Status Status

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 12:52 pm

For a long time I have coveted a status page. Merlin Mann talks about them here. Not nearly enough people have them. The only thing that bothers me about mine is that there’s no way for someone to keep updated on it, except to check in with their favorite browser.

I wonder if there’s something RSSy that will notify your newsreader when a page changes?

I’m not going to put any more brain power into this now, ‘cause I have a bunch of other stuff to catch up on… but I’d like to give it some thought later on.

Ideas welcome. :}


Irish Remedy

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 8:57 am

It being my birthday yesterday, no one should be surprised that when I needed hot whiskied tea, I put the nifty stuff in – the stuff I can’t get a hold of unless I take a trip overseas. So what? Was my birthday! But I reheated the last bit of it from last night, and that’s that. Cheap stuff from here on out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a sinus infection.


Some of you know what Ka, like the wind means. I feel a bit picked up and carried. No… not specifically about the sinus infection. :}

So far I’ve been mostly panicking, I’m (not?) ashamed to admit. I don’t know if I’m better off relaxing, given the brand of insanity I’m experiencing. But there’s been one sign so far – why not expect more? I get them all over the place, and every time the world turns on its ear there is some sort of signal or miracle to push me through, over and over and over. Why not now?

I’d be calmer if my sinuses weren’t in a weeping clench, but there’s only so much you can do.


Not Neiman Marcus

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 5:07 pm

Today I set out to make Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies, in order to alleviate a creeping feeling of depressiness that started sometime this week and will hopefully abate entirely by tomorrrow evening. I downloaded the recipe off Neiman Marcus’ own site – if you try, I bet you can find it. It was funny because it seemed like a ploy to avoid bad press, and they didn’t pull it off very well. But the recipe was clear.

So I mixed and I cooked and I sat and ate leftover cookie dough and a few oranges, watching Star Trek while I waited. Then I called my Dad downstairs to try a few. “I made Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies,” I told him. “But we didn’t have any eggs so I used water and flaxseed instead, the internet said it would work. And we didn’t have any light brown sugar so I just used regular granulated sugar instead. And we didn’t have any baking powder so I just left it out, and we didn’t have any regular all-purpose flour, so I used buckwheat pancake mix instead. The cookie dough tastes great, so I think it worked.”

“I hate to tell you this,” Dad said as he munched on a cookie, “but you didn’t make Neiman Marcus cookies. These are Megan cookies!”

And I guess he’s right.

They were too crumbly to be non-Megan cookies, anyway!


Shameless Reminder

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 1:33 am

My birthday’s in two days. Ya’ll know where to find my wishlists, right?

My recently diagnosed Incredible Stress has a widely known (but undertested) cure by way of Neat Presents. Perhaps the twitchy unreasonable winking or spasmodic batting of eyelashes gives me away?


Tart Dried Apricots

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 8:29 pm

Do you know what I like best in all the world?

Tart dried apricots.

Nope, not the big ol’ fresh ones. I mean the little dehydrated pieces in sealed foil bags. The ones that look like little orange ears. Those ones. But not the big fat sweet ones. I’m talking about the shrivelled dark tart ones! They zomp me right back to being eight again, they are absolutely delicious. I can’t get enough of them. (And if you’re aware of what happens to your digestive system if you eat too many dried apricots, you’ll know why I am still only having a few a day, instead of devouring the whole damn bag!)

I don’t think I’ve had a bag quite like this SINCE I was eight. They’ve all been the usual sort, not extra fabulous and yummy and tart and sharp and perfect like these are. This one bag in the door of the fridge, it’s almost gone! What am I going to do when I finish it off?? Horrified!

They should label each package ‘plump and sweet and boring’ or ‘shrivelled and sweet and tart’. But they don’t. There’s no way for me to know if I will ever encounter another package of dried apricots like these.

Like I need more stress in my life.


“Don’t Deny” and Other Thoughts

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 10:43 pm

It’s a little bit strange (and then again, not a bit) the sorts of things that cause my minor revelations about the way the universe is put together. More than that (since the universe can be pretty obscure most of the time), the way people are put together. And I suppose it’s even more useful to me to know how to get them to understand what I’m saying, or vice versa. So little things like this feel really worth my time, and worth posting, even if they might cause a little dismay. (You’re a grownup, you can handle it. And if you’re not a grownup, well, this isn’t going to be so bad. Does your mom know you’re surfing the unfettered web? Am I the unfettered web?)

