Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday, 27 January 2007

I am studiously avoiding what I'm sitting on my bed supposedly doing. I have no idea if that was grammatically correct, but at this point, who cares. I am supposed to be writing or planning the 20 minute talk or presentation or whatever it's supposed to be that I have to give tomorrow evening to the 17-19 year old girls in our stake. It's for a Relief Society Transitions Fireside. My topic is careers. I have it mostly planned out in my head, so I know it will be okay but I still need to flesh it out on paper and have bullet points or something mapped out for myself. Instead, I've caught up on Ann Cannon's columns in the Deseret News, cuddled with Kathryn after helping her blow her nose, sent several WAY overdue emails, and obviously started to write this blog entry. How avoidant can I be? (Is that a word?)

And, on the topic of careers...HELLO?! Like I had a career?? Wasn't the last 20 years just a mishmash of jobs I stumbled into as I ping-ponged my way through a variety of locales and interests? Sure I accumulated a bunch of helpful management skills like how to barely stay awake in a really boring meeting and still come off looking like a contributor, and yes I can spout office-speak with the best of them and yet retain my reputation as a rule breaker and status quo thrasher, but does any of this qualify me to speak to impressionable quasi-teenagers about a serious thing like eking out a living in today's materialistic and competitive world? Oooooo. Maybe it does, now that I think about it.

Oh, and re: that gnarly driving test (reputed to be one of the strictest in the world, I might add) I PASSED!!!! I usually don't use more than two exclamation points at any given time, but this is a rare case of blunt-force euphoria mixed with unmitigated relief. I had no idea how much pressure I was feeling until I realized yesterday that I was still reciting rules of the road in my head as I drove to my friend's house.

"Feed the wheel! Feed the wheel!"
"Look over your shoulder before you pull out!" (FYI: I got two black marks on my test for missing that one. Twice.)
"Stay to the left! Stay to the left!"
"Oooo. Should have gone into second gear at that roundabout."
"Zebra crossing! Watch for pedestrians!"

Now that I don't have to feed the wheel anymore, I've forgotten how to drive normally. It's disconcerting. Someone said to me the other day that I'm half Brit now that I have a driver's licence. At least I don't have a fake accent.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday, 22 January 2007 (Technically)

Oh, and I failed to mention that I took the train into London Friday evening to meet a friend at the Royal National Theatre to watch a performance by Fiona Shaw (aka Mrs Dursley of the Harry Potter movies) in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days. She was amazing.

My, my, my. Don't I sound cultured?

Now, if only I knew what it all meant...

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Okay, granted...I haven't written in quite awhile. Granted, I didn't comment about Christmas or New Years or our First Anniversary. But let's put it all in perspective, folks. I've been getting ready for my United Kingdom driving test.

Sure I've been driving for 27 years. Sure I've mastered manual transmission while shifting with my left hand. Sure I can drive on the left side of some very narrow roads. Sure I can fling myself in and out of any roundabout they can throw at me. Sure I've managed it all without injuring myself or others. Sure I'm totally comfortable driving in England now, when I'm driving on my own.

But...this is the mother of all driving tests. I have to do all that (the driving on the left side of the road, stick shift with the left hand, narrow roads, etc.) while I am also: a) glancing at the rear view and wing mirrors every 5-10 seconds, b) keeping at least a two-second space between me and the driver ahead of me (four seconds in the all-too-frequent rain), c) keeping track of all the other odd little rules and regulations and d) obeying traffic signs that pop out of nowhere when you least expect it. And I have to do a three point turn where one must glance all around all the time and engage the handbrake at every point of the three point turn, all at a snail's pace, as well as other various and sundry acts of automotive dexterity.

If I pass, I have a license for life. If not, I'll have to do it all over again. I am a little stressed.

So I'll comment on all the happy, sparkly, fun stuff like Christmas once I get past Black Wednesday. That's this Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. Maybe then the stomach ache will end. Without turning into an ulcer.