Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Worth a thousand words ...

I've discovered that my super awesome phone (well, aside from the fact that it doesn't understand Daylight Savings Time) takes pretty decent pictures, so now I find myself constantly taking pictures with it. I had quite a few pictures piling up on there, so I went through and forwarded the good ones and deleted the stupid ones. Here are the fruits of my labor, in no particular order:

This is Rudy, who lives with Heath and Heidi, whose house I stayed in for part of my time in Madison.

I saw this in the vitamin section at Wal-Mart the other day.

Check out the sweet accessory that turned my cruiser into a bar-hopper.

Heath on his basement bouldering wall. Bouldering is hard.

I came home for four days and pretty much took over the driveway and garage with my stuff. The boys were nice enough to help out with some of the work.

I drove through Missouri on the heels of a rainstorm that left everything all pretty and spring-like.

I say I live in Arkansas, but really I just have an address there. I actually live here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Things I've Learned:

  • Just because the wine only costs $3.00 a bottle, doesn't mean you can just drink more of it. In fact, this in highly inadvisable. I know this from a little run-in I had with what we like to call "Three Buck Chuck."
  • Putting down vinyl flooring isn't as hard as I thought, but it's still not easy. I didn't do the best tiling job ever, but I did my best tiling job ever.

  • The DMV in Wisconsin is worse than the DMV in Arkansas. I thought I was a genius when I showed up 20 minutes before the place even opened .... apparently I'm not the only one who thought of that:

  • The guys in the hardware department at Home Depot don't actually know any more about hardware than I do.

I apologize for the lack of explanation here. It's been a LONG two weeks and I'm exhausted. I should be heading back to Arkansas on Thursday, at which point I will have been gone over three weeks. I can't wait to sleep on my luxurious sheets again!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I learn something new everyday.

A few things this week have become painfully clear to me:
  • There is a huge difference between Anderson Street and Anderson Road in DeForest, Wisconsin. If you don't specify the right one, Google Maps will send you to some random house instead of the trailer place.

  • Just because someone is wearing an orange Home Depot apron doesn't necessarily mean he can actually help you find something.

  • The Volkswagen Touareg is smarter than I am.

  • If a fat unpleasant state trooper is blocking the exit you need, it's perfectly okay to make an otherwise illegal u-turn on the interstate. In fact, this is advisable.

  • Rock climbing will make your entire body incredibly sore. It is also more important to know the lingo and to have the coolest gear than it is to actually know how to climb.

  • Driving a forklift is harder than it looks.

  • Not everyone understands Daylight Savings Time, especially the change that was made this year. Most notably, my cell phone does not understand this, which is a huge pain in my ass.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Leavin' on a Jet Plane ...

I've mentioned before that, as a general rule, things do not go according to plan for me. However, in the last few months, I'd begun to think that my luck was changing. As of Thursday ... not so much.

The plan was for me to fly to Omaha and meet my coworkers for an event Thursday night there. Then Friday we would drive to Des Moines for our weekend event. Apparently United Airlines and Mother Nature did not approve of this plan. When I landed in Denver, I had a voicemail on my phone from the airline informing that my connecting flight into Omaha had been cancelled due to the massive amount of snow that fell overnight. Okay. Whatever. So I stood in line at the customer service counter for about half an hour. When it was finally my turn, the rather unpleasant lady there told me that I had been re-booked on a later flight. I wouldn't be arriving in Nebraska until evening at best. I would definitely be missing the event there, if they even still had it. At that point, I really had no good reason to go to Omaha. So I asked the lady if I could fly to Des Moines instead, since I was going there anyway. She got all excited saying how that would free up a seat on the already overbooked Omaha flight. Fantastic.

Then I mentioned my checked luggage. Her face immediately turned sour again as she said, "Well your luggage is going to Omaha." I asked her if she couldn't get it re-routed to Des Moines or something. Ms. Cranky Poopypants gave me this preposterous look and said, "Oh no. There's no way I can do that. You're going to Des Moines, but your luggage is going to Omaha." I reciprocated her preposterious look and replied with, "I don't think so." She got all huffy with me and proceeded to check me in to my later Omaha flight. Meanwhile, these people next to me were having the exact same conversation with another customer service person. Except their person was saying "Oh, no problem. I'll call down and have your luggage re-routed." So I stood there looking at them for a minute and then asked the mean lady again if she was sure she couldn't re-route my luggage. She shot lasers out of her eyes at me and said "I already told you, I can't send your luggage to Des Moines. Your luggage is going to Omaha." I bit my tongue instead of hers and just stood there giving her my best "WTF?" look while kinda motioning toward the lucky couple next to me.

