Friday, October 31, 2008

A warning to germs, viruses, and other little creepies.

I am fully armed.

At work, there are four different bottles of hand sanitizer at my desk -- two gel-based containers (one is lavender scented and available for use by the public, and they had best use it -- the other is just a purse-sized trial size). There's also a trial-sized bottle of the Lysol Healthy Touch foam, and a sample of a hand sanitizer spray (part of a promotion that I got last night at Walgreen's). I have sugar-free cough drops. I have plenty of Celestial Seasonings tea bags as well as sugar-free spiced cider packs -- and let's NOT forget the many packets of Emergen-C in my purse. Oooh, I nearly forgot the now almost-empty tub of disinfecting wipes on the shelf (note to self: pick up more of those over the weekend).

And at home, I have the two bottles of hand sanitizer in my purse, plenty -- PLENTY, mind you -- of antibacterial soap, more sugar-free cough drops picked up at lunch, several cans of soup plus leftover hot-n-sour soup from this evening .... which I halfway expected to really open me up from whatever is causing this, but hasn't so far .... and OH YEAH, the rock-n-rye picked up this evening from the P Road Party Shop. God bless good ol' Rock-n-Rye. It's cheap whisky but it makes one hell of a medicinal mix.

Why am I so heavily armed? Because I have a scratchy throat.

Now, I am not a nervous Nellie in the least. Nor am I a germophobe along the lines of Adrian Monk. I'm not wiping down every surface the minute people exit my office or leave my general vicinity. But I will be danged if I allow this feeling to bloom into a full-fledged.... whatever. I refuse to let the germs win. Right now, I sound like Marge Simpson. Here's the other part of the equation -- I'm singing Sunday night for Mass. Yep. I practiced a little in the car at lunch. I hit the bass notes better than the higher alto notes that I am accustomed to singing.

It behooves me to take care of myself as much as possible. And so I am, and armed to the teeth.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This pirate is looking......

So, this weekend, I turned 39. 98% of me is not bothered by that number at all. The other 2% is humming the referenced Buffett song madly.

But I have another song that sums it up much better -- for the 98% of me excited to be alive and another year wiser, and another year better, and another year happier. So, with many thanks to Darius Rucker............

Thirty-nine (39) candles burnt out on a cake
Each representin' a million mistakes
The last one still burns, there's a wish I can make
This time I'm getting it right
So I close my eyes and I take a deep breath
And I promise myself in the time I have left

I'm gonna work like I don't need the money
I'm gonna laugh like I'm not afraid to cry
I'm gonna dance like nobody's watchin'
I'm gonna love while I still got the time

Lovin' me hasn't been easy on you
I don't know why, but I know you still do
It may be my day, but here's a present for you
You're lookin' at your new man
He's sincere and sober and faithful and kind
And he's home when you need him and girl startin' tonight

I'm gonna work like I don't need the money
I'm gonna laugh like I'm not afraid to cry
I'm gonna dance like nobody's watchin'
I'm gonna love while I still got the time

No more excuses and no more me doing things wrong
Life is too short, baby, I've wasted ours for too long
And baby from now on

I'm gonna work like I don't need the money
I'm gonna laugh like I'm not afraid to cry
I'm gonna dance like nobody's watchin'
I'm gonna love while I still got the time

I'm gonna work like I don't need the money -- I know I am
I'm gonna laugh like I'm not afraid to cry -- laugh laugh laugh
I'm gonna dance like nobody's watchin' -- I'm gonna dance, I'm gonna dance
I'm gonna love while I still got the time
I'm gonna love while I still got the time
While I still got the time

So there it is -- one more year in the mirror, but so many more to go, so many more to live. Let's live 'em!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My kind of town!

So, this time last week, I was waking up from a nap in a Chicago-area hotel room.

My flight out was nice. It was on time (this is important) and we actually landed a little early. The descent gave me a slight headache, though, and I am not sure why. It wasn't a full-on migraine, but just enough of an ache to make me just-this-side of miserable. My bags didn't get sent to Pocatello, thank you little eight-pound Christchild of the manger, and came off the plane and onto the carousel just fine.

I found a cab right outside that could drive me to Glenview...... where I promptly got handed a jar of Vaseline and told to bend over. Well, sort of..... The meter at the end read $29.25, and I was told, "Well, it's actually $44.00. It's time and a half because I had to drive to the suburbs....." Excuse me? It took you ten minutes, and I have since discovered that you actually drove a mile and a half out of the way because you turned left off the exit instead of right. Fine, whatever. But I saw no notice that said anything about time-and-a-half and the suburbs. It's a shame a pleasant cab ride had to end that way.

