04 June 2007

with GPS you know it's all just a matter of degrees

This morning the bor newsroom woke up bright and early to do some work. The wake-up call included a weather report. it allowed me to spend some quiet time by the lake and without other people. Breakfast in the sun was followed by a bunch of presentations and an insanely huge lunch. I think I overdid it. Then we drove to Red Rocks open space for the GPS Scavenger Hunt. I don’t really feel like getting into this part, other than it was beautiful and kinda fun because it was basically hiking with a purpose…upon returning, I hopped in the tub and grappled with the problem of how to hear the telly over the sound of the water. Finally I figured out that all I need do is turn on the telly in the bathroom to the same channel (it can only be seen from the shower, not the tub) and use the volume for that tv and the picture on the other. Curb your enthusiasm is good in the bath. So is ali G. which I am still watching. In a luscious bathrobe. We have dinner in like an hour, so I think as soon as the feet stop aching, I will head to the outdoor bar with the fireplace which is obviously my spiritual home.

They tell you to begin at the beginning, but I’m going for begin at what is please god please almost the end. We’re sittingn in DFW after an of course delayed flight out of COS and our flight is now delayed for the 90th time to about 2 ½ hrs late. I hope I get to see my apartment again.

Picking up from last time. Some sort of drinking game was underway when I made it to the bar and I reluctantly joined in. it was different rules for me as I was drinking scotch. We made our way to dinner which was sick. Under a pavilion, outdoor FP, and tonnnnnnnnneeess of food, all of which was yumsters. Then there was the afterparty.

There’s the guy. You know who he is the second you meet him. He’s the one who found a way to get off the property and get 4 cases of beer and fill up his bathtub with it and a monstrous amount of ice. He’s the one who’s gonna make sure you get bombed. We’ll call him Saviour. I’ve NEVER played a drinking game until that day. I haven’t even heard of most of them. So the flip-cup tourney was complete news to me. I was still in the midst of getting peoples names, faces, locations and job titles right. So the beer-covered desk was a strange distraction. Anyway, seeing the vast majority of your coworkers really fucking tanked. Eg, of of the more established members, who was moving house the next day and had a flight at 7am, took it upon herself to order beer from room service. Do you want to know how much a case of domestic beer costs at a 5-diamond hotel (domestic)? $150. So it was no small wonder (in retrospect), that when it hadn’t arrived 20 minutes after ordering, she was on the phone in the toilet (not ON the toilet though) literally screaming at room service demanding the bring the beer “right now”. The poor girl who showed up looked pretty fucking scared. And I probably would too. We looked like barbarians. Actually it just looked like a frat party. Or spring break. the highlight for me was when we started kicking the french doors into the bathroom like we were cops breaking into an apartment. that is REALLY Fun. I left at 130, knowing we had to be on a bus at 8am to go rafting, and when I went to bed four doors away, I could hear them rockin till the break of day.
Obviously, people looked hysterical the next morning. There were a few bright-eyed, bushy tails, but for the most part, eyes were puffy, heads were slung, hands rested on bellies and voices were coated in beer and cigarettes. We spent two hours on the Arkansas river, and my particular guide was so clich├ęd I wondered if he was just putting us on. He described each rapid hit as “epic” and advised us all to buy the kind of sandals he had on (he also complimented my solomons). He was nice and let us be pretty lazy, which was why we came floating in about 10 minutes after the boat in front of us, in last place.

Cold and wet, but certainly no longer hungover (nothing clears up a headache like the fear of being swept out of a boat), we boarded the bus and tore through our box lunches. Box lunch with three sandwiches, chips, apple, a snickers bar, some weird coconut thingy with chocolate chips and, inexplicably, a packet of ranch dressing. I ate every crumb. We returned finally and I jumped in the gorgeous tub and watched Curb Your Enthusiasm.

One of the girls I work with, Jersey, had suggested going to Garden of the Gods which I’d been all for earlier, but was now totally not feeling like I wanted to go anywhere or do anything.

You know what sucks ass? The fact that we were supposed to land at 915, and it’s 1022 and I was just told I was allowed to turn on my approved electronic device. Yeah. So fucking late.

So we ended up renting a car and driving to a tourist trap old style western town where I bought a dress to wear to dinner that evening since I apparently took “casual dress” waaaay too literally. Dinner was extravagant, and began with our CEO giving a speech via an anamatronic moosehead in the banquet hall we were eating in. there was dancing and booze and a mess all around.

