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Adventures in Business Travel

21 Sep

I’ve been in Portland, Oregon since Saturday night to “man” a trade show booth on behalf of the client I work on at my agency. There have been some challenges — one of my product banner stands didn’t get shipped, and 80 percent of the product literature for the booth wasn’t shipped, either. The show started on Sunday and there really wasn’t much that could be done, so I didn’t worry myself too much about it.

What a beautiful city! The view as we landed was breathtaking, and I can see Mount St. Helens from my hotel room. Last night I had dinner at a little Italian restaurant in the Pearl District with a college friend who just so happens to live in Portland. We figured out that we hadn’t seen each other since 1994, so it was great to catch up.

Today I’m sitting at a trade show  booth from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After I’m finished I’m going to explore a little Asian grocery store I discovered across the street from the convention center (a headache is coming on and I needed aspirin). They have some interesting collectibles, so maybe I’ll come home with a few souvenirs.

My body still thinks it’s on Central time, unfortunately, so I’m yawning by 8 p.m. I’m sure I’ll be acclimated by the time I get ready to go home on Wednesday.

Since I won’t get many daylight hours to sightsee, I also want to try and get a few pictures, even if they are only in the vicinity of the convention center. It’s just so beautiful here!


I’m Back!

28 May

I’m back after another apparently long hiatus. I’m not a busy person, so why I’ve not found the time to post is beyond me.

Here’s my recent life in a nutshell:

  • Started playing softball with my work team again (took a two-year hiatus). The training must be coming in handy because I’m not as sore the day after as I used to be.
  • Went to Hoboken, New Jersey/New York City over the Memorial Day weekend. Will make a longer post and share pictures about that tonight (I hope).
  • For the first time in my employee’s history, they had to lay off workers. We lost four people while I was on vacation.
  • We were able to re-up for another 15 weeks with Weight Watchers at Work (you need a certain number of people for them even to come out). Weigh-in after the vacation is today. I’m not too concerned. I was down a couple pounds this morning, so I probably will have lost about 1 pound come weigh-in at Noon. (We did a LOT of walking, and sporadic eating, so I think that helped.)

So yeah, that’s me.

T-Minus 45 minutes…

16 Nov

…until I head to the airport for what is my sixth (and final) business trip of the year.

For those new to the blog, I work as a PR account executive for a marketing services agency in Brookfield, Wis. The client I work on manufactures pest management products, among other things, and today I am headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to attend structural fumigation school (yes, you can laugh).


The upside to this, of course, is that today in Milwaukee it is 35 degrees. At this moment in Fort Lauderdale, it’s a magical 69 degrees. I’ll be there until Friday morning, with each day starting at 7:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. my time), so I expect to be nearly comatose by the time I leave on Friday (I don’t sleep well when I’m out of town, especially when I’m in the eastern U.S. time zone). At least I get that hour back when I come home.

I am charged with taking pictures and video, some of which I’ll be sure to post for entertainment and educational purposes. :p

Hope you all have a good week!

Friday rant

11 Jul

I have spent a total of 7 hours in conference calls over the last two days. And we’re not talking a half an hour there, an hour here. Three and a half hours yesterday, and three and a half hours today. Of sitting. And listening. It’s times like these when I feel like a hamster running my wheel over and over and over, not really getting anywhere.

In slightly more positive news, there is finally a voice of reason in the long national Brett Favre un-retirement PR nightmare.

And, finally today…


Restroom Etiquette

3 Jul

Am I correct in thinking that there is an unspoken etiquette rule that, when entering a restroom, one does not take the stall right next to another person if others are available?

Our restrooms have four stalls, so I try and go in the first or third stall when the bathroom is completely empty. If someone is in the restroom at the same time, I try to have a stall separating me from the other person, even if it means taking the handicap stall (we have no handicapped people working at our company).

During the last week I’ve been subject to the breaking of this “rule” in the ladies’ room at work twice. It just skeeves me out a little bit, because I don’t want to know what the person in the next stall is doing, and I’m quite sure that person has no interest in my restroom stall activities. I just think it’s tacky to do that.

\rant for the day

Praise Jesus! At Least She Was Wearing Underwear.

2 Jul

My life has been pretty dull over the last few days. Lots of non-packing going on. I do have to get my butt in gear this weekend, however.

During my appointment with my personal trainer last night we did kick boxing, with actual boxing gloves. It was a lot of fun, and got quite a bit of tension out that I’ve been feeling the last few days. We worked arms, legs and abs. And I’m not sore today like I thought I would be, so that’s good news.

I have a busy rest of the day ahead of me: news releases and newsletters to write, mail to get sent out to friends, and (ugh) packing.

The Final Countdown

19 Jun

The hours are winding down to the final time in June that I get on a plane to come home, and it can’t come too soon. My suitcase is (sloppily) packed,

except for my toiletries, for two reasons: I need them tomorrow, and I hate to disturb the lovely way in which the cleaning staff laid them out for me.

My hair is freshly washed,

and I watched a cross-dresser confess to murder in H-D on “CSI.”

