Friday, September 16, 2005

The Frustration of Flying the "Friendly" Skies

I have said it before, and I will say it again: I hate flying. Maybe it's just America, but flying is now akin to having a prostate exam: just bend over and hope it doesn't hurt too much. Why am I so angry? Well, I had the WORST traveling experience I have had in a LOOOONG time yesterday. That's why I was so tired. I started at noon in Minneapolis and finished at 3 am in Connecticut. Between dealing with annoying (and slightly hand-happy security people (I'll get there), long delays, horrible seatmates and long travel time, what should be enjoyable becomes amazing frustrating. So, here's the deal:

I had to come east for a family emergency of sorts. I don't really want to go into the details but suffice to say: I had to come East. So, with a 3 o'clock flight and no seat, I arrived at the airport early to get setup. From the moment I walked in, I knew there would be trouble. There were only two security lines open and in between them was a man with a camera (from WCCO as it were). He took one look at me, and all of a sudden, Leab had a camera in his face and was being asked questions about Northwest. I answered them honestly: "They suck, this sucks, Shelby sucks (the last I really didn't say), and I'm not surprised NWA is going under. They cut pillows for God's sake. PILLOWS to save money." The cameraman almost started laughing, because everyone else had been, "Super PC and nice about it." That's just not me. With the interview out of the way, I headed into the security line. After what felt like hours (really was around 45 minutes) I put my bag on the conveyer belt and went through the checkpoint. I didn't beep, but I had the mark on my boarding pass that said I needed to be searched. That's right: I was pulled into the little black box and had to open up my bag and be searched by a wand. The bag search wasn't a problem. Granted, they weren't happy I had a bottle wine with me, but they let it go. The problem began with (and I wish I was kidding), "a bulge in my pants." I swear to good it sounds like the beginning of a porno, but it's true. They made me take off my pants. Let me say that again: They made me TAKE OFF MY PANTS. Why? Because I had a mysterious bulge. Once the pants were removed, the bulge turned out to chapstick. I forgot to remove it from my pants, and the guy was suspicious. Maybe he just wanted to see if I was boxers or briefs (boxers, thank you very much), but still, I was pissed just standing there in my underwear. A few seconds later, I was dressed and on my way to the gate.

Ah, the gate. I was in the C terminal, but no too far down. I waited there for hours. HOURS! Damn, it still pisses me off to think about it. 3 o'clock came and went, and they would not tell us why the plane was delayed. Finally, at 4:15, they tell us, "You're plane is delayed due to air traffic control in Newark. Hmm, every other flight to Newark was fine. The weather wasn't a problem, but our plane was half full. As a "convenience" to the passengers of the next flight, the two planes were merged to make a totally full flight. Sounds a little too convenient to me. Finally at 5, we board the plane. I'm in the Exit Row (great for leg room, bad should the plane go down). Unfortunately, I am sitting next to a Sex in the City reject. A short, thin brunette wearing a designer label, Manolo shoes, and a HUGE scowl. It seems that little miss investment banker was on the wait list for first class, but did not get a seat up there. So she had to sit with the rest of the plebians. Halfway through the flight, she began bitching to me about her life. I don't know this woman from Eve, but suddenly I am her therapist. She would not stop talking. I was reading, I was looking over documents, but it didn't matter. The most interesting part (to me anyway) is that she never asked me anything about myself. She couldn't have cared less who I was. I know her husband is a lousy lay, but she couldn't care less that I'm married, or tired, or even breathing.

Finally, we land, and the next part of the adventure begins. I have to get to Manhattan from Newark airport and the easiest way is (usually) to take the train to Penn station. To get to the railway, you have to take the tram to the last stop. It sounds simple, but last night the tram was completely FUBAR. That's right, FUBAR! You see I came into Terminal B, and it is 3 stops west to railway center. Sounds easy. Well, when we got to P4, the second stop, they forgot to announce that one of the trams was busted, so instead of continuing to the railway stop, we started going backwards. Now the car I'm in is pissed. We get off and run across to the other tram (which is now running) and ride back to P4. The tram stops short of the station. We're stuck. I have now missed the first train to NY. Five minutes later, the train pulls up to the station. We get out and have to run across to the other tram to continue on. The doors shut and...we go nowhere. The tram is stuck. The doors opened, and we're told to get out. Three minutes later the other tram pulls back up, and we start to get on it. An older woman moving a little slower is trying to get in my car when the door shuts on her. She's stuck, and that annoying voice is saying, "Get away from the door." She can't! So another rider and I grab the doors and force them open to help her. The conductor (or whatever she is) starts yelling at us. "Stop that! You'll break the tram. She'll be fine." The other passenger and I take a quick glance at each other and pretend we didn't hear her. The door finally opens enough so the older woman can squeeze in. After all this time, I finally get to the railway station.

