I have been super busy!  Last week was exhausting!  Whew!  I worked just short of 70 hours.  CRAZINESS!  But awesomeness.  Monday, after work, a bunch of us interns went to the Astros-Phillies game.  As the standings go, it was the best team in baseball against one of the worst.  It was actually a good game, too!  It was ten bucks admission and it included a hot dog, bag of chips, and a soda.  A steal for anyone familiar with Yankees games.  The Phillies lost 5-1.  My roommate was not happy, but it was a good time nonetheless. 

 Tuesday involved heavy lifting and a workout like nothing else as we ventured to the grocery store and back.  And walked.  Oh. My.  We live FAR from the store.  I know it only took fifteen minutes to walk there, but wow.  With my two gallons of orange juice that I HAD to get and my powder mix for Tang that will make some ridiculous amount of drinkable beverage alone, I was dying.  Not to mention the essential cookie dough and frosting that I had to get.  My one roommate was astounded by the fact that the tub of cookie dough was not for baking.  When we got home after the arduous trek, we were placing items in the refrigerator when our other roommate inquired as to if I planned on baking cookies.  When I said no, the look of relief that spread across her face was priceless.  The roommate who had initially inquired about the cookie dough was in disbelief.  🙂

 Later that evening, my boss called me to tell me I had to go out to Orlando for that pilot project I had mentioned in a previous post.  Apparently things had gotten pretty crazy and they needed an extra hand.  So I packed up my stuff and after our staff meeting the next day, we were on our way to the airport.  When I got there, we went straight to the hangar and started to work.  I was tired as I barely slept the night before, but it was neat.  We were right there with the plane and everything.  There were many highlights of the trip, my favorite being the fact that I was chilling in a wing of a 757.  Yes, IN a wing.  🙂  Awesomeness!  On Sunday, I also got to do something that I hadn’t had the chance to do since I moved to Houston.  I SLEPT IN!  AHHHH!!!  The wonders sleep can do!  Then some of my Italy peoples came over, so that was nice.  Good times.  Otherwise, it was all work!  Fun, but still a lot of work! 

 I came back the following Tuesday.  It was actually kind of depressing to leave as there was still work to be done, but not much more that I could help out with.  But I wanted to see the testing and everything!  Oh well.  I was just happy I got to go.  Now it’s back to working at the office.  I’ve been doing a lot though and I do enjoy it.  Aside from work, I’ve been lazing about the house since I had the luxury of doing nothing once home.  It gets old quick, but I was happy with being a bum for the time. 

 Which brings me to the roommates.  I think it’s inevitable that seven people living in a three bedroom – actually, I think it’s legitimately two, but anyway – house are going to have their moments.  Mine came last night when I was watching a show on my laptop but in my top bunk around ten o’clock.  My roommate had been getting ready to go to bed and then killed the lights about halfway through the episode.  Then she asked me to dim the screen because it was too bright.  Alright.  I was a little annoyed, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I knew I would be overreacting if I got upset over that, so I dimmed the screen.  I don’t know.  I sort of already had the impression that I had done something to piss her off before this because I felt like she had been a bit cold towards me since I had gotten back from Orlando, but I’m also paranoid about random things so I haven’t really dwelled on it. 

 When the episode ended, I still wasn’t able to fall asleep and a good friend had just messaged me on skype, so I put on some of my music and started chatting.  Well.  Apparently, typing is difficult to fall asleep to.  I realize people like to sleep.  I understand that.  I am one of those people.  Sleep is wonderful.  There is no doubt about it.  But when you can’t sleep – or at least when I can’t sleep – I like to watch a show or stare at my computer for a while.  It makes my eyes hurt and therefore, makes me feel tired and eventually helps me fall asleep.  I know that’s probably a terrible method for attempting to fall asleep, but it works for me.  When I’m in my bed.  But my roommate asked me to go somewhere else if I was going to type. 

 Alright.  So now I’m pretty peeved.  But by no means do I want to deprive people from sleep because I wouldn’t want that to be done to me.  I realize I have the upper hand in this because I can usually fall asleep just about anywhere through anything.  But I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t annoyed.  But I leave.  I go upstairs seething, but whatever.  I’m trying to convince myself that I’m overreacting just a bit, but it’s difficult being that it’s before midnight.  I rant a bit to my friend, but then we move on to more exciting topics.  Not long after, I call it a night.  I go back to bed and try to fall asleep, but my roommate is snoring.  Of course, I have the snide comments to myself about it being difficult to fall asleep to snoring, but I’m trying to be nice.  I drift off into my peaceful slumber eventually. 

