a Cheap Holiday: 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I have a piece of chocolate in the shape of a heart. I find it rather poetic that I can bite a heart and devour it.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

The night before my departure to San Francisco and almost everything is arranged. I still need to call my apartment management office to make sure they leave a note with the complex gatehouse that my friend will stopping in to cat-sit. My cat always gets antsy when my suitcase comes out of the closet, because she knows it means that Mommy will be gone for who-knows-how-long. She either gets clingier, doing wicked things to grab my attention, or she hides in disgust and anger. On this night she's hiding, opting not to join me on the bed to sleep, per her usual habit. After balancing my checkbook, always a lesson in humility, I have to make the decision of whether to take my overnight bag in addition to the suitcase and the laptop bag. Kali intends to take me out shopping, so I'll need packing space for booty, but it means that I'll have to haul around another bag on my beleaguered shoulders. It's having to pack more than one pair of shoes that always puts the dent in my available packing space and it's almost impossible for me to get away with having only one style of shoes on a trip. I simply can't imagine having only my Born loafers to wear. I will certainly need athletic shoes to work out in the hotel fitness rooms and my heeled boots for the days I'm working. And naturally the 1940's retro style high heels must be packed for possible socializing. Damn, that's 3 pairs of shoes that must be packed in addition to the pair I'll wear most of the time. The overnight bag must be brought.

At 6am, I pop out of bed, brush my teeth, put in my contact lenses, feed and water the cat, pack my remaining toiletries, and close my cases. My kitty is still a bit sleepy, so I lavish many kisses and strokes on her before departing to the airport. I realize that with my plans to go to NYC the following weekend, I'll only be seeing her for 30 hours in the coming week. Man, she's going to be mad at me when she realizes that. I'll have to buy her a new toy to make it up to her.

My arrival at the Philadelphia airport is uneventful, until the computer system tags my e-ticket for a random security search. This doesn't perturb me until the rather young security agent carts my cases to a table at the end of the check-in desk and begins putting on latex gloves. Oh joy, he's going to totally go through all my things. Thank goodness I didn't pack anything really fun, like a vibrator! Would THAT have been embarrassing!

Friday, February 15, 2002

About two weeks ago, a co-worker rang my line saying she was going to transfer my boss' call over to me. While this is not a common occurrence, it's not entirely unheard of. My boss comes on the line and asks if I'd like to go to California for business. The visit will be brief, but because I've already missed the 14-day cutoff for cheaper airfare, I have the opportunity to fly out on the Saturday before to hold down costs.

I try not to blatantly celebrate about the office for the rest of the day, but it's difficult. I used to travel more in my previous job, so business travel felt less like a holiday and more like a chore. I commiserate with my co-worker who will joining me over his schedule, his choice of hotel, etc. He has already booked his flight using a personal credit card to rack up more free air miles , instead of the corporate credit card. I keep reminding myself that I need to follow suit, but I keep forgetting. We both agree that the Hotel Palomar on Fourth St. in San Francisco looks worth investigating. Just to be safe, I check out the rates for the W Hotel and the Westin off Union Square, but Hotel Palomar is still coming in cheaper, so I book online for the weekend.

I become thoroughly excited now, as Hotel Palomar is one of those swanky "boutique" hotels that have become so in vogue in the last decade. Complimentary Aveda bath products and Ghiradelli chocolates on the pillow for the turn-down service! Again, I must contain my excitement around the office, since this is intended to be a business trip. I zip off an email to my San Francisco friends, warning them of my arrival. My remaining girlfriends there rejoice, while my remaining guy friends make pledges of hanging out "as long as they're not getting any." Jeez. I can't believe that getting laid is a rarer occurrence than my visting San Francisco, but boys will be dumbasses.
A respondent to my personal ad asked me on instant messenger one day, in reference to my blog, what I "got out of having my life online for everyone to see." Of course, in a text-only environment it's hard to tell whether such a question is being asked in the spirit of sincere curiosity or imflammatory confrontation, so I decided to err on the side of gentility and simply said that it was a way for my friends to keep up with my activities and that I would never post anything truly confidential. No one is ever truly going to get to know me by reading my blog because there are always going to be things that I keep to myself. Besides, how do you know that what I publish in this blog isn't pure fiction to begin with?