Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 13: (Air)port Authority


An airport is a strange place.  Every single person in this tremendous building is on his or her own carefully plotted trajectory.  All are rushing, rushing, rushing.  Everyone pushing and shoving with no regard for anyone else around them.  Yet, amidst all this hustle and bustle is the airport bar--in this case, Goose Island.  A dark pub-like atmosphere where the brightly-lit chaos seems to fade away.
Here, the shades are half-drawn, the game is on, and everyone is at home.

Here, travelers shed that every-man-for-himself mentality and instead embrace a quiet camaraderie with people of all ages who have simply gathered around to catch the Alabama v. Texas A&M game and grab a beer or two before venturing back out into the madness.

It is here that my husband and I sit, awaiting our plane's departure.  I have flown quite a few times but this is my first experience at an airport bar.  As I sip my $9 White Russian, I am struck by how equally foreign and familiar this place seems.  It feels like a neighborhood pub yet there is luggage strewn about and people periodically rotate in and out of the few available stools.

I find myself wondering about a peculiar man who gingerly sips his beer while standing at the edge of the bar.  He is dressed in khakis and a dark blazer; his loafers and luggage, well-worn leather--clearly out of place amongst baseball caps and jeans.  I wonder where he has traveled to and what his perspective might be compared to someone like myself.  I am humbled by the thought that I have traveled very little in my nearly three decades on the planet.

I once again arrive at an all-too-familiar conclusion.  I am wasting my time and energy on things that really do not matter when there is a whole world out there just waiting to be uncovered.  I silently vow to let the little things go and to instead embrace the great unknown.

But then, that's the traveler's fallacy, isn't it?  We get just a little outside of our everyday lives and start to feel more in touch with who we are or who we used to be and suddenly our eyes open and we make these sorts of internal promises.  We think that somehow this time is different.  That somehow we will make more time and money.  That our lives don't have to be the little ruts we have so carefully dug out for ourselves.


Keeping all of this in mind.  I cannot help by hold out hope that there is more to life than the everyday humdrum of it all.  I want to do more.  To be more.

Coming Up... Week 14: Live Free or Die!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 12: And Now Our Feature Presentation...

I recently attended my first ever double-feature at the movie theater.

The reason this falls under the category of "outside my comfort zone" is due to the moral grey area.  When my husband and I purchased tickets for Star Trek Into Darkness last Sunday night we were not informed that it was a double-feature.  However, when our friend joined us he said the employee who sold his ticket said that it also bought him admission into the midnight showing of World War Z.

Since I don't normally attend movies so late because I usually fall asleep, I didn't think it would matter if it really was a double-feature or not.  I assumed that by that point, I would be ready to go home.  After one full Mountain Dew, however, that was not the case.  Once our first movie was over, I was wide awake.

But still, we were not sure what to do.  Was the second movie going to be shown in the same theater?  If not, which theater were we supposed to move to?  Or, were we even allowed to walk into another movie at all?  Maybe that employee just messing with our friend...

After some careful strategery, we figured out that the second movie had just started in a nearby theater.  We simply walked from our theater to the next movie--which in all honesty was somewhat anticlimactic.  I am pretty sure that it really was a poorly advertised double-feature.  But both movies were good, and I am glad we only had to pay for one of them.  Win-win.

COMING UP... Week 13: (Air)port Authority

Week 11: League of "Extraordinary Gentlemen"

One significant change I have noticed in myself now that I am about one-fifth of the way through this path-to-a-new-me experiment is that I am more willing to say "yes" to new experiences.  With that preface, let me explain how I came to join and subsequently dominate a fantasy football league.

I have been a long time fan of The League, a hilarious TV show on FX (now FXX), which follows the trials and tribulations of one fantasy football league as they struggle to stay friends at the end of the season.  That is about the extent of my football knowledge and experience.  When my husband and I were asked to join a league this year, we hesitantly agreed.  Neither one of us follow NFL football, although my husband at least played football in high school and had a pretty good understanding of how the whole process worked.

Given my competitive nature, I immediately went to work reviewing top picks across the internet and compiled the players sorted by position into a fairly extensive spreadsheet.  Basically, I didn't want to come across as a complete idiot at the draft.

Draft Picks for all 12 Teams
Our draft was held August 30th, and despite a lot of confusion over the draft order and who was still available, I came out of the chaos with a decent team.

My first line up:
M. Ryan (Atlanta) - QB
V. Jackson (Tampa Bay)- WR
H. Nicks (NY Giants)- WR
J. Charles (Kansas City)- RB
C. Spiller (Buffalo) - RB
K. Rudolph (Minnesota) - TE
A. Brown (Pittsburgh) - WR
D. Wilson (NY Giants) - RB
M. Prater (Denver) - K
St. Louis Defense

plus 6 players on the bench
According to Yahoo!, my team, Chalupa Batman, was one of the best drafts.  I know that has a lot to do with the order that our commissioner entered in the picks, but I'll still take it.  I would also like to point out that my brother who is a self-proclaimed fantasy football expert is in last place on this list.  To me, that indicates that this list is not to be trusted.

Anyway, I think I ended up with a fairly even team.  No one is really spectacular.  Everyone is pretty even across the board which I see as an asset.  If something happens to one player, Chalupa Batman will still stand a chance.  Another indicator that I picked an okay team is the fact that I have had several trade offers so far (all of which I have turned down).

As I post this, the first round is still in progress, but I am currently favored by 87% to win my first match up against Polar_Bearz.  6 players are currently playing and two others plus my defense are scheduled to play later today.  I guess I succeeded in not looking like a complete idiot.

COMING UP... Week 12:  And Now Our Feature Presentation...