Sunday, June 26, 2005

Danger in Chi-Town

Yesterday I called my cousin to wish her a happy 21st birthday. She was on her way to Chicago with some friends to celebrate so she couldn't talk long but was happy to hear from me. This morning at about 8:30 I got a call from her, which was very strange. She is one that is not known to be out of bed before noon on a regular basis and called me even less. I figured something had to be going on.

I answered the phone only to find that she wasn't on the other end. The phone had apparently been bumped and called the last person who had called her, which was me. I listened for about a minute to what appeared to be stuff shuffling around. Thinking nothing of it, I was about to hang up the phone when I started to hear voices. The voices of men speaking Spanish to each other and laughing and talking about something I couldn't follow. Now this really didn't seem right. I quick moved into the computer room and attempted to get the computer setup to record the audio. I soon realized I had neither a proper microphone nor the software to do such a thing installed. After listening to the men talk for nearly 20 minutes, I could hear one of them grabbing the phone and beginning to dial numbers. Realizing the phone was on, he ended the call.

I'm not usually one to let my mind wander, but I also don't usually receive strange phone calls like this. I wasn't sure what to do, had the phone been stolen? Had my cousin been mugged or abducted? I ended up calling her parents. They assured me that she was with Columbian friends who frequently spoke Spanish and not to worry. I felt like an idiot.

Two hours later I got a call from an unknown number. It was my cousin. She didn't recognize it was me who answered and sounded very uncomfortable over the phone. "This might sound a little weird, but who is this?" she said, still sounding unsure of where this conversation was going. I identified myself and told her the story. She said her cell phone was stolen and she had contacted her cell provider to find out that my number was called along with several others. I realized I'm not an idiot.

It was a relief to know that only her cell was lost, and a very interesting experience overall. I had never been in the middle of a crime like this before. Granted it was relatively minor, but a unique experience none the less.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

So Close, But Yet 1200 Miles Too Far

I started hanging out with an old friend from my college days as of late, a girl I lost track of about 4 years ago when she graduated. We ran into each other by chance about two months ago and have met up a couple times since then. Today we went out biking and I learned she is going to be moving to the east coast for work and will be out there for the next two years. Granted, I may not have had much of a shot at it here, but it would have been nice to find out. On the bright side, I'm up one friend and haven't done anything to screw up another friendship.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The 29 Hour Shift

I like my work, but I wouldn't consider myself a workaholic. The past two days have been nuts though. One of the sites I'm responsible for went down yesterday and it was one of those things where it just had to be up. Then began a my first ever 29 hour shift. Aside from a 3 hour stop at my mother's place for dinner, I was working from 8:00 a.m. Tuesday to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

It is really strange, because I hated it at the time, and was super tired, but now looking back on it 5 hours later it doesn't seem so bad. Now approaching my 40th hour of wakefulness, I don't think I have ever gone without sleep for this long, and I know for certain I have felt a lot more tired than I currently am. It is almost unsettling how good I feel. Just as experiment some time it would be interesting to see how long I could go without sleep. I've heard stories of people suffering long term effects from sleep deprivation, but I doubt I could ever make it more than 3 or 4 days max.

It is also really strange how we all know the human body is an amazing and wonderful tool, but then people (such as myself in the above paragraph) take such interest in abusing it to see how much it can take. Similarly, if you spent thousands on a decked out hummer would you take it up a mountain and scratch up the shiny paint job? Somewhere between safety and insanity is a common ground called having a life, don't forget that!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Nebraskan Funeral

I drove my Grandparents to Nebraska this weekend to attend my Grandmother's sister's funeral. They are starting to have a harder time traveling long distances and they didn't mind the company, so it worked out well for me to drive them.

We went to the funeral with one of my other Great Aunt's who lives in Omaha. Have you ever gotten 3 people over the age of 75 in a car together for a 2 hour road trip? Strange things start happening. Old hymns are broken out and you are expected to start singing along. I haven't been to a church where hymns are sung in many years, and only recognized two of them so I was very much the odd man out. Conversation revolves around the current state of the wheat growing in the fields and when so and so is going to harvest. I found all this fascinating. We were all big city dwellers yet the conversation was almost entirely about weather and wheat. I think there is a lot I don't know about growing old.

As it is with any of these big family functions, I met a lot of relatives I never knew I had. I wasn't the only one learning of new family. Apparently I have a second or third cousin that married a Mexican, and it was brought up several times how tainted the Swedish line is now. I guess that includes me since I'm a German-Swede hybrid.

We made it back alive, but I'm shot. I think I could sleep for the next week. Too much driving and not enough sleep. More later...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Carlson Here I Come!

I have been officially accepted into the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management! I received the acceptance letter today! I'm super pumped about it. Granted the next 3-4 years of my life may be a social void and living hell, but it all pays off in the end right? Right?

Classes start on September 6th, which is coming up faster than I can believe. It will be a little weird getting back into the whole study/school thing, but I'm sure I'll get the knack back. It has only been a 2.5 years since I finished my undergrad and I still remember what a book looks like.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Finally! It Lives!

Big day today! The fruits of the last 4.5 months of my life went live today. Now you know what I do everyday when I go into work. Check it out! It is a pretty poor main page, but if you click on any of the ads at the bottom of the screen you will be able to find your way in. The other half of the site is for coordinators, which you won't be able to get to.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Another Weekend Another Wedding

Every once in a while I attend a wedding where the bride and groom seem like the happiest people on Earth, Saturday was one of them. It was amazing. Both of them were glowing all night so much it was just bizarre. I honestly had no idea it was possible for people to be that happy. It made me wonder if I've been settling for a mediocre life. Not in regards to my being single, but just life in general. I've never been that happy. It was almost as if their entire life goals were fulfilled. It was the kind of experience that makes you want to go out and conquer another little piece of the world... if that makes any sense.

I imagine that little piece of the world needs to be something of real value. I know buying my dream car won't bring that kind of joy (although it sure wouldn't hurt ;-) ), but I don't know what would. The churchy answer is that all that joy comes from God, and that joy is not the same as happiness and all that jazz. In any event, the point I'm getting at is that once again the weekend left me with more questions than answers.