Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What you learn in two hours in an airport

I spend most weekdays at my desk, eyes firmly affixed to my Bloomberg screen, like this guy:

Picture of a man, similarly under the Svengali spell of the Bloomberg
terminal, with a much cooler, 4-screen set up (I just have 2).

My running internal monologue looks something like this: "ooh, Rescap long-dated bonds are trading at 55! Interesting. Claire's senior toggle notes are at 62! Sweet. Tribune 3 year CDS is trading with 54 points up front! Yikes. Conference next week in New York! I should sign up for that. Rescap long-dated bonds update: trading at 52! I knew that company was no good. Yay me! Claire's senior toggles at 60! Hmm, maybe the market is down today? Claire's is a fantastic company and so should only trade down when the market is down, right?"

That pretty much sums up most of my weekdays. I watch messages flash by on my screen; I congratulate my brilliance; I curse my stupidity. Repeat.
Except yesterday and today, I had the opportunity to unlock the chains that keep me at my desk and travel. I love traveling for long as it's not too often. It mixes things up. I get to go to board meetings and pretend I'm an important board member whose opinions steer the direction of my favorite environmental remediation company based in Tampa. I get United miles and Starwood points. I get to go running with my much faster board member friends who are nice enough to slow down to keep me safe from the "persons sans domicile" between our hotel and Bayshore Boulevard. And, inevitably it seems, I get to spend quality time at the Tampa airport, because we usually finish our meetings with more than enough time to catch our flight.

It's cool, though, because I get to hang out with my colleague/friend Ellen, who is very fun to spend time with at the airport. That is, until I start revealing details about myself and then she entertains herself by making fun of me. Apparently, I'm a pretty nutty kid. Facts which perplex Ellen/provide her with fodder to tease me:

  • I recently signed up for subscriptions to both Traditional Home and Us Weekly. While perusing magazines at the airport, I'm overheard saying: "What a lovely chaise! Oh! Gross! Jennifer what are you thinking?!?! John Mayer is ick-y!!! Am I edgy enough to read Elle Decor? Scientology boot camp!? Weird."
  • Most played on my ipod during this trip: episodes of The Office, Georges Bizet (Carmen), Anchorman, and the Dartmouth Aires (getting in the mood for my upcoming reunion).
  • I read photoshop books by Scott Kelby when I'm waiting to board the plane, even though I'm nowhere near a computer. Yes, I visualize playing with photoshop, since I rarely have time to actually play with photoshop.
So now you know. And knowing is half the battle, apparently.

Will you still be my friends?

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