So: California

Here’s a scene from my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area.


I lived there from 8th grade until I was 26. My parents still live in the area. Don’t make it out there as often as I’d like but I’m hoping this new business opportunity changes that. Fingers crossed!

A big thank you to Bruce (the husband) for writing yesterday’s post. He may be writing more soon based on the overwhelming response!


So: murphy’s law


see what Scott means?

see what Scott means?

ss_CoorsLightCanMr. Murphy is no friend of mine today. I’m writing this post 10,000 feet above the earth, in what my friend Scott refers to as a flying Coors Light can. I’m heading to Northern California for a meeting, but since early this morning it has felt like every stumbling block that could crop up has.

mur·phy’s law

A supposed law of nature, expressed in various humorous popular sayings, to the effect that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Frankly I’m a little concerned that I may have forgotten something important like underwear considering I packed in a complete mad dash. You see, this morning was when the water heater decided to malfunction. Don’t get me wrong. I had a hot shower so my fellow plane passengers aren’t cringing. But after I came back after hopping in the car to leave (I forgot my toothbrush) I heard a loud hissing.

Of course, I called Bruce so he could trouble shoot via FaceTime (thank you iPhone). I turned off the things he told me to. I then got back in the car, looked over at the Urban Farm and realized that the tomatoes were still covered up and it would be 60°F today. They’d cook under the frost cloth.

So I jumped back out of the care and ran across the lawn in my work attire. I started uncovering the tomato plants. That’s when I heard it: the sound of water pouring out of something!

Damn damn damn.

You see we do not have a gate on that side of the yard. The previous owners didn’t install one. So I had to jump back into the car and drive around the house to see what happened. I suppose I could have just parked the car, gone in the house, then exited the front door, but I was already late and I was hoping it was something easy like someone left the hose on by the peach and plum trees.


If you’ve ever driven up to your house and seen steaming hot water pouring out of your roofline through a PVC escape pipe, you know exactly how I felt next. I threw the car in park, ran over to investigate, called Bruce to come home from work and help me, then unlocked the front door and ran back to the water heater that lives in it’s own cute little closet.No water in the closet. Yay!

I ran into the room that’s right below where the water was gushing out. No water ruining the room. Yay!

Next I pulled down the attic ladder. You see in Texas, they put all of the mechanical stuff in the attic, out of the way. I know. It makes no sense to me either. It’s boiling hot up there when your AC breaks in August and the HVAC guys are not happy to go up there. The cable and phone guys don’t like it either. Neither does the plumber. But still no water pouring out into the attic. Yay! (By the way, that happened in the old house and let me tell you it really sucks and is very scary to see water pouring out of your pot lights when your water heater valve explodes off the water heater on a Friday night.)

Bruce had a look, Jim the plumber called him while he was looking and together they secured the water heater and got the mystery water stopped.

Now Jim was already booked up, but he likes us so he and Bruce met up this afternoon and after $135 everything is ok.

Jim cracks me up. He’s a southern gentlemen in pressed Wranglers and cowboy boots. He calls me Mrs. and ma’am. He won’t let me help him or his assistant unless we are asking him to install a faucet that comes from Europe. He’s lectured me about my greenness and doesn’t like low flow toilets much. But je’s been around since we moved into the Mortroski Midcentury so he enjoys seeing what we’re doing to the place. Today he asked to check out the Urban Farm since that’s new to him. Bruce tells me he was impressed and it also led to one of Jim’s stories. You see apparently if you are a widower of a certain age and you live out in East Texas, there are many oil widows who love to garden. So Jim enjoys attending Garden Club meetings so he can expand his pool of local ladies to date. I’m pretty sure Jim would NOT have told me this story, but truthfully he likes Bruce a lot especially since he’s now an American.

But I digress. I was approximately 2 hours late for work. We were still knee-deep in getting stuff done for the meeting. I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten to do something there, but I figure if I keep typing my brain will remind me. Except it’s hopped up on my supplemental allergy medicine that my doctor wanted me to take so my ears don’t fill with fluid on the plane. If I wasn’t so stressed from this day, I’d probably be sound asleep.

We had to rush for the airport. I tried to make sure I brought the necessary work stuff and noticed that I was missing a power cord. Damn! It was at home on my desk. Oh well.

