Friday, March 13, 2009

Week (and weekend) In Review


Hurried to work and rushed to finish up priority items so I could try and switch my flight home to an earlier time. Luck initially appeared to be on my side when I called the airline at 1 pm and was greeted by a very friendly Delta representative who cheerily switched me from the 730 pm to the 4 pm flight for a $50 fee (you can change the day of for $50 within three hours of the flight). I had my secretary arrange for a car to pick me up at my apartment at 150 and headed home. I was already packed but wanted to change into jeans and pack a snack but I was in my lobby by 150 waiting for my car that the service had confirmed was "on time for 150." After almost 5 minutes I got nervous and called. I was told the driver was circling the block and would be "4 minutes" which didn't seem right to me because there was enough open curb space in front of my building to park half a dozen cars. I tried to wait patiently but it was sunny for once and I was so excited to get home earlier than planned. I would have time to have dinner with my family!

Right about the time the doorman (who had been keep a watch out with me) commented that 4 minutes had passed, I was dialing the car service again. I was nervous and feeling more than a little anxious. The dispatcher put me on hold while she "contacted the driver" but I had a bad feeling. It was after 2 pm. So I left my snowboard bag and roller suitcase in my building lobby and went out to the empty curb to try and flag down a cab. At 210 I was in a cab with all my belongings (which my doorman dragged out to the curb for me) and I was still on hold. So I hung up and dialed again and told them to cancel the car. I felt sick and feared I would be pushing it. Especially when - in an attempt to avoid midtown cross-town traffic - my driver opted to drive through the Park and ended up stuck on the Upper East Side trying to get to the bridge. It was aggravating. I turned a movie on my ipod but constantly looked at my watch. It was 230 and I was still in Manhattan! JFK is a terrible airport - I have to go cross town and there is always loads of traffic so I like to leave a minimum of two hours prior to any flight. Even when I'm not checking.

Today I was forced to check because I had my snowboard.

The driver tried all kinds of "short cuts" which I was never fully convinced were actual short cuts but I had no choice but to sit in the back and pray.

I jumped out of the cab, threw money at the driver and ran into the airport to print my ticket (couldn't print my boarding pass at home due to the last minute switch) and check in. It was 320 pm. The kiosk said I couldn't check baggage. The cutoff was 45 minutes prior to the flight at 315.

I was checking in at the nearly empty, newly added Delta Medallion member and first class terminal. There were several agents at the counter, no line and only one person appeared to be occupied. I rushed to the closest open agent and hurriedly explained the problem and begged her to let me on the plane. She refused to look up at me and said I was late and there are signs and wouldn't help me. She then turned to the other agent who was helping a woman who was trying to figure out whether she had to check a bottle of perfume. Another agent walked by and I begged her to help me and indicated that this other woman had been helping but had turned away. At which point Agent #1 whipped back over to me and caustically said "this other woman was here first and I was helping her before you rushed my counter!" She was not helping the other woman. Another agent was. The other woman was not even in front of her counter!

I tried to just back it up and explain why I was so frantic but by now it was nearly 3:30 and I was 15 minutes past the deadline rather than just 5. I was told I had to wait until 430 to see if I could pay an additional $50 to switch back to my original 730 flight.

I almost cried.

Instead I tried to find a bathroom. There wasn't one on the level I was on as far as I could tell so I had to haul my roller, my large purse plus my unwieldy snowboard down an elevator to the lower level which happened to be the baggage claim area. I hated my snowboard at that moment so much. I hated JFK and I hated the entire city of New York for being such a giant pain in the ass to maneuver. I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to be in a dirty, stinky airport bathroom with all my luggage.

I decided I had cursed myself with my smug little airport tips I had posted the day before. The travel gods were not smiling on me this year one little bit.

I dragged my gear back upstairs to the tiny little seating area with a grand total of 4 chairs near the cold doors and called my mom. I threatened not to go home. She was patient and told me to do what I needed to do but they would love to see me.

At 430 I made sure I steered far clear of Agent #1 and waited in line for someone to get free as everyone was helping someone. There were two unmarked lines and both were empty but I was promptly told I was in the wrong line . . . argh! So I moved over two feet and waited some more. When I finally reached the counter I was helped by someone a bit more friendly who reminded me of the $50 fee and I was so fuzzy-headed by then I thought she meant and additional $50 on top of the $50 I already expected. I don't know why I thought that but it made the $50 seem more reasonable now so I forked over my credit card and shook my head at how terrible it was to have paid $100 for a worse seat on my original flight. But mostly I was happy to rid myself of my luggage.

I then had three hours to wait. So I found this odd little nook near my gate where I could plug in my laptop and watched a movie. It was essentially a concrete slab bench thing that was designed for people to plug things in - and there were a number of people sitting with their laptops plugged in trying ot get comfortable on the awkward bench. I dreamed a bit about the beauty and comfort of many of the European airports I have seen and tried to ignore how incredibly uncomfortable it was to sit on a wide bench-type thing where I could either sit on the edge and not have my back supported or I could slide up to the next "step" and have my legs get cut off just below the calf. Not comfortable for people of any size. Some people tried sitting on the little step thing up against the wall but I tried it for a minute and it was too narrow and uncomfortable. The airport claimed to have free wireless but I couldn't access it and just watched a not very good movie instead and ate the food I had packed for the flight.

Lucky for me the flight left on time. But with me in a middle exit row seat instead of the aisle bulk head seat. At least I had leg room and courteous neighbors. On another positive note, I finally saw Slumdog Millionare and Rachel Getting Married - both movies I have been wanting to see for a long time and both were excellent. It helped make the flight pass by faster.

