Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Yes, serious complications that have nothing to do with wardrobe worries for my eminent vacation. Actually, it's really just one complication: Angel.

She's sneezing, snuffling, and with raw lips from having rubbed her smash-faced nose too frequently today. Yes, I intend to take her to the local vet first thing tomorrow. Unfortunately, the very close veterinary clinic (just a block away) also has some very bad reviews online. So, I gotta find some places further away.

So I'm going to worry all night about her health, and what I should do if she needs meds while I'm away.

Well, hey, maybe there's a silver lining: If I can't sleep tonight, then maybe I'll have a better chance to sleep on that long flight! Ok, so that's kinda selfish of me. But at least for a moment I stopped worrying about Angel.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Too many decisions

So, this afternoon I began to organize my packing for Wednesday's departure. Since I'm the woman who takes four pair of shoes and at least six outfits for a weekend event, I find I have way too many clothes put aside for this 8-day trip.

Too much to choose!
How many shoes?
How many shirts? What if it's cold and all I have is short sleeves?
What if I bring too many long-sleeved shirts and its hot even at night?

I hate this indecision almost as much as I hate discovering, once I'm there, that I've made the wrong choices.

I might need to bring more than one suitcase!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Made for Walking

While in Cincinnati last weekend, I found the perfect pair of walking shoes:

Supportive so my back and feet won't ache after hours of walking:

Airy so I won't get too hot and be tempted to go barefoot; and

Fashionable so I won't be embarrassed by Italian shoe taste.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Just some musings at seven Sunday morning as I wait for my flight back to Boston. Again, I arrived at the airport much too early to find my flight won't be for another four hours. So I'm sitting in the Delta Crown Club. (I'm probably the only visitor here who's under 50 and didn't attend the Kentucky Derby yesterday). Anyway, the following are some thoughts, in no particular order...

Dr Pepper

Two new states!
Yes, I can add two to the list of US states that I have visited. Okay, so "visit" is a tad overblown. I drove through a portion of Indiana and Kentucky to get to the Cincinnati airport. (Actually, I think this airport is in Kentucky.)

Of course, I hadn't planned to drive thru any state other than Ohio today. Except I made a small error in assuming that the Loop 275 around Cincinnati would be similar in size to Loop 610 in Houston. It's not. It's closer to Beltway 8 or Loop 1604 size. Which means, I went around the city. And in the process, passed through portions of Indiana and Kentucky.

So now my list of visited states has reached 30, plus D.C.

I watched the fastest three minutes in sports yesterday. It was quite exciting. Oh, there was a queen! (as opposed to "oh, there's a band!") Can't they sing that "My Old Kentucky Home" song any faster?

Yay! Astros!

Boo. Jazz.

Sad, old, alone
People passed through airport security and such this morning singly and in groups. At least two families with small children impeded progress for quite some time. Eventually, though, we all tramped toward the trains for the terminals.

Boarding after me was an elderly gentleman with a cane who shuffled slowly along. He hadn't completely pulled down the right pant leg over his ankle boot. I wondered if he'd expected the pant to fall on its own or hadn’t yet noticed. Or if, in his stooped and frail condition, he chose not to fix the problem. Maybe he had trouble bending over.

The train to the terminals had the usual posts for catching your balance. But the only seats were high benches at the front and back. The gentleman glanced their way. Given his shrunken stature, though, the bench topped his belt line. So, instead, he turned to a post.

As the train took off, both I and a young man behind the gentleman took a half-step toward him in case he fell. Then we self-consciously stopped and looked at each other when he grabbed a post as if it were no big deal.

Everyone exited at Terminal B—because everyone flies Delta out of Cincinnati. As a group, we all ended up on the escalator. That is, except for the older gentleman. I was saddened to note that he had lagged behind. His shuffling gait was inadequate to match the bustle of everyone else with their rolling bags, strollers and scampering children. He still hadn’t reached the start of the escalator by the time we all reached its end.

