Lessons from the Road

Some things I’ve learned:

1. Expect delays. There will be storms and police and illness and cancelled meetings. This is why “wait” is a verb.

2. Have a good book on hand. You never know when or where you’ll find yourself dining alone or driving alone for hours on end or sitting at the airport in the middle of the night. Take that chance to learn something new.

3. Look around. Seeing the world at 65 miles per hour isn’t really seeing the world – it’s just passing through. Sometimes it’s necessary to just watch the people around you, visit local monuments, stop at a road-side fruit stand, or take the narrow, winding road. The minor delay is usually worth it.

4. Talk to strangers. Learn something new about your world and expand your vision of life by chatting up the waiter/waitress, talking to your cashier, getting to know the passenger in the seat next to you, or talking weather with the desk clerk.

5. Unplug. Some days its necessary to not answer the phone or email for a few hours, especially when you lose cell phone signal in the mountains and rural areas. Otherwise work becomes your life.

6. Stay in the hotel with the most comfortable bed. A good night’s sleep is worth the expense.

7. Avoid food poisoning if at all possible.

8. Plan ahead. It may be raining and 50 degrees in Seattle, but it’s sunny and 90 in Spokane. Don’t get caught in the rain without an umbrella or in the heat with only sweaters.

9. Have a navigator. Traffic delays, the scenic route, and getting lost are less stressful and more enjoyable with a GPS or travel companion.

10. Phone home. Listening to a familiar voice makes strange lands less foreign. It’s nice to have a reminder that someone, somewhere loves and misses you.

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T Minus Six Days and Counting

On Tuesday, July 1, I’ll take my final flight out of Sea-Tac airport on my way home. I’ve taken a job that will keep me in Austin most of the time.

Yay!

We couldn’t be happier about the change, and while I’ll miss some of the perks – the travel, the car, the freedom of not being tied to an office – I’ll be able to enjoy the pleasures of being home with Handsome every day, having regular office hours, and not sleeping in strange hotels in strange little towns. Not a bad trade.

In them meantime, I’m working diligently to close out the fiscal quarter well, while simultaneously packing and moving. Crazy, happy days.

Frog & Toad Sell Computers

Saturday morning, I woke up with a head cold. The dreaded summer cold. Which totally sucks.

So, I spent most of my weekend in a drug-induced, sleep-deprived haze. Yesterday, I took two (count ’em) naps! I never nap.

So, today, we’re at that hacking-cough-that-shreds-the-vocal-chords stage, wherein everyone I talk to tells me to get some orange juice and some rest. And “shouldn’t you be in bed somewhere?” Etcetera.

Perfect way to end the fiscal quarter: as a saleswoman with a frog in her throat.

Peace

Tonight, I’m staying at The Davenport Hotel. And as a frequent business guest, I’ve accumulated a couple of gift cards. With which, I purchased a relaxing facial in the hotel spa.

This was playing during my treatment. As Providence would have it, my esthetician is a Christian and found this album to help ease the grief of a death in her family. For me, it was a calm reassurance. A blessing.

Her music and her story touched me. Please pray for Emily. For peace in the pain.

Six Fruity Years

Tuesday, June 10th, marked my sixth year with a certain fruit-flavored computer company. And on that day, I was so busy selling fruit-flavored goodness and using my very cool fruit-flavored computer(s) (*sigh*), iPod, and phone, that I completely forgot the anniversary.

In honor of the occasion, please allow me to borrow from Matthew Lickona’s blog the following discussion:

Q: What has been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

A: June 10, 2002, the day I was hired by the aforementioned fruit-flavored company. I hadn’t used one of their computers since (*gah*) 1987. (!) But that day in ’02 changed my life. And then, less than a month later, I won a collectible set of “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”** posters. And a couple months after that, I won my first iPod. Again – life changing.

And how about you, dear reader? What has been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

**The demi-poetry mentioned on wikipedia, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones,” is still, to this day, written on the walls at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Every time I’m there, I stand in awe. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who actually do.” And some days, most days, I think I might be able to change the world, too.

Donald Hefeweizen Saves The World (pt.15)

He’d never had dinner with a woman before.

Well, except his mom, and she didn’t count.

He’d also never had sushi. Or sake. Or used a pair of chopsticks.

Which is what he was struggling with when Jessica Michaellson walked into the restaurant. Complete with the same long legs, black skirt, and red lips she had worn in his office that afternoon.

Donald’s fists clenched, finally breaking the bamboo sticks, sending one rocketing across the room. Directly into the new diner’s left eye.

“Ow!” and “Shit!” and “Oops!” were exclaimed simultaneously by Jessica, McKinsey, and Donald. Respectively.

“Well, now you’ve done it. You just poked out the eye of the anti-Christ.” McKinsey was leaning across the table and whisper-yelling at our clumsy hero.

Then the little terrier at Jessica’s heels started to laugh. Actually laugh! Jack had rolled onto his back, kicked his little feet, and howled.

In a shadow across the street, a little blonde woman with a badge doubled over in the front seat of her patrol car. It’s not often she got to see an ugly fat man poke one of Satan’s children in its eye with a chopstick. And survive.

But that’s what happened. Donald survived. He didn’t even get to see the millisecond stream of hellfire that seared the sashimi on his plate.

He was relieved, however, not to have to eat raw tuna. Though he was surprised and confused to find grill marks on his fish.

He looked up to find McKinsey staring wide-eyed at his plate. “Double shit.” This time she was barely audible. And the expression on her face frightened Donald even more than going on a date with a girl.

And that’s when Jessica approached their table. “Donald Hefeweizen! Just the man I was hoping to see. I have a proposition for you.”

(c) copyright 2008 Jennifer J. Knighton