It wasn't easy getting in at 1:30am and waking back up for work. More of a zombie than a productive employee. The day was more of a wash. Not remembering much. I will never again fly a flight without first checking in on the internet. Lesson learned. Moving on.
I uploaded a bunch of videos from this past weekend to Google Video. When they become available, I'll repost the links so you can watch them right on the blog through their flash player. I will try to do that in the future so everyone can enjoy them, at work or not.
Now to look forward to my next extended weekend.. next weekend. Traveling up north into the Adirondacks for a wedding and some family time. Too bad Vegas isn't to follow.
Yearning for a sense of normalcy that February did not provide. A sense of stability and routine that will bring a more fulfilling happiness.
Zaftig may be quaint, but it ain't something I'll ever been happy with. Back to the routine!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
I am sitting in the airport and have been for several hours. This morning we got moving and headed to a quick breakfast at the Waffle House before jumping into midday traffic on I-85. It was packed. And people can't drive. And nobody knows how to merge. I cannot imagine what its like here if it would ever snow. People were parked alongside the road every 5 miles or so with steaming engines, blown tires or even hopped across drainage ditches in a hill. I think I'll return to NY and just forget the driving habits of those around here. Though I'm jealous of the HOV lane. We need some of those.
That's not to say I didn't have a great time. I came down and people asked "Why Atlanta?" There are just so many reasons, and each time I visit I like this place more and more. It has such fantastic attractions and cuisine and the people are a hoot. They just can't drive.
My flight was overbooked by 15 people. 15. Who oversells a flight by that many people? I've lost a bit of respect for Airtran. They couldn't even promise folks a seat for the rest of the day. A woman in the same line I was in said she's been trying to return to Rochester since Saturday. Saturday! I guess you may have to start believing in signs if the world is that against you. But luckily her and I are both on the 9:30 flight directly back to Rochester. Should get in around 11:30 or so, which totally sucks since I'm missing yet another class, but it could be worse. I almost didn't get a flight until tomorrow. I thought maybe that my sister could pick me up in Buffalo and shuttle me back, but luckily it never came to that.
So here I am. Eight hours in the airport. Sitting. Reading. Getting ill. Fun. Not the best way to end a vacation, but I'm looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight. Too bad all my fish died while I was gone.
The Xenagogue at the airport was not only blind, but also smelled of horseradish.
Posted by Luke at 6:57 PM
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Before we got going this morning, Cindy ran out to her car and came back with a sweet little dog. I thought she was going out to grab her purse, but apparently not. This dog walked right into the apartment and went into the kitchen like we were going to feed him. Apparently he's the neighbor's dog, but we'll keep him anyway. I have him in my carryon. Nah, we went back outside and ushered him back home. Shoe! Go! Yonder. Go! We finally tricked him and ran inside.
"Ugh... sometimes." CindyI've learned a lot of things over the past couple of days. Namely that everything is 30 minutes away from each other in Atlanta. And that a car is broken down on the side of the road every 5 miles. Another would be not to piss Cindy off cause she'll threaten to take you back to the airport. Every 5 minutes. It's been extremely entertaining and educational. And I'm starting to pick up a southern twang.
"Well, I just don't know." Me
"Just imagine if you were a ... man." Cindy
[cue Cindy laughing for 5 minutes]
"I'm gonna take a penguin." Cindy, before being arrested. ;)We stopped at this Southern BBQ restaurant for lunch, had some pulled pork and traditional sides, and then headed into downtown to the new Atlanta Aquarium. The place was super busy. Apparently so busy that they're sold out weeks ahead of time. It was packed, and we had a ton of fun petting sting rays and watching the fish along a moving sidewalk. There was a lot to do and we spent several hours walking around. I especially enjoyed the beluga whales and the seahorses.
We caught a matinee at a dollar theatre and watched Wolf Creek. Screaming, scratching, squirming.. yes, that was all me. The main bad guy in the movie looked like my father, so I was a bit uncomfortable watching him gut his victims and cut off their fingers.
"Are we there yet?" LukeSo after watching all these scary movies this weekend, I will no longer be doing the following:
"Shut up. 30 more minutes." Cindy
- Using the bathroom
- Taking a shower
- Riding a rollercoaster
- Going through a fast food drivethru
- Riding a subway
- Going to Australia
- Having possessed children
- Working out in a gym
- Using a nailgun
- Stopping for gas in the desert
- Operating a forklift
- Watching fireworks
- Riding a horse
For the final dinner in Georgia, we ate at this really cool thai place called Little Bangkok. Small in size, but big on flavor. Our food was fantastic, and Cindy finally met her match on spiciness. She ordered it "as hot as it gets" and could only take a few bites before throwing in the towel. Those thai folks know their spices.
"Do I come to Rochester and make fun of the inner loop?" CindyIt's been a great vacation. Tomorrow morning we're heading to one of the fagillion "Waffle Houses" in the area for breakfast. My flight leaves Atlanta airport at 1. Wish me luck.
"Well..." Me, trying to get a word in
"God, I hated the inner loop. I'd get on without trying and could never get off." Cindy
"See, you're doing it now!" Me
Cindy's account for today.
And for David:
"What! Why can't Alabama adopt the apple as their state fruit instead?" Cindy
"Hey, that's New York's fruit. Don't push your issues on us." Me
"You don't understand. I hate Alabama more than I hate even Texas.. and that's a LOT." Cindy
Waddling penguins were sorta disappointing. And the people taking flash photos right in their eyes... sigh.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Scary photo. Scary day. Cynthia, Kim and I treated ourselves to dim sum for lunch and then drove across the state to the Wild Animal Park at Pine Mountain. In this tour, we rented a van (thank god) and drove through this giant park where the animals would come right up to the windows and beg for food. Howling, pecking, crying and licking.. and that was just Cynthia before we entered the park. But once we got going, we had this herd chasing us down the road, and with me as driver, it was a challenge not to run anything down as we raced away from pigs, bulls, ostriches, zebras and reindeer.
"Where's the dim sum place?" KimI really really recommend taking a moment and watching the following videos I've linked in the blog. They may take a minute to download but they're worth it. We had such a blast.
"It's four waffle houses up ahead on the left." Me
Video #1. Running away from the pig.
Oh this pig wouldn't let us go. The park was 2 miles long and he kept right up with us.
"The animals usually don't come out in the rain." KimVideo #2. Teasing the Ostriches.
"That could explain why the roads were empty." Me
You can hear Cynthia in the backseat giving commentary.
Do you have a square to spare?
Video #3. Horses ignoring Cynthia.
All she wanted to do was feed the poor Zebras, but they wouldn't have it. But they loooooooved Kim in the front seat. We were feeding them on one side and when I turned to my window, I had left the window all the way open and had a horse in my face licking me. I screamed and jumped and hit Cindy in the face.
Video #4. Monkey Penis Challenge.
Sounds interesting enough. This guy was funny. He did NOT like me filming him. His penis came out (viewable right away) and he reached through the fence at the very end and grabbed my hand. I almost dropped the camera.
"Hey.. get up off of my grille!" CindyIt rained all day, so we were cold and tired by the end of the park. We got to pet some animals, smell like some animals and chase some ducks. But finally we got on the road and headed toward Pho 79 back in Atlanta for a delicious dinner. The owner warmed right up to us and shared a story of how the store came about and how it was related to the same Pho restaurant we visited in California last year. She's friends with them. Such a small world.
