Friday, April 18th, 2003: Sometimes, It's Just Easier


Eat Matt Day #9 To current comic PGA: Now Doesn't That Make You Feel Better?

apon
Trip Report
2003-04-18 16:40:18
by: apon

Sorry this is going up so late in the day, but at roughly 3000 words, it took me a while to type up...

Saturday, April 5, 2003
  • 10:00am EST (maybe) - Wake up. Head hurts. Shower, dress, leech (not necessarily in that order). Eat... something. Leftover baked ziti maybe? Don't take anything for headache. Still exhausted.
  • 11:00am EST (or an hour after I got up; whenever) - Arrive at work. Commence working. Accomplish much.
Sunday, April 6, 2003
  • 12:30am EST - Finish up at work. Head home.
  • 12:45am EST - Starving. Haven't eaten anything in something like 15 hours. Stop at Taco Bell drive thru. Get two (beef) grilled stuffed burritos.
  • 1:00am EST - Chat with people on ICQ. Eat burritos. Begin packing and such.
  • 1:15am EST - Remember that I need to burn Tick VCDs for Patrick. Start doing that.
  • 3:00am EDT - Wish that it was still 2:00am like it's supposed to be. Have already decided not to sleep. Continue packing / burning / leeching.
  • 7:00am EDT - Done with pretty much everything. Shower and whatnot. Decide to dress semi-nicely to make things go more smoothly (since this is a business trip).
  • 7:50am EDT - Instead of arriving at my door to pick me up, Super Shuttle calls. They don't have any drivers available. I'll have to call a cab. They'll reimburse me for the cab fair. (Still have to figure out how to do that.) I'm perplexed -- how can they run a shuttle business with no drivers? Call the cab.
  • 8:45am EDT (I think) - Cab arrives.
  • 9:45am EDT - Arrive at airport. Use Southwest's weird credit card-based boarding pass getting machine. Confused about giant 'A' on ticket, and lack of seat number.
  • 10:00am EDT - Sit down at gate area, bust out laptop. Notice there are a lot of college-age kids hanging around, several of them taking up large numbers of seats by sleeping on them. They all seem to be from one place -- one girl's shirt informs me that they're from the University of Albany. Cute girl with the informative shirt seems to make a point of sitting down directly across from me and smiling when I glance at her. I'm busily trying to update some docs for the customer, and sleep-depped fairly badly (by this point I'm convinced it's mid-afternoon, despite what the clocks say), so I don't do more than smile back at her. Other college kids are going on about computers and spouting complete innaccuracies, but if I'm not going to say hi to someone who acts friendly, I'm certianly not going to correct these loud-mouth dumbasses who wouldn't want my opinion anyway. They continue to not shut up, so I put on headphones and listen to some Tricky.
  • 10:30am EDT - Ask Southwest guy at gate if boarding pass is all I need. He says 'yes'. I'm still confused about the lack of seat number. I continue to be somewhat confused about the people already lined up by the boarding doors, but I figure it's because the sleeping college kids have taken up so many of the seats.
  • 10:35am EDT - Southwest girl announces over the intercom that people for my flight should line up to board. A's will board first, followed by B's, then C's. Now that I finally know what's going on, I can't help but think that free for all seating is a bad idea. Owel.
  • 10:45am EDT - Get a decent aisle seat, so it's not all bad
  • 11:00am EDT - Takeoff. ONce we hit cruising altitude, I break out the laptop. Alternate between working on docs, watching Sealab, and watching Stratos 4. It seems there was no one particularly interesting on this flight, as I don't really remember anyone at all.
  • 1:05pm PHX - Landed in Phoenix. (Note: I'll refer to time in Phoenix as PHX, because I'm not sure whether it's properly MST or PDT, since they don't observe daylight savings time there.)
  • 1:20pm PHX - Got my rental car from Avis. Happily, they didn't give me any trouble about being under 25. Yay corportate waivers. Unfortunately, I was 'upgraded' to an intermediate even though I had requested a compact. Another big American car from Avis. Yuck.
  • 1:40pm PHX - Finally worked my way out of the maze that is the streets surrounding the rental pickup lot, and made my way up 24th towards the hotel.
  • 2:00pm PHX - Check into the hotel. Ring Patrick at home. No answer. Ring Patrick at work. No answer. Ring Patrick's cell. Renee answers, a bit to my surprise. We chat a little, then I chat with Patrick a little. They're in the middle of getting lunch. We make plans to meet at their place in a little while.
  • 2:30pm PHX - Stop at Wedny's to grab a quick lunch. Have one of their salad's. Make the mistake of looking at the nutrition facts label on the dressing that comes with. Ugh.
  • 3:00pm PHX - Get to Patrick's place. Hang out, catch up, shoot the shit, get introduced to the new cat (Grace, who has but one eye).
  • 7:00pm PHX (maybe) - Go to Garcia's. Get some decent mexican food. Our food choices were (perhaps unduly) influenced by my health factors, but neither of them seemed to mind.
  • 8:00pm PHX (I guess) - Back at their place. More hanging out. Playing of Kung Fu Chaos. Neat game, but seems almost like a super button mashing version of Power Stone 2.
Monday, April 7, 2003
  • 12:30am PHX - Finally left Patrick's. Went back to hotel. Turned on alarm (or so I thought). Slept.
  • 9:00am PHX - Woke up. Without the aid of the alarm. I obviously goofed something up, since I had said I would be at DPS at around 9. Oops.
  • 11:00am PHX - At DPS. Got things installed and updated.
