Cause I need a break, I need a vacation

The past weekend was a total mixed bag. It got off to a very bad start, involving rain, missed flights, delayed flights, and missing the show I was going to see. Missed it, as in, the show was ending at the exact time I was de-planing. Sigh.

Last week was a weird week, and included a bunch of blood work that I’m still waiting for the results. A few things in some routine blood work I had about 3 weeks ago made the doctor want to re-test and add a few additional tests. Stuff that I don’t want to get into in case it’s nothing – right now it’s just at the screening point. Anyway, just dealing with those was enough to stress me out a lot and I decided that I needed to get away. Just run away from reality and lose myself in a vacation for a weekend. To emphasize how last-minute the decision was – I bought the plane tickets Wednesday afternoon for a flight that left 48 hours later. Luckily I got a damn good package deal – a flight AND rental car for about $600+ less than the flight alone would’ve cost had I purchased directly from the airline.

There was a show going on at a comedy club on Friday night that I wanted to see. I figured the best way to keep my mind off things that were stressing me out was to laugh my ass off. The friend who I was going to be staying with in LA was also going to the show – so it all worked out. She & another friend had plans to go to Hotel Cafe after the sketch show, and I was going to tag along. Saturday night she had another concert to attend – I wasn’t sure if I was going to go or not, I just wanted to be in LA and far away from stress here.

Then, as I said at the beginning, Friday got here and it was a horrible day. I still want to kill people for Friday, too. Starting with the idiot who made me leave work late… then on to the eejits who closed off North parking, then to the asswipe shuttle driver at South parking who drove right past me when I was waiting to be picked up… and on to the other jackass shuttle driver who decided to move as slow as molasses and add an extra passenger… and culminating with the total bitch of a ticket agent who wouldn’t let me on my plane. I made it there like, 5 minutes after the cutoff, because of those idiots. And my damn plane was delayed!! So it wasn’t even getting ready to leave – I had plenty of time to make it to the gate, and I easily could’ve checked my baggage at the plane. But nooooooo. That flight was supposed to leave at 3:20. It left after 4:30. I could’ve fucking made it – esp since the airport was closed for a while due to lightning.

The flight she put me on standby for was already overbooked – so I had no chance at all on the standby list of making the flight. The flight I ended up on kept getting pushed back and back and further back. And it ended up taking off way too late for me to make it there. And it was the earliest flight – the others I could’ve gotten on all left later, and they were all delayed way late too, since they were unwinding the back up of planes. Sighs. Once my plane FINALLY took off and got in the air – they announced that there was a bad storm cell to the west of us, so instead of flying out west, like normal, they were going to fly DUE SOUTH first, to get around the storm!!! Which added an additional 45 minutes to my flight. (If it hadn’t been for that, I might have been able to catch the last half of the show and still got a good laugh. Grrrrr.)

In addition to those problems, that flight went to a different airport. And they wouldn’t let me transfer my car reservation that had been part of the package. And instead of using the reservations my ma had nicely made for me while I was stranded at the airport (which yes, the guy at the car place knew about) … he created a third reservations and put me in a car size I repeatedly said I DID NOT want. So I got fucking overcharged by a whole damn lot.

And to top it off, since the ticket agent had put me on a flight to LAX – that is where my luggage went, even though I ended up going to Burbank. Since I missed the show I was wanting to see, I decided to skip the concert at Hotel Cafe, and drive all the way down to LAX instead to pick up my suitcase. The one thing that amused me – the first song to come on the radio when I got in the rental car? Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day”. Yeah. I definitely had one of those.

So, like I said – Friday was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. But the rest of the weekend was okay. Saturday we had lots of fun doing not much of anything. And I acquired the new nickname “Tittie McGee.” Or was it “Tits McGee”? Either way, you get the idea. haha. And Sunday all my flights were on time and things went smoothly there.

I will admit, though, there was one good thing about Friday. While I was waiting on my flight to Burbank, I saw a someone walk by that looked familiar. The second time she walked by, I decided to chance it, and call out a name. If it was her, she’d stop – if not, she’d hopefully just keep walking by and ignore me. I was right in my guess – it was indeed my friend Tanya who I hadn’t seen in roughly 8-9 years. As luck would have it – she was on the same flight to Burbank that I was. She decided to join me where I was sitting, and we spent the next few hours catching up while we waited on the plane. So that was nice, getting to run into an old friend like that.

And even though almost all of my problems and delays on Friday were out of my control – there’s still part of me that’s kicking myself. I just had to decide to be “responsible” and work almost a full day. If I had just taken the entire day off, like I really wanted to, I would have been in California long before the storms ever hit here in Dallas. There were a ton of early flights, but I chose to take the latest one I could, so I wouldn’t miss too much work. Some times being responsible really fucking sucks.

That's the way I [don't] like it

Talk about a total beat down this morning. The past month or so, I have been listening to Tony and Cappy on the morning show over at Mix 102.9 instead of my iPod, like I had done previously. (Side note: When we moved to the new building last year, before I moved into my office, I was in the center of the building, surrounded by all kinds of electronic equipment, so I got almost no radio reception. Hence the purchase of the iPod to give me something to listen to during the day. Now that I’m in a window office, I get reception again.) So, like I said, I’ve been listening to them instead of my iPod – it gives me the chance to hear new songs I don’t have loaded, plus a shot of news, weather, and traffic; and the guys are usually pretty funny.