I’m going to hide some of this behind a link, because I know there will be folks who aren’t interested. But I’ll tell you this much. When I had my revelation, I was reading a cute little tutorial on cybersex etiquette.

Still reading? Okay, click on! (more…)


I am so bad…

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 4:20 pm

I ordered something from Woot. I’ve never done that before. It was a rush! (You know… it really was kind of a rush. Ha!)

So here’s what Woot does. Every day it sells a limited number of one thing. Today’s was this neato iPod speaker setup that I’ve been wanting for awhile, and the price tag was slashed a good 60%... so I ordered one. And since I did it at about 2am this morning, there were plenty left to be sold. They’re all out now, but here’s the thing I ordered.

Neat, huh? I don’t know how long it will take to ship, but I’m antsy already. :P

Holiday Overseas, Trois

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 1:24 am

(If you’re just now joining us and would like the whole story, everything begins here. If you just missed the last little piece, the previous installment is here.)

You may already have guessed that County Wicklow isn’t three hours from the Dublin Airport – at least, it isn’t now. My impression is that not long ago, all the roads to be had were winding, bumpy country roads, and at that time it might well have taken several hours to get from here to there. But there are new highways now, apparently, and fairly recent ones, so the trip was 45 minutes or an hour at the most. It was night, and there wasn’t much to see, but I was just so relieved to be safe in the hands of folks who knew their way around!

You may also have guessed that my two angels were the kind people I was going to be staying with. It turns out that my travel buddy had nobly badgered the airline until he was given information about my new flight schedule. As nervous as I was that I would continue to have trouble reaching someone I knew, it never occured to me that just the right people would be standing right there when I came out of customs. Miracle!

So there I was, safe and sound, worn to unintelligable little bits, sitting in the passenger seat on the left side of the car. It felt strangely empty, but I was too tired to make more of it than that. We chatted very pleasantly all the way home.

The home we finally reached was a sprawling ranch house with big, warm rooms. It looked a lot bigger on the inside than from outside, and when I say the rooms were warm, I mean more with substance and human spirit than with actual heat. The kitchen had a small fireplace that seemed to be lit most evenings, and the beds had huge thick comforters with real weight to them. For all the chill of the Irish weather (and coming from Ohio, I’m certainly not complaining), the house was comfortable and somehow good-natured. Maybe a place inhabited by kindred souls. ;}

It was New Year’s Eve, and after the upset I’d felt about the threat of being on a plane the whole night, I wasn’t about to miss it. Part of me considered going to bed early, but the rest of me couldn’t handle the idea. We ate an incredible dinner of Indian food – big bread pita-sort-of-things and chicken in sweet stuff and shrimp in spicy stuff. We toasted the New Year with champagne around eight, and most went to bed. My travel buddy and I sat up at the kitchen table, ate candy and chocolate, drank Guinness and Cointreau, clinked glasses at midnight, and chatted till half past two.

When I woke the next day, I peered at my defunct cell phone. The sun was peeking insistently around the curtains. But my phone said 8:00am, and I wasn’t about to wake up at 8:00am, not after that flight, and the night of conversation. So I went back to sleep.

When I woke again, it said noon.

And the curtains were dim.

I knew I was further towards the North Pole, but I wasn’t that much further. There was just no possibility that it was going to get dark at noon. Could it be a storm? Could I be wrong about the daylight hours in Ireland? Eventually it occured to me that my phone might be wrong… and then, slowly dawning, that my phone was still on Eastern Standard Time.


I had slept from 2:30am to 5:00pm the same day, and man did it feel good!

Jet lag still bothered me a little bit for the rest of the trip, but it was muchly reduced by that one big sleep. I can’t recommend a good big sleep enough, for overseas travel! (And maybe first class instead of coach? Er.)

I think we ate lamb that night at dinner. There was lots of wine and it’s clear to me now how much I really enjoy a few glasses of wine during dinner. (This never would’ve occured to me before, even though I’d done it once or twice.) The lamb was just not possible. It was so soft and tasty, there is just no way it was real. The lamb I have had in the past has always been a little tough and stringy, and this lamb was like butter. Fairy lamb. But when I put it in my stomach, it stayed there for the appropriate length of time, and availed itself of the usual departure. It tasted amazing. That was some lamb. Wowee.