The TSA experience was pleasant enough, until someone spilled something all over the checkpoint. I already had my shoes out, the bins full of electronics, sweaters and toiletries. They said we could stay, but the last “clean up on aisle 4” took 30 minutes. I opted to hike 15 gates to the next security entrance with everyone else who was in line there. My sweet boss because she flies so much and is a statuesque blonde, got to Fast Pass the line since they had no Fast Pass people waiting (I bet it was a free sample to get her to buy the Fast Pass). Of course, I had to go through the regular line. At least I didn’t get the special massage and packing assessment today!

Plane was delayed by 30 minutes because we were missing the pilot and first officer. Typical for this airline so it didn’t bother me much. Hopefully with new ownership and more pilots to choose from they won’t have this as an excuse much longer.

Once on the plane I noticed two things. The fly on my dress pants had dropped, probably because I forgot to zip it at some point. And I had lost one of my favorite earrings. Hopefully it just fell into my clothes and when I go to change for bed tonight, I’ll find it. Sigh.

Two lovely friends of mine live 10 minutes from the airport. They have graciously agreed to accompany me to dinner tonight so we can catch up. I try to see them when ever I’m out here on business, but honestly, I’m not sure that they should be around me.

It seems that I have either a black cloud over my head or Mr. Murphy himself trying to mess with me. Please cross your fingers for me. Think good thoughts. Or pray. Bring me some good mojo/juju/thoughts/positivity.

Tomorrow and Wednesday need to be much less eventful, even if it makes my posts super boring.



So: middle seat view

I travel a bit for my job. I love traveling and airports and have since I was a little girl. When I was a kid going to the airport meant either than someone was visiting us (like Grandma and Grandpa) or that we were visiting someone (like Grandma and Grandpa). Or we were moving to somewhere far a way and much more interesting than where we were living.

Airports for me, even with their security checkpoints, expensive food and drink prices, and often grouchy flight attendants (at least on American Airlines which is based in Dallas), are a place of excitement and anticipation. And people watching. Nothing I like better than to observe what’s going on around me.

One business trip last fall, I saw Santa Claus at DFW. No joke. He was in “civilian” clothes: a Christmas themed dress shirt and red tie with a jingle bell necklace for good measure. Not being quick enough on the iphone camera’s draw cost me a shot that would have made many children’s day. Hell, it made me believe too. It makes a good story though.

This trip had no Santa sightings, just very little sleep, lots of delays, a death-defying taxi ride, and very crowded flights. But what days like these teach business travelers is to be grateful for the good things that come to them. Even if they’re little things.

So while I write at 10,000 feet I am grateful for the following:

1. Wifi so I can catch up on work (and today’s post).

2. Being in the middle seat between a snoozing relatively handsome (that’s for you, Kate), reasonably sized man and my snoozing coworker LIsa rather than two large business men that have been working hard all day and are in need of a shower.

3. Getting on the earlier flight and beating the snow storm that is apparently hitting the east coast sometime tonight.

4. Tracy for watching the 3G Network so I didn’t need to worry about them.

5. Not having to be awake from 5 am CT until 1:30 am ET like yesterday.

6. A very hot shower to wake me up this morning after 5 hours of sleep.

7. A fantastic training session complete with a funny attorney.

8. Finishing up the training session early.

9  Being small enough to actually think the middle seat is fine for 3 hours.

10. The improvements made to the Philadelphia airport including the nice little wine bar where we killed a bit of time before the flight.

There’s something magical and transformative about travel. For me it always has the promise of excitement or a funny story to tell afterwards. People to see. New places to explore.

Even last nigh’s “death cab” adds a bit of novelty to this trip. A cab driver who was not only out of touch with his customers (he got out of the cab at one point to talk to his pals), didn’t know where he was going, and drove like a bat out of hell, makes for a tale that can be scaled up or down depending upon your audience.

On Saturday morning I get to do it all over again. But this time, my excitement wil be the excitement i felt as a kid going to visit my grandparents. Except now, I’m the attraction. Oh, and so is Uncle Bruce. We’re going to visit our twin nieces who just turned 3. They just got big girl beds and had a birthday party. They are ready to play Barbies with Uncle Bruce and have a tea party with their company. Maybe they’ll wear princess dresses. Or dig in the dirt. I can’t wait to see their little faces and hear about what’s going on at school.

Oh and it will be nice to see my brother and sister-in-law too.