Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parental Advisory: This Blog contains the "F" word

Current mood:quiet

I don't normally feel up for righting after a long night of dispatching, but today is somehow different. I sent out some Christmas cards today (Saturday), which means I put them in the US Mail receptical to be moved on Monday. Maybe they'll make before Santa comes. And then I went toward work, after a brief diversion to watch Ryan land here in SDF. Luckily he stayed in the plane this time and didn't try the landing without it.

The night at work stared off promisingly enough. No bad weather, and by "bad" I mean anything I might have to take my feet of the desk for and explain to some one why the airplane didn't land (or did land but failed to stop). ANd allw as going well until a cluster in Seattle which had a pilot out of place who couldn't make his trip in Des Moines, which then required me to contact my flight from Anchorage to check if a different pilot was on that could fly the airplane in Des Moines to Louisville. Now by this point my fun meter i almost pegged and I've done way to much work (I'll leave out the other hunt for a different pilot to talk him into canceling his reserved jumpseat tomorrow, since he's already on his way home).

SO now we've discoved Captain Crunch (not his real name) was on said flight, time to divert them to Des Moines (which is incidentally pronounced Dess Moy-Naise). Well thats done, new info to the pilots, and then Captain Crunch calls in and uses the 'F' word to scheduling. Now, most of the world frowns upon use of the 'F' word, the one that is only 4 letters long. But a cew scheduler shrieks away in horror at a different 'F' for... fatigue. Oh well, so now all my work had to be undone, and I undiverted the plane from Des Moines.

All in all, much more work than I had planned on doing. I know, its rough being me. I missed the majority of Ace Ventura; Pet Detective during this whole debacle. The horrors.

But now, I'm home and hve a morning cocktail. I'm confused as to why Grace thinks my girlfriend may or may not exist. Either she knows something I don't, like Susan is planning to un-boyfriend me; or Susan is really not her cousin and just an elaborate hallucination that everyone has just played along with to make me feel better. If that's the case, who's apartment am I staying in when I go to Birmingham?

SO that was my night. Not a whole lot going on otherwise, just holding on until Christmas comes. I hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend, and get's teir shopping done. I at least have a plan for my retail expeditions... I just all the stuff I want to buy isn't gone when I get there.

I'm still working on the plans for the holidays and where I'll be and when, lots of details to iron out still.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Imaculately polished, with the spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid

Current mood:satisfied

OK, lets try this again.

I wish I could reconstruct what I wrote last night, but I really can't remember everything that went into it. But here goes:

It's been a couple weeks since I wrote and alot has happened. The world has gotten the answer to the all time great question "Seriously, who throws a shoe?". Apparently protesting Iraqi reporters. This is supposedly some huge insult over there. Well, we know I'm not the biggest fan of GW, but I gotta give him credit for quick reaction time. I'm less impressed by the Secret Service for not shooting the guy on site. I'm all for freedom of expression, but hurling loafers is above and beyond first amendment rights... plus its incredibly rude.

OK, so I spent last weekend at Susans. As always, I enjoyed the time with her. One of the highpoints was learning that after she lost battery power to her phone, she called into the GOC to ask my supervisor for my phone number. Apparently it's highly unlikely I have a girlfriend, but they gave it out anyway. I also had the opportunity to visit Tuscaloosa, and more importantly have lunch with Ms Linda (soon to be Mrs Linda) and her beaux. It was good to see here and talk and chat. We've not been able to have our annual "date" in Atlanta since I moved away.

I also started the Christmas shopping while in Birmingham. If only Susan had known one of her gifts was in my backpack most the time I was there, she would have been rummaging through it while I slept. I also picked up and started the Christmas card process. I managed to get an early start, which only means I forgot some folks. If you don't get a card from me, please do not take it personally. I may not have your address (everyone seems to have moved in the last year) or I may have just ran out of cards. It's not necessarily that I hate you or I don't like you.

I'm looking forward to the holidays and the time off, and the beach trip. I'm going to try to see alot of people when I'm in town. I feel a little down when I come into Atlanta and just run out of social time. It's not going to be easy with the family and holiday committments, but I do my best. I'm also hoping to make some NYE plans soon, and want to include everybody (and by everybody I mean people I like, not all the people in the city... I don't like all of them... some smell).