That night there was more good conversation, and the next day there was neato grocery shopping at a market with a shelter for the shopping carts that said ‘Trolley Park’. There were so many different and interesting things at the grocery store! Shopping was never so fun, and I didn’t even buy anything!

I’m not going to share any of the work bits (obviously), but I will say these things about the rest. It was comfortable and pleasant, like spending a week at home. Isn’t that silly? Very few trips have seemed the same, and the ones I can count seemed that way because I had visited the same place, or the same people, many times. But for a first visit, this one was just so warm and friendly. Comfy. Normal.

As I said before, the feeling that I’d been transported to another planet was notably absent. I’m not sure why I expected to feel that way. It might be because I only traveled through countries where English was spoken, accents or no. It might be because I was staying with people who were my friends as well as anything else, it might be because I was staying in someone’s home instead of a hotel. It might have been a lot of things. But it’s really nice to know that the rest of the world isn’t another planet, and people are people all over. Isn’t that funny?

I have a hunch it will be that way everywhere.


Vonage Issues Solved! Woo!

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 8:24 pm

(The original explanation for your supreme catching up purposes can be found here. The last update was here. Go to town.)

I am totally on the phone with Joanne, and she is totally solving all my problems. She does freelance video work at home, and she works at Vonage as her regular job. Someone give this woman a raise! With the possible (and not verifiable) exception of Shauntee, Joanne is the only person I’ve spoken to who has held onto me despite disconnections, and truly been of great assistance!

So I’ve been charged $83.53, and refunded $40.84 (termination fee), then refunded the activation fee ($29.99) and the shipping fee ($9.95, since I’m using the same old router I already had). The account is set up and functional, and now we’re submitting a ticket to get back my toll free number (my precious, darling toll free number that happens to spell ‘vmagpie’) and possibly my original regular 330 area code number.

Pant, wheeze, gasp. This is complicated!

It’s costing me $16.93 to get the toll free number transferred back to this new account, but with everything else fixed, am I honestly going to complain? I think not! And of course, that’s a little like They finally found me flights to get me to Dublin before New Year’s Eve, am I really going to give them shit?? You bet I ain’t! (Although some have suggested otherwise… and that I should have gotten an upgrade to business class, or somethin’).

Success, success!!

So now, here’s the plan. The automatic numbers generated for the new account don’t work, because my old router is still keyed to the original numbers. The ticket was submitted to Tier 3, and within 48 hours they will have switched the old numbers to my account, and my router should just, poof, work, maybe with a reboot. If I haven’t heard from anyone by Friday, I will email Joanne (who gave me her email address!) and we will figure it out!

How’s THAT sound, huh!?

...Should I have argued over that last $16.93?

Flowers for the HVE Network

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 7:38 pm

(The originating post for this whole alarming situation, if you would like to catch up, can be found here.)

I gave Vonage another call today at half six. The very first answer I got was a woman who sounded like she’d been there all day. She was yawning. Now and then throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but feel that she was at least giddily overworked, and perhaps a slim chance of there being alcohol or happy drugs involved. That said, she was patient with me as I explained my strange situation, and although she said technically it was my fault, she said she’d help me anyway because she was nice. So she waived my termination fee and my setup fee, and got down to business putting everything back to rights. I think I said something lame, like I don’t agree with you but I’m grateful for your help anyway! I used a cheery voice. I was as nice to this woman as possible, because she was being nice to me – something I hadn’t gotten from a lot of Vonage representatives (especially the ones whose accents I could understand).

We went through the motions for a few minutes. I was feeling on top of the world! But then she paused to correct a strange billing error, and disappeared.

It was sort of like being put on hold, except she never came back.

This is not only the second time it’s happened – just the second time it’s happened this week.


I called back. And I got Shauntee on the phone. Shauntee, I wish I could spell your name properly, you were so helpful! You were nice, and polite, and cheerful, and you told me finally that I’d been speaking with Joanne and she’d be giving me a call back on my cell phone within the next few minutes!


