Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Pictures, No Videos - Just Bitching

I enjoy blogging. I really do. Recently, I looked inward to explain my recent sporadic posting. For the most part, I use blogging to get things off my chest. Well, I haven't really had a need to do that lately - things have been going very good.

Baba in a good mood for months on end. Yeah, hard for me to believe too, but why question a good thing. Would my good fortunes be able to survive a week in Bentonville, Arkansas? 1 day in, and we have a verdict.

Following is the time line of the last 24 hours. Enjoy, and yes, I expect some sort of pity!

1:25 EST - Baba boards a Delta Airlines flight en route to Bentonville with a short stop off in Chicago, a change to American Airlines, and then on to my final stop. Served 6 crackers, which should be enough to hold me over until Chitown, where I can get some lunch before my next flight.

1:45 CST - Delta flight lands at O'Hare, and Baba is forced to run and break a sweat getting to his connection.

2:20 CST - Baba arrives at gate to check in as plane is boarding. No time for lunch. Irritation is setting in.

2:25 CST - Baba boards American Airlines plane, which leaves 10 minutes later. Lady next to me has brought McDonald's on the plane.

2:50 CST - The flight attendants start serving from the front of the plane, meaning Baba will be 7th to last out of 190 people to receive his 60 calorie package of snack mix. Lady next to me is in no hurry to eat her food as it sits in the bag.

3:10 CST - McDonald's lady decides to start "picking" at her food. Baba nearly boils over as she takes a few bites of everything and then tosses the rest aside.

3:20 CST - Baba is presented with snack mix - which was AWESOME.

4:05 CST - Baba arrives at NW Arkansas regional airport. While waiting for bags, Baba obtains his rental car.

4:20 - 5:30 CST Baba engages in the following conversation:

Baba: Excuse me sir, I need a little help finding my bag.

Earl: Okay let me check into it for you. *Earl pushes computer buttons for 10 minutes and then disappears for another 30.

Earl: Sir, it looks like you bag was mis-picked and sent to Bismark, North Dakota.

Baba: Okay, where do we go from here?

Earl: After pushing buttons for another 15 minutes - Looks like we can have your bag to you "sometime" tomorrow afternoon.

Baba: I have a meeting very early in the morning tomorrow. I have nothing to wear. Getting my bag to me "sometime" tomorrow afternoon, is NOT acceptable.

Earl: I'm sorry sir, that is as soon as we can get it here.

Baba: So that's it. You send my bag to North Dakota, and you then send me on my way with a sorry bout your luck? I am NOT okay with that!

Earl: Let me talk with my supervisor. *15 minutes pass* It looks like we can get your bag here by 8pm. Our delivery guy comes in at 9pm. We can have your bag to your hotel by 10.

Baba: My bag will be delivered to my hotel by 10 pm tonight?

Earl: Yes.

Baba: That is much more acceptable. Thank you!

5:30 - 6:00 CST - Baba drives to hotel.

I am staying at a Hyatt Place. All rooms feature a 42 in flat screen TV. My room is phenomenal, my bag will be here by 10 pm, and we are going to Carrabba's for dinner - All is right in the world again, and Baba is in danger of not blogging.

9:00 CST - Baba returns to hotel from dinner.

10:15 CST - Baba is still sans bag.

10:20 CST - Baba calls the # provided earlier at the airport.

Automated Voice: your bag is currently at NW Arkansas Regional Airport and is scheduled to be delivered by 12 am CST.

Baba: Operator.

Automated Voice: It sounds like you would like to talk with an operator. Please choose from the following menu so we can best serve you.

Baba: Operator.

Automated Voice: Please choose.....


Operator: How may I help you?

Baba: Your company sent my bag to North Dakota. Earl told me I would have it by 10 pm. It is now 10:30 pm and I have no bag.

Operator: Looks like your bag is scheduled to be delivered to your hotel by 12 am.

Baba: I am tired. I need to iron still. I have to get up at 4 am. Earl said it would be here by 10. This is unacceptable.

Operator: I do not know why you were told that.

Baba: Earl seemed pretty confident in his claim. Can I speak with your supervisor.

