:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zondag 6 februari 2005

So, today was my first day of 'real' work at Runways. And it was actually pretty enjoyable, although I hadn't expected it to be.

When I got there around 16:00 this afternoon, D (the boss) informed me that we'd scrapped both the normal routes (G-ville and the beaches) for the Super Bowl and so were basically running like taxis, taking people wherever they needed to go - which, in 95% of the cases, was downtown. I panicked a bit at first - I don't even like driving downtown in a normal car, let alone a 22-foot van - it's full of one-way streets, poorly marked areas, and weird lane run-outs. I hadn't expected to like the job much in the first place, and this was really pushing the limits.

But I went along with it - M (a co-worker) drove a couple of people downtown and took me along so I could familiarize myself with the route a little. I'm not sure this really benefited me, because (to add to the normal confusion) the police were barricading road after road as the night wore on, so I had to basically throw the original plan out the window and just thread my way around and hope I got lucky. Sometimes I did - I was able to let 4 half-drunk guys a little older than me off right in front of the Landing, and got a $10 tip - and sometimes I didn't - a barricade was positioned in the wrong place and I ended up having to back the enormous van down a teeny street and turn myself around. And the traffic, needless to say, was HORRIBLE. I sat on Forsyth (a one-way street running east along the river) for literally an hour at one point, creeping along, trying to get to a pick-up point.

But anyway, I ended up really liking the job. Now that I've had the chance to sort of 'explore' the van on my own, I'm much more comfortable driving it than I was during the training. And I've discovered that I'm really good at engaging people and getting them to talk - I heard some good stories, met some neat people (two CBS employees from L.A., an ex-NFL player, etc.), laughed a lot, and got $28 worth of tips to boot. The only part I don't care for is the vehicle maintenance (the pre- and post-trip sheets we have to fill out, cleaning the vans inside and out and checking all the fluids and details). I know they're necessary, and I'm not saying we shouldn't have to do it, but it's really not much fun. That and the preppy uniforms - black pants, black vest, and pinstriped shirt. Ah, well, can't have everything. At least I whined until D said I could wear my own black pants instead of the ill-fitting company-issued ones. A vast improvement!

But it's funny to think how my opinion of it changed so much in such a short time. R called me while sitting in her car at the O'Connell Center after the swim meet (I watched the first hour, then had to leave; she stayed for the whole shebang plus did some massaging afterward, and so was just leaving as I was already starting work) while M was driving and I was watching, and sympathized with me while I sighed and complained. (Her advice: "Ohhh, you're going to be driving a lot of drunk people. Take some plastic bags for them to puke in!") But then once I got to take the van out on my own - no matter how nervous I had been - I suddenly started having fun. And this was the 'trial by fire' - because if I can make it through downtown Super Bowl traffic, I can make it through anything!

Anyway, I left there at 2:30; it's now 3:40 and I'm killing time by writing this while my laundry runs. I'm not going to have time to do laundry tomorrow because I have to work again (12:00 - 18:00) so I figure I'll get it out of the way now while I'm still awake. Once I get it into the dryer, I'll go to bed, and just take it all out in the morning.

Happy Super Bowl, everyone!

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