Fantasy v. Reality: Work Trips

cat on a unicorn with lasers

My enamorado XFE has deserted me once again.

OK, fine, that’s a bit dramatic, I suppose. He’s travelling for work this week.

sad unicorn
(picture courtesy of Donny Miller/

It’s actually been several months since XFE has been a work-road-warrior. I’d gotten pretty comfortable with him around all the time.

Which is why it feels like total desertion.

Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s leaving the frigid Arctic of D.C. for the sunny shores of California this week.

I’m more than a bit jealous. But I do have to admit, sometimes having perspective on these things is a bit difficult.

For example, there’s what I imagine his flight and arrival are like:

After five hours of guzzling champagne and imbibing in warm macadamia nuts, XFE lands in California, picks up his convertible, and armed with a miraculously traffic-avoiding GPS, arrives minutes later at his luxury hotel, where check in is immediate and completely painless and includes an upgrade to a top floor suite complete with a 1,000-foot deck overlooking ocean waves.

XFE riding his ocean-wave loving unicorn. In his suit. 

Here’s the likely reality:

XFE arrives at Dulles at the crack of dawn, his wallet $100 lighter after his 45-minute cab ride. After a pre-dawn rubdown by TSA, he makes his way to the gate area, where he finds that his flight has been delayed. His breakfast options at this hour are Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. So he can have a scone with his coffee or a doughnut with his coffee. Did I mention that XFE doesn’t drink coffee?

Finally, his flight begins to board. Thanks to his ever-vigilant miles hoarding, he is upgraded and allowed to board in the first group. After wedging his suitcase in the overhead compartment, he settles in to his aisle seat, while the stewardess leans perilously over him and plays overhead Tetris with two other pieces of oversized luggage that ultimately will be gate-checked. Boarding continues, with XFE being whacked repeatedly by backpacks of disgruntled coach passengers passing him on their way to the back of the plane.

Upon landing, XFE will navigate the unknown airport to find the car rental garage and retrieve his lime green Chevy Spark which is a hybrid vehicle and as such, will shut off at every stop light. It also contains a GPS that is determined to drive XFE and his luggage into every available body of water along the route. There will, of course, be tons of traffic, lots of detours, and streets that are one-way between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 a.m. on all days ending with “y.”

XFE will arrive at the hotel where he will be told that yes, he has been upgraded to a suite, thanks to all his Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty, but his suite won’t be ready for another two hours. He’s welcome to wait at the bar. Or, check in to a smaller room and move all his stuff tomorrow morning before he starts his work day.

Continue reading Fantasy v. Reality: Work Trips

“Fried Kool-Aid a fair hit, Chicken Charlie says”

There is just so much I love about this headline. I don’t even care what the story is. The headline alone SELLS it. I love that these things exist: Chicken Charlie. Fried Kool-Aid.

I really want to know more about Chicken Charlie. Why is he called that? How did he get into the fair biz? What kind of name is Boghosian? If he could fry anything in the world, what would it be? I’m glad Chicken Charlie stayed true to his roots and is still selling the fried Klondike Bar. Don’t be a slave to the fads, Chicken Charlie.  

I haven’t been to one in ages, but I have a lot of fond memories of state fairs. OK, state fair singular. But the one I’m thinking of is the granddaddy – the Texas State Fair, which takes place in the fall. My family lived in Dallas off-and-on when I was growing up and we went to the TSF a few times. On one particular visit, my mom’s boyfriend at the time bought me the most rocking winged-unicorn fake-gold charm necklace ever created.

Even better, you could get your name engraved on it! Since I have an oddly spelled name, and could never, ever buy any personalized key chains or pens or friendship bracelets at any gas station, amusement park, or truck stop that might be selling that crap, getting something with my name on it was a HUGE deal for me. It even made an appearance in my school picture that year. (OK, seriously? I just tore apart my whole house looking for that picture. No luck. I’m so pissed I want to kick the cat. Not really. Sorry, Toonces.)

Princess P was very unhappy about her photo yesterday and insisted I learn how to use some photo editing. This IS better.


Anyway, I lost the necklace a few months later playing basketball at school. It got lodged under the roll-back bleachers and I never saw it again. I’m pretty sure I cried. There’s definitely a lesson in there about how team sports are stupid. I can just imagine some janitor’s daughter out there still rocking my unicorn/pegasus necklace 30 years later. Hope she treasures it as much as I did.

 Anyone else been to a state fair? What’s your favorite fair food? I can hurt a funnel cake real, real bad.