Saturday, December 08, 2007

Taking a Trip; Being Careless

Wow, a lot has happened since I’ve been away. I’ve been back at Bizzyville HQ for several hours now, every minute of which has been taken up by reading up on my favorite blogs and checking out happenings on the interweb.

I am thrilled to see that Beyonce Knowles has hips reminiscent of my own, continue to be in love with the cuteness that is Charlie at the Daily Coyote, enjoyed giggling at the mental picture of Patience Renzulli conversing with a nekkid Keyth Kars, was relieved to know that Jessamyn’s pregnancy is coming along fine, and loved reading these lists even though I may have known much of that stuff already and remain completely confused about the state of Aynex’s love life—Aynex? If you have a boyfriend, I totally need to know who this man is! I have an inquiring mind, and I haven’t got all day over here! (And, please note, this is not an all-inclusive list by any means.)

I don’t know if I mentioned it earlier, but I was away in Covington, Kentucky, which is just across the river from Cincinnati, at a conference. The Radisson, while a tad threadbare, assigned me a nice room with a sleep number bed and this completely amazing view:

I spent a considerable amount of time on my frigid (not to mention teensy) 11th floor balcony snapping photos of the Cincinnati skyline, but never really got anything I was happy with. I always prefer the night time skyline shots, but simply in this case, could not eliminate the night time shake--possibly because of the freezing temps and windy conditions.

Here is a close (relatively speaking) up of the strange building in the first shot just to the east of the main Cincinnati skyline. I automatically assumed it must be some sort of a public space from the way out architecture, but a helpful waiter told me the building is actually recently constructed condo space, the most expensive unit of which will go for a cool $5.5 million. I can't quite decide if I think this design is visionary or insane. But I'm leaning toward the latter.

Next is the day time version of the night time skyline shot above. You can much more clearly make out the Ohio River and the bridge:

Otherwise, I really didn’t venture out into either Covington or Cincinnati much at all. It was cold in them thar parts, much colder than here, with actual snow on the ground and everything. After the five-hour drive in, I wanted nothing so much as a hot bath, a cold diet Coke and, well, junk food.

I don’t know what my problem is, but the minute I drive beyond the city limits of this town and hit the interstate for any kind of out-of-town trip, it’s like I’ve never seen food before. And not just any food. I’m talking about food that is either fried, dipped in chocolate, or includes nuts of any kind. It’s scary. I am that tragic character in the MacDonald’s drive-thru ordering the combo meal topped off with a “diet” coke. Like it matters.

I am not so much this way when traveling with the S-Man, or with friends. It’s mostly when I’m alone that I succumb to the siren’s song of peanut M&M’s when topping off the tank.

Junk food aside, the conference was a good one and it was nice to have a little getaway.

The return trip, however, proved to be a little challenging.

It all started when I jumped in the car and began arranging all my crap for the drive home: books on CD in order of preference, purse, jacket, cell phone, cell phone ear bud…ear bud…ear bud?…it was nowhere to be found.

I’m not sophisticated enough to have graduated to Blue Tooth technology and the wireless headpiece which, honestly, puts me in a mind of Star Trek anyway, but I am completely enamored of the little wired ear bud that plugs into my cell phone and makes it possible for me to talk hands-free. Especially while driving.

Once I confirmed that my little wire was nowhere in the car, I mentally retraced my steps the last time I had it. Which would have been probably when I checked into the hotel, two days ago. I have a habit of unplugging it from the phone at the end of a conversation and dropping it into my lap when driving.

This would mean it could have very well been in my lap when I pulled into the Radisson to check in. Not good. As it happened, I was parked not far from the entrance and so I started up the car and retraced my drive back to the covered check-in area.

I remembered just where I’d parked, a little beyond the main door and out of the way of the majority of the traffic. At first I saw nothing. But the more I looked, the more I could make out the shape of a wire, just barely visible against the black pavement. I could hardly believe it, but there it was. I joyfully jumped from the car, but realized very quickly as I approached that, while my wire was just where I’d dropped it, it was also smashed to smithereens.

