Tag Archives: Packing

Type-A Travel

So you may have gathered by now that I travel a fair bit – and also that I’m quite probably one of the most neurotic people you’ll ever meet.  These two meet head on when it comes to packing for a trip, especially when I deem something to be ‘complicated travel.’  Case in point – my trip to Australia for work (I’m currently in the lounge at Pearson awaiting my flight!).

While the trip itself isn’t overtly complicated, it does contain various sorts of activity:

  • 3 weeks in the office
  • 1 week travelling with my Cousin
  • 3 weekends in the middle to do with what I please

In order to prepare for such a trip, and to calm my nerves, I tend to gravitate towards hyper-prepartion.  The pinnacle of this would be what I refer to as my ‘outfit spreadsheets’ – which is exactly as anal as it sounds, an excel spreadsheet listing each day of my trip, the type of day it is (ie. Work vs. Casual Weekend vs. Party Night) and then a planned outfit including Shoes and Accessories.  Finally, I create a Pack List at the bottom separated into categories such as Tops, Bottoms, Dresses.. you get the drift.  The preparation of my spreadsheet normally softens any unhinged feelings I have leading up to a big trip and also lets me think about clothing, one of my favourite things to do.

I had mostly completed my pre-packing prep work for this trip last week, and finally set to packing last night.  I had all my clothes, shoes, accessories, toiletries and superfluous stuff lined out on my bed and was ready to go.  Thankfully, Peggy was around to keep my nerves in check.  I decided that it made the most sense to separate my stuff between the two suitcases into Work and Casual (obviously) and the packing commenced.  Aside from a few twitchy moments, we managed to have the majority of my stuff securely stored into my suitcases in a fairly short amount of time.  This would be when Jillian showed up – who thankfully doesn’t judge me for this type of behaviour.

I had a nice visit with Jillian, watched an episode of Dexter, and then turned in for the evening.  I had most of the morning to complete my carryon packing, and have successfully made it through US Customs, Security and and am drinking a pint at the airport lounge.  I’m sure I looked quite the site scurrying through Pearson pushing one Rolling bag, pulling another and carrying two purses!  I even managed to nip into the Nexus office and update my Driver’s Licences and Address information – why not fit another thing into my day?!

Off I head Down Under, I’ll continue to report in from the Future until December.

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Filed under Events in Review, Funny Ha-Ha

Mexico Prep Time

In order to get organized for our upcoming trip to Cancun (T-3), I went over to Depot’s apartment last night so we could discuss details and she could feed me.  I arrived sporting two lovely bottles of Ontario Whites and Depot shockingly questioned the need for two bottles – hello, have you met either of us?  One bottle of wine each on a Tuesday is pretty par for the course. 

We enjoyed a lovely dinner prepared by her massive body guard-esque boyfriend, and started to get down to the details.  What do we need to pack?

  • Sunscreen.  Lots of it.  Hopefully Depot won’t come home with half of her skin missing this time.
  • Zinc, for Depot’s nose.  Poor tortured burnt to crispy hell, peeled and burnt again nose.
  • Polysporin.  Because, you know, anyone could fall down the stairs backwards and end up with mysterious ball shaped burn marks, despite the fact that the stairs aren’t carpeted.  We need to be prepared for curious injuries.
  • Books & Magazines.  Regardless of the fact that I read approximately two articles in my Toronto Life magazine last time we hit Cancun, we’ll still travel armed with reading material.
  • Sunglasses.  14 pairs between us.  Why not.
  • Sans Pants.  While this technically isn’t an item ‘to pack’ it’s worth noting that this is definitely a No Pants vacation!

    Sans Pants!

We then made a quick trip to Hell a.k.a. the Rogers store, to see if we could get any Communication advice for our trip.  When we reached the counter, I told Depot I’d handle this and launched into our problem:

Okay, so we’re going to Mexico for a week on Saturday.  Just the two of us.  We are a bit spazzy and are worried about losing track of each other on the resort and in the nightclubs, so we want to be able to text while we’re down there.  Problem is, we both also have a tendency to lose our phones, so we need to use crappy back ups.  Are there any pay-as-you-go plans for Morons?”

Think of the Tan Lines!

The Rogers guy was actually surprisingly helpful, I think he pitied us. After much discussion though, I think we’ve decided to put on our Big Girl Panties and just try to stick together – and assign meeting places for ‘just in case’. 

We returned back to Depot’s apartment intending to get back on task, but instead worked our way through both bottles of wine, had some Laundry lessons, giggled a lot on the balcony, and planned a fake bachelorette for Depot on our trip.  Wish us luck, we might need it!

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Filed under Events in Review, Story Time

Goldfishing

Finally, the move is over. After a month of pre-move packing and prep, a day of self-moving, an eight hour marathon move with the professionals and five days of configuring and unpacking, we’re in. Official residents of Leslieville, woohoo!

