Saturday, April 28, 2007

Achy Breaky Shake 'n Bakey

Anakin Skywalker stopped by today - only he was in the form of a middle aged woman. She had mostly short hair with one small braid extending from just behind her right ear down to the middle of her back. Just when you think mullets can't get any worse...

Our second fashion no-no of the week happened during the same event. A man in his mid to late fifties came to the conclusion that prudence was on his side when he pierced both of his ears - one of them twice.

The week ended how it began - with a child vomiting. The first occurrence was enacted by my my manager's son on the way to the airport. The last episode involved a small child at the back of the return flight, and a stewardess with a bottle of air-freshening spritz. A light spritz may contain the less onerous odors of aging carpet, or a particularly difficult bout with the lavatory - but the regurgitations of a young person call for something a bit more stout. Thus my manager, who was sitting in the youth's vicinity, came to sit at the front of the plane with me. We played war with a deck of cards - I won.

Across the hallway from us was a Melleluca convention. Friendly people, but I didn't get any free samples. What I was really hoping for, though, was a sales battle between their head honcho and ours. I can just picture the ensuing exchange of seemingly sincere questions and feigned interest. Each probing the mind of the other, hoping to discover the hidden purchasing reservations and thus gain ground in this encounter of death. And all of it done with a smile. I have a feeling the Melelluca people would have won by a slight margin - they're a bit more aggressive than we. We only proffered information when an inquiry was made. They invited me to their conference next Thursday saying "It's only a plane ticket away!" - ruthless.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Movin' on Up

This is possibly the best test for a sound system I've ever heard:
Instead of saying "Test 1-2, check 1, test 1, check 2-3, test 2...etc." you say "Ice ice icicle, bice bice bicycle, test test testing." Not only is it fun, but it's fun for everyone!

We're not next to the waffle house tonight. We've moved to the embassy suites, so now we get a full continental breakfast, and 2 TV's.

We discovered today that Napster is not compatible with mac computers. This is not ok - not that I buy all that much music online, but it's always nice to have the option.

My college education came in handy today. I think it may have been the first time. My manager needed to write a letter to all of the corporate big-wigs back at the home office and wanted to explain/complain without sounding like we were explaining/complaining. Basically an entirely objective letter detailing, in a passive form, the events of the week. I must say that I accomplished the assigned task with unusual flair and assiduity (that one's for you Angie!).

At dinner tonight our manager was flirting shamelessly with the waitress. She told him to shut up - twice.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pepto wishes

I was awakened at 3:00 this morning by the worst headache I have ever experienced. The toilet then became a close companion. Needless to say it was not the high point of my week. Luckily I felt better after a while and was able to sleep again, and I felt ok for the day. Also, since it happened at such an unusual hour, I don't remember much other than that it was unpleasant.

If you happened upon a leprechaun and you were, in fact, able to catch him - what would he really give you? What I found at a candy shop today - chocolate covered cookie dough.

Sprite commercials are RANDOM!

Tennessee is beautiful. We drove a lot today and there is a lot of hill country here. The hills are covered with trees. It's all starting to turn green, so the countryside was colorful and just amazing. I think without a map or GPS it would be very easy to get lost here, and I can't imagine trying to settle Tennessee, you'd get lost too easily - at least I would.

Today I unabashedly wore argyle socks that DID NOT match the rest of my outfit.

This week has been rather entertaining. We've been laughing quite a lot, which I sincerely appreciate. True, it may be inappropriate at times, but who isn't?

My hotel cohort for the week just figured out how to use his video chat function, so he's letting his fiance watch him floss and brush. I think it's cute.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Have a dollar

So, I'll be having my second audition next week. If that goes well, I'm pretty much a speaker. This is exciting. 7 days, lots of memorizing, and it's all over.

Because of our random schedule, we had all morning to just have fun - which we really didn’t do, so I went for a walk. I found a nature trail at a Methodist church. It was refreshing and relaxing. The woods, the rocks, the bugs – I even saw a cardinal, but he escaped before I could take his picture. In my wanderings I also found a dollar store and took advantage of their low prices.

We were transferred to a non-smoking room for the remainder of our stay, and may I just say that I so enjoy having a hotel room that doesn’t reek of cigarette smoke.

After our event tonight we took our weekly trip to the Wal-mart. On our way there we stopped to verify our route with a young woman who was walking down the street. We inquired as to the location of a Wal-mart and she said, amidst her own laughter “You’re gonna follow this street down a ways, and then on the left – as in the left hand of God – you’ll find Satan.” We’re fairly certain that she was at least partially inebriated.

