Saturday, September 23, 2006
John is feeling better after his earlier cold/flu symptoms. My brother is out of the hospital again, but I may start a pool on how long it takes for him to be re-admitted. *shakes head.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
My brother went back in the hospital again yesterday. Dad tells me he's in good hands and no one has suggested I go home but I have to remain on guard to change my plans. I haven't been able to reach my mother because she's been up at the hospital.
John is sick at home today. He's supposed to be picking me up at the airport tomorrow for our long weekend together.
What are you trying to tell me?
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
The good news: on the 5th year I attend this conference, I finally get the king size bed I asked for. It's about time.
The bad news: The high-speed internet in this hotel is not free. It is $10/day. There's not even a free wireless hotspot in the lobby. I lugged my laptop all the way to Kentucky for this?! I'm more than slightly pissed, as you know how much I rely on the internet as my main form of communication with John. I just finished traveling all over the Maritimes and had free internet wherever I went, yet a supposedly higher-class hotel such as this resort makes you pay. GRRRRRRRRR.
Guess I'll be expensing this one, as I will need access for work as well as personal reasons.
My flight to Montreal was uneventful. Not being able to take water on the plane really sucks as all that Air Canada gives you is a small glass, about 2/3 full. Going to be a very dehydrating day. I hate forcing liquid into me in a rush in the terminal before boarding, so I've avoided buying any bottles of liquid.
I stopped in the food court and had a burger, knowing that my choices were limited once I got past customs and security. By the time I finished, my luggage was waiting for me and the line for connecting passengers was pretty much non-existent. I got up to the customs agent, preparing for the inevitable dumb questions they ask whenever you have to check off that the purpose of your trip is business. She asked me where I was going, for how long, cutting me off as I spoke. She asked what the conference was for. I replied, it's for our point-of-sale software. She said she was confused and didn't understand. I told her it was a user group to discuss software. She then asked where the software was developed. I replied Nashua, NH. She gives me another confused look and says, in the US? Apparently this agent has never heard of New Hampshire. She then asked me if I was traveling by myself and let me go through.
The luggage guys in Montreal all seem to like me when I come through. I can always count on them to give me a smile and do the heavy lifting.
I proceed back through security, behind people staring at the items you can no longer take in your carry-on as though it were a shopping opportunity. I get up to the scan area and do the usual removal of shoes, unearthing of laptop from bag, and getting it all on the belt, hoping they wouldn't search both my laptop and bag like they did in SJ. My shoes and laptop came through fine, but my bag sat just beyond the gate for a good 2-3 minutes. I could see it, but I know the rule about not grabbing things until they're free of the barriers. Waiting, waiting, ok now it's coming through. I grab it but then the security guy grabs it from me for searching, after hugging and kissing his co-worker. The guy says to me, you don't look too happy about that. Well, NO SHIT, JACKASS. Do you think I'm happy to have you go through my stuff? Do you think I'm happy to not be able to take a simple bottle of water with me while I travel? Or remove my shoes? Or take out my laptop? Or have all this take extra time because as the guard, you could have taken my bag and searched it instead of smooching your co-worker? This is so much fun! YAY! Outside voice told the Jackass that my expression was because I was tired and he could search through anything he wanted.
I long for the good old days of air travel. Security is a necessary part of today's air travel, I have to agree. However, there must be a better way than having to beam with the sunshiniest smile I've got at the prospect of being searched. "You bet you sure can search through my stuff! I love it!"
My heart-on-sleeve tendencies don't help me in the least. Gotta work on my poker face.
The time has finally arrived for me to go back and visit the "friendly" skies. Since this is the first time I've flown since the tighter carry-on restrictions were put in place, I did as much research as I could before packing my carry-on.
Despite a detailed list of allowed and disallowed items on the gov't website, I still ended up throwing my tube of chapstick away. United Airlines specifically mentions chapstick and lipstick in a tube is allowed. The CATSA website did not mention this specifically. I decided if a US airline thinks chapstick is ok, I'd probaby be fine. I guess not. I anticipated that may be a problem so I made sure the tube I brought wouldn't be missed if I had to throw it away. But it's still aggrivating to have conflicting information when you're traveling between countries.