So now I’m waiting to hear back from Joanne, and kind of thinking that I have hooked in to a tiny network of Helpful Vonage Employees. Whatever gods are out there, please, please, please keep me in good favor with these girls. Please don’t give me back the dude with the thick mumbly accent. I would even take Good-Tempered Muhammed from India over the dude with the thick mumbly accent. I have been good, I promise. (Did you see those posts I wrote on Ireland!? Gold!!)

I’ll update as this progresses, assuming it works out and my fingers don’t fall off. ;}

(More finally happened! Take a look here.)

Holiday Overseas, teh Second

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 12:19 am

(If you’re just now joining us and would like the whole story, the previous installment happens to be here.)

I had Popeye’s chicken for dinner at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. My god, it was so yummy. (The chicken… NOT the airport.) It was hot and greasy and spicy and wonderful. I threw away the sidedish, because I couldn’t carry it, and the rest of the food, and my carryon bags. I didn’t have enough arms. If I was punkier, I could pierce my muscles (such as they are) with big industrial doorhooks, and hang my bags on those. No hands!

Officially I was on ‘standby’ for my flight to Gatwick. The robot woman had assured me that I would be on the flight, and I never should have believed her, but it turned out I’d be on the flight anyway. Everyone said so. I believed them all. I was tired of crying. I changed from my regular clothes into pseudo-pajamas – sweatpants and another tshirt, new undies, new socks. That made me feel a little better. I sat in the terminal and ate my fried chicken. I talked to my parents and I talked to Angel, knowing my cell phone would be useless when I landed in England. I got on the plane. I got on the plane!

Now, I’d never been on a flight quite like this before. I’d done a jump from Akron to Chicago to Los Angeles where the last leg was a turbulent five hours, but I’d never been on a longer flight. I’d certainly never been on a flight over a whole ocean. I had a very vague idea of what to expect, and was pretty sure I’d be hideously uncomfy most of the time.

By now I knew they’d been quacking at me when they told me there’d be a power port on my seat in coach, and without an external battery I needed to conserve iPod use as much as possible. I had a great book – King’s Wizard and Glass – and that helped me along quite a bit. They played the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I made it about three quarters of the way through before my own thoughts were incoherent, and I half-dozed in my seat. There was no sleeping – oh, was there ever less sleeping? But being a zombie was inevitable and precluded the intelligent watching of silly movies.

I read, and sat there, and read, and listened to the inane television programming that came after the movie. And read some more.

I let the cute Mexican girl in the seat next to me use my pencil to fill out her immigration card. We had a hard time understanding each other, but she had a pretty smile.

I wanted my iPod. I wanted my computer. I wanted anything to take the edge off of the impossible boredom I was experiencing. I may have played five minutes of Super Mario World before my laptop battery went the way of the dodo. I remember they fed us reasonably well. I don’t know how I lasted all those hours, looking forlornly at the woman across the aisle who was seated in front of a bulkhead, and could put her feet up while she napped. I tried every conceivable position in that little seat in coach, but nothing was comfortable, so I gave up. Who needs sleep, anyway?

Blessings upon blessings, we landed.

I don’t remember a whole lot of this part, either. My lower brain functions were taking care of me. My higher brain functions were still trying to nap in that little seat in coach. I remember getting my bags. Actually, I remember being absolutely certain that my bags were lost, until a very nice old man showed me the luggage on the cart he was moving.

Come to think of it, he reminded me a little of Paul.

I tried to make phone calls, but either the payphones at Gatwick are evil, or I was too tired. It was most likely a little of both. I did manage to get a hold of my parents once or twice, and Angel too (who answered her phone despite the early hour and was somehow not dismayed to be hearing from me)! I had no idea how I would get a hold of anyone in Ireland, but I thought I might cross that bridge after I successfully met my flight at Heathrow.

I wasn’t going to be missing any more flights, not me!

I somehow managed to find the right shuttle desk, and schlepped down to a waiting area for the bus. After all, they speak English in England! While I was trying to think clearly enough to decide what should stay in my checked luggage and what should come with me in my carryons, an older dude with a giant cell phone sat down nearby and proceeded to call everyone he knew. I was oh so jealous of his mobility and lack of confusion regarding foreign calling codes. Of course, they weren’t foreign to him. I didn’t say anything. I was too damn tired.