"Your mom." CindyWe finished out our day watching Ring2 at Kim's. Another movie, another wonderful day. Tomorrow we're headed to the massive aquarium in Atlanta and eat eat eat throughout. Looking forward to it. Check out Cindy's account of today for more fun tidbits that I may have forgotten.
"Uhh.. your mom." Me
"You forget my mom's a ho." Cindy
"Then your Aunt Pam!" Me
"I... I... don't have anything to say in response." Cindy
Vacationing rocks, one-on-one.
Posted by Luke at 11:48 PM
Friday, February 24, 2006
"Which came first, the vibrator or eyeglasses?" Cindy
"Well, I'm assuming the first since you're not stimulating your glasses." Me
"Hey, I'm rubbing pretty hard here." Cindy
It's so warm. And these people still have their heat on and coats buttoned to the top. Poor souls. I wish I brought shorts. It was wonderfully nice out today, which worked in well with our plans. After getting a late start today, we headed into Atlanta to the Cyclorama for a fascinating tour back to the Civil War, and then snuck into Zoo Atlanta for a little bit before heading through rush hour traffic to Final Destination 3 and then dinner at El Rodeo with family. Today was very relaxing, but sitting in traffic was tedious. But singing along to the radio and sharing with Cynthia was uplifting.
Several things I've noticed about Georgia as of late:
- I've heard the word TEXAS used five times today. Either these people are envious or it's just coincidence.
- Nothing can match Friday afternoon rush hour traffic in Atlanta. And "1,000 feet ahead" means "3,000 feet and let's do it slowly"
- People still boo the names of civil war "Yankee" generals. Seriously!?
- Sex is the topic of conversation over dinners. With grandma.
- The grass is brown. Year-round.
- If you're every lost.. DO NOT count on using the Waffle House as your landmark. There's one on every corner.
- Gas is a good 50 cents cheaper than back home. But milk is $2 more. I think I have the upper hand.
- Dirt roads.
- Washing your hands after the bathroom? Bah.
- *I* have the funny accent down here. ;)
P.S. The only thing more abundant down here than Waffle Houses are Churches. Latest find: AirJesus.com
P.P.S. For a better account (she has a much much better memory) read Cynthia's recount of the past day or so.
U... u.... nope. Nothing.
Posted by Luke at 10:39 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
You'd think I was ignoring signs or something. I had this horribly early car appointment for a maintenance check which turned from being a 45 minute planned engagement to a 3.5 hour sit-a-thon, which included over $400 more than I had planned. Fun stuff, those last minute addons that you don't think are coming at all. By the time I got to work, I just barely had enough time to read my emails and type up a homework assignment before being told by my boss to go home to be on time for my flight.
Last night I certainly didn't get all my packing done, so this morning was a flurry of clothes, soda, snacks and amenities. Working on 6 hours of sleep and chocolate kisses for breakfast, I spent the better part of the day in a fog of sleep deprivation and nervous anticipation. I have no clear sense of organization or forethought. But it all works out in the end.
Except my car battery went dead. Deader than dead. I couldn't even unlock the doors. I accidentally left the lights on all day today. Ugh. Never've done that before... luckily I had a backup driver at the very very last minute. I got to the airport just in time to make the baggage check and get through security. Breeeaaaathe. I made it. Just relax. Except now I have no way of getting home on Monday night. Wait. Don't think that far ahead. Breathe.
I sat to a very loud and very talkative blonde on the airplane. She wanted to talk about everything and anything. Where she grew up, what she did (or didn't do) for a living, divorced parents, my life, my job, my travels, my everything. Such an inquisitive woman. And she laughed at literally everything I said. Everything. I'm not that funny, people. She then went on to explain how she's not hyper and that she doesn't like people that are. Riiiiiight. Move away.
Cynthia picked me up from the airport and after a few pot shots at my ego (and hers to boot), we headed to this fantastic greek restaurant called Cafe Istanbul. Let me try to set the atmosphere. Imagine everyone sitting on pillows on the floor. The light is low. People are smoking out of giant bongs (houkas) everywhere. Candles lit. Light laughter. Everyone 25 or younger. The food was fantastic and cuddling in the corner with a dear friend making it even better. Sitting on the floor was hard on my knees, and plus all the flavored smoke in the air hard on my lungs, but my Inegol Kofte was to die for.
It's late, we're watching Rent, and gonna sleep in late tomorrow. Big weekend plans, including dinners and attractions with everyone she knows. I'm such an attention hog. Jab me if I get out of hand.
Tabarets lined the ceiling, tonight. Such beautifully woven fabric, made of purple hues and velvet softness.
P.S. Ignore the strange quotes that I may post over the next days. We say some pretty insane and offensive things just for a good laugh.
Posted by Luke at 11:41 PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
You'd think I'd be further along in my whole "leaving town for 5 days" thing this weekend. But nope, here it is, almost midnight, and I have yet to pack a thing and I still have laundry spinning in the other room. Go me, all about being a procrastinator. I told myself I'd get these very specific 8 things done before tomorrow, but now I'll be in a rush and feel pressed for time in every aspect. And I have to get up early tomorrow. Ugh. I'll be on the plane headed to Georgia (direct flight!) and remember something critical I had yet to do. Oh, who am I kidding, nothing I do is critical.
So in the many hours where I sat mindlessly reflecting on the week's events thus far, the song Unlovable started playing on my playlist. It just describes much of my thoughts and emotions, which always relieves me a bit. Music has such power.. it's so important. Whether you sing to it, listen to it, write it or just read its lyrics, its the connection that drives our emotions, and feeling less disconnected is always a good thing. I'm just grateful to have friends that have such a wide taste for music for me to dip into.
I'm really looking forward to my weekend in Atlanta. Not only will I be reconnecting with a friend I haven't seen in about seven months, but I enjoyed my trip down there a couple years ago so much that I just look forward to repeating a lot of it. The South is such an interesting place, plus it's going to be mid-50s and possibly in the 60s this weekend. Much better than the mid20s we are dealing with in New York. Atlanta has a brand new aquarium and Cynthia has so much planned for us, it'll be terrific to just sit back and ride the wave. I can't wait.
Life is improving. Emotions stabilizing. This weekend away will do me a bit of good.
Schisms forming all around me, as of late. Staying out of them. Don't enjoy it one bit.
Cynical, jaded, faithless, disappointed, disillusioned, used
If I could take back all my sweat, my tears, my sex, my joy I would
My time, my love, my effort, passion, dedication
In case of mistaken identity I gave these things to you
If I sound angry, bitter, sad, infatuated, it's the truth
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, just a few
Stages of acceptance that it's really over
It's just so complicated and I'm stupid for believing in you
You make me feel like my father never loved me (you never loved me)
You make me feel like the act of love is empty (I felt so empty)
Am I so unlovable?
Is my skin untouchable?
Do I remind you of a part of you that you don't like?
You make me feel like my mother, she abandoned me (you abandoned me)
You make me feel like the act of love is empty (I felt so empty)
Am I so unlovable?
Is my heart unbreakable?
Do I remind you of a part of you that you despise?
Are my lips unkissable?
Are my eyes unlookable?
Is my sex undoable?
Am I unlovable?
Are my words unlistenable?
Are my hands untouchable?
Am I undesirable?
Am I unlovable?
- Unlovable, Darren Hayes
Posted by Luke at 8:17 PM
Monday, February 20, 2006
I spent awhile walking around in the bitter cold yesterday taking snapshots of twigs, sewer grates, snow, rocks and trees. I take between 50-60 pictures and end up keeping maybe 2 or 3. I guess that's what is nice about digital. But I froze walking around.. in the middle of a blizzard. I'm ready for spring... mud, rain and all.
