Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Great To Be Back

OK, I guess I can say that the true vacation begins now. I'm done going places, and now I get to do one of the most enjoyable types of time off--being right here and having almost nothing to do.

The conference went great. I could have all kinds of great quotes, but they wouldn't make sense out of context. I could also post some great jokes, but I like to keep this blog "PG-13" just 'cuz you never know who might stumble across it (and yeah I know "PG-13" is really a dude in Florida and I'm "PG-32"--laugh if you get the joke). A few of you may get to hear the nun joke, though...

The trip back was kinda frustrating. I've made a few mental notes on how not to have this happen again:

1) Allow for enough time between planes on connecting flights. In Atlanta, I had about thirty minutes from the time that I landed in terminal C until the time that I took off in terminal A. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Atlanta airport train system is awesome; I just needed a little more time to actually get to the gate. I was pretty much O.J.'ing it tonight (that's running through the airport, not killing people; you have to clarify that now). I arrived at my gate out of breath and was still one of the last people to board.

2) Middle seats=bad. After my mini-marathon, I got to my seat, which was a middle seat. I haven't minded them before; didn't really mind the one on the way up here on Sunday. This time, however, it was bothering me...especially when the girl in front of me reclined her seat all the way back around 20 seconds after takeoff (no exaggeration). They might as well have put up a sign reading "Welcome to Claustrophobia Central." (Keep in mind, I'm not usually claustrophobic, just in certain rare situations.) Thankfully, I was able to bust out my Discman pretty quickly, and Spymob made the trip go by faster; they're quickly becoming my band of choice for trips under less-than-ideal conditions.

Oh well--live and learn, I guess. I can specify certain things the next time someone else books me a flight, so that shouldn't happen again.

So it wasn't my best day of travel. Add to that the fact that I got stuck in High Five construction on my way home from the airport. I also ended up paying actual money on the George Bush, because I had to leave my TollTag at home. It seems that, although the airport is set up to take them, it's not set up for the cheap remote lots...so if you have it in your car, it'll read it and charge you the close-in fee ($18 a day...ack) no matter where you park. That won't be fixed for a few more months.

On top of that, my days were all screwed up when I got back, so I missed out on a chance to eat Chick-Fil-A because I thought it was Sunday (almost all Sinfonia events end on Sundays) and they would be closed. After stopping elsewhere, I drove by the still-open Chick-Fil-A, remembered that it was actually Tuesday and said..."d'oh."

OK, rant almost over. Only thing left? Umm...my feet really hurt. As my friends know, I never wear shoes in my house (that's Fun Facts #9 if you're playing at home), and having to wear them almost constantly the past three days was getting to me; I think the Asian culture has the right idea here.

But all in all, as I said, I had a great time while I was there, and that's the part I'll remember more than the travails of travel. It's nice to be back.

Oh yeah, and poor Halfling had his wisdom teeth out yesterday, even before they came all the way in. He said he was literally screaming with pain when he got home, the poor dude. He also said he looks like a chipmunk; this I have to see (Alvin the Demon Halfling?).

CULINARY TIPS: If you ever end up in the Evansville area, I recommend a couple great eating places: The Gerst Haus downtown, and the Darmstadt Inn in (where else?) Darmstadt, the next town north (home of Don Mattingly, whose house we passed to get there). Good stuff. Incidentally, the Darmstadt Inn offers a brain sandwich on its menu; I can't imagine why nobody at my table ordered one...

FUNNY AIM QUOTE: I collect all the really funny quotes off my AIM conversations and keep them in a file; some will appear here. This one seemed fitting for tonight (I was talking to a friend and former coworker who doesn't usually appear here, so I'll "censor" his screenname).

KevPG32: just got back from a conference in indiana
g*******232: ?
KevPG32: a fraternity thing
g*******232: lol I thought for a min you typed india
KevPG32: lol
KevPG32: "you are correct, sahib"

And that got me to imagining how bad a flight back from India would be in the center seat, behind a "recliner." I think I'd rather swim back, sharks and all.

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