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I missed a flight, while sitting at the gate it departed from. You may be asking yourself, "how can this be?" and I still do not know the answer …

10 a.m. arrive San Jose airport to catch 11 a.m. flight to L.A. — it's a commuter jet so I expected small planes, small gates, etc.

10:05 a.m. Self and baggage are checked, proceed through security without incident.

10:15 a.m. Purchase Sees Candy and sourdough bread because you cannot get it on the right coast.

10:35 a.m. arrive at designated gate 10 yards from the store. I do not see any Delta people at the gate and wonder if the flight is delayed or canceled. Wait patiently to board flight. See a random Delta person walking back and forthe between a gate around the corner, want to flag him down but he is busy looking like a chicken with his head cut off on the phone and radio. Confirm woman next to me is on the flight to LA too.

10:55 a.m. Walk 10 yards to check board to see if gate change. Nothing. Call white courtesy phone to find out about gate agent. They tell me to go to the ticket counter — um wrong answer I'm not going through security again!

11:00 a.m. get in line at other gate to talk to the guy who has been acting like a dying chicken. Notice the flight status is now "closed". The gate agent insists he called and paged the flight and that it's my fault for missing the flight. I insist that I have been sitting there for 20+ minutes. I ask how they can close the flight without a final boarding call, and without paging passengers who have checked in for the flight but not boarded. We both find witnesses, but it DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE I HAVE STILL MISSED THE FLIGHT, DESPITE THE FACT I WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE.

Apparently there is no other way to get to NYC today so I am re-booked for tomorrow for a $140 fee. Yep, I missed the flight because the gate agent was absent/stupid, and I still have to pay a change fee. I'm told my bags will be in JFK tonight as scheduled (hello, post 9/11 rules say bags cannot fly without their accompanying passenger, yet my bag has made the flight I missed while sitting in front ot the gate).

I start crying out of frustration. I call my aunt, still crying, and ask her to come back and get me so I don't have to spend any more time at the stupid airport.

12 p.m. I go back to my aunt's house for salad and beer. I manage to laugh at the stupidity of the situation. I am still baffled as to how I can miss a flight while sitting right there.

Rest assured that Delta will be receiving an angry/confused letter from me.

I will try this all again tomorrow — being sure to go to the gate right after clearinng security so as not to miss the boarding call which apparently only happens 30+ minutes before departure.

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Not much to say this morning, but I said I would write daily so here I am.

I am in shock that it is already 12/20! Where does the time go?

We have our "Holiday Gathering" at work today. It is basically snacks in the boardroom with a raffle. We don't call it a party because there are no DJs or dancing.

My roommate has a Christmas show at 10pm tonight at Rodeo Bar. Her Patsy Cline band will be performing, and it should be fun. I am really excited for her, but wondering how I can possibly stay up late enough to go to it.

Yep, I really don't have much to say.

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I have been having really weird dreams lately. I only remember bits and pieces of them, but I know they are on the bizarre side. I've been dreaming about people and places I haven't seen in years as well as celebrities I've never met … you know. I'm not sure what triggers them, but I need to pay more attention.

This morning, I found myself dreaming that I was talking to Ani DiFranco. I apparently "saw" her recently, but she was insisting she wasn't in town. I had tentative plans to see her speak at the 92nd Street Y last week, and I ended up not going … I am sure the dream has something to do with that, but why is my brain even going there? I did eat REALLY last last night which I suspect makes me dream more. The Ani one was right before I woke up this morning, and I slept hard last night — so hard that my light alarm didn't have any effect and I was startled awake by my real alarm.

The other night I dreamt about cougars, snow and childhood friends among other things. I sometimes dream I am someone else. My favorite though is when I dream of places that look nothing like their real life counter parts yet I know it is that place. I love that these places come back to me throughout my life so I experience weird moments of dream deja vu where I know I have been here before in my dreams, but can't quite place when or where.

I'd love to keep better track of my dream world, but these days I just get murky bits of them. I guess it will take some ninja training.

I am done Christmas shopping and did my NYC wrapping last night. I am looking forward to heading out to Wyoming next week. I still can't believe it is mid-December, but that's the way my world works.

Countdown to China trip: 22 days, and I am getting nervous about both going, and getting everything together in time!

P.S. My roommate's new Christmas song is available for download on MySpace it's a love song to George Baily of It's A Wonderful Life and I LOVE the song. It is fun and catchy and I am really glad that she decided to do this project. She also recorded a new arrangement of Blue Christmas that I love too! Feel free to check her out at carolynsills.com. The music will be available on iTunes soon!

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I never win anything. Ever.

I've won a cake walk or two, some candy, the usual … the one "big" thing I won was a Jem and the Holograms car with a radio in the trunk from the Moran School Halloween Party when I was like 11. It was a cool car for my Barbies to drive around in, but in rural Wyoming the radio was pointless. There weren't any stations to pick up. I think that Barbie, Ken and friends would have preferred having a place to put their suitcases on long road trips.