 Mumbling.  Now more defined talking.  I blearily open my eyes to faint light coming from the hallway.  I glance at my phone to see it is before 5AM.  4:45AM to be exact!  4:45!  WAY TOO EARLY!  But yes, it is my roommate talking to her boyfriend.  Blegh.  I fall back asleep for a coveted ten minutes if that before there’s more light in our room and clacking.  Yes, clacking.  What the hell is going on?  She is curling her hair.  Yes, now that I can be semi-conscious, she had mentioned that last night, but… WHAT?!  IT’S FIVE AM!  IT IS WAY TOO EARLY TO WAKE UP – AND WAKE OTHER PEOPLE UP – TO BE CURLING YOUR HAIR!  The closet light is on.  Of course.  The regular light is broken.  And the mirror is on the inside of the closet door.  You can’t close the door and sit inside the closet to curl your hair?!?!?  And you need to have the hallway light on for this too?  ARGH! 

 Now I’m mad.  Now I’m ready to snap.  Again, I’m all for sleep.  And when I was disturbing hers, I felt bad.  Guilty enough even to LEAVE MY BED so that she could fall asleep.  And you’re waking me up at five in the morning to curl your hair?  Of course I’m pissed.  For anyone that knows my morning routine (with the exception of Italy people because that was just some weird crap that I would actually take a shower in the morning, but anyway), you know I am not a morning person.  You know that the only reason I find it acceptable to turn on a DIM light is because I need to put my contacts in because I am blind.  Otherwise, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the dark.  Seriously.  What do I need to see that well that I need florescent lights when I’m waking up.  But it’s early.  And I KNOW I’m not a morning person, so I try (AND SUCCEEDED!!!) my hardest not to say something because I KNOW it will lead to me getting very mean and some of it is probably not warranted.  Well, maybe it is.  I can’t tell if I’m too biased in this situation or not.  But damn, is it hard to NOT throw back “It’s very hard to sleep through the lights being on and your CURLING IRON!”   GRRR.  But I tell myself I’m being the bigger person. 

 I try to fall asleep for the last forty minutes before I have to get up, but that fails horrendously.  Instead, I message my old roommate.  The one who ALWAYS got up before me and NEVER woke me up!  She is awesome.  Hell, at that moment she was my favoritest person in the world.  Man, how I missed her this morning (well, more than just this morning, but yeah…)! 🙂  It wasn’t that I didn’t mind leaving the room last night.  I did.  There’s no question about it.  But I did leave.  It just really annoyed me that the same courtesy wasn’t extended when the situation was reversed.  Sure, I could have asked her to go somewhere else.  I could have asked her to close the closet door at least.  But let’s be realistic here.  When I DO converse with people before 8AM (and that’s a VERY conservative margin), it doesn’t end well.  I’m just not nice in the morning.  I can live with that.  But if it happens again, I’m hoping the roommate can too because I don’t know if I will be able to contain myself another morning! 

 Normally, I’m not going to say something unless I say it to the person I am referring to.  This rant is one of the first that I have not yet discussed with the person I am ranting about.  SO!  If you are reading this current roomie, I apologize for not saying it in person first, but I just had to get it out in a more collective way because I would NOT have been very nice if I had said something this morning.  And I figure by the time I actually do see you again, all of this will be forgotten and life will have moved on to the next topic I choose to rant about. 

 Hope you fellow stalkers enjoyed my brief update about life and my long and drawn out rant!


September 11, 2001 – Ten Years Later

Ten years.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been ten years.  One of the most defining days in history for generations to come.  It’s half of my life.  I vividly remember the day.  I think everyone does.  There is not a single person in this world who doesn’t remember it who has the capacity to remember.  Everyone has a story.  Where they were, who they were with, how they found out.  Some are more traumatizing than others.  Most include fear.  Fear of anything and everything imaginable.  Were we going to live to see tomorrow?  Were the people we cared about safe?  What happened?  No one really knew everything that was happening that day.  I’m sure we still don’t know everything.  But the hurt and loss and recovery stay with us. 

My story is different than most sixth graders.  The reason being that I was in New York.  It was a perfect Tuesday morning.  The first full week of school.  Two days earlier, I was at a Yankees game with my parents, brother, aunt, and uncle.  Four days before that, I was on a plane back to New York from an awesome family vacation in Disney World.  There are pictures of my brother and me sitting in the cockpit after we landed.  The date on them still gives me chills.  If only the attack was planned four days earlier.  There are so many if onlys.   I usually don’t share my story of that day.  Every year I write something, but it’s for my eyes only.  Maybe one day I will share what I have written with others in the past, but the tenth anniversary poses another year that has gone by and another year that I will sit down and write my story.  This year, however, I choose to share some of it. 

