Birthday fun

So it’s official. I’m now closer to 40 than 30. I really don’t care all that much (as of now), but I figure it’s never too early to start bringing this up, so I’ll be more prepared for a full-on freakout in four years. Hopefully, they won’t start campaigning for that election for another couple of years. 🙂

Anyway, my b-day itself was pretty quiet – I ended up actually going into work (I know, I know!! I usually take the day off, but I had to give training), then bumming around in my basement watching DVDs of Scrubs in between phone calls from friends and family. However, the following weekend? Was a lot of fun, thanks to the wonder that is Indie Boy.

See, Ben Folds was going to be in Kansas City on the eve of my birthday, and I would have been totally excited to go that night. However, IB has to work Wednesday nights and, what with being low man on the totem and what with airlines actually needing workers to show up, that wasn’t going to happen. Then the training came along, which was another reason not to go. However, that Saturday, he was playing in Austin, TX. While normally that might be kind of a “so, big deal” kind of thing, please bear in mind that, as an airline employee, IB flies for free and, as his registered guest, so do I. Also bear in mind that his best friend lives in Austin, so we had someone to pick us up/drop us off/give us room and board/etc. So as a birthday “surprise” he bought tickets to the Austin show. (I say “surprise” because I sort of figured it out ahead of time, but it was still really awesome.)

The show itself was amazing. Ben Folds is one of the few people I have seen multiple times (the Austin show makes six!) who has never left me disappointed or thinking, “well, that show was okay, but it doesn’t compare to the last time.” He’s always been an outstanding performer. He played for over two hours this last show. The venue was Stubb’s, and was outdoors. The evening was perfect. I somehow, we ended up standing at a railing directly by the dressing room door, so for one brief moment, Ben was like five feet away from me. Sweet!

During the show, I (along with the rest of the crowd) found out that, before his new album came out, Ben spent a day writing basically joke songs using the same titles as the songs on the album, then leaked them as if they were the actual album tracks. During the show, he played both versions of most of the songs, some of which were a lot of fun. I need to see if I can locate them online.

The trip itself was tiring, since we flew down Saturday and came back Sunday. Throw in the fact that IB worked until past midnight on Friday and never actually got to go to bed, and it was kind of a long weekend. We flew for free, but that means flying standby. The flight from Omaha to Denver was fine, but we weren’t sure we were going to make the Denver-Austin flight. There were only three seats available, and nine people listed on standby. We were at the bottom of the list. However, somehow, miraculously, none of the other people showed up, so we got on. The way back was even hairier.

We had a 6:30 am flight, and the spouse of IBs friend was going to take us to the airport. We were both dressed, downstairs, and ready to go at 5, but our ride had not yet emerged from the bedroom. After 15 minutes, I sent IB upstairs to knock on the door, which he did (albeit very, very, very quietly – there is foreshadowing here peoples). IB hears some rustling, determined they were up, and came downstairs. Where we waited for another 15 minutes, with no other sounds from above. So I sent him back upstairs (since our flight was leaving in an hour), and he knocked again. And again knocked quietly. He continued to do this for several minutes, before I told him to knock louder, and they finally came to the door. When we found out, ha ha ha, that they were awake the whole time. Since Indie Boy was knocking so quietly, they actually thought the noise was him in the bathroom, tapping a razor on the sink as he shaved. As for why our ride had not yet come out to take us to the airport? He had an alarm clock that automatically adjusted for daylight savings time, but that came a week later this year. So he thought he had plenty o’ time. Ha, ha, ha, oops. So he hurridly gets dressed and speeds us to the airport, and we get there barely before six. But somehow, we got checked in and made it to the gate just in time! And even got seats together even though the plane was full!!! It was just astounding that we made it at all. So astounding, even, that we used up all of our good mojo on that flight.

Once we hit Denver, we checked in for our flight to Omaha. There were three seats on the plane, and it looked like we were a shoo-in to get on the flight. Except someone must have actually purchased another ticket, because by the time they were boarding there were only two seats left…and one person ahead of us. I could have gotten on the flight, but the IB would have had to wait. And what’s the point of that? We’d both have to wait around for the other in separate airports, instead of killing time together. Of course, the gate agents wouldn’t tell us what the next flight looked like until I officially declined the seat. So we decline, they load the lone standby passenger after us, and then inform us that the next flight is oversold by two. Meaning no chance of boarding there. And meaning that two people would get bumped to the next flight, which only had four seats available. So if us and the other two people were the only standby passengers and no other tickets were sold, we would probably be able to fly out, but not for a good seven or eight hours. And we were both dead tired and I had to work the next morning. So I opted to spring for tickets with Southwest. If you’re familiar with Southwest, you’ll know that they don’t have seat assignments. They board by priority, and you get to pick from whatever seats are available when you get on. I opted to spend the extra dough to get first priority seating. Which seemed like a great idea, until we fucked that right up.

See, we had some lunch, and when we finished, it was like 15-20 minutes before boarding. We walked by the gate, and the plane wasn’t even there yet. So we figured that we had time to walk a short way up the concourse (and by short way, I do mean only about six gates away – not on the other side of the stupid thing), poke my head into The Body Shop (where I spent about 5 minutes, and didn’t actually buy anything), and pick up a muffin from Einstein Brothers (who are very tasty and not located in Nebraska). I of course didn’t realize that the most annoying guy in the world was going to be at the head of the Einstein Bros. line, changing his mind continually about the number of items he wanted, paying with a voucher of some sort, and basically sucking all of the staff into a black hole preventing them from getting the other people in line moving. So by the time we got back to the gate, everyone was boarding. We got seats in the next to last row on the plane. I was so pissed at myself and, because I was tired, cranky, and hormonal, on the verge of tears. Indie Boy kept reassuring me that, Hey! We’re on a plane! Seated together! And we’ll get home at a reasonable hour! It’s all good! But I was just irritated at spending extra money that was pretty much worthless. At least we got free drinks out of it. 🙂

And with that, I will bid you adieu, so I can attempt to do something constructive this afternoon.

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