August 26, 2004

When did I lose sight of the leaves for the forest?

This summer, I have been traveling extensively for work. Big Al has sent me to some cool spots like Dallas, Minneapolis, and Denver. He also banished me in some not-so-hip places that I won’t mention for fear of offending. Regardless, I have gotten to enjoy very few of these places because this project is very hectic and fast-paced. Often, we lug our weary souls back to the hotel and plop in bed after a hurried bite to eat late at night. There hasn’t been much time for fun.

Currently, I am in downtown Cleveland and the project has gone spectacularly – we are even done early and it’s only Thursday. For once, I have gotten back to my hotel in time not only for dinner and the Amazing Race on Tuesday, but also for leisurely activities. I decided this week to go wogging** around downtown Cleveland. My initial goal was exercise, but I quickly found myself exploring quite a distance away from my hotel. Downtown Cleveland is beautiful with a nice mix of old architecture, quaint churches, and new-fangled buildings. Tuesday, I went to the Brown’s stadium near the lake and then to the theater district – Cleveland’s fair attempt at mimicking Broadway. I went to the lake again last night in a different area and saw a surreal sight of sailboats, commercial ships, trains, and a lighthouse – all with the setting sun as a backdrop. Weaving my way through the Warehouse District with its massive brick warehouses, I couldn’t help but feel the history of an area that must have been a bustling commercial center in its heyday (I also couldn’t help reflecting on life before JIT inventorying methods – hey, I am an accountant after all). Anyway, now it is a trendy tourist spot replete with luxury condos, stylish stores, cool bars, and of course, the usual denizen, Starbucks – a must-have for any posh neighborhood.

As I trekked my way through the streets back to my hotel with the cool lake breeze wafting in, I couldn’t help but notice how I don’t take the time to do this in my own city or neighborhood. I work in a metropolitan city and live in a suburb so my usual commute includes a few interstate highways with a 2 block stroll at the end. I very rarely take the time to walk anywhere and just enjoy BEING. I have let myself get confined to the usual path of most adults and have forgotten the Big Picture. That worries me and I really have no one to blame but myself. I think after all this business traveling ends I am going to take more walks and explore my own city for once. After all, it’s the end of the summer and the leaves won’t be around for long.

**wogging = walk a block. jog a block

August 23, 2004

To TiVo or not to TiVo? How much is too much of a good thing?

I love TV. I wholeheartedly admit it. I relish nights cuddled on the couch with some knitting, my TiVo remote, and Pretty Boy Probst, Mocking Mahr of Malice, Gruesome Grissom & Co. flashing their pearly whites. I fancy puttering around the house to the lovely tunes of Jamie Oliver on the telly – it’s posh. Okay – so I adore TV. Then why I am a little sad to see all my favorite shows come back in a few weeks? Most likely because I have been reading, on average, a book a week all summer long. With the heartaches of business travel and flight delays come the pleasures of airport quality time spent with celebrity rags, books and knitting (Little Nicky Hilton in a cheap Vegas wedding?? Marc and JLo on the rocks?? Say it isn’t so!). Furthermore, sleepless nights in yet another crummy hotel mattress are best solved with a good novel.

Anyway, when I realized I was sad that TV was coming back, I had to face the fact that maybe I do have a problem with the TV. It’s TiVo’s fault. The downside of TiVo is what should be called TiVo Tension – the pressure you feel to watch all the shows it has so graciously recorded for you – it’s only polite, right? You see, most of my Season Passes are shows that I would “like” to watch, but they aren’t “must watches”. I record them just in case I am laid up some Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. The problem lies in the fact that once it shows up on your TiVo list, you really do feel that you must watch it. If you don’t, a little yellow dot rears its ugly head and then the TiVo Tension mounts even higher. Then starts the cycle of saving TiVo shows to watch later. They reproduce like bunnies after that. Before you know it, you are getting warning messages that you are running out of space for the shows that you DO watch religiously. I need some Zen meditation right now just thinking about. Well, this is coming to an end. This weekend I am packing to move to a new house. In the midst of packing comes the inevitable cleaning and throwing out of junk. I think I will take that same concept to the TiVo. New house, new start with the TiVo. This one book a week thing has been pretty cool and I’d like to see how long I can sustain it. At least until the first Survivor eats a creepy crawly.

August 10, 2004

In exactly which fashion era were low-heeled silver sandals coupled with tan pantyhose considered smart?

Oh, thank you, Ms. Reader of Louis L'Amour. Yesterday morning on my 6am flight to Dallas, I was worried as to how I going to stay awake. One glimpse of your shiny podiatric mistake solved everything. Lady, there’s no need to worry. Glinda the Good Witch's got nothin' on you.

So, anyway, I'm in Dallas drinking water that has an aftertaste similar to DIRT, wondering how I have managed to get another job that is slowly sucking the essence out of my social life faster than you can say "dementor" (okay, a slight exaggeration in the name of Blogging, but STILL ). I left the corporate world of McJobs and went to work for a quasi-governmental agency. I was hoping to snag a gig that would allow me to be home on Thursday evenings just in time for Pretty Boy Probst on Survivor. “Quasi” you ask? This would mean "an agency created by an act of Congress, but not actually the Government" (read: all the bennies of government work, just none of the job security). This agency disperses cash and messes with the interest rates periodically - you do the math. I call it working for Big Al, but let me tell you - this ain't no Happy Days.

Anyway, I have wanted to keep a blog myself for quite awhile now. Then as several of my friends started jumping on the blogging bandwagon, I realized I better grab the tailgate and hitch a ride. The appeal of staking my own space in the Blue Nowhere was irresistible since I have a lot of rants in my pants anyway. I can't promise entertainment or enlightenment, but hey, who cares. I'LL feel better and that's what counts, right?

Tomorrow: my thoughts on the Amazing Race. You will quickly realize the meaning of this blog’s title because my comments will be posted WAY after everyone else’s. That’s the story of my life --- Chapter 1: A Week Overdue.