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Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Weekend in DC (Part Two)

I awoke Friday and realized I had nothing to do; everyone was already at work. I’d planned to have lunch w/ Tiller down in my old ‘hood (he works at 7th and K), so I gave him a call. It was around 1030am and he sounded in pretty rough shape. He said he wouldn’t be able to meet me for lunch cuz there was a “situation” at work. Before I continue, he works for a nonprofit that mentors HS students in an attempt to prep them for college. So anyway, he couldn’t meet me cuz he instead needed to meet w/ one of the students he oversees. Interning for the summer, she’d tried to break into the safe at her internship the night before. Whoops.

I spent the afternoon walking around DC, including a stop at my old employer, Experience Corps. My former supervisor, Lois, is a 69-year-old sparkplug who remains grateful for the hours I spent teaching her the convenience of creating files on the computer rather than paper. The director, Ann, was also thrilled to see me. She is still hot, but now very pregnant. Everyone in the office said they miss my sense of humor, fun personality and incredible good looks. OK, I made up that last one.

My friend Kern picked me up at 7pm, just before my stomach started eating the surrounding organs. We ended up killing a pizza and a case of beer w/ a lil help from a few Ameri-friends, including her roomie Crazy Jen. Aside from climbing a tree outside the girls’ apt., nothing really stands out. I’ll just say we all got plenty drunk before stopping at Pizza MAAAAAAART on the way home.

I was up at 9am the next morning to catch the 945am Metro. I wasn’t hungover. I was still drunk. My friend Joe and his wife (scary, I know) picked me up at Shady Grove, the end of the Red Line, up in MD. After a brief stop at their friends’, 10 of us headed to the wine fest., the main reason I flew to DC for the weekend. The year before, back in the foods stamps days, I’d achieved legendary status amongst Joe’s and Erin’s friends (when you’re married, you share everything, even friends) by passing out three times over the course of the day. I ended that day passed out on the grass as Joe poured beer on me, yelling, “You’re a disgrace!” We’re very good friends. I’m proud to say there were no embarrassments at Wine Fest. 2005.

My frustrations w/ flying continued the next day as my flight was delayed. The reason? The pilot was late. I’m not kidding. Don’t pilots have a phone tree of other pilots so they can find someone to cover a shift? So anyway, I didn’t get on the plane till 4pm and, just as we were ready to take off (only three planes ahead of us in line), the pilot announced tstorms in the northeast would keep us grounded for a while. After and hour and a half, we returned to the gate. Then the pilot left, telling us his shift was over, he’d flown the max amt. of hours that day, so he was going home. Seriously. Keep in mind the plane’s engines had been shut off a while back, leaving the cabin a lovely 100 degrees Celsius, or so it seemed. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the two guys next to me started talking about fantasy sports, their crowning draft picks and monumental trades, both of them oblivious to me tightly wrapping the headphones cord around my neck.

Around 630pm the new pilot allowed us to get off the plane, enabling passengers to buy dinner, poop in a real toilet or just start walking to Boston. We were warned before leaving the plane, however, to stay near the gate in case he got the go-ahead to depart. I assumed he meant depart for Boston, but he may have meant depart for his house and leave us w/ a third pilot. I quickly grabbed a couple Snickers bars (pronounced “sneakers” by my French mom) and returned to the gate. For some reason the employee at the gate wouldn’t let anyone back on-board until the pilot was cleared to take off. Needless to say, the gate-check person was unable to re-board 150+ passengers in a timely manner, resulting in everyone getting back on the plane just in time for the captain to say we’d again been delayed and would have an update in a half hour. The 340pm flight eventually left at 845pm. How’s that for an Independence Air commercial???


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