Part III: Wherein I have a hot, hot, hot ride and then can't find my ride. The train was late. It's now 9:40 at night. Finally, ten minutes late, it arrives, and we board. There's no A/C, and it's a hot and humid night in New York. With a ton of people on the train, we start sweating like crazy. After getting to Penn, I attempt to contact my parents, who I will be driving up to Connecticut. No luck with my mother's cellphone or the apartment number. The plan is that If I can't reach them, I need to go to the restaurant where they were having dinner, then check the apartment. With the subway line I need down for repair, I walk to the restaurant. Tons of sweat is pouring off of me (I know, such a sexy image) as I beat the street. At the restaurant, I am told to wait outside while they check for my parents. Why? Well, between my backpack and my sweating, I would not be good for the pretty people inside. Plus, the waiter tells me later, "a darker-skinned man with a backpack who is sweating profusely kinda looks like a terrorist." Ok then. My parents aren't there, so now I have to hoof it over to the apartment. I don't have keys, so I have to wait outside the building until someone comes out and I can catch the door (takes about 15 minutes). My parents are, in fact, home. It turns out that my mother's cell phone is dead (not battery-wise, but rather the chip inside is fried), and the apartment's phone isn't working. My parents thought I never made it. Now, after a cheerful (SARCASM) reunion, I began the two hour drive to CT.

The drive was...uneventful. There was a deer that was almost hit, two cars chasing each other at over a hundred miles per hour. Oy. Still after all that crap, it was still necessary to be here. I love to travel, but man, I hate (using hate folks) days like yesterday (and this morning). Hope you all have a nice weekend (though I'll write again).

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Ok, I am way too tired to post tonight. Sorry boys and girls. I promise a big full story tomorrow.
For now, think about this:
Local anchor man Jason DeRusha left a comment on my blog. Hot damn I feel important.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (9/14/05)

Ok, I know: I've been doing alot of the "Ramblings" lately, but that's because so much happens during the day. At some point, I'll do what evey good blogger does and make some sort of schedule. So, with out further ado: SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM!
Britney Spears Gives Birth:
This one's too easy. Take your pick.
1. Christians: It was a boy....The Anti-Christ is here, so you should begin preparing.
2. Name that baby: No name has been released yet, so I thought I would throw out a couple names for her and Federline to mull over before choosing. (Feel free to leave your own ideas in the comment section.)
Welfare Check Federline (It makes sense. Her career is over)
Cheeseburger Spears Federline (She did say that was her favorite food, and food is hip now.)
New Orleans Federline (She loves her home state. Why not show pride for its fallen city?)
George Bush Federline (She did say we have to follow him no matter what.)
Justin Gigolo Federline (Like the song. She could call him that way. Every where he goes...)
Confederate Spears Federline (Cause the South might rise again.)
Madonna Spears Federline (She says she wants to be Madonna...)
3. Will anyone really care about her anymore? Seriously?
Delta and Northwest File for Bankruptcy:

I don't know about you, but I'm really not surprised. Now the two airlines can merge into one ginormous (that's for my wife) company, and Northwest can use Delta's mechanics. Problem solved for them. Seriously though, it's not surprising. The question is this: If Northwest goes all the way under, how screwed up will Minnesota's economy become? I've been saying for years: Fix the freaking railway systems. One of the best parts of Europe is riding around on the trains. Same thing in Japan. Come on America, let's wise up.
Chess Teacher Arrested:
Look at this man. Can you seriously tell me that anyone is really surprised that he was arrested for possible child sexual assault? How did he do it? "Pawn to Queen 7....King to Rook 4....My hand to your pants 2....Don't tell your parents 6...."
I mean seriously, his chess students sometimes spend the night at his home. How can you not see this coming if you're a parent. They saw it coming with Michael Jackson. Yet this guy, who's a dead ringer for my buddy Worm (Oh I kid, Worm, I kid. Worm's a handsome guy...or so I've been told by Tara) was just kicking it with students in his home, and no one thought, "Gee...Timmy sure is spending the night over at Bob's an awful lot. Oh well, must be practicing." Oy vey!
The Most Evil Cat in the WORLD!:
Ok, he's not the MOST evil cat in the world, but he sure is darn close. Every morning before my alarm tells me it's 5:30, this lovely cat sticks a wet nose on my face. If that doesn't get me up, he goes to his "B-Move" (as my wife calls it) where he gets on my face and tries to suffocate me while digging his front claws into my neck. It's the kind of move that, were he not a cat, would probably be done by S & M lovers (or dominators) everywhere.
Now, if that move doesn't work, this lovely cat (and he is quite lovely, and hopefully will make it into the Bad Cat calendar coming out next year) will then go to the wall and begin picking at it using his claws while meowing. Even if a pillow is thrown at or around him (or even hits him) he will not stop. The sad part is that once I get up and he gets his drink from the faucet (yes, this is all about me turning on the bathroom faucet) he then goes back to sleep WHERE I WAS! He's clever, cute, and conniving. If only he were a woman...oh I kid the female species, I kid.