School started as always.  It was the second full day of classes and we were in our Social Studies class.  It was just past 9AM when one of my classmates was called over the PA system to the office with all of his things.  Not something that usually happened, but not completely out of the ordinary either.  I had been called out of school early on numerous occasions ranging from my dad thinking me and him needed to spend some quality time together to having to visit my grandmother in the hospital.  We didn’t think much of it at the time.  About twenty minutes later, one of my best friends at the time – we’ll call her Jessica – and another friend had just gotten back from serving the 8:30 mass.  I went to a Catholic school, so we were excused here and there from class if we were alter servers and were scheduled to serve a mass in the morning every month or two.  My friend was more of the talkative ones and had no problem saying what was on her mind and thus informed our teacher – in front of all of us – that the Twin Towers had been hit by airplanes. 

Our teacher, we’ll call her Mrs. C, – the same one I had for homeroom the year before and managed to make the fifth grade a little less enjoyable (not to mention calling me stupid in front of the entire class on one memorable occasion) – demanded my friend be quiet and stop lying.  According to her, there was no way such a thing could ever happen.  Now to give her credit (as much as I did not like her to begin with), hearing the concept for the first time, it did seem impossible.  But Jessica didn’t exactly cower at teacher’s demands.  There was a reason we had been such good friends, after all.  She insisted it was true.  That she had just gotten back from the rectory where it was all over the news.  She had seen the footage before either of the Towers had fallen.  Mrs. C told her to be quiet so she could go on with her lesson.  Not that we were really learning much.  I honestly do not remember what the topic was that day.  I’m sure being the pack rat that I am, I have the notes somewhere, but it didn’t matter what she was trying to teach us.  Everyone’s attention had shifted to wondering how accurate Jessica’s statements were. 

As I said, Jessica was one of my best friends.  We had sleepovers at least three times a month with each other.  I believed her because she knew better than to make up such a thing.  Her mother would have killed her.  And I’m not talking figuratively.  Her mother was – and still is – a tough woman.  You didn’t mess with her and therefore, her kids knew better than to lie about anything really, but essentially this.  I was sitting next to another good friend – we’ll call her Theresa – so we immediately began to discuss the idea of it.  Well, we were in Catholic school, so discuss really meant pass notes back and forth wondering the same things the rest of the city was wondering.  How true could it be?  How much worse would it be?  How could Mrs. C be so adamant that such a thing could never happen?  The list went on.  It didn’t take long for more people to be called down to the office with all their things.  By 10AM, my class of thirty kids had shrunk to all of thirteen.  Everybody in my class had been in school that day – it was day five. 

By 10:30, we still didn’t know more than we did when Jessica came back from church, but now there were nine of us left in my homeroom and our principal had deemed that going on with the regular school day was not productive in the slightest.  We were sent back to our homerooms to wait and wonder our fate.  Would our parents come to pick us up too?  Jessica, Theresa, and I were still there.  I forget who else was there, but just as I was about to ask Jessica about things, she too was called to the office.  Our homeroom teacher was new.  He was cool and I think the general consensus was that everyone liked him so far.  He tried to lighten the mood by telling us about anything and everything he could think of, but we were all in a confused state.  We still had no idea about what was going on outside of the walls of our school.  I don’t know if the teachers were told something or not.  If they were, they never let on what was going on to us.

 Just past eleven, though, my name was finally called.  There were five of us, including Theresa, left.  I said goodbye and headed downstairs, where I was directed to the auditorium to meet the person picking me up.  It was chaotic in there.  Chairs were lined against the wall as they always were, but they were filled with children being hugged by their parents and people crying – parents and children.  I didn’t recognize anyone who would be picking me up, so I sat down and waited.  Sad looks were everywhere from adults, but no one would tell me what was wrong.  My dad finally appeared and he gave me a hug. 

“C’mon, sweetheart, we’ve got to get your brother.” He told me. 
“Dad.  What’s going on?” I asked.  He wouldn’t say.  We left the building and got in my grandfather’s car, who was waiting outside with it.  We went over to my brother’s school and got him.  My dad and grandfather were silent most of the time.  I still didn’t know what had transpired.  My grandfather dropped us off at home and he said he was going to go home and the first chance he got that he was going to drive to the house he had in Pennsylvania.  My brother told me that kids from his school said we were under attack.  Our dad wouldn’t say anything until we got inside.  Then he told us.  He tried to turn on the TV in the living room earlier that morning and it was all static.  He thought my brother and I had been screwing with the TV, so he tried the one in another room and got the same result.  I don’t know what possessed him to go up to the roof of our apartment building or what happened in between him trying to turn on the TV and going to the roof, but he ended up there with a camera and took pictures of, what he didn’t realize at the time, the second tower falling.  The images are horrifying.  They’re ingrained in my brain forever.  The TV not working was a result of all of NYC’s antennas and whatnot being on top of World Trade Center 2. Phones didn’t work.  Bridges were closed.  We were trapped on an island.  I don’t know how my dad knew all of this, but I didn’t ask. 