We’ve had a power outage, so I’m typing this in the darkness of my hotel room and with out the comfort of internet access. My battery doesn’t have tons of power left, so I’m hoping that the power comes on at some point during the night to recharge my computer. I’m having to brush my teeth by the light of my cell-phone – my how times have changed.


This story is perhaps a tad inappropriate, but too funny not to relate, thus I’ve saved it for the end of today’s entry – My manager received a phone call as we were stuck in traffic today. He thought it was a long time friend of his whose number always appears as ‘unavailable.’ He answered his phone by saying “What up bitch?” not realizing that it was actually the 60-year-old woman in the home office who is in charge of meals for our events. We nearly wet ourselves with laughter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I am in love with first class. I got upgraded on my flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta. It was nothing less than brilliant. Free movies, large seats, a full on meal with cheesecake, and a warm, moist towelette. I don't know that I'd ever pay for first class, but to be upgraded was just awesome.

The film I chose to watch was the film version of the fantasy book I read last week - It was worse than the book.

I believe that I'm a fan of man capris. Don't judge me.

I saw an elderly man collect his walker from baggage claim. It was inside a large plastic bag and he proceeded to carry it. I maintain that if you can carry your own walker, you probably don't need it.

After a bunch of snafoos with rental cars, hotels, and the like we ended up with a 12 passenger van and a smoking room for the night. The worst part is that the giant windows in our room don't open, but there's a Waffle House next door, and we're going right now!


At the Waffle House, I got a free chocolate milk. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On a Saturday Night

I won't get home until after midnight tonight - it's a good thing I didn't make any plans.

I realized today that the carpet in the lobby looks a little bit like a maze, and I wished that there had been little depictions of cheese, and mice frantically looking for it.

The skies are clear today and all of the snow from the last three days is gone. I feel like I'm back in Cedar City.

It's a given that being late is annoying. I admire and encourage punctuality in all of its forms. But I also feel that one should not be too early. Coming an hour and a half before a meeting that only lasts an hour and a half - that's a little too early.

We had a great week in Canada this week. My conclusions for the week - never go to Winnipeg, but one should venture into the regions of Canada that have something to offer - such as Vancouver, British Columbia, and yes, even Calgary.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Snowy with a chance of snow

The pigeons outside are still flirting, except for the few that are lying dead in the snow...(TAPS plays softly in the background...)

It's a week and a half away from May and the snow has been falling for 3 days - I never want to live in Canada.

On a happy note, I discovered that Denny's delicious pancakes taste the same in Canada.

I'm currently reading a fantasy book. I won't mention the name but it's about 500 pages long, and let me just say, and this goes for all literature, that aside from J.R.R. Tolkien and any work translated from an actual language, if your book takes a language guide to understand, don't bother writing it. It just makes the reading more tedious and irritating. I would enjoy a work of fantasy much more if all names, creatures, places, other languages, and mystical objects/incantations were simply spelled phonetically. Can I get an amen from the congregation?

Elevators are awkward, I really just don't think there's any way around it.

I haven't really met any intriguing people this week. Of course I've been sort of absorbed in my reading, so I haven't been too keen on talking to people, which is something I should really do, but I digress. The most entertaining persona of my week has been my manager. He's an ex-cop, ex-husband, ex-resident of Utah county, and highly amusing. He talks like a cowboy, wears aviator sunglasses, and shops at Buckle. His favorite phrase this week is "Whateva hooka" which he picked up from yours truly. He has less patience for people than I do, and less sympathy when dealing with them...unless they have small children. He gets his paperwork done quickly and enjoys the potato skins from the restaurant in the lobby - as we all do.

I'm now going to share something with all of you that is a close, personal subject (no, Mom, not that one...). I'm really excited to be a speaker, but I'm a little nervous. I don't doubt my speaking abilities and the fact that I'm young doesn't bother me. What I'm worried about is my almost total lack of experience. Even as a lowly sales rep I get some pretty tricky questions, but in this position I can just refer people to the speaker or the manager. When I'm a speaker I feel like I'm supposed to be the fount of knowledge for these people. I guess maybe I'll just have to stop reading frivolous material and start reading some concrete internet/sales stuff - boo.

At least I'll always have Winnipeg...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chocoalte Milk First...If You Please.

