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international librarian of mystery

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Austin, Texas, here I come!


I am off to the Bloggies next month!

It's amazing how much money you can get together in a short amount of time when you put your mind to it.

First up was the payment from the woman's magazine, which was but a drop in the airfare ocean, but, then, out of nowhere noizyboy randomly threw some cash my way for the editing work I do over on his music website. This got my bank balance up to a point where the whole thing suddenly started to seem feasible, so I spent a few days on trademe flogging off everything I could possibly do without. Which, when you actually undertake such an exercise, is quite a lot. I must admit, though, once I got into it, I found the whole online auction thing very addictive, and I got a bit too carried away. If anyone wants to gift me a kettle, I'd be most appreciative.

I was still a decent sum short of the required total though, so I did what I promised to myself I would never do, and applied for a credit card. I still had a couple of recent payslips from the library to support my income claims, so got all the necessary paperwork together, made sure I only asked for a limit that covered what I needed, and fired it off. The little bit of miracle plastic arrived on Friday, with twice the limit I'd asked for, so I went to the World sale and bought a new dress to wear to the Bloggies ceremony. And another one for wearing out on the town. And some new shoes. Goodbye credit card surplus...

I rang Dougal at the TV production company to let him know how my plans were progressing, and he gave me the name and number of the producer who was organising all the SXSW Festival filming. I got in touch with her, and we organised to meet up to co-ordinate our schedules. Thankfully, she reminded me of the one thing I had totally overlooked up to that point...

"Is your passport up to date?"

I rummaged through the pile of papers and documents that took up the floorspace where my desk had once stood, and pulled out my passport. Bloody hell! It wasn't! It had expired less than two months previously. Some 'International Librarian of Mystery' I am. I fired up the Internal Affairs website and headed to the passport section. Argh! More expense! And I need new passport photos! I wandered down to the Newtown shops where there's a passport photo-taking machine, and proceeded to waste about $30 on trying to get a photo I could bear to look at. What exactly is it with those machines? Do they have some sort of built-in photoshop-style 'uglify' filter on them? Are they programmed only to trigger when they detect you blinking? After a dozen tries, it eventually produced a mugshot I could live with, and I walked to town where the suitably qualified Jess put her authenticating scrawl on the back.

With all the documents hand-delivered to the Internal Affairs department, and the promise I'd have a new passport within ten working days, I visited the bank to transfer all my money onto my shiny new credit card. And then, with a deep breath and a 'I-will-probably-never-have-this-chance-again' moment of resolve, I bought the tickets.

Austin, Texas, here I come!