Nothing Pithy Here

I usually love to write something meaningful or humorous on a regular basis. I have struggled lately to find my creative side to draw from and actually write something, anything, worth reading. I think that means I need a vacation.

I can relate to the stories of writers who would consign themselves to some remote cabin or tropical island for weeks or months at a time in order to clear their brain and find their creative muse. While some may argue my creativeness, or even the notion that I possess the mythical muse (or even have the ability to muse) the idea of prolonged peace and tranquility to get the right side of my brain functioning again is appealing. I think that means I need a vacation.

I've plotted and planned my next adventure for a few years nowL: the big 50th birthday trip with a wonderful friend of many years who also turns 50 right along with me. We picked Hawaii because it was close enough to get to and enjoy in a week or less and yet far enough away to feel like a real vacation. Somehow going to Vancouver, B.C. or Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, or even Disneyland wouldn't cut it. But here I am only about 3 days away and I haven't even packed anything yet. Not typical for me, the quintessential planner/analyzer. I have nothing ready save a tan I've been developing thanks to a local tanning salon. My list of things to do before I go keeps growing each day due to the fact I haven't accomplished the list from the day before. I think that means I need a vacation.

My job has gotten more demanding and less rewarding. My house has gotten dustier and more cluttered. I'm behind on watching my favorite shows. My body aches and hurts for no reason at all [INSERT OLDER-THAN-DIRT JOKES HERE]. I haven't gotten through the game Oblivion yet. And, I still have to figure out how to get my costume ready for my 50th birthday party hubby is putting on for me (not to mention a skit to match my selected persona).

I guess that means I need a vacation.


10! 9! 8!

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have a nice relaxing trip to Hawaii all lined up and ready to go. A good friend of mine and I made a deal several years ago that on our 50th birthday we would splurge and buy ourselves a trip somewhere. Well, this is the year and we're actually doing it. So off to Maui we go. We are leaving on Saturday May 2nd, and will be gone exactly one week.

I really need this vacation. Work has been very hectic and my role has me in the hot seat on a regular basis. It is not fun. I need the beach. I need the sun. I need week of doing nothing work related at all. So, I downloaded a countdown clock from the Internet and have been watching the days disappear. Yeah!

But, oh no! My friend, Brenda, reminds me that we should count the same way James does. You can't count the current day, and you don't count the day you leave, so my countdown clock is wrong. Sigh...

It reminded me of a writing assignment I completed about 2 years ago. You should give it a read. It is called "The Wild Side of my Better Half".


So Much To Buy, and So Little Time

While preparing myself for my next trip to Hawaii, I started reading up on old posts from years ago. I'd forgotten about them but really liked them, so I am re-posting them for your enjoyment.

Consumerism has reached a new level. Until now, I have been unfamiliar with the abundance of travel supplies and accessories available. While making my packing list, I've found a veritable bottomless pit of supplies that each company touts as "must haves" for the savvy traveler. Well, not wanting to be un-savvy I took a peek.

Armed with my debit card, I find I'm faced with the daunting decision of what to purchase. Should I get the "Disposable Tan Towel" that gives me a natural healthy looking tan without the harmful effects of the sun, or the "Soothing Sole Towelettes" that instantly refresh, cleanse, and deodorize? Begging for my hard-earned, but casually spent dollars, are the travelers first aid kit, the special "no-wrinkle" (yeah right) clothing, disposable underwear, travel lights, map readers, motion sickness wrist bands, travel fans, and the inevitable, but very stupid looking, "Cloud-Soft Inflatable Pillow" that "makes all the difference on long flights." (Speaking of those little inflatable pillows, I've seen those; they wrap around your neck like the yoke on an oxen. Though they do appear to be much lighter weight and can be purchased in a variety of colors, they still look pretty funny. My sister wore one when we traveled to Italy in 2001. It was a real struggle to keep my hilarity to myself so as to not to disturb her during her slumber. The pillow did work; she didn't kink her neck, but she did keel over and ended up reclining on the very nice Italian lady next to her. This kindly soul didn't shove Linda out into the aisle even once during the entire 4+ hour trip from Rome to Venice. Who says the locals aren't kind to Americans?

One item reminded me of a conversation some of us had regarding smells on long airline flights. It was the "Personal Air Supply" that "substantially reduces pollutants, dust, fresh air is released towards your mouth, nose, and eyes." You get the picture. I think the $125 price tag means I'll be smelling whatever comes my way during the 9+ hour flight.

Here's a few other items that caught my eye (actual name and descriptions used):

* Boroleum - place a tiny dab at the base of each nostril for immediate relief from dry nasal membranes.

* Skeeter Defeater - portable free-standing insect tent that packs easily into its own carrying sack.

* Flipper - Suctions securely to any smooth surface and its unique springloaded hinge allows it to "flip" open and closed, preventing your toothbrush bristles from coming into contact with surface germs (the picture shows your toothbrush suctioned to the bathroom mirror)

* Restop - biodegradable blend of polymers breaks down waste into a sturdy zip top bag and turns it into gel (I'm not kidding)

* Tush Wipes - I'm not going to explain this one

All this has helped me make up my mind. I'm not buying anything, but I will make James sit at the back of the plane.

4/3/2009 Note: I'm not going on this next trip with James though.


Say What?

We've all heard 'em: popular over-used words, phrases, cliche's, weird pronunciations, or tidbits of nomenclature that we all wish would go away. Here are some that have caught my ear and made me go hmmm...?

1. Again - I've been in meetings day after day (that's my work-life, in a nutshell) and someone will begin a sentence with "Again, I'd like to point out that that database hosting solution requires that we..." and so on. Well, without fail I begin trying to figure out when they had said it before in order to verify the use of the word "again" in their statement. Most of the time they have not been redundant. Clearly the use of the word has become a strange way of starting off a statement.

2. Basically - same as above. In my Information Technology world (IT) I've found that there really are few things that are basic. But hey, maybe that's just me.

3. Monday - pronounced Mon-dee, or Fri-dee, not day. When did that happen? One of our local weathermen uses that pronunciation and it really bugs me. It really doesn't work well with some of the days of the week in particular; it just sound wrong. Try it. Say with me: Satur-dee. See what I mean?

4. In terms of - again, (notice I am using this correctly as the beginning of my statement) this is a case of people finding a not-so-unique way of making a comment. When one thinks about what the phrase really means, it really should go without saying if one has a well thought out statement to make.

5. Right? - I work with a strong contingent of people who regularly finish a sentence with a question by tacking on question "right?" at the end. Depending on the person it may be a result of a couple of things. It could be a not-so-clever way to trying to lead the listeners into agreeing with the tactic or decision. Or, it could simply be an insecure person seeking approval for their comments/statements. I suppose we should also consider that someone has just created the habit and really don't expect everyone to be constantly affirming every other sentence. Goodness knows I've been tempted to interrupt after the end of every such sentence with a loud "YES" or "RIGHT!". Somehow I don't think that would make me very popular, though the possibility exists that I would be invited to fewer meetings which wouldn't be a bad thing after all. I'll have to think on that one more.

In addition to the above more nonsensical words, it seems every year there are new business buzz words and cliches that become popular. I guess I'm a rebel at heart. I purposefully try to stay away from them if I can at all get away with it. I'll never forget a couple of years ago, I couldn't get through one meeting without hearing the phrase "low hanging fruit". I hear it once in a while now, but it is almost gone (good riddance). Hasn't anyone heard that the fruit that is the most available has usually been sprayed with insecticides? Don't eat it!