Friday, July 22, 2005

Where I've Been, and Where I'll Be...

Where I've Been

Vacationing. I took most of last week off as we had company in town.

Working. This week, that is. Working like a mad dog, not that I've ever seen a mad dog work, but you get the point.

This is my busiest time of year (gotta love the timing of summer, *sigh*). Did I mention I've been working?

Where I'll Be

Next week: On vacation.

I know. You say, "Uhh, Eddie, let me get this straight. You're killing yourself at work, it's your busiest time of year, and you're taking another vacation? Right after you just took a vacation?"

Yeah. That's basically the drill. Have you ever found it relaxing to have your house overrun by 11 visitors? Didn't think so. The next vacation is so we can recoup from the last.

THE BEACH! Yay! I can't wait. One entire week of no phones, no meetings, no last minute "Oh, I forgot to tell you I'm moving tomorrow and I need 10 people to help"'s. It'll be beach during the day, and brain rotting TV, videos and games at night. Not to mention the food. Oh, the food! Ahhhh....

(I have Frank Sinatra'a "The Summer Wind" playing right now--seems appropriate somehow)

So guess where I'll be when I get back?

Working. And working some more, and basically undoing the therapy of the second vacation.

Then school starts next month, and a few weeks after that work will crescendo into "crazy hyper insane busy", and then work will slow down considerably.

But then... Well, I'll save the rest for another time.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On Music and Singing

An interesting topic this week over on VSoM.

Having been raised Catholic, I can tell you that music wasn't a big part of my life. I mean, sure, I'd sing at church on Sunday, but never really loud. Then you have my dad, who liked to go to the 7:30 AM mass because they didn't have music. Yes, for that very reason he liked the early mass. Why? Because it let out, on average, 7 minutes earlier than the musical masses (seriously, I'm not making this up, folks). Thus, you can see that my musical talents were never really explored or developed.

Then add to that the fact that most Catholics can't carry a tune in a bucket, and, well, you can see that I was destined to a life of musical mediocrity. (please, don't write me scathing comments because you're one of the top 2% of Catholics with musical abilities--you must admit, you're on the far reaches of the bell curve, and for that I salute you--carry on!)

Then I married into Anne's family--the family that happily gathers around the piano to sing, just for the fun of it. The first few times they did this, I gladly sat down, perfectly content to just listen and enjoy their talents. Well, you see, that didn't really go over well.

No, you have to participate. Which means actually singing, out loud, in front of people you know. Inevitably someone would take a picture--now, have you ever seen a flattering picture of someone (other than the three tenors) taken while they were singing? I didn't think so. On occassion someone would break out the video camera. Good heavens, was there no end to their torture?!

In our first ward, Anne was called as choir director. So guess who was suddenly in the choir? Consider that I had only ever sung "parts" on one song--"How Great Thou Art"--and you can see that I had lots to learn.

But a funny thing has happened along the way... I now actually like to sing. I've been in two or three ward choirs, I love gathering our kids around the piano on Monday night to sing a few primary songs, and I enjoy singing during church services and meetings.

I'm not good by any stretch of the imagination, but I've come a long way.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Quick Summer Poll

Tell me...

"Lightning bugs" or "Fire flies"?

When I grew up, we called them "lightning bugs"...

Friday, July 01, 2005

The rest of the story

My four and a half hour "nap" was, well, short.

I woke up at 4:20 AM, and the first thing I did was call the airline to see what happened to our original flight. The agent told me the flight had been cancelled. I said something to the effect of, you know, that's great, that's really good news, etc.

She replied, "That's not the usual reponse I get from that type of news..." I explained she confirmed I had just saved me and my co-workers from sitting around the airport for another two hours the night before!

We took a cab back to the airport, no traffic at 4:30 in the morning, go figure. Inside the terminal, there was mayhem. People lined up, kiosks not functioning, and none of us could check in. An airline rep overheard that we were going to Dulles, and instructed us that our flight had been cancelled. Yes, the NEW flight was also cancelled! "There were some delays last night," she told us. Yeah, thanks for that bit of info. We had to go wait in a line around the corner with the other "problem children" whose flights had also been cancelled.

We stood in the line for 45 minutes, and it didn't move once. I finally called the airline on the phone, and got an agent who said she would rebook us on another airline. After 5 minutes on hold, she came back and informed me that their outbound phone lines were down, and she was terribly sorry that she was unable to get us tickets on another airline.

Finally one of my coworkers went to the first class check-in line. She's a fiesty one, and so was able to pry some information from the ticket agent. Turns out OUR flight had not been cancelled, but an earlier flight to Dulles was cancelled. We got our boarding passes, went through security, and were told the flight was 10 minutes late.

An airplane actually pulled into the gate. That was a good sign. Then we were told the airplane needed some work. It would now leave at 7:10. Around 7:05, the pilot made an announcement from the ticket counter. That was not a good sign. The plane needed some parts, there was another Dulles-bound plane that needed different parts, so they were going to pillage the parts for our plane from the other broken aircraft.

7:45 they herded us on board. I asked the flight attendant when they planned to serve the steak and eggs, he replied, "as soon as the hash browns are cooked." 8:15 we actually went airborne.

8:15 and ten seconds, the guy in front of me cranks his seat back as far as it would go. I was seated in the very last row of the plane, and thus my seat would not recline even a fraction of a degree. I eventually propped my feet in such a way that my knees would dig into his back. Petty? Sure. Enjoyable? You bet. I was in no mood.

We landed, not expecting to actually see our luggage. Then, whaddya know, all of our bags showed up.

My boss offered to drive me home. We went outside, and the parking shuttle came right away. See? This trip wasn't so bad after all... Got our bags, didn't have to wait for the shuttle... there is, after all, some good news in all this!

Except for the dead car battery, that is.