Archive for the ‘travel’ Tag

Random Bits

Catching up after a trip abroad is busy work! Cleaning out the in-box, unpacking the suitcase, laundry, dry cleaning, home chores, fighting off the head cold/lurgy that you picked up on the plane home…you know, the usual. As a consequence, I have not devised a thoughtful, well-ordered, substantive post in a while. And this one is not an exception to that. But I wanted to post. So here are some random bits:

  • I have recently watched more “tv” via streaming service than I have in years. I’m late to the party on Sherlock, but am *loving* it! Can’t wait for Season 2 of The Mandalorian. So, so, so loving the new Star Trek: Picard series! Catching up on Star Trek: Discovery and enjoying it, though the mushy annunciation of the Klingon portrayals is challenging. All in all, a good bit of entertainment!
  • My company announced the appointment of a new CEO today. Only time will tell if the newcomer will improve the culture and quality of life around here. I dearly hope so.
  • I was interviewed for a feature in Hispanic Executive magazine that’s coming out later this year. That was an ego boost, I can tell you!
  • The dressing room I’ve gushed over so much in recent posts is coming together. I am now in the slow-putter phase of calibration of its optimal layout. I love having this ongoing project to mess around with.
  • Sometimes I struggle with being patient with some of my younger attorneys. They’re doing well, on the whole, and I appreciate their energy and attitudes. But often they move so quickly and pay too little attention to detail. That’s a natural part of maturation, I know. But the energy *I* must expend cleaning up the messes they create in their haste is taxing on my nerves.
  • I posted a bit ago about an experiment I was going to do to try to break the writer’s block I’ve been suffering. I committed to writing by hand for 30 days. No word count or subject matter requirements would apply. Just write every day, whatever comes out of my brain. I started February 10th. I wanted a date that was not the first of a month and I wanted to do 30 days, not just a calendar month. I’m using a brand new, beautiful leather-bound journal that was gifted me by a very dear friend, and a nice, new, heavy brass pen I received for Christmas. It has been a good experience so far, enjoyable. I’m not certain if my creativity has yet been re-energized, but the habit of writing every day has been. That can only be a good thing.
  • My friends and I are in the midst of plotting a return trip to Asheville this Spring. Last year’s holiday was such a huge success and an epic relief of stress that we’re doing it again. Can’t wait!!
  • Choosing a new route out of my neighborhood this morning gave me a great view of some naked trees against the sunrise. I so love the pattern of the branches against the sky.

Friends, I hope you have sunshine and joy in abundance and find things in your life that spark the fire of your imagination. Be excellent to one another.

I’m Back

I returned from Spain late on Friday night. It was a *marathon* travel day that was not easy. The security ordeal (yes, that word is accurate, if mild to describe the misery I endured) in Madrid for the privilege of exiting the country was horrific. Not an understatement. But then an extra long (10.5 hours) flight back to Atlanta, courtesy of ice storms in our path forcing us North to Greenland before dropping down to the ATL, a seven hour layover there, and another two plus hours, and I was finally home, once I collected my bag and drove another 40 minutes to the West side of town. All told, nearly 24 hours on the go.

But so far (::knocks on wood::), no ConCrud!

And the trip was, overall, good. I got to see a bunch of colleagues I only see once a year. I got to participate in important leadership meetings and listen to senior leaders speak on key topics of focus for this year. I also got to experience a small part of an incredible city.

Some of my team and I went into Madrid’s city center and explored a few of the sights. Mercado de San Miguel was amazing! Such beautiful and delicious food! El Palacio Real was impressive. The Goya exhibit at the Prado was breathtaking. We went to a genuine neighborhood tapas bar and ate local food with the locals; my little group of four were the only non-locals there during our (typical) late evening repast. And the company event at the Platea, where we reserved the entire facility, was spectacular as a celebration of the last year’s achievements.

I enjoyed the event and the food. I’m paying the price still for the bazillion miles I walked. And I have a lot of great new memories to cherish. I’m counting it a win!

Here I Go Again

It’s that time of year again. Time to go to the company sales rally to kickoff the year. Last year, I had to skip it to prep for court. That was an excessively stressful time and, yet, it was better than being in a hotel with hundreds of sales people attending a bunch of ra-ra meetings with little real substance or lasting benefits.

I have a big problem with the amount that is spent on this event every year, especially when we’ve laid people off and tightened already lean budgets to the bone. It seems so wasteful. This year, especially; it’s being held in a city and country where we have no offices or facilities, so *everyone* is traveling, increasing expenses drastically.

But, in an effort not to be Debbie Downer all the time, I’m going to put effort into being positive and keeping an open mind. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to go to a world class art museum, perhaps a renowned botanic garden, and maybe eat some authentic food that I can’t get in Flyover Country USA.

We’ll see how it goes. But first, I must pack today, fly away tomorrow afternoon, and arrive in Madrid Sunday morning. If I survive all that, I may be in for a cool international experience. And…fingers crossed that I come back conference-crud-free!

