Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Bananas for Traveling

I am in Florida for a meeting. Quick trip – less than a day total.

I am in another cube farm, in another city, in another company. Still, it has that same sterile feeling of hushed voices and white noise. I was borrowing someone’s desk for a minute, but then my colleague suggested I leave the otherwise vacant cube, as the actual occupant is “temperamental.” I am guessing that it is not the occupant but rather my colleague who is the strange one, given what I know of my coworker. Still, I followed my backpack as she dragged it out into the aisle, rolling out into the walkway. So here I am, sitting in the aisle, with free desks all around me.

The other highlight is that one of my coworkers said something about a Fee Estimator, and I thought he said Fiesta Meter. No one laughed.

I think that pretty much sums up the morning.

I got in around 9:30 last night. My first order of business was upgrading my rental car, as I was initially assigned a PT Cruiser. Oh, no. No, no, no. Je refuse! The $12 spent on getting into a Dodge Charger (whose front end looks as if it is growling at you) was the best $12 I’ve spent in a while.

My car was in parking slot 1, prompting the customer service rep to say, “that’s because you’re number 1!” Can’t blame the guy for trying.

It was late to think about dinner (this is not NYC, after all), but I was ravenous. I expected to pick something up at my layover in DC, but that plan was dashed when the flight out of Boston left an hour late. Something having to do with the plane not being able to start on its own accord, and needing a jump start. Terribly reassuring.

Anyways, the two restaurants I found were Waffle House and Wendy’s. WH seemed a bit heavy, so I hit the Wendy’s drive through, looking forward to a baked potato, bad TV, and bed. Sadly, no potatoes left. I got a salad that was ok, but not as good as my favorite Mesclun Hazelnut yumminess. That’s perhaps a high bar… Perhaps more accurate to say it wasn’t very satisfying. But it was food, and my belly was thankful.

Later on…

One hour meeting is over. Did I mention that I flew to Jacksonville for a one hour meeting? In a corporate way, it was well worth the trip. Good interaction, and with all due respect to the myriad ways we communicate, nothing beats face to face conversation.

I had to maintain a straight face when one of my colleagues consistently gave my boss credit for all the work I (and my team) have been doing. I would have preferred he stressed the team effort involved, as I think that makes an even stronger case, but he’s a bit old school and hierarchical in that way. Whatever – in the journey of picking battles, this is not one I’m going to fight. Bottom line is that I think the conversation will achieve what we hoped.

I am flying home now, on a Southwest airplane. That means I get to grab a copy of my favorite in flight magazine, Spirit. P always thinks it’s a little strange that I love this magazine so, but whenever I bring it home there’s always something of interest to her. This issue is no different – a little note on Occum Pond, some cool off-beat museums, and a variety of events that seem interesting.

How else would I have known about the International Banana Club (and why didn't I know about this already??!!??). Oh. My. Heavens. I already have my Banana Club title picked out!

There’s even an article on Killerspin, a company focused on table tennis that sponsors tournaments. It’s one of my few remaining connections to the table tennis world… Oh, how I wish I could play more. In high school I approached the level of a really good player, and at this point I am quite rusty. We have a table in the basement, but that’s currently covered with yard sale items. Half the reason I want to have a yard sale is to clear off the table and start playing again.

Until then, maybe I’ll just get myself a Killerspin t-shirt or racket cover.

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