As I picked up the remains of my little wire, responsible for so many convenient hands- free conversations, I had to admit that, knowing me? I’m probably also the person that ran over it.

I had parked in the exact same spot while reloading the car early that morning. A shiver ran up my spine as I came to the realization that my little wire may well have been helplessly pinned beneath my very own tire as I heedlessly tossed the ridiculous number of bags necessary for me to go out of town even on a simple overnight stay into the cargo section of the car.

Gingerly, I got back into the car, and placed what was left of my little wire in the passenger seat for a last ride. I stifled a sob as I tried to come to terms with that fact that, for the next three hundred miles? I was going to have to HOLD MY CELL PHONE TO MY OWN EAR MANUALLY WITH MY VERY OWN HAND any time I placed or received a call.

Dear God, is there no end to the indignities I am to suffer in this life?

Another glance at the remains of my little wire brought things quickly into prospective: It’s very possible they have replacement cell phone ear bud wires at Wal-Mart, right? I mean…they sell iPods there, right?


A stop at the Carrollton Wal-Mart quickly brought me back to reality. It was going to take nothing short of an ordeal at the Cingular store to replace what I’d lost.

By now, I had both placed AND received a call while holding the phone to my ear ALL BY MYSELF. One of these calls, from a concerned S-Man who, upon hearing of my terrible ordeal, gallantly offered up his own blue tooth (which, to be honest, he never uses).

But my cell phone doesn’t have Blue Tooth technology!

Ruefully, I thought back to my last visit to the Cingular store wherein I had eschewed the Blue Tooth technology. Ridiculous! (I’d said.) Who needs it! (I’d asked.)

I’m an idiot! I said to myself.

An idiot, as it turned out, in desperate need of an order of MacDonald’s French fries.

As I pulled back onto the interstate, one greasy hand regularly dipping into the fries, the other steering back into traffic from the on-ramp, the rain began. Hard, driving, persistent, windshield-wipers-required, endless rain.

And then, of course, my cell phone rang.

Oy vey.

I’ll stop my tragic little narrative here (and not a minute too soon, either, huh?). I’ll just add that it rained and it rained and it rained for three hundred miles, ultimately rendering me so exhausted that I had to cancel a visit to the eighty thousand-song karaoke machine originally scheduled for today.

Now that's tired.


Aynex Mercado said...

Hey I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while but this boyfriend business keeps me busy. I'll post soon with maybe even pictures. If he lets me. I am te same way about junk food and road trips. I never step into a McDonalds but when I am on a road trip, I love it. Its like the calories don't count if you are driving at 70 mph. They just go out the window. Hey are you coming to Nikki's party?

Suz said...

Thanks for the post and the pictures.

Me three about the lure of junk food on the open road.

Rest up and have fun now that you're home.

William F. Renzulli said...

TOO FUNNY for words.

Patience-please said...

Look at Bill being Blog Boy!!!

(He's right though, that post is a 15 out of a possible 10.)

Why do you think I'm always on the road? For Dog Stuff? Nah. Special Dark Milky Ways. And Egg McMuffins.

Reese's Cups... gotta go pack -

ChristaD said...

Too funny. Have you seen "Haiku Tunnel?" Your post reminds me of Josh Kornbluth pacing around in front of a phone and talking about how so many executives are enamored with speaker phones..."Bob? Bill here. Are you touching anything? I'm not touching anything. Are you touching anything?"

Suzanne said...

Which further brings to mind a certain "executive" I used to know who took every. single. call. on speaker phone. Calls from his doctor. Calls from his wife. Calls from his kid. All calls. On SCREECHING VOLUME speaker phone. When he wanted to have a confidential conversation? He whispered. INTO HIS SPEAKER PHONE. (I'm not kidding).