Archive for June, 2004
So I got on the 4:15 plane to DC. Met up with Casey and Jess. We then went to list ourselves on the 9:30pm flight to London. It looked very full, and both my friend and the agent we spoke with said it didn’t look like we would get on that flight, but we could try. It was the last flight of the day so if we didn’t get on we would stay in a hotel (which she reserved for us at a discounted “distressed traveler” rate) and catch one the next day.
We inquired what happened to our luggage since the agent in Austin told us our bags would go straight through to London with or without us. The agent in DC said that due to new security measures no bag could ever travel without it’s corresponding passenger on board, so our bags would have been pulled off when we didn’t get on the previous London flight. She checked on our bags and they were indeed in DC with us. They usually need 2 hours to get the bags arranged to go on the next flight when they’ve been pulled like ours were, and the next flight was only an hour or so away, but she said they would try to get them on. We asked what would happen if they didn’t get on, and she said that in that case we couldn’t go on the flight due to the no bags without people rule.
We waited around even though we knew we probably wouldn’t get on a flight until the next day. As everyone was loading, they called us up to the counter, and to our surprise, gave us a choice of several seating arrangements. Jess and I sat together on a 2 seat aisle, and Casey just a few seats away. Score! I called as we were in line and canceled our hotel reservation.
The flight was all right. We watched Mystic River, and didn’t really manage to get any sleep unfortunately. We arrived at Me-row (Heathrow) and went to get our bags. Long time. No bags. Empty carousel. No bags. Jess went to check on them. They were in DC. She filled out some paper work, and they said they would send them on and deliver them the next day (which they just did a few minutes ago as I write this.) So the first agent was wrong in that they didn’t go straight through, and the second agent was double wrong in that we did get on the plane without our luggage, and they did send it along anyway even though we were not on that flight.
We had a good time on our first day though I was falling asleep (literally) at several of the pubs/cafes we stopped at, and we finally went to bed after something like 40+ hours of being awake.
More details later. This was intended to be just a quick and non-entertaining update, but it has instead turned into quite a long but still devoid of the effort to make it entertaining update. We’re here, we have bags, and all is right with the world for the moment.
2 seats on the 11:45 flight to DC. I sent Jess and Casey along, and I stayed behind knowing I could call my friend Scott (who is the one that works for the airline) to get advice.
Then I get the text from Jess…
The passes for the second leg of the trip to London are in my bag. They won’t be going anywhere from DC until I get there. All flights looking very full. I now wait at the terminal to see if I can get on the 4:15 flight to DC (It’s currently 1:00). Luckily flights to London on Friday look less pessimistic. I am very, very bummed. And kicking myself for having their passes with me. Luckily there is an intel booth demonstrating their laptops, and thus my internet connection at the moment. Words can not express my lack of morale right now.
I’ve often thought that maybe I should start using the “category” functionality of movable type where you can specify certain categories for each entry. I’ve never really thought that I would use or need it that much, but then I find my entries generally falling into a few categories. This would fall into the “Geek Stuff” category.
For those who may not know, the all-powerful Google have introduced their own web based email (like hotmail, yahoo mail, etc.), called Gmail. It’s currently in beta testing and the only way to get an account is to be invited by someone already in it, or get randomly chosen. For example, they randomly choose people with Blogger accounts (since Blogger is part of Google now). I was interested in checking it out so I checked my seldom used Blogger account to see if I had an invite. Negative. On a whim I checked my wife’s Blogger account. Bingo! Knowing that she would probably never notice it, and even more likely would have no interest in it, I took the invite and made my own Gmail account.
Since I have my own domain, I don’t really need an online email account, but I did occasionally use Hotmail when there were problems with my account, or when certain ISPs had my server blocked because they think my shared server sends spam (though this is a false claim, getting unblocked from an ISP is next to impossible). Goodbye Hotmail. Gmail will be my new alternate mail. Not only because I like Google far more than Microsoft, but because it is innovative, slick, and very cool. They give you a gigabyte of space, and encourage “archiving” as opposed to outright deleting. Then you can do a search through your old mail at any time. No more need for separating things into folders, since you can just do a search for “llamas” if you’re searching for that old email about what to do if your Llama has a stomach ache from eating your A-team action figures.
Keyboard shortcuts and other cool features make me actually want to use Gmail, but I doubt I could ever give up using my main heathallyn.com address and the ability to check it with Outlook or other POP3 mail programs. However, if they add POP3 access in the future, it will become even more tempting. If there’s anyone who needs a cool web based email, and wants to try Gmail, I have 3 invites left to give out.
Our trip to the UK approaches. Panic sets in. Here’s the story.
Regular plane tickets cost way too much. Slightly more than gallon of gas, at around $1000 a piece. No way could we afford that. I have a friend who works for an airline and can get us “friends and family” passes for way, way cheaper. The catch is, you’re basically flying standby, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get on.
As I was confirming everything with him yesterday, he noted that the loads look “doable, but iffy”, meaning we may get stranded in Chicago if there’s not room on the flight. We would have to wait until a flight came up that did have seats.