  • 05:00pm PHX - Discover security certificate for test server had expired. Needs to coordicate with GTRI on that, but it's already 8:00pm there. Leave a voicemail and call it a day.
  • 06:00pm PHX - Call Patrick. Get the bad news that Renee's grandmother has passed away. Patrick says to go ahead and come over anyway, so I do.
  • 07:00pm PHX - Arrive at Patrick's. Offer condolences to Renee.
  • 08:00pm PHX - We go to Fry's. I like Fry's, they have all kinds of neat stuff. Look around at this, that, and the other for a while. Learn to never wear a white dress shirt at Fry's, as imbecils will think you're an employee.
  • 09:10pm PHX - Arrive at Magic Bowl and place our dinner order. Get a bit of a look from the woman behind the counter; this is in line with the stories Patrick had told about being in there near their 9:30pm closing time before.
  • 09:45pm PHX - Back at Patrick's. Food, goofing around, video games. Renee will be flying back to Georgia tomorrow, and not returning until Sunday evening.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
  • 12:30am PHX (roughly) - Leave Patrick's. Say goodbyes to Renee, since I won't see her again this trip. Returned to hotel, successfully mastered alarm clock, slept.
  • 07:00am PHX - Wake up.
  • 08:00am PHX - GTRI guy calls me on cell, take care of things.
  • 08:30am PHX - Free breakfast, watch war coverage on CNN.
  • 09:15am PHX - Arrive at DPS. Do work and troubleshooting and etc. Normalish work day.
  • 06:00pm PHX - Call Patrick. Head over his way.
  • 08:00pm PHX - Another Fry's run. Since I came straight from work, I'm wearing a white dress shirt again. D'oh.
  • 09:00pm PHX - Dinner at Lone Star Steak House. Waitress, while touting that whatever the drink special is happens to be very good, mentions that they get to sample them sometimes. After she departs, I can't help but speculate that sh'es been doing a little more than sampling. Patrick agrees. My delicious'lettuce wedge' arrives in short order. It's damn near three quarters of the size of a head of lettuce you'd buy in the supermarket. I can't stop laughing at the absudity of it. This doesn't bother me much, as I primarily ordered it because the very idea seemed absurd. We complete our meal. I leave a nearly 30% tip, both because a 10 dollar bill was the smallest denomination I had, and because the waitress was very friendly and did a good job.
  • 11:<something>pm PHX - I'm passing out rapidly. It is determined that I shall return to my hotel and sleep. I do so, eventually.
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
  • 07:00am PHX - Like Tuesday, except I didn't get called by GTRI, and I was in a bit before 9. Got everything into good shape.
  • 06:00pm PHX - Call Patrick, go over, hang out. Eventually head to a comic shop. Patrick gets comics, I wander around. Dinner at a Mongolian BBQ joint; pretty good. Back to Patrick's for games and whatnot.
  • 11:<something> PHX - Leave, hotel, sleep.
  • .
Thursday, April 10, 2003
  • 07:00am PHX - Wake up, breakfast, DPS before 9. Get everything going on the production system. Unorganized beaurocracy causes some pain, but not much can be done about that. Do some production user testing, everything seems good.
  • 04:30pm PHX - Done. Turn in badge. Get out of there. Call Patrick, he's at work until 6:00 or so, will call.
  • 04:45pm PHX - Hit Zia on 19th. Spend a good deal of time browsing. Pick up 10 albums, most at decent prices. Overpay for Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around (with Hurt DVD) because I really wanted it, and Kid 606's PS You Love Me for some unknown reason. Checkout girl complements me on the Wumpscut CD I picked up, but makes no other comments.
  • 05:15pm PHX - Back at hotel. Turn on TV and lie down. Exhausted.
  • 06:15pm PHX - Patrick calls. Gives me directions to Rainbow.
  • 06:45pm PHX - At Rainbow. See something that's in progress, but announced, hung or paused on the TV monitor at Patrick's desk. Forgot what it was, but that one screen didn't impress too much. Went downstairs and hit Rainbow's game library. Very slim pickings -- got MK:DA PS2, War of the Monsters PS2, Godzilla GC. Went back upstairs to try to track down ZOE2, and ran into Rainbow network support guy / Patrick's friend, whose name I've forgotten. Showed me lovely pictures on his pda of when he shot himself in the hand. Remarked that this was definitely something different from how things typically go at my workplace.
  • 08:00pm PHX - Go to some Indian joint Patrick likes. Have some chikcen vindaloo. Pretty good. I probably eat too many carbs, all things considered, but I'll live. (I constantly have to reassure Patrick I'm not going to go into a coma through a decent chunk of this trip, because he enjoys giving me crap.)
  • 09:00pm PHX - Back at Patrick's place. Play MK:DA. Eventually vs gets broing, and I alternate napping and playing through the single-player mode. Accidentally choose to quit after one of my losses to Shang Tsung, and toss the control to Patrick. Lose consciousness. I'm under the impress that I'm out and Patrick plays single player for a good while, but later learn I was only out for a couple of minutes.
  • 11:<something> PHX - Make the wise decision to go back to the hotel while I can still drive without killing others or myself. Patrik will call me when he's done running some errands in the morning. Drive carefully back to hotel, fall asleep.
Friday, April 11, 2003
  • 09:00am PHX - Wake up, pack, etc.
  • 09:50am PHX - Breakfast. Induldge in donuts and danishes, and mufffins, and cereal.
  • 10:15am PHX - Checkout.
