Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Airport SNAFU: Lost and Found

As many of you know, I try to keep things interesting. And, yesterday when I flew into Dulles International airport was no exception. Let's just say me and Murphy's law seem to be intimately acquainted.

After getting off the plane with my brother and greeting all the family at the baggage claim, I put my carry on down beside carousel 14 so I could pick up our luggage. The luggage seemed to take forever to come out, but I grabbed both of our duffle bags and off we went. My brother had his carry on, and I had the big bags. My mother and sister were just giddy that we had arrived safely. Well, as you may have guessed, my carry on was left next to the baggage carousel. Of course I didn't discover this until a little before midnight, as I was going to charge my cell phone. I looked for my carry on (in which I carried my charger) and then realized I didn't have it. 

My first impulse was to check the surburban that we drove home in. I combed it twice to no avail. Then, I called my brother who was visiting a family friend with the other car. He checked, but again, no luck. So, I told my mom and dad, who then told me I needed to call the airport. So I googled 'Dulles International Airport' and got a number for the TSA lost and found. I got a lengthy explanatory message with instructions regarding baggage. TSA only kept items lost at check points. Any bags left on or near carousels were picked up by airport lost and found or the airlines. So I called the airport lost and found and got a similar message. On both occasions I left a message. I also drove back to the airport last night and spoke with Delta. They were clueless, but I thanked them anyway. I would just have to come back today, which I did.

The operating hours of the lost and found on Saturday are from 10am-2:00pm, so I was out the door a little after 9:30am. When I arrived at the airport I first went to the TSA lost and found, because it was the only one open. I waited for a while, then overheard the lady in charge say to a family in front of me who lost a bag in the baggage claim area that it was airport lost and found that was responsible for their bag I also took my leave with them from the TSA office and waited for someone to show up at the other office. Seeing no one there I went to a little shop called 'Guava and Java' and got myself a cup of hot chocolate. The temperature was good and so was the chocolate. So, I sipped that as I walked back to the airport lost and found office. 

When I got there it was open and there was the family again. They were referred to the airlines with their problem. Also in front of me was an African immigrant or missionary of some kind. He was looking for a bag that he lost containing his bible. Luckily for him, he found it. Then it was my turn. I talked to the guy running the place and he told me to look down this one aisle in the back that held all of December's lost items. I looked up and down the rack. I saw nothing that even remotely resembled my bag. I looked down to the ground slightly depressed and began to speak, "Well, if it weren't here, where else might I expect to find it..." but just as I asked the question I looked at the swivel chair behind his desk. "Wait, that's my bag," I said. But at the same time I was worried that it was actually his. I thought maybe he might have the exact same bag. Silly thought in retrospect, but I was about to ask him just as he asked me its contents. I told him that it should contain my laptop which was a macbook adorned with stickers from different countries. He then ripped of the tag, had my sign it, show ID, and I was on my merry way. 

And so my Christmas vacation starts of with a bang. A good old airport SNAFU. Gotta love it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18th: A day in Pictures

Today I am posting a bunch of random pictures. Some might be weird, funny, stupid or all of the above. Enjoy:

First Section - Weird/Crazy People:

Yikes. Baby mad.

I don't even know.

You all remember this episode (It could happen to any of us).

Great Wig.

French kissing your pet chameleon (totally your prerogative)

And now the section of random monkeys:

That one monkey seems genuinely concerned about the other's obesity problem.

This monkey wears glasses and sports a chain.

Section of random inanimate objects and bad signage:

Well that's unfortunate (and it was ironically David Beckham's car)

This tree looks a lot like a woman (tree nymph maybe).

Thank you for the warning.

I really don't know what to say.

A lego version of Stephen Hawking

Soon to be my favorite book.

The cat section:


Hahaha. Life as we know it is over.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

King Obama's Coronation Festivities

"The inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will be an event of historic proportion. It is appropriate that the program will include some of the world's most gifted artists from a wide range of backgrounds and genres."

-Dianne Feinstein
(Really? Who'd have thought an inauguration would be historic? That just boggles my mind.)

For those of you included in the 5 million spectator projection for President Obama's Inauguration on January 20th, here is the full lineup, as released today by the JCCIC:

The order of the program will be as follows:

Musical Selections
The United States Marine Band

Musical Selections
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

Musical Selection
Aretha Franklin

Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet

Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable Jogn G. Roberts, Jr.

Inaugural Address
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama

Elizabeth Alexander

The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

The National Anthem
The United State Navy Band "Sea Chanters"

And, if that weren't enough, there will also be a merry-go-round, balloon animals, and patriotic clowns on unicycles. 
How about all of those honorable people too? Who knew.

