Monday, August 20, 2007
I met Nicole Meadows and Moon Baby!
I got to meet Nicole Meadows and Moon Baby - nanny nanny booh booh! It turns out that by happy
coincidence they are going to be in the Dallas Area the same day that I am going to be there.
Now that I have your attention, I'm gonna bore the hell outta ya. (Don't worry, we'll get back to that story in a second)
Frazzled. That was my day pretty much from start to end - frazzled.
I'd have to back up a little to put it into context and give you any idea why I was so frazzled.
I've been on the road for work three Saturdays in the last 30 days or so, then last week my flights home from my service call on Friday were screwed up with multiple delays. The plane coming in that was to be used for our flight out was late by 40 minutes. When it landed they had to call maintenance because a bird had the audacity to commit suicide on the wind shield. Flight takes off about an hour and a half late and I'm thinking I just might make my connection after all. EEEHHHHH - WRONG! The pilot comes on the intercom to explain that due to a storm we will be circling Atlanta for 45 minutes. Oh goody. Missed my connection and the next one going to Austin didn't leave until 10PM. WRONG - it was of course delayed and didn't leave until after 11PM. By the time I got my bag and my car and made the drive home it was after 2AM.
TMI follows - you might want to skip this paragraph.
I think I mentioned that I have this wonderful condition called Erythema nodosum. More or less, it results in very large bruises just miraculously appearing all over my legs for no reason, no known cause, and no cure. Ironically enough it is a primarily female problem so perhaps fate is getting a kick out of it. Like "hey, watch this! This one wants to be a girl! Let's chuck 'em a curve ball and see how he likes it!"
Anyway, it got to the point where it hurt to stand and it hurt to sit - purty well screwed, so despite getting in so late I got up early and went to the Scott and White clinic to see what they could do for the swelling and they gave me steroids. Yeh, just what a guy trying to look female wants - steroids. NOT. These things make me just jittery and nervous as hell. I mean we are talking a crack addict on over drive. Not the energy the crack addict has mind you, just the jitters and jumpiness.
So Monday morning I head north to Dallas. Due to my work load the week before, I've never even had the chance to call the customer I'm going to visit and so I call him on the way. It turns out the problem he is having is NOT what he described to my manager, and not what my manager described to me. So an hour into my trip I have discovered that I probably don't have the appropriate parts to fix it. I'm burnt out, jumpy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and I know I'm headed for almost certain failure. In the Army we had a term for this - it's SNAFU. Many people have seen this acronym but I bet a lot of you may not know what it stands for: "Situation Normal, All F#&$@d Up!"
I get to our office in Dallas where I have been asked to help them set up a test stand I created years ago to work with a new instrument. Of course the instrument is from a huge customer of ours, they need it ASAP, and it can't be tested until I set the stand up for it. I had thought this was going to be a simple matter of adding some info to a data file, a 10 minute job. Wrong. I had to actually edit the software, and we are talking about a very old compiler called QBasic and I had long since moved away from it and can hardly remember anything about it or the program I had written using it. I had expected it to take 10 minutes - It took all day.
So I get to the hotel at about 430PM and start to get ready to meet Nicole and MB for dinner. This was an unusual situation for me and I just couldn't be pleased with me or my appearance. Most of the time when I go to meet someone for the first time, it's someone I've chatted with once or twice, or maybe someone that a friend has recommended. While I wouldn't care to be thought poorly of by anyone, I'm not going to loose any sleep if most of these folks aren't impressed with me. Nicole and MB are different for me. I've chatted with them a lot on a forum, in yahoo 360, and Yahoo Messenger over the last few months. These are people that I have grown to like and respect over the internet and their opinion MATTERS to me. It doesn't help that given the popularity of their 360 pages, I feel like these two are almost famous. I'm going to dinner with THE Nicole and MB! So several hours later I give up on the makeup and decide this is as good as it gets.
Thinking we were to meet at 7:30PM, I called Nicole just before 7 to see if they were almost there. This is where I find out that apparently I was even more frazzled than I had thought because I was supposed to meet them at 6:30 to 7, NOT 7:30 to 8 as I had been thinking. On her first night out, I have left Nicole sitting in a restaurant with out the support of another T friend she had been counting on. Way to go Kimberly - your off to a great start with these folks.
So I get there late and as I walk in the door I see this very pretty young lady walking up to me with a smile - it's Moon Baby (MB)! She looks wonderful and is wearing a great dress that is just the right combination of cute and flirty. She is SO adorable! Kind and wonderful eyes that are so expressive - it would be easy to get lost looking in there. One look in her eyes and you just knew that Nicole had chosen (or been chosen) well.
So we say all the usual things for people that have just met and she walks me back to their table where I meet Nicole. Nicole is just as you would imagine from her 360 page - intelligent, well spoken, and beautiful. She ALSO has very deep and caring eyes - it's easy to see part of what these two may have seen n each other. As you may have noticed, I'm big on eyes. I'm a firm believer that you can "judge" (for lack of a better word) the character of a person by using very few words and taking a good long look in their eyes. They are good people - you know that immediately.
So I want to describe what they are like but they don't fit comfortably into most of the categories you would typically try and use! Well, let's give it a shot anyway! They are both skinny, and yes I hated them for it! :-) Nicole is a bit on the tall side, MB is . . . not. In less than 5 minutes with MB you felt like part of the family. She is smart, friendly, talkative, animated, and expressive. Almost immediately MB is sharing herself with you, no act, no facade, no mask - you are talking to the real person.
Nicole is every bit as friendly but maybe a bit more reserved. She gives the impression that she taking it all in and is just filled with pent up energy waiting to go BOOM!. Like a race horse just before the gate is opened, or a muscle car just before it roars to life as you turn the key that first click. She just radiates this pent up energy, this attitude of excitement, and it's infectious. I remember my first night out around people - I was scared to death. Not Nicole. She sat there smiling, appearing completely comfortable and pretty much giving the impression that she damn well belonged out in the world.
We had a great meal, talked a lot, and just enjoyed the evening! I hope we will get to meet again, perhaps when I am not so frazzled so that maybe I wont make a fool outta myself!
Wonderful people - I hope you get the chance to meet them.
Got back to the hotel . . . and discovered my card key doesn't work in the door. Didn't matter how many times I slid the darn think in and out of the lock, I kept getting the red led and the locked door. I got stubborn thinking if I just keep trying it's bound to take it sooner or later! Well, no, no it wasn't bound to work, and no it didn't. All I could think of as I headed down the steps to the front desk was "Yup, SNAFU, no question, SNAFU". Of course things are getting better - as far as disasters while dressed, this sure beats the hell outta getting your car towed or stuck on a curb.
What do ya know, the folks behind the counter treated me just like a "normal" human being when I walked up, put the key card on the desk and said "This wonderful little widget no worky". She asks me for my room number, then runs the card through the programmer. She looks at me and proves she is sharp and thoughtful! Rather then say "Mr Huddle?" she pauses and says instead "Last name Huddle?" I almost giggled as I said "uh huh" and wanted to hug her just for caring enough to make that little gesture.