I came across a new music group that I'm thoroughly enjoying. It goes back to my post about songs of unrequited love and unbridled passion. Here, have a listen. This is Nightmare of You performing "I want to be buried in your backyard." Put a smile on my face, definitely gonna check them out.
Since Thora feels unabashed to lambaste her professor from her recent class, I feel like I shall do the same. I don't have much against my instructors.. except the fact that they're selfish, inconsiderate and loutish... I am ever cursed with the dreaded 2. In my one class, we have a simple essay-like homework due every week. The class topic focuses a lot on incentives and encouraging employees to do hard work for your company. (I am in business school, after all.) Well, the assignment is graded on a scale of 0-3, where 1 is "you turned in something I wouldn't consider feeding my dog" and 2 rises to "briefly touched on topic but still a waste of time" where 3 simply achieves "attempted and achieved basic understanding of topic."
There are rarely more than a couple 3's given out each round of gradings. During dinner break, we all gather and find out "who" was given the 3, which we all believe simply serves to incentivise (his word, not mine) the rest of us to work hard. Well, the exam consisted of 10 3 point questions. When I opened up my graded packet... lo and behold I'm pelted with a sea of 2's. I will never win. The class is over in 3 weeks, so I'm just going to give up. A 3 is just not worth it.
Q... yeah, not feeling the q words.
Posted by Luke at 11:55 PM
It's tax season. I just got off the phone with a class mate that wanted help with her taxes, as they throw so many tuition numbers at us. I'm not looking forward to doing them this year. I've done my own taxes each year for the past 7 years, so I understand the whole process. Except, this time there is a twist in the scenario. 2005 was the first full year that I took classes. I know, you're saying "Hey, you can deduct those!" Well, not so fast. I get free tuition from my employer, which saves me some $30,000 a year. Now I hear you saying "Hey, that's great, free classes!" Yeah, well, except I don't get a tax waiver on that money. It gets added into my "wages" for federal and state taxes, which means I am taxed the full rate as if I earned that money fair and square.
I realized that earlier last year when I fought to get a tax waiver on some of the courses, but not all. I also had to do some maneuvering so that I wasn't taxed into poverty. Some finagling with my 403(b), some extra RothIRA deposits, student loan interest, a kickass $4,000 medical flex account... and I sorta am fine. But knowing my luck, I'll plug in the numbers and it'll tell me I owe $3,000 or something. Now I could go the manipulative evil illegal way and abuse the numbers where they don't match up, but you can't say that on a blog and then expect to get away with it, right? ;)
I was compared to Horatio today. You know, Hamlet's buddy. I've actually been called Horatio a couple times, and it never really made any sense. I always thought it was just some funny name or whatnot. But after reading the description of the guy, I really began to see it as a complement. When I consulted my resident Shakespearean expert, he responded:
Who does that? Are you friends with Ken Gross? Seriously, I would think that Shakespearian references would be nearly dead considering the current state of culture. Whoever it was that could call up such an apt descriptor out of the abyss, I am deeply impressed. To be honest, it is a rather astute observation of your character.I have character? I have friends? Well, I guess I pick them well! All I know is I'm not joining in on the whole self-sacrifice for honor thing. Sorry Laura!
I am getting a kick out of my new goldfish. Between my superfilter which causes the entire tank to be one large current to the fact that all they do is eat and try to swim against said current.. it's mighty entertaining to watch the black fish (a molli) spend an entire hour trying to get to the corner. Once there, the current just wings him to the other side of the tank. Ashley is also 2actually, I have a very sweet wife, I couldn't have asked for better." And how can I expect to be one of those types of wives unless I work on it now?? :)
Posted by Luke at 6:07 PM
Sunday, February 19, 2006
So Jake might want me to move in with him. Rachael, his wife, is considering taking a 1 year teaching position in the Carolinas and that would leave them with paying expenses on two places. I said it could be an opportunity to save everyone money if I moved in, but I'm not sure it would work out. Since its not even close to being on the table yet, I'm not going to put much thought into it, but seeing how it might cost the same amount to live there as it does here, I might not do it. Plus there's the issue of breaking my lease, which expires in mid2007.
Cat flatulence. Quite the topic. Eye opener.. or at least nasal opener. I haven't changed her food, but man... it's getting hard to live with her. I've never had someone this stinky live with me, and I've had the worst smelling roommate on the face of the earth, before. Woooh!
I'm heading to Vegas this summer. I guess all things work out in the end. I had a meeting on Friday morning with my two bosses to talk about business practices (my favorite word) and my conference last week. They have insisted I go to the followup conference this coming July, which conveniently is right in the middle of sin city USA. My gambling addicted friends have already asked to come along. ;) But now I'm all excited about getting to go back and see a lot of several the fun people I met in Ohio. They said they're all going, too.
I think I know what killed my betta fish a couple weeks ago. When I had a much smaller tank, it was easy to keep the temperature around 70 degrees, just by having the light on. However, I was reading today and bettas like 75-85 degree water, which my apartment is never that warm. They get lethargic and boring and may eventually die. So today I bought some replacement fish... really simple ones that can live in room temp water: goldfish. Don't tell CindyV, she'd yell at me, but they're having fun. Simple fish, but at least there's activity in there now. And they're having fun trying to swim against the filter water stream.
Paean. I'm a real simple music fan. If it has a good beat and lyrics that I can sing to, I'm all for it. I'm not too into mushy love songs (there are exceptions), nor the hard screaming music on the rock stations.. but you can definitely see I'm enjoying a song if I'm tapping my foot and bobbing my head. A fun song comes on and a smile hits my face and I start singing in my head. Music is so important in keeping an emotional balance, me thinks, and I have a hundred different CDs of mixes and collections that I randomly pop in wherever I go. My next indulgence will have to be an ipod, just because it has those playlist abilities right at your finger tips. I'd prolly end up listening to the same 5 songs over and over anyway.
And to finish this very pet-centric post... my birds are raising a new family. They're talking to each other, it's so cute. And people wonder why I love animals.
Posted by Luke at 7:28 PM
I'm a pretty temperature sensitive type person. If it's much above 65o F, I start feeling uncomfortable. I enjoy the cold. I open my window during the winter. I enjoy blankets and having 50 of them on me when I sleep. So understand me when I say I was freezing cold yesterday. I went to a party yesterday midday and even with the heat blasting.. it was cold. Food and all was wonderful and the company delightful.. but I had a blanket around me the whole time. Make fun of me if you will, but I wore a t-shirt and obviously that was the wrong attire.
Had a dream last night about speeding and being pulled over. It made me angry, upset and frustrated. I was obviously speeding and it was my own stupid fault, but it just wasn't what I wanted to deal with. You wake up.. you're still mad. You just want to scream.. but then it washes over you that it was all make believe and you're really comfortable in your bed. And it's Saturday morning. Bliss..... I guess that's the best way to end a dream, nightmare or not.
I got a call midday through the evening from a very upset friend... Jake. Upset is a complete exaggeration, but he embellished it as well. We made plans on Friday to meet up on Saturday evening to hang out for the better part of the night... and the party was running a bit late. He sniffled... said he felt betrayed... lonely... like I didn't love him anymore. Said he was lost. Ha. But none the less, I left the party and headed to his house. Besides, it was getting dark anyway.