Well, special guest Sir Winston Churchill, how do you feel about tonight's ramblings?
Ms. Spears' baby still looks better than Prince Charles. That family was definitely hit with the ugly stick.
Thank you Sir for your cheeky British humour, as it were.
Good night Ladies and Gentlemen.
Apparently, the kid has been named Preston Michael Spears Federline. Um, I got nothing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (9/13/05)

This will have to be quick as I have a lot to get to, and it's after ten. So...LET'S PLAY THE FEUD!
The Aggregator:
Somehow and someway, my little stupid blog has made it into
The Aggregator. MN Speak's directory of blogs. I am utterly flattered, though I don't understand why. You see (and this is not a compliment grab or anything like that) I'm not as funny or poignant or whatever as alot of the other blogs on that site. Slanderous Minneapolis, for example, is on The Aggregator, and they should be. They are very funny. I'm not saying that I don't want to be, because I have received a few new readers from MN Speak, but I just don't feel worthy. It's a confidence thing.
That's it for this evening. Former Mayor Ed you have anything to add? No? All righty then. Night folks.

An Open Letter to the White Trash at Alleygators in Plymouth

(If this offends you, get over it. I may not necessarily mean you, but if you think I do, then you deserve that feeling. No suing.)
Dear White Trash,
Oh I am ever so sorry that my friends and I were so overly loud for you. You see, we were just enjoying our drinks and stories like normal people would. That's right, that's called camaraderie. They may have been utterly killed on the volleyball court, but off the court, they were enjoying the stories about "Patch," and even puke and such. Perhaps we shouldn't have been sitting in the bar talking about the times we were thrown up on, but that's what happens when you start sharing stories.
So why do I bring this up to you, you idiotic trailer dwellers? Well, rather than tell my little band of merry men and women that we were too loud, you threw napkins and bottles at us. Then, like high school kids, you pretended that it wasn't you while snickering to each other.
I noticed it first, so I was the one who asked, "Am I supposed to check 'yes' if I like you," then made a mark and threw it back. There's no reason for you to get all defensive and call the manager when YOU made the first move.
If the whole thing is about the fact that it was "Karaoke Night", and we were too loud, then you STILL have no reason to be upset, because NO ONE WAS SINGING. That's right, no one was butchering a Jon Bon Jovi or Toby Keith song. You had no reason to be upset.
When you were asked about your behavior, you acted like you hadn't done anything, yet the waitress even noted that you were acting like children.
If you have a problem, just come over and tell us. We're reasonable people. You can tell we're reasonable, because we didn't, "start a brawl," like one of you suggested.
So here's my proposal: You go back to doing your Meth in the bathroom with your female mullets and "Tickets to the Gun Show," t-shirts, and my crew and I will just continue having a good time and not bothering anyone else. Did you notice that the other tables didn't care? It was just you punks who were missing teeth and had (oh I wish I were kidding) tattoos of the confederate flag.
So the next time you throw a bottle or napkins at me or my friends, you will see retaliation. If not physical, then the kind you hate the most: verbal. We'll use big words you don't understand and call you names. You seem to like calling people, "Gay," so how about we call you, "stupid," or even just, "homosexual," now and then?
Then again, if you're signing Karaoke every tuesday night at Alleygators, perhaps your life is a little boring.
Hope you don't ever breed. Have a nice day.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (9/12/05)