I couldn't help wondering why he was alone. Didn't he have friends or family to travel with? Someone to talk to as he waited for the flight? He didn't even have a bag with books or newspaper to while away the time. It made me very sad.

I don't want to become that person. I would rather die young that be so solitary, shuffling behind the crowd and dropping further behind with every step.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Extraordinary Wake-up Call

This weekend, I'm representing my company at a tradeshow in Cincinnati. Because exhibitor set-up time is limited, I had to choose a flight that left at 7:30 am today. Which meant that I would have to be out of bed by 5 am to get to the airport in time.

Blech! I most definitely am not a morning person. So I set the alarm for 4:15 as a precaution. I assumed that, at such a disgustingly early hour, I would not be easily awakened. In fact, I was quite sure that it would take 15 to 20 minutes of news-talk radio (my alarm) to seep into the REM processes. And then I'd need plenty of time to stagger around bleary-eyed as I made I sure didn't forget those last-minute toiletry items that I would use this morning but also would need tomorrow morning in Cincinnati.

So when I startled awake at 5 minutes to 5 am...to no radio noise!...my first thought was something along the lines of Ugh, why the hell am I awake at this hour? Then I realized that I could hear a voice very very faintly but quite distinctly yelling, "Answer your phone!"

"But the phone's downstairs. And who the hell would call me at this hour anyway?" I grumbled, preparing to roll over and snuggle back below the covers.

The distant voice yelled again (just as faintly), "Answer your phone!"

At this point, it finally struck me that I should have been out of bed a half hour earlier. Not unlike a sprinter off the mark, I dashed into the bathroom. Already I was mentally re-calculating the time required to get to the airport and through security. I calmed slightly. As long as I put my makeup on in the car (in the dark) and didn't give a damn how my hair looked, I still would be able to get to the airport in a timely manner.

Luckily, I'd had a momentary flash of foresight last night. Before going to bed I had put out extra food and water for Angel. So I didn't have to worry about her this morning. Because, believe me, at this hour she's not awake to remind me.

Downstairs, all I had to do was toss my toiletries into the luggage, unplug the cell phone, then drag it all down to the car. This part went as planned. Then I noticed that my phone showed I had missed three calls. My phone rang this morning? Really?

Yes, apparently, I missed three calls between 4:50 and 4:55 am. In fact, the third call was my wake-up call. My phone's tone comes from a Monty Python skit that starts with "Answer your phone, you big bugger!" And that is what woke me up.

Which was a good thing, since the alarm clock never clicked on. As I zoomed off to the airport, my brain finally began to function. Just why hadn't the clock woken me? Ah, most likely because I had adjusted it to 4:15 but not 4:15 AM. Occasionally, I forget that I have to scroll past the PM settings to get to the AM ones on the clock. Last night was one of those times.

So, as I raced down Route 1, I figured that if the phone hadn't rung, I would have slept at least another hour, maybe longer. And most definitely missed my flight! How fortuitous! I thought. I got a wake-up call from God.

I made it to airport. Circled the parking garage for a good 10 minutes to find a parking space close to Terminal A. This terminal is probably the furthest from the Central Parking garage, which means late travellers (or those who actually worry about being late--more on this subject in another post) have to sprint to the ticketing area.

Thank goodness they have the automated tellers to check in. Because the personable check-in line was waaaaay too long. I shortly learned why that line was long: my flight had been cancelled.

Yes, my flight was cancelled!

I got up at 4:55 am for a cancelled flight. And I had to get in that long line to get new tickets and check my luggage. And I would have to wait four and a half hours for the next one to Cincinnati.

I started to curse that wake-up call. Which, being a Catholic (lapsed or not), made me feel quite guilty. (God is Good, and all that stuff.)

Then the fellow at the counter next to me asked the burning question. Why hadn't we been notified of the cancellation? The agent said, "Sir, you didn't provide us with a phone number."

I almost slammed my head against the counter upon hearing her response. I thought it was God giving me a wake-up call this morning. But it was only Delta airlines.