The hotel was nice; it was one of the preferred ones from Corporate Office. We got a fantastic rate, and it could not have been a more comfy, pleasant room. And I'm being truly serious. I'm usually the type that says, "Hey, as long as the pillows don't go too flat, the a/c doesn't rattle all night, and the blanket keeps me comfy, then I am good to go, who cares what chain it is?" This one may cause me to change my mind about that. There was a nice LCD TV, a sofa and coffee table, nice desk, and very comfy bed. The facilities were very nice and spacious; nothing I hate worse than a teensy hotel bathroom.

And the staff was very nice. They were able to answer all my questions ..... for the most part. Apparently there is some miscommunication between Corporate and the shuttle service. They told us it didn't start until 9:00 AM, and we were told at Corporate, "BALONEY! It starts whenever you need it to, and you can tell them we said that!" The breakfast was nice too -- a mix of hot and cold, and the staff was very accommodating. And they had a nice workstation area, which is great for those of us in the stone age still without laptops.

So anyway, let's fast forward to Wednesday. Training was great, I learned a lot, we had fun.... a colleague and I both had flights leaving around the same time -- and he had a rental car! So we decided to head downtown and see the sights. My original plan was to check my luggage, hop on the El and go to Daley Plaza. This way, we could see lots of sights, not just Daley Plaza...... only I was stricken with a sudden case of motion sickness. AARGH!!!! I felt a little queasy at one point on the way in, but it passed pretty quickly. But just a few minutes later, a full attack. Just enough to give me a headache, and make me want to do nothing but nap. My colleague -- one of the nicest people around, by the way -- apologized a million times over, thinking his driving had caused it. Nope, just this weird thing I have.... and hate.

I got to O'Hare, got through security, and headed for the gate. There was a Mickey D's there, and I realized I hadn't had anything since breakfast. So I grabbed something quick and WW-friendly, ate it, and sat to wait on the boarding time. I had about 90 minutes to kill so I read the newspaper, read part of a book, and then.......... Delay.

It had rained all day, and the two flights prior to mine were delayed. For starters, they pushed us back a half-hour (ha.... ha ha ha). With that in mind, I called the office, left a message for my boss to let him know I'd be in even later than planned ... actually, I'd take a half-day vacation and come in at 1:00. I also called the family to inform them -- we have some serious worrywarts in the bunch.

Twenty minutes before we were scheduled to board, they THEN informed us that we were changing gates. Yep. Meaning: more delay. FINALLY, we boarded around 7:30 PM Chicago time ... 90 minutes after schedule. Believe me, the pilots made up some of the delay in the air. There were some pockets of turbulence, enough to make me grip the arm of the seat a couple of times -- and I am thinking the flight attendant thought I was sick when it took me a few extra moments in the lavatory. It was actually a zipper on my pants that got stuck. But it was enough for her to give me a free drink..... which I felt bad about!

Finally, we got in only 40 minutes later than scheduled ..... again, praise be, my luggage was the 2nd one on the carousel! I got back to my car in almost no time and on the road for home. I had already decided that I would drive as far as I could until I got tired, and then I would definitely pull over. About a half-hour into it I was feeling good. Twenty minutes later, I was looking for the first good hotel I could. I was still about 45 minutes from home, but no way could I go any longer. I checked into the hotel, got a nice room, and was asleep in 10 minutes.

The next morning, I checked out and headed home. I had had a long trip and needed to chill before heading to the office. And to see my sweet Maddox --- who was incredibly happy and surprised to see me!

And.... I have decided to save some money and go back to Chicago next spring to see the sights myself, on my own timetable!!! I have to see what I missed!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Procrastination, thy name is....

I am sitting here, doing a blog post.

What I ought to be doing is walking the dog. Then packing for my business trip. Then getting more stuff together. And preparing to go to bed a little early, since I plan to go in somewhat earlier tomorrow morning.

And I am sitting here, writing.

Okay. I'm done. I have GOT to go do things. No more excuses.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Releasing my inner country girl....

This week, and even some of last week, I've been in a country music mood. So thanks to Rhapsody, I was able to play some new stuff and old favorites. Monday and Tuesday, I played Darius Rucker's Learning to Live -- it's pretty good!!!! It's got a country feel without being overly twangy. I can definitely see myself buying this one this weekend. Really good sound.

But yesterday, I needed more country and only a dose of George Strait would do. My brother is a HUGE George Strait fan. I swear, for a time there in the early-to-mid-90s, about the only artist he ever seemed to play was George Strait. I learned his music in and out, and it's good stuff. So yesterday, I loaded up his Strait Out of the Box, and played it over and over. Good memories and even better music.

So I have decided that I will be working on a playlist for the ol' MP3 which will allow me to release my inner country girl....... okay, my inner redneck. More to follow...............