Comedy of Errors

I’ve decided that if I ever write my autobiography, I think “Comedy of Errors” would be a great title.  Today is an excellent case in point.  Almost since I got up this morning, I’ve been running like the proverbial headless chicken.

The day started out innocently enough.  I got up at 6:30 and planned to head to PHL airport around 7:30 for a 9:54 flight to Atlanta.  Normally, the trip would only take me about an  hour, but due to rush hour traffic, it took closer to an hour and a half.  Even so, I got to the check-in counter for Delta in plenty of time.  The drama began when the counter agent asked to see my ID and I was horrified to discover I didn’t have it. 

I went through my wallet about a dozen times.  I tore my bag apart.  I checked every pocket.  Every nook.  Every cranny.  Every crevice.  Nothing.  Not my driver’s license, passport, or even utility bill with my name on it.  Nothing to prove that I was me.  I tried to remember when I’d had my license last, but couldn’t.  The thought then occurred to me that I might not have used it since I traveled last.  If that was the case, I suspected it might be in my travel purse that I use on vacations, or in my backpack – and, as irony would have it, here I was traveling and neither of these were with me.  Go figure.

Fighting back tears of frustration and angst, I called my parents to let them know that I was going to be forced to miss my flight.  Thankfully (and unlike the last time I flew – or rather DIDN’T fly – Delta), they were able to book me on a 4:40 flight instead, giving me enough time to drive home, get my license, and come back.

So I caught the courtesy shuttle back to my car in the Economy Lot, paid the flat $9 rate for 24-hours (even though I had barely been there an hour), and drove the 36 miles home.  I first checked my backpack and, while my roommate was looking through my otehr bag, I began looking for my travel purse when I suddenly remembered that - and here comes that damn irony again - it was in the trunk of my car.  I went back out to my car and got the purse.  My driver’s license was in the front pocket. 

Yes, that’s right.  My license was with me.  In the purse.  In the trunk.  The whole time.  The WHOLE time.

And so I got back in the car and drove the 36 miles back to the airport to try and get on an earlier flight than 4:40 since I had time, but unfortunately the earlier flight was now sold out. 

Now I’m killing time sitting in the Delta Crown Club Lounge (which, while better than sitting in the terminal, is not as comfortable as the Continental President’s Club Lounge).  Honestly, I’m just thankful they let me in since, in keeping with the theme of the day, I also couldn’t find my President’s Club membership card either.

This is not a unique story to my life.  I have made such faux pas in the past that some might say this pales in comparison, but still…  All-in-all, I think the cost of my own mistakes in this case is in the neighborhood of $75-100 when you consider parking, gas, ticket change fee, etc.

I know that I will look back on this and laugh.  I know it.  But right now I just want to be in that place where I’m looking back and laughing because right at this moment, can’t really say I’m feelin’ it.

Choose Your Drinks Wisely

Yesterday I was a bit “off” and forgot to bring my lunch to work so I resorted to getting some food from the horrid cafeteria we have here.  For me, this translated into a soft pretzel, honey mustard sauce, yogurt, and a Tropical Punch Fuze.  In case you haven’t had one, Fuze drinks are REALLY good and packed with vitamins and minerals.  However there are different types of Fuze and, if you’re doing WW or even just trying to eat more healthy, you may want to be careful of the type of Fuze you select.

I was horrified to discover that the Vitalize Fuze drinks have a whopping 100 calories of almost pure sugar per serving (that’s 200 calories per bottle) making it equal to 4 WW points per bottle!  If you choose a Slenderize Fuze, you’re a lot better off.  Those come in at only 20 calories per serving (40 calories per bottle) and are billed as “low carb” as well (read: “low sugar”).  So WW points per bottle of Slenderize Fuze: 1.

I ended up deciding that the bottle I had gotten was not worth 4 points of my day, so I drank about 1/3 of the bottle and saved the rest for later.  Next time I’ll be more careful and will definitely pick up a Slenderize if anything at all.  Clearly it’s important to remember to stay away from sugary drinks – even ones that seem “healthy.”

Keeping The Customer Happy

It’s Saturday which for me means running errands and doing dumb stuff that needs to get done that I don’t typically have time to do during the week.  Today this has entailed going to the bank, doing a little shopping at Target and Borders, and getting my car serviced.

