Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There's a party at the end of the world...

I started writing this earlier, but decided to scrap the whole thing as it was coming out to be a "what i had for lunch" blog. And while I know everyone wants to know my day to day movements, I was getting bored writing it. And I only made it to the second paragraph.

Once again, the brilliant flashes of creativity for writing have come and gone while I'm not in front of the computer. Of course, I can;t recall any of the ideas that were destined for literary greatness. So, I'll try and ramble through and see if I can get any of this to be coherent and interesting.

I'm on vacation again. For various reasons, the original plans have changed and I'm spending the week housesitting at the stately TanJoe manor on the outskirts of New Nan. I do like having the whole week here, since I'm not feeling rushed to see friends and family. There's of course the schedule issues of fitting into everyone's schedules.

At the moment I'm looking forward to sleeping. I'm also wondering why the cats feel the need to run round chasing nothing. I suppose if you spend the day laying around at some point you just need to run. Me personally, I don't feel that way.

S, I currently have an offer for a phone interview for Qatar Airways in Doha. If they didn't want to do them at the most inconvenient times ever I would have already done it. But I thought doing the interview while drunk (after last nights Jimmy Buffett concert) or early this morning and hungover (same reason) wouldn't be putting my best foot forward. That and at the moment I can't say I'm really into moving to the middle east. Lately I've really been enjoying these little trips around to see friends and family, and with more in planning the idea of being 20 hours away by plane sounds less than appealing.

Oh and they don't pay as well as they used to, even tax free.

Otherwise, things seem to be going same same. I'm looking forward tot he weekend and hopefully taking in a Braves games, seeing some hot cars, and celebrating a birthday (not mine).

I had hoped to get my bike all super shiny today, but due to a problem with the people who were going to do the detailing, I was left washing her myself. While I did get a year of dust and crap off most the bike, there needs to be some serious polish and TLC put into her. I didn't have the supplies to do that today (not having planned on it). I did gt to put some miles under my wheels, which helps my mental well being. The biggest issue I have now is to decide on a parking situation. DO I want to move her to Louisville? If so, where can I park her not having a garage. And the situation now is not really working since Mom relocated to just south of civilization. Since I tend to stay either in the New Nan area or in downtown, the hour plus drive to mom's to get the bike is just not acceptable.

But before I make that decision, I've got some big planning to do. First off there's the random trips to see everype I've been promising to visit for months. Then there Vegas in May! I'm looking forward to that, and for the first time I've decided to stay "upscale"... meaning not the $19/night room at the Hooters hotel. Maybe rolling into town like a baller will staying in a suite can bring me some luck and I'll com back loaded.

One can dream right? Plus I've already got a hottie committed to spend some time with me :-). ANd that makes me happy.

And then, a week in July that may require me to leave the country again. I'm looking at maybe dashing of to Europe and jumping a ferry across the Med. And then, in March I have a month to play with. I'm looking at a long trip, either to Southern Africa or South America. That one makes me excited, either a safari through Namibia or a jaunt to Easter island and on down to Ushuaia, and maybe if I can find a reasonably priced trip to Antartica.

Hrrrmm, maybe I'll be able to have all 7 continents by this time next year :-)

Again, I can dream.

I'm off to watch some fake news, and then sleep.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to the same old place, my sweet home Chicago

I think maybe the messiness of my apartment stifles my creativity. Hence whenever I write one of these I have to be in a different environment, generally a much cleaner one. But it gives me a good reason to walk the half mile or so to the coffee shop and really get outside and enjoy the weather. It's very nice right now.

So, let's see what's been happening. I'm back to being internationally qualified dispatcher for brown. A quick week of training, which was good to get me back to thinking in meters and recall how the Chinese can be real assholes if you don't do it exactly the way they want it. OH well. I went through my check out on Friday evening. I spent the next couple days up in Chicagoland.

Most the time I feel a bit disjointed from most my family, either by circumstances, geography, or my choice. But I've always had a great time with the Chicago side. They seem to be so down to earth and real fun folks, and that's been the same since the summer visits of my youth. Imagine growing up in rural Georgia where the nearest store was miles away. Then you're transplanted into a place where you can see some of the world's tallest skyscrapers out the window and you can walk to "31 Flavors" for ice cream, without adult supervision. I think that may be the start of my predilection for urban dwelling.

The inspiration for this visit was Aunt Barb's birthday party. I'm gonna go broadcast the age, since it's rude and she can pass for much younger. But it was a great gathering. I mean, live band, open bar, right on Lake Michigan... I told you they were real fun. And it was good to see the three K's who have grown up.

Of the 4 cousins that were in attendance, I'm the oldest by a few years. I always seem to remember them as kids. Again, since I'm a bit disjointed, it's hard to believe sometimes that they may have their own kids (who may have unbelievable reached a level of hyperness that I their father could only imagine... and he was pretty damn hyper), or have finished college, or even old enough to order alcohol. It seems like just yesterday they were the annoying little kids who followed me around wanting to play with my toys. So, having shots with them seems a bit odd. But I guess we've all gotten older. Still, some of my earliest memories come from Aunt Barb's and Uncle Don's wedding. I remember a lot of people dancing around a guy with an accordion and hiding behind pews in a big church. Oh, and a punch stained tuxedo (who puts a two year old in a white tux and thinks it won't get messy?). Such went my first performance as ring bearer.

There were some personal revelations that came out in general conversation that have been making me think "what if?" a lot. Having a five hour drive across Indiana (which FYI is just as scenic in the darkness of night as it is in the full light of day, except for the giant windmills) with nothing but me and my iPhone playing music gives me time to ponder such things.

