Finally, a weekend arrives to satiate my sanity...
March 1st, our filing deadline, came upon us like it always does -- full speed without remorse or pity. Thankfully, like the well-oiled machine we are, we managed to get everything -- or nearly everything -- submitted to the City without too many bumps along the way. Since this deadline isn't directly tied into my specific end of the business, I had some other stuff to juggle on the side, but it turns out that the City agency with which I deal on a regular basis relocated within their building so they were basically in lockdown mode, meaning they didn't have much contact with the public over the past month, so as a result I was able to devote nearly all of my attention to helping out with the office deadline.
And while we got everything in, as I indicated above, now that it's past and we hit our mark, I get to go back to my regular, day-to-day existence of dealing with the agency that keeps me busy. They were, realistically, out of touch for about a week, but between the phone numbers changing, the physical move they underwent and the quasi-chaotic nature of that kind of relocation, they haven't missed me any more than I missed them while I focused full-throttle on the deadline. Now that we're finished, they're -- hopefully -- back to their normal, everyday operation and this speed-bump was a well-timed respite for us all.
Meanwhile, there's lots happening in and around my world. Kaia has been balls-to-the-wall planning for her event tonight, and it looks like it will be a big success. There's lots of little details to handle, as there always seems to be with parties of that magnitude, and while we haven't been able to spend as much time devoted to one another as we normally do, I understand as I know how the last few days before a big event become filled with frenetic, urgent, nonsensical bullshit. When we throw one of our parties, it's 150 people in relax mode, just looking to have fun; on her end, this party will be over ten times that, replete with issues that have to be handled with an entire security staff (we have four security people), a series of rooms and areas (we have one giant room), and bracelets indicating which ticket level attendees have purchased (we have two levels -- either you paid to get in or you didn't, in which case hit the pavement, Spanky). My point is, despite the fact that our parties don't approach the significance of the one she's handling for tonight, I understand how much goes into pulling it off -- no matter the magnitude -- so instead of petulantly complaining about her being so busy, it's all I can do to try and keep her sane ahead of the actual arrival of guests, and the guest of honor. Remarkably, she's kept it together really well, and while we've commiserated about what's been happening, she's keeping her eye on the prize with her usual poise and aplomb, so while our together-time has suffered, I'm actually really proud of how much she's accomplished despite the hurdles and the bullshit she's faced.
In other news, our business cell service has been a source of quasi-aggravation. Verizon, our cell provider, has somehow managed to sneak charges onto our bill and while we don't pore over each monthly statement they furnish to us, we recently got a bill that was about 20% higher than usual, so I spent a couple hours going through it with Skippy, the Verizon Wireless account rep. Sure 'nuff, they had a variety of little charges that had no business being on our account, like roadside assistance (for $10 a month they -- in theory -- will allow the user to get gas delivered to them if they run out and credit for towing of 50 miles). It's really a nice idea -- except they stuck it on an account for someone who lives in NYC, doesn't own a car and takes road trips three times a year, if at all. So that came off pronto.
On top of that, they added similarly useless stuff onto my father's cell package, so now he can send unlimited text messages and enjoy V-Cast (a sort of multi-media broadcast package). Except he doesn't know what a text message is, let alone how to send one, and has no interest in V-Cast, let alone any interest in learning to use it. So that came off as well.
Then there's my sister's phone, which is about two years old and in need of replacement. So sometime this week we'll go to a Verizon store and procure her a new one, probably the Motorola KRZR, which is like a taller, thinner Razor. We'll address that in the next few days.
And then there's my situation. Odds are that, with my phone expiring later in the month (on my birthday, actually), and my battery dwindling so much that I barely make it through a day without having to recharge, I'm probably going to go with a Blackberry. I spoke to some of my friends who have Motorola Q dataphones, and they all have a lot of positive things to say about them. But when I spoke to a Verizon tech guy, he told me to wait six months because of all the bugs and problems they've been having with them. So it looks like Blackberry will be the way to go. As a result, I've had to convert all my data from the Palm Desktop to Microsoft Outlook -- no simple step, actually -- in anticipation of the new Blackberry. Incidentally, the concept -- at least for me -- behind getting a Blackberry is simple: I'm spending shitloads of time outside the office seeing clients, inspecting buildings on-site, and spending more and more time at City agencies, and having Blackberry means I can communicate with the office, and, more importantly, clients, without having to be on the phone all the time. I can e-mail with updates, receive e-mail, and keep myself and the office in the loop of what I'm doing, where I'm at, where I'm going and handle the impromptu emergency that pops up. It's true that I could do all that with any regular cell phone, but the difference is that having it all stream to me via a Blackberry -- in writing -- means I can keep it all organized, scheduled and efficient, and reduce the number of minutes I need to be on the phone, which leaves me to focus more on the actual day-to-day stuff I need to address. The other nice thing is that, while having a BB won't enable me to surf all over the Internet, I will be able -- on the fly -- to access the City websites I use on a daily basis, so I'll be able to keep tabs on everything I need to see/hear/know without having to call my office for updated info. I keep my soon-to-be retired Palm relatively current, but since that's been giving me issues as well -- the Palm itself has, since I got it two years ago, been quasi-unreliable but now the hardware is nearly shot -- getting a Blackberry will also allow me to keep all my office data -- contacts, datebook, spreadsheets and files/attachments -- handy and available 24-7.
Inasmuch as I'm looking forward to getting one of these devices, I know that in six months -- if not sooner -- there will be something that will be better, slicker and easier to use than the unit I'm getting that I'll want to procure. However, more and more, I'm seeing that the device I'm using is increasingly irrelevant; it's all about staying in constant communication with the office, with clients and with City people. And having a BB -- even one without a camera, without an mp-3 player and without voice recording -- will enable me to do that. So I'm kinda jazzed.
Finally, to come full circle, I spoke with a friend who advised me that she discovered one of her semi-ex's -- someone with whom she dated briefly but with whom she never got seriously involved -- was hired on a semi-temporary basis to be one of the doormen in her building. When I initially heard this, I was floored by how ironic it was/is that this was happening. But after some time to reflect, I actually think it's a good idea; most doormen are relatively friendly but they have ulterior motives: most do as much as they can to help various residents based on the eventual tips they expect to receive therefrom on Christmas. So having a semi-ex -- especially one with whom the relationship ended in a relatively friendly, amicable way -- as a doorman might seem awkward and difficult but, overall, not too bad a development. Although, I'll admit my hypocrisy and confess that if an ex of mine -- one specific one, not any thereof -- happened to move to my building, I'd move that same day. But in this particular situation, the irony is more humorous than anything else. Suffice to say that the irony is mostly humorous to people that don't have to experience it firsthand.
Finally, based on the fact that the weather seems to have warmed up in a big way in NYC, so I'm looking forward to going outside and play. Chicago's got snow, parts of Cali have rain, and the south/midwest have tornadoes...and New York is 45 and sunny. Go figure.