I got thonged today - twice. For those of you who are imagining wildly inappropriate, scandalous, and all-too-shocking immoral behavior - stop. To be thonged simply means that someone wearing a thong bent over a little too far and revealed the fact to the entire assembled masses. Devastating.

The breakfast muffins this morning were blueberry raspberry - delish.

Tip of the week - don't be stubborn...unless it's vitally important. The trouble is stubborn people always think it's vitally important. Stubbornness only makes the rest of us have to work harder. It's also are faucets that are too close to the back of the sink, but I digress.

I don't think people should name their children after food.

Instructions on a registration card - "Important! Complete this form and present when you arrive." Percentage of people who follow these important instructions - less than 10.

I just realized that the first three paragraphs of this post all end in 'd' words - delightful!

I really like moist food. Dry food doesn't make any anybody happy. Sauces, in my humble opinion, make the world go 'round. Everything is better when slathered in a sauce - pasta, chips, salad, crackers, potatoes, meat. Now, a correct proportion is necessary for ultimate fulfillment, but I'd rather that one err on the side of generosity.

I want to interject a sentiment of gratitude at this moment to you, my unwavering readers. Your comments have brightened my day on more than one occasion. Especially after dealing with patronizing and unseemly Canadians.

Naps are wonderful!!!

Dilemma of the week - a large percentage of the people we're seeing are either oriental or Arab. I write name tags for these people and normally it wouldn't be a problem, but a lot of their registration cards just have a first initial with a last name, so I have to have them spell their names. This process is accompanied by a thick accent which makes names that much harder to discern. Therefore, I think I'm going to give up on name tags for this week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On wheat, please.

I just finished a book of over 300 pages in 3 days. This is my life. I do love it. It's so nice to have time for recreational reading. It really gets the brain going. I recommend it to one and all.

The fire alarm kept going off during lunch today. It's one of those old fashioned bell systems that one might here at a school. Loud, persistent, unstoppable - like Rosy O'Donnell at a Republican Caucus.

A pair of friends handed me their registration card tonight and I laughed a little on the inside. Their names were Benny and Han. So, maybe that's a little obscure, but it wouldn't be the first time.

I believe that hotels have come to an agreement that all conference room lighting needs to resemble ice in some fashion or another.

It's snowing in Calgary. Well, I suppose it's actually somewhere between snow and rain. Either way it's wet. And I as I sit here across the street from the local fencing club, I long to be hiking in the mountains of Switzerland during the summer. And perhaps taking a dip in a clear mountain lake clad in only with what Mother Nature saw fit to grace me.

I love being mistaken for hotel staff. Especially the look on the person's face when we reveal that we don't, in fact, work for the hotel.

After a buffet line that would rival Chuck-a-rama on Thanksgiving day, I was ready to leave the conference room. We went to a delightful restaurant called Joey Tomatoes. It's a Mediterranean grill. I had a piece of garlic toast that was roughly the size of a loaf of bread. It was a generous 2 inches thick, at the very least - delicious. The restaurant was also pleasantly filled with eye candy. A most spectacular dining experience.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Vegetarian Dreams

Devious is a great word.

I met a man today who didn't have prehensile thumbs. His hands just looked like they had five fingers. It was awesome.

Here's what I don't get - (now this doesn't apply to today's meals, but in general) Those who get a regular, American, meat-eater's meal get a turkey croissant sandwich. Vegetarians always get something spectacular like a filling pasta dish. Who said that was ok?

Statement of the day comes from the chef of the hotel where we had our events. He was interested in finding out more about internet marketing because - "I'm tired of cooking for people." Great.

I enjoy chocolate way too much for my own good.

'Continental breakfast' consisted of muffins, apples, and oranges. I call that a complimentary snack. 'Breakfast' implies food and drink. At least make some juice available.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Landscape variation

My audition went really well. Three of the big dogs from the company were there to listen to me and they had lots of good things to say. They were very impressed with how prepared I was. I didn't feel all that prepared, so that made me laugh a little. One of them at the end of everything said "Ya know, you're just a natural born speaker." They did say that I look really young, but I knew that going into the audition. So, they suggested that I do everything possible to appear older - meaning that I now get to dress ultra conservatively. Dark suits, conservative ties, starched shirts, main-stream shoes (I refuse to wear penny loafers). All rather depressing. I guess I'll just have to fully express myself on my weeks off. What all of this means is that I made it past the first part of the process. I now get to memorize an hour and half's worth of material and audition with that. If I make it past that, I go out for a week as a speaker in training, and then I'm official, so good times and great oldies.

