From The Front Desk To Your Desk...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

To The Skies...

I cannot begin to guess how many blogs out there today and tomorrow that will be dealing with travel and the holidays. The news, both the local drivel and the national networks have been whipping people up about how horrible the conditions are going to be for the better part of the month. Add into this synthetic panic, a real honest to Castor Blizzard that has ruined the Midwest and people seem to be prepping for the apocalypse.

Why do I care? Well as I sit here and work out this entry I too am waiting to enter the fray of last minute holiday travelers. We are closing the office down three or so hours early today, and after a week or so of nothing going on, this concession by the big wigs has had the effect dissuading most people from even showing up. So here I sit, in on office usually buzzing with nearly one hundred loud, busy people, with one executive, a temp and the Building Manager. This may be the quietest that it has ever been and I think it feels creepy. It’s the quiet before what is sure to be a storm to remember.

I’m not afraid of flying. I love to travel, but I think I hate other travelers. The old women with three carry-ons, the little kids who are screaming about something or kicking chairs, that bastard who talks the ear off of the person behind you. Add into the mix the holiday mix of folks (families, inexperienced travelers, etc.) and you have a hate cocktail on ice.

So tonight as I take to the air, I wish everyone out there who will be hitting the road a safe trip, and please, for the sake of the rest of us, if you think you might be acting like and asshole, you probably are so stop.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I'm Back...For Now...

Lord…It has been a while. That being the case, I will beg my one reader’s pardon (if in fact you are still out there). I will only draw your attention to the warning I posted first and foremost before I started this thing. What did I say? I said that I would not be any good at keeping this thing up. In fact, I believe I said that I would suck at it.

Anyhow, The holidays have thundered into my life at full force. The gifts the traffic the travel. All of it can be it’s own little test, but at the same time there are benefits. Seeing old friends, spending time with the family (in small controlled, and hopefully well chaperoned doses). I recently joined this yahoo group dedicated to my circle of friends from the olden days. Nothing makes you feel older then the news that filters in from the (old) home front. While there are many things to discuss the one that I want to pontificate about this Monday is the news that the Class of 1999 is having a reunion. Nothing special, this seems to be more of a pick up game of a class reunion. Five years give or take so why not get together and see how things have worked themselves out? In a recent email to this group of expatriates from the class of 1999 I said the following, which really sums up my thoughts on class reunions.

I can’t help but be filled with a tinge of relief and just a bit of sadness; I regretfully will not be back from the Coast before Christmas Eve, and as such I will be unable to attend this impromptu Class Reunion. I’m sorry because I think it would be fun. Am I alone in the world in taking no small amount of joy is seeing some of the people I graduated with as the total and absolute losers that I have always known them to be? Is it wrong for me to revel, just a bit, in seeing some of the “hot girls” packing on the pounds, the “cool guys” – ich – selling insurance or used cars? Is it too terrible for me to look at my own life with VERY rose colored lenses while at the same time I peer down my nose imperiously at a select few? If that is all wrong then perhaps I’m missing the point of reunions in the first place.

If I can recall the quote from…is it Schopenhauer?…”Pride is an established conviction of one’s own paramount worth in some particular respect, while vanity is the desire of rousing such a conviction in others, and it is generally accompanied by the secret hope of ultimately coming to the same conviction oneself.” (I have found that doing things like that, that quote thing that I just did, are great ways at scoring you “better-off” points the few times I have been home long enough to run into one of the aforementioned non-friends. The obvious downside to this is that you have to try to remember Schopenhauer) As I said there is a bit of relief there as well; my cheaply bought superiority complex lasts only as long as I don’t describe what I do exactly. It’s hard to live your life balancing on the blade of a sword, but somehow I manage to wake up each day.

Who plans a class reunion: The people who used to be the most proactive kids in school, the people that we all knew where going to turn out okay no matter what the hell they went on to do. Reunions are all about dusting off the letterman’s jacket, or for you ladies, squeezing into that halter-top that you swear to Jesus fit Freshman year in college, and trying to convince these folks you probably didn’t even like very much that life is treating you fine. In short, they are designed to make us feel just a bit better then we did when we walked in, and for that I say thanks.