After my mom got home, we went to Marty Golden’s office – the state senator at the time.  Outside, the city had completely transformed.  Instead of the tallest buildings of the New York City skyline, there was a cloud of smoke.  That smoke.  I will never forget the site of that smoke.  I will never forget how it lingered over the city for days and weeks.  Months even.  A glaring symbol of what used to be there, completely gone, but covered in that smoke.  It just never went away.  There were no cars.  There were no people.  Sirens were heard hear and there in the distance, but it was eerily quiet.  We lived six miles as the crow flies from the Twin Towers.  At Marty Golden’s, we lit candles, we prayed, we worried.  We learned of the other planes that had been hijacked, one crashing into the Pentagon, the other crashing into a field in Pennsylvania.  So much was still unknown. 

September 12th was worse.  They had put up an antenna on the Empire State Building, so we had TV again and we could learn of the new events.  There were only two channels, both of which were showing the same thing.  Schools were obviously closed.  We still had no idea what else could be coming.  Having TV was scarier than not having it.  The videos and pictures aired were not something anyone should see, let alone a ten year old.  People had jumped out of buildings over a hundred stories high.  There’s so much that has affected me from the events that day ten years ago.  Most of these things, people don’t even realize.  I don’t think my parents even realize how much everything from the memorable day affected me.  I don’t even understand it half the time.  I was one of the very lucky ones.  Everyone I knew directly was fine.  My parents knew a lot of people, though.  I didn’t understand everything then.  But I was old enough to understand how much the event would change the world.  I was that perfect age where I still thought everything in life was fair and nothing bad could ever happen.  September 11, 2001 completely changed that mentality.  It ripped the innocence from my generation and slapped us with a cold, harsh reality.  It did it for everyone, I think.  Our TV did not go on for the next few weeks.  The only thing in the news were reports of terrorism and lists of bodies that had been found that day.  Image after image of the devastation.  It was too much to see. 

Later, in college, I learned of other people’s stories.  The people who weren’t in New York.  In my closed off, slightly sheltered world, New York was the only home I ever knew.  I never even considered at that point what it had to have been like for the rest of the country, let alone world.  The day before the sixth anniversary was my first year and my suitemates were telling me their stories.  I chose not to say anything, but it did not go unnoticed.  While I can appreciate their views and takes on the day, it wasn’t the same.  On that year’s anniversary, I had dinner with other New Yorkers.  I only knew two of them, but we all invited people we knew who had been there.  Finally, there was some peace in my mind.  We shared our stories and it synced better than with people from other parts of the country.  Of course it did.  How could it not?  It was someone that could relate to that same fear and terror felt in a similar manner.  We were there.  We survived. 

This year marks the tenth anniversary.  Again, it’s nearly impossible to believe it’s been that long.  I went home this weekend because I can.  I got to see some friends, eat good pizza, help out with an Eagle project, and enjoy my city that had forever changed ten years ago.  This morning I had to fly back to Houston.  It was the one reason I was extremely hesitant about going home this weekend, but I decided to go anyway.  If we become afraid to fly because of the events that happened, terrorists have won.  That is simply unacceptable.  I will not say I wasn’t afraid.  I definitely communicated with beings higher than myself.  But not doing something solely out of fear cannot be the way the American people move forward. 

Today we honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day or in the time after because they risked their lives to save someone else’s.  Today they are all remembered and thanked for the services they provided.  But it is still a day.  September 11th will always be the day after September 10th.  It will be a day that will continue to hurt for most for quite some time.  But we do move on.  We are thankful to the heroes that were born that day.  We should not only remember them on this day, however.  They should be remembered and thanked everyday.  The images I have seen on TV, from the pictures my dad took, the video clips of people doing the unthinkable, and more recently, the pictures my uncle has because he works at the Staten Island Dump, which is where most of the wreckage went, have scarred me forever.  But the people who were physically there, who saw people literally jumping from buildings, who lifted rubble and beams only to find someone who did not survive.  I cannot imagine how they feel.  How forever they changed from such sights.  But they continued on.  Even if they helped one person, they saved a life.  That is remarkable.  And worth remembering. 

The American people are a stronger group since the tragedy that day.  We were united in fear and in sadness.  Not exactly the way you want a group to come together, but effective, nonetheless.  Americans aren’t seen in the greatest of lights these days.  A nation that once was the top of the world is losing it’s ranks.  But that doesn’t stop me or anyone else I know from being proud to be an American.  I am extremely proud.  And its days such as September 11th that show what we are truly made of.  People can be stronger than imaginable when they need to be and we proved such a feat in the aftermath of the attacks on our country.  We stand proud.  We rebuild.  We move on.  But we will never forget.  We will continue to raise our flag to half mast every year in honor of those who periled on this day ten years ago.  UNITED WE STAND.


