Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cleanest Country on Earth

I am currently on a business trip to Switzerland. In addition to being ridculously expensive (internet access is running me about $30 a day, in contrast in a similar US hotel it would be $10 and include unlimited phone access), Switzerland is the cleanest country on earth. Even the train station bathrooms are clean. Everyone also seems to speak about 15 languages which makes me feel like a complete clod. They don't even bother to speak to me in German, they just launch into English. You truly can set your watch by the trains. Today the train I was taking was late - 3 minutes late and it was listed as such on the arrivals screen. My hotel is outside of Zurich but there is a tram stop practically in front of the hotel (and there is a bus stop in front of the hotel), the hotel sells tram tickets, and has photocopies of the schedule available plus a schedule posted outside the hotel. They make it so easy. Gas is about $5.70 a gallon but in many cases you don't need to drive because the public transportation system is so good. This morning at breakfast they had newspapers in at least 4 languages including 2 in English. You are lucky if you can get more than USA Today in most US hotels. The breakfast buffet was labeled in both German and English. Not being able to read the menu is the thing I hate most about international travel. I have a great fear of ordering something nasty like sauteed brains in butter sauce. Speaking of food, I went shopping for chocolate today. The varieties were staggering. Milk, dark in all levels of cacao, any filling you could want. So hard to choose.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gay Paree

Tomorrow I'm off for a week in Paris and Zurich for business. This is probably my longest business trip ever. It is especially difficult to go because The Wife has been in the hospital for 17 days and is coming home tomorrow...after I leave for the airport. She's also coming home on a milrinone pump and isn't allowed to drive. Yes, I feel like a schmuck. I've also been having Crackberry(TM) problems and fortunately my IT guys are great and they've been helping me work through it but it still isn't fixed (it's been showing "activation 0% for over an hour). Frustrating. July 1 can't come fast enough. Then I have a week off.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Poochie Prose

My co-worker received the note below from her dog who is staying with Grandma and Grandpa while said co-worker is traveling...

Dear Mommy,
I really, really miss you. I've been a very busy girl. I love to run around the yard, and my stick collection is growing by the day. The only thing is that the really fat sticks that I found, I have stripped the bark off of, and now they keep breaking when I give them to Judy to tug. We have lots of little pieces all around the yard.
On Mondy night, I decided NOT to follow Judy & John upstairs to bed......Judy had to pull me by the collar, and John had to push my butt to go up the stairs to sleep. Then I went under the bed a little bit, and spent the night.
Yesterday, Judy & Nana went out to dinner & I went right into my crate like a good girl.. When they got home, I ate dinner and then Judy took out a tray to polish her nails in the den, but I got real scared of that tray and ran and hid in the screen room next to the refrigerator, and made myself into a tiny little ball (this is 9 month old Chocolate Lab...) so no one could see me. Then Judy came
to get me after 2 hours, and I ran into my crate and wouldn't even come out when Judy gave me a Frosty Paws, and a Meaty Bone. When she let me out to pee at 9 o'clock, I ran into the woods and hid real good so she wouldn't find me. I only came out when judy brought out my leash and offered to take me for a walk. (She looked real funny walking me in her slippers and nightgown). When we got back, I really didn't want to go back in the yard and house, so I tried to stand my ground, but Judy pulled me into the house. Then I hid behind the couch in the living room (she couldn't find me for a long time, ha, ha.) When it was time to go to bed, I flatly, absolutely refused to go upstairs! No one could move me, because I am so strong. So, I spent the night in my crate. I think I am still really scared of
that tray thing, even though she put it away.
Today, I am fine, well rested, and ready to greet the world. I even stole the stocking off the vent in the screen room, and distributed all the lint all over the den so Judy would have to vacuum before she went to work. It was real fun, because Judy didn't know what it was for about 5 minutes.
I hope you are missing me a little bit. Have a safe trip to Chicago, and bring me a present.
Love, Zoey

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Random Thoughts

-Why does getting behind the wheel of an XTerra make people drive so fucking slow?

-Why does lettuce smell so nasty when it goes bad?

-Why is there nothing on I want to watch when I sit down to watch TV but a hundred things I would like to watch when I'm turning off the TV to go to bed?

-Why do weeds grow so well in my garden?

-Why can't I win the lottery? I have lots of good ideas of what I could use the money for.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Any rose gardeners out there?

My roses look like crap this year. The shrub rose has some fungal disease. I've been spraying it since I noticed (in fact, that is one of the things on my list for tomorrow) but it doesn't seem to be doing any good. The "Amazing Grace" rose has something wrong with the blooms - they are all brown around the edges and inside the flowers is all nasty and brown. I am most definitely not channeling my grandmother this year. Her roses were awesome and I really wish I had taken an interest in gardening when she was alive. I inherited her gardening books but I wish I had her to ask. Anyone care to offer some advice?r

Bug Zapper

The next door neighbors have installed a bug zapper. When sitting on the deck I can hear it dispatching bugs. The dog does not like it at all. She thinks she needs to defend us against it. Lovely. One more thing for her to bark at in the dark.

Ummm, now what?

The Wife is in the hospital and has been since last Thursday. When The Wife is in the hospital (which is about an hour away) I am somewhat at loose ends. I don't go to visit every day because of the distance and because I try to keep some semblance of the regular routine because I don't sleep well when The Wife is in the hospital and the further I get from the routine the worse it gets. Nights like tonight are the hardest. I finished up at work early and went to the hospital, hung out there for a about 2 hours, came home, let the dog out, fed the beasties, ate my dinner (I also stop cooking when The Wife is in the hospital), and now I don't quite know what to do. I made a list of things I need to do tomorrow and Sunday, I'm staring at the laundry I still need to fold, I have the baseball game on but it's more for background noise (and the Phils just SUCK tonight...losing 12 to 4 at the moment), its too early for bed, and I don't know who to call (and I've spoken to my parents and my sister already today as well as the MOH). I've been a complete slug in terms of exercise for the past 2 weeks but the last thing I want to do right now is go walk on the treadmill. I wish there was a gay bar in town (there are some within 30 minutes but I don't want to drive that far and then have drinks) so I could go and have a drink in a comfortable environment. I don't really care about the drink (I could have that here) but it would be nice to just sort of hang out with people without feeling a need to be a good conversationalist. I hate this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I want to scream

I have a fairly basic Crackberry (TM) through my job. During my last business trip it became apparent that the CB was screwed up - it would ring but when answered no one was there. I could still make outgoing calls. When I got home I forgot about the problem because I don't get calls on the CB very often unless I'm travelling. Then I was off one day and I got several calls where no one was there. I tried to call back and couldn't (I ended up using my mother's cell phone.) I called Cingular (now the NEW AT&T....arrgghhh, their hold system is SO annoying) and they sent me a new phone after determining they couldn't fix the old one. This was yesterday. The new phone has turned itself off and locked up twice. New phone, round 2.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Could they make me any MORE of a marginalized citizen?

Bush's appointee for Surgeon General really pisses me off. They can't find someone who is conservative but not a completely anti-gay bigot? This guy goes so far as to state that openly gay people should not even be able to JOIN the congregation of a Methodist church. I'm living my life, not participating in some "lifestyle", whatever the hell that is. Mostly I just want to be left alone to live my life the way I see fit which is not unlike what most other people in this country want. Why is it so hard to just leave me be (oh and extend to me the same rights and priviledges that others take for granted?)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Strange sensation

I had a brief business trip to Boston on Wednesday and Thursday. My client has moved to the suburbs (they used to be in Cambridge) so the trip from the airport to the hotel was unfamiliar. At one point I looked up from my Blackberry and absolutely no other vehicles were visible in the tunnel we were in. I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie and the cab driver and I were the only people left in the world. It went on for what felt like 5 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds. Long enough for me to think about it and get completely freaked.

Pink Postcard

On Thursday, I finally received the news that my biopsy was "normal." However, it came in the form of a folded over pink postcard that read "We are pleased to inform you that your recent pap smear was normal." (bold is mine) Of course, I didn't have a pap smear, I had an endometrial biopsy. Couldn't someone take the 10 seconds to cross off pap smear and write in endometrial biopsy? Attention physicians: this type of minor effort is important to your patients and while we know you didn't send the card we do hold you responsible for the contents. I'm going to take the card with me when I see my gyn-onc in 5 months and point out the obvious.