Most of EMEA is out today and Monday and I agreed to work. Unfortunately, I only get 1:1 replacement despite it being a holiday but two vacation days returned is better than none. We expected a pretty quiet queue anyway so it's not so bad (unless some fucktard decides to tweak a system).
So I have a surprising amount of free time between writing answers and doing a bit of research and there's a lot to be done. While I'll work on the photos from my brother's wedding rehearsal dinner (which was much better than the "proper" dinner the next night.
Bro came up to DC to help me sort out the aftermath of the estate sale on Saturday. Sunday morning we went to Hollywood East, were greeted by Janet, and started tearing in, stopping the girls who had all the weird shit in their carts that not only whites but even some Chinese never eat: chicken feet, fatty ribs, mystery meat. We aet a lot and still got out of there for under $50 (including a fat tip). I didn't eat again until late Monday night.
Fuck the TSA/DHS (and bite me, AirFrance)
As I was getting ready to fly down to Tampa on Thursday morning, there was an SMS on my cell phone. BG was supposed to come in and had been turned away at the ticket counter. Her passport supposedly doesn't meet new US requirements and isn't "machine-readable". Bullshit. It has the two lines of OCR symbols. She's used the thing to travel around the damned world for the past six or seven years.
There was nothing to do. AirFrance denied her boarding, saying that the US would reuse her entry and make them take her right back. Even if she could get an emergency passport delivered from the Belgian embassy in Berlin the same day, she'd end up travelling for 44 hours to be there for less than 36. I was going to be at the wedding stag.
The big day
Most of my living relatives showed up as well as a couple of friends from the old neighbourhood who I got to know much better. Joe and Nancy insisted that I stop calling them Mr & Mrs C. I met a few of the bride's family and friends but there was a serious age difference. Her brother is more or less "Harrison" from Tru Calling, save for the betting.
The wedding went fine. Fifteen minutes before the guys were to go to the church, both soles on my brother's shoes separated. It was up to Leadfoot to get back to the shop for replacements. Dale Mabry Hwy is a mess during the day and the shop is at least