She typed on her stupid keyboard for a few more minutes and then started to give me my boarding pass for the stupid Omaha flight. Just as she was handing it to me, she looked at her screen, stopped, and said "Actually, yeah, I'm going to send you to Des Moines." I gave her a skeptical look and said "What about my luggage that you insist on sending to Omaha?" She said, "Oh yeah, I can re-route that." I just said "Cool." I didn't want to say anything that would cause the crazy lady to change her mind about where my luggage and I were going. Then she got this urgent look on her face and started moving a little faster. She said "Okay, here's your boarding pass. Your flight is boarding right now and your gate is on the other side of the terminal, so you'd better start running over there." Not really thinking, I took off running like an idiot and got to the gate just as the last passengers were boarding. I got on the plane and as the flight attendant started her safety talk, I realized that I would probably not be seeing my luggage for awhile.

The uneventful flight landed in Des Moines on time. I went to the baggage claim area not so much to get my bag, but more to tell the guy to call me when it arrived. I was still pissed off at the crazy lady. If she hadn't dicked around with this Omaha business for 15 minutes before finally calling to have my bag re-routed, then I probably would have had my stuff. I took a cab to the hotel and checked into a room. Right about the time I was checking in, a nasty little storm blew in. I thought I had everything covered. I had my computer, I had work to do, I had books to read. I would just hang out in this room until the next day when my coworkers would arrive. But after about an hour, I realized that I was going to need to eat dinner. Normally that wouldn't be a difficult thing to do, but I had no car. The hotel didn't have a restaurant. The closest eating establishments were several blocks away and with the blizzard going on, walking that far was not an option. I managed to find a pizza place that would deliver despite the unfavorable weather conditions. I just had to resign to the fact that there was pretty much no way I was getting any beer to go with it. So I ate, hung around, and tried several times to get an updated status on my luggage with no success.

The other girls were supposed to drive in from Omaha on Friday morning. I was looking forward to a) having company and b) having transportation to the airport to pick up my luggage which had arrived. The airport wouldn't be able to deliver it until around 3pm, and that wasn't going to cut it. As usual, shit didn't happen like it was supposed to. Julie called me and said that the interstate between Omaha and Des Moines was shut down for the whole day. Bad news. Luckily, I was able to get ahold of the guy in town we were working with. He came and picked me up and took me to the airport to get my luggage. I was pretty happy to get to take a shower and put on clean clothes. We needed to start setting up for our event. Julie had left the trailer with all of our stuff in it in Des Moines, but she had the keys to it with her in Omaha. So we had the guys at the shop cut the locks. This ended up being completely unnecessary. The girls were apparently pretty determined to get the hell out of Omaha. They ended up finding a smaller highway that wasn't closed and took that to get to Des Moines. They made it to town safely and the rest of the day went pretty much as planned, surprisingly enough.

I wouldn't say the rest of the weekend was uneventful, but the stories worth telling would be best told in person. We did our stuff Saturday. A rather large and boisterous group of us went out Saturday night. Again, there are some good stories there, but I'll leave them out for now. We did go through some of these bad boys:

The Essen Haus Boot: 2 whole liters of fun!

Tomorrow we'll drive back to Madison for what I'm sure will be an interesting two weeks or so. Before I go, I have two more items of interest:

Tandems on rollers. Some of you may not be impressed by this, but I was.
Julie's favorite Easter treat. We fell down because we were laughing so hard.
$1.19 for bunny pee? What a bargain!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Keep it goin ...

I really don't have anything particularly hilarious or insightful to write about, but I promised that I would blog regularly again. Also, this is partly out of spite for Sarah, who was skeptical when I said I was going to blog more. So here's some randomness to keep you busy until I get around to a more substantial post:

I am incredibly disappointed in Grey's Anatomy. Mostly I'm talking about last week's episode. What the hell do these people think they're doing? Is it just me, or is this season becoming increasingly absurd with each new episode? I'm going to give my friends at Seattle Grace one last chance. If they put out one more ridiculous episode, I'm through with them. I can't take anymore of this Touched by an Angel bullshit.

I'll be away from home for the next three weeks or so. Just when the weather starts getting nicer in Arkansas, I'm heading back to Madison where it is still cold and that sucks. But I'm excited about seeing my friends up north.

My book buying habit is out of control. I spent $85 at Barnes & Noble on Sunday. I couldn't help myself. I just didn't see how I could live without reading each of the five books I picked out.

I wish all these people who are still talking about Anna Nicole Smith would SHUT UP.