I am quite happy to be air-traveling by myself today. Usually it's annoying as I can never leave my heavy carry-on with someone while I quickly run to the bathroom, etc. I have recently decided that it's better to travel by yourself than with someone who is so annoying you feel like punching the crap out of them. I will bear the weight of my carry-on with glee today at the prospect that I have no one else to worry about.
My brother, although he's been making what I think are terrible decisions, has been steadily growing more healthy. He started back at work this week doing half-days.
My grandfather has finally had enough blood transfusions that the doctors feel he is able to withstand pacemaker surgery. He is scheduled for this surgery on Monday as long as his check today is fine. I hope he comes through it ok and is better for it in the end.
Boarding time. I have to fly to Montreal, Chicago and the Lexington. 2-3h wait between flights. I brought lots to read!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
I have help at work now but it seems I am working even more than before. Even with help, I still feel buried and overwhelmed with the amount of things I need to do. I spent 3.5/5 nights this week at work, in addition to being there all day, and two days of those were travel. I am getting sucked into the vortex again. Being a salaried employee, I don't get paid overtime. I have to remember that I can never get everything done, and I am entitled to time for myself. Which, after working Friday night and not even managing to have supper, is what I've tried to do this weekend.
I spent yesterday and today reading True Believer. I hadn't read anything by Nicholas Sparks before, but I did enjoy this book and his style. It was a relatively easy read and I found myself absorbed by it. I've been commenting for weeks now on how much I needed to just relax for a week and read books. I may not have a week at my disposal to do so, but a long weekend is better than nothing.
For the first time I am not really looking forward to attending the conference in a couple of weeks. This year it has become a means to an end for me getting to California for a few days. The last couple of years have seen me teaching other users, which I admit I love doing. It's great showing someone a part of the software they never knew existed, and something that changes their outlook on their processes and procedures. I'm not sure where my melancholy is stemming from when I think about this trip. Part of it has to do with the venue. I can't say as I have longed to visit Kentucky. I'm sure it's a beautiful place, but it just doesn't hold the same desire for me that Tucson did. I had always wanted to visit Arizona, even before the "let's get together with a guy I talk to online" plan. This year it just seems like I'm thinking, "Kentucky, whoopee." I hope it proves me wrong, but I don't think anything will be better than finally arriving at John Wayne Airport and seeing my fiancé circle around 5 times before he can find a spot to pull over and pick me up. :)
I think the other part of the melancholy is just a feeling of seeing the same old, same old. Same people. Same topics. Same pressures to switch to the next big software. I have joined an exclusive customer group this year, and the conference will be my first meeting with them. Maybe that will spice things up a bit. This group meets 3 times/year, so I will be getting to do some additional travel for work to [usually] nice spots in the US. Round about February or so will be the next meeting, and it will most likely be somewhere warm. The last 2 meetings have been East, so if I'm lucky the next one will be West and again I may be able to tack on a trip to SoCal.
Lately I feel like John and I are back at Square One when it comes to moving. Things have been going at what seems like a snail's pace because we are waiting for decisions that are beyond our control. Someone asked me the other night about whether he would be here for xmas, and I didn't know what to answer. I had hoped he would be settled here by then, so I really hadn't given it much thought. Now I am throwing ideas around about going there in February. Something needs to break soon for us. This stretch between July and September is the longest we've been apart, and it has also been the most difficult. We've been talking by phone more than usual, especially after our tolerance for sitting in a chair at a PC has reached its limit. Nothing compares to actually being with the person, though. I continue to plug away at things and do what I can, but with my impatient nature, it's not easy. I would rather go through this waiting period than not have him in my life at all... but I can't promise not to be cranky that we're not together yet.
This week I am off to Yarmouth and Halifax for work. With the craziness that has been going on here lately, I am actually looking forward to getting out of here for a few days, even to the Evil City itself. A temporary change of view will be nice, and when I return, I can start packing for Kentucky, and more importantly, California.