I also took a shot at taking a couple more pictures: one of the funky lamp, and one of the cobalt blue bottle of “Le Bleu Premium Ultra Pure Water.”

I’m now going to comb out my hair and shut this party down. Night night!

Third State in Nine Days

18 Jun

I’m now in Charlotte, N.C., on the final leg of my weeklong work trip. My flight got in about 20 minutes late, but I managed to get some great shots from the sky before the sun went down.

This time I am at the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park, for another of the client seminars I worked last week in St. Louis. Internet access is $9.95 a day, which is not cool, and unfortunately something I can’t do without if I want to be connected to my office in any meaningful way. I know I’m not paying for it, but I’m offended on behalf of my client, who is paying for it.

On the upside, the room is very cool.

With a kick-ass LG TV.

Along with a very funky lamp,

as well as spiritual reading for both Catholics and Mormons.

I am so tired. Our meetings started earlier and earlier each morning, and as on most business trips, I’ve gotten more and more tired as the week has gone on. I am now going to listen to the end of the Brewer game online, and take my tired ass to bed.

Another Day, Another Hotel Room

15 Jun

Tonight I and four of my fellow co-workers checked into the Wingate Hotel in Indianapolis, Ind. We are meeting with our client this week to plan tactics for 2009 (one thing I love about this client is that we start planning for the next year in June of the current year — at previous agencies I’ve worked for, we are sometimes working into June without that current year’s plan being approved — not a good way to work).

We stay at this hotel every time we come to Indy, so I know what to expect.

A nice room with comfortable beds,

Toilet paper in the bathroom with a fun origami design,

and a nice little bar area with water and granola bars.

It wasn’t ideal that we had to leave on Sunday/Father’s Day (we drove from Milwaukee to Indy, too expensive to fly, and we bill the client, so we try and be as frugal as possible), but on the upside, we get to sleep in, as we don’t start meeting until 10:30 tomorrow, so yay!

What I did not expect, however, was for my clothes to be as wrinkled as they were. I rolled them up the way they tell business travelers to (maybe I should have rolled multiple things together, that may have been my mistake), but I am still going to have to iron tomorrow morning. Grr…

On Wednesday I fly out of Indy for the second leg of my trip, to Charlotte, N.C. for a client event. I don’t get home until Friday at around 10:30 a.m.

My friend Beth came for a visit from Green Bay this weekend. I took her to dinner at Maxie’s Southern Comfort, and then we went to see “The Happening.” I urge all of you to run in the opposite direction of this film. It was terrible. At one point in the film my friend Beth leaned over to me and said, “These actors [Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo] are terrible!” I told her that I’ve seen all three of these actors in other movies, and that they can in fact act. My theory was that the writing was awful. The dialogue was stilted and unnatural, some of the scenes were just weird, and I felt M. Night Shyamalan was being weird simply for the sake of being weird; it had no purpose, no focus. We both were very disappointed, because the previews looked good. During the movie, however, we saw a preview for the new X-Files movie, and that in fact does look good, and I am looking forward to seeing it.

Wish me a week that goes by quickly, so I can get back home to my kitty and to signing the lease for my new apartment.

Home for a moment

13 Jun

My plane got into Milwaukee about 45 minutes late today because of the weather, most likely both here and in St. Louis. The plane was a commuter jet — a “puddle jumper” — and we had to walk out onto the tarmac to board it. About 10 seconds after I got outside, the wind picked up and it started to rain. We ended up having to sit on the runway for about five minutes until the storm passed. Thankfully the flight home was smooth and there were no problems.

Something odd did happen to me on the plane, however. An older woman was sitting next to me, and the perfume she was wearing — or her own body scent — suddenly reminded me so much of my mother, I almost started to cry (for those just joining us, my Mom died in May 2007 of complications from gall bladder cancer at the age of 56). I have this intense fear of death, and lately the anxiety has been heightened; whenever I fly, I say the Our Father and Hail Mary as the plane starts to move, and I don’t stop until we’ve left the ground and gotten up in the air safely. The plane was really jumping around in the turbulence and I could feel myself getting nervous, and it was about that time that the scent hit me, and it almost instantly made me feel more calm. The spiritual side of me would like to think that was my mom’s way of saying she was watching out for me.

I was very happy to see my kitty, and I think she was happy to see me. She was very talkative. 🙂 It’s a beautiful night, and I have the windows open because I don’t think there’s going to be any more rain today.

Tomorrow my friend Beth is coming from Green Bay for an overnight girls’ visit. We’re going to go out to dinner and have a few drinks. Then Sunday I’m briefly visiting my Dad for Father’s Day, because I have to pack — again — to go to Indianapolis for work. Then on Wednesday I fly out of Indianapolis to Charlotte, N.C. for a client event, then back home on Friday morning. Thankfully this is the bulk of my work traveling (or leisure, for that matter) for the year. When I was younger the first couple of business trips I took were exciting (Fort Lauderdale for a Harley-Davidson fashion show was my favorite — I got to supervise the male models’ dressing area ::squeal!::), but now they are a bit of a grind, and I’m always glad to be home.