Thursday, July 28, 2011

Countdown to Liftoff

Friday morning I set sail for the wilds of Whitehouse, Ohio, for a week’s vacation with my buddies.  That means tonight is Packing and Prep Night, which is always an ordeal.  Good thing Pinky is at her place tonight, because on Pack and Prep Night, I’m not very much fun to be with as I run around doing the Gotta Go Dance.

I seek to leave very little to chance.  Earlier this week I began preparing my packing and To-Do list.  I live in a panic that I’m going to go somewhere and forget something.  This is because if I don’t take steps like this, I ALWAYS forget something I mean to take.

I could probably just set up one master list and use it each time, because the items are almost always the same:

Camera: because why go anywhere if you can’t take pictures to use on the blog?

Cell phone and charger: The cell is easy to remember; the charger… not so much.

CD case: especially for this trip when I’ll be standing around my buddy’s garage… gotta have some tunes for the boom box.

Hats: we bald guys have to have our hats, and I need to have options.  I’m bringing 4 on this trip, 1 Pens, 1 Pirates, 1 Steelers, and 1 Toledo Mudhens.

Checkbook: to divvy up the cost of providing the food and beer for our Communal 50th Birthday Bash.

Crossword puzzles: I have the ones from the last 2 Sundays.  That should keep me occupied during some of the down-time when someone else is on the computer and it’s too early to start drinking.

Bicycle gloves: in case we need to do anything resembling manual labor, like moving boxes or furniture.  I need to protect my hands because of that Delayed Pressure Urticaria stuff I have.  (Hives.)

Steelers beer cozy: A) Bolsters my Steelers cred, B) marks my territory, C) hey, it’s freakin’ hot out!

Orioles bucket hat: I usually use it for fishing or hitting the pool.  Keeps the sun off my skull and it doesn’t matter if it gets wet.

Pill assortment: God forbid I leave without my day-by-day assortment of vitamins and hive meds.

The usual assortment of shorts and tee shirts.  I don’t know why I even write that shit down.  I mean, what else am I going to put in my suitcase for a summer trip?

Then I have the To-Do list of things I have to make sure I take care of before I leave, like check in on-line, leave a trail of my common website links on my email to access later, stop newspaper and mail delivery, and water the plants.

And now to add to the list, I have to make sure I take care of you, my blog-reading friend.  Last year, I blogged my vacation, practically in real time.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do that this year, so I’ve already set up several posts to run in my absence.  (I hadn’t figured out how to do that when I took my last vacation.)  And of course, I’m leaving this post here for you before I go.

Now tonight, I plan to lay in bed tossing and turning because I won’t be able to turn my brain off, worrying about over sleeping or traffic delays or car problems on the way to the airport.  Not to mention our so highly effective Congress has allowed funding for the FAA to lapse.  I don't know who's looking at all the little blips up in the tower, but I hope they got better sleep than I will.

I think I come by all this honestly, from watching my parents do their pre-trip dance over and over again.  They had their rituals as well, although it was primarily limited to the morning of the trip.  Dad’s job was to load the car at the crack of dawn and then pace around telling us all to hurry up, until we finally got herded into the car. 

Meanwhile, Mom could be counted on to discover all kinds of things that absolutely HAD to be done before we left, like straightening up the greeting cards on the kitchen table or rearranging the knick-knacks.  I was never sure why… I used to say, “Who are you straightening up for, the burglars?  I knew the cat was going to knock everything around, anyway. 

(By the way, Happy Birthday, Mom!)

So I do my Gotta Go Dance, to uphold our grand family tradition.  I make my lists, pack my bags and hit the road early… usually leaving a suitcase behind.

Wish me luck!  Like I said, I have some posts scheduled to run and I may put up some updates.  I’ll definitely be checking email and comments.

Until then…


Oilfield Trash said...

Have a great time!!!!

I am jealous of your trip since I am not getting a vacation this year.

bluzdude said...

The good thing I have going with this vacation is that it's dirt cheap! Biggest expense is the $300 for the flight to Detroit, but after then, it's mostly bar tabs at $2 a beer. (which is about half the cost of a non-happy hour beer here in Baltimore.) Even tickets to see the Toledo Mudhens are like $9.

