Monday, March 27, 2006

Chex Mix – unrelated tidbits that taste good together

**salty** It’s difficult to live in ACC country. When I first moved here, I had no idea that March was DEVOTED to all things basketball. It’s not that I am completely unaware of college basketball and March Madness – sure we watched the games in Arizona. And of course those ribald Wildcat fans would give you no peace if they were part of the 32/16/8/or 4 …. I, as a Sun Devil, was required to HATE the Wildcats if we had a prayer of making the tournament – but once we were out of it … most of the state shifted their loyalty to that desert town to the south. Wildcat fanaticism is especially prominent in the Arizona ag-business world since Tucson is the land-grant school and ASU is the “Normal” school. <begin editorial comment> And for those of you who didn’t think I was Normal – HA! See I was ACCEPTED and GRADUATED from the NORMAL SCHOOL – so SHUT – UP. </end editorial comment.> As I was saying … most people in the ag-industry are Wildcat FANATICS – so I became very gracious (because I didn’t want my office painted Red and Blue as was known to happen if you were an ASU Alum) once ASU screwed up (opps I meant DIDN’T TRY HARD ENOUGH) and was out of the dance. Most, turned their loyalties south … except MOI. – Mit Moi to you! I always back the California Pac Ten teams. My loyalties start with those furthest to the North, public over private school, and work their way South. So the hierarchy is something like this: Cal (Berkeley) Stanford UCLA USC Then I’d jump to the Big 12 OU Texas Longhorns Texas A&M Followed by the Big 10: Purdue Univ. of Michigan The Big Sky Gonzaga Finally, at the bottom of this list landed (thanks to Steeley Dan) The Crimson Tide Wake Forrest’s Deacon Blues Can you see the pattern here? With the exception of the Steeley Dan picks, it’s all WEST of the MISSIPPI. But this was just a loose loyalty – it did not control my life. I would fill out a bracket sheet – sit in Mac Mashers Bar on a Saturday – IF I was in town, and look at the TV screen every once in a while. Then I moved HERE. My first clue that I’d landed on a different planet was when a group of women from church were considering an outing in MARCH – and it was decided we COULDN’T GO TO THE BEACH – because of MARCH MADNESS!!! I was like, excuse me? I mean, I know no self-respecting sportswoman would plan on missing OPENING DAY OF TROUT SEASON … and might be hesitant about missing opening day for Pheasants and Ducks …. BUT IT’S JUST ONE WEEKEND. And unlike basketball, there is no newspaper coverage OR ENDLESS RE-RUNS of all the “best” shots on TV. But not doing anything for a whole month because of basketball??? So I must announce with some glee (and realize I’ve just jinxed the team) GO UCLA – kick BUTT! Because where’s the ACC ???????? Hmm? They must be AT HOME eating mushy vegetables and crying in their MOMMA’s apron. ‘Cause they sure as hell are not IN THE FINAL 4! (Bwhahahahah) **crunchy** MANIC – MANIC – MANIC! I actually love this segment of my emotional cycle. NOTHING.CAN.STOP.ME! Not lack of sleep, professional disappointments, ugly inner-voices, or anything else. I.CAN.DO.IT.ALL!! Witness the last week after returning from Georgia on 3/17 – Saturday night - Cook Asian themed menu for friends Sunday - Do laundry from trip after church, see Capote movie with friends Sunday night Monday night - Attend Southern Authors Book club – write cover letter for possible job interview Tuesday - Go grocery shopping at lunch, make Asian coleslaw in the evening for dinner at a friend’s house Wednesday Wednesday - Mop kitchen floor in AM before going to work, eat Fried Fish with friends on Wednesday night, revise cover letter after dinner Thursday - AM *before work* make marinade for Garlic Lime Grilled Pork Tenderloin dinner. Call and invite visiting friend from Washington to join dinner group that night. After work, host dinner club at my house, and stay up talking WAY past bed-time