Work is going well, though apparently there's lots more activity this time of year. I don't necessarily mean a lot more boxes and flights (there are significantly inceased amounts of both), but a lot of people running around the GOC and in our office. We don't know who they are, don't know what they are doing, and they just seem to flutter about. Of the 4 different sections in the room, I'm always amused that the dispatch side is always darkened out. We don't have nearly the amount of desk lamps on as the other 3 departments. Maybe we're being more 'green' and saving energy, or maybe we've been kept in the dark so long we prefer it. The rest of the room is lit up like Vegas. I also find its a lot of noise and activity, and really doesn't seem to be that mush more going on to warrant it. Oh well, another week and it's over.

It was announced that Delta will start service to Sydney next summer. And that may be a potential vacation destination. I've already demanded buddy passes. If not SYD, then I would like to take a nice long holiday somewhere. Ryan suggested Athens and some surrounding Isles. I told him I have no inclination to visit UGA and Lake Lanier. Just kidding. That sounds very lovely. Something to think about.

Speaking of Ryan, there's a plus to him being on the opposite side of the world. He amuses me late at night with tales of foreign locales, and the idiocracy of the cookie pushers that ruin those locales. He's waiting now to head over to Gaddistan. Which is ironic since he was doing the same thing when I originally tried to write this last night. Whiskey Oscar Alpha runs only slightly delayed... so far 2 days.

That about covers it. I am almost done with Krimma shopping, including gift that will surely annoy my brother for a while. Be careful what you tell me your young daughter asked for, she might get it :-). Should I ever have kids, I'm sure they will seek revenge for my years of oud and harrassing gifts.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas or Happy Hannakuh or Cheerful Kwanzaa. As I will be embarking on a journey this holiday season, and surely there will be lots of others with me, I hope people remember that shit happens. Don't get irate, don't get ugly. Just roll with it. in the end you'll get where you need to be. And most of all, don't blame Grace. It's not her fault! But feel free to tap her on the butt to get her attention, she loves it! And it is the preferred way to signal your need for a Cran-Apple refill.

Coming soon, the obligatory end of year reflection and new year resolution blog. I'll plan to keep making the same resolution as always. Live, love, eat, drnk, and be merry. And of course lose weight, learn another language, and learn to play guitar. I figure one year I may actually do it if I keep resolving myself.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand

Current mood:moody

I just finished an OT shift and drove home in the lovely rain, which apparently will turn to snow in the morning. The third snow event this winter, already. This doesn't bode well.

SO, here I am, just pulled up and parked in front of the house, and was sitting in my car talking to Susan on the phone, engine still running. And while I'm saying good bye before dashing thru the rain, i see a girl run out from across the street. Well... so she likes to play in the rain. Apparently the chosen dress for such activity is bra, panties, and cowboy boots. So, i mention to Susan the goings on, say bye, hang up, and shut down the car. As i open the door, I heard yelled from the girls gathered watching the street ballerina that "Oh my god, there's a guy in the car". I know, I was being inconspicuous and stealthy, apparently the engine sounds were drowned out by the rain.

Said ballerina ran back into the group of girls on the porch, and another was waiting in the door to do her dance routine. But in there all so quiet way, the girls were discussing whether I was still watching or gone. Apparently they missed me walking to the apartment. I was unlocking the door, came inside, and that's all I heard.

I find i amusing for a Wednesday night on Duker Ave. I was contemplating swinging by a local pub for some beers or bourbon or other libation. But I'm not so into solo barhopping (truth be told, I feel kind of old and pathetic) so home I came. I'm thinking about cleaning.

Is this maturing??? I need to stop it. I had the urge to go out pound some shots and be really obnoxious. It's been a while, and lately it's been a lot of early to bed nights. Last night I met a co-worker and some of her friends out to watch basketball. Very sedate, compared to the group of girls at the next table drinking large beers and tossing back shots...

I was asked by one of the people where to go for good outings in Atlanta, I had to admit I don't know. All the old haunts have been closed down. Again, maybe I' just getting old. Can't say that I like the idea. So maybe its time to rediscover some youthful stupidity. I don't want to go bck to the old drink till you puke every weekend, but some pleasent buzzing would be nice... and some social outings to go with.

