Thursday, February 28, 2008

Failure to Launch

In a continuing theme from yesterday...

Home: 12:30AM (Thursday)
Asleep: approx. 4:30AM (Thursday)
Eye Opener: 9:06AM (Thursday - supposed to be at work by 9...uh...)

Hubby's prescription
(which I love):

Pizza and 3 cosmo's.
In bed by 8pm.

I'm in.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jet Lag Blues

The definition of Jet Lag.

Day 1

Saturday 3AM - exhausted traveler climbs into bed.

Saturday 4PM - rested traveler awakes and eats ravenously.

Day 2

Sunday 4AM - no longer a traveler, female subject finally falls asleep after watching 12 hours of tv.

Sunday 3PM - female subject groggily stumbles downstairs to again eat ravenously.

Day 3

Monday 5AM - female subject knows she cannot face work since she has not slept at all during sundown hours and calls work to schedule a day off.

Monday 9:30AM - female subject forces herself to unpack, do laundry, and generally stay moving to ensure she does not become a vampire, or hampster, or some other nocturnal being.

Day 4

Monday 11PM - female subject gratefully succumbs to sleep at a normal hour.

Tuesday 2AM - frustrated female subject suddenly awakes as though it is daylight hours...thinks she'll fall back asleep using usual television prompts but no luck.

Tuesday 6AM - female subject finally slides into restless sleep.

Tuesday 7:30AM - female subject pries eyes open and struggles to work. She presents a totally non-comprehensive understanding of her job throughout the day.

Day 5

Wednesday 1AM - after a wide awake evening of tv, blogging, and other nonsensical activities, female subject finally goes to sleep!

Wednesday 8:30AM - after sleeping through TWO alarms - female subject suddenly awakes and realizes she must ready herself and be in the office in 1 hour. Best commute time ever = 30 minutes. God blesses her with no traffic and she arrives after 45 minute drive at 9:30....looking F.I.N.E. after her 15 minutes of prep.

And it is midnight and where is said subject? Wide awake and burning hours at the office. Hey - it's only 3PM in Brisbane right now - so essentially it is mid afternoon in her mind.


I heard once that it takes a day for every hour of time difference to recover. That means I only have 10 days of this to go.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tribute to My Sister Jude

Just to make you smile Jude. Love You.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nothing Better To Do I'll respond to Kiki's tag...tag 5 more:

A's Mom
Mrs. G.

Here are the directions:
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

Here's my entry:

"Why don't you go upstairs, Laila. Go on."

As she moved toward the steps Laila heard the visitor say to Babi that he had news from Panjshir.

From A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Read my review of this book on Winter Reading Challenge.

Friday Feelings

Today's Top Feeling:

I feel Exhausted.

My day began in Brisbane at 8AM Brisbane is now 12 Noon Pacific Time and I'm in my 3rd airport of the day and it is 22 hours since I left the Brisbane Hilton. My flight from LA to JFK is delayed...hopefully not indefinitely. So now instead of being tucked into my own bed curled up with hubby in the spoon position by midnight...I'll be lucky to be in the JFK airport by then.

Unlike the flight outbound to Australia - when I was in the lovely business class sleeper pods - I was only in the economy plus section and I did not sleep. So needless to say...knowing I will be sitting in this super comfortable (not) chairs in the gate area for another 3 hours and then hopefully on the super comfortable (definitely not) coach seats of a United flight for another 5 hours before I'm home is almost overwhelming.

I'm glad I have the weekend to recover and I'm seriously considering taking Monday as a PTO (paid time off) day. We'll see how wimpy I am.

Anyway, this was not the "feeling" I anticipated examining - and it's frankly boring me to whine about it, so I'm off. Wish me luck. Otherwise I might find myself sleeping in an airport tonight.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Out of Petrol

Ok, I'm just about done. In more ways than one. Today, my brain started to fizzle and spit and I found myself grasping for focus. Luckily, the team I was presenting to today was friendly and engaged, so they gave me their energy.

So tonight? I'm back in Brisbane....and this is my plan:

A little bloggin'...obviously.

A little club sandwich (served with a fried egg inside...???)

I was happy to find out that Tomato Sauce is ketchup...I needed that!

Short to save water...but plenty hot!

A little Jake Gyllenhaal. His No. 1 Travel Tip - exercise to avoid jet lag.

My No. 1 Travel Tip? Get into your king size bed....

And sleep the elusive sleep of a tired business traveller!

Back up over (vs. down under) sometime tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

24 Hours in Sydney - Part 4

A few random notes to close out the Sydney chapter...