The bus was big, but it wasn’t a double decker. (I later saw a double decker while on the way back from County Wicklow grocery shopping, squeaked significantly and promptly forgot the bits and pieces of whatever conversation was being had at the time. It was so neat! But I didn’t get a picture.) I was so glad to be on that bus and not in an airport, or on a plane. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it another however many hours, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to force my body to board another flight. What kind of cruel torture is this, this airports?

I saw such neat things, just driving down an English highway! I saw something that seemed shaped like a toucan, but was plain black with a big yellow beak. I gaped after it like a total tourist. I saw a real honest-to-goodness magpie, a beautiful black and white one without mushy markings the way they seem to have in the States. It felt like a good omen. I saw a real live fox, picking along a hillside away from the road, and many tiny sheep, white and fluffy on the sides of hills! That was the first time I felt like I was somewhere else. The hills, the hills were a little different.

Not different in feeling, but different visually. Different like a picture book. But I was still on the planet Earth, if not in big ol’ America. Who needs America when you’ve got magpies and foxes just runnin’ around, I ask you!?

(I would like to note at this point that I am aware we have foxes, and maybe even that kind of magpie, in the U.S. But I have never seen them here, so keep quiet and let me continue.)

I must have gotten to Heathrow. It was a strange little airport. Its signs confused me. I went to the wrong terminal once or twice. I did successfully check my luggage, and discovered that European airports (well, these ones, anyway) offered free luggage carts. Didn’t have to pay a thing for ‘em! So after dragging my bags to one terminal, I got smart and piled them on a cart to go to the proper terminal. It took me awhile (and a lot of backtracking, and elevator hopping), but I found it. And I got on the plane. Another plane. Whew.

I sat down in my first window seat of the last eight years, for that is the length of time I felt I had been away from home, traveling in airports, lonely solitary wanderer. I sat next to a guy and a girl, both about my age. They had Irish accents. I believe they were flying home, and they’d been on planes forever today, like me, and they’d been vacationing in Vegas. They were really, really nice. They would’ve talked to me the whole flight, but I was at the end of my rope and bundled in my coat, I passed out for the whole. Two hour. Flight. Window seat and all.

I missed the Irish Sea, but it was pretty cloudy. I probably wouldn’t have been able to see anything, anyway. But I am sorry I didn’t talk more to those nice people, and maybe be friends, and maybe know them better. The girl’s name was Deirdre. I can’t remember the guy’s name. They were downright nifty, and their attractiveness was not due solely to my state of exhaustion and perceived travel isolation. That said, I should’ve stayed awake and gotten pictures. And phone numbers. Or something.

I awoke as we were landing in Dublin. My brain was not comprehending that this was the last plane, because it was thinking hard about how I was going to find the right people, how I was going to get out of the Dublin airport before I’d even set foot outside the plane. My cell phone was non-functional. I had plastic to use on the crazy payphones, but I was confused as to how much it was costing, and concerned about disappearing my meager emergency funds. I decided that I would get my luggage, change some money, and figure out then what to do next.

I had a feeling of muffled, exhausted terror that perhaps my bags would be lost, lost, lost, but I did eventually find them. I changed everything in my wallet to euros, having had zero luck at the payphones and wondering exactly where I would be sleeping that night. If nothing else, James had been to Ireland, and he would know what I could do from the Dublin Airport. He would know something, something about where I could stay, or someone could tell me how to get to a hotel, and I could use my emergency money to get at least that far.

“Can you tell me how far County Wicklow is from here?” I asked the woman at the exchange desk. She looked alarmed, and estimated a good three hours. I could take a bus, or hire a car, she supposed, but looked doubtful.

Three hours!?

I took my wallet and stuffed it safe in my laptop bag, clutched at my luggage cart, trundled toward customs and the exit. A strange calm and coherency was falling over me. Survival instincts kicking in? This was a city like any other city. I’d find my way around, and it would be fine, and eventually I would get in touch with the people I needed to be settled safely.

I went through a door into customs, and through a door out of it. I kept my eyes open for signs that would tell me things I needed to know. And on the way through that second door, I saw two angels, creatures from a higher plane, I’m not talking about an awful metal bucket that flies through the air, I am talking about a bright, brilliant, happy place that spawned these two angels who appeared out of fucking nowhere and implausibly, incredibly, unbelievably, rescued me from a foreign, self-sufficient fate.