Something to think about coming into the New Year. Who wants to join me?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Walking like an Egyptian

Current mood:loved

Back to the real world. I'm not so excited to be back in Louisville. it's cold, grey, and rainy at the moment. Well, its sort of drizzly at the moment, but apparently it was snow not too long ago. Judging from the 1/2 inch of the stuff on my car. A far cry from Thursday's sunny and mid 60's weather I enjoyed. And I enjoyed it at Susan's family Thanxgiving extravaganza.

Yes, I ventured into that dark territory with only my faith and charm to protect me. So essentially, I was unarmed and unafraid. I have to say the initial nerves were soothed on arrival with the pleasantness of her family and the knowledge that I could always make JoHnathon out to be a real jerk to make me look better. Luckily I didn't have to use that particular weapon. I suppose the talk with Jack Daniels also had a relaxing effect.

Let us go back to the beginning. I flew in Wednesday morning on a half empty (or half full) jet from SDF. I hung out at the airport to have a Chic-fil-a lunch and some grand people watching. I was really surprised how not busy it was. That did work in my favor I suppose. I waited for Jersey to arrive, and she handed over the keys to her car as she ran off to her family home in Jersey. An all to short visit, but I think we'll be rectifying that at Christmas. From there it was to the mom's and a nap. I'd been up all night with work and all, so crash i did.

I woke up to darkness. I forgot how dark and cave like my old bedroom could be. I really miss that. I went over to visit with the Chicago side of the family who was in town and treated to a lovely dairy queen dinner. After a quick trip with uncle Don to pick up his daughters at the airport (and showing him the convenience of the downstairs pickup option) I was off to see Grace and JoHnathon. Another quick visit, and home I went... and passed out again.

The next day (Thanksgiving), I spent the morning conversing with mom over fresh homemade fried apple pies. I had a half dozen or so sitting there, then bagged up a few more for the trip to Susan's. To me and my siblings, these things are similar to crack. You can't get enough and its so so yummy.

Grace, JoHnathon and I were off to the Gump. A lovely scenic drive, we took in the beauiful road construction, architectural marvel of the new KIA plant, and the majestic Chattahooche flowing to the sea. Very surreal.

On arrival, we were welcomed as a returning conquering army... well close to that. I did impress myself through the day by not spilling food on my shirt, and no one screamed at me claiming I was the devil and ruining Susan's life. So all in all I call it a success. Though at times there was an urge to throw food, but I suppose that's just natural.

It's snowing again.

Back to Stockbridge that night, I again crashed in my old room. Though not as regally decorated as when I lived in it , it was still cozy. I don't understand why mom didn't feel my pile of "stuff" and clothes shouldn't be a permanent addition, but I guess our stylistic opinions are different. At any rate, I woke up Friday morning (always a good start) and put the wheels in motion. I met up with Brian G for a few minutes while he and a co worker were enjoying a lunch break. I insulted his profession and was generally rude, but he likes that sort of abuse. I'm waiting for him to pull me over for speeding one day, then I'll really lay into his piggy ass.

After that, I was off to Downtown, got the accommodations for the weekend in order, met Grace and JoHnathon at Fellini's in Buckhead for pizza. Long ago, in my misspent youth, the fedex gang used to frequent this particular pizza place. Sunny Summer Sunday afternoons would find us out on the patio, with a few pies and more than a few pitchers of beer. There was conversation, people watching, girl gawking, and general fun had by all. Normally arriving in the 4 pm area and staying until 9 or 10. Why?? Well we had nothing better to do really. Following the afternoon at Fellini's, we often went to take in some culture at the Pink Pony Museum and Performing Arts Theatre.

We skipped that part on Friday, electing instead to go shopping. We tried out some mattresses and then off to IKEA. I'm not normally anti-Swedish, but IKEA does make me lean that way. Nevermind the ridiculous crowds, which the Swedes have no control over, it's the store that pisses me off. It's like a bad carnival funhouse. A maze to navigate through and you can't go back if you go in. It's really annoying.

After a comparison of every light to be had, we decided on a floor lamp and desk lamp for JoHnathon's place. Items that matched his personality, budget, and we could find bulbs for. Ironically the bulb part seemed to be the most difficult endeavor of the day.

Back to JoHnathon's high rise bachelor pad (think Shagadelic), he put his little woman to work assembling the lights while the men watched and sipped Cognac. Then, some home improvement work as we ripped down a cabinet thingy in he kitchen, only to reveal the unexpected surprise of massive holes. But it did realy open up the room and increased the feng shui-ness. Though I'm not sure the apartment people will approve, but JoHnathon has a year to come up with a reason for the missing cabinet.

Finally, the time I had been waiting for all day arrived, and her name was Susan. She sauntered into town after her circuitous drive. We had a lovely dinner at Gordon Beirsch and a relaxing evening.

Saturday, we decided to improve ourselves and broaden our minds. Part of the weekend plan was a package deal I found, including tickets to the King Tut exhibit at the civic center and the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the High. Both were extremely fascinating, and anyone one with a minor interest in history and ancient cultures should go take it in. It' s really quit amazing how detailed and artistic people could be when honoring their dead leaders. That and an unending supply of slave labor really allowed for some great accomplishments. I do find it amusing that the first 30 years of my life living in the Atlanta area I never visited the High Museum, but in the last year since I've moved away I've been to 2 exhibits there.

I think the Egypt exhibit was slightly more organized and well laid out, and there were lots of crafty gold trinkets, including earrings that had to was 15 pounds... ouch. And in both cases, I was feeling a sense of awe that I was looking at things crafted over 3000 years ago. And more impressively, was hidden for most of that time. It makes me wonder if in 5108 AD some one will dig up my trinkets and try to reconstruct my life (As I certainly rank in cultural importance as a Pharoah or first Chinese Emperor). Then I think, what do I have that would possibly last that long if buried??? My entire life will be constructed around an extensive collection of pint glasses and Hard Rock cafe pins.

The only downside was the other people there. I really liked reading the descriptions of items only to have some one walk right in front of me, stop, and beginning reading themselves. It was doubly annoying if they had on headphones that was piping the same information into their ears. Otherwise a fine day.

Afterwards, the World of Coke awaited. I will admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the World of Coke, having seen it at the old location several times. It is interesting to see the bottling process, and to sample the drinks from around the world (try the Beverly from Italy, it boggles the mind how people who created such good food and wine drink such crap soda). We did also get a wonderful picture (which i was initially against mainly as I wasn't feeling photogenic or Christmasy) with a large polar bear. But after I as told it was the cutest thing ever, I resolved myself that maybe no one would notice my lack of beauty when overshadowed by a lovely Susan and a large bear.

The pictures did turn out fun and I think should be made into Christmas cards for everyone.

And a side note, GO JACKETS!!!!!!

It's stopped snowing.

After the world of coke, a quick trip to return Jersey's car and back to the ATL for dinner. Susan and I like to explore the culinary offerings of our surrounds, so we try to find places neither of us have experienced for dining. This time it was Houston's on Peachtree. And it was yummy. The staff was nice and it had this old school late 1960's appeal to it. It's the kind of place I would expect to see suits with thin lapels and thin ties or a mobster in the corner booth. I dig it.

Sunday came, and we roused ourselves at the crack of 11 AM, and enjoyed the fogginess out the window. We were off to meet Charles and David for brunch at what's become one of our favorite places to eat in the city, Tap. I had decided that morning to forgo the usually jumpseating madness in ATL and just buy a ticket home. it cost me about $100 but I flew out fo Birmingham instead. And more importantly I could wear jeans and drink (though I didn't have a single cocktail... missed oportunities). Best of all, I was able to spend more time with Susan on the car ride to the Ham. So after brunch... road trip!

I made it back to my house here around 10 PM, and the weekend ended. Even though it lasted for about 5 days, it was too short. I apologize to everyone I didn't get to meet up with, it's a hectic time for all. Maybe during Christmas break we'll have more time to make the rounds.

That's the rundown of the last few days, I learned alot, met many people, and enjoyed the hell out of my time. Now it's the 3 week Marathon to Christmas, we in the shipping business call it "peak". I've already started picking up OT. Hopefully it will be profitable for me, and not too stressful. I'm very much looking forward to the holidays!

I hope everyone had safe travels and a wonderful Thanxgiving. See y'all soon.