Archives for category: Life

Extreme closeup.So, October happened. More specifically, the Siemens Competition happened. And while there might not have been any travel in October, it was still a long, exhausting month.

I’m not looking to do a half-assed “catching up” type post here, but here – in bullet form – is what’s been on my mind lately. (With detail to follow in later posts.)

  • Today was (mid-term) Election Day, and it looks like the Democratic Party is going to claim at least one house, if not both. (As I type this, MSNBC is calling the House of Representatives for the Democrats.) This is a good thing, if for no other reason that it fucks with the Bush administration’s plans.
  • The other upside to today being Election Day? No more negative campaign ads. NJ’s own dark, dark Senate race between Tom Kean Jr. (R) and Robert Menendez (D – incumbent) was quite enough for me, but we also get the spillover from NY and PA. It’s enough to make you swear off TV.
  • That, however, won’t be happening anytime soon. This TV season is rocking my fragile little mind. Heroes and Battlestar Galactica are totally satisfying my inner geek, while 30 Rock and The Office bring the funny. (I’m also digging Aaron Sorkin’s latest, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, although I’ve discovered that not everyone shares that opinion.) And that doesn’t even take into account series 28 of Doctor Who and the now complete season 2 of The Venture Brothers! (And, for that matter, the episodes of Torchwood I’ve gotten through…um…well, let’s just say it’s not on US air yet and leave it at that.
  • Got to the movies for the first time in months this past weekend. Wanted to see Borat, but ended up seeing The Departed, which was outstanding. The moral of The Departed, by the way, seems to be that whether you’re a cop or a criminal, you’re gonna end up getting one in the head.
  • On my way into work the other day, I passed a Toyota Prius with a license plate that read “54 MPG”. There was one huge-ass smug cloud hanging over that car.
  • Three friends (two online, one IRL) have lost people close to them. My condolences to all of them…

Thankfully, November (the month, not the…um…me) will also be reasonably quiet – at least through Thanksgiving – so I’ll have plenty of time to get this blog back in sync with my silly little mind. More soon…I swear!

Scratch that. Make that the RAINY city. It was absolutely pouring when my boss and I left the hotel this morning. But we had two very successful client meetings, regardless of the weather, and (mind you, I’m not trying to go all “My Name is Earl” on everyone, but…) I think karma tried to pay me back later in the day.

Naturally, torrential downpour early in the day means schedule hell for airports in the afternoon. So when I got to the airport, my 7pm flight was delayed until about 10:30. But the good folks at Continental promptly rebooked me (and my checked bag, thank Brak) on a similarly-delayed earlier flight that would actually end up taking off at 6:40. And then I got upgraded to first class about 10 minutes before boarding.

And on top of all that? The “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” light in my Explorer isn’t lit anymore. All in all, a pretty good day indeed.

It’s another one of those busy months. See if you can guess at what point I fall over from exhaustion.

  • Tomorrow: Travel to Chicago for two client meetings on Monday. Fly back late Monday night.
  • Next Monday & Tuesday: Attend the Broad Symposium and the announcement of the winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education in New York. (I’ll get to hear Bill Clinton speak at a luncheon.)
  • The following week (exact dates undetermined): Fly to Texas for client meetings in Houston (and, potentially, Dallas).

And, astoundingly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – because the Siemens Competition looms large on the horizon in October.

I might be able to get a day off between now and December…oh, who am I kidding?

Let me explain why today was something of a bad day.

I was supposed to take this week off from work – I’ve got five weeks of vacation time (well, three weeks earned, two rolled-over) coming to me, and damn it, I’m trying to use them – but between my workload and some upcoming travel, I had to go in. My compromise was that, if I had to go in today, I would finish a specific set of tasks, attend the meeting that was on my calendar, and then leave early to try and salvage something of the day.

That didn’t happen.

I did not get through the predefined tasks prior to my meeting, due in no small part to our marketing person (who shall remain nameless) deciding that the application form that ‘wasn’t critial’ and ‘didn’t have a set deadline’ suddenly had to be done for her 1:00 meeting. Mind you, she shares this fact with me at 12:20. She demanded that I ‘drop everything and do [her work]’ – to the point that when my telephone rang, she physically put her body between me and the phone. So there goes my lunch – in part because I wouldn’t have enough time to finish her edits AND get something to eat, and in part because by the time I was able to get to the cafeteria in my building, nearly everything edible was gone.

The meeting, while running long, went well enough – unfortunately, I had to go back to my desk. At 3:30, I had about 30 minutes of work left on my list. I didn’t get to those 30 minutes until nearly 5:00. It wasn’t one big issue this time, just a whole bunch of little issues including, but not limited to, scheduling LiveMeetings with a number of our clients, and trying to get my call center to understand that when I say “Scholarship on hold – pending clarification” on a Scholarship Action Report, that’s exactly what I mean. (I lost a good 20 minutes on that last issue alone.)

And on top of that, while driving to my parents’ house after work, the “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” light makes it’s first appearance on my year-old truck.

One of these events would just be a bummer. Several on the same day would be a headache. All of them in one day, and you’d probably need a beer at the end of the day. So what makes today such an especially lousy day?

Today was my 31st birthday. And to quote Dante Hicks, “I’m not even supposed to BE HERE today!”

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