Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Connecting

After the terribly tormenting tragedy I INDUCED the first day of my week-long, new-state-every-day leg of a book tour, things perked up--well, for the most part. Due to the immeasurable doofusness of my own self, it seemed I had nowhere to go but UP. Yes, my own fallible humanness set the mental bar for my expectations, point of view and attitude as it applies to traveling snafus.

Keeping all that in mind, I decided to focus on what went RIGHT during my traveling days (okay, traveling daze), so here ya go with a happy-happy spin on some not-so-happy moments.

*Since I was determined I would not check luggage (different airline and state every day), I loaded carry-ons to the max. With a backbreaking lack of speed, I drug, kicked, grunted and hip-checked my way down the ever narrowing (in part due to my ever widening) airplane aisles.

HAPPY SPIN: Without solicitation, kind and gallant gentlemen offered to help me with my overhead bags. Anything to get me out of the aisle and settled down, I'm sure, so they could relax, but nonetheless truly appreciated, no matter what their ulterior motives. They didn't have to offer but they did.

*Even though I was nestled in a soft luxury bed at a many-starred hotel the two mornings I could sleep in a bit, housekeeping had not seen fit to make sure unrequested radio alarms wouldn't go off before the crack of dawn. (These things are no doubt certified by James Bond against anyone's ability to figure out their secret codes) Thus, with no assistance from me (I swear I never TOUCHED those radios!) by 6:15 a.m. either a CD started playing, someone on a static radio channel suddenly blathered into the darkness or a LOUD buzzing sounded.

HAPPY SPIN: I was already awake due to a banging door, or elevator ding, or ship's blast (along the ol' Mississippi), or ambulance siren, or train whistle (or all of the aforementioned) and once by the 5:45 a.m. arrival of a bell hop knocking on my door to pick up luggage--at the wrong room. ("Sorry, ma'am," I heard through the door after my loud "WHAT?!?!?!")
HAPPY SPIN DISCLAIMER: Sadly, the HAPPY SPIN (okay, I stretched the happy-happy factor there) was also slightly tainted by the fact these morning alarms usually surprised me while I was on the toilet. I'm sure my neighbors hated the length of time my "alarms" were ringing/singing/talking/buzzing and in one case started out singing then relayed to buzzing, but some things just can't be rushed. Plus, maybe it was THEM who awakened me with their slamming door! (Payback, as it turns out, is often accidental.)
HAPPY GONE BAD: Then again, by default and through no fault of my own--aside from not being smart enough to UNPLUG the radio immediately after checking in--I became the perpetrator who awakened my neighbors causing someone else to likely be writing about their rude hotel neighbor.

*Brilliant planning found me traveling with no laptop, just my good old HP iPAQ (love that thing) with Wi-Fi and a portable keyboard. Too bad so many hotels offer Wi-Fi that doesn't work, employees who don't have a clue how to help you and maintain no business center. My e-mail stacked up for days at a time. (I'm due for my "New Every Two" and I'm seriously considering a Smart Phone after this trip! But honestly, do you think I'm smart enough to run it?)

HAPPY SPIN: Upon my arrival home I read a brilliant article that affirmed my wireless (aka connected-less) trials. Misery does love company, at least company that "gets" life on the road as well as life on the wild, bumpy, often frustrating Internet highway. THANKS, Will Allen III. Thanks.

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