My luck has changed. This morning I had an email announcing that I won a holiday giveaway for steaks from Peter Luger. I am SO EXCITED. Peter Luger Steakhouse is probably the top steakhouse in NYC, and it has a long and storied history. Peter Luger has been a chophouse since the late 1800's … you can read more about it here.

I have never eaten there, but have always wanted to — and now I get to have some of their porterhouse's delivered to ME! I am having the steaks sent to Wyoming where with my dad's help we can grill them up proper and enjoy.

My mouth is watering.

I win.

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Do you ever have those moments, when something that you may have doubted becomes crystal clear? You know, those moments when you find yourself shaking your head and laughing, wondering how you could ever doubted in the first place. I had one of these moments tonight (actually a few of these moments centered around one event).

I went to attend the showcase for the school that two of my friends are graduating from this week.

[Tangent: Can I just take a moment to say how immensely proud of these friends I am. They have spent the past two years diligently working to think about media and life in totally new ways and I love them both for it. They give me faith that the world still has room for passionate people and new ideas. I know that their passion, drive, creativity, and willingness to experiment will get them far in life. I consider them both very brave for being a part of this program, and I sometimes wonder if I could do it. A part of me wishes I had known about the program before I embarked on my own graduate school journey, but another part of me doesn't think that I have the creativity to pull it off, but I digress.]

This is the second or third time I have been to one of these showcases over the past two years, and the exhibits never cease to amaze me. These students with their creativity, concepts, execution and ability to think outside of the box leave me forever in awe which brings me to

Affirmation #1 — there are still creative, motivated people who are using their ideas in an attempt to make the world a better place.

Affirmation #2 — I still have a crush on this articulate, handsome, kind, intelligent and talented human. I hadn't seen him in a while, so I was a bit worried that perhaps my crush had faded. Au contraire, I am still twitterpated … tonight, as I watched him talk to people about his ideas and passions, my stomach somersaulted with warm fuzzies. I hope he knows that just being around him makes my world a bit brighter. It's funny, I had thought that not seeing each other in so long might create some awkwardness, but as is usual with us, it felt like I was seeing an old, old friend — someone I have known forever.

Affirmation #3 — I need to be working toward something that makes the world a better place. Whether it is helping under-represented people find their voice, living "greener", or educating — I feel like I am not doing my part to give something back, or leave a lasting impression and that bothers me.

On that note, I have decided that it is time for bed … more musings on this later.

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Some of my faithful readers have expressed excitement because they will no longer have to read posts about that thing that has been the central focus of my life for the past few months (like Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books, its name will not be mentioned — to protect the sanity of everyone associated with this blog). Rest assured readers, I am excited not to mention it again too!

So, I was sitting around thinking of other thing to write about, when I found inspiration somewhere else. Thus, today's post is brought to you courtesy of Jonah Vinson, who felt compelled to send one of my many email accounts a message entitled "There is a local woman wants to sex with you." I find it heartwarming that Jonah is concerned with my love life, it makes me feel like I am truly part of a larger community.

I also find it nice that the following kind souls have reached out to me on that same email account. Most of the subjects confuse me, but that is not the point. The point is that these people care enough to send me messages … the messages may not be Hallmark cards for "When you care enough to send the best," but they should still count for something.

Sender: Subject:
Elena D. Gross    of riverside
pool Or a bounds
Rowena Joseph Of principal before epochal
Andreas Great time to say hi
Cornell Cardenas Of the mccombs
Hope, Millard Fraudulent Spam.
Enola No way. This is my turn
Isobel Hit me up on msn
Terry Fisher And martensdale till linville
Willis Kincaid As jadwin many cherryville
Elanor Done. Thanks

Really, where would I be in life without Rowena Joseph's "Of principal before epochal message"?

I promise, readers, that more exciting non-"that-which-shall-not-be-mentioned" posts will follow.

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while in the midst of thesis crunch-time earlier, i remembered how much fun it is to write in haiku. thought i would give my brain some creative downtime and post a few pointless poems.

haiku 5 – 7 – 5
tanrenga 5 – 7- 5 – 7 – 7

please note, i'm tired
brain function is also gone
no wit guaranteed

days growing longer
anticipation of warmth
spring is upon us

daffodils blooming
atop my desk. they bring smiles.
their scent overwhelms.

here i sit counting
beats on my fingers, both hands,
it seems silly yes
but creative challenge is
good for the body and soul

laundry piled high.
clean. awaiting its return
to dresser drawers.
the cat sits atop purring
not wanting to move away

like yoda we speak
mixing up subject and verbs
misusing language
can effectively convey
meaning when used sparingly

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I'm spending a lot of time at NYU's Bobst Library these days. I come here because it is less distracting than my apartment — in the fact that here I cannot waste time doing the dishes, cleaning my room, or watching TV. Yet, I still find plenty of ways to distract myself … surfing the 'Net, blogging, taking random quizzes, listening to music via musicovery.com or pandora.com, composing emails, keeping up on March Madness (and I am not even really a sports fan). Oh yes, I am the queen of procrastination.

Somehow procrastinating in the library makes me feel a little better about life.

Last night I spent a little over 4 hours in the library working on the financials and industry background for my thesis. It was a gross spring night in NYC … we had a nor'easter come through and it was blowing ice chunks sideways. The sidewalks were covered with inches of slush and it was just plain nasty out. I figured if they were going to close the office early due to the weather, I had better go to the library early to study. Little did I know the library would be freezing. After four hours I was chilled to the bone and elected to go home before I froze to death in study room 621.

Today I decided to come prepared … I'm wearing non-cotton clothing, tank top, long underwear top, t-shirt, fleece, wool hat, fingerless mittens, jeans, wool socks and yet I am still cold. I had to take the mittens off so that I could type, and my fingers are barely functioning due to the heat coming from my little laptop. I am sitting on my feet to keep them warm, and probably look very silly in my blue striped hat with the earflaps. At least I know that the second half of my ham and swiss sandwich will keep until I am ready to eat it for dinner.

I know that it was 70 degrees in NYC just two days ago, and that it is very difficult to turn the heat on and off at a moments notice, but I feel like this is a little ridiculous. I'm thinking that tomorrow I should bring my down throw blanket just to keep warm. I feel like I am a starving student that does not have enough money to pay the electric and gas bills and thus makes do without. I spend enough money on tuition at NYU, you would think they could use it to properly heat the library … ugh.

Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to express my frustration … I would go work on my thesis at home, but I am sure my roommates haven't done any of the dishes from this morning. Thus, I would have to do those before I could study. Also, being St. Patrick's Day, my Irish roommate is probably drinking beer, smoking pot and playing playstation (or watching March Madness) and I really don't feel like dealing with that right now.

I guess I will put on my down vest, use my scarf as a blanket and go back to staring at rows upon rows of figures on an excel spreadsheet, trying to come up with some financial statements for my business plan …

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Random sites I like

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I've decided that my down time today can be used productively to look at one of my bad habits, and come up with solutions for dealing with it. Random? Yes, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

It occurred to me recently that my ability to over-think any situation was causing me to be counter-productive. Instead of simply sitting down to work on my graduate school thesis, I found myself delving into every little aspect of it until I would get so overwhelmed that paralysis set in and I was unable to move forward. So I would focus on something really mundane for a while (reading my friend B's fantastic blog for example) until I felt ready to tackle my thesis again, but inevitably the cycle would repeat. This was definitely preventing me from actually writing my thesis. So today I decided to examine why this was happening, and hopefully by the end of this exercise I will have a plan to keep it from happening. (Hey, we're practicing positive thinking here … it's good to have goals dammit!)

True, there are times when my ability to over-think is a good thing … in the professional world it allows me to notice things that other people did not. This is helpful when I am trouble-shooting user errors, testing new applications or trying to come up with a creative solution to a nagging business problem. Over-analyzing on this level challenges me. It makes me think long and hard about things, and it means that I not only need to know the outcome of a situation or process, but I also need to understand the whys and hows that created said outcome.

When it comes to my personal life, my over-thinking is not so beneficial. Obviously from my opening example, it gets in the way of my schoolwork. But it happens at other times too … I dwell on things more than I should, often remembering stupid things I said years ago and re-hashing them, as if someone really cared that in 1993 I used X word instead of Y word and everyone laughed. Does something that happened 13 years ago have any impact on my present day self? No. As they say I should let bygones be bygones. But I just can't seem to do that!

It's funny because I was on some silly astrology site recently (procrastinating from my graduate school thesis) when I read that my moon sign is prone to "over-analyzing" and one of the possible weaknesses of my sun sign is "Fear of the past repeating in the future" … Now, I am not one to live my life by the dictations of my horoscope, but I find it interesting to contemplate. Then again, it may only take the power of suggestion for my brain to begin making associations and dredging up examples. I am sure that if my horoscope had said that my weaknesses were jealousy and intolerance I could find plenty of life examples to fit those traits as well …

I started this post as an exercise to come up with a goal, and here I am digressing. I've started to over-think my tendency to over-think. Do you see how bad I get? It is a vicious cycle!

Goal: To live in the moment and not dwell so much on the past or worry so much about future.

I just need to "be here now" as Ram Dass said and enjoy the present. If I can accomplish that, then things like my thesis and huge projects for work won't be so daunting because I can take it just one day at a time, and do the best that I can. Similarly, I can take the time to truly enjoy the human interactions that make up my days. I can let the conversations, moments and connections be what they are and appreciate everyone of them — from coffee and good conversation with a newfound friend to the look and smile I share with fellow passengers on the train as we realize that the woman who has been singing very bad renditions of songs by the Beatles has now switched to the original Mickey Mouse Club theme song, and apparently has no intention of being quiet …

These are the things that make life interesting, and I need to appreciate them more.

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