And that’s how I got to Ireland in one piece on New Year’s Eve.



Holiday Overseas, Parto Ono

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 11:28 pm

Well, yes, I was in Ireland for New Year’s. Hell, I was almost on a nine hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean for New Year’s – but I got lucky. (Actually, I got crafty, and a little bit verklempt. Or was it verklempt, and a little bit crafty? Anyway… I’ll explain that later.)

If you require visual aid, my series of half-assed photos starts here, on the bus from Gatwick to Heathrow. Somewhere along the way there are excellent photos of some big ol’ Irish hills. They aren’t mountains (I was assured), but they were somewhat… significant.

The photos do not well illustrate the story I will tell, but it’s better than no pictures at all. Yes?

Here we go.

The last two weeks before I left were a big scramble, like breakfast. I mean to say, like holiday breakfast, with family, before the dishes are done. Or the trash taken out. That kind of breakfast. Plans were made at the last minute when it seemed they were viable; a business trip to visit clients as good as friends, passport received, schedule cleared. I’d even meet my travel buddy in Atlanta, so I wouldn’t be all alone on that transatlantic flight.

I packed my office. I checked and doublechecked my luggage. My father drove me to the airport and put me on the plane to Atlanta. At least, he meant to. My flight was delayed two hours, so I sat in the terminal and kept myself occupied (and calm). They insisted I would be fine, and that on the very slim chance I might miss my connecting flight to Dublin, they would put me on a plane to Paris and get me through just fine, a few hours late. No problem at all.

We boarded, and flew to Atlanta.

When I touched down, there was just about no chance that I’d reach that connecting flight. So I ran. And guys, I just don’t run all that fast.

Dude, I tried. I ran like I ain’t never ran before! (I have to add that I was concerned about my grammar there, but finally decided that if I’m going to use ain’t I can damn well use the second ran for the sake of sound, instead of bothering with run, proper or not, and screw up the flow. I win.) I dragged myself and my carryon luggage all the way across the fucking airport. It was obscene.

But of course, I got to the gate with the bored-looking fellow leaning on his counter, standing in a sea of lonely seats and the lingering, empty essence of recently departed passengers, and though I did muster up the final energy to ask him if the plane had gone yet, I really didn’t need to, it was really obvious at that point, Heaven help me, what was I going to do now?

Der, of course the plane had gone.

I leaned against the counter for a moment to catch my breath, not caring much what the bored guy thought of it.

Then I went to the Delta desk to stand in line.

I checked my messages. Travel buddy was gone – during my mad dash I’d called his cell, and spoken with him very briefly. He’d said something about Manchester. A few stray voice messages. Paris. They told me they’d route me through Paris. Everything’s going to be fine.

I had this awful, awful feeling as I approached the desk. The queue was pretty serious. Delta had fucked with the flights of many people. The dude in front of me was making a quiet fuss and taking a long time to be dealt with. I didn’t begrudge him his fuss – I wanted to get the hell to Dublin and out of airports. Already I was tired. No more goddamn airports. Please.

When I finally had the chance to speak to a bonafide Delta employee, they told me Paris was out. Manchester was out. London was out. Everywhere was out. “I can put you on a flight to Dublin tomorrow at 7pm,” the woman said. She sounded like she thought she was being very reasonable. You’re the dumbass who planned a big trip right up against New Year’s, her demeanor cried. Ain’t our fault!

Of course, the day I am describing to you was December 30th. They wanted to put me on a plane at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. My New Year’s Eve was going to be a nine hour transatlantic flight.

I was flabbergasted. I had no idea what to say.

I told her I had to make a few phone calls, and I’d be back.

I went and sat in the nearest terminal and started to bawl. Blearily I dialed Angel’s number. She picked up and I just started sobbing. I tried to speak coherently, and I think I mostly succeeded, but I couldn’t help it, I was miserable. What the hell was I going to do? I wasn’t really going to spend New Year’s Eve cramped in coach, was I? What did they do for New Year’s Eve on long flights? Did the captain wish everyone a happy new year over the public address? Did they serve complimentary champagne? Did they all sit around quietly feeling sorry for themselves, or somnambulating about friends and family, half asleep with their knees around their ears and their necks aching? Feeling dumb for being on a fucking plane when the ball dropped?