  • 10:45am PHX - Go to Best Buy. Feel confusion at it's non-standard layout. Wander around looking at games, etc. Drool over the Samsung 50" DLP a bit. Pick up a 100-pack of Fuji's since the sale will be over by the time I'm home.
  • 11:15am PHX - Just drive around a bit, waiting to hear from Patrick.
  • 11:45am PHX - Patrick calls. Arrange to meet at the BIltmore Borders, since we planned to go to Todai for lunch and I was already in the vicinity.
  • 12:00pm PHX - Wandering around Borders. Eventually get very bored. Pick up an Aselin Debison CD, because the photo on the cover looks interesting. Go put it in the car. Wander around the Biltmore. Find an Apple store. Monopolize the dual PowerMac with the 23" cinema display. Log into my Mercury account at Fileshack and download the large-sized Matrix Reloaded trailer. Looks very nice on the 23" ACD. Wish the crappy quicktime client allowed you to truly full-screen things.
  • 12:45pm PHX - Wondering why Patrick hasn't called me when he didn't find me in Borders, I call him. Get no answer. Wander back to Borders, find him in the computer books section. Turns out his battery died, phone is charging. We head to Todai.
  • 1:00pm PHX - Lunch at Todai. Still quite good. Even though I said I wasn't going to, have one of each desert. Been being very bad about that today.
  • 2:00pm PHX - Patrick's place, hanging out.
  • 3:<something> PHX - The guy whose name I forgot calls and tells Patrick that Dante from Clerks is at some comic book shop for a signing, and might be leaving at 4.
  • 4:15pm PHX - We arrive at the comic shop. Dante has been hanging around, since guy whose name I forgot told them another fan was coming. Patrick gets his Clerks DVD signed. I just kinda wander around; comic book shops are not really my thing. As we're leaving, a conversation about certainty somehow leads Patrick to attempt to solicit a teenage girl on my behalf. Thankfully it ultimately didn't happen; I didn't ant her taking it the wrong way or anything.
  • 05:00pm PHX - Fry's. Nobody mistook me for an employee for once. Picked up the new Harry Potter DVD for cheap.
  • 07:00pm PHX - Dinner at Cracker Barrel. Yum. Partway through the meal I notice a very adorable little girl (probabnly around 2 year old) watching me. I wave hello, and intermittently watch her antics for the rest of the meal.
  • 08:00pm PHX - Waffling about whether to go see the Clerks screening that Dante gave us passes to. I'm not a big fan, so I was indifferent. Patrick and the guy whose name I forgot talked on the phone, and it was ultimately decided that nobody was going.
  • 08:30pm PHX - PLayed games and goofed off until it was time to sleep. Time to sleep was designated by me passing out.
Saturday, April 12, 2003
  • 09:<something> - Puck meows really loud, I wake up.
  • 11:<something> - Lunch at BBQ place. Pretty good.
  • 12:00pm - Games and goofing off.
  • 06:00pm - Try to find a movie to watch. See Spirited Away is still playing. Decide to go.
  • 07:00pm - At the theatre. Spirited Away was taken off during the week. Owel. Old School, maybe?
  • 08:00pm - Dinner at some burger joint Patrick digs. Was pretty good. On and off watched a cute girl (somewhere in the 8 to 11 range) and her father interact as we ate. It was very sweet / cute. Ended up getting a desert because I'd been pretty good that day. Ended up being much more huge than I had expected, but convinced myself to eat the whole thing anyway.
  • 09:00pm PHX - Decided that Old School wasn't worth the price of admission. Went to Best Buy. Checked out the TVs. Man those Samsung DLPs are nice. Gave the Samsung 30" direct view HDTV a log serious look. Decided it might be owrth picking up as an 'intermediate' TV until I had a house and the DLP made more sense. Then went over to the DVD section. Went through pretty much the entire damn thing, pondering and spouting opinions about the various flicks. A cute little blond girl was running around and generally having a good time while we were there. At one point she started making rather excited noises, and when we looked to see what was going on, it turned out she was playing ATV2. Needless to say, that made Patrick feel pretty good. Patrick picked up the special edition of the Scifi Dune mini-series for $15, and we were off.
  • 09:30pm PHX - Back at Patrick's place. Try to find some movies to watch. Settle on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Pretty funny, though since the oonly other Smith movies that I've seen are Clerks and Dogma, there were a couple of jokes I didn't get. Next we watched Boondock Saints, which was a pretty good movie, but also pretty fucked up. Finally, we watched some of The Phantom Remix, which Patrick had downloaded, before deciding that I should probably go to sleep if I wanted to make my flight in the AM.
Sunday, April 12, 2003
  • 09:00am PHX - Wake up. Try to go to breakfast at IHOP, but they're overcrowded. Go to Perkins instead. Pretty good.
  • 11:50am PHX - Leave Patrick's. Running a bit later than I'd like to, since my plane departs at 12:50pm.
  • 12:15am PHX - Return car. Get boarding pass from Southwest dispenser thingy. 'C'. Ugh. Get through security and to the gate.
  • 12:50am PHX - Finally get on the plane. Have to take a center seat. Grab the first one I find with ample overhead space. Deposit luggage and sit down between the two old ladies in the row. Spent the flight watching Stratos 4 and Kindred episodes (which were DVD rips from Patrick's set).
  • 08:10pm EDT - On the ground at BWI. Work my way downstairs and grab a cab.
  • 09:00pm EDT - Arrive back at my apartment. Grab my large quanity of mail (including several packages), and proceed to start trying to get everything back in order.
fin.