The new house was an absolute maze of boxes this past weekend, pretty much an anxiety ridden nightmare. However, box by box, the character of our new home is starting to reveal itself, and we’ve definitely reached a liveable stage. Now comes the fun of nesting into our much larger home.

After all the purging I’ve done of my not so coveted possessions before, during and after the big move, combined with the enormity of my new closet and the addition of a triplet to my dresser collection – you’d think I’d be drowning in extra space. You’d think wrong. Even removing the Closet from the equation, I have an additional 4 drawers to my previous 9 drawer capacity – all of which are now full, and I have yet to unpack all of my clothing. Upon reviewing my drawer layout, I can’t for the life of me figure out how it all fit into only two dressers before. Granted, one (ONE!) drawer has currently been repurposed for excess toiletries and primping essentials but that hardly solves the mystery.

Clearly, I have Goldfish Tendancies – I expand to (and beyond) the area in which I inhabit. I’m almost certain that if I had the whole home to myself, I would find a way to fill every room (eventually) and continue to lament my lack of space. I must be exactly the type of person Blaise Pascal was referring to when he said “The problem with Western man is that he does not know how to be content in an empty room.” I’m neither a man, nor a ‘he’, but story still applies. Empty rooms or extreme minimalism makes me nervous. So does large amounts of cheese, but that’s another story.

The good news is that I’m still happily removing clutter from my little existence and slowly finding my own feng shui in my new space. The plush fuscia chair and the huge Zebra photograph are definitely helping.

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Movin’ on Up!

Nancy is exhausted. Last night is my beloved apartment after almost five and a half years.

Boxes are packed. Prince William is scared. We are all ready for the next chapter.

Won’t be able to see Casa Loma from my new bedroom but I don’t think the Princess complex will wear off anytime soon 😉

Goodnight Moon.

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Me Time

Despite how busy I am with preparing for the upcoming move (moving? What, I haven’t mentioned that? Oh right, I did: here, here, here, here, here, and here) I am still making sure to schedule in some selfish Nancy time. Today alone I will be visiting my waxing specialist and meeting up with Eleanor and Peggy to have our feet pampered, prior to heading out to a wonderful restaurant to celebrate Eleanor’s birthday. I’ve also managed to book in a Reflexology session for tomorrow afternoon – scheduled right before an evening meeting I am dreading at work. I figure this way I will be as serene as possible leading into the terrors that Friday and Saturday will bring. Well, serene might not be the right word, but at least I’ll be mentally and physically prepared in my own way.

If ‘me time’ is considered a selfish endeavour, then I’m one of the most selfish people I know. I’m nothing if not religious in scheduling various appointments to keep up with both maintenance and pure luxury activities. My massage therapist knows my life story and when I told him I was moving, he asked genuinely if I was breaking up with him – of course not, he’s far too good looking. Pedicures, Waxing, Massages, Facials and the odd foot treatment are mandatory maintenance in my opinion. Am I wrong? Thankfully, I’m such a tyrant with my own schedule that it’s not difficult for me to maintain my plethora of engagements. Juggling activities is practically a hobby of mine.

While fretting about the consequences of all my Me time this week when I really should just be packing, it got me thinking about all the extra time and money I would have on my hands if I were, well, lower maintenance. Tigger, for example, gets a $15 dollar hair cut and .. well that’s about it. While I may only get my hair done a maximum of three times a year, it costs me $160 bucks a pop! Meanwhile, I’m loyal to my Stylist from my hometown, so I have to add on two hours of lost travel time every time I need a cut and colour. Now maybe it isn’t fair to compare my own needs with that of a male, but I can’t help but wonder what I’d look like and how I’d feel if I cut all of these little indulgences out of my life. To be honest though, I don’t feel like much of my needs are hyperbolized:

  • Going to the Massage therapist monthly and the Chiro bi-monthy, helps my posture and my general feeling of well being
  • Getting 2-3 facials a year keeps me looking fresh and wards off a plethora of strange skin issues I’m prone to
  • Having my feet buffed and polished helps distract me from how much they hurt the rest of the time
  • Waxing.. well, ok, that’s just a preference

If asked, I would describe myself as Medium Maintenance, but maybe I’m just blind to the amount of maintenance that I consider necessary compared to the next girl? Is it possible that I’ve turned into one of those god awful high maintenance women that are general pain to be around? Well, maybe, but a hot dog and cold can of beer would still make an enjoyable date. So, maybe not.

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Anxiety 101

I’ll admit that I’m a pretty high strung person at the best of times.  I normally just describe myself as vibrating at a very high frequency – my normal is someone else’s crazy.  However, this whole move thing has been pushing my buttons and sending my nerves into high alert.  The last thing I needed to do was make it worse!

After a wonderful weekend attending a wedding with Korean in small town Ontario, I returned to the apartment and set right into packing mode.  I flicked on the TV to have some background noise, and started to watch an episode of Hoarders – and then two more episodes since it was a marathon stretch before the new season premier.  As it turns out, this is a terrible combination of events! 

