Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

And so begins my work trip to Italy. I made it from my front door to the gate with detours through a Jamba Juice and a currency exchange in an hour and a half. Which means now I get to wait here two hours for my flight. But it's fine. I'd rather be early than late.

I'm nervous about this trip, in part because it is for work and people are depending on me, and in part because I don't speak Italian. I've done a little bit of research on Milan and I should be okay - its not like I've never traveled internationally on my own before. I'm just nervous. My mom thinks that's normal for overseas travel. She's likely right about that.

I should get some time to walk around while I am there, and that should be fun. Probably just what I need. I will keep you posted (kind of) and will likely have pictures and video to share when I get back. Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

I have been in desperate need of DTWAC for a while now. Maybe a month? I don't know if it started around the time my grandmother passed, or if it has anything to do with the fact that I've not yet really said goodbye to my friend who passed away from ALS while I was out of town at a wedding or if any of it is residual crap from this character I'm playing at the moment who is very...put upon? But I've been feeling, in general, very put upon lately and in need of DTWAC. Or something good. And surprising. I would like someone to be overwhelmingly nice to me for a minute without me having to ask for it. And now that I've typed that, I've asked for it, which means I'm going to feel ooky if anyone is overwhelmingly nice to me in the near future. So if you have any plans to be overwhelmingly nice, hold onto them for a few weeks and get me when I'm not expecting it so I can fully appreciate it. Deal?

But then last night, I had this completely lovely dream about Liverpool. I dreamed I was visiting a friend in Liverpool and it was absolutely gorgeous there. He didn't live in the city proper, but sort of on the outskirts, so when we wanted to go into the city to go exploring, since he doesn't drive, he rode a Big Wheel. While wearing a helmet and goggles. And he didn't have to pedal it for some reason, so it actually sort of looked like he was luge-ing on a Big Wheel down this twisty, gorgeous, remote mountain road. Because in my dreams, the space between the Liverpool suburbs and Liverpool proper is mountainous and forested and gorgeous. Like the opening(ish) shot in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (which is brilliant, by the way. If you have the means, I highly recommend checking that movie out. It is extremely funny and very well done). And I thought he was crazy for luge-ing down this road on a Big Wheel, but I was keeping up with him somehow, without being on the Big Wheel. I guess I was flying? I did get some nice aerial views of his trip down the mountain into town, so I must have been flying, and laughing most of the way, too. When we got into the city, it was the kind of place where there was a Barnes and Noble on the corner, but there was also this tiny one-room shop full of all kinds of crap and some books that served both as a store and a kind of library. He grabbed a book and tossed it to the proprietor (a nice little old lady) and said, "Sign that out for me, would you?" I have no idea what the book was, but I thought it was cute that he could borrow a book from this tiny shop. And we went to get lunch somewhere that must have been like a food court or something, and while we were eating, he kept moving closer and closer to me - he started out across the table, but with every bite, he would scooch around the table until he ended up sitting right next to me. Which was kind of nice in and of itself. Nothing unseemly happened, it was just a nice day spent with a friend in a beautiful place.

And I woke up feeling better than I have in a really long time. Not grumpy. I'm kind of amazed at how much my dreams can affect my moods. Bad dreams can leave me in a funk all day. But this good dream has me feeling somewhat optimistic today. And I have no idea where it came from. Yes, I'm traveling next week, but not to visit a friend. The scenery came from Tucker and Dale. But the happy? No idea. I guess I should just be thankful for it and enjoy the dream time I got to spend with my friend.

Keep on dreaming, kids. It's good for you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Happy Mug Is Happy

When I was in Pennsylvania for that wedding, we had breakfast one morning at a place with this very happy coffee mug (I'm going to try to post the picture, but I'm not sure if my blog is set up to do that).

Anyway, it occurred to me as I'm in the middle of a silly picture text message exchange with a friend of mine while I wait at the airport for my flight that this could be a wonderful thing to see first thing in the morning or something actually kind of horrifying.

See, on the one hand, you have your coffee telling you that you're awesome first thing in the morning. Most people could use a compliment first thing in the morning, so yay for that.

On the other hand, you are about to consume the contents of the mug, exhaust the mug's entire purpose in life, and then either leave it sitting in a sink all day or scald it with boiling water and soap before relegating it back to the dark, non-ventilated cabinet. And it is telling you, with a happy smiling face, that you are a very important person. Isn't that a rather unhealthy relationship?

