Whatever Happened to Bob and Jim?

I cannot be the only one who’s noticed Oprah’s new hair cut looks remarkably like Michelle Obama’s style.

For a woman who seems to talk to us about everything, her new look went unmentioned in shows this week where she premiered the new do.

In a world where a lot of people want to be her, is it possible that Ms. Winfrey wants to be Mrs. Barack Obama?

Poor Stedman . . .

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It’s Called LUG-gage For A Reason

Today I was working on some finance reports at work and going through a large spreadsheet showing all our charges on our shared corporate credit card for our biggest client. It’s a mixture of every type of expense you can think of – ground transportation, airfare, meals. There are quite a few postings under the heading of “Excess Baggage” at charges of $25 and $30. Which got me thinking:

What is the total price of all the Excess Baggage we all carry around?

The definition of Excess Baggage is: “luggage that is heavier than the amount a passenger is allowed to take on a flight without an extra charge”.

I’m not sure I could even begin to add mine all up. My childhood, friends who have done me wrong, friends who I have done wrong, old boyfriends, work issues, my marriage. It’s way more than one bag let me tell you that! Just like decluttering my house, I have tried to let that Excess Baggage go over the years when I have outgrown it or found other Excess Baggage to replace it.

But no matter how much Excess Baggage you get rid of, we all have that corner in a spare bedroom or closet or attic where we keep the things we simply cannot let go of. Even if we move to a new house these things come with us.

I guess I’d have to say that the amount of Excess Baggage I have is considerably less than what the airline called Life can handle. I like to travel light, with only my friends, my family, our health and my funny bone in tow. And all that fits in a carry-on.

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I am at the New Jersey Shore with my Mom for Easter weekend. We come every year and it’s our way of saying goodbye to Winter (don’t let the door hit you on the way out) and hello to Spring.

Being here is the first time in over 3 years that I am truly able to relax. The past few years when I was lucky enough to get away I could not escape the fear and worry that came from trying to find a job. I felt guilty for being away.

Last October when we left the ocean for the last time in 2010, I wondered where I would be working when I returned in the Spring. (Click HERE for that post.) Now I’m back, six months later, and I’ve been working for four months now and so far, so good.

I’m here with my Mom, the ocean, the sand, the boardwalk, and a corporate credit card, a business card and work laptop I carry with me proving I’m employed. I don’t know what Merriam Webster’s definition of “vacation” is, but for the first time in years I’m truly on one.


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The Home Of The Brave

Whenever I see a military person, I go up to them and thank them for their service and sacrifice. As you know, an airport is an opportunity to see many of our brave heroes. I always wonder if they’re headed home or in the other direction and I always hope it’s the former.

I was in Atlanta this week for work and as I made my way to grab a taxi I saw a USO stand, all decked out in red, white and blue and an equally patriotic-dressed woman as well as a bunch of other folks. There were military people all over Atlanta’s airport and as they exited the gate area into baggage claim where the USO booth was, the USO lady and the other people all began clapping. The USO lady approached the serviceperson and offered a handshake, words of appreciation and concern, and sometimes, if welcomed, a hug.

It was an emotional sight and I teared up instantly. I wondered if this is something I could get involved with in my airport. I wondered if the USO lady had someone in the service at one time or even now.

I had a meeting and needed to find a cab, but I doubled back and stood with the other people and joined them in greeting some of the people who keep us safe and keep us free as they exited the gate area.

I don’t know where they were heading but I hope it was home. I more than hope, I pray.

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The RAV4 Triangle

I am a very organized person. My house is organized, my office at work is organized. I don’t have a lot of stuff in my purse and I am extremely picky about my car and keeping it clean and clutter-free.

Sometimes, I will admit, I lose things though and I believe it’s even more frustrating for someone who is organized because everything has a place and should be in it. Should.

I recently lost a business card holder which I was convinced was accidentally returned with a torn tote bag I had just bought. I had carefully gone through the tote before its return and so had my husband at my request. I realized a few days later that I couldn’t find my business card holder. I looked in my suitcase and my briefcase and had no luck. I didn’t remember seeing it since I took the bag back.

Today I arrived at the New Jersey Shore for the Easter weekend with my mom. As I was unloading the car at my hotel, I saw the business card holder under my car seat. Along with an eyeglass cloth that was also missing. Obviously they came out of my purse somehow.

I can’t tell you how many things I’ve lost and then found under my car seat. My husband calls it the “Black Hole”. I call it the RAV4 Triangle. But neither is really accurate. It’s more like this car that I love (click HERE to read more about my love affair with my car) somehow gathers the things I misplace and returns them to me as a gift or an offering of sorts. Can’t find the ring I took off because it was bothering me? Can’t find my sunglasses? All I have to do is look under my car seat and there are my missing items, given back to me by my buddy, my car.

By the way, RAV4 Triangle, I can’t find the million dollars I misplaced. Anytime you want to return that to me, that’d be GREAT!

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Didn’t I Used To Type Up Your Marketing Plans 20 Years Ago?

On my flight home the other day from another business trip, I saw a manager of mine from 20+ years ago. I saw him as I was boarding — he was already in his seat — and we caught up once we landed as we walked to our cars.

We talked about our jobs and our families and I realized that the first meeting I ever planned was when I worked for this man and now here I am doing it as my career. His son, who I know as a little boy, is now a 26-year-old married man with a goatee. What what??? This man traveled a lot when I worked for him and now 20 years later he’s still on planes every week.

It was great to see him after 20 years. It’s been a nostalgic week between the TV Land Awards (click HERE for that post) then seeing my old manager. When I worked for him, I was a 20-something single woman living in an apartment, working as a Marketing Assistant. Today I am a 40-something (God that hurts) married woman of 18 1/2 years (yes the 1/2 counts and God that hurts more), a homeowner, working as a Meeting Planner.

I wonder how it felt for him to see me? Men and women think different (NEWS FLASH!) so maybe he hasn’t thought of our meeting since we hugged goodbye. If I see him again I’ll have to ask him. I just hope it doesn’t take another 20 years because if it does, neither one of us will even remember each other!

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Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose

I am watching the TV Land Awards and feeling so very old. The Cosby Show, The Facts of Life, Family Ties and Welcome Back Kotter. My elementary and junior and senior high school years.

The Huxtables, the Keatons, Vinnie and Boom Boom and Horshack. Blair and Jo and Tootsie and Natalie.

They all look so much older — 30 years is a long time. The Facts of Life don’t lie and the biggest fact is that Life Goes On. Wait a minute, that was a show I watched in my 20s!

I’ve always believed that we are shaped by the books that we read but now I know that the TV shows I watched growing up are a part of me as much as those people on the pages. Tonight I saw the current versions of my old favorites but in my mind they were as they have always been. And isn’t that how we all see ourselves?

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I Apologize and Now I Don’t

In the ongoing war with USAir, a war which I am only aware of, they ended up putting 1,000 “Customer Appreciation Bonus” points into my account today even though they said they were going to then they said Oops!, no they weren’t and then today they did. So I apologize.

This morning on my USAir flight I had a tote/briefcase and an overnight bag both of which I was going to take on the plane. But because I was in Zone 5, by the time I got on the plane there was no more room in the overhead bins so they took my bag right before I set foot on the plane. Normally you would then pick up your bag right outside the plane, but my bag was sent the route of the other checked bags and was sent down to baggage claim.

And now I don’t.

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