Seat backs must be in the full upright position…

Humans!  I totally love my job.  It is freaking awesome.  I have the most amazing life.  I really do.  I mean.  I have been to an airport everyday over the past five days.  Four of those days, I was flying somewhere!  Alright.  The day that got sandwiched in between the flights was kind of boring as I felt like I was sitting at the DMV all day, but man!  It really didn’t bother me all that much.  Why?  BECAUSE I LOVE MY JOB! 

So let’s backtrack a bit.  New York was great last weekend, as always.  It was also one of my friend’s birthdays, so I was happy I got a chance to have brunch with her and a few others before leaving.  Saw some of the family, enjoyed the cooler weather up there, and then headed back to good old Texas.  I have to admit, Houston is growing on me.  It’s no New York, but I definitely didn’t give it the credit I should have before I arrived.  That’s not to say that I don’t think the stereotypes of Texas don’t exist, now!  I just think where I am located is more of the corporate America on a higher scale of awesomeness.  The buildings are still taking me some time to get used to, but it’s still pretty neat.  Not that I’ve really had a chance to explore explore, though! 

Work has kept me busy!  So I got back from the airport on Monday afternoonish.  I, of course, had JUST missed the bus into Downtown, so I waited.  And waited.  Almost an hour to be exact.  Then, the bus finally gets there.  Awesome.  Except for the fact that even though all the signs show the buses appearing in one place, it’s really around the corner.  Whatever.  I managed to see the bus and chase after it to where it actually does stop.  So I go to get on said bus and I have my twenty dollar bill.  Well, nooooooo!!!   The bus drivers don’t carry change for ANYTHING.  It’s exact change only.  You’re more than welcome to put in larger bills, but don’t expect change.  Well, I wasn’t going to give up the change for a ride that is only $1.50.  So I ask people on the bus.  Blank stares.  Blank, annoyed stares to be exact.  Whatever.  Thanks for posting SOMEWHERE that you need exact change to board.  I only was sitting here for the last fifty minutes with nothing to do, but no big deal.  I’ll just wait another forty minutes for the next one.  So that was my fill of the airport for Monday. 

Tuesday I went to work and then joined my boss and another department head to San Francisco!  Whoo!!!!  First time to California (if you don’t count the layovers)!  So good times.  My boss is a President’s Club member to boot, so that was a new experience!  Good times.  🙂  We got to San Fran pretty late – 9PM local time, but 11 Houston time.  But we were hungry!  At the hotel was a place to eat, though, so we chatted and ate for a few hours before hitting the hay – not to mention catching the Yankees game!  🙂  Wednesday was fun and exciting.  We went to the United building to work on the merging-ness.  I worked with another engineer on my projects and then after we got most of that squared away, we got to go see the planes!  Since United has Airbus planes, I got to go in some of them too!  It was pretty awesome.  The A320 we went in was pretty much the standard plane you would go in, but the cockpit is pretty cool to have a look around!  The visit was also the first time I had ever been in a 777.  Pretty sweet.  Now they just need to deliver the Dreamliner so I can properly explore that!  And the A380 of course, but I am getting ahead of things…

We flew back Wednesday evening, getting back late again.  Luckily, I was able to sleep a little bit!  I as somewhat disappointed in the fact that I saw NONE of San Francisco save for the airport, but alas, I will just have to fly out there for a weekend!  🙂  Hopefully one that involves an air show around the same time.  Yeah, life is awesome.  😀  Yesterday was the “DMV” day.  One of my co-workers and I needed to get airport badges, so we had to head out there, fill out some paperwork, watch a video about our new responsibilities, etc, and get it all processed.  A simple thing that is a four hour process.  But at least there was a TV there!  Better than nothing.  After work, we went meandering around Houston.  I picked up some dive books for the Advanced Open Water class I will take hopefully sometime in the near future and then walked around exploring the area not far from where I’m living.  It’s pretty nice, actually.  Again, it’s growing on me.  Not to mention that there is a cemetery within walking distance from the house!  SO EXCITING!  Yup, there’s that morbid interest in death again, but what can you say? 

Then of course, the guy who’s renting out the house came over to show us how to set the alarm.  Well, of course, I managed to set it off twice within an hour’s timeframe.  The first time was possibly my fault due to some other distractions and things going on in my mind when I opened the door outside so I could actually talk on the phone because, you know, why should houses have service inside of them.  The other time I’m blaming completely on the renter person.  Why?  Because the genius knew I was outside and set the alarm anyway, so when I went INSIDE the house, it went off.  Grrr…  WHY WOULD YOU SET AN ALARM WHEN YOU KNOW SOMEONE IS OUTSIDE?!  But yeah.  This is what happens when you’ve never lived in a place with an alarm.  Not going to lose sleep over the fact. 

