Friday, May 19, 2006

president bill clinton

Tonight I went to the Center for Public Policy Priorities Legacy Dinner honoring Bernard Rapoport -- Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker.

This was a great event. There were so many politicos (lots from my old days in the Senate -- hard to believe they are still around) there it was a great night to people-watch. A few folks who were there:

  • Henry Cisneros
  • Tony Sanchez
  • Jim Mattox
  • Pete Laney
  • Kent Caperton
  • Hector Uribe
  • bunches of high profile lobbyists
  • and many many more

Clinton's gave a great speech and really emphasized how we have to do something now to bring the country together and help people out. Man I miss him in office! B also gave a great speech. I wish there were so many others like him but they broke the mold when they made B.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

new york city

I just returned from a work trip to New York City. This trip was filled with many mishaps. Let me begin with the flight over...
  • We took a JetBlue flight out -- the AirBus is small so you can really feel the turbulence. We were barely up in the air for ten minutes when turbulence hit bad. We ran into a patch of bad weather (the pilot had warned us it would be a bit bumpy) and the turbulence was unbelievable. The plane was jumping up and down, side to side, it really felt like it could go down at any minute -- very scary. I was praying hard -- I think everyone on the plane was praying hard. I seriously considered driving home from NY. We ended up landing safely, thank goodness.
  • Once we got to the hotel we ran into a bit of a problem as the person who made our reservations did not do it accurately -- they had us down for one room with three people in it arriving the following day. The hotel was booked so they gave us a hard time but we stood firm and they finally gave us rooms. Of course, they wanted to charge us $399 a night -- and believe me, this hotel isn't even worth the $129 they charge.
  • Monday morning -- off to our first meeting. It was a rainy day and I ran to the mini-van that was picking us up and got in and bumped my head very hard on the roof of the mini-van. I mean I really hit it hard -- so hard I was looking up bleeding of the brain on the internet that night (that comes from too much Grey's Anatomy I think). It hurt for a few days but I think I'm ok. I hope.
  • I forgot an important video for our meeting -- we couldn't get the driver back to take a colleague back to the hotel to get it so we had to order a new car -- for some reason, no one thought to take a taxi! -- and my colleague and the driver could not connect so she gave up. Actually, there were a few times that day that we couldn't hook up with the drivers so it was quite frustrating.
  • The hotel no longer has room service so I had to find a place to order a burger and have them deliver it for dinner; which would have been fine but they stuck me with a $10 delivery fee once they got there. Bunch of crooks! As we're leaving, that is when I realize there is a "food court" across the street from the hotel with KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. in the store. UGH!
  • Tuesday -- trying to re-print a speech my boss was going to give; I called the front desk to ask where their business center was located? "on the third floor"; does it have a printer that I can print a document from my thumb drive? "oh yes". Great. Here I go to print it out. It turns out the "business center" is a crew lounge for all the poor airplane crew who have to stay at this awful has two wacked out computers with no printer. UGH!
  • When in NYC, you have to get a purse -- a fake purse. So, we're two blocks away from Canal Street for a meeting so we take that opportunity to go do a little purse shopping. The cops have really cracked down on these fake purses so no one was selling the goods. It was sad.
  • Had a great dinner at Don Shula's Steakhouse (the menu is on a football!) Came back to the hotel and opened up the laptop to do a little work while I'm watching Pepper Dennis (love that show!). When all of a sudden, I see something scurrying through the side of my eye. I screamed and picked up the phone to call the front desk. They didn't answer and as I was waiting for them to pick up, I saw a little mouse scurrying around the room and squeeze under the door and out into the hallway. I rushed to put towels under the door so it wouldn't come back in. I called my boss and she was so sweet -- she came down to check out the room and to help me pack up my bags so I could move into another room. The awful hotel was supposed to put me in a new room and send up the engineer to check things out. Three hours later I finally gave up and called them and told them I was heading to bed. Nothing -- the stinking hotel did NOTHING! Right when I went to bed, I heard the woman in the room next to me squeal -- guess I know where the mouse went!
  • Checked out of the awful hotel and went to my meeting and sure enough, our names were not on the security list to let us up into the building of this law firm. We had to wait quite a while to be cleared before we were allowed up.
  • After that meeting, I went to check out some purses I saw on the corner. BOUGHT THREE! Got one for Mom and Diane for late Mother's Day gifts. The woman put all three in a black trash bag so there I am walking the streets of NYC with a trash bag. By then I had less than $20 cash to my name -- once again the boss to the rescue. She saved me and we went and ate burgers at the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian (on Gayle King's list of must eat hamburgers). It was good and greasy!
  • So, after our next meeting, we had a driver meet us to pick us up, go pick up our luggage, go to a couple more meetings and then off to the airport for a 9pm flight. Well, we had a Chinese driver who did not speak English or understand it for that matter. All he could say was JFK. I take to JFK. We kept saying no, we have quite a few stops before then. But he was insistent that he was going to take us to JFK. So, we had to get another driver and let this one go.
  • Luckily our flight home was uneventful -- just nothing at all to watch on TV on the flight -- very restless and not a good place to sleep. We actually got in a few minutes before midnight so the pilot made great time.
  • It's good to be home!

and if you're interested, don't stay at the Hotel Plaza Milford (reverse that!)