It's a great opportunity to just do nothing, and relax for a week.

DG said...

I am a firm believer of the packing list. I once forgot, on a 14 hour car ride to visit the in-laws in middle of nowhere Iowa, bra's of all things. Did I mention they live in the middle of nowhere? Nary a mall to be found. Life is interesting.

Have a fantastic trip - can't wait to read all about it!

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

Hope you remembered enough cash to buy me a beer... Look forward to seeing you.

bluzdude said...

I suppose you could have weaved one out of corn silk...

bluzdude said...

Considering the Waterville bar prices, I'm a veritable ATM.

Cassie said...

Yah, you'd hate me. I just kind of toss a whole shitload of stuff into a suitcase and pray it's enough. Sometimes Matt comes up behind me to check my work, to which I push him away.

However, to my credit, I haven't forgotten anything important yet. So, you see, my fly by the seat of the pants deal works alright.

bluzdude said...

Yes, packing wise, you're the Anti-Bluz. But I could never hate you. But when we're on vacation together, just remember that you can't bum my baseball caps because you forgot yours...

Aww, hell. I'd probably let you have one anyway...

Christy said...

You sound too much like me. Do you also check your luggage three or four times to ensure you didn't forget something? That would be me.

bluzdude said...

I don't keep checking the suitcase, but I DO keep referencing the list. When the list is complete, I am content.

Jessica R. said...

I am continually impressed by your organization. My approach at packing is a lot like Cassie's.

Also, you would save a lot of room in your carry on if you ditched the CD's and brought an MP3 player, just saying. ;)

bluzdude said...

I did bring an MP3 player, but the thing is, the "house" stereo in the Dad Cave (ie. my friend's garage) is a CD player. So that's what I have to bring.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

Bluz, I'm exactly the same way. Forgetting ANYTHING on a trip kills me. Kills me!

Have a terrific time, be safe and take tons of pictures!

bluzdude said...

Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
When I forget stuff, it's always coming back home. You'd think I'd be able to grab everything I brought out with me, but I always seem to leave a hat or a charger or something. Last year, I left the package of Tony Packo's hot dogs I was going to bring back for my boss.

I blame it on the fact that on the return trip, I don't make the list.

Cher Duncombe said...

I am so glad you packed the Steelers beer cozy. No trip would be complete without that!

Happy Birthday to your awesome Mom, and have a fantastic time!

bluzdude said...

Thanks, Cher.

Beer cozies are key when it's like 95 degrees out. Not that a beer in MY hand lasts very long. And why pass up a chance to represent The Burgh?

A Beer for the Shower said...

Have a good time! I'm totally stealing that shenanigans picture!

i_love_weed said...


i fukin love that word xD

Cake Betch said...

What exactly is there to do in Whitehouse, OH? I'm from Columbus, I've lived her my whole life, and I've never even heard of Whitehouse. Sandusky is close by though, a day at Cedar Point might be fun, except it's like a billion degrees in Ohio right now.

bluzdude said...

Beer and Weed,
I forget where I stole that shenanigans pic from, but it cracked my shit up big time. I have a print of it now, that I post outside my cube at work, whenever I'm out.

There is absolutely nothing in Whitehouse OH, except that I grew up here and my best friends live here. So I come back and visit every summer and just soak up the quiet country life. We're taking in a MudHens game tonight... other activities include standing around my buddy's garage and drinking, and standing around the local bars, drinking.

Whitehouse is one of the "tri-podunk towns" of Waterville, Whitehouse and Monclova; ie. my old stomping grounds in the farmlands to the west of Toledo. There is no good reason for you to have ever heard of these places.

Anonymous said...

Wow, after all this, you really NEED a vacation.

bluzdude said...

I KNOW, right? It's exhausting!

Mary Ann said...

Thank you for the BDay Happies. Kiss old Monclova for me. Waterville can be snooty. Whitehouse is down home country. Monclova can be quite cool when the right folks live there.
Happy Holy Toledo!