Beautiful Beginning

OK, so Jess was going to write about this, but I’ve beaten her to it. She’s in the shower, washing off the stink that is a day of travelling.

The day started off well enough. We both went to work, our bags were packed, and we were going to leave from the office. Fine.

Except that in my rush to leave the office, I happened to forget the laptop. Didn’t find out I left it until a coworker called me as we were pulling into the airport. We thought about turning around, but then decided just to leave it. It ended up that another coworker that lives near the airport (which is about 40 minutes away from the office), was willing to come and drop it off. Excellent. We didn’t even have to wait that long. By the time we checked our bags and walked to find a snack, she was there.

Awesome. Our trip just had its snag, and it was over before the trip even began.

But that was just the beginning.

The flight was fine. We even got in 30 minutes early. Except that we had to wait another 20 or so for our luggage to come on the belt.

So as we’re waiting, we think we see one of our bags coming. Until some old guy, who is completely disheveled, decides that it’s his bag. He grabs it, checks the ticket, says, “Yup,” and proceeds to high-tail it out of the airport. I think, “Well, he checked the ticket, said, ‘Yup,’ and walked out, so it must not have been our bag.” Jess was insisting that the guy stole our bag. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But it was our bag.

We get our other bag and are waiting and waiting for the big one to come off. No dice. So we finally give up and head into the baggage office. As we’re in there waiting in line, I turn around and see the guy. He’s now carting another bag, A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COLORED BAG, out, and there’s ours sitting by the baggage belt.


But we’re still ahead of schedule, so I’m happy.

We have no problems getting the rental car, and head for the hotel. Then the ray of sunshine:


Now, Jess and I LOVE Sonic. More than words can express at this particular moment. I can’t tell you what I would do at any given time for a cherry limeade. Perfect.

So we check in. No problems. Literally drop our stuff off in the room and head for the Sonic.

More issues.

All we want is a little snack and some cherry limeades. Shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Just a small popcorn chicken and some cheese fries. Evidently this was a big deal for them. It took 15 minutes or so to get our order. Was the order ok? No. We got Cokes instead of cherry limeades, my cheese fries must have been out for an hour before they brought them to us, and they completely left out the dipping sauce for the chicken.

So after we finally got the limeades, we headed back to the room. It’s now 2:30 in the morning to us (11:30 out here), and we’re completely exhausted from the day. Hopefully we got all the snags in one day. Updates to come if we didn’t.

UPDATE: We were awoken at 3:00 AM by what had to be either a prostitute or an actress, because the woman in the room next to us should win an academy award. I’ve never heard anyone moan and scream like that. We had to turn the TV on to drown it out.

Then the alarm went off at 3:30.

DirecTV, Football, and Stereos

As Jess mentioned, there is no hope for DirecTV in the new house.

This upsets me.


Damn trees. This is the type of thing that I should have thought about prior to buying the house. It just never occured to me to look at which way was south or southwest.

So right now we have nothing but over the air TV. It’s like living in the stone age. I have all of this beautiful equipment, and nothing to watch. We’ve been watching a lot of movies. The cable will be installed in a couple of days, so at least I’ll be able to see something. Now, I don’t have anything against cable, it’s just that I’ve become a loyal DirecTV customer over the last few years. Mainly because of the football package so I can watch the Steelers every week. I couldn’t even see them on ESPN last night. We had to go to a bar down the street. Luckily the bar is a member of the Virginia Black and Gold, so there were other Steelers fans there. We left at halftime.

Great game last night, though. The Steelers first team offense was barely on the field because of the defense and special teams play. Even when the Eagles were on their first touchdown drive, most of the Steelers defense were 2nd-stringers. Beautiful.

The season has started, and I’m finally starting to get excited. Without DirecTV, however, I will be missing the preseason game this Saturday (which doesn’t even play on NFL Network until Tuesday anyway), as well as the final game against the Panthers on September 1. I’m even going to miss the other nationally televised game because of vacation.

Glen’s going to have a buddy to watch games with for most of the season. It works out for all but 5 games when the Cowboys and Steelers games coincide.

On the positive side. I’ve got a new home theater/stereo on the way. The receiver was delivered yesterday, and the speakers should be here early next week. I’m eager to see these speakers in action, as the company is pretty new and has developed quite a following. Word is you can really crank them. Jess doesn’t really like movies too loud, so we’ll have to ease her into them.

wired (and not)

Internet and network are up and running at the new place. It took a bit since the outside wires weren’t ready for DSL. We were both going a little bit insane and feeling very disconnected. Now if we can only get the satellite situation under control. I miss my info button and menu and TiVO. We’re missing all kinds of TV.


Honestly, I don’t think I miss it all that much. So I missed a few episodes of Entourage. And it is the last season of Six Feet Under, but I just don’t care. I don’t know if I should be sad that I’m so fickle, or happy that I’m not attached to at least that screen.

I didn’t really get "into" television until college. We only had one TV in our house. For the longest time, the remote had a wheel and a cord on it. There was the portable TV we sometimes took on vacation, or outside to watch baseball, but it was black and white. I don’t know if mom and dad still have it.