As another kink, his airline has an embargo for certain dates during which friends, family, and leeches can not fly without the actual employee being present. So he’s going to have to “bid” for his days off and hope he can get our departure date off so that he can fly to London and then fly back with us (we will, of course, pay for his even more greatly discounted ticket back and still come out at less than half retail price). Should he not be able to get those days off, we would have to buy tickets from London to Paris, and fly out from there, because the embargo is only on westbound flights from London and Amsterdam at that point. You following? Probably not, but that’s alright.
I am still looking forward to this adventure, but hope we end up as Wyld Stallyns, and we don’t end up playing twister with death. (movie references in case anyone was confused)
I was reading this entry on a friends blog, when I had the sudden urge to reply. I’m the anonymous comment you see there, which links to a picture. I didn’t mean to leave it anonymous, but when I did so accidentally, I found it amusing, and thought it lent itself to the mysterious theme of my comment.
Looking back I find the story behind my comment amusing in itself. The day before, I had been surfing Kevin Smith’s message board, and while looking through all of Mr. Smith’s old posts, someone had posted a version of that picture in a post. I took note because I thought it was a great picture, and one of those classic famous movie moments like “Soylent Green is made of people!!”
The next morning I saw Will’s post, and I immediately thought that picture would be a hilarious comment. I Googled a bit but couldn’t find it, or at least not a decent sized version of it. I later decided to look through all the hundreds of Kevin Smith’s posts to find it again. After several hundred posts, I did find it only to realize that I had forgot that this user had put a caption on the picture saying “STOP CHANGING THE FUCKING SUBJECT!”, so it was of no use to me. I went back to Google, and eventually found it. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find that pic, being such a famous movie moment.
So all in all, I ended up spending probably 3 hours or more just to satisfy my brain’s little whim, and the end result is most likely no one thinks that’s nearly as amusing as I did. I’m still very proud of it. I am determined to find more uses for that picture.
Tell your momma, tell your pa,
Gonna move you back to Arkansas.
All right, baby what’d I say?
Whoa, all right, baby what’d I say?
Oh baby, oh baby.
All right, baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, all right, yeah.
Baby, what’d I say?
Yeah, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Ah well, ah hey, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
All right, baby.
“Music’s been around a long time, and there’s going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it’s a big record, that’s the frosting on the cake, but music’s the main meal.”
My friend, Andy, works for a video game company here in Austin. It just so happens that this is also the company I have been trying to get a job with (and continue to try). When Andy first moved to Austin and was looking for an artist job, I pointed him to NCSoft, and he eventually got a great job there! Go Andy!
He emailed me the other day to let me know that someone there was putting together a play to be performed at a party that will take place at the head honcho’s super mega video game guru compound. I decided I would audition since I hadn’t done any theatre in ages, and hey, maybe I could get to know some more folks at the company! One slight catch was that for some reason they are trying to keep the play a secret for as long as possible so I wouldn’t know what I was auditioning for until I got there.
I convinced Jess to come audition, too! She was hesitant at first, but once I told her auditions were to be held in someone’s living room, she reconsidered, knowing that it wasn’t going to be some huge cattle call with 100 people all much better looking than you to make you feel incompetent. No that I’ve ever experienced anything like that.
We arrived at the house. It was a nice house! We let ourselves in and there were about 10-15 people there. Some were much better looking than me, but that’s O.K. because I have chops baby! Acting Kung Fu! It was then we learned what the play was: “Watership Down: The Musical”. Alright, I’m totally lying, but wouldn’t that be crazy? It could have songs like “Duel of the raging bunnies”, and “There’s a dog loose in the woods”.
The actual play is something fairly well known, but I’ll keep it under wraps for the moment just in case it’s still supposed to be a secret for some reason. We did some improv, and then read several times for different parts. I think I was quite “on” that day. Several of the auditioners complimented me on my performance and said they had a hard time improving because they were laughing at me. In a good way. Because I was being funny. Many of the people there were also employees at this video game company. I had to refrain from being that annoying guy who hits them up for jobs when I’ve just met them, so I instead just sat, stewing in my silent envy, and had nice conversations, planting the seeds for my future nepotism.
Everyone was incredibly cool, and not just because they have cool jobs. Some people didn’t even have cool jobs, and they were just as cool! We very quickly felt right at home, and everyone was chatting away like friends. Jess and I definitely have parts in the play, we are just waiting to hear which parts.
After the audition we went with some of the other auditioners to go out to eat. This did not include any of the company employees, because they don’t dine with the plebs. Well, that and the fact that they were allowed to leave earlier than us and went to eat on their own, but I can read between the lines. It probably didn’t help that they were all better looking than us plebs too. Actually they were all way cool and friendly, and probably had no real plebphobia, but it’s more fun the way I told it. Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) the play conflicts with my band playing a biker rally at a nudist colony. It was supposed to be a 2 night engagement for about half our normal price, so I’m not too disappointed. Nude Bikers and nepotism. Sounds like an album title to me.