

3. How only rookies wait for people at the airport, according to him. It’s a huge waste of time to drive to the airport and back since the fare doesn’t make up for it.

4. Where he takes his dinner breaks. Last night, it was Tommy’s Joint for some lamb chops and vegetables.

5. Rules for his cab. No smoking cigarettes or snorting cocaine, but smoking a “joint” is fine.  

I guess the ride home made up for the long wait. I can only imagine what a conversation with a “rookie” will be like in Barcelona!


Winging It vs. Planning

September 25, 2008

Naturally, there is a lot of planning and prep work involved in such a big move, but the question as of recent has been, “How much should I plan ahead and how much should I just wing it?”

For example, I have been trying to network and meet people who will be in Barcelona when I will be, as I referenced in an earlier post. Everyone has told me that I will have no problem meeting people and making friends in Barcelona, but I really like to have the comfort of knowing that once I’m there, I’ll have a handful of people who I can call. It’s just peace of mind. Part of me can picture myself going to a bar or cafe, alone, and randomly start talking to someone, but a lot of things sound good in my head and not in reality!

Another example, packing. Do I pack one big bag and get the rest of what I need there or do I bring my whole closet and then some? I’m leaning towards the latter, I mean, I am a girl after all. And what about a cell phone? Part of me wants to figure out a plan when I get there, another part of me wants to get a SIM card for a world phone my friend gave me now. The thought of being there for one minute without a way to communicate is frightening. Dependence on technology much?! I’m even weighing my options for getting euros. Bring some with me or get some there? And health insurance, the all important health insurance. Figure it out now, figure it out there…

I have a huge laundry list of “to do’s” that I’m trying to tackle bit by bit and sometimes I want to get as much done as possible and other times I just want to procrastinate or I decide to “wing it.” I guess there is no right or wrong way to do it and inevitably, I’ll probably end up doing both. But regardless, I have a sneaking suspicion that whether I go super prepared or I go winging a bunch of things, I’ll work it out and be just fine.

So thanks for listening, well, reading, my thoughts out loud 🙂


Kicking Spanish Into High Gear

September 24, 2008

In follow up to my post yesterday on my experiences riding the 30X, I thought I would mention how, besides people watching on the bus, I have been brushing up on my Spanish. Now, I’m not one of those people who practices out loud, saying, “H-o-l-a, como e-s-t-a-s,” so not to worry, but it’s been fun familiarizing myself with common phrases and highlighting the terms/words I want to absorb the most.

As a starter, my easy way out when I get flustered will be to say, “I don’t speak Spanish.” When all else fails, this will be my go-to line.  Even though I do speak Spanish, to an extent, often times when I converse in Spanish with a native speaker, he/she automatically says, “It’s ok, I speak English.” Ouch.

I also highlighted local talk, so I can remember how to say, “How cool!” or “You don’t say!” I figure I’ll be saying those a lot, so time to get those engrained in the head.

Next, because everyone is shocked when I tell them my age, I insist on remembering, “I’m older than I look.” Every time, the follow up line when people think I’m 16 is, “Don’t worry, you’ll appreciate it later.” So let me nip this one in the bud.

Feelings are at the top of the list too. I’m hungry, annoyed, angry, tired, thirsty, cold, etc. will all be valuable words to have in my Spanish arsenal.  

Even though I don’t cook, as I have made clear, I figured I would get to know the words in the “cooking” section, if only to humor myself. I guess I’m keeping the dream alive that maybe one day, in Spain, I will be telling friends to pass me the “cazo,” or saucepan, because I’m whipping up a meal!

And the list goes on and on and into the dictionary section where I have picked words like avocado to remember since I like saying the Spanish translation (aguacate). It has a nice ring to it, as does cable car (teleferico). Ya never know when you’ll be in Barcelona and need to talk to someone about cable cars!


Parting with the Beauty Bus

September 23, 2008

Day in and day out, I have ridden the 30X, also known as “The Beauty Bus,” to work. There are no words to accurately describe the 30X experience, but I will certainly try my best to capture it.

I never grew up with public transportation, so the first time my roommate at the time and I rode the 30X, it was pretty new. We didn’t even know how to indicate when we wanted to get off and we were impressed at all the buildings we passed and knew we would pass for the years to come. I kept calling it the “autobus,” which, given my current situation, seems quite appropriate!

From that initial ride, the 30X has been, well, let’s say, interesting. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel I have to dress up just to ride the bus. True statement. It’s like a fashion show and meat market on that bus where people show off all the designer trends and newest looks. 

2. If I sneez, I feel I’m disrupting the peace since no one, and I mean no one, actually talks or makes a noise on the bus. However, there is the occasional person who talks very loudly on the cell phone, oblivious to the silence that surrounds him/her on the bus.

3. If I bring my PDA and a Wall Street Journal, I fit right in. 

4. If I hear the bus driver say, “Move to the back of the bus” one more time to those who have to stand, yet, have no where to move, I may go crazy.

5. If I end up chatting with one more guy who rides the 30X, outside of the 30X ride itself, and end up dating him, I know I will be in store for a dead end relationship.

In conclusion, the 30X is hardly public transportation. Though it IS actually part of MUNI, there is no one who rides that bus who can say it resembles any other bus line in the city.

I will miss the 30X. I wonder if there will be a “beauty bus” in Barcelona. For some reason, I just don’t think so…