I'm back in Massachusetts, the Southwest a distant dream at the moment. It took forever to get here, or so it seemed. You just can't get from Point A to Point B these days without a lot of expense and a lot of stress. The best thing to do is prepare for it. I spent literally the entire day and most of the night on Monday traveling from Albuquerque to my home 20 miles west of Boston. It involved three airport, two planes, a van, a bus, a taxi, and possibly a partridge in a pear tree.
I've been traveling since I was a child and have put in some time as a travel writer so it's not that I'm inexperienced. In fact, the experience comes in handy these days. I can spot the best places to buy food in an airport with one quick scan of the terminal. As soon as I clear Security I buy a bottle or two of water for the flight. I avoid the salty pretzels on the plane like the plague. I set my watch for the time zone in which I am headed when I get on the plane. I am never without a paperback for the journey. Of course, I'm never without a paperback anyway. This time it's "Power Play" by Joseph Finder, another MA resident but one I have yet to meet. His books make time pass rather quickly.
I usually fall asleep when I get on the first plane these days. A good trick to learn. Those catnaps really help. A personal best was falling asleep before pushback on a flight to Dallas. Or was it the one to St. Louis?
I have spent the week trying to play catch-up and I'm still not there. Despite asking everyone to hold all mail and turning off most lists I have still been overwhelmed by e-mail. And there was a stack of bills waiting for me, plus the deadlined article for a peer-reviewed journal that I somehow agreed to write.
This wouldn't be so awful if time were on my side this month. It isn't. I drive to PA next weekend where I'm a Learning Facilitator at Kutztown University. I will be teaching from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and then turning around and driving back to MA on Sunday. Considering the cost of gas these days, the trip will be less enjoyable. At least I can take my laptop with me and get some work done. Or not. I'd be happy to have WIFI and keep up with e-mail while I'm away.
E-mail, lists, online networking and now I'm the as-usual-late-to-the-party person to hear about even more stuff. Can someone please tell me what Twitter is supposed to be? Just one more thing to do? Helpful? Time-consuming? Useful?
Is any of this making sense? I really don't know if any of this is helping us make better use of our time on the road or taking up more of our time.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation