About a week and a half ago, the trip became official. I leave on October 10, and return on October 27.
Ever since I got the schedule, I've been worried about the 90 minute connection at Frankfurt. I've been periodically checking the previous day's flights -- both the arrival times and the gates -- on www.flightstats.com. I was not feeling too much better about this, when I noticed that yesterday the Chicago to Frankfurt flight was 60 minutes late, and landed at a gate that appears to require a bus trip to the terminal. This caused my paranoia to boil over.
So this afternoon, I called the travel agent, and got the Chicago to Frankfurt flight moved from the 6:25pm departure, to a 2:35 departure. This, of course, gives me a nearly 5 hour layover which should be plenty of time baring equipment problems or other extensive delays. This may also give me enough time to take advantage of the showers that are reportedly in the United "First Arrivals" lounge so that I'll actually have something resembling a normal Thursday if you ignore that it is only about 13 hours long -- following a similarly shortened, but somewhat longer Wednesday.
The only concern I have about the flight I'm on now is that when it arrives in Frankfurt at 5:45am, my body will think it is about 10:45pm. But I may still be able to get a nice nap in flight since I'll be in first class (thanks to one of the bones United threw to Motorola's frequent travelers when they took over a preferred airline this year), and they are supposed to be lie-flat seats.