Did they have a little party?

Angel thought of as many options as she could. There were people I could stay with in Atlanta. I didn’t have to stay in the airport, I didn’t have to stay in a hotel. But Delta didn’t know that – for all Delta knew (and certainly for all I was willing to tell them), I was a student with no real cash, and their stupidity (and cheerful insistence that I’d be fine, that I should go ahead and get on the plane to Atlanta) had caused me not only to completely miss my travel buddy, the one thing making this crazy new idea of flying over an ocean somewhat comfortable. And now they were going to ruin my holiday, too.

Screw that.

I went back to the Delta desk and got in line.

I was still crying. Everything was in my checked luggage. My cell wasn’t going to last long without the charger, and it felt like my only link to people who cared what happened to me. Verklempt as I was (I told you I was verklempt), I was determined to stay upset, I was determined to keep bawling. I had some idea that even if I tried to stop, I might not be able to, but I had to remember that a crying girl was likely to get better attention than a calm, collected girl. And I am capable of looking pretty seriously pathetic, I have to tell you. So I did my best, wondering if Method was actually controlling Misery, or if perhaps it was the other way around.

When I really think about it, I’m fairly certain I stood in that line three separate times, but I can only specifically remember two of them. I’m not sure why that is, or if I was so upset as to have hallucinated (or blanked out) certain bits. Once a nice woman tried to cheer me up. She made me feel a tiny bit better, and it was nice to know there were kind people in the world… in that stupid airport. But memory lapses, concerned strangers, or no, it doesn’t matter – I got the same numb Delta treatment across the board. There wasn’t anywhere for me to go. They wouldn’t comp a hotel room – they would give me a discount. If I hadn’t enough money for the hotel, I could stay in the airport. It was a twenty-four hour airport.

“I won’t be able to sleep, I have a laptop with me,” I said, horrified at the idea of getting no real rest between then and the next day… and then having to get on a flight longer than any I’d taken before, one where I was incredibly unlikely to be able to sleep.

“Your laptop will be fine, you can sleep,” the same woman said, looking at me like I was crazy. “This is a secure airport,” she said. It sounded snotty to me, in my state of disbelief. It might not have been. Hell, maybe it was.

I think maybe my mouth hung open for a moment. I couldn’t believe what she was saying.

I wanted to see a manager. “There’s really nothing anyone can do, she’ll probably tell you just the same thing,” the woman tried to explain.

Robot, with your canned answers, over and over again. Get me a goddamn manager.

I continued to look pathetic and damp from tears, and at this point I doubt there was any remaining calculation on my part. I didn’t swear once. I stayed meek and plaintive. In retrospect, I should’ve kept crying… and added yelling. In retrospect, lots of things!

“She’ll be down in a few minutes,” the woman said, still sounding like she was trying to discourage me. Pointless. Your struggle is pointless, silly sobbing girl.

I waited twenty-five minutes for a manager. I sat on the floor a few yards from the front of the Delta line with my carryons piled around me. I was so tired. I probably looked a mess. People gave way around me, not wanting to intrude on my personal space. My calculation returned somewhat. I attempted to exude sad and helpless and uncared for from my very pores.

The manager came.

He had a neat accent. He didn’t seem like a real human being, but he wasn’t a robot, and there were no canned answers from him. It took him two minutes to find me a solution. I would fly to London-Gatwick, take a shuttle to London-Heathrow, and get on a flight to Dublin from there. I’d have to uncheck and recheck my luggage, and I’d have to pay for the bus between airports, but I could be in Dublin by 5pm GMT. Peachy.

Now, let’s just not discuss the fact that Delta employees set me on the course of disaster. Let’s not fool ourselves and believe it was all the fault of the weather that delayed my flight from Akron-Canton. Let’s overlook the part where I kept the tears coming for a good two and a half hours before anyone bothered to give me more than a rote response, and then never batted an eye to ask what they could do to make it better. Fuck Delta. Didn’t they already go bankrupt? Apparently they don’t mind if I have a rotten story to tell about them. And while we’re at it, let’s just try and forget the part where they won’t pay for my shuttle. On top of everything.

Forgotten. Put me on a plane!

I weaselled a meal voucher out of the robot employee and went to get myself some dinner.

