February 26, 2011

Bored At The Airport

I had 40 minutes to kill at the Memphis airport last night. After I walked a few laps and found some bar-b-q, I decided to see how many songs I could list that have the word ‘airplane’ or ‘airport’ in them. Turns out, not very many (I’m musically challenged. If it’s not on country radio…). Since the Memphis airport doesn’t have free wifi (Step 1 when I rule the world: Free wifi at all airports!), I starting asking all of the people sitting next to me. At first they thought I was crazy, but after I got one guy talking, they all started chipping in. I know it’s a weak list, but hey – it’s pretty good for 10 minutes!

Airplanes – BOB
Watching Airplanes – Gary Allen
Pretty Girl At The Airport – Avett Brothers
Can’t Get Away – Third Eye Blind
For A Little While – Tim McGraw
Time To Move On – Tom Petty
All She Wants To Do Is Dance – Don Henley
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes – Jimmy Buffett
Why You’d Want To Live Here – Death Cab for Cutie
Homecoming – Kanye West
Every Time That It Rains – Garth Brooks
Plane – Jason Maraz
Leaving on a jet plane – John Denver
Airplane – Beach Boys
Counting Airplanes – Train
If Love Was A Plane – Brad Paisley
Paper Planes – MIA
Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra

February 25, 2011

Arizona Adventures

I’ll admit, I’m no world traveler. My travels have been restricted to the Midwest and Florida. I did venture over to Europe in High School, but as part of a tour group, there wasn’t much time for exploration. I’m excited that my job is going to provide me the opportunity to venture outside of Indiana and Kentucky. My first trip was to Pittsburgh, but with 9 degree temperatures, I could hardly convince myself to leave the hotel. My most recent trip however, was to Arizona. In fact, as I write this, I am camped out in the Phoenix airport waiting for my flight home. I’m fairly certain that I have to be distantly related to Christopher Columbus or Sacagawea, because I love to explore new places. As soon as the cabbie dropped my off, I ditched my suitcase and set out on foot to explore Peoria, AZ. As I took off with only my room key and a $5 bill in hand, I thought back to my grandma’s comment right before I left home. “Oh my, you’re going to get lost in the desert and never come home” (she worries too much). I was too excited to care, and set off on my running adventure. I really have no idea how far I ventured, 25 songs worth according to my ipod, but it was one of the coolest runs I’ve been on. I managed to find the Mariners and Padres Spring Training facilities. Even more exciting, I found an open gate. Since the no trespassing sign was relatively small, I chose to ignore it and continue my adventure inside the gate. Cool Beans. I’m soo ready for baseball season. Mainly because baseball means summer, sunshine, and dollar beer night J Day 1 of the trip concluded with a beautiful sunset over the mountains and falling asleep at 9:00 – darn time difference.

Day 2 started with the new PPG Pittsburgh Paints Grand Opening Celebration. It was a super busy day. Since this was my first real project and a lot of corporate Big Wigs were flying in, I had my fingers crossed that all would go as planned. Not to toot my own horn or anything….but if this was kindergarten I would get a gold star! The posters looked great, the coupons were a success, and we sold a lot of paint! There was even a Mariachi Band to keep up entertained. After the event, my boss and I went to dinner at Firebirds. If you’re even in Peoria, check it out – it’s awesome! I even managed to get another run in before crashing (and I was worried that I wouldn’t find time to run). It was a long day, but totally worth it to watch another sunset over the mountains.

Day 3 started nice and early. Fine with me, I had plans after work and wanted the day to end nice and early. I’m not a coffee snob, but the hotel coffee was awful. I have never been more thankful for Starbucks. The day was actually pretty cool. The local management drove me around town to check out the market and look for potential marketing opportunities. We drove to all of the local locations, scouted billboard space, and talked about local radio show opportunities. We also drove past a few more ST locations J I have a friend in the area, and luckily he was willing to venture with me on my Phoenix adventure. I like exploring new places, but you can really only spend so much time by yourself before you start to go crazy (I was starting to talk to the walls at the hotel). If you ever go to Phoenix, check out Westgate. It’s a pretty cool place. We found a bar with over 130 different beers on tap. There are now three more choices I can add to my list of ‘beers Kim likes.’ I also managed to use chop sticks without embarrassing myself. Next stop was Margaritaville where we encountered a guy on stilts making balloon creations (note – not balloon animals. This guy was making Sesame Street and Disney characters!).  The final stop was Yogurtland. Now, I’m a Zesto snob so I have high dessert expectations. This place was great! If only they had locations in Southern Indiana...I had Red Velvet frozen yogurt piled on top of Cheesecake frozen yogurt, topped with about 5 different toppings (including sour gummy worms, score!).  Pretty sweet day 3.