-apon

DuckPuppy
Yo, Beavis
2003-04-19 04:22:08
by: DuckPuppy

You forgot several occurances of "Patrick attempts to convince Matt that introducing fire to this household/place of business probably isn't the best of ideas".

On the brighter side, I'm sitting here wide awake since the 5 or so gunshots right outside my bedroom window seem to have attracted several police cars and at least two police motorcycles. The speed with which the cops showed up after the shots was nothing short of impressive (in the matter of SECONDS), leading me to believe that they had been called prior to the shooting to break up the loud party going on at the house across the street where the shots seem to have originated from... some eavesdropping outside my house actually seems to indicate that the shots had been fired just AFTER the first cop had arrived to break up the party, and the cop that I had seen arriving was the SECOND on the scene. I was actually about to call myself, when the shots occurred... I'm kinda glad that my name isn't attached to the incident in any way now.

To add to the neatness of this night, it appears that the neighbor NEXT to the gunshot house is doing some 1am construction, as the sound of a power saw in use was going on even a short while AFTER the gunshots. I don't want to speculate what a power saw is used for at 1am, but thankfully it stopped once the police went to his house and said "stop".

It's kinda hard to sleep, though, when you keep thinking "wow, my house has a privacy fence around it, and is a good place to hide quickly when the cops show up at the house next door". See what fun you've missed, Apon!

--DuckPuppy

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