Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thirteen hours - and whadda ya get?

Not your typical day, but a brief glimpse of my day this past Tuesday.

5 a.m.
Alarm goes off. Too.Tired. Must.Get.Up. I smell coffee and I'm up and running for the day. Or am I? Do.Not.Hit.Snooze. I.Repeat...too late.

6 a.m.
I'm standing in a line at Milwaukee's Intermodal station, sipping coffee and balancing my laptop bag on my shoulder, waiting for the line to start moving to board the train. There's a guy trying to bum $17 to buy a ticket to Chicago. I feel bad for him but don't offer to help.

7 a.m.
On the train reading when guilt seeps into my mind. Maybe I should have just bought the guy a ticket. Who cares why he wanted it?

8 a.m.
Walking through Union Station, hoping I don't have to wait too long to get a cab. I get one right away - #3763. A man of unidentified African origin is my driver and I tell him where I want to go. I notice a sign letting me know of a $1 gas surcharge imposed by the city. *sigh*

9 a.m.
Conference call of non-epic proportions.

10 a.m.
Chit chat with co-workers I hardly ever see. Amuse them with stories proving how cute my kids are.

11 a.m.
Second meeting of the day ends. Gripe to boss about co-workers. We share a laugh at their expense.

Off to a user group meeting. Hope they're serving something good for lunch that's easy to eat while chatting with people I don't know. I remember the lunch meeting I went to that served TACOS. Bad.

1:00 p.m.
I'm sitting in a chair in a conference room of another law firm, balancing my lunch in its box on my lap. Note to self: If I ever organize a user group meeting to be held at our firm, 1) make sure there are tables on which to eat and B) no tacos. Check.

2:00 p.m.
Meeting went well and was attended by representatives from the software company from London. They make me want to say "Cheerio!" I learn that Brits (at least these Brits) like to end emails to each other with "Ta!" A few minutes later I'm walking through the Chicago sunshine, watching the tourist boats cruise through the teal green water. (Unnaturally so because the Chicagoans dye it green each year for St. Patty's Day.) Thinking its a beautiful day - too bad I have to head back to the office!

3:00 p.m.
I catch a cab from outside the office driven by one Wahabi Afolabi, cab #5143. (How could I make up a name like that? Note to self: Wahabi Afolabi is a good name for a minor character in that future novel of mine. Second note to self: Start writing novel.) I make it back to Union Station with just enough time to hear my train's boarding call. I'm thankful to not have to sit in the plastic, chained-together seats watching FOX News, which is blaring at a deafening level on a TV suspended from the ceiling. Its trying to compete with the volume of the overhead departure announcements and losing. I pass an Amish man and think it strange to find him in the middle of such urban chaos.

4:00 p.m.
My seat is facing backward, but feel pride in the fact that I've been successfully able to remember which side of the train will be in full sunshine on each leg of my journey so as to avoid a trip in the heat. Something smells like saukraut and I'm hoping its not the elderly people sitting behind me.

5:00 p.m.
Train arrives back in Milwaukee on time and I head home to take the sitter home and pick up something quick for dinner for me and the kiddos. Its beautiful - sunny and warm but not hot. Thinking that hot dogs in the park sound good. I drive with the windows wide open, my hair blowing wildly and am happy to be home.

So...that's me in a nutshell on an atypical Tuesday. Does reading about it make you tired? Me too.


Tom said...

Colleen, I hope you stopped to smell the roses on your hectic trip. What, no roses on the train?? Sounds like a crazy day, I'd be whooped. (Whupped looked better but the dictionary said it meant Pussy-whipped)

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, girl....Now THAT'S a busy day! I'm impressed with your "ending." Hot dogs in the park. Nice.

Monday through Sunday said...

Very tired..very!

Suzie said...

Tired and wanting a taco

Rebecca said...

Colleen -- Love your writing style! Made me feel like I was right there with you all day.

Start writing that novel!!! ;^)

Denise Patrick said...

Wow, what a day! Do you do this EVERYDAY?! I was definitely tired when I finished reading your post.

Happy TT!

lisa marie said...

Sounds like a crazy busy day. Boy do I love my little town. :) Milwaukee scares me everytime we go there. It scares me more than Chicago! I know, I'm weird. :)

DrillerAA said...

Makes me glad I live where I live and the thirteen hour work days are now few and far between.

Have a great T13

Lilibeth said...

Too much commuting for my taste, I feel for you. What I want to know is, why is that water still green?

THopgood said...

It didn't make me just put a smile on my face!

I'm imagining a day full of train rides, Chicago, and hot dogs in the park.

You rock!

Happy2bme said...

:o) Sounds like the day went by rather quickly for you!! Very creative Thursday 13, great job!

Anonymous said...

Those Brits can't have been real Londoners - they must have been Northerners who had migrated south. 'Ta' is a word used in the North West to say thanks. Southerners would use 'thank you' because they are posh!

Cheerio is also a posh word, although it is used a lot in the midlands too.

Now if you want real dialect, the Geordies (where I live, but wasn't born so can't be classed as one) can't be beaten for wonderful phrases like "Ah Divvent Kna" I don't know.

let me know if you want more! LOL