*After being on hold for 10 minutes, Baba hops in his car and drives to airport. At some point, Baba is hung up on.*

11:00 CST - Baba obtains bag from rude person, who does not apologize for the travesty that has just occurred.

*While on way back to hotel, Baba call American Airlines Advantage Member number, which he is a member of.* Following is that transcript.

Baba: I would like to talk with someone about my travel earlier today.

"Customer Service Rep:" Do you have a complaint?

Baba: YES, I do.

"Customer Service Rep:" That will have to go to our Quality Assurance Dept. I can give you a Fax # or an Email.

Baba: I would like to call them.

"CSR:" I can give you a Fax # or an Email.

Baba: You mean after everything today, I cannot even talk to a live person about this?

"CSR:" I can give you a Fax # or an Email.

Baba: Can I talk to a supervisor?

11:30 CST - Baba arrives back at hotel, just as I am hung up on again.

11:30 - 12 am CST - Baba unpacks and irons clothes. Baba changes wake up call from 4:15 am to 4:45 am. Baba falls asleep.

3:30 am - Baba wakes up, paranoid he will over-sleep. Over the next hour or so, Baba is in and out of sleep.

5:00 am - After shower, Baba rocks in the fetal position in his room as he weeps.

Baba blogs again.

Baba OUT!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Jackass - The Weekend

Another weekend, come and gone. I do feel slightly better, and have since Friday night. Great huh? Not really! I feel just bad enough to be a little pissed off, but also just good enough to have expectations of being an active parent instead of lounging around. I have tried to fake it all weekend, but no go.

Since I was looking better, we made plans Saturday to get my daughter's 1 year pictures taken. We are about 3 months late due to continued bruising as she has been trying to get a handle on walking.

The picture session at Sears Portrait studios was nothing short of a fiasco! "Okay, have your 1 yo stand on this X and your 2 yo stand behind her......" Yeah, all of that stand here, sit on this, etc went over like a lead balloon.

It rained here most of the afternoon Saturday, and Lil' 'Dude did not take his standard afternoon nap, so we just hung out and played in the house.

I usually stay up late on Saturdays. This weekend, I was watching one of the NBA playoff games, and decided to be a nice guy, cause that's how I roll, and clean up the entire downstairs (putting things away, dishes, cleaning counters, etc.....) while everyone slept. Truthfully, if you knew me, you'd know that I actually don't roll like this, so I guess that made it all the better of a surprise.

Sunday was the big Toys R Us trip to buy a water table, sand box, and a riding toy. Pretty standard trip. Lil' Dude, or course, wanted everything in the store, but we made it out sans any random toys. I even picked up a little sumthin sumthin for me, I mean the guys remember this thing?

And now to the highlight of the weekend. First a little back story. I seem to have developed some sort of allergies in my old age. To combat this, my doc has put me on Zyrtec, which pretty much dries my sinuses out. So much in fact, that I think this is why I have gotten so many sinus infections.

Awhile back I was watching Oprah (yeah, yeah, I know) and she had on Dr. Oz, who was talking about homeopathic remedies for sinus problems. One of the things he highlighted was a Neti Pot, otherwise know as a Nose Bidet, which basically "cleanses" your nasal sinuses.

Then about two weeks after that, we had house guests for the weekend, who had recently used Ear Candles, which are supposed to clear out your ear canals.

So, I made a trip to my local Hippie Store and obtained a Nose Bidet and Ear Candles. I decided Sunday was the day to clear out my melon. When the kids went down for their nap, I had my wife help me with the candles.

Now the directions for using the candles are pretty clear. They also make the process sound simple and easy. My wife wanted to conduct the procedure on our back deck, but I vetoed that, choosing to stay inside (did not want the neighbors seeing me with flaming rolled up wax paper hanging out of my ears.

So, I sit on the couch and my wife lights up the candle, which was about 8 inches long. You are supposed to trim the ashes as the candle burns and stop take them out when the flame get 4 inches from your face.

