Friday, June 22, 2007

Lowered Ears

I got a haircut today. I went to a girl that I only go to because I think she's cute. I mean, my hair isn't that hard to cut. In all honesty, I could probably get my mother to cut it for free, rather than pay some hot girl $14.95. But really, I think the money is worth it.

This girl, who we'll call "Hair Cut Girl," has cut my hair on two other occasions. And she never remembers who I am. I guess I just make that much of an impression. Despite my forgettability, I've toyed with the idea of asking Hair Cut Girl out. You know, socially.

So today, during the witty banter that comes with getting one's hair cut, I thought of how I should go about asking for a date. We joked about Tae-Bo. And how there's too much emphasis on girls to be super-skinny. I really don't know, I was too busy trying to think three steps ahead so I could stay on top of the conversation to really stay on top of the conversation.

She finished my hair in record time. I should've asked for a shampoo just to prolong the inevitable, but I opted out. At the cash register I clumsily asked her name (even though I already knew her name was Hair Cut Girl), that way I'd know who to ask for next time.

In my mind, asking for her name was supposed to come out sounding a lot cooler than it did. In reality it sounded a little stalkerish. So now I have to find someone new to cut my hair. And also, I go another weekend without a date... I believe that's 276 consecutive single Friday nights. What's the record?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Strange Phone Call

Today I was sitting in my bedroom, minding my own business, when out of nowhere my cellular phone began to ring. The caller ID listed a number that I didn't recognize from an area code that I wasn't sure of.

It was some guy. He was an operator for something called Relay. He informed me that I was receiving a call from someone using this "Relay" system, which apparently is a way for people to call long-distance over the internet. How does it work? Well I'm glad you asked.

The internet user would type what he or she wants to say and the operator would then read it to the person receiving the phone call. Then the person called will respond and the operator would then transcribe that side of the conversation. It seems to me that actually calling or using Instant Messenger would save a lot of time here.

So who called/IMed me using Relay? I still don't know. The first message the operator relayed... hey, I just got why it's named Relay... anyway, the first message was "Is this Alicia's phone?" And then the operator says "go ahead."

Also, I have to say "go ahead" when I'm done talking. It's like saying "over" on a walkie-talkie. I responded "No... go ahead."

So then the guy asked me if it was someone else's phone. "No, I think you have the wrong number... go ahead."

After this I waited. And waited. Meanwhile, my cell minutes are ticking away. Finally I said, "Look, not to be rude or anything, but if this is a wrong number I'm just gonna hang up 'cause this is using up my time." No response. No relay of any kind. So I hung up.

So if someone out there tried to relay me today, I'm sorry I hung up on you. But next time, could you just send me an instant message? I know I usually have an away message up, but I'll get what you're trying to say. Besides, I'm too impatient to wait for an operator to type it for me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

The last few days have been tough.

The grief that I deal with on a daily basis was double-teamed this weekend. My father's birthday was yesterday. And today was the first Father's Day without him.

When I was still in college, Dad had started using AOL Instant Messenger as a cheap way to keep in touch with me from time to time. He wasn't much of a typist, so the conversations were generally short. AIM, not knowing that he passed away last October, felt the need to notify me that his birthday was June 16th. Thanks for that reminder AOL. Not once. Not twice. But three times was I sent an e-mail. "Grayson Peck's birthday is June 16!"

So how did I celebrate these monumental days? I ran away. That's what I do. The 'rents got divorced back in '01, I ran to Bluefield. Ironically, that's where I am this weekend too. A quick thank you to Mark for letting me crash for a few days.

I'm not saying that I would've spent his birthday or Father's Day any differently had I stayed in Roanoke. I was alone most of the day today, which gave me plenty of time to think. Sure, I cried a little, but hey, I miss him. That's not going away.

By escaping Roanoke, I was forced to be around people. Back in the hometown I would've probably just stayed in my bedroom and shut myself off. Here, I was able to hang out with one of my best friends--my brother from another mother--and get my mind away from things.

We watched the entire first season of How I Met Your Mother, a show which, BTW, Dad liked almost as much as I do. Not really a fitting tribute, but just a statemtent of fact.

So this was Father's Day. This day will probably be hard every year. And so will his birthday. Maybe it's good that it all hits in one weekend. And hey, in 2013 it'll all hit on the same day. Not really something I'm looking forward to, but it's out there. Happy Father's Day Dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trip to Charlotte, Book Two

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early. The crack of 8am. Why would I wake up that early on the weekend, one may ask? Because I was going to the movies.

Wait, a movie on a Saturday morning? Yes, that's right. Apparently the theater near Andy and Chrissy's homes shows movies beginning in the morning rather than the afternoon. Ocean's Thirteen, here we come. Good movie, BTW.