Happy mug is happy. And sadistic.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Hotel - Part 2

When I stay by myself in a hotel, I don't necessarily think the room needs to be cleaned every day I'm there. Factor in the water savings and all of that "green" stuff, but I'm also not that messy. They might need to empty one carry out container from my trash bin and that's about it. I mean, think about it - do you change your sheets at home every day? Do you scrub your bathtub daily? So is it really necessary for them to do that in a hotel?

Anyway. I'm out here for four nights, so after the second night, I hung the "service please" thingy on my door. When I got back to my room last night, I found that they had given me a top sheet for my bed. On top of the comforter. Which, again, kind of seems to defeat the purpose. And they took my damp bath mat (damp from me showering wrong with only half of a door), folded it up, and draped it over the edge of the tub. So it was still soggy when I replaced it on the floor so I would have to stand barefoot on cold tile. Instead, I got to stand barefoot on soggy bath mat. Yay.

And one final side note - the thermostat in my room tells me that I have to put my keycard in a slot by the door to adjust the thermostat. Even when my keycard is already in the slot by the door. But it's kind of moot because in New York City, they can only provide heat or air conditioning one at a time, not both. So with the nighttime lows in the forties, they've kept the air conditioning on. Good thing they put that sheet on my comforter.

Monday, October 03, 2011


I don't understand some things about hotels, and maybe it is because I don't stay in them very often and I've watched too much "Hotel Babylon," but there are some things I just don't get.

I am currently staying in a hotel in midtown Manhattan that normally charges upwards of $300 per night for it's cheap rooms. I understand the room I am in is one of the cheap rooms - no frills, basic amenities. Well, basic for midtown Manhattan. I was in another hotel in rural Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago where a hair dryer was not a standard amenity in every room. Where I am now, it is. And it's a pretty good hair dryer, too. But mine is not the sort of room where rock stars would stay and trash the place. It's nice for the business traveller who needs a bed, a shower, and a TV before going to work in the morning.

And yet, there are no sheets on my bed. There is a fitted something over the mattress, but no top sheet. Just a comforter and blanket. It would seem to me more sanitary and easier to clean sheets than comforters, but what do I know? And there is a huge crack in my bathroom sink (and I keep seeing the shape of the crack throughout space and time...kidding). And the elevator is unreliable at best - I don't mind taking the stairs on occasion, but I'm on the seventh floor and it has almost made me late a couple of times.

But the biggest thing that baffles me about this fancy-schmancy hotel in midtown Manhattan is that it only has half of a shower door. And this is the second time I've stayed in a hotel in midtown Manhattan that only have me half of a shower door! It is literally a piece of glass that has been caulked into place that is only half the width if the shower. Which makes it awkward to turn the water on and off unless you are already in there, and it also means the bathroom floor gets soaked any time I bathe. Am I showering wrong? Are other people able to maneuver in this half-shower in such a way as to keep all of the water in the tub? Are they trying to be semi-European where they don't have shower doors or curtains at all because they bathe sitting down? Because the last hotel I stayed at with half of a shower door didn't have a tub, so sitting down wasn't really an option, or at least not an appealing one. And at this place, the shower head is mounted to the wall, so I couldn't sit down with it, so to speak. I just don't get it.

This is why I would either be an awesome hotel reviewer or a horrible one. I'm just not trendy.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Flying High

I'm blogging on a plane. In a plane, according to George Carlin, but you know what I mean. With my lovely iPhone Blogger app, I am writing a blog post while 30,000 feet in the air. Give or take. Of course, I'm going to wait until I land to publish this because even though I'm on a wi-fi plane, the wi-fi rates are ridiculous.

But seriously, when did this happen? When did our world become the sort if place where a) we can connect to the interweb from ANYWHERE and b) we feel the need to do so?

The other fun thing about this flight (well, "fun" is subjective) is that it is a 6:00am flight headed east, so we're flying into the sunrise. I do like that this is the time of year when I get to see more sunrises, but it's pretty cool to watch one from this high up. I took some pictures out the window, though I don't think they can quite capture the beauty of it.

Does anyone else sing "Movin' Right Along" from "The Muppet Movie" when you're trying to remember where the sun rises and sets? "Hey, I never saw the sun come up in the west? Movin' right along (buddy dum buddy dum)..."

Anyway. Not too much else to say from up here. It's going to be a long five days in New York at a trade show and I've been up since about 2:00am, so maybe I should try to sleep. Happy October!