What's funny about Jake is he can only do one thing at a time. His wife and I joke about it. She's always saying Jake could be more like me when it comes to multitasking. Jake was doing laundry the other night and that's all he could concentrate on. So when he called me.. he quite seriously stood midstep on his stairway to converse. I could just see him falling down the stairs while maintaining his conversation with me. He'd then have to stop talking in order to cry.. because he can't do more than one thing at a time. Would probably resume walking, while laying on the floor broken and crippled.. once we hung up. And all the while, the laundry goes unfolded.
P.S. Didn't I say I wanted sleep this weekend? Got home at 2am.
P.P.S. Ate too much pizza today.
Obscenities.. never used them until I met Jacob. He was quite the influence.. and/or reason.
Posted by Luke at 2:19 AM
Friday, February 17, 2006
Jen posed an interesting question yesterday: What would you do if you knew that this was your last day on earth? It's not something I think I'm ready to answer. Our lives are so fleeting, but at any given moment, they seem eternal. One day your life is constant but then another you're reminded how quickly you're aging. People come and go from our lives, but then there are always our constants.. our rocks. I suppose the one thing I'd want to do above all others is sit and talk with everyone that really means anything to me and tell them just what they meant to me. All too often people pass away and we regret not having that last moment to say how we feel and our final goodbyes.
Three very odd things happened at work this week. Not only did they find legionnaires disease in our water supply, but they've also had to settle an $8.05 million lawsuit with the hourly employees. We got a nice little lecture about the one that doesn't affect me but absolutely no details on the one that could have killed me. I'm glad I'm on bottled water only. And finally, a Alison's coworker's husband's coworker died this morning from the high winds in the area. Yikes.
Leave it to my two closest friends to cheer me up during a time of listlessness and confusion. A time when you want to re-evaluate your core beliefs and life goals. With simple words of encouragement and comfort, direction is found and stability restored. Faith in myself and definition become clear. For that, I am grateful. I only wish I could one day return the favor, but hopefully, it should never come to that. Why wish sorrow and grief on someone else?
I didn't talk about the Olympics much over the past couple of weeks, namely because I was really busy and out of town for much of it. But fortunately, several of my recorded tv slots were hijacked by Olympic action. I got to see women's snowboard, pair figure skating, solo ice skating, downhill speed skating, 500m speed skating and even a bit of luging. I'm actually quite pleased with the cross section I was able to catch now and feel like I didn't miss it as much as I did two years ago. Of course several of my favorite bloggers are more interested in the looks of the athletes, I'm still entirely too impressed by the athleticism and ability that so many have shown. I found myself standing up and cheering during several [7 day old] events.
I have marvelous plans this weekend. Filled with less sleeping than I had aimed for, but still, enough excitement to entice even the most indifferent of souls. Much of it mindless, none of it productive, but invigorating and pleasurable they just might be.
Nameskae: My middle name is given after my great grandfather on my father's side.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I get myself in trouble all too often. I need to watch what I say on here and about whom. I try my best to be careful but who knows how someone might read something. It's hard to know one's intentions without emoting in person. A lesson learned from today, if not just reiterated. But I still believe in the circles of friends ideal I posted about several weeks ago. Nothing will change that.
The heart cookie was a nice pickmeup this morning. A pickmeup for sure. Usually around 10 or so people start aimlessly wandering around looking for food from office to office, so a sugar rush before lunch and an excuse to post the picture, were welcome. I also went ahead and scanned in the group photo from my conference. First day, if you remember, right after lunch. I'm in the very back, looking all smug and nonchalant. Felt sorta dorky getting our picture done up, but it is a nice way to remember everyone. Their names are already slipping away from me.
And yes, I was the youngest one there. Yikes.
At least three people have complimented me on my haircut this week.. and it's been almost 3 weeks now. Change your dew and people forget who you are. "Oh, I didn't recognize you!"
I came home tonight after my class (A on the test, baby!) to a dormant laptop and the cord completely chewed through. Now, if you've been following the story of my life.. this cat chews. On everything. Nothing I do can ever stop her from doing it. I've had to go to all lengths just to keep her from being destructive. I usually cover up my entire desk with newspapers just so she can't get to the cords. Well, she's in a digging phase and has developed opposable thumbs, apparently. Sigh. I spliced together the ends, for now, but what will stop her from doing it again?
It's Friday tomorrow, thank the gods. It hasn't been a hellish week, but it's just been emotionally draining. Between my exams over the weekend, being sick on Monday, having a falling out over the weekend, to my intense discussions with Alison, to Martin's passing away, to losing $80 out of my wallet.. I'll let it stop there.
This weekend is going to consist of sleeping, eating and napping. I need some rest. Don't get 'n ma' way!
Machismo is entirely over-rated. Do you agree?
Posted by Luke at 11:41 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I have not had a spare moment to take any recent pictures, so you've been getting reruns for the past week and a half. Never published, but from warmer days. Not that today wasn't warm.. because it was.. but they're old pictures and I feel guilty for using them. Forgive me.
I've had a rough week, and it got worse. Not only has my return to work not been as seamless as I would have liked.. but I just received word today that an online acquaintance of mine died of brain cancer on Sunday night. I've known him since mid2002 and have been friends since. It's a sad day in my online world. And he left behind 2 small children and a pregnant wife to boot. Wherever you are Martin, I hope it doesn't hurt anymore.
I finally had a moment to put my new chair together for my office. Tomorrow is a full-day project of getting my new computer up and running. It's about time too. It takes my old machine about 45 seconds just to load a browser... a minute to bring up email or forward a message and about 10 minutes to boot up in the morning. I'm done with it. I wash my hands of this tired old machine. I now play with my dual-core 3ghz toy. *grin* Yes, a tech nerd am I.
I alluded to some nasty experiences in the last few entries.. and then again in this post. All have contributed to make this one of the harder weeks so far this year.. which may not be saying much. See, I ended a friendship over the weekend that just wasn't healthy. I wasn't enjoying our dialogues, I was being stressed over stupid arguments and I got sick of games. People play games.. on you, on themselves.. on the world. Purpose being, I have no idea, but I'm just done with it.
Which led to yesterday's post, I suppose. Or that could have been from Alison's question to me about Valentine's Day and being stung and bittered by loneliness. I suppose, but I'm not a bitter person. And I'm certainly not lonely. But my responses were not satisfactory, so now she's uninterested in being my friend either, or at the very least, uninterested in being a close friend. Which leads to my conversations with Sheila, another friend of mine, about gender roles and issues. She takes a lot of the same viewpoints as I do, in that gender is more of a societal definition which has very little bearing on friendships. Men and women can be friends. There shouldn't be unspoken intentions or expectations. Lay it out on the table.
Oh, now I ramble. But one thing's for certain.. my cat still loves me. She's snoring softly in my lap at the moment and has hugged my leg twice today. I missed her too.
Lethargic, after eating Dinosaur BBQ twice today.
Posted by Luke at 10:44 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
People are cold. Uncaring. Rude. Obnoxious. Perhaps I expect too much.. perhaps I don't. I try not to be an emotional person... I stay in a state of mediocrity most of the time, but being shaken to the core is unnerving and unbearable. I'll stay on Cloud 9, thank you very much. Those that wish to join me need only invite themselves.
So it's Valentine's Day.. the day of love.. the day to love. As I've already mentioned, I love everyone. I try to be helpful.. to treat people fairly... to think of them when nobody else does. I don't really feel the need to validate myself through another person. I decided years ago that I would more than likely be alone for my entire life. It doesn't scare me. I have no fear of loneliness. I don't aim to love.