After that, I spent the day in Andy's office while he spent the day doing some work in his office. Not as much fun as that sounds, trust me. No offense Andy, but your office was a little dull. At first it was cool, you know, 'cause I was hanging out in my friend's office. He has his own office, which is pretty cool by itself. But five hours? Seriously?

The day picked up though. Andy's church has a service on Saturday night. This is a great idea. I thoroughly enjoyed this. And the senior pastor? Excellent speaker. The praise band? Outstanding. I really think that if this church or one like it had been around Bluefield when I was in college, that's where I would've attended. Actually, if I knew of a church around Roanoke now I may be tempted to make the switch. Really though, it was a great worship experience.

After church the three of us (Andy, Chrissy, and myself) met another old college friend, Brandi, at Wolfman Pizza. Also joining us were Ryan (Andy's roommate), Chad (an intern at the church), Bethany (Ryan's fiancee and the senior pastor's daughter), and Brandon (the next Ty Pennington). No, really, Brandon is the next Ty Pennington. He's the new carpenter on Trading Spaces. He'll be famous in three months, just wait. Man! I should've gotten a picture! Now you'll never believe we met him.

After some phenomenal pizza, the Bluefield alum spent time outside a closed coffee shop and reminisced. All in all it was a fun night. Unfortunately, the end of the evening signaled the fact that I had only one more day in Charlotte.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trip to Charlotte, Book One

This past weekend I hopped in the old Escort and took a drive through scenic North Carolina to visit some friends in Charlotte. Andy and his fiancee Chrissy recently moved from Richmond when Andy was hired as the 6th grade minister for Forest Hills Church.

First things first... Let's talk about the traffic in and around the Charlotte area. On Friday afternoon around 3pm, I was sitting in my car. I wasn't making use of the gas pedal whatsoever. Any movement between mile markers 12 and 4 involved merely taking my foot, ever so gently, off the brake. This went on for an hour. AN HOUR!!! Seriously, what's going on in Charlotte that everyone is trying to get there at the same time? Shouldn't people be leaving town at the end of the work week? Was everyone visiting friends who recently moved there this weekend? I assumed it would just be me on the highway. My mistake. Moving on...

I arrived at Chrissy's apartment long after I should have (due to extreme traffic). And apparently, the round about is the next hot thing. 'Cause they're all over the place. Very European. Look kids, Big Ben... Parliament...

Andy also arrived at Chrissy's after he got done with work and we shared an impressive meal that can only be described as a taco skillet thing. Good stuff. Also, Chrissy had made cupcakes. Mmmmm... you're getting hungry too, aren't you?

The three of us spent the evening watching Night at the Museum. It was a decent movie. Not my top ten mind you, but I'll go with the thumbs up. Plus, it made us all want to go to a museum, but that'll be a story for another day.

After the movie ended, Andy and I drove to his apartment where we proceeded to watch Mission: Impossible III. Also a pretty good flick. Though Andy didn't make it all the way through. See, we were both pretty exhausted. Add that to the fact that we didn't even start the movie 'til midnight, well, it's a wonder I saw the whole thing. I guess the reason I finished it was because I was sleeping on the floor in the living room anyway, so I kept the TV on for a bit and then the story took a twist, so I had to finish. 2:30am I finally closed my eyes to sleep.

And if you think that was a long day, just wait 'til I tell you about Saturday. Stay tuned for "Trip to Charlotte, Book Two" coming soon to Blogger.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thrill Riding

You know what's fun? Riding roller coasters at Kings Dominion. You know what's not so much fun? Dragging around nine 6th graders while riding roller coasters at Kings Dominion.

I kid. It was fun. Mostly.

Last Wednesday I chaperoned a trip to Kings Dominion and was responsible for the well being of nine kids as they walked around the park. Here's my theory on amusement parks: ride as many rides as you can as often as possible.

When walking around with nine kids, you're constantly stopping. You're stopping for rip-off carnival games. You're stopping for ice cream and soda. You're stopping for bathroom breaks. You're stopping because no one can agree on what they want to ride next. "Can we ride Volcano now???" "Can we go on Drop Zone???"


So the day began at 5 something in the morning. The buses left at 6 something. We got to the park at 10 something. And then the real fun began. "We should go get on Volcano before there's a line!"

First of all, it's a Wednesday. In May. Logic dictates that the park will not be crowded. All the kids are still in school. Most of their parents are at work. We didn't wait in line for anything. It was awesome.

So ask me if I would chaperone this trip again. Go on, ask me. You know what my answer would be? Yes. Yes I would chaperone this trip again. Because I love riding roller coasters. And what makes them better is the fact that we rode them immediately. None of that 2 hour waiting in line crap.