Returning slang: ducky. A woman in the airport today responded to an inquiry regarding her state of being with that word. I think we should all make a valiant effort to bring it back.

Alberta is different from Manitoba in that there is variation in the horizon. There are some mountain peaks visible in the distance, and there are several hills in the area. It is, however, still brown. Apparently growing season in Canada is rather short.

Several things have made this trip to Canada more pleasant than the last. The first of which being that I was the first person through customs and immigration, so it only took a few moments, rather than an hour. Secondly from my hotel window I can see the roof of the restaurant below and watch the pigeons flirting.

It's supposed to snow from Wednesday through Saturday in Calgary. Luckily we have a ski rack on top of our rental van, so we're prepared.

I've come to the conclusion that my life as a 'sales rep' is characterized by conference rooms, generic bed-spreads, and nondescript minivans. Every rental van I've experienced - even internationally - has been either silver or gold. We can't even get a bright red minivan to spice things up, let alone a bright yellow hummer.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

El Final

Everything here is written in both English and French. Some things are only written in French - this is not helpful for those of us who don't parlez.

Another restless night - I guess it's just one of those stretches. The worst night of sleep I can remember having, occurred in Argentina. It was the middle of the summer, no insulation, no fan, lots of mosquitoes. Today it's coupled with an early rising. We have a morning session, and thus weren't able to sleep in.

The pattern on the carpet in this hotel looks like amoebas. I guess, though, that they would better be classified as plant cells because of their rigid pattern...

Conclusions about Canada - at least in Winnipeg:

Canadians in general have little to no sense of humor. If they do it's usually only during certain times of the day.

Canadians are really good at getting drunk because there's not much else to do here.

Canadians are somewhere between America and England in terms of culture, language, candy, and dental hygiene. It's really an odd mixture of the two countries. And I'm afraid they may have gotten the worst of both worlds.

Nametags, as everyone should know, aren't good for leather or suede. When I hand people nametags, and they're wearing a leather or suede coat, I say "Now don't put this on your leather/suede jacket because it'll ruin it." About 90% of the time I get a deer-in-the-headlights response. Is it really that hard to understand?

Some people smell like museums. This is not ok.

We were able to catch a couple of earlier flights and thus arrived in SLC about 3 and a half hours earlier than anticipated. This brought great joy to my heart. I sure to love my Utah.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Numberless Cocourses

We saw less than 30 people all day - all this means is that my paycheck for this week is going to be minimal at best.

Last night I had a terrible night's sleep. I kept waking up and my dreams were not conducive to restfulness. I hate nights like that.

For breakfast I had a banana and chocolate milk - that made things better. Chocolate milk often does.

I'm currently watching a show called "Mantracker" It's like someone gave Prince Humperdink his own TV show.

I've received several comments from people thanking me for persuading them not to come to Canada. I don't want to disparage Canada's reputation of beauty and recreational opportunities, but I will say this - just don't come to Winnipeg.

After lunch I took a walk. This probably wasn't the best idea, but I needed to have some time to think and clear my head. It was FREEZING! I would have gladly done some shopping, but today is Good Friday and all retail establishments are closed for the weekend. I walked around a mall that was open - all the shops were closed, but the building was open. I wandered around the streets of Winnipeg and didn't see much except some really bad public art. When I finally got back to the hotel I was literally in pain. It was that cold. However, the walk was refreshing and I felt better emotionally.

I saw another mullet.

Once a lonely caterpillar sat and cried, to a sympathetic beetle by his side "I've got nobody to hug, I'm such and u-ga-ly bug." It's been one of those weeks.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Speaking of...

Today was SO much better. So much to talk about - where to start.

This morning a fascinating woman came to the show. She was an 84 year old German woman. She lived in Germany during WWII. Great story. Her husband was a POW in Russia, and both he and his parents lost their homes in the war. So she waited for him to return from Russia and then they moved to Canada. Awesome. My manager offered everyone standing at the registration table a seat, but she said "No, we're young." Love it.

We saw a total of 13 people today - all day. This ended up being ok. Why? You may ask - well let me tell you. I got to give the presentation tonight. We decided we wanted to leave early, so because of the small number of people they let me give the schpeel. It was only 10 minutes worth of the basics, but it was still fun. Not my best effort, but good to have a chance to get out the bad stuff before I audition. I think tonight was the closest I've ever come to feeling stage fright. I can empathize with people who don't want to get up in front of people. It was an odd feeling.