to Washington (state) friend. Friday - Talk to head-hunter (who contacted me) about a different job (than the one mentioned above) on way to lunch with long-lost NC friend, host “the girls” for Pizza, Wine, Champaign & Fancy Desserts dinner at my house (and order/pickup all the food, NO cooking) Saturday - Send out 21 “job networking letters”, wash laundry again, clean kitchen, put-away grilling stuff, clean out “grilling accessory trash-can” that was filled with rain water, rendering charcoal useless, mail taxes, mail expense check, stop mail, stop newspaper for upcoming trip Sunday – Pack suitcase, dust-mop house, empty garbage, put away Champaign and wine glasses, water plants, eat breakfast, file bills, load car, go to Church, attend Contemporary Service, Sunday School, Big Peoples Church, catch airplane, land in Georgia Why can’t I be on this emotional track ALL the time? **burnt** Great! I made it to Georgia! All my flights were on time! No delays! I arrived at the new Augusta terminal that has opened since I was here 2 weeks ago! I by-passed luggage claim to pick-up my rental car! Then I returned to the baggage claim to pick up my small suitcase ….. I watched everyone get their bag … I watched the empty conveyor belt circle 2 times …… I walked to the ticket counter. Me – out-loud: “My bag didn’t show up at the baggage claim” Smiling counter lady: “No problem. Let me just go in the back and make sure it wasn’t MISSED”. Me - inside my head: “The plane only had 14 PEOPLE on it … HOW CAN ONE BAG BE MISSED????” SCL: “Well, it’s not back there – but it will be on the next flight out of CLT. Where are you staying?” Me – out-loud: “In a town 75 miles away from August – TONIGHT”. SCL: “No problem, it will be on the next flight which lands at 7:20 – and we’ll have the delivery driver drop it off at the front desk of your hotel”. Me – out-loud: “Great, but you know, I’ll only be at that hotel TONIGHT.” Tomorrow night I’ll be in Savannah.” SCL: “No problem! If for some reason we don’t get it to you tonight, just call and change your location, and we’ll send it directly to Savanna on Monday.” Me – out-loud: Great! Me - inside my head: “Oh GREAT – 5 days 3 cities – fat chance this is ever going to work out right.” “Stop that – you know PLENTY of people who had delayed luggage, but it always shows up.” So I drive the 45 miles. I check in. I tell the clerk to be on the lookout for my luggage. I go to dinner. I come back. > > > 8:00 pm No phone message saying, “Your suitcase is here.”
8:30 Answer e-mails start blog
10:00 pm – go on-line to track bag
10:20 No answering e-mail
10:30 – go to front desk get toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant
10:45 call 800 line, no bag found yet
11:00 call 800-number - to change tomorrow's delivery address - navigate through endless phone menu - get “empty air sound”
11:10 – dial again because of “empty air sound” after being told, “the next rep will be right with you” and no one ever picking up phone
11:20 – because of dyslexia spend 10 minutes trying to dial number CORRECTLY
11:30 – dial number correctly – get “empty air” sound – but stay on line
11:40 – human picks up the phone ….
11:41 Explain need to change address be put on hold
11:45 Human says “I’ll be with you in just a minute”
11:46 – Go back to “empty air” sound
11:50 – Human says, “I’m checking something”
11:51 – Go back to “empty air” sound
11:53 – Human asks if, “Port Went” is in Georgia – I tell him I don’t know where “Port Went” is, but “Port Went-WORTH” is in Georgia where I’ll be staying Monday night!
11:54 – Human says, “I found it!”
11:54 – I ask if “it” is the bag or the address for the hotel
11:55 – Human (although, I now question this) says “it” is the hotel
11:57 – Hang up knowing I will not see my bag for any of this trip
11:58 – Say prayer for bag - hope it makes it to the Final Four to see UCLA -and hope it has a good time
11:59 – Post blog and go to bed.

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