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Another update! - James Mastros — LiveJournal

Jun. 1st, 2008

02:29 pm - Another update!

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Time to try to write another entry updating you lot, my readers, on my
life. Most of this entry is going to be personal, so you might want
to skip past it if you're interested mostly in my technical
exploits... but then again, I'm not sure there are many such people
who have me on their friends list. (I should write more of that kind
of entry too, but, well, hopefully I'll have better things to do for
the next while.)
On Thursday, I flew away from England and my wonderful girlfriend, for
a solo vacation, my first time, in essence, spending a large chunk of
time away from her, on purpose, for nearly five years. This is
proving to be both scary and liberating... but back to a slightly
more linear narative.
The airport was as airports often are -- too early in the morning, too
crowded, and full of security theatre and invasion of privacy. We had
to leave the house at 8 AM, and I'd gotten little sleep the night
before, both through nerviousness and simply not being on the right
schedule. Going through initial security, I was surprised to find
that they wanted shoes off, but didn't mind the laptop being in the
backpack with other stuff. Presumably, they (LHR T4) had gotten new
machines. Dispite putting all metal objects in the tray, including
*everything* from my pockets, my jacket, and my belt, I got a beep
from the metal detector, and a very quick pat-down. They must have
had the machines set horribly sensitive, because as far as I can tell
very nearly everybody got pat down, but they were quite quick about it.
I went to a W. H. Smith's, and got a soda. They asked me where I was
going, and if they could see a boarding pass; I don't know if that's
their own statistics, or some strange new security procedure. The
soda exploded when I tried to open it. (NSA, MI4: Not a bomb,
overcarbination, calm down.)
The flight itself was fairly nice, dispite me being in the middle of a
set of three seats, with strangers on both sides of me. I read a fair
bit of _The Book Theif_, and almost all of _Sandman: The Wake_. The
former I didn't want to get to the really scary/depressing bits of
yet, and the later I just didn't want to be over. I also saw Charlie
Wilson's War -- which is quite exelent -- think of the writing of The
West Wing (a well-written west wing, at that), mixed with the antihero
character of Iron Man, and without American "oh my god, we can't show
*tits*" sensibilities. It's hilarious, sheds some light on a
generally ignored part of American history, is realistic, has some
great acting, and some good writing. Also saw (most of) Nick Cage
Goes Treasure Hunting: Book of Secrets. It was decent mindless fun.
I kind of got one of the puzzles, but most of them simply seem to be
not for the audience -- they don't give you the information to solve
them until mere moments before the answer is revealed. Anyway, decent
mindless fun, which was what I wanted at the time.
Also spent a little bit of time talking to the passengers on either
side, but purticularly to the left. She was a british woman,
traveling to the US for the first time to visit her daughter, who'd
just finished her first semester at an American university --
somewhere in southern NJ, didn't catch where. She needed help filling
out her paperwork, which I was happy to provide, having filled it out
many times.
My parents picked me up at PHL, and we drove back to Lancaster,
stopping on the way for subs, which were quite good... silly England,
no place to get a good sub. Watched an episode of Lost off of their
tivo, caught up with Jess some, and went to bed. Didn't sleep very
well, I'm afraid. This bed is too damn hard, and I'm never good at
sleeping not in my bed.
The next day, woke up early, talked to Jess online, my father made me
toast, talked to Jess some more, took a nap from noon to two (and
thankfully slept a bit better), and then drove to my parent's condo.
They're fixing it up prior to selling it. (When it floods for the
*second* time, you have to consider it a sign... and as much time as
they were spending in it, they could have gotten a *very* nice hotel
room every time, and still come out ahead.) Anyway, helped them put
the vent back on the washer-dryer and put it into place, then they
dropped me off at my Aunt Linda's. We went out to dinner, her having
informed her daughter and husband they weren't invited, and had some
time to catch up, and for her to offer some sage advice (to my ears
only, sorry, dear readers). Then spent the evening having further
chatting with her, and with Dave (her husband, who I should probably
call Uncle Dave once in a while), over some nice coffee. Didn't sleep
well that night either, possibly, in part, due to the coffee.
Yesterday, got up, had some bagels, played on the Wii a bit with Lea
(who has grown up so much -- she's ten now, and talks like a grown-up
instead of a little kid).
Then, in the afternoon, went to my cousin Jess / Jessie / Jessamyn's
birthday party. She's just turned 23, which is a bit scary -- my
litttle cousin isn't allowed to be 23, *I'm* supposed to be 23!!
Anyway, had fun talking with her, her friends, and my various
relations on my mother's side. My grandfather seems to be doing
pretty well -- I've been a bit worried, after hearing rumours of his
ill-health. I'm a bit proud of myself for getting along fairly well
with Jess's friends, who seem like quite a nice bunch generally -- but
I'm usually very shy and non-outgoing, and large groups of new people
scare me a bit... but I think they mostly actually liked me, and I
didn't get any "go away" vibes, which I am, if anything, oversensitive
to. (So, if you're reading this, thanks for the good time, Jessie,
Sarah, Vanessa, A. J., R[ao]y, and the others I didn't catch the name of.)
Then, of course, made a bit of a fool of myself by returning after I'd
said my goodbyes to use the bathroom before going for the long trip
home, and then *again* because I'd realized that I forgot the bag
containing used clothes, and far more importantly my wallet and laptop.)
Came home, by way of a diner, with my parents, watched an episode of
BSG, and the series permier of Lost (no further information will be
given here on either, becuase if you haven't seen them, I don't want
to spoil, and because if you've seen them, then they stand perfectly
well on their own). Also, before that, had a nice chat with Sara (not
the one at the party, my sister)!
Now, looking forward to seeing Donna for the first time in far too
long, over dinner, and wondering what else I'm going to do today...
other then gettting dressed, eating breakfast, and hopefully finding
Jess at home and talkative, and, of course, posting this entry (which
was written in a text editor sitting in bed without wifi).
UPDATE: Donna had to call off tonight, for personal reasons (read: ones she shared with me, but I'm not going to share with you). Knock wood we can reschedule.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:heatherylynne
Date:June 1st, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
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Woot! and soon you'll be HERE, and I'll get to see you, yay! you can see my spiffy new place. which your sister helped me move into yesterday. and by helped i mean, enlisted me a boy, switched cars with Ahmet, and was generally inconvenienced, without doing any of the actual lifting. *grin*
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[User Picture]
From:theorb
Date:June 1st, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
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On the other hand, a strong guy and a SUV are worth way more then Sara's ability to lift and move stuff. Looking foward to the Grand Tour of your new place, and general out-hanging.
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[User Picture]
From:moonchsr
Date:June 1st, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Sounds good! Weird formatting. ;)

...I thought in the UK, you didn't have to take off your shoes? I've never had that over in Europe..always in the States and drives me batty! (especiallyy pregnant..it's a pain!!)

Anyways, hope you enjoy yerself in the states and have a safe trip :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:theorb
Date:June 1st, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
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The UK is nearly as paranoid about airport security as the US. In fact, the rest of the EU and the US is less paranoid about liquids then the UK (somewhat unsurprising, since it was UK security the allegeded plan was planning on going through).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:moonchsr
Date:June 2nd, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
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Hmm, last time we were in Scotland and London..there was no need for taking your shoes off.

I went to France in March and no need for that as well.. it was so nice!

but the UK security told us they had plenty of practice with the IRA .. dunno about that though.
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