The company booked me a room at the Vibe hotel in Sydney. Great location (at the train stop and only a 10 minute walk to the ferry) and a nice little boutique hotel. Here is the view from my room.

There seems to be a dyslexia issue here. This photo might just become my new desktop wallpaper.

Sailboats like these are what inspired renowned danish architect Jorn Utzon to design the Sydney Opera House.

Globe street lights and a full moon - a study in repetitive forms.

There are some incredible Aboriginal art galleries in Sydney.

And the proof that I was actually here and didn't just steal images from Google...

Just check out the bags under my eyes...I was here, I barely slept, and it's almost time to go.

24 Hours in Sydney - Part 3

If you don't want to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the normal manner - by car, bus, or about by foot?...the long way?

Do you see the little bumps at the top of that bridge structure???? No? Let's zoom in a bit...

Um. Yeah. I think I'll stick to the motorized options.

24 Hours in Sydney - Part 2

Of course, beyond scary clowns...I also took the standard tourist photos of the iconic images of Sydney...the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

The Opera House appears small until you ferry over to see it close up.

Can't believe I saw it in person....

24 Hours in Sydney - Part 1

Well...Sydney lived up to the hype. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen.

But this? Well it kind of freaked me out.

I mean, will you check out those eyes??? ....they follow you everywhere.

Can't you just hear some crazy wild clown laughter coming out of that gaping mouth?

In profile, she looks a little like Carol Channing. Still freaky....

And if it wasn't bad enough in the light of day....this right here? this is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

The Seduction

When you see a potential "seat at the table" it's hard not to desire it.

Today I split from the group to do some separate networking and a little due diligence of how this company we are partnering with works. I returned to our team and pulled my colleagues aside and gave them some insights. They were impressed.

Then, I was put to work transcribing more flip charts.

Mixed messages? Um. Yeah.

At the close of the meeting, I was asked some more questions and again, they seem impressed. Then I showed them something our team had worked up for their communications (Thanks Kiki!!!! I gave you full credit doll!) and they were very impressed.

This evening I separated from the group again and when I returned they were hyped from a great meeting with clients. I joined them and at first took a backseat just listening to their discussions. But at some point, it all changed. I glimpsed the seat at the table opening up again.

This last hour was magic. They asked. I answered. They questioned. I confirmed. They requested. I advised. They listened. They LISTENED. THEY LISTENED.

And for a brief time, I felt it. My butt in the seat at the table. Me.

And suddenly I thought, "Mr. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"

Tomorrow (or actually later today) I head to Sydney.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Madness

In which Wenderina begins her day by arriving at 7:32AM (according to her watch)in the breakfast room and finds 18 men looking at the door and her boss pacing and texting her to see why she is late for the 7:30AM meeting.

In which Wenderina exclaims to the group at the round the table introductions that she is the "only female in the room, in case they haven't noticed".

In which Wenderina recovers and makes several insightful comments about marketing and communications strategies and the value of targeted branding and is pleased to see a lot of head nodding around the white males at the table. (And thanks her stars that she didn't make a comment about race and cultural diversity as well as gender).

In which Wenderina is asked to take notes from the flip chart even though there is an electronic white board in the room which can print out all notes (sigh).

In which Wenderina gives a kickass presentation and facilitates an energetic discussion on branding that yielded 20 actions items....ALL. FOR. HER.

In which Wenderina asks what she thinks is innocuous question of colleague which leads to an assignment she must complete before getting on her plane home on Friday.

In which Wenderina listens in awe to a colleague explain to her that he is not eating from the bread basket because he doesn't need the calories. Stunned into silence, Wenderina recalls watching colleague fill his plate 3 times at lunch buffet, drink 3 glasses of wine and eat massive amounts of appetizers at the cocktail mixer, and then eat a porterhouse steak and mashed potatoes, drink 4 more glasses of wine, and conclude with a chocolate mousse and cappuccino.

In which Wenderina finds herself in her hotel room at 11:00PM blogging when she should be completing her presentation for tomorrow and transcribing the 14 pages of notes she took today since no one used the electronic white board. (bigger sigh)

Hoping Tuesday is a little more sane.

A little vino, a little company

Today I started at the rooftop pool and enjoyed a few laps and a brief moment of sun before the clouds gathered for a quick shower.

No worries (as they say here). I had to get ready for my "date" with a colleague here in Brisbane. A native Australian, she was kind enough to give up her Sunday with her two teenage daughters (actually she thanked me for getting me away from them, big surprise!) and take me to the Sirromet winery....

for lunch, some wine,

and some jazz....