Oh and Shakira is going to perform too. According to sources, the U.S. President-elect Barack Obama invited the star singer Shakira. Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reported "U.S. President-elect Barack Obama invited Colombian singer Shakira to perform in the White House on the day of his inauguration in January 2009." Obama said about Shakira: "It's an honor to receive so much support from someone that talented and a person that generous." Shakira endorsed Obama's candidacy before the election.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

AMA clinically defines "Goober" term.

There may have been times in your life that someone may have referred to you as a goofball or tripped up on goofballs, or you may have even referred to someone as a goober. The distinction is not subtle, and has been made clearer recently by the American Medical Association:

Here is the new clinical definition for a goofball:

"A goofball is someone who enjoys being silly or ridiculous for comedic effect, or because they are under the influence of some mind-altering substance. Being a goofball is a choice, and quite often a temporary state that either lightens the mood or really perturbs people."

And, here is the new clinical definition for a goober:

"A goober is a person who is socially inept, awkward, goofy, or strange. A goober is born this way and cannot be changed. While what they do and how they interact with people may be funny, it is rarely their intention to be funny. They make themselves the butt of jokes not by choice, but by just being themselves."

This new clarification has now allowed many who for years have defended their gooberishness on the grounds of being a goofball to revert to medication as opposed to justifying their weirdness. Jared Beedenpopper, a notorious goober had this to say:

"People used to just think I was a goofball with limited exposure to me, but once they got to know me they saw that I was a straight-up goober. And now that the AMA has come out saying it's something I can't help, I get a lot of sympathy dates. Not only that, but I now take anti-goober pills."

Jared is not alone. Goobers across the country are finding new support groups and are even lobbying congress to provide more goober awareness at restaurants, shopping malls, biker bars, and even parties. 

"I'm not afraid anymore. I'm a goober and I'm proud of it," said Jerome Cyngall, new friend of Jared, and founder of the goober-goofball alliance or Omaha.

The pro-goober movement is growing. However, not everyone is as sympathetic to their plight. George Rorty, a frequent tripper of goofballs, said he's had enough:

"These goobers are raining on my parade. It used to be cool, and even original to be a goofball. I used to spin on my head while wearing shoes on my hands while whistling yankee doodle. Occasionally I'd cross my eyes, wear a clown suit and picket against nuclear whales. But now no one cares. They think I'm one of them. They think I'm a goober."

The goober versus goofball battle seems to be heating up on some fronts. People who are generally normal, but like to be weird from time to time are fighting for their right to do so against a tide of goobers who are weird by their nature. Who will win? Only time will tell.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Questions to distract you from Holiday Stress

(This is what might happen to you if you read this)
I have decided to write a list of questions for my readers to answer. It could provide a little break and distraction from christmas shopping, finals, work, or anything else that you'd rather not do or think to much about. Here they are:

Would you rather have cold hands and warm feet or warm feet and cold hands?

Which to you like to watch more, rain or snow?

Which do you like to hear more, rain or snow?

Where is your happy place?

What time is it?

What is your favorite Christmas song?

What is your favorite Christmas singer?

Would you rather die choking on dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

How many times have you injured yourself while decorating for Christmas?

What is the capital of Uzbekistan?

Did you know that mistletoe is actually poisonous?

Have you ever eaten Santa's cookies before he got there?

What did Santa do to you when he found out you ate his cookies (ignore if you're a good kid)?

How many pairs of slippers do you own?

Have you ever found coal inside them?

Did you ever want a power wheel for 5 straight years and never get one from Santa?

Do you wish you could have snow and warm weather at the same time (If yes, then I can recommend a few cities near volcanoes)?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Christmas balance: Stressing out with exams vs. Enjoying the Holidays

With each final I finish, a new weight seems to lift off my shoulders. I am not slouching as much, and I am starting to realize that I'm taller than I thought. 
For students all around the world December is a bittersweet month. On the one hand Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and all of those holidays tend to brighten our spirits, and move our thoughts from our troubles. However, on the other hand we have finals, papers, and the culmination of a semester's worth of studies to deal with. So while we smile at the thought of going home for the holidays, enjoying the food, time off, and warmth and love from our families and close friends, we also cringe and stress out about exams.

Well, I have no quick fix. If you forget about the exams and embrace the holidays your scores will suffer and you'll probably screw yourself over for the future. If you forget about the holidays and just concentrate on the exams you'll probably go insane and end up eating your hand or falling into a trance while staring at your computer screen. So I recommend a balance. Everyone's is different. Just remember, "stressed" is just "desserts" spelled backwards.
Just don't eat your hands.