Despite the cigarette smoke and the long hours of class, and despite getting sick, I actually did have fun in Chicago. By the time Friday rolled around I was desperate to get home, home to our cats, home to my own bed. The training, however, was definitely worth it. If I thought I had a grasp on all the material before I went, I am far deeper and more aware of it now after two weeks of total immersion. I'm not quite to where I could do this with my eyes closed, but I'm close.
I've still got some organization to do on all the training manuals to be completely prepared once I start doing training for actual mollusk handlers (as opposed to practice-training on my fellow Benthic Creatures coworkers), but it's not a huge amount of work. Other than that and a few half-days scheduled for all of us to gather for a bit more preparation, it's back to "working" from home the next two weeks. Granted while we're on the road it'll be long hours and intense, but unlike when I was a consultant, that's tempered with weeks of downtime where we can relax and catch up on our lives. Definitely an improvement.
The weather's finally getting cooler and we're dragging our lazy butts out on our bikes to try to work on reaching that goal for the end of the year (1500 miles). I'm thinking that our next bike paraphernalia purchase might have to be some cooler-weather attire. I am viewing this realization with not a small bit of apprehension, however. Spandex shorts can at least be hidden underneath an oversize t-shirt. Spandex leggings are another matter altogether. Hrmm.
Richard's been really missing the ability to work out with weights, so this week, since we had the time to do it, we headed for the local sports equipment store and pestered one of the employees there with all sorts of stupid little questions until we figured out which weight bench should come home with us. It had to fit a few distinct qualifications - the main ones being that it has to be small enough to shove to one side should we actually ever have a *guest* in our guest room, and it had to be cheap. Prior to this we had to do a bit of reorganization of furniture, of course, since the guest room was currently my sewing room too. My sewing desk has now been moved to the master bedroom (a move which means I'm going to have to be very good about keeping all my sewing implements put away because certain small furry critters find such things as pins, scraps of thread, and tissue-paper patterns fascinatingly edible).
As I write this, he's got all the parts of the weight bench strewn all over the floor of the guest room and occasionally emerges to mutter something unkind about the assembly process. I'm wisely staying out of the room, since if I went in to help, I know I'd only make a pest of myself offering suggestions. Instead I'm alternating between writing this and playing addictive little games from popcap.com (Insanaquarium. Feed the fishies. Whee!). And downstairs, the box the bench came in sits in the middle of the living room floor, liberally sprinkled with a few cat toys, quite a bit of catnip, and a handful of extremely happy cats.