Now this isn't saying that if it came to be I would reject it, but it simply isn't the case that everyone needs to love. And not general love, but the love that binds people together for their lives. "You can survive without love" was the quote I heard this morning.. and I believe it. Perhaps, perhaps not. People may fill this void with alternative activities.. some positive, some negative. For now, I'm not thinking about it.
Though, it's hard not to think about VD when you've received 5 cards for it. I didn't know I was supposed to give out cards! Besides, I'd much prefer Valentine's Day in Japan, in where the women get their male coworkers chocolates just because. That's a good deal if I ever heard of one.
The week is looking up. I have several dinner dates spread throughout the week and between that and my upcoming trip to Atlanta, I will be keeping busy for the foreseeable future. And my exams went really well.. better than I had hoped. Perhaps I'm more intelligent than I give myself credit for.
What are you doing/what did you do for Valentine's Day? I'm headed out for a pseudo dinner and obtaining my long lost cat from the in-laws. ;)
Karma. What goes around, comes around. Don't expect without giving. Don't deny without being denied.
Posted by Luke at 4:55 PM
Monday, February 13, 2006
I'm starting to think I'm destined to sleep only 5 hours a night. It's been a week since I've had a good night's sleep. My exams this weekend went fine. I'm not going to be pleased about my Finance exam grade, but that's just because it's all math.. and while I do well in mathematics.. I just dislike doing equations and calculations. I'm not going into Finance, mark my word.
Somehow on Saturday night I drifted into a weddings marathon on cable. I'm not one to get hyper over weddings, but somehow I fell into it. These folks were going crazy over their wedding plans and had repurchased twice all their components because of color changes. The bride even bought 4 dresses by the end. So much work and stress. I'm sure anyone that's gotten married can attest to that. To some it's worth it, and good for them.
I have 19 hours of recorded TV on my DVR. At this point I'm just ready to hit delete. I've slacked off on the whole workout routine which has shot my energy level and a week of conference food has thrown my appetite out the window. I'm gonna work triply hard this week to regain my ground. After all, I have vacation coming up next week and I don't want to be a downer when I visit Cynthia in Atlanta.
Yesterday, Jake and I went out and did some geocaching in Brockport. There is a blanket of snow all across the northeast, so you can understand when I say how difficult it was. I sometimes forget how cold it really is outside. It got dark pretty early and the whole evening was cursed to begin with. We forgot to print out the coordinates of the cache. We forgot flashlights. The GPS batteries died. Suffice to say, we spent almost an hour digging through this pile of trees in search of a hidden ammo box that we never did find.
At least we ended the evening with the best pizza in the area.
My boss let me stay home today to recoup from the last few days. He's really understanding about almost everything. I just wish my internet wasn't disconnecting every 10 minutes. Sigh.
J. Seriously? J? What words start with J? I could copout and say "Jake" but blah, I talk about him too often anyway.
Posted by Luke at 10:17 AM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
- You cannot party and look cool without a cell phone attached to your face. Dancing begins to look weird without at least one partner on the phone.
- Free = steal. This is one that may not stick with me, as I'm sure as heck not bringing home an extra suitcase worth of conference goodies.
- People are intensely proud of their institutions in Ohio. Namely.. Ohio State University and University of Ohio take the cake. Fiercely proud.
- It costs four dollars to pee in Oxford, OH.
- Everyone bitches about parking. And nobody cares about your parking problems.
- Nobody ever gets tired of saying "Luke... I am your father..." and they think it's funny each time they say it.
- White people can dance.
- People from the South hate the cold. Hate it like it's killing them. Hate it so much we shouldn't take them outside.
- Everyone checks CNN during the day for news. Especially when they're bored. This means everyone. This means you.
- The term "G String" has a valid reason for being brought up in the midst of work training. But it always garners a snicker or two from the crowd.
- University managers don't get out much. And they drive too fast.
- Ohio has more cows than people, which is hard to believe, but is very true.
- Don't try to buy a souvenir at the airport. It's crap and it's expensive.
- What unites us all, throughout the entire country, is our love of food. And how we feel entitled to royal treatment when we pay for it.
- Never get in the way of a man and his cookie. He'll knock ya down.
- Fiji water tastes like tap water. It's not worth $4 a bottle. Really.
- As fun as it is to travel, it's not fun to travel to Southern Ohio.
Posted by Luke at 5:15 PM
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Okay, to recap the last couple of days, which might be boring (as Alison would say and has said) but I wanna finish up with the conference and then resume normal boring posts.
It wasn't as bad waking up with a few hours sleep as I had feared, but that was a very long day, and by the end, I was a walking zombie. I tried to do some reading and it just didn't work out. Eyes glossing over.. eyes shutting... eyes bleeding.. arg.. I exagerate, but it felt that way. I've done all nighters before, but I think sleeping a little makes it all the worse.
The final day of the conference was shortened quite a bit since a snowstorm was coming into the area and a lot of the Ohio locals wanted to get on the road as early as possible. So about 10 of us stayed the rest of the session and picked the brains of the organizers. I asked a million questions.. and didn't get but a couple answers. I even gave one of the ladies a headache because my questions were so complex. I had to draw things out just to get the concept through her head.
It turns out my issues (well, not MY issues) are a bit more complicated than I ever thought. It's going to require so much work to get it all going when I return to my job. Not looking forward to it. I think they finally gave up and told us all to leave... which we gracfully did around 3:30. Several folks had a rough time carrying out their suitcases full of Dove chocolates and Fiji water, but meh.. I guess they brought that on themselves.
As promised... a video from the before-mentioned drunken pool game. In it, you see Kelly missing a shot and blaming it on her ghost...
Made a bunch of new friends.. even if I'll never see them again. I was handed a bunch of business cards, several people asked to hug me (ya ya.. I complied) and I even shared a casual dinner with several folks at the airport (2 terminals away from my gate), but all in all, it was a wonderful week.
It was a good conference.. a good time.. good food.. good people... but I'm glad to be back. It didn't feel like a vacation.. since I'm extremely tired and felt nautious the majority of the way home.. but even with 4 inches of snow on the ground and more falling every second, we landed without delay and was home before I knew it.
If only I had a solid night's sleep for my exam today, but we can't get everything we want. I studied for most of the day.. here.. then at school.. then my office.. and then finally the exam in the early afternoon. I wasn't well prepared... won't get the best grade.. but by now.. I'm just happy to not have fallen asleep during it.
It's wonderful to sleep in your own bed again.. where there are no hauntings.. no mischievious ghouls.. no annoying sounds from the bathroom.. as much as I love to travel... I love coming home, too.
P.S. We thought Jake had killed my fish again.. but it just turns out he's in a coma at the bottom of the tank. Extremely lazy. He may die in the next day or so.
Hurtful can describe the attitudes of people as of late.
Posted by Luke at 9:38 PM
Friday, February 10, 2006
The day started innocently enough. I had a great deal of learning thrust upon me and had several very enjoyable meals with very interesting people. As much as the material may be mundane and only interesting to those inside our little bubble... the people all have fascinating insights into the world. At my dinner table, I sat with people from 6 different states.. each with varying opinions on issues from property taxes, school consolidation, snow removal to movies, politics, skyline chili, and much more. I sat with a guy originally from Rochester that enjoyed discussing issues from back home.
It kinda went downhill from there.