Today was a fun day at work too.  I got there before the sun – literally!  I was in at 6AM!  But I also left at 1PM so I could catch the bus to get to the airport so I could get the 4PM flight back home.  Good times.  Work was cool too, though.  I was introduced to Boeing people and managed to get free stuff – aka, a lanyard and cool yo-yo swivel thing so I don’t have to unclip my badge every time I want to access a door, so good stuff!  Also learned how to write some documents and all that fun stuff, while working on my door project.  The awesomest part of today so far, however, was that I found out that I would be going to Orlando next week to work on innovative projects with another one of the engineers.  Well, she’s already there, but I’ll be meeting her out there.  SO EXCITING!!  Definitely stoked for that.  I had no idea what I was going to be doing, but then it was explained what project was being worked on over there and, WHOO!!  Sounds awesome!  First time it’s ever being done.  And I get to help out with it!  SO FREAKING COOL!!  I’m telling you.  I love it!  And it’s only day six of work!!!  Later on down the road when I actually know more about what people are talking about?!?  SO EXCITED!  😀

Yup.  So this weekend, I’m heading home again.  Excited for the few days and the food as always.  Then it will probably be off to Orlando for new projects and awesome stuff.  Can’t wait!  So for you out there who question the idea of an internship?  DO IT.  JUST DO IT.  And even if you absolutely hate it, then you know that’s not what you want to do.  But methinks it’s impossible to completely hate everything!




I will again emphasize my epic fail of keeping this thing updated in a reasonable fashion.  I apologize for all of you who creepily stalk me via my blog and have been COMPLETELY unsuccessful at such endeavors.  Wow.  I just tried to spell endeavors with a ‘u.’ Damn you Kiwis!  I miss you guys, though!  SO!  Where in the world am I now?!?!  It has been quite some time.  At the moment, (surprise, surprise) I am on a plane on my way to New York!  Yes.  I am going home for Labor Day weekend!   I love my job! 

JOB??!?!?!  You question?  Yes.  I am currently employed as an intern for Continental, excuse me, United.  And yes, I have another internship!  I told you all a while ago (obviously it was a while ago since I haven’t updated in at least a good two months) that I was never going to graduate and I was strongly determined to remain in school and do study abroads and internships for the rest of my life.  It’s a good theory, methinks.  It’s working out fantastically.  Forget this graduating in four and a half years with a bachelors and masters.  I’m taking the full five years it’s supposed to take if not longer because I am getting work (not to mention real life) experience!  I love college!   

So let’s rewind a bit.  The last you people had heard from me was when I was in New Zealand and heading to Hawaii.  The reason I did not update anything sooner?  It was a legitimate excuse at the time.  I had typed this LONG (and those of you who have seen some of my posts can only imagine how long a week of a Hawaiian cruise could have been for me describing it) post on the flight back home, but I couldn’t remember some of the details regarding the final nights and I wanted to complete it.  Instead of yelling to my mom to ask for said details while on a plane in the middle of the night and a few aisles over, I decided to get some shut eye.  Following that, I got REALLY busy.  We returned from Hawaii – and FYI for those of you that care, I will be posting that post – which I still haven’t touched since that wonderful flight from Hawaii 😀 – when it is completed at some obscure later date in the future(aka, don’t hold your breath!) – anyway, returned from Hawaii and I attempted to get some REAL sleep before driving down to Florida for classes.  Yes, I drove all the way to Florida after some psychotic jetlag and barely sleeping from New York embarking on this journey around 2PM. 

I convinced my parents to let me take the Ice puppy, so I had some company on the seventeen hour drive that included a wonderful nap in South Carolina around 6AM.  Good times.  The dog stood guard! J  I love that little guy.  I got to Daytona in the afternoon and spent the remainder of the day unpacking.  The next day I was still severely jetlagged and woke up at 4:30AM.  Sickening.  I decided a little later to actually get out of bed and head to school/work.  I had told my boss AGES prior to then that I would be there on the 5th of July, but I hadn’t really talked to her since then.  I wasn’t even sure if I had a job!  When I did get there, though, there was this lady/secretary sitting at the desk I usually sit at demanding to know what I wanted!  I didn’t really know who she worked for or what to say since I didn’t know if I even really worked there, but I started with something like I used to work here and I…  Before I could say anymore, she demanded to know if I was Lauren.  Well who else would I be?!  In confirming this, however, there was a small squeak and she popped up from behind the desk to give me a hug.  This complete stranger was giving me a hug!  She then drags me down the hall by my arm/hand yelling my bosses name and to guess who was there!  Needless to say, I felt loved.   Turns out in the midst of my worldly travels, they finally decided that the office needed a secretary.  FINALLY!  And let me say, we found someone who definitely makes the office a much better place (and if you have decided to become one of my faithful blog stalkers, don’t let this get too far in your head…    Just kidding!  You deserve to let it get to your head – you be awesome)!

