THE LAST FIVE ...

Closing up shop
- Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006

It may be time for a change
- Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Entry in the air
- Friday, April 21, 2006

Still here
- Thursday, April 20, 2006

Music of the moment
- Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Or ... BE RANDOM!


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2001-04-30 - 1:24 p.m.

Of flying machines and other things

It is nearing 1:30 p.m.

I have been up for two and a half hours. I have not eaten, I have not dressed. I have not been outside on this beautiful, breezy, 70-degree day. I have read one article in the newspaper and gotten the mail from the mailbox next to the front door.

I was supposed to be hiking today. I was supposed to be sitting atop Mount Tammany in New Jersey's northwest corner, the heart of the Delaware Water Gap. I was supposed to be enjoying the breezes, the expansive vistas, the sun at 1,500 feet as the trucks on I-80 rush below me.

Instead, I have been online and on the phone for two hours, dealing with Delta and my flight to South Bend for my sister's graduation in three weeks. It was supposed to be a nice, convenient flight from Newark to Cincinnati, then to South Bend on Comair. But the Comair pilots are on strike; the flights are cancelled. I was supposed to return on Monday, May 21, in time to drive to Trenton and see the Boston Red Sox play their Class AA affiliate in an exhibition game.

Now I'm flying to South Bend through Detroit you may know my feelings on the Detroit airport on the 17th (that was planned) via Continental and Northwest, and returning on Tuesday the 22nd on ATA to Atlanta and back to Newark on Delta. I leave at 6 a.m. on the 22nd I am not a morning person, but I will deal.

So now I'll miss the Red Sox game. I'll have to use an extra vacation day (I'd actually asked for the Monday off, but was hoping to pull back the request and save one of my precious 10 days by covering the ballgame). And I'll have to stay in South Bend an extra day likely an extra hot, humid May day when all my family and any few friends who may have been there are long gone. Maybe I'll rent a car and head up to Chicago, or the Michigan lakeshore. Or find a minor league ballgame somewhere.

I tried checking other airlines, other cities, but nothing could compare with the $255 rate I got for this flight originally. I thought I had it solved through Philadelphia on Northwest, but one of the flights wasn't guaranteed, so they cancelled my request.

I don't normally get upset at flight problems or delays. Things happen. Actually, weather happens. Delays happen. Pilot strikes shouldn't happen! Fix the problem, pay them better, give them more benefits, more vacation. Do they realize what this does from a public relations standpoint? I'd flown Comair once coming home for Christmas and I loved it. Nice planes, on time, plenty of room (hardly anyone flying when I did that time). This changes that.

~ ~ ~

On a more pleasant note, my very good best friend Jaime became engaged Saturday to her longtime (two and a half years) boyfriend Dave. They stopped in yesterday when the drove up from Philly to visit her parents. And since her parents (good friends with my parents) are renting a house on Nantucket for a week at the end of June, I am invited up for a few days, and will do all in my power to make it (Man, I could've used that extra vacation day from the graduation trip). Even if it means a stop in Nantucket on my way to Cincinnati for a college friend's wedding. Road trip!

~ ~ ~

Had a kick-ass, party-on weekend. Started Friday night after covering the baseball game, when I stopped into the front office and had a few beers with the people there, then had a few beers with those people at a bar, then had a few beers with those people at one of their houses, then arrived home at 3:30 a.m.

Awoke Saturday at 8:30 a.m. to log on and get Barenaked Ladies tickets for the Arts Center Formerly Known as Garden State (now the stupid-ass PNC Bank Arts Center) for July, but seeing as how the concert is the same night as a game I should probably cover; AND I'm already missing a game in June for the Dave Matthews concert at the Meadowlands; AND I'm being forced to miss five games next week; AND the stupid-ass arts center now only uses Ticketmaster and therefore charges surcharges at the box office as well as on the phone and online; AND those damn surcharges are $8 per ticket, plus shipping, plus the already-way-too-high $35 seats way in the back (and $25 on the lawn -- the lawn!, I decided not to spend $181 on four tickets when I'd already put $250 for four DMB floor seats on my credit card.

But in the end I was happy at saving $181; I saw BNL in February, and would've loved to see them again, but there was just too much getting in the way.

I spent Saturday at Waterfront Park in Trenton, watching the Thunder play on a beautiful sunny day for baseball. I drove home and heard Poe's "Hey Pretty" on the radio and immediately altered my course to hit the CD store and buy it (along with a few others) and feed my music addiction.

With a rare Saturday night off though becoming less rare I joined up with Dave and some of his car guys and headed down the Shore to Bar A in Belmar and had a good time on a cool April night outside on the deck and patio and inside upstairs in a loft overlooking the crowded dancefloor. Nobody could really dance, they just bounced off one another, and I came home more drunk than I would expect for a few bottles of Bud. Must've been a few more than I thought.

~ ~ ~

So after a quiet Sunday and amusing night at work (I missed a shouting match between two people on Saturday that had the entire newsroom watching), I sit here in my room with the breezes coming through the windows and think of what I'll have for lunch and how I'll spend my afternoon outside, of course, but where? So many choices. Perhaps Sandy Hook...

There is a "mandatory" meeting at work tonight, and I take some offense to it because I am off tonight, but I will probably stop in at 5 p.m. to see what goes down in the aftermath of Saturday's explosion. And our editor is off for two weeks starting tomorrow when his son is due to be born, so I should probably make the appearance. Then I might head up to the beach, out to the Hook or somewhere as dusk falls and the waves crash and I sense summer creeping ever closer.

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