In the past it’s this last item that would have had me feeling like I was wasting my day.  Let me first take you through a typical car servicing visit as I have known them to be:  You go and you check in.  This takes no time at all.  But then you wait (sometimes for hours) in a tiny, dirty room with a barely-working television stuck on some stupid channel you can’t change, and pray for the end to come so you can leave and try to wipe the whole experience from your memory without having to resort to counseling or hypnosis.

But last year there was a revolution in this area for the Team Toyota dealership where I take my car.  Yes, I take my car to the dealership, but before any of you lecture me on this point, read the rest of my post and then tell me if you still think I’m crazy.

To begin with, a bought a new Corolla from another Toyota dealership, and because my car is young (only a little over 2 years old) and pretty much everything is covered by warranty, it serves me well to have a Toyota dealership service it – after all, they’re familiar with the car and its inner workings.  They know what my warranty is and what is covered.  Aside from that, they treat me well…  And really, an oil change is an oil change – I don’t find they charge any more than any other place out there.

Secondly, there is no tiny, dirty room.  No barely-working TV.  Nothing of the kind.  Instead, there is a giant facility complete with lounge chairs, wireless Internet and laptops (in case you didn’t bring your own), a “quiet room” for people needing to get some work done, 4 flat-panel TVs showing various channels, a cafeteria, a playroom for children, and a “Theater” where they show re-runs of Seinfeld and Friends.  I am not making this up. 

As I type this, I’m using one of the “free” laptops.  I’ve been here about an hour and a half and have been able to take care of some much-needed catch-up on email, Facebook, and even did a little work on The Watering Hole (the GAP Adventures forum that I help moderate).  By the time I get my car back, I’ll have most of the day left to finish my errands and then go home where I can kick back for the rest of the evening.  Best of all, I will not need counseling or hypnosis when I leave.

So I ask you, would you really pick a dirty little room over this?

Ten Thousand Angels

Looks like a big night for one of my favorite bands, Caedmon’s Call.  Their song (“Ten Thousand Angels” from their new album, Overdressed) is going to be featured for a 5 minute segment on Grey’s Anatomy!  Check it out tonight at 9pm EST.  If you want to listen to the song, you can hear it on the drivebymedia post.  Rock on!

Dinner Day

I was working from home today and ran over to the grocery store during my lunch break to pick up a few things and did an impulse buy of the January Cooking Light magazine.  This was naturally motivated in part by my recent joining of Weight Watchers and resolution to lose some weight in 2008.

In any case, there was an article in this issue which caught my attention called “Dinner Day.”  Apparently, on 23 October 2002, the Pennsylvania State Senate declared the second Saturday in January of each year an official holiday called “Invite A Neighbor To Dinner Day.”  Apparently “Dinner Day” was born from the smoldering ashes of the events of 9/11.  After reading up a little on the day from the official website, I have to admit I don’t know why this holiday should be limited to Pennsylvania but feel this should be adopted as a National holiday.

The resolution reads as follows:

“Whereas, Following the events of September 11, 2001, average Americans have sought ways to make a difference; and

Whereas, In times of trouble, Americans have traditionally displayed a kind heart and open door for their neighbors; and

Whereas, An effective means of celebrating American values to get to know or mend fences with one’s neighbors; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Senate proclaim the second Saturday of January of each year to be “Invite A Neighbor to Dinner Day” as a celebration of the values our country is built upon and a way to foster understanding, compassion and tolerance within our neighborhoods.”

Right on PA!  Of course I lived in Pennsylvania in 2003 when the first “Invite A Neighbor To Dinner Day” was celebrated.  I moved back and was here for Dinner Day in 2006 and 2007, but this is the first time I’ve heard of it. 

The Cooking Light article discusses the background of the holiday and also suggests a menu consisting of: Edamole with crudites, Winter Minestrone, Bitter Greens Salad, Lemon Chicken with Ginger and Pine Nuts OR Chile-Brined Roasted Pork Loin, Baked Pommes Frites OR Turnip Gruyere Gratin, complimented with a glass of Chardonnay and topped off with a dessert of Apple Upside-Down Cake OR Butter Rum Pound Cake with tea and/or coffee.  Yum – I wonder how many Weight Watchers points all that would be?

This year Dinner Day falls on January 12th which is only 3 days from now which is pretty short notice for inviting someone over, nevertheless, I will try.  How could anyone not want to celebrate such a cool little holiday?  Party on.