Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Alrighty, so here's a real blog. Brandy was complaining that I haven't blogged about my trip to WV, or really anything in awhile so I'm overdue. How bout we just go with the past 14 days.
About 14 days ago I left for Atlanta for NATA Convention. All excited to be hanging out with my ATC friends and partying a little, Jenny and I boarded a plane for Hartsfield International. Jenny, Christi, Shannon and I had a room together at the Omni, and I must say that it was really a nice place. Big atrium in the middle of the joint and everyone had a big balcony overlooking the main floor. Our room was huge which was good cause I'm pretty sure that all of our bags exploded on impact once we got in the room (those of you who were lucky enuf to visit our room can attest to the disaster area that it was). Met up with Bob really early on in the trip and actually spent most of the whole first evening with him and Courtney (his daughter who now lives in Atlanta) and had a blast. Also saw Gayle for a bit, but we lost him somewhere between the Under Sea Adventure and the main hall. I should really call him sometime....... Moving on. The next day was full on convention. Went to classes, met some new people, hung out with Mike, had a general good time. That evening was our SU reunion, but I wasn't really feeling like going. Point 1, dinner out is not really on my diet, point 2........well that's a really long story, but I appologize to any of you SU people who might be reading this.........it wasn't because of you. Anyway, I stayed in the room and vegged and looked up some fun places to go on the internet. Found a great place with several bars and suggested that we all head out there for the evening. After about 2 hours of wandering around we finally made it to Kenny's Alley where we found a couple of pretty cool bars that were playing good music. Had a few beers and a good time was had by all just drinking, dancing, and socializing;. Even met a new ATC friend, Jason. Came home sometime early in the morning only to start all over again the next day. The exhibit hall opened up so Shannon, Jeff and I headed down there to walk through before they let all the kiddies in. Later that day we met up with Jason and Mike and all went to NATA Night which was a Braves/Red Sox game. Can't beat that! It was a really good time with fireworks at the end. After the fireworks we went out to the clubs again and stayed out all night. Hey......I only get four days a year where I have zero responsibilities to anyone so cut me some slack! Anyway, we flew home the next afternoon.
I'd had plans to go out with Jeremy the next day to see a band that is local to him in Connecticut, but those plans fell through so I went to Bethesda to meet up with Shannon and catch some World Cup in an Irish Pub (with real Irish bartenders). Was having a hard time figuring out why I couldn't seem to get ahold of any of my other friends, but unfortunately found this out early the next morning when I spoke with Lexi. She informed me that Bean's dad had died the day before. Horrible, awful, shocking news! I nearly cancelled my trip to WV, but waited to hear what the plans for the week would be. Got word that the main events would not be taking place until Thursday and Friday so I cut my trip short a couple of days, but went anyhow.
Arrived in Morgantown around 7pm on Monday. Hung out with my mom and David for the evening and made some calls so that I could get together with as many friends as possible on my abbreviated schedule. The next day I had lunch with Brian, crawled in to bed with Stephanie, had a nice visit with Enis and her kids, drove to Clarksburg and spent the rest of the evening with Nicole, Andrew and Drew. Josh had a great time playing with all the kids, so it was a definite plus. The next day I drove to Fairmont in the morning to have lunch with Amy and then headed up to FSC (now FSU) to visit Bob and whomever else I could find. Bob had to go to a meeting shortly after I got in, so I went down to check out the new building on campus. Jason was supposed to meet up with me, but that all went to pot for a variety of reasons. Boooooooo Jason! Yes, I know, I'm over it. Moving on.......... Decided after a quick tour of the Falcon Center, that I would check and see if Dr. Baker was in his office. Dr. Baker is my absolute favorite teacher ever. He influenced my life very profoundly when I first came to FSC and for that I am forever greatful. He was in and we had a fantastic visit. I'm gonna make sure to go see him more often when I'm in town now. After that I drove around town a bit, and came back to catch Bob before he left for the day. Forgot to mention that while I was visiting with Bob he flat out offered me the position there. I've been waiting and waiting for that offer, but now that it's come down to it I had to decline. Bob is trying to leave so that he can actually have a life and I don't want to get myself in to a situation where I don't have one. My job is bad enough, but at least I have a full time assistant and a few really great students. I really hope that Bob gets the job he's interviewed for. They'd be crazy not to bring him in. That evening I went to Brandy, Fred and Andrew's new house. It was totally amazing! A beautiful place in a beautiful neighborhood. Really spectacular. I'm so thrilled for them to have all that they have because they really deserve it. I had a fantastcis visit with them. It's been such a long time since I visited WV and I really wish that I could see my friends more. The next morning we got up early and drove to Jenny's house to visit with her before we left to come home. I can't believe how big Kendall is now. She's so pretty and has the most gorgeous hair I've ever seen. I so wish mine was that color! After spending a few hours with Jenny and Kendall we hit the road (with my mom) to come back home. Made pretty good time (this is important to me, but difficult with my mom and josh and ben in the car).
As soon as I got back I hit the shower and got ready to head out to the viewing for Bean's dad. Unfortunately all the good times I'd been having were now coming to an end as I had to deal fully with the situation at hand and how I would deal with it on a personal level. I'm not a very supportive person in these kind of situations because I end up coming to some sort of terms with my own loss and break down. I will admit that I did ok at the viewing until I actually had to go in to the main room where Bean had made some really nice collages of her father and family. There I saw all of her family, her sister, her mother, and her friends and I couldn't take it anymore. We left a little while after that.
Shannon was coming to spend the night and she and I went home to get ready to go out and see Welbilt play at TT's. We figured we could go out and get our minds off of things. Have a really great time seeing the band. Have a few beers......... Things just didn't happen that way. Shannon was dealing with some personal losses of her own. I was dealing with some personal losses of my own and a plethora of other things and Welbilt was playing so much of what was in my head it was amazing. Even Shannon noticed that every otber song was exactly what I was going through. To top the night off, in the most unusual way, they closed with Africa by Toto. While this has never been on their set list as long as I've been following them, it was my dad's favorite song and I cherish it dearly for that reason. The monsoon started while we were in TTs and it hasn't stopped yet. Odd that the sky has been crying since the start of this whole painful ordeal and it's not supposed to stop until next Monday.
Friday was again, a difficult day with the funeral for Bean's dad. A really really lovely service that was marked by powerful words from friends and family. Only bad incident was the reception at the hotel afterwards when the air conditioning went out and we sweltered while we had our lunch.
I took my mom over to Bull Run Battlefield that afternoon so that she could do a little geneological research. It was miraculously easy and quick so we were back home in no time. Later that evening, Brad and I went over to Brett and Danny's house to just hang out with our friends. Had some stock pot margaritas (yes, Danny, I know, your stock pot margaritas rock), played beer pong, had involved conversations on the balcony, and I kicked Alex's ass at Guitar Hero. Who knew I could play guitar so well? Nick has me waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy beat though!
The weekend slowed down after that. I took my mom over to her friend Ellen's house where she spent the remainder of her trip, and came back home to try and get the house in order since I hadn't been around in about 10 days.
Since then I've been cleaning, cooking, organizing, and doing laundry. Today I took pictures of the monsoon and lamented the fact that it'll be around for the rest of the week. I'm flat out beat now so I'm heading to bed. Nice rehashing though. Hope to hear from you all soon.