Five Things Friday Vol. 87

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

I am tackling a long to-do list this weekend. This will be the last weekend before my trip to Germany that I will be home and I need to get some things done (e.g. taxes, pay DMV registration, start writing a travel packing list, and run some other odds and ends errands). The last couple of weeks before a big trip always seem like they fly by and all of a sudden there’s so much stuff to do before I leave. Do you know that feeling, or does this only happen to me?

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I also sat down this morning to fill out our Primary Ballots. Our election in California is held on Tuesday. I don’t know how much time you put into filling out your ballots, if you’re generally an informed citizen, or are ignorant of many things. I feel like I am trying to be informed as much as possible but still remain uninformed in so many ways. I take the time to research propositions, measures, and people who want to be elected to offices before I fill in the “bubbles”, but man, I can see why it’s such a task to get people not only to vote but to vote responsibly backed by factual information. So often, when I read the “pros” and “cons” of a proposition in the voter guide, I cannot tell why one argument is superior to the other because it doesn’t provide enough information to really make an informed decision. And then I also often feel that the options are so “limited” and we have to choose between the lesser of two evils if you know what I mean.

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I worked part of last weekend on a presentation for Tuesday that then got canceled late Monday afternoon. Go figure. It was rescheduled for a date later in March when I will be in Germany. I pushed back and said it had to be rescheduled again because I would be on annual leave at the time but needed to be there. Here I am continuing to stand up for myself at work. Uff. It’s still not coming easy to me, but I am trying.

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On a different note, the Great Horned Owl nesting outside my office window hasn’t been seen on her nest for the last few days. I’ve been checking the “live stream” link multiple times a day but the nest appears abandoned. Apparently, someone checked with binoculars from the 5th floor and there are 3 eggs in the nest but would the owl parents leave the eggs unattended for days? Mama and Papa Owl have everyone in my office very much concerned.

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To close out for today, I need your help: I realized that I’d be in the market for a new travel pillow for my upcoming international trip. My previous (inflatable) one finally bit the dust and I am quite happy to replace it because it wasn’t ideal to begin with. Do you guys, or your frequent traveler partners, have any recommendations for a true-and-tried travel pillow that is portable, but comfortable?


  1. excited for your trip to Germany. how long will you be there? visiting family and friends? how fun! especially excited to try fresh baked breads?
    kudos for pushing back on rescheduling your presentation later. we need to stand up and protect our vacation time.

  2. San, I know exactly what you mean about travel and preparations. Suddenly, there is SO MUCH TO DO. I find the week prior to travel to just be so hectic and busy. I’m so excited for you to go to Germany – and good for you for pushing back about the presentation. I mean, if they can reschedule for late March, what’s the difference, they can push it back a few days. Proud of you for standing up for yourself and your excellent work!
    We had an owl in our yard in the late fall, and now it’s gone, so it must have nested somewhere else. They are such amazing creatures.

  3. Oh yes, I completely understand what you mean about those last few weeks/days before a trip going by too quickly. There is always so much to accomplish before a big trip! I’m excited for you holiday — how nice to be heading back to Germany.

    I wish I had a travel pillow recommendation, but nothing works for me. My head falls forward when I’m sleeping and nothing helps. I’ve tried a bunch of different types of pillows. My husband has one that’s long and wraps around one side of his neck and front of his chest, almost like it’s hugging him. He likes that well enough.

    The presentation cancellation sounds so frustrating. Especially if they are trying to reschedule it while you’re away! Good on you for pushing back.

  4. Wishing you loads of fun in Germany! I still get excited going back home every time :) I hear you on the voting. I already dropped off my ballot and feel very privileged to be able to do it now but the options and the information out there are overwhelming.

  5. The week before a trip is always hectic; its like the time crawls when you have a month left and then somehow disappears when you have a week left. I am not sure how that works, but it seems that way every time. Aghh taxes! I need to do mine today or very soon, although I am not in a hurry, as I generally have to pay. I am not looking forward to that, so it makes me want to put it off, but really I need to just get it done. Have fun in Germany and I can’t wait to see photos of your ski trip!

  6. Yay! Your trip is so soon. How fun!
    I don’t know that I have a great travel pillow. I bought one of those neck pillows for plane travel and it works well enough for me, but it’s not great unless you’re sitting upright.

  7. I am so excited for your trip! It is going to be so nice to be around your family again. <3

  8. Heard a lot of good things about this travel pillow: Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow for Neck, Chin, Lumbar and Leg Support – Neck Pillows for Sleeping Travel Airplane for Side, Stomach and Back Sleepers – Adjustable, Bendable Roll Pillow. Not inflatable tho, but I’m intrigued to buy it.

  9. I love the Trtl travel pillow. It is basically half of a C-spine collar wrapped in fleece. It is perfect for propping up the neck and avoiding the dreaded bob and neck snaps that occur when falling asleep. I’ve had mine for a few years and I just saw the price….mmmmmm. This slightly dampens my rec.

  10. I’m exactly the same with travel, everything feels under control and then you get to the week before and realise you have a pile of things on your todo list. I have a memory foam pillow that I got from an airport and it’s fine. Has got me through numerous 30+ hour travel days. Nowhere is really close when you’re travelling from Australia.

    I hope the owls are OK.

  11. We are a super Tuesday state as well so our primary is today. I usually wouldn’t vote in this primary since I’m not a Republican (seems like the big thing to vote on is the Republican candidate) but in our state, you don’t have to be registered with a political party to vote in the primary so Phil and I are both going to vote for Nicki Haley. She doesn’t seem to have a chance to getting the candidacy but we loathe Trump SO MUCH that we will go out of our way to vote for her since we feel she is a far better option that him.

  12. So excited for your trip coming up! I never really travel with a travel pillow…though I probably should because I always find sleeping on planes to be SO uncomfortable. But I don’t like the idea of having to lug a pillow around. When we went to Europe a few years ago I did take a pillow and just hooked it on the outside of my backpack. I still found it to be a little annoying to have along though, so I haven’t traveled with one since.

  13. I’m so glad you are getting to take this trip. It does sound hectic to get everything done before you go. How long will you be gone? I do not have a travel pillow, so I can offer no advice. I’m sad about the owl eggs. I sure hope the parents return, but it seems doubtful at this point. And I agree, I often know what I want to vote for but then I get there and there are things on the ballot that I wasn’t aware of. Great job speaking up for yourself and your project. I hope they schedule it for a time when you ca be there.

  14. I have a BCOZZY neck pillow for travel, and I love it. I agree with everyone that the week before a trip is hectic! I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  15. Oh now the owls. I bet you know when you are back in office after your trip.

    Also congrats on standing up for yourself and asking for the meeting to be rescheduled again. It’s hard.

    Also hope your traveling is going really great and you enjoy your time home.

  16. AHHH! I am so excited for your trip home! Cannot WAIT for the updates when you return, as I suspect you will (rightly) be focusing on family. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time, my friend. Travel safely (and swiftly!) and soak up every minute with your loved ones. <3

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