I think unlike most people out there, many decisions by others in my youth made a huge impact on my life today. I think I turned out pretty good, and I'm glad I grew up with a wonderful supportive family. But still, what if I was raised in Chicago?? Or Vegas?? Or who knows where... all were potentials. Interesting to me. Though I think I did well being a southerner... if apparently I wasn't born there. Again, none of this matters of effects the person I am today, but it's on my mind a little.

So, a big thanx to Kristin and her boyfriend for putting me, and for the Chicago Stephens' family for being great for my entire life. I hope to see them more often in the future, and since I learned that Chicago is a mere 5 hour drive away (not 8 like I thought) I may skip in more often.

In addition to the visit with the family, I also met a good friend in downtown for lunch. There's a phenomena that happens in the north when spring comes, everyone is outside. After spending months in darkness and bitter cold, throw out some sunshine and warmth and people come out in droves. And the city itself seems a lot nicer and cleaner than I remember from the past. Maybe I was just in different parts of town this time.

SO this week is in progress. I'm staying in Louisville in hopes maybe the mess in my apartment will straighten itself out. Or I'll break down and declutter my room. I'm working this weekend, off a couple days, the I have a week off at the end of the month (I'm sure this isn't helping the impression people have that I'm off work ALL the time). I'll be down in Georgia, probably staying at the TanJoe manor to keep the cats company for most the week. Maybe I should throw a party. Right now it's back to Louisville for Derby weekend, but that's still up in the air depending on if I'll have company. I need to find an easy way to post my work schedule online so people can see it, since it's different from month to month now. Any ideas??

I think that's it for now, i'm off to sit out in the sunshine and get some reading in. Later.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Who says you can't go home?

It's been a long last couple days. Back in training for a international dispatch refresher. Looks like I'm going to have a relief line this year, though the company seems to still be dragging their feet on officially signing off. But I'm training at least. I'm a little surprised at how much I've sort of let slip out of my mind over the last few months. I'm having to remember all the airport identifiers and metric conversions I once knew as natural as miles and feet. At least it's all coming back.

Otherwise, I just spent a weekend in Atlanta. This one was very nomadic and spontaneous. And discovered my ultimate nemesis to weight loss comes in the for of nachos or chips and salsa. It could be my insatiable need to gorge myself with them, or the irresistible urge to just constantly munch on them when their present. Add to that there's always a large amount of beer involved with such dishes. I'm sure that's not helpful. I did however make it to 400 on the Taco Mac list, and the waitress wanted me. We all agreed.

After getting in to Atlanta, I picked up a rental car (pleasantly surprised at how nice the Ford Fusion was) and headed to mom's house. Well, I guess it's mom's old house. She's managed to move most the furniture out. There's still couches and a TV and a other random stuff, but most of it has been relocated. There's a huge sense of emptiness. But at the time, I just wanted to sleep. SO I crashed on the couch (since all the bed's are gone).

Then I was off to meet the gang. Had a few beers with Brad, a former coworker at World and my current inside link to Delta's dispatch. brad is doing a great job reminding the Delta folks they have a interested party who's already passed their tests and was deemed more than qualified last time. They do a great job of keeping him up to date on manpower planning. It's a small glimmer of hope tog et back to ATL, but hope is a good thing.

Is pent the rest of the evening at the Holby Manor. It's always good to see the family, and they have to be some of the most gracious people (I suppose the most gracious one is Grace... not just a clever name). We watched some final four action, conversed, and caught up. After that, I was guilted into driving back to Stockbridge to meet with Darci.

We ended up at the Stockbridge Taco Mac, and I have to say what an interesting clientele. It reminds me that for the most part, all the ties I have to that town are gone. I don't think any of the old friends live there and the family has for the most part left. Even staying at the house I grew up in didn't feel like home anymore, but more like a strangers house. I ended up sleeping that night on the couch again. ANd the utter exhaustion helped with passing out. When I woke the next day, I had this urge to get out.

Not that there was anyone there harassing me with "what are you going to do with your life?" questions, but it just felt so constricting. I think I've grown out of that house, and that town. I left there almost 8 years ago (and I stayed at home for a long time) and the changes to the town have been remarkable. The demographics have completely changed, and judging from news and conversations with my cop buddy... not for the better.

Both my siblings have at one time or another moved back home after seeking out their own. Trying to put myself in that position seems like the worst thing I can imagine. Maybe not the worst (dogs that shoot bees out of their mouths are slightly more terrifying), but I feel that as a person I've far outpaced that place. Going back would be smothering. It may sound arrogant to say that I've outgrown Stockbridge and the people there. They seem kind of... small. It all reminds me of a person i used to be, some of which I didn't like and would just be happy to not be reminded of. I'm glad I got out.

Well, enough of the psychological stuff. I've got a few friends who are having some personal trials in their life. We've all been through these sort of things, well except for one who's situation has really boggled my mind and makes me want to smack her (ex)husband n the face. At any rate, it makes me happy to have a fairly drama free life (for now, it hasn't been that long since i went through some similar times). And whatever happens, I'll be the most supportive friend I can be and try to help the keep in mind that sometimes it's all working out for the best, not matter how much it sucks now.

So, a few days of work. Off to Chicago this weekend for aunt Barb's birthday party. It sound's like it'll be a big soiree, and the Chicago family (sounds a little mafia-ish) throws a good party. And another vacation week at the end of the month. Anyone wanna come up (or down) for Derby, let me know. I have space.

Now back to my currently waterless apartment. I'm taking 4 minute showers before the water in the pipes/water heater tank runs out. I'd like to thank the Louisville Water department for picking this time to do work on the pipes on my street.

At least the weather is nice! Hope everyone is doing well. Thanx to Jersey and the Tanjoe's for their hospitality over the weekend.