After dinner we had another rec-room power 3-hour session of drunken jenga and euchre. Now mind you I didn't drink much at all. I enjoyed the atmosphere though.. where everyone else was drinking and shouting inappropriate innuendo. Poor Matt, our 20yr old bartender, was convinced to leave his post and join in on the card game. May have been due to his $30 tip from Gregg. May have been his encounter with Jim. Jim took the role of bartender and keep the alcohol flowing well into the night.
Somehow four of the worst drunk and brazingly offensive people found their way to the pool table and engaged in a protracted hour-long game of pool and debauchery. I got several videos of it. Painful. After most everyone had returned to their rooms (either scared of exhausted), four of us decided to head into town and check out the student hot spots. This took almost 45 minutes to get us out the door. These guys were loaded. And I've never seen such a bunch of thieves in my life. We returned to Gregg's room (which oddly enough was half the size of my room) and he had 16 bottles of Fiji water on his nightstand. Shelly had raided the maid cart and made off with a bucket of Dove chocolate. I know they're free at the conference.. but you'll need a 2nd suitcase to take these home. I think they'rew just in love with the trade winds (a quote from the water bottles).
Nobody told us this 'hot spot' was almost a mile up the road. Between Lee's howls about the cold (he's from the hot southwest - 22degrees) to Kelly's aching feet (heels and lack of direction), it took us almost a half hour to walk up the road. We stopped five times to ask for directions. I kept my mouth shut and just enjoyed the fresh air. Students were all too happy to direct us. We did end up walking across the street and a couple students told us "ya might want to stop drinking." O.o What? Excuse me? What did you say? Luckily, she later slipped and fell in the middle of the road.
Oh, I'm evil.
But we found ourselves on Brick Street, a loud, packed and smokey
oven college bar with several hundred people melding into an area the size of a dorm room. It was a huge hall, but everyone seemed to congregate in the skybar. Kelly brought her pompons she stole from the hotel (thief!) and put them to good use several times in the night. We positioned ourselves in front of the stage, a great punk band called The Sixes from MA and danced for a couple hours as the locals made fun of us in all our glory. Nah, we had a good time. We met several students whom complained dearly of this university but otherwise had a good time with us. I imagine this is a typical party school. This town is 96% college, which really drives the nightlife. I couldn't imagine doing this every night, but Stan said he's been drinking straight since Tuesday. I guess you build a tolerance. ;)
We were abandoned by Lee and Kelly and then Gregg and I ended up leaving the club well into the morning, well after I should have, but made our way back to the hotel in record time. It's amazing.. the town was still alive even then. On my way home, a caring student asked me (disorderly and nonchalantly) whether I needed a ride home. "Just let me know... (hiccup).. cause I have someone getting me." No, not getting any rides home from strangers... thank you.
It's gonna take a few more diet cokes than normal to wake me up this morning.
Groggy... not used to waking up with a few hours sleep.. several days in a row... with exams tomorrow. Shoot me now.
Posted by Luke at 9:21 AM
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Could I get any less sleep in this upscale hotel? I think I went to bed at 1 and woke up four times before my 6:30 alarm. I'm like a zombie. I was dragging my head all morning... four diet cokes later and I was finally awake.
The day was really quick. Quicker than yesterday. I imagine things will just move faster. Learning some very useful tidbits. Finding out how incorrect our current processes are.. how inefficient our practices may be.. how quickly certain jobs will become irrelevant.. how much work is ahead of us at my job... like my boss said.. she has enough work for me for years to come... if I stay that long.
The gang of 8 was together again tonight.. my groupies. We skipped the movie, grabbed four bottles of wine and headed into the lounge outside my room ("Bring out the TV!"), main lobby ("Could you move your gathering?" and finally to the rec room to watch American Idol ("I was wondering what all the hooting and laughing was about!") and the Grammy's, drunk and laughing far too loud.
Right at the beginning Mary (who exactly resembles Mary McDonnell from Dances with Wolves) people laid out their political leanings out on the table and Gregg nominated Kelly as the group's fag hag, a term to which she had no clue. Leeland, Shelly and Gregg were all too happy to help explain its meaning and their gift of bestowment. Even Mary, in her mid40s, knew the up and up.
I think it's hilarious the discussions that erupted throughout the night. Between Shelly's story of phone sex with her partner, to Gregg's definition and experiences with twinks, to Kelly's "8 years, 2 months and 4 days" of bitterness and her excessive "need" for new batteries as of late (from the from desk guy, no less).. to Mary's deciding that maybe she'd be gay for Faith Hill. To my feet and arm being "measured" by Mary (to her great excitement), to Gregg's up or down radar on Idoldom, or Leeland's mistaking Idol for "Star Search", oh these poor young/old people alike. But they were a blast and several of the young conference workers enjoyed hanging around us... well into the night.
Yes, too much free alcohol. It was said that they haven't had such a fun conference group in over six years. I don't doubt it. They want to take us out into town tomorrow night. Perhaps.
Kelly shared her ghost experience from last night. Nothing major, and people started rolling their eyes and telling her to shut up about the spooks already.. but she said she wore a teddy to bed "just in case" Tim the ghoul visited. Water ran in her sink for 10 seconds... and something "fell" onto the floor in a crash. Nothing there in the morning. She was hoping it was Tim's pants hitting the floor. "You think you've died!? Wait for tonight!"
So sorry about the frankness, today. But it's fun to be around lively people again. Reminds me of college and my great times with the gang. It'd be a hoot to work with these folks. I guess it tends to run with the job description. How unique but very similar everyone is. Unfortunately, I demonstrated my lack of memory when it comes to names.
Tomorrow is going to be tough. Learning is moving fast. I have yet to study for my exams. Sigh.
Fastidious... oh how it describes me. I set 'em high, expect nothing less and reach for the stars. I have a 5 year plan. Where are your goals? Are you moving in the right direction?
I guess another F word of the day could have been fairies. Heh.
Posted by Luke at 11:23 PM
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I had a blast tonight, and I imagine it will only get better. Definitely looking up. See, I believe in ghosts.. or at least some kind of paranormal activity.. dead people or not. It's fun to believe, fun to scare.. fun to recall stories. I grew up playing in old houses and staying up in cemeteries and scaring the crap out of skiddish friends.
It's come to Marcum Hall, the location of this conference.
See, alone, nothing I experienced last night would seem out of the ordinary. Last night I came back from walking around and my room had dropped temperature about 20 degrees. Window wasn't open. Heater wasn't broken. But it was cold.. but was HOT when I got here at 6. During the night, the bath tub started running water and then suddenly stopped. Not so strange.. weird things happen. Then today during a workshop.. my computer kept returning data that I never inputed into the system. It was as if someone was changing my settings. Then all of a sudden, the record I was working on changed to "Fisher Hall". Uhh.. what? Annoyed, I deleted it and started over.
Tonight over dinner, I sat with a wonderful set of fun-loving people. Kelly, a 42-year-old mother of 1 from Northern Ohio recalled her story of her haunted house. An encounter with a psychic.. and a 5yr old girl that is 'attached' to her... She then shared some tales of hauntings from Oxford, Ohio... where I am:
Oxford - Miami University - Peabody Hall - Mrs. Peabody who the hall is named after hated men, and the hall is on the site of the original college for women, today, it is a coed dorm, and males leaning out windows feel a strong pushing on them out the window. Women who are sick and try to get out of bed feel themselves pushed back into bed as if in a motherly manner. Peabody can be seen roaming the halls.This (and the ones below) were all shared tonight over dinner. Spooky.. not so much. But it was fun to share. Then others at the table shared their encounters at this hotel... notoriously haunted by a student that mysteriously died here 25 years ago. In Fisher Hall, the dorm they tore down before building this hotel. My dinner-mates shared their tales of water running unexpectedly during the night, strange tappings on their windows, temperature changes and chairs being moved during the night. Woah. We all had a little too much wine.