Be excellent to yourselves and others while I’m away.

5 Things

Here’s a quick list-y post to keep my posting streak alive. I’ll do a more substantive one soon, but don’t want to miss my weekly target. So here are 5 things I want you to know:

  1. A chance to get some sunshine and a break from snow and ice is a welcome reprieve in mid-winter. I’m lucky to be enjoying a week in San Diego for my company’s Global Kickoff and have found at least 10 minuets each day so far to sit quietly and enjoy the sun.
  2. Apparently quinoa is real food and not fake food. I had some today and didn’t die. Or puke. Second time in my life trying it, I think. Feels like an achievement.
  3. Even straight guys appreciate a well-tied bow tie. I’ve only been asked to teach or tie one for one person this year. Maybe my annual Kickoff bow tie tying tutorials are finally paying off!
  4. Never trust an event planner when they tell you not to worry about preparing remarks because you won’t have to speak on stage this year. You always have to. Just assume that before you go to the event. Avoids the crushing disappointment of getting called to the stage at the last moment. 😅
  5. Friends who encourage you and support you and bravely offer to help with even the most delicate issues without a concern for their own embarrassment or discomfort are rare and awesome. I’ve been blessed with such friends. What a lucky Butch I am!

Where would you go?

Today’s Writing 101 prompt: Day Two: A Room with a View

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

— — — — —

Predictably, where I’d go first if I had the ability to instantly transport myself anywhere, is to Australia, to the home of my beloved. Long distance relationships suck in this aspect: not getting to share the same space with the one you love, except in short, too infrequent intervals that cost a lot of energy to achieve. But that cost pales in comparison to the burden on the soul from not loving where your heart takes you.

So I’d beam, Star Trek-style, to pick up my girl. Then, because travel is cost-less in this fantasy, we’d escape reality together. Our hideaway would be a glorious cabin in an alpine wood, secluded from the world, accessible only by air (or teleportation 😃). We would have a stunning view of the evergreen covered slopes of a mountain valley. Our cabin’s great room would have floor to ceiling windows at one end, affording us the opportunity to rest in comfort and warmth while watching snow fall on the sentinel pines.

When we tired of the chill beauty of the mountain hideaway, we’d use our transporter to visit a secluded beach with fine sand and crystal blue waters and convenient palm trees for shade. The rhythm of the tides and the sun-warmed sands will lull us to sleep under the stars.

Next we’ll whisk away to see sights we’ve only seen in books or movies. We’ll explore the pyramids of Giza and gape at their enormity. We’ll stare in awe at the artistry and skill of the ancient masters in the museums around the world. We’ll experience the flavors of Italy, Japan, Russia and Argentina. We’ll view natural wonders and man-made diversions. And we’ll find places, wherever we go, to be still and quiet together, present in that space only for one another.

You see, for me, the lure of anyplace is only it’s capacity to allow me to be with her. If we could be together in the same place, it need not be anywhere glamorous or opulent. It need only be a place of safety and afford privacy. I don’t need exotic locations or luxurious amenities. I just need to be with her.

Thankful for…fun

All work and no play makes me one stressed-out butch. Luckily, I live in a place where there are fun things to do. Also, also, also…there’s a whole wide world out there full of opportunity for fun, and travel is reasonably possible to much of it.

I’ve been really fortunate this year in getting to do some really fun things:

– In January, I got to visit the headquarters if Coca Cola in Atlanta. I was in town for a business function and my company reserved Coke’s visitor center/museum for a private party for our employees. It’s was amazing to see the pride Coke has in it’s company history and in their brand, which is among the strongest in the world. There were a lot of interesting artifacts, art, memorabilia and information to see, as well as good food, good music, good company and tons of free Coke drinks from around the world!

– In the spring and early summer, I attended several arts events. My favorite was the summer arts festival in my home town. It was two mad, hectic, hot days in our newly renovated downtown. The streets blocked off, hundreds of artisans in neat tents lining the downtown streets and musicians and performance artists all around to supplement the crafts and fine art on display. My creative heart was soaring at getting to soak in all the artsy vibes!

– Independence Day found me in Washington DC with my family. Huge fun! A dream realized in a visit to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, as well as joy in meeting my nephew’s lovely bride. I wrote about it already, here.

– In August, as I previously posted here, I got to attend the amazing Butch Voices conference and meet a few of my Twitter pals for the first time in real life. I’ve never had an experience so fun & validating at the same time!

– And, as I’ve mentioned (hopefully not to the point of annoyance), October saw me in Australia with the love of my life. Apart from the thrill of being with her for two weeks, it was also the best time of my life from a fun perspective. No responsibilities, no email, five beaches, sight seeing and tons of new people to meet for two straight weeks…bliss!

Add to that fun movies, new friends, new experiences in finding a part of my local LGBT community, good books and periodic visits with old friends and family, and my life this year has been full to bursting with amazing blessings of fun. I’m very grateful for each moment of it!

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