Gulp

I just got the links and stuff to my new job’s internal websites. May the fire hose of learning be opened and turned on. There’s a ton of shit I need to do. But, it’s all good and it will keep me busy over the next few weeks as I otherwise sit here and twiddle my thumbs.

Little Miss Can’t Keep Her Mouth Shut has managed to escape dismemberment and we’re headed to Charlotte this weekend to go see Star Wars in Concert.

The seats look somewhat crappy, but I wasn’t willing to buy them until we knew she was able to behave herself. I think we’ll be fine. The screens look to be enormous enough to see from the moon. It should be fun. 3 hours in the car, a hotel room, a concert, a late night…what can possibly go wrong?

(Help me, God)

On Haloween

Part-way through Saturday’s festivities, I looked to JewelrySlut and asked “Think I can pump out 1200 words on why Halloween sucks?”

So…Halloween. What the hell happened to you?

We’ll start with the fun: I got home late on Thursday night and avoided any Halloween-related festivities on the plane. Southwest, for all the good they do, can be a tad overzealous at holiday time. I don’t want to see my flight attendants dressed up like bags flying for free (or whatever corporate-dictated cleverness they pull). I want my seat and my pillow.

On Friday afternoon, we decided to carve pumpkins. Earlier in the week, I had the bright idea to make them Star Wars-themed. I found patterns for R2D2, a Jawa and Yoda that all looked cool. So, before swimming on Friday, we carved away. If I must say so myself, they turned out well.

Finally, it was Saturday and Shmuppie wanted to start trick or treating at roughly noon. We had to keep her at bay for a few hours.

We got her into her farmer costume and Chicken into her Cow costume (complete with shirt, pants and socks all with wee little cow tails)

Finally, at 5:00 or so, we went to see the Annes. Shockingly, they were dressed as a crazy lady and a crazy drunk lady. Good times! The rest of the neighbors here in the ghetto had their homes boarded or were not hiding the shotguns that were resting near their front doors.

Up the road we went. We’ve been going to my parents’ house for a few years now because they live in a neighborhood seemingly devoid of lunatics and shut-ins.

Wrong.

We battled the dogs and tried to get Shmuppie to eat something before filling her bloodstream with candy. I started drinking. It seemed a prudent decision at the time. Finally…out we went.

Oy.

Before we rant about what took place, let’s go back in time to the 80′s and early 90′s. Back to a more innocent time.

Shmuppie is in the 2nd grade. I can recall, back in the day, a pack of us, all roughly the same age, just going out trick or treating. No parents, no supervision. “Don’t hurry back” was the only instruction given. We went up and down our street and gathered enough crap to fill pillowcases. And, nearly every house participated. Only a very small handful of houses were dark on Halloween.

Once I got older, and we moved across town, we used to go around the huge development I lived in, then go back to the old neighborhood and then set out across town. We’d get maps and decide on the relative merits of the long walk through the center of Basking Ridge to get to the bounty that lay on the other side of Maple Avenue. We’d be out for hours. We’d have to bring a 2nd pillowcase!

And…parents did NOT dress up. And, mothers who didn’t dress up certainly did not dress as sluts. Oh Jesus, no thank you. Some time between 1992 when I finished high school and 2002 when I became a parent, I lost track of Halloween. What happened to it?

One year, back in NJ, the kids went out on Oct 30 because the schools decided that Halloween shouldn’t be on the 31st. We may have handed out pasta and soup that year because we didn’t have candy.

Now, the costumes are all trashy. Sweetheart: you’re 5’2 and weigh 400 lbs. Yu can not pull off that “naughty devil” costume. I don’t care how many X’s come in front of the L on the sizing chart. It’s not good. Not good at all. Nobody needs to see that.

/predictable rant

Back to Saturday:
We set out and Shmuppie went house to house. I know… I just violated part of my rant. But, she was by herself…what are we going to do? Send her out to wander around on her own. And, for all her brilliance when it comes to math, the kid’s a doofus. If we were not there, by the 3rd house she’d either be sitting in their lawn eating berries off a tree or would have wandered all the way to Chapel Hill. She needed supervision.