Oxford - Miami University - Reid Hall - is haunted due to a murder that occurred many years ago. There was shooting spree after a boy thought his girlfriend was cheating on him and the bloody handprints on the door in the second floor will not go away.Then tonight, after dinner, was a get-together where about 9 of us gathered to share stories, have laughs and enjoy a wonderful night. We had an open bar, served by a student, and the stories continued.
Oxford - Miami University - Wilson Hall - Doors unlock by themselves. Alarm clocks go off at wrong times. Chairs move around by themselves and other paranormal experiences. Rumor - originally was an insane asylum. The doctor who visited the patients lived next door, but built a tunnel to move from his house to the asylum without being noticed by the inmates. However, the tunnel eventually collapsed on him, killing him. Students say that they can still feel his presence, and many have seen a doctor in a white lab coat roaming the halls. The tunnel entry is still in the basement, and you can see where it has caved in. Also, the electro-shock therapy tub is still in the basement, and the students must pass it on the way to do laundry.The more we drank.. the more we laughed. Conversations swiftly changed from an upcoming trip through the local cemetary "gardens" to view the ghost... to episodes of Golden Girls... to tales of College rivalries... and then finally to wind down.. about the politics of our workplaces. But all the while.. we kept joking and giving folks a hard time because they were honestly scared of being haunted. This girl Jen... was so scared she wanted one of us to walk her back to her room. Apparently, she's in the "haunted side" of the inn... the side I'm in. It was a lot of fun.
Oxford - Miami University, Oxford College- Reports of a girl dressed in a long black dress by the dish line. The girl looked really sad and was dressed like someone from the early 1900's. Others had sightings of different things but the girl seems to be the main one. One of the Residence Hall Advisors saw the girl my mother described. An electrician quit when he was working upstairs at Oxford College. He wouldn't say what he saw just that he had seen something and that he wasn't ever going to risk going back into that building.Overall, the evening was full of laughs... lots of alcohol and good times. And there's 3 more days of it. Can't wait... even if the material is dull. Kelly is going to email us some pictures of her recent haunted-Cleveland tour.. where she apparently caught a picture of a ghost on her camera.. and other such things. We had a good laugh at her when she was telling us a story and mistakenly said "microscope" instead of "telescope" when trying to make her story spooky. Using a microscope to find evidence of hauntings and Satan's star... funny stuff.
A month of letters...
Education - I attended Romulus Central for K-12, University of Rochester for my Bachelor's Degree.. and now the William E. Simon School of Business Administration for my MBA. Should be done with that by mid2007. We shall see.
P.S. I'm watching a local news show where they lit a house on fire. Breaking news.. the house is on fire.
Posted by Luke at 11:02 PM
I am the master of getting around firewalls. Hear me roar. Well, not really. But I did get my VPN to work finally and now have full access to IM, VNC, email and the web. So now I can chat with all my lovers and friends alike.
Ever since this morning's breakfast... all anyone can talk about is how wonderful the food is here. How much people rave about the food. How it's terrific.. wonderful.. they can't wait. A guy even asked a question about it in this morning's sessions. People... please. Have you never been to a conference before? Silly. Nothing as of yet has been impressive. I like that we're drinking Coke products, but blah.. a few cookies at 2:30 isn't going to woo me over. It did to the guy that came out running from the conference hall.
I met a few interesting people so far here.. and if by interesting I mean very proud people. I work at a University. They work at Universities. They're very proud of that fact, and of their institutions. I guess it comes with the territory, and I'm to blame for letting a bit of pride out.. but please. "I'm the Assistant Vice President of Academic Services..." or "I'm the Director of Student Academic Counseling at the LAS." I'll just sit here, pretty and quiet. Well, quiet at least. I'm not impressed by titles.
Have I learned anything yet? Nope, not as of yet. I know this system pretty well, and I don't expect to learn much until tomorrow or so. I've already been battered with questions on how to do certain activities in the program.. and I'm just an end-user. We had a group picture taken... interesting.. and dorky. I suppose I'll hide that away like a 5th grade class portrait. If I had pictures from when I was younger....
At least it will be a quiet night. Relaxing, almost.
Who gets up at 6am? You're crazy.
Posted by Luke at 2:53 PM
Monday, February 06, 2006
I'm here, sitting in my hotel room. The flight was short.. a mere 70 minutes in the air. I sat awhile in the Rochester airport, sat awhile in the air, then quickly found myself ejected from the plane after it landed, wandering around the Cincinnati airport like a lost dog. No signs. No direction. Just "here ya go"! Somehow I found myself on a shuttlebus, which crossed through the runways to some other terminal. After walking aimlessly for what felt like a half hour, I found myself on a chain of moving sidewalks that whisked me to concourse a, then shuttlebay 1,2 and 3, then up a escalator and poof.. the once-only-dreamt-about baggage claim.
I overindulge myself with details. But it was annoying. No signs. Nothing.
I had a guy holding a sign for me. I never thought that would ever happen. Well, except that guy that took that rap for those goods I stole.. wait, no, that was a movie. But he helped me load my bags and then drove this oddball New Mexico guy and myself an hour northwest into Kentucky, Indiana and then finally Oxford, OH.
I'm all checked into my hotel room. They had a nice little basket of goodies ready for me. I'm all alone, sitting with my 70s tv set... drinking this disgusting lime soda water.. and counting down the hours. I'm well into my new book... and chatting up folks on the telephone. Oh, and for Erikku, to the right is my "current" workstation, aka.. my hotel room. ;) Yes, with Law&Order on in the background.
It this going to repeat itself every night this week? Hopefully not, as people will arrive by tomorrow... and I have a ton of studying to do all this week.
Give me a call. Say hello. I have a lot of time on my hands.
P.S. This hotel has free internet.. but limited connectivity. Browsing only, no IM, VPN or email. Bah. At least its a king-sized bed.
A month of letters...
Digital camera.. as in mine.. its a blessing in disguise. If you'd like to learn more about the fabulous toy that takes so many of my pictures.. click here.
Posted by Luke at 7:04 PM
Here I am, in the concourse, sitting on the only available power outlet, blogging about life and the party that was.
It turned out well. Despite the weather, despite the six people that cancelled and the four people that said they were coming but did not, and despite two of the six people in attendance watching Lost in my bedroom instead, I was very happy with the turnout. It doesn't take much to make me happy, but I am left with so much food leftover its not even funny. Not funny because now I'm flying out of state and it will sit in my fridge for 5 days. I did send a bit home with those that did attend, but I threw out a bunch this morning just because I doubt it would be worth eating in a week.
So the Steelers won. Sounds about right. Everyone was rooting for them. I watched maybe 5 minutes of the game. I didn't even get to see many of the commercials. I was up, around, getting people drinks, making sure it warm/cool enough in the different rooms, delivering food, making calls, directing traffic, saving a small city... okay.. I exaggerate.
Including in the leftovers: 25 bottles of beer (Newcastle Brown Ale, Yuengling, etc), 7 layer bean dip, 1 gallon of delicious chili, 15 pot stickers, 4 bags of chips, 27 cookies, 8 bottles of soda/pop, 2 bottles of salsa, 2 containers of hummus, 2 dips, a million tostitos, 4 pizzas, 1 load of bruschetta, etc...)