I finally crashed after stopping by Saviour’s for round two. This time there were god knows how many cases of beer and a pony keg. I have no idea what kind of debauchery ensued as I could literally barely stay awake.
This morning Jersey and I got in the car (which we’d sweet-talked our way into parking for free) and went to Garden of the Gods and Manitou (?) springs. Then we drove to the airport and proceeded to get delayed for a fucking iron age.

I’m tired and pissed off and since I accidentally brought my netflix with me, and it’s “metropolitan”, I’m gonna annoy the people around me with my bright computer screen and watch it.

Ps, it was a fun time… ☺ just in case you want to hear more about the flight, after we boarded there was (in dallas) apparenlty some issue in the cargo hold. a hole in a firewall. so they had to move our bags from one area to another. that obviously took forever. then the captain said we might not get to land at LGA bc they close at 12am. but they did let us land. but there was a plane at our gate. so why can't we just park somewhere else? it's like 2am, there've got to be empty gates at laguardia. fuck me. so we finally get to the gate and get off the plane and theyv'e put all the flights that have just come in's baggage on the same fucking baggage claim. finally got to sleep around 3am. ugh.

my trip to colorado springs

Even though I’ve been traveling for 10 hours or so, was unfortunate enough to call two fairly disgusting airport chili’s appetizers (shared between five people) and a hideously overpriced Stella dinner and have to get up at 7am to work tomorrow morning, I am still excited enough to get out my stupid computer and start typing this in a word doc since there’s no wireless in my room (tomorrow, it’s lake terrace in the am, this might be one of the rare times I’m excited to be up at the ass crack of dawn). There is a television in the bathroom, people. I am now watching some special on the travel channel, on a giant flat screen tv (not the one in the bathroom), on a hugely comfy chair with a leather ottoman in one of these ridiculous hotel robes. I want to live here. Maybe I do want to be rich. Cause this shit is sweet.

It’s been a harrowing day anyway, as we started off in moronic traffic from the office to LGA. Not entirely sure why the cabbie decided to take the fdr to the triboro instead of the queensboro, but then again, the man wouldn’t go over the speed limit on the rare occasions when we had the chance to do so.

It didn’t really matter that we got to the airport 40 minutes before our flight, because it ended up being delayed. And then we sat on the tarmac for god knows how long. This might be one of the worst feelings ever. Stuck on the ground in a giant metal tube –did I mention that there are French doors out to the Colorado air (which is fragrant with wcs’s smell of choice: fire)? – waiting to go somewhere that isn’t even your final destination. Bleh. We finally got in the air and luckily the connecting flight to Colorado Springs was delayed too so we didn’t miss it.

This place, the Broadmoor, is pretty huge. There are apparently 700 rooms and 15 places to eat. I am looking forward to poking around tomorrow before breakfast and the meetings start. Maybe I’ll try to throw this up too. I’ve already taken about 20 pictures, just of the room.

I can’t even explain the weird computer thingy that controls everything from the television to the drapes (automatic drapes! See THOR). I am hungry. That is about the only problem now. That and the fact that I don’t have nearly enough free time here. We’ve discussed the cog railway to my erstwhile namesake, (Zebulon) Pike’s peak, or cycling to the Garden of the Gods, or hiking anywhere. We hope to get some good stuff in between the teambuilding and trust falls. Tomorrow is meetings all morning and a GPS scavenger hunt, whatever that means, in the afternoon. Better get some rest. I actually ASKED for a 630 am wake up call.

Oh yeah, for those of you who have no idea what I’m on about, the whole lot of we north Americans from no-suck inc. are here in Colorado Springs for a corporate retreat. Yeah. I don’t really know. Shit, I hear a train. So far, we have the best smell and the best sound present and accounted for. I have got to find a way to sneak out of these meetings.

This is the first time I’ve been West since I moved back from England, and that’s a long time. I’m taking the opportunity to reconnect with my hippy roots. I busted out the Eugene, Oregon Grateful Dead t-shirt, listened to a lot of MMJ and Son Volt on the flight over, and kinda wish I’d brought some weed with me. I’ve got my fleece jacket and my zippy shorts/pants. Sometimes I forget how nice it is to commune with actual nature, not the crap version we have around NYC (skeelz notwithstanding).

That’s enough for my first liveblog of corporate America in the Rockies. Where’s my coors light?