Then, after she dropped me back at the hotel, I joined "the men" and as usual, I was the only woman at the dinner table. No worries. They were gentlemen and actually listened when I spoke, sought my opinion, and most importantly, bought my drinks.

We dined at the Marco Polo restaurant in a heritage building - part of the old Treasury complex - that has been turned into a casino. Get, I thought it was amusing. It was quite the dining experience. Glad I didn't have to pick up the bill.

Today the meetings begin in earnest and I won't see outside the hotel until we venture out for dinner. Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday in the U.S. - it's back to business and Monday here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More Brisbane Sights.

After another day (Saturday) of wandering around and seeing sights like...

Equestrian Police Prancing on the Lawn

Saturday diners in South Bank cafes.

A cultural photo journal contest

Large screen showing of sports and movies in outdoor stadium.

And hey...isn't that Pippi Longstocking's long-lost brother????

I enjoyed some time by the pool and started "A Thousand Splendid Suns" - which so far is excellent. Then I cleaned up for Saturday Night in Brisbane. Since no one has been traveling with me to take my photo amongst the sights...I stretched my arm out and took one.

Remind me to work on that double chin when I get home.

I met a colleague in our lobby.

Hope no one suffers from vertigo. This is the view down from the hallway outside my room.

And we dined by the river - at a great seafood restaurant where I had wok-seared calamari (a first for me - not smothered in batter), and then got my fry fix with a local treat of fish and chips made with lightly breaded sea bass.

On the way back we got this photo of the bridge at night.

And I got this pic from my room window.

Today - more adventures. This time a local winery for lunch, tastings, and a little jazz. Then dinner with the team. Stay tuned for more from this exciting travelogue.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Let's Watch Every Drop"

Today ended up with a water theme.

For those who may not be aware, Australia has been experiencing a tremendous drought - universally believed to be caused by climate change phenomena. Earlier this year, their water supply was so short (less than 20% capacity in their reservoirs).

A rainy Spring and some recent unusual Summer rains have brought the capacity up to 40%, but water is still a precious commodity. The entire country is making aggressive changes to the way people live. And they are asking visitors and tourists to do the same.

After being made aware of it throughout the day with closed fountains/water features...

...where the features that are still open, provide signage to assure people they are still complying with drought precautions.
...the sculptures along this area still have their reflecting pool, but the fountains have been turned off... when I got back to the hotel and "just breathed" as Kiki recommended...I almost felt too guilty to enjoy the lovely rooftop pool. Almost.

Postscript: No zoo today - sorry J - maybe next time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Reporting at 10:25AM 2/16/08 Brisbane Time

I had a glorious night of sleep. I thought I'd be up for a while, so I ordered a pay per view movie in my room, but I was sound asleep about 10 minutes into 8PM local time. I woke up a few times in the night, but was lulled back to sleep by CNN, or some sports channel that seems to only show rugby and cricket - two games I definitely do not understand.

So now it's go time again. Despite forecasts for rain, it looks promising outside, so I'm going to either (a) hit the zoo and see me some koalas or (b) go back to the South Bank area that I skimmed by yesterday. There looked like some tempting spots to sit and people watch and/or explore some art galleries or craft sales.

Photo essay when I return.

Friday Feelings - from Brisbane

Today's Top Feeling:

I feel Independent

Traveling by myself always brings my anxiety to a climax point. So much so, that Hubby has gotten used to my inability to complete a coherent sentence, much less show him any affection, in the 48 hours prior to a big trip. I'm not so bad if it is a trip I've made before - I know where to go, what to do, who to call, general directions, etc. But this trip? Flying all the way around the world to Australia? The only thing that might have tipped me further over the edge would have been having to deal with a foreign language.

But today, I conquered a strange city in a strange land.

I figured out the power adaptor and these strange outlets...
(don't they look like a distressed emoticon?)

I managed foreign currency...

I did the river boardwalk....

The botanical gardens....

The maritime museum....

The Parliament House and Queensland University of Technology grounds...

Caught a group of "Madeleines" strolling the campus....

Explored the South Bank area...

And finally the Queen Street Mall.

So, even though I was bitten or stung by some strange insect that I never found but who left small welts on my side, my back and my hand (not to mention making me look like a yelping crazy person as I walked down the street) before finally departing my shirt...and even though I had to walk around the block twice before I found my hotel again...and even though I'm staying in for dinner tonight...I'm feeling pretty darn Independent today.