(The next installment, in case you’re interested, is here.)

Protected: Private Post Testing

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 8:06 pm

Ah ha! This post is password protected. Neat, huh? To view it, you have to have a special password.

Paging Duke

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 7:30 pm

I really, really want to upgrade this blog to WordPress 2.0, namesake Duke Ellington. Really, really, really. I’ve been working on several sites that are using the newest release, and they are just plain gurgly. But I’m scared. Hell, I’m downright terrified. I have no idea how much work it will be to recreate this theme. There are differences.

At least, I think there are differences.

Maybe I should just back up the whole damn thing and give it a whirl.

Shakin’ in my socks, here, people!

Update, only a half hour later: Oh holy jumpin’ jellyfish, it was totally easy. Color me polka dotted!


To Paul Melvin

Filed under: — worldmegan @ 8:25 pm

Tuesday night I found out that a really good guy had passed on, and I knew I had to mention it… I just didn’t know how. And honestly, I still don’t. I haven’t the vaguest idea what I’m going to say, but I’m going to say something.

Let’s see what I’ve got.

When I was in classes at university, I spent some time singing in the local Methodist choir. It was a college gig – we got paid a little bit, and the folks at church were always wonderful to us, and we got to be spiritual on a weekly basis. It was pretty nifty. You all know by now that church jobs fall lower on my favorites list than many other things, but I was always glad of the time I spent there. It was a pretty good place.

At the Methodist church I met the Melvins. I met Brad Melvin, and I met his wife, Debbie. They conducted the choir. I met Paul Melvin and somewhere along the line I met Dick Melvin, too. The Melvins were neat. They were Good Folks. Paul was the father of Brad and Dick. Paul was an excellent fellow. There was no one in the world niftier than Paul. He was clever, and funny, and he goofed around during choir practice. He had a kind voice and a kind heart and he was just the best bloke you’d ever meet. Period.

I sang in the choir for most of my college time, off and on. I sang in a choir in Youngstown with both Brad and Dick. Later I worked for Dick’s publishing company for a rocky couple of years. Paul worked there too, helping here and there. I honestly don’t know (or care) what his job description was. That crazy office was smoother and gentler with him around. The days Paul came in were always better than those he didn’t. Sometimes he was golfing, or not feeling well. Sometimes, I’m pretty sure, he just slept late. Dude, I’d forgive Paul anything. He was the best part of that place.

I don’t really remember the last time I saw him. I tried to give him a call about a design lead he’d left me, once, but I never managed to get through and the lead fell through the cracks anyway. I no longer sang with the Methodist choir or the Youngstown group, so I saw no more of Brad or Dick Melvin, except for a brief dinner discussion I had with Dick awhile later. That was long ago now. I regret having lost touch with Debbie, who I believe conducts a church choir in Poland now. There are no more Melvins in my life, and I think that’s probably sad. But that Paul, he was really something. There wasn’t anyone in the world like him, and maybe there still isn’t. What can you say about someone like that?

If he happens back, I hope he crosses my path. If he doesn’t, he’s probably up there playing golf and crackin’ jokes and making someone’s day extra ‘specially good. That’s kinda just what Paul did.


I’m sorry to be the one to bring you news but I thought you’d want to know, being friends with Debbie, and more than your fair share of Melvins really. It’s not really appropriate email material but it beats reading about it in the paper. Paul passed away tonight. If you prefer, I’ll let you know when calling hours and the funeral are. Paul always liked you a great deal. Long after you parted ways with OGR, he spoke very highly of you. I haven’t really processed the loss yet. He’s as close to a grandpa as I had since I was a kid, and I only worked with the man for a few years. He’ll be missed, for certain.


Paul’s calling hours were last night, and his memorial service was held this morning at 11am in Poland. I wanted very badly to attend one or both, and (as I unhappily expected) my schedule just refused to allow me either. Getting that email broke my heart. It still feels broken, three days later. But I’m going to remember him here, on my own, for what it’s worth.

If I never meet him again, I can say one thing. I can say that he was really one of the high points down here. That was one good dude.

I’m havin’ a drink to Paul Melvin. I’ve got a big bottle of extra special celtic whiskey that I think will do the trick. Those who knew him ever spoke well of him. If ever he crossed your path, please do the same.

Bottoms up!

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