On the plus side, some 65-year-old guy in a pickup truck just tried to pick me up while I was walking over to Friday's. Either that, or it was totally innocent and he really did just want to give me a handful of cash in exchange for a smoke.
My flight out of Albany was delayed over two hours because of the weather, and because the jet we were taking had to come in from our destination, be refueled, then turn around and go back. You know how when you use a bathroom stall at work and you get all grossed out because when you sit down, the seat is still warm? It was like that. I ended up sitting next to a guy with a shaved head and a bad cold who was working on his manifesto or something, because he was writing on some ratty, stapled-together stack of papers the whole way here. Unfortunately I was sitting on his left and he was a left-handed manifesto-er. That meant he was doing that hook-handed thing that lefties do, so I had a rib full of elbow for 2 hours. At one point he tried to be polite by sneezing into his sheaf of papers, however he managed to angle them precisely enough so that their curvature created a boomerang of airborne pestilence and I actually felt a fine mist of sneeze juice hit my face. I finally resorted to adjusting my overhead air control to blow away from me, and turning my body toward the aisle. I also bathed in purell when I landed so hopefully I will avoid contracting whatever variation of Captain Trips he was spreading.
The landing was a little rough, but we managed to avoid sliding off the runway even though I have no idea how. It was snowing like a bitch and we couldn't see anything out the window but a complete white out. When we finally dropped out of the snow squall the ground was RIGHT there. A second later, we hit the snowy runway and the brakes simultaneously, and came to a shuddering halt somewhere close to where we were supposed to. So I just want to say: Thank you, 14-year-old pilot, wherever you are. I wish you good luck with that first shave you have coming up.
I haven't had great luck with my vehicles so far this week. The hotel I'm staying at is very upscale and they provide you with transportation to and from the airport, as well as to the office, so you never have to call a taxi. I'm kidding. It's a Hampton Inn, and while they do have a shuttle, it's some kind of ancient minivan with no suspension, bald tires and no heat, and even though they say it runs every half hour, most of the time nobody uses it so they don't run it unless you ask them to.
There's a little indian lady who lays out the continental breakfast every morning who also happens to be the shuttle driver. She's about four feet tall, and she's worked here since the place opened back in 1886. One minute she has her little apron on, and she's busily setting up yogurt and bagels and cereal and then she suddenly yanks off the apron like Clark Kent shucking his suit, throws on her puffy down coat and her hajib and heads for the van. She's barely tall enough to reach the pedals, and I'm pretty sure reaching the top of the steering wheel on that piece of shit mini-bus is completely out of the question for her. I thought for sure we were going to die. At one point, I was actually white-knuckling it in the back seat and yelling, "Curb! Watch out for the curb!" as she slid sideways into the embankment and then over-corrected and slalomed into the fast lane.
I was so jacked up by the ride that I tried to jump out at the first stop, which wasn't even our building. She was motioning with her hand and saying, "No, no, no, you must wait," and I had no idea what she was talking about until my co-worker clued me in to the fact that I was about to jump out at American Greetings Incorporated. At that point I was contemplating a career change anyway. I could write corny romantic limericks all day long, and you wouldn't even have to threaten to kill my wife. I mean, if you wanted really good ones it wouldn't hurt, but I bet I could do a fair job with just the threat of someone making me drink coffee that comes in a can.
My second vehicular failure came yesterday after our training session. Chris, one of the guys in the class, offered to give us a ride back to the hotel. In order to avoid the Bangalore Express, we accepted. We had to stop at the security desk and turn in our temporary badges, so he said, "I'll meet you out front. I have a silver KIA."
We turned in our badges and stood in the foyer where it wasn't so cold and windy, and waited for him to pull around. When he pulled up, we ran outside to meet him and because chivalry is not dead and my co-worker is a woman, I figured I'd let her ride shotgun. I ran up to the driver's side back door, yanked it open, tossed my backpack on the floor and then realized there wasn't any room for me back there because the entire rear bench was taken up by two car seats filled with two little black kids whose eyes were the size of paper plates because they'd never before in their lives been carjacked by a middle-sized white dude. I apologized to the very unfriendly gentleman driving this particular silver fucking KIA and did the walk of shame back to the foyer. He was kind of a dick about it. To be fair, I had just jumped into his car with his two babies, but I maintain that it's partially his fault for making questionable window tinting decisions.
And to illustrate how fried my brain is right now: honest to god, for a split second, I actually thought, "Chris has two little black kids?"
Yes. And he leaves them strapped into their car seats in the parking lot all day while he's working because it's cheaper than paying for day care. I'm an idiot.
*and by "had-to" I mean if someone had kidnapped my wife and was threatening to kill her if I didn't tell them how to add 14 users to Active Directory using a jagged array.