I miss my cat. My sister took her back with her for the week. She didn't want to go. I didn't want to leave her. Last night was very quiet and lonely without her sitting next to my head. My sister lives about an hour away... so she called about 10 minutes into her journey to complain that Ashley was sitting on her neck, in the car, meowing up a storm, crying for someone to save her. She doesn't do well in cars. But she's safe now, at her house, with her two cats. Apparently she's being antisocial. I would expect so. She's never met another cat.
Thank you Alison for taking me to the airport. It's very snowy. I'm watching them de-icing the planes. For now my plane is ON TIME, but hopefully we won't be delayed too long. I have to sit in the limo on the other side when I land for an hour, so at least I have a little leeway. I'm a bit twitchy. I love to travel, but I'm a bit nervous. Nervous about having exams immediately when I return. Nervous about missing two 3-hour classes this week. Nervous that Alison said her wicca has deemed today a bad traveling day. Nervous that Jake is taking care of my birds and fish...
Just let me get to Cincinnati all right. See you on the other side.
Posted by Luke at 1:03 PM
Sunday, February 05, 2006
The last couple of days have been a blur. Been really busy and stressful and annoying and any other frustated emotion you can come up with. But it's all coming to a nice close today, which is satisfying.
I've been getting a weird vibe from several people as of late. It's put me into a grumpy mood. I know I shouldn't care what certain people think of me, but when you've become attached to them in certain ways and then they do or say things that just seem abrupt and rude, or you suspect it in other ways, it's just annoying. I spent most of Friday under a dark cloud. I was relieved and elated to just come home and close my eyes.
But that lasted only a little bit, because my sister is here for the weekend. So her and I invaded Jake's evening, which consisted of car work, thai food and dirty laundry. Long story. But it was excellent, and definitely a mood booster. I can always count on Jake for that.
Yesterday was a half-day marithon of homework with my group. I think we're the biggest group of self-important, positively sure of ourself, arguers I've ever seen. We spent two and a half hours talking to each other about ONE problem. Toward the end we just ended up giving up and relenting to the one person's answer. And now I see we've completely changed our answer again through email. It was a lot of fun... but a waste of time better spent sleeping.
I've got everything set up for the party. I cleaned everything, mounted my new TV, cooked cooked cooked.. and am very satisfied with it all. Very happy. Unfortunately this horrendous storm that just rolled in has caused commotion and cancellations from some of my guests. I hope I still have some people show up... I have so much food ready for them.
Wish me luck.
A month of letters...
Cancellations... as in.. about 6 people have decided not to come to the party due to the weather. Not that I don't blame them. It is snowing and cold and wet. Oh well. I'll let you know how it all goes later. I'm flying away to Ohio tomorrow. Talk to you soon.
Posted by Luke at 5:12 PM
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I'm not happy right now. I'm very lucky I'm even able to post. I came home after class to find my laptop powercord almost chewed in half. Tiny wires sticking out the sides. And by the looks of my battery level, it was done within the 15 minutes prior to my coming home. She must know when I'm supposed to be home. Is she mad at me? Either way, I'm really angry. I know I shouldn't. I mean, she's destroyed other stuff of mine and I shrug it off. It's just stuff, ya know? But there's some stuff that just doesn't make sense to chew. One of them is a powercord. Of my laptop. Five days before I am traveling. Sigh.
Looking for Valentine's Day card ideas? I know you are. Mike today pointed me to some Law & Order: SVU valentines. And if I wasn't so manly (gag) I would totally get them and give them out. They're really funny, and popular. Apparently this guy has stopped taking orders. My favorites are "You're the one" and "You're extra special!" Super.
Tonight we had a grand ol' time in class. Not only is our exam next week (which I am unfortunately going to take the Saturday I come back) but I've found talking to the professor extremely disconcerting. (And no Laura, I don't need you to define that word either.) I was talking right to him and his eyes were looking at my chest. I felt like bending down to look him straight on, but his fake hair/scalp distracted me and I lost focus. I muttered something about "Saturday at noon" and scuttled out of the room. But several of the people in my classes are actually being quite friendly to me as of late. It's like they've learned my name and actually have something of interest to talk to me about. Weird. I don't have much in common with these folks. But it's nice, anyway.
My wall mount for my new LCD tv arrived today at work. I tried to install them onto the wall tonight, but realized I'm going to need a drill for it. But I'm getting more excited about the whole ordeal. I think I've found a stud to attach it to, I need to get some cable wiring this weekend to set it all up. No point in watching TV in your bedroom if you don't get any channels. One purchase leads to the next. Might need to get another 50' s-video wire to run from my computer too. But then again, I might begin to spend too much time in bed now. Hmm. Ups and downs.
I feel a bit drained. Energy level has been dropping as of late. Might be all these late nights I've been having. Or the daily outings with Alison (such as today's trip to Mykonos Express) or the fact that I've been eating like 1400 calories a day. Oh, and plenty of compliments on my haircut and my new outfit today. I guess they're not so bad after all.
A month of letters...
Birds. As in, my finches. I unfortunately lost a bag where I purchased a bunch of stuff for them. Dropped it in the mall or something. I don't remember. It had a brand new beautiful nest for them and nesting material. I met up with Joanne at the store and she showed me her baby Australia Lovebirds. Now she's in the right business. She gets $80 a pop for them.. compared to my measly $8.
Posted by Luke at 11:57 PM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Tax Free Week has made me insane. One of my goals as of late is to replace my entire wardrobe, which is no easy feat, as I'm always reluctant to buy new clothes when I never intend to stay the size I am. But I digress. I spent WAY too much money on dress clothes tonight. Eight new outfits. Plus, I splurged at Bed, Bath & Beyond to replace my linens. You'd think I had won the lottery. Between the new clothes, the upcoming birthdays, the new sheets, new TV, party supplies and my flight to Atlanta, this month has turned into one expensive shindig.. and it just started! Someone cut up my ATM card.
Thanks to Laura for the funny Dilbert comic, which sums up my life at any given time.
A fun link from CindyV tonight (and kind thank yous for the gift I mailed her). An entire store with her name on the shirt. Somehow I didn't expect her to be smitten over a t-shirt.
The history of pizza from Scott, which explains why the pizza aisle at the grocery store is 5 times larger than any other section.
And from Jay, a link that made me want to go throw up, the face of true horror. Brace yourself before clicking.
Alison whisked me away for a late lunch today at an asian eatery called Chen Garden. She acted insulted when I had told her I've never been... shocked, dismayed and ultimately pleased to have exposed me to such a lively and interesting ambiance. The food was fantastic (and very hard on my sore sore teeth), the lighting was dim, the waitstaff friendly. We gorged (well, pretended) ourselves on 4 courses and jolted back to work before the 2:00 hour struck. A fantastic place, indeed. I love to try new places, especially when they're right around the corner. I think I'm gonna LOVE having Alison working here.
Thus begins a new month. The end of the trivia. The beginning of what? I've updated my goals, travel plans, links, blah blah. I accomplished my January Challenge without a hitch. I've expanded into a February Challenge, a further testimate to my need to punish myself. Lynda suggested an alphabet thing. So I guess I'll do that while I think about it.
A month of letters...
Accent - I recently went through a dialect test by two of my coworkers to see where I fit in with the rest of the nation. For example, I am part of the 6.64% of the nation that uses both aunt (like in caught) and aunt (like in ant). If you look close, it's a dot right in Rochester. ;)