This morning, I was out of my office when they started a bit which involved Cappy having watched a movie (Starsky & Hutch) last night, recognized music from one of the songs but he had no idea who sang it. I walked in in the middle of them playing the song clip, and instantly knew it. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of the band or song, but it’s one of those 70’s era tunes that is easy to recognize. I was even singing the hook of the song after the clip ended. I didn’t bother calling in or emailing the answer since I figured it was simple enough that it would be answered in no time flat.

Thirty minutes later, the bit was still going on. At that point, it was getting very old. I couldn’t believe that they were still trying to figure out the song, and that all of the listeners calling in had to be that dense, that they were still guessing incorrectly. So, I shot off an email to the DJs. A few minutes later, I got back an automated response, that read: “Thanks! We’ve got it now, but we’re going to have some fun with it and say we still don’t know what it is on the air. You’re in the know, so shhhh! Ha ha…”

Somehow, they didn’t realise they had already dragged out the bit too long, and they kept it going for ANOTHER 30 minutes!!! That’s right – an entire hour of them playing a 5-10 second clip of this damn song, pretending not to know it. And the listeners would call in and suggest a song, then they’d play a clip of both songs, and of course it would be wrong, since they were “playing dumb” for the bit.

Finally, an hour after starting the bit, their shift was almost over so they had to wrap it up. They take one last caller, and she has the “right” artist, and it “triggers” their memory and know it’s that artist, but a different song. The only problem with that? It was STILL wrong, but they were convinced it was right. That’s the point I almost started bashing my head into my keyboard out of aggravation.

They were claiming the song was “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer. The major problem with that – the song was not used in the Starsky & Hutch movie (and a quick check at IMDB proved that). The song is actually KC & The Sunshine Band’s “That’s The Way (I Like It)”. Maybe it’s just me… but I really don’t think those two songs sound alike at all.

So gee, so much for them having “figured it out”, huh? 😉 They had to stay over into the next DJ’s shift, so she could take a call correcting them on the song. From the sound of things, she’s still getting calls about it almost 2 hours later, since she keeps playing calls about that whole screwed up bit. The whole thing gave me a monster headache, having to hear that same clip over and over and over and over and over again. I have a hunch this is enough to drive me back to listening to the iPod (at least in the mornings) again for a while. Argh!

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave

I think living in Texas this year is going to be a little on the unbearable side. Normally, our seasons go Spring-Summer-Indian Summer-Fall (with a dash of winter thrown in); then we start all over again with Spring the next year. 2005, however, went along the lines of Spring-Summer-Indian Summer-Extended Summer. This year, Extended Summer kept rolling on through January and February and into March. Roughly towards the end of March we finally got a break in temperatures, and the season actually switched into Spring. Over this weekend, however, it already showed signs of switching back into Summer.

On the 17th, we had literally the hottest day in recorded Dallas history. 101° was the “official” temperature, with some places reporting up to 113°. And that is without our normal heat index even being added in!! Prior to this year, the hottest April 17th occured back in 1925 – with a high of 94°. The heat was so bad here Monday, that there was such a high demand on electricity due to A/C’s working overtime – the electric company started doing rolling blackouts. I was lucky, the area I live in is not one of the “pre-determined” areas that the power was being shut off at for 15 minutes at a time. I was also lucky I didn’t have to drive home through any of those areas, since it was also effecting traffic signals.

While I’m being a weather geek here, let me also add the following info, quoted from a Wikipedia article on the Heat Wave of 80:

In Dallas, Texas, high temperatures exceeded 100°F for 69 days between June 23 and September 6. Dallas reached an all-time high on June 26 and 27, soaring to 113°F (45°C) on both days. In the summer of 1980 in Dallas, there were 29 days that either tied or broke records for those respective dates. Wichita Falls, Texas would hit 119°F (48°C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded in Texas.

What they fail to mention, is that we also had 42 straight days of triple-digit temperatures that summer. I turned 6 at the end of that summer, so I don’t have the best recollection of it or how hot it was – but I do have some memories from it. Mostly due to the fact that I had an Aunt visiting from England that summer, and I remember going places in and around downtown with her, outdoors, in that sweltering heat. If we’re already hitting temps over 100° in the middle of April … how bad is it going to get when summer actually DOES start?

Thankfully the weather took a sudden dip in temperature, due to storms that have moved through our area. It’s sad, though, to know this probably won’t last too long. We’re already in a drought situation – pretty much have been since last year – and it’s likely only to get worse. April is usually a fairly rainy month here in Texas, and we’ve barely had any. This summer, the drought is likely only to get worse, as we go through day after day of scorching heat and no rain.

The only reason I think the drought MIGHT break, is I think there’s a very good chance the hurricane season will be even worse this year than last. (Keep in mind, these are all just guesses by me – I have no real training in meterology or anything. haha.) But, I do think that Houston or even further west on the Texas coast is likely to get hit by a pretty decent sized storm this summer. If that does happen, we’re likely to get some of the cast-off rain from the storm as it moves further inland, since we’ll be on the east side of potential storm paths. So, yeah, if that does happen, like I think it might, then we’ll end up with some rain this summer. I’m just hoping I’m wrong. I’d rather have a drought and water rationing, then see the kind of devastation that hit New Orleans happen again. :-\

Either way, it makes me wish all the more I was in Los Angeles. Even if something happened and they had a hotter year than normal – it would still likely be cooler than it is here.