During this three hour stretch my chest was getting tight, I was developing short breath and my packing was becoming erratic and unorganized – not my usual M.O.  I guess watching people with serious hoarding issues, that have to walk around piles of ‘stuff’ that has essentially turned their house into a maze while trying to pack up a lifetime worth of stuff and navigating through your own maze of full/empty boxes is maybe not so good for the psyche.  I actually had to give myself a time out.  I’m sure my heart rate was abnormally high, and I appeared both flushed and clammy.  After some quick Wikipedia research, it appears as though I was in the beginning stages of a Panic attack.  Awesome.

Once I realized where my anxiety was coming from (not my own apartment or packing tasks, as this is pretty well under control), I flicked the channel to watch Knocked Up, took a ten minute breather and could feel my mind centring.  I find it quite funny thinking about how beside myself I was, and how frenetic my actions would have seemed to a casual observer.  I clearly shouldn’t watch Hoarders ever again – especially when my life is in complete disarray!

Nancy in overdrive is a scary thought!

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Filed under Funny Ha-Ha, How Embarrassing, Story Time

Vertica, You Suck

Vertica Resident ServicesI apologize in advance, this is a Rant.

I hate my Landlord.. or Property Manager, whatever the hell it’s called. I know my Mother taught me never to say ‘hate’, because it’s too strong a word, but to instead use ‘dislike intensely.’ Unfortunately, Mom, hate is the only word that really describes my feelings towards Vertica Resident Services.

While I love my actual apartment, the building itself is deteriorating around us – yet is marketed as a luxury rental. HA! Luxury, my ass. With elevators broken down more often than not, frequent and unexplained water disruptions, complete lack of climate control, 5 second delays on the sliding doors and customer service that is almost legendary in it’s failures, I’m surprised they manage to keep tenants around at all. Even when they attempt to maintain some level of communication, they totally miss the mark:

“We would like to notify you that there may be a Water Disruption on Monday June 27th, between the hours of 9am to 5pm, which may only affect either the Kitchen or Bathroom”

So let me get this straight, you are vaguely aware of a date that we may or may not have an issue with water? You’re also not sure if it is going to affect all building water, or maybe just in the Kitchen? Best part is that the water was off this morning in the entire apartment at 7am– which is Wednesday, not Monday.

The water thing doesn’t even scratch the surface of how poorly we’ve been treated by every single member of the office staff we have ever had the misfortune of dealing with (Lois, in particular, this rant is directed at you). Now that we are happily moving on to greener pastures, they have managed to find yet another way to royally piss me off – although this time, it’s within their legal rights. According to a Tenant’s rights, once you’ve given notice of termination of tenancy, your landlord has the right to show your premises without ANY warning or notice given. Fair play, I guess, since they never know when a perspective tenant will come to view an apartment. Not fair, however, is insisting on making these visits in the early morning hours on Saturdays. Is it necessary to ring the door bell four times in quick succession? Screw you Vertica.

In light of our leaving the facility in SEVENTEEN days, Tigger and I intend to put our best effort into showing Vertica the same courtesy they have shown us over the years:

Eff Off, Nasty Letter to Follow – We will continue to reply to all ‘Notification of Apartment Showing’s with thinly veiled hatred. Lois confirmed with me on the phone today that she had seen our recent ‘Nasty Letter’ that simply stated Tigger was working a late shift, and they were welcome to show the apartment, with the exception of one room – where he was sleeping. You think that’s Nasty? Ok Lois, we’ll actually aim for Nasty with the next reply.

Inappropriate Decorating – The Dildo/Butt Plug/Plastic Genitals/Whatever it is has been hanging out in the fridge for awhile, was on Eleanor’s door for a period of time, and now will be returned to a much more public area for viewing. Our ‘English Country Lads’ and ‘Treasure Chest’ books will be propped open on the coffee table. Tigger – where is that collection of old Porn VHS tapes you’ve been trying to get rid of?

Booby Trapping – What fun we could have with all of those empty boxes.

Garbage/Recycling – While we may be moving out in Seventeen days, Vertica was not willing to work with us on the date at all, so we are paying rent for the full month. Thankfully though, this means we have access to their garbage and recycling services during the very high debris period that follows a move. All of this, and any further refuse we can find, will be transferred back to Vertica for them to deal with.

Appointment Scheduling – As we are required to have a walk through of our apartment before they hand back our key deposit, I assume we can treat this appointment with the same reliability as all of our maintenance tasks have been handled over the years. I’ll just wait until they call after we don’t show up, and reschedule. I’m thinking three-four times should suffice.

All kidding aside, I’m truly just frustrated with the complete lack of respect with which Vertica employees treat their residents. 400 Walmer Road has a storied history in the city of Toronto, and was once an address to be proud of. Vertica Resident Services has trampled that reputation into the ground with the utter disdain and neglect evident in all their dealings. My Great Aunt Doll lived at 450 Walmer and had frequently voiced her desires to move south into the towers – I’m glad she didn’t have the opportunity, as it would have been a monumental let down.

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Filed under Negative Nancy