About 90% of the stores I see as we drive down the street look like adult merchandise stores. This is because of the neon signs and caged windows. It might also be because places like Mr. Lube have slogans like "Doing it Right. Before your eyes." - what?

Another upside of the day - we found some people who have a sense of humor. It was rather refreshing.

Because of my 10 minute mini-presentation, we got done in time for a movie. We went to "Blades of Glory" it was hysterical - slightly crass, but it's Will Farrell. I've discovered something because of this movie - John Heder really isn't that great of an actor. He basically just has one character. This character should have different, but really wasn't. It was slightly disappointing.

There are LOTS of foreigners in Canada.

Bea Arthur is on TV right now - she looks terrible.

As I was preparing for my speaking debut I was pacing the hall reviewing what I would say in my head. At the end of the hall there was an awkward moment occurring. I heard the phrases "tearing our marriage to pieces" and "you shouldn't be here" all in tears. My heart when out to the woman on one pass of the door when I heard her cry with all her heart "I just want to hug you!" There was so much anguish in the moment, I just felt bad for her.

But I still don't really like Canada.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Maple Leaf Raggin'

I'm becoming more and more unimpressed with Canadians. Right now I just feel like shouting "Yes! You'll get your damn organizer!"

I just noticed that they sell condoms in the candy machine - coincidence? I think not.

Canadians, at least as far I as I have been able to observe, have little to no sense of humor - especially with regards to sarcasm. I can barely get these people to smile. Most of the time they just look at me with a confused look on their face. I'm not used to this, and it's adding to my frustration.

Tonight a couple of rather attractive young Canadians came to the presentation - this made my day better.

Because of my extreme level of annoyance due to the Winnipeg Canadians, and other personal issues of the moment, I have observed nothing of a humorous nature today, except a curly blonde mullet. Being in Canada I was wondering when the Hockey Hair would appear, and now it has. Tomorrow I'll try to be more lightheartedly observant and uplifting.

On an exciting note - I'll be auditioning to be a speaker for my company on Tuesday. Everyone please remember me in whatever ever sort of prayers you offer, and/or send me your good karma, happy vibes, positive mental energies-whatever. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Canada, my Canada - you're a lifetime of wonder for the traveler!

Someone today asked if we were going to have a break in the middle of our presentation for the smokers - honestly, if you can't make it and hour and half without having a cigarette, you've got some re-prioritizing to do.

It's too cold to go outside and do anything. Not that we would anyway, but not having the option makes it that much worse.

Someone told me that Winnipeg has nothing to offer. I must respectfully disagree - we found a Wal-mart.

Sometimes an attractive person appears more attractive because of an accent. This is true of Australians, Italians, the French, the British, and almost anyone from a Latin American country. The opposite seems to be the case in Canada. Unattractive people are made all the more so by their accents - eh.

Our hotel has a dinosaur themed 'water park.' Which is little more than a glorified swimming pool. They have a water-slide and a pterodactyl. There's also a room down the hall with a sign that reads "kids only" I'm really intrigued by it, and I think I'll be venturing inside in the near future - after all I'm a kid at heart.

Just so that everyone is aware - today was 'don't go to work unless it's fun day' - unfortunately, I couldn't celebrate. Last week was much more fun. This week I'm with a few Canadians and two guys who know more about sports than I know about bargain shopping - and that's a lot.

Tomorrow is 'tell a lie day.' We'll see what sorts of mischief and mayhem I can cause with that.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Oh Canada

It is roughly 12 degrees above 0 at this moment outside my hotel. It's April - why does anyone live in Canada?

On the plane ride this afternoon a rather large fellow was sitting next to me and purposefully 'mining for gold.' I felt like saying "Really? You're what, 50? Really? And in public?"

Quiznos at the airport isn't nearly as good as a regular Quiznos.

It took me over 30 minutes to get through Canadian customs. I don't understand this. I walked back into the US from Tijuana a year ago, and in England all I did was show my passport and customs form. Why is Canada so anal? It's not like anyone would really want to attack them, what would be the point?

From what I've been told it's going to be a rather slow week, but we only have to move hotels once, so it won't be bad. We'll find lots of great ways to entertain ourselves, though we are in Winnipeg...