Nine To Thirty

There are nine days until my 30th birthday.  In light of these single digit days, I have revamped my 29 list:

Call Embassy if passport doesn’t appear.

Write blog posts that aren’t lists.

Outline new projects.

Read my 20th book of the year, and possibly more.

Pop my ear.  My cold from last week has moved into my right ear.  Never has the phrase ‘blow it out your ear’ meant so much.

Watch people bake Cakes for Japan, Edinburgh – Tsunami Appeal Fundraiser.

Dude, Where’s My Passport?

Traipsing around an airport at 2.00 in the morning. My passport was there, too.

A few weeks ago, Sarge and I were at the post office before most people are awake on a Saturday morning.

‘Nobody’s here,’ he said.

‘Everyone’s in bed.  It’s 9.03 in the morning.’

We were dropping off my passport renewal form before boarding a train to Glasgow for the weekend.

I checked the envelope for the thousandth time.

‘I forgot to cut and staple one of the two photos to the form,’ I was quoting the form.  The same form that rejected my first attempt at a photo, because my face was too big.  Yes, really.

‘The bottom of your chin to the top of your head (including hair) should not be less than 1 inch and not more than 1 3/8 inches.’  So says page 2 of the 4 pages of instructions that go along with the 2 page form.

Did you know that 1 3/8 inches is the exact size of a standard heel on a shoe?  I know this because that’s how the woman who took the second photo measured my face.  With the heel of a shoe.  No, she didn’t take hers off, she had heels around.  It was a shoe/jewellery repair/passport photo shop, where I spent a lot of time making sure my face was just the right size.

Back at the nearly deserted post office, Sarge cut and stapled and sealed before the whole thing started to look like an abstract art project.

And now, I wait.

My last passport was issued when I was 19.  I took the photos in a photo booth, took my just-right face to the US Embassy, filled out the forms and got my passport the next day, for reasons I don’t want to repeat.  The point is, I’ve never had to wait for a passport before, and I’ve used one since before I knew what waiting felt like.

I’ve said elsewhere that my passport is one of my favourite things.  And I like it best when it’s in the same building as I am.

I count the stamps and remember my journeys.  There was that time I was searching the Louvre for the accessible toilet and found the Mona Lisa instead, and the time I slept in a bathroom on another trip to Paris.  My passport has been with me in Italy, Prague and Seattle, where a waiter who was younger than me asked to see it when I ordered beer with dinner.  My passport nearly fell off the back of a speed boat in Ireland, but has never been through the wash.

I thought it arrived today, when the postman actually knocked instead of shoving stuff through the door.  I’ve never been so disappointed to see an early birthday parcel.  I appreciate it, but it’s not my passport.

I want it back, along with my new one.  It needs new ink and I have new trips to take.  Perhaps I’ll send a post-card to the lovely lady who finally got my face to fit in the photo.

How To Have A Really Bad Cold

I’ve never been a good stuffed up person.  I’ve never liked taking naps, ask my parents.  The last time I slept during the during the day, I’d had all my wisdom teeth out the day before.

Last week, my body was gearing up for my annual cold, and this week it has lashed out.

While I had a towel over my head just above hot water this afternoon, I put together a list of things to do when you don’t do colds:

1. Have your partner/friends bring you cold medicine/cheesecake/tiramisu, without asking them.

2. Call your Dad and say: I have a code in my noeds, and laugh until you lose what little voice you have left.

3. Camp out on the couch, and pretend your Grandma is sitting on the other end of it and your Nana is making you chicken soup in your kitchen.

4. Ration your TV watching, but always make time to watch people yell at other people.

5. Put vanilla essence in your tea, and socks on your feet.  The uglier the better.

6. Listen to your go-to music (for me that would be country).  If you cry at the sad songs, blame the cold.

7. Read entire books in four-hour jags.

8. Look forward to times you won’t have a cold.  Do little things on your to-do list, so you don’t feel like a waster.

9. Take a stroll to shake off the cobwebs.  Thank you, gale-force winds.

10. Take funny photos to cheer yourself up.

Shopping On My Shelves

Last April, I condensed my list of Things To Do Before I’m 30 into 29 Resulotions.

Number 10a and 10b on that 16 item list goes something like this:

Read all the books I’ve left unread/people have thrown at me.

Not buy another book for myself until the above item is checked off. (Except The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest.)

Well.  I failed.  Not by much, because I had this in mind and not  a lot of money in the bank.  But I failed.  I will say that I bought most of these a LONG time ago.  One or two, I got with a Christmas book voucher from Sarge’s parents.  I know it upped my number of unread books, but it would have been rude not to use it.  And it’s not cool to be rude to your boyfriend’s parents.

Today’s Top Ten List over at The Broke and The Bookish which I found via The Reading Date is:

Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

I thought I’d share mine, and in doing so, show just how grabby-grabby-want-want I am when it comes to books.

In no particular order, I own but haven’t read:

The Bullet Trick.  I bought this as soon as it came out, because I loved The Cutting Room.  Currently three rows back on my middle shelf.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist.  Because it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.  In 2007.

The Children’s Book.  Because I loved Possession, and only had a mild migraine by the end.

A Thousand Splendid Suns.  Because I was crying by the second page of The Kite Runner.

The Little Book. I bought this for a friend, and then bought myself a copy.  My friend finished it.  Last year.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  I once asked for books ‘I could get lost in.’  Someone on Twitter suggested I try this.  I haven’t.  Yet.

Snow.  I bought this because I thought it was something else.

The Piano Teacher.  This was a second-hand shop find.

If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller.  This wins a longevity prize, having followed my around for ten years.

The Selected Works of T.S Spivet.  And this is a relative newbie, only waiting since Christmas.

I’ll read through this list after I finish The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, my 15th book of the year, previously 11th on this list!