Today was busy, and not quite as frustrating as yesterday in some ways. In other ways it was even more stressful for us. For example, Ra threw up for the second day in a row this morning, which didn't do wonders for my mood when I got up. I wandered out to the living room, sat down on the couch and went back to Saturday's labor -- getting my Orinoco Gold (802.11b) wireless card working in my laptop. I finally gave up, called the support line at Proxim (apparently Proxim is who Orinoco evolved into... I don't know, it's a long and convoluted mess when you consider that the card was made by Lucent to begin with...) and was pleasantly surprised to find out the card had two years of warranty left on it, and the 30 days of tech support had never been used on it. I worked with the tech on the line to figure out what my problem was, dutifully applied his fix and suddenly had a wireless card that worked. To say that I was relieved is an understatement, my machine was now finally ready for the trip to California!
Since I won't be here on Saturday for my weekly trip to BD's Mongolian BBQ it was suggested that we go up for lunch today as well, an offer I accepted. On our way to BD's we stopped at GNC and I picked up various Atkins-friendly snack foods for me to bring with on the trip this week. With luck they'll help curb the urge to snack at the office in a way that won't completely blow my diet. I'm sure that no matter how careful I am I'll end up needing to go back on Induction when I return to Illinois -- let's face it, one part of my plan is to go to In-N-Out in California and get some of the tastiest burgers I've ever had in my life. I don't want to blow the diet entirely, but I know that chowing down on a couple of these and a basket of fries isn't precisely within the framework I'm supposed to be following. Oh well, it's an indulgence I think I'm entitled to at this point.
We had lunch at BD's and enjoyed ourselves. I had sliced sirloin marinated in crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon and sweet-and-sour sauce, with bell peppers, onions and broccoli. I think I've found a new way to prepare my stir-fry with this recipe because it adds a little extra flavor in addition to the burn of the spices. We chatted with Summers, one of the waiters we frequently have when we're there, and watched Bob's antics on the grill. That guy totally rules! I envy Roho and Kes because they're going back on Wednesday night for a charity dinner that will benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This is something I want to be a part of, but can't since I'll be halfway across the continent. Roho, Kes... enjoy yourselves for me, will you?
After BD's we stopped at WalMart so that I could grab luggage tags for my various bags and a new set of headphones for my flight out. While I was there I couldn't resist picking up a few new DVDs for my collection, since the price was right (most of them were around $10 a piece). I picked up 9 titles, some of them good, some of them bad. "The Rock" was one of the titles I picked up tonight, to give a bit of a frame of reference. I walked out of the store with quite a bill, since my new headphones are noise-canceling, and I bought a number of the luggage tags. It's money well-spent, though, and I'll hardly be around this week. Most of the money I'll be spending this week -- up until Friday night, anyway -- is going to be the company's money, so why not hit my budget a little harder than I normally would? It all works out in the end.
I'm rationalizing way too much.
The rest of the day was spent with me tinkering on the laptop, helping Roho assemble and put up the rest of the furniture we brought home from Ikea yesterday, and half-heartedly doing some chores on my bedroom. The place has gotten to be an incredible mess and I felt bad making Roho or Kes wade through it to feed Ra in my absence, so I picked up clothes and did laundry and threw out trash throughout the day, although I admit that the vast majority of the work was completed in the hours from 10:30 PM to now (1:12 AM). Lousy hours, but I was awake anyway because I'm sort of anxious about this whole thing. It's done, the room is something I'm not completely ashamed of now and they'll be better able to take care of my cat because of the effort. That'll help me sleep a little better while I'm at the hotel. Since I don't sleep well when I'm travelling on business I'm certainly going to need all the help I can get in the reassurance department....
Tomorrow morning I get up, grab my few remaining articles, then jump over to the Hair Cuttery for a quick trim that I feel is needed to make sure I'm properly presentable for the California staff when I see them Tuesday through Friday. Once that's taken care of I have to haul myself down to Chicago's O'hare Airport, or for the more seasoned traveller simply "ORD." With luck the haircut will go quickly, I'll find a parking spot without too much trouble and I'll be able to take a breather after completing check-in for my flight to Los Angeles International (Again, LAX for the more seasoned traveller). For those of you who care, I'll be departing on United Airlines flight number 117 at 1210 CDT, arriving at LAX at 1426 PDT. Don't let the times fool you, it's a four hour long flight, but the change in time zones (flying West) makes it look like it's two hours.
I'll be staying at the Sheraton Suites Fairplex in Pomona, California. I'll have my work cell phone with me as well as my SideKick, so I may or may not be available via AIM -- it will all depend on how good the GSM coverage is out there.
Liin, if you're reading this -- I'll miss you lots while I'm gone, and will bring you back something from my trip.