Anyway, I did have a job when I got back, but with all new people essentially.   It was strange at first, but alas, all things need change here and there.  In the midst of working, I took two classes for the second summer semester.  My best semester yet (yeah, with the 4.0!) and with two classes I actually both truly enjoyed – Aero II and Thunderstorms for you die-hard stalkers – I feel the last month and a half (and really only part) of my summer was well spent.  Much happened during the time I got back to the States aside from that, though. 

First off, and I guess here is where we get to the good stuff because I know half of you are probably still hanging on the “Wait, what is this job thing you’re talking about again and why are you on a plane right now?!?!?” so I will finally elaborate.  One day on the cruise in Hawaii, I receive a voicemail from a contact at Continental/United (OK, they are “working together,” but they are legally separate until next year when the FAA approves the merger so even though my employee badge says United, it’s still Continental and will thus forth be referred to as “CAL” or some obvious variant of that) asking me if I’m still interested in the position I applied for ages ago and if I could schedule a phone interview.  Awesomeness.  Of course I’m interested.  WHO WOULDN’T BE INTERESTED!?!?!  But I can’t tell people because, well, there’s always that possibility that I won’t actually get a position from them.  So I schedule this phone interview and apparently that went well because then I am asked to go to Houston for an interview with the manager/director of the department I could possibly be working for.

So I fly out for this interview and since we all know what happens, there’s no point in trying to keep suspense up since I am obviously an employee now.  I was under the impression that I wouldn’t have really minded either way if I got the job or not, but when it was legitimately offered to me, I couldn’t help but want to tell the world about it.  Hehehe.  Of course, I couldn’t make anything facebook (or blog if I ever bothered to update this thing) official until I told important people like my then current boss who was already “mad” at me for taking the internship last fall, but of course she understood. 

With me, however, nothing is ever simple.  After some of the paperwork was done, I had to fill out some information for a background check and then go for drug tests and fingerprinting.  First of all, do you know how hard it was for me to fill out an address summary for that background check!??!  I had to go back ten years leaving no gaps!  I’ve lived in WAY too many places in the last three years!  Way too complicated.  I had seven different addresses in THREE countries for three years!  Insanity.  Then for my drug test and fingerprinting, I had to either go to Newark or Houston.  Awesome, right?  I decided to go to EWR and inquire about flying in on Friday and leaving Sunday.  No problem they say.  So I get to go home for a three day weekend and take care of some business at the same time.  So my flight on Friday is at this ungodly hour of 7:30AM or something.  Leaving Daytona at 5ish was sooo painful, but whatever.  Get to the airport, all is good and then…  CANCELLED!  My flight is completely cancelled!  GRRR!!  And it’s 6:15 in the morning so of course everyone and anyone in Houston isn’t going to be able to help me because it’s 5:15 there and I should hope no one is THAT obsessed with making sure future employees have smooth rides.   I talk to one of the people at the desk, however, and of course they put me on standby for the next possible flight at 10.  In the meantime, I make some phone calls and wait for someone to get to the office.  Well, my contact for travel arrangements is amazing and managed to get back to me just past 8:30 my time.  We rearranged things so that I would stay in NY until Monday and take care of the tests Monday morning since the fingerprinting place closed at 2 and even if I made the 10 o’clock flight, I wouldn’t have gotten there in time.  FYI, I FINALLY managed to leave MCO on the 3:20 flight that afternoon (or something to that variation) many, MANY flights later flying standby…  

The weekend in NY was nice, though.  I met with some friends from high school as always and then caught a show with my parents in the evening.  I highly recommend Catch Me if You Can, but beware the music is catchy (although there was some disappointment that they didn’t use the same theme in the movie)!  Saw some family as well and just enjoyed it all.  After finals, a lot of other fun stuff went down, such as MORE WORKING, driving to Naples (the one in Florida…), changing my relationship status, visiting people who live in a place more depressing than Daytona, and debating whether or not I should bring my vehicle to Texas with me or driving it back to NY, and saying goodbye to awesome peoples in Florida yet again (and still not being able to get in everyone L).  In no particular order, of course.  Well, I ended up driving my car up to NY with the boyfriend and the puppy who became a fugitive in the state of Florida – more on that in another post.  I love roadtrips.  J  From there, we met up with my high school peoples, meandered about the city acting like tourists when we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge – OK, that was just me and the bf, but yeah – enjoying good old New York.