After my second movie I also discovered that the Jazz game was on ESPN! So I tuned in mid-third quarter and got to enjoy watching the Jazz come back from a large deficit to win. And I was actually disappointed when the plane landed 4 minutes before the game was over. I will admit though it was difficult to keep quiet while watching the game. I'm far too used to watching games alone in my apartment or with friends where I can say whatever I want to the tv.


As you saw from yesterday's little movie, I could not have asked for a more beautiful day for snowboarding. A snowstorm on Friday left a fair amount of powder and the sun was shining in an exquisite blue sky! I enjoyed an oatmeal breakfast prepared by my dad before heading out and by the time I hit the ski lift, I was thrilled to be home.

After a day of snowboarding, Michele and I decided we deserved a cookie and a hot chocolate and headed down the canyon to Paradise Bakery. Michele was only up for a couple of hours so we were in separate cars. As I left the parking lot, I decided to call another mutual friend to see if she was up for a last minute afternoon treat. No answer but when I was only a few blocks away, she called me back and was - coincidentally - closer to Paradise Bakery than I was! I love getting together with dear friends even when it seems there is never enough time to say everything that needs to be said. As I drove home I decided that was a sign of a good friend - in spite of long periods of time passing by between visits, always having more than enough to talk about.

At home my sister was recovering from an 11 mile run with a nap on the couch. She is training for her first half-marathon and I am completely impressed. I stretched out a bit on the living room floor and finally succombed to using the roller to roll out my legs. If you have ever used a roller you know it can be painful - but ultimately a good thing. It helped my achy legs (that were mostly still sore from the many, many lunges and squats my trainer made me do Thursday morning).

Hunger finally rallied us to get out of the house and after a quick stop at Cafe Rio (yum!) we did a little shopping. My mom and sister and I are not big shoppers. We like getting new things but none of us really enjoy spending time in a mall. Because we were getting dangerously close to closing time, I was dropped off at Macy's while my mom and sister went to get their free Clinique gift at Dillards. I needed jeans. Oh, how I hate shopping for jeans. Especially fat jeans. Which is what I unfortunately needed with a degree of desperation. February was not kind to me (or I wasn't kind to my body) all but the largest of my pants no longer seem to fit. Especially jeans. I had some coupons and a gift card for Macy's so I focused my search there with a large degree of discouragement. What is with the sizes for jeans by the way? Other than The Gap, they no longer seem to come in normal 6, 8, 10 sizes anymore. Or were jeans always this way and I never knew because I only shopped at The Gap or Old Navy for so long? It does take some of the stigma out of going up a size when you don't really understand the 27 or 32 size numbers.

I wandered around aimlessly for a while trying to find something with more than a skinny leg. I picked a pair of Sevens (knowing they would likely be a disaster - why does everyone claim these are miracle jeans?), some "booty" friendly Joe's my sister loves and the horrifying-but-promised-miracles NYDJ (Not Your Daughter's Jeans). Please steer far away from these "slimming" jeans. They are high-waisted mom jeans trying to look cool. Totally ug (on me anyway). Near the end of my search I stumbled into the Lucky Brand section where someone finally offered to help me. The tiny little sales woman was shocked I had never tried Lucky jeans and promised they would change my life. I just liked that they listed lengths and came in the oh so elusive 34 inch length I crave! She dug through some piles to find what we thought would be my size and I carted my pile off to the dressing room. It was not a good experience. I did not guess well at my size.

So I texted my sister and begged her to hurry so I could have back up. She and my mom soon arrived just when I was trying on the booty jeans and for the first time I realized jeans could fit. I liked them. Actually, I loved them. But I was still kind of intrigued by the Lucky's so I asked for a bigger size. The woman hunted for one size up with the generous 34 inch length but could only find two sizes bigger so I took them. I fell completely in love with them. Yes, they are a bit big but who doesn't want a pair of too-big jeans for those bloated days? My mother, being the enabler she is, convinced me to buy both pairs. I wore the Lucky's the rest of the time I was there and they were super comfortable for my long red-eye flight home even.

Sunday, after staying up too late, my sister and I slept in and then watched the early morning Jazz game while my parents went to church. We spent the bulk of the day lounging around not doing much of anything. I spoke with my grandparents when they called for a while and decided it is time to pull the trigger on renovating my house . . . scary but exciting too. My mom made an excellent pasta dinner and far too soon it was time for me to pack up and head to the airport.
I left my snowboard in SLC which means no checked items and no waiting for luggage after the overnight flight. I can't say that I slept well but I did manage to sleep a bit on the flight but I think that is the end of red-eye flights for me. I was home by 7 am and crawled in bed with the intent of sleeping until 10 at the latest. I woke up at 11, was at work by noon but stayed until after 10 pm. Not a fun way to start a work week.
Absolutely nothing of significance happened. I overslept and didn't get to work until 1030. Then I just worked and regretted my inability to sleep the night before.
Again, nothing happened. Except I also overslept but this time managed to get to work by 10. Just work, work and more work. Wow, maybe this should only be a last weekend review. I did make that fun video. Or at least I thought it was fun.
Uh, blah, blah work again. I listened to Guster all day after rediscovering it Wednesday making my little video.
Still tired and dragging I left work at 7 and impulsively stopped at the Apple store to buy an external hard drive because my Mac Book is full. That is right - FULL! Lucky for me I ran into a friend from my old ward who works there and she was kind enough to give me her 10% discount. I told her that was not why I asked if she was there and she said "I know, that is why I'm giving it to you." So nice.
FINALLY Friday!!! So happy about that.
Had a decent workout with my trainer this morning - the only workout of the entire week. Why do I skip it when I actually enjoy it most mornings? My bed is too soft is the answer.
Now I just need to try and focus on some work to make it through the day. Wish me luck.
Now it is your turn, how was your week? Have you adjusted to the time change yet?


Tiffany said...

New jeans can mean everything.

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