Day 4 = hours and hours and hours in airports. The good thing is that I was up early enough to watch the sunrise (do you see a trend here? I love sunrises/sunsets). The bad thing about my travel: I have a later flight than my companions, but we all rode to the airport together. Could be worse, I guess. I had 4 hours to explore (this airport is huge). Plus – I found the perfect spot to sit and people watch in. I could seriously sit here all day and make up stories about the people rushing by (I guess that’s the writer in me coming out). It was a fun trip, but I’m glad to be heading home. (See grandma, no worries, I survived the desert). I’ll miss the sunshine and the mountains, but I can’t wait to cuddle up with my favorite blanket in my comfortable bed and let the rain lull me to sleep.  

February 23, 2011

As lame of an excuse as this is, I’ve been too busy to blog! The last 2 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. When I started my job in August, I had a 6 month ‘probation period.’ Well, the probation period ended and the real job began!  I thought I was busy as a trainee, but it’s nothing compared to now. It’s weird. I didn’t realize how hesitant I was being as a trainee. I guess it was because I was the new girl, learning the new position, not knowing if it would last more than 6 months. Oh how things have changed!

My first ‘real world’ challenge was attending my company’s Marketing Plan presentations in Pittsburgh. Fun Kim Fact: That flight marked the 5th time I’ve ever been on an airplane. 3 of my 5 airplane experiences have happened since I landed this job in August. I should also mention that I LOVE AIRPORTS. (Seriously, I’m not even kidding! I’ve always loved visiting the airport.) Anyways, as I listened to the teams in my business unit present their 2011 plans, I realized how awesome this year is going to be. There are big plans ahead and I am extremely excited. After my week in Pittsburgh, I had 7 days back in the office. I should have spent those days catching up on work and getting started on upcoming projects. I did spend some time doing that…I also decorated my cube J I hadn’t put up any pictures because I didn’t know where I’d be after my 6 months. It’s so homey now! Well, as homey as a cube can be.

My company is opening new locations in the Phoenix market. About 10 minutes after I received my official job position, I also received a plane ticket to Phoenix. So here I am, spending time at the airport, people watching (one of my favorite hobbies). I’m super excited about this trip. Travel was one of the things I looked for in a job and it is definitely happening. Plus – this trip is to AZ - in February. I’m hoping to enjoy a little sunshine and a little baseball after work. I’ve been thrown head first into this market expansion project. It’s been challenging and a major learning experience – a sink or swim situation. I’m pretty pumped to say I’m swimming. No more hesitation, I’m making decisions like it’s my job (which it is, haha).  Anyway, I have a giant sticky note hanging above my TV at home that says BLOG! So hopefully I’ll remember to post more often.

*Note - I wrote this yesterday at the airport but my internet and I were fighting. I'll have an AZ update later. The weather here is BEAUTIFUL!

February 3, 2011

"Beauty is Pain"

I love shoes. All shoes. They hold a special place in my heart J I have so many pairs of shoes that I’m almost embarrassed to publish the number – but more on that later.

Right now, I’m mad at my shoes. As I was getting ready yesterday morning, I came across a pair of heels that I haven’t worn on a while. Beautiful shoes – bone colored, criss-cross design on the pointed toe, 3” heels that make anyone’s calves look amazing. Sigh. They are great – and they matched my outfit perfectly! So I wore them – and by 10am I was cursing them. My toes were squished and I could already feel a blister on my little toe, not cool. Normally, I would kick my shoes off under my desk and wander the office in flip flops – which I do most days anyways (shh, don’t tell – no one has noticed my weird habits yet). Of course, my plan was botched when I had to go visit one of our stores – which involved a lot of standing and walking.

Needless to say, by 5:00 I was ready to toss my shoes in the dumpster on the way out the door. I didn’t (they are too pretty to toss). Luckily, when I got home, I had blister band-aids waiting for me. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried them, but they are amazing. I’m not normally a product pusher – especially brand name – but these are awesome.

They are designed to fit on your toes and they have a special gel pad that sits on the blister. They’re waterproof and formulated for multi-day use (which sounds gross but I promise it’s not). They also have magic powers that make the blister pain free and cause them to disappear faster than normal. I first discovered these magical Band-Aids last year when the Cross Country team was using them. They are perfect for when you’re breaking in new shoes or your sock bunches up mid-race. They’re also perfect when you forget the reason why you never wear the pair of beautiful shoes that sit in the back of your closet. It's not just me, we all do it...like Frenchy said to Sandy in Grease, "Beauty is Pain." So, if you get blisters – whatever the reason – spend the money on these Band-Aids. You won’t be disappointed!