But again, my luck cannot last that long and I managed to get stuck in the airport closings and not make my flight down to Houston for day one of internship because, well, Hurricane Irene had better plans for me.  I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and this was no exception.  I was originally supposed to leave Sunday, but Mom persuaded me to move it to Saturday because of impending doom for NYC and surrounding areas.  So I changed my flight, but of course they then closed the airports.  It wasn’t too upsetting because, well, yeah, I was at home, we had a family reunion/memorial on Saturday that I ended up getting to go to, and I got to spend more time at home!  Did I mention the home bit at all?  The best part of home?  I got legit Italian craving Brooklyn pizza, bagels, and other amazing food! 

Since all major airports within 100 miles of NYC were closed for two and a half days, I was essentially screwed in getting out and was told I would have a flight for Wednesday.  Well day one was a Monday, but not much I could really do, but enjoy home more.  I must say, NY was amazing on Monday and Tuesday after the storm.  With the extra time, we got in a trip to Ft. Tilden to check out my Gold Award project (for those of you unaware, it’s the equivalent of the more well-known Eagle Scout, but for Girl Scouts) which sadly has been slightly neglected in being kept nice since we worked out there, but I do have to remind myself that it’s been almost four years now, and a trip to Coney Island including the must ride Cyclone for first-timers!  Boyfriend’s reaction on the first drop = PRICELESS!  I even got a candy apple out of the experience (thank you again 🙂 )!

I finally did get to Houston on Wednesday, however, and had no problem with anything.  I unpacked my repacked suitcase of more Houston temperature appropriate clothes and had some bonding time with the other people living in the house/ fellow interns.  Work Thursday was awesome.  As it turns out, since it always seems to take ANY company forever and a day to get new people in the system, etc, people couldn’t really do much since they weren’t in the system yet and didn’t have employee numbers so the other interns spent most of the day reading the GMM, which is apparently a very long and technical manual regarding procedures.  I was extremely lucky, because we got our ID numbers within two hours of my arrival so I was able to play around with that.  Not to mention I was given real work already!  So between all of that, the day went by quickly.  Later in the evening, we meandered off to go grocery shopping and some other exciting things before calling it a night. 

Today was pretty epic as well.  My supervisor wasn’t there yesterday, so I sat down with him today to talk some exciting things and then he sent me to work on comparing doors.  Yes, doors.  I get to look at the structures of doors for Continental and United to see how interchangeable things are for the merger when everything will become one.  I now have a new respect for airplane doors.  And airplanes for that matter!  We had our staff meeting today as well where my boss threw out the memo to everyone in the Structures department to let me tag along on basically anything that seems cool.  So anytime one of them goes out to the airport or something, I will hopefully be able to get to go along.  Like today.  Before I got on the plane, I went to some of the hangars to check out 757s with my boss.  HOW FREAKING COOL!  Specifically to look at the doors, but I got a little tour of the rest of the aircraft as well.  SO AWESOME!  I would say going to the VAB at Kennedy Space Center and walking around the orbiter for the space shuttle was cooler, but I actually got to go inside the gutted airplane and touch stuff and all exciting things like that with the planes, so…  J  LOVING THIS INTERNSHIP SO FAR!  After checking it out, we got some food and then I was dropped off at the airport with good luck of getting on a plane for the evening. 

I was originally scheduled to fly to Baltimore, but the flight didn’t leave until 5PM and it was 3ish at this point, so I checked out departures and decided to try my luck getting on a flight to LaGuardia at 3:57.  A LOT of standby passengers were able to get on, but there were two seats short of me being able to board.  The few of us who weren’t able to get on inquired about the next one and she didn’t give us any definites, but said the next one at 5:30 looked hopeful.  I was torn.  A direct flight to LGA would be awesome, but there were way more people on standby on an overbooked flight to begin with than there were on my flight to Baltimore leaving at 5.  Feeling strongly about my luck, I decided to wait it out to hop on this flight and obviously my gut was right.  🙂 

I boarded the plane ecstatic and extremely surprised to be seated in an empty row.  But then that excitement died after twenty minutes of sitting here.  Apparently a plane with multiple people connecting to this flight was delayed, which was why there were so many empty seats.  I was terrified they would make me get off the plane so original passengers could get on, since in conversations with some other people who were on standby for the flight before and whatnot had said that had happened to them before.  I thought the plane was waiting for them, but it turned out that there were communication issues and maintenance had to come and check everything out.  Well they were able to fix it, but in the meantime, they let the other passengers on the flight.  I was freaking out, but then relieved to find us pushing back from the gate after another twenty minutes.  Always a story with me, right?  

Anywho, I suppose this is more than enough for you faithful readers who have gotten this far.  I’m going to enjoy home and then possibly update again!