We had Chicken in the jogging stroller. Lookie there! The stroller has bottle holders? What? They’re meant for water bottles? Beer’s mostly water, isn’t it? Drink or Treat!

By about the 4th house, we were noticing a pattern…a lot of people were not home or had chosen not to play along. Around the corner from my parents’ house, there’s a little cul-de-sac with about 8 houses on it. It’s a good spot to park yourself while the child hits multiple houses. What did these asspounders do? Well…they all decided (with help from a few peripheral neighbors) to gather in the cul-de-sac and do one give away. Ne bowl of candy for like 10+ houses. And, they were all arguing about fire ants and wouldn’t let Shmuppie near the candy.

That was nice.

On the next corner, we ran into some parents and their kids. The mothers were all dressed up as skanks. Really sloppy, end of the summer down in Seaside skanks. It was not pretty. We warned them that about 1/3 of the houses in the area were dark. We found a new street to visit and a lot of houses there were dark too.

People suck.

We went back to my parents’ house to assess the loot and try to head home. Shmuppie did relatively well, considering that so few people were home. She gave candy out to a few people and then left the bowl unattended on the porch. 5 minutes later the huge glass bowl had been emptied, save for one lonely Butterfinger. Some group of kids made out well.

All in all, Halloween’s supposed to be a holiday for the kids. I mean, since when do adults need an excuse to drink? If the day ends in a “y”, you can safely assume I’m doing whatever I can to drown myself in cheap red wine. I don’t need an excuse and I certainly don’t need to dress up in fishnets and stiletto heels. I just do that 3 times a week because it makes me feel pretty.

24 stays

I know I know. Sue me.

Back on target…

I know I have one more trip to PA planned for a few weeks from now, but that’s the last one. So…I took home all of my old hotel keys. Yes, I save them. Why? We got into the habit of doing it in NJ and held the old keys hostage and then would trade them for beer. I guess I did it in PA because I don’t like them very much.

24 trips.

It all started at the end of June of 2008. And, when you consider that I have made one trip since July and only one other trip between Feb and June, the number is impressively sad. 3 trips since Feb. That makes 21 trips in about 8 months. Anyone else wonders why I’m nearly bald and probably have an ulcer?

I went through the key jackets and found some interesting things.

On only 8 trips of the 24 did I not have a room on the 4th floor. That’s interesting. I really don’t mind much because it gives me extra stairs to climb in the morning and evening. One must work hard to maintain this figure.

Trip #5: Room 412. Oh…if I knew then what I know now. Needless to say, I’ll never stay in Room 412 EVER. I advise you don’t either.

Trip 22: Room 410. Oh yes…I started in 410 but ended someplace else…on the 3rd floor if I recall. Well…the 3rd floor by way of the lobby.

One key jacket says room 102. That may not be me or may be from one of the trips where they tried to put me on the 1st floor and I refused. I ain’t staying down there with the drunks. No, Ma’am. Put me on the 4th floor with the midget prostitutes, thank you very much.

It’s too many damn trips to PA. I usually stay 3 or 4 nights per trip. 70+ nights in roughly 8 months. $150 per night after taxes. Over $10,000 in hotel rooms. Wow.

That’s nearly 50 flights. It will take a lot of people a lifetime to get to 50 flights. Yay for me and my Southwest A-List card.

I’m not complaining…much…but when you lay the cards on the table, it adds up to a lot of travel.

I keep getting asked “Where is your next job?” As far as I know it’s in the basement…except for when I travel. They’re telling me only about 1 week per month, but it can be anywhere. It’s probably going to be in the Southeast, so me, Delta and ATL will get a lot more comfortable together. Too bad Delta measures tickets by the distance flown and not the segment. Yet another reason to love Southwest.

2 1/2 more weeks of this. One will be spent splitting time between NJ and PA. I just hope the ride ends when I plan to get off and they don’t find a way to keep me until January or something.