Wow. It was a long weekend with a lot of crazy stuff happening. So, without further ado, LET'S PLAY THE FEUD!
Coincidence...or Fate?:
A friend and co-worker of my wife had a hot tub party this weekend. As I drove up there, I was listening to the radio and one of my favorite songs came on: Burning Down the House by the Talking Heads. Great song, go listen to it. Anyway, right as it got to the chorus, I came around a corner on Highway 252 to find two police cars and some sort of automobile that was completely ablaze. That's right. As I passed by this burning car, the radio blared, "Burning down the house!" It was a strange coincidence...or so I thought. As I approached Stacie's house (the co-worker), I noticed Jill's (the Party Girl) car. As I pulled up next to it, the radio started to play, "One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer." It totally fit. And, as it turns out, Jill was a little sauced. So was my radio a prophet...or was it all coincidence? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.
Ah Stacie. She's an interesting character. First of all, Stacie is about 5'9", maybe 110 pounds and looks like she belongs in the 1950s. Secondly, beyond the fact that she's a light weight when it comes to drinking, she has this uncanny knack, when she's drunk, to blurt out something that makes everyone in the room turn their head. Need an example? Ok, one time while we were eating at
Nami, Stacie had a little too much to drink. There was a lull in the noise around us (we were in the center of the dining room) and Stacie, who had been quiet for awhile, suddenly blurts out (and I'm quoting here folks), "This one time, when I was giving this guy head..." Immediately every single person in the room (ok, it WAS mostly guys) turns and stares at us. I thought it was great, so I started with waving to the room a la Queen Elizabeth (even threw in a few, "Helllllloooos," here and there). Without giving you the whole story (unless you really want it), I now call Stacie, "Patch," when I see her. Have fun with that one.
Ok, so the lovely
Meridita is getting a new roommate, and she wants HORROR STORIES. Now, I am lucky in that I have never had a psycho roommate. My freshman year of college, I lived in a single. Sophomore and junior year I lived alone. During my senior year, however, I did have a roommate, sort of. See Caroline and I did essentially live together senior year (though we had our own places). What I'm talking about, however, is Cecil. I know I've mentioned him before, but it bares repeating. Cecil was (and still is) a dance teacher at the university I went to. The department learned that I was living alone in a house (also known as bliss) and told Cecil he could live with me. I returned from a trip, and there he was on my stoop. So, he lived with me for three months. It was difficult at times (as most roommate relationships can be), but he's still the best roommate I ever had. The best thing was that he kept the place spotless. He was even more of a clean freak than I was (that's saying something). However, the worst experience came when I returned from a night out, and Cecil was on my couch inebriated (of sorts) and watching gay porn. With no homework (and the fact that it was already playing and charged to my cable account), I joined him in watching. I learned two things:
1. Gay porn is even funnier than real porn. Real porn has some sort of plot, gay porn doesn't.
2. Anything is funnier when you're out of it.
That's about the worst thing he ever did.
So I've never had a psycho roommate, but my wife, my sister, and my friend all have. Let's go through each one.
During her freshman year, Caroline lived with an art student, who, for some unknown reason, would start playing "The Girl from Ipanema" over and over again at two in the morning while she worked. That's right. The beloved elevator tune that's really no longer than about three minutes over and over again for hours. HOURS! However, the worst came one night when the student procrastinated too much. The roommate returned to the room at 9 PM and cut cardboard ALL NIGHT LONG during finals week. Never asked, just snip, snip, snip. No wait, sorry, I've been corrected. It was crunch, crunch, crunch.
My sister had a roommate that was literlly psycho. One night my sister woke up, rolled over, and discovered her roommate standing over her with a knife talking about having to "sacrifice (my sister) to her God!" Suffice to say, that didn't go over well. This roommate also stole money and clothes from her.
My buddy may have the worst stories however. He let a friend move in with him, because, "he was desperate." Well, the friend said he had no money, but he would make it up. After a year, the following happened:
1. The friend always had excuses why he didn't have the rent, but he had the money to get drunk every night AND do things like gamble or see strippers.
2. Clothes and other items disappeared from my buddy's closet only to wind up in his friend's room.
3. The friend's girlfriend was given a key (without permission). My buddy comes home one day, drops his stuff, and heads to the bathroom. He opens the door, and there's the friend's girlfriend shaving her body hair off (he pointed to a certain part of the anatomy) with HIS razor. Her response upon seeing him enter? She asked if he, "wanted to help her?"
4. The friend needed to get to an apointment one day and paniced, so he grabbed my buddy's car keys and took off with his car. His note read something like, "Took car. Back later." That didn't go over well and was the last straw. My buddy called the cops and reported the car stolen, then he moved all of his friend's stuff out and called a locksmith. There not friends anymore. Want to guess why?
So to Meridita, I wish you luck. Plus, if the roommate is no good, we'll "remove" her for you. Seriously.

My Diploma:
I finished my Master's program in July. So, here it is midway through September, and I STILL DON'T HAVE MY DIPLOMA. Come on, St. Thomas, send me piece of paper. I just want to frame that sucker and put it up on the wall and think about the good times in school....Yeah...good times...or something. When I graduated from college, my diploma was right there. They handed it to me. It wasn't a fake piece of paper. Is this because I didn't attend your full-on, hardcore Mass that you call graduation? I didn't want to pay all the money for tickets and gowns and such. ANNND you held it on a weekday. A WEEKDAY! Some of us have jobs that we don't want to leave. Seriously. I was teaching that day. So, St. Thomas, here's a tip. If you want Grad students to attend your ceremonies, have them on the weekend or make them at night. It's simple. Sheesh.
Have a good night folks.