I don’t really remember watching a show faithfully until my 2nd roommate in college. Chris was an avid TV watcher and we got free HBO in the dorms. Plus, I could watch MTV (not allowed at home, but I’d sneak in a little). There also seemed to be more time. Law & Order re-runs were popular. We also had a Dawson’s Creek night where all the girls would get together in one room and yell and throw popcorn. We added Felicity for a while, but neither habit continued past a few seasons. It got old.

Brendan is definitely a TV addict. He watches a lot. I’m starting to remember what it was like without it around all the time.


Perhaps I shouldn’t have blasphemed so much in the "Jesus House" before it was ours. The DirecTV guy came out on Saturday to hook us up and we can’t get a signal. There are too many tall trees in our backyard.

Yeah, Brendan isn’t happy at all about that. Can’t watch the Steelers every week without the dish.

We might be able to put it in the very back corner of the yard, but were not getting our hopes up just yet.

I’m just trying to make it through today without losing it/crying/screaming/throwing things.

water water everywhere

Water main break outside the office. Some poor guy in a Caterpillar hit the pipe right on the corner of New Hampshire and 22nd and M, NW. But, this means I get to go home. With the water off, the cooling system in the server room will have to be brought down, so they’ll shut off our internet, email, vms, everything. Good times.

pain and Punky Brewster

Sunday night I got no sleep. All of a sudden, I was having these intense pains in my abdomen. Not too long after, well, I was as my Dad would say, "Having a conversation with my friend John." I had that conversation about every two hours. Of course, when I was up at 6, I couldn’t resist checking my work email. Without getting into details, I had to go in yesterday for 4 hours. Not fun. The nausea stopped, but the pain had moved to the right side of my abdomen. They were pretty intense. Today, I stayed home and slept until 2, and the pain is much duller. Phew.

I’ve always been terrified of appendicitis. It’s all because of one episode of Punky Brewster. Henry and Punky and everyone were getting ready to go on vacation, and Punky wasn’t feeling well. She was having intense stomach pain, but she didn’t want to say anything because she wanted to go on vacation. Eventually, she passed out from the pain and woke up in the hospital and had her appendix removed. There were a couple times in college when I had a stomach ache where I wondered if it was my appendix. And yesterday, everything I was reading seemed to point to it. Of course, I wondered if it seemed like it because I have always been afraid of it… So I was giving it until today to get better before I went to the doctor.

Right now, I’m satisfied that I’ll live.

cruel joke

Today is so not my day…
I just went to lunch. It was one of those, I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve got to get out of this building kind of lunches. So when I started walking down the street, I decided: burrito. So I made my way towards Chipotle, and damn, the line was out the door. Alright, I can deal with that, but if I’m going to be standing in a long ass line for a burrito, I’ll stand in line for an even better one at The Well Dressed Burrito which is just half a block away. So I go, and it’s great, there’s only one person in line in front of me. I place my grilled chicken burrito order and wait. It’s not too long before I get my order and I’m on my way out the door. I’m excited, because I feel like I worked the system just right. Right? Wrong. I take a big bite, and instead of chicken, there’s steak. Overall, not such a big difference, but I wanted chicken so bad.

It’s time to go home.
I don’t care anymore.

disaster area

Our living/dining area looks like a tornado went through it at the moment. All the shit that was taking up space in the basement is now upstairs, under the dining table. We have been working on finishing off the basement — painting the walls a nice yellow with a little texture in it. When we were mixing the paint with the texture it was the color and texture looked like yellow cake batter. Yesterday, we had our carpet put in. The guys were supposed to be here between 12 and 2. They called at noon and said they were running late and it would be closer to 2 when they got here. They got here at about 6. Bren was pissed. I’m just glad it got done.

Today I’m freaking out. The upstairs looks like total crap. There’s a whole bunch of stuff up there and nothing to put it on. There’s no furniture, and piles of stuff. It’s like when we first moved it. We had two chairs a TV and one lamp. Right now, I’m at the point where I want to throw everything away. Half of it we have held onto because of sentimental value. For example, I threw away a big bottle full of movie stubs. Do I really need the last newspaper from my senior year in high school? Or my awards? My PSAT results? That I passed the Maryland functional math, reading, writing and citizenship tests. I will keep my high school diploma. It may come in handy. Most of it can just go. And I’m ready to get rid of it.

state of confusion

Florida is one messed up state.

One of my students this term is originally from Florida. His current employer is asking for proof that he graduated high school. Normally this is no big deal, you show your diploma. Well, his is lost, or destroyed or something, via a hurricane. Not only is his copy gone, but the official copy at the school is gone. The state has no record. The school’s copy was also destroyed in the same hurricane. There is no master record in the state of Florida. How screwed up is that? So this kid, 8 years out of high school has to take the GED. It just doesn’t seem right. What about the "permanent record" that’s always waved about at high school students? Apparently, if you go to school in Florida you’ve got nothing to worry about.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.