Thursday, August 26, 2010

Travel Miscellany from the Past Four Days

Lost #1
At the SeaTac airport, there is a restroom at the near end of Concourse C. The open doorways to the men's room and the women's room are side by side. If you go in the left doorway, you end up in the men's room. If you go in the right doorway, you end up in the women's room.

A guy got halfway down the line of stalls in the women's room before it dawned on him that there were no urinals and the one woman washing her hands said "Um, women's room."  From the giggles emanating from the two women who entered as he exited, he must have looked absolutely horrified he'd gone in the wrong restroom. Everybody seemed rather sympathetic about what sort of mind-numbingly long travel day he must have had.

Lost #2
While purchasing a bottle of water at an airport convenience store, I spied a Kindle laying on top of the candy/gum shelf. At first I thought it was a demo but then it seemed odd for a convenience store to sell Kindles.  Then I spied the boarding passes tucked into the case. I turned the Kindle over to the shop clerk. I hope the owner figured out fairly quickly that she left it behind and came back to claim it.

Was entertained by an irate air traveler who thought it was a good idea to attempt to push past a gate clerk to get to the boarding ramp. She loudly announced that he needed to step back. He pushed past her. Then there were several airline employees ordering him to back off. Before long there were also five uniformed police officers. The passenger was not pleased when the gate clerk declared that the passenger would be denied boarding. He began to rant about breach of contract, etc. The officers did a fairly decent job of getting him to quiet down. Needless to say the passenger and his traveling companion missed their flight. Eventually they all went down toward the main terminal, but seemed pretty amiable about it.

Two thumbs up to the TSA agent running the metal detection portal I used at O'Hare on Monday.  I bopped through the portal a bit too fast, not wanting to hold up the line (there were three people stacked up behind me).  Smiling, laughing TSA guy says "Hey, now. You can't run through there. Go back and do it again." Oops. Sorry. I'm just so excited about flying today. "Nope. You're not flying. I'm the only one flying today." And he gave me a big smile.

This was after he'd made three requests for a female TSA agent to come screen an Indian woman with metal decorations hanging from her traditional clothing.  By the time I'd gotten my shoes back on and my pockets re-loaded, he finally got a female officer to come over.  He could easily have been cranky, but he was as chipper and personable as can be. Downright jovial.  I wish I'd caught his name or badge number so I could write a note to the TSA folks complimenting him.

I now have three new pair of shoes and two new pair of jeans, thanks to a quick shopping expedition with my Sis. We didn't have time to do any more damage than that, which is fine. Sometimes a quick, focused shopping trip is just what's needed. We had fun.

While standing in the line for the Ferris Wheel with Niece, Nephew and Sis, I spied a rather muscular, tanned and tattooed gentleman about my age standing in line just ahead of us, chatting with another guy of similar age.  He had on a pretty cool Disney t-shirt with a dragon flying on the back.  What really caught my eye was the fact that he was carrying a rather bling bling handbag.  He'd grabbed it by the straps and was letting it hang by his ankles. Totally casual, like he carried a handbag on a regular basis, not holding it away from him like many men do.  Later on I saw him with his wife/girlfriend and kids. This time she was carrying the handbag.  I think it almost looked better on him.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wii Wii Wii

Still haven't joined the gym, but I did buy a Wii over the weekend. My balance is mediocre and the little Wii Fit Plus thing said I'm ten years older than I really am.  Eeek!  I'm also pretty awful at the coordination required to successfully play many of their games.  Oops.  But, I just spent an hour on it doing boxing and some "running" and some yoga and some miscellaneous cardio action.  That was kind of fun.  I suspect I'll be sore in places tomorrow.  I think I've figured out how to make it give me an actual workout rather than trying to string together individual activities (which wastes time in between activities).  I don't think this will replace joining the gym since I can't actually run on the Wii and I still have a half marathon coming up in February. (Now if only the knot in my left lower back/hip area would go away...)

Work has been busy and isn't likely to let up between now and the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept 30th.  I really need to stop wishing for "more work" and instead wish for "enough work". We hosted a workshop last week. Now I need to get my notes pulled together.  I'm going to take a 4 day weekend this coming weekend and head to Chicago, so that gives me even less time than usual to get things done.  I've started practicing defensive scheduling by blocking off chunks of time to prevent people from scheduling too many meetings for me.  The advantage of this is that I can actually get things done.  Lately it seems like I've been spending most of my time in meetings and not so much time actually doing the work that comes from the meetings. That needs to change if I don't want to end up working at home and on weekends too.  I'm ok with accruing extra hours each week, but I have to still use the extra hours up by the end of September and at this rate I won't have enough work done to take the time off!!  Eeep!

I do believe I have a plan laid out for getting the last of the unpacking unpacked and put away.  I am also working on a plan to get rid of more belongings.  Less stuff is good. Next up: writing down my next set of goals.  At the beginning of the year I wrote down that I wanted to have a well-paying fun job that allowed me to challenge myself as much or as little as I wanted and to learn as much or as little as I wanted.  I've got that and I've got it in spades.  Time for a new target.

Latest read: I've been reading On Writing by Stephen King. It's a memoir about writing which he wrote about ten years ago.  I think it could just as easily be called On Reading and I really wish I could have read it in high school so that I actually understood what my English teachers meant when they talked about character development or character-driven stories.  I never quite understood themes or symbolism either, just that there was some sort of extra meaning to things that I never quite saw.  I was (and to some extent still am) one of those simple folks who believes that a cigar is just a cigar 99.8% of the time.  I never have been very good at figuring out what people I know mean if they don't just flat out say it plainly. Imagine how much harder it is to figure out what someone like J.D. Salinger or Mark Twain or Jane Austen means when I've never met them, so don't know how they think.  Anyway, after having read Mr. King's book, I've got a bit of a better idea now.  I'm tempted to go back and read a number of Mr. King's books again to see what extra bits I gain from that. Might re-read some of my old lit books too.  I still have my copies of My Antonia and One Hundred Years of Solitude, plus short story and short novel anthologies.