Well, a mere 2 minutes into this ordeal the flame on the candle was about 6 inches high. The first time my wife went to trim the ashes one missed the paper plate I had selected to catch them, and flew on the couch. She hands me the plate so that she can extinguish the ash on the couch and also get the ashes out that have now reached the carpet.

At that point my face is getting hot and things are sort of chaotic, so I blow out the candle. The carpet is still smoldering a bit, so I put the candle on the plate, set the plate on the arm of the couch and go to get a wet towel to help her out.

Upon getting the carpet under control, one of the kids wakes up. My wife, irritated at what has transpired in the last few minutes, goes upstairs to get Lil' Dude. Rightfully, she is slightly upset that there is now a quarter-sized burn mark in the carpet.

I stand there, assessing what has just gone down, and wonder why there is still sooo much smoke. Oh, it's just the candle still smoldering - On the paper plate - ON THE COUCH! I did what any sane husband would do - I covered the baseball sized burn mark on the arm of the couch with a towel, until I could determine her anger level with the smaller, less visible burn on the floor.

Well, she comes down, and is still very upset. Realizing I wouldn't be able to hide the couch, I told her about it. The reaction was pretty tame, but the look of disgust and disappointment said it all. I place the towel back over the burn, and just put my head down in shame.

Lil' Dude walks over, pulls back the towel, and says "Oh No, Fireman come here?"

Needless to say, we didn't finish my Ear Candling. I may try my nose bidet this afternoon. If I don't blog for awhile, I may be dead because either my wife killed me, or I have drown while clearing out my nasal passages.

Baba Ganoush, OUT!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mint Juleps, Big Hats, and Poor Dental Plans

So here we are again - the weekend is finally here! Still trying to decide what to do this weekend. I am a little under the weather (something I picked up from these unsanitary heathens I live with). Today's food intake consisted of 4 Pop Tarts, a Carmel Ice Cream Drumstick, and 4 cookies. Yeah, that oughta just about get me all the nutrients I need!

So back to the weekend plans. I could take the hour drive down to Louisville, KY. Apparently, they're having a little event at Churchill Downs call The Kentucky Derby. I have been wanting to try a Mint Julep. Whatever happened to Barbaro anyway? Although, I'm sure I'd clean up down there, I'll probably pass on this little event - being in Kentucky 10 times in the last month like I have, is just WAY too much Kentucky time.

Spiderman 3 also starts this weekend - now we're talking. One small problem, well 3 actually. Even before we had 2 bundles of joy enter our life, my wife didn't like going to see movies - I guess I missed the fine print on that one. I, on the other hand, am the type to always want to go see movies in the theaters as they come out.

We are still pretty new to this area, so I haven't met any other guys that I know well enough to go see a movie with. And for a man to go to the movies with another man, you have to know each other pretty well. I have been known to go to a movie now and then by myself. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, I saw the very first Spiderman by myself while I was at a training in St. Louis years ago. Probably not the best option for this weekend - it'll be a little less sad if I go see this by myself during the week after the crowds die down a bit.

Lil' Dude has made his standing request to go to Chucky Cheese, which has quickly become his favorite past time. I have collected about 3,000 tickets, working toward 10,000 to get the motorized car he always asks for. I have already spent about $60 in 3 trips there for a car that probably costs about $50. If I am feeling better this might be a good Sat. or Sun. morning activity.

One of the greats things about living where we live, is that we are only about 5 minutes from King's Island amusement park. Last year, we bought a season pass, and the nice thing about that is we can go, and not feel the need to stay all day. I can usually take about 3 hours before people start pissing me off. I think it's supposed to be nice this weekend, so a little trip to King's Island might be in order.

If I'm not feeling better, it will officially be movie weekend for me. I'll hunker down in the bedroom, make sure I have ample junk food (which is the only thing that doesn't make me sick), and get caught up on some movies I've bought over the last few months.

I have The Illusionist, Deja Vu, The Night Listener, The Break-Up, and An American Haunting all wanting a little quality time with yours truly.

All this weekend talk - it'll be tough to do any work on Friday. Well, I'm sick anyway, maybe I'll get a head start on movie weekend. Have a good one!

Baba Ganoush, OUT.