cold and far from home

Arrived safe and sound in chilly Colorado this evening. I upgraded to first class, it’s the only way to go – and I figured I may as well use the upgrades before my 100k status expires and I don’t get them anymore. First class is tits. I got wine and cheese and fruit, steerage got water and $5 beer if they wanted to pay. The wine was good, felt good to drink it when I would normally be working. I was working, though. Typing in between bits of cheese and kiwi and sips of wine. I put my whole presentation together this morning, half at work before I left and the rest in the plane – tonight’s for finishing touches. Finishing touches and steak, I think.

Fast forward to the hotel room, I had wings and a philly instead of steaks, but did manage to get some beers and good “schmoozing” done while I was at it. Funny how much you learn while drinking and eating. In the “Working with China” class I took, the instructors stressed the fact that, in the Asian culture, a business dinner is anything but a dinner. “Think of this as a more laid-back, relaxed extension to your meeting,” they’d say. “The atmosphere is casual, but don’t be fooled, more real business often gets done over beer in China than in the boardroom.” I find that interesting, and certainly see some aspect of it in our own culture. Although, for me, if I know I’ll be dining with customers, I’ll cunningly leave certain bits of information back to purposely divulge them over beers as if imparting a key secret with a loose tongue. This may seem stupid, but it wins confidence like you wouldn’t believe. A key bit of strategic information inserted at just the right time (often a “right time” manufactured by me expressly to give said information) can do wonders for your “human” side in the eyes of the customer. Tsk tsk, now I’m giving away my trade secrets…

On the way home to Florida this past Christmas, the shoulder strap on my laptop bag broke while I was navigating the airport security line. For nearly a month and a half now, then, I’ve been carrying around my laptop straplessly. For the record, I don’t like this, for multiple reasons: 1) I think I look like a fool carrying my bag around like 1950s businessman-briefcase, and 2) it’s inconvenient to “lose” a hand to carrying the bag by its little handle. It’s hard to open doors while carrying an umbrella or, god forbid, an umbrella and a cup of coffee. So, before my recent return to traveling (although a less than triumphant return), I decided I had to have a new shoulder strap. I could be lumbering around the airport and plane with my throwback-style handbag, forget it.

In the end, I got a buddy’s old strap, rather than buying a new one. The only thing I don’t like about having a shoulder strap is the way it presses against the fat of my flabby chest, and parts my man-boob into to lumpy bubbles. I hate that. I’m constantly re-positioning the damn thing to try and minimize the fatty protrusions, they feel like a big neon sign proclaiming my lack of shape, my atrophy. I look down as I walk, making sure the strap is positioned as dead-center as possible on my breast, to minimize the lumps on either side. I’m shooting for an overall pressing-down of fat rather than a push to one side or the other. I walk, I look, I adjust. Walk, look, adjust. Stupid fatty man boobs.

I finished Bukowski’s Ham On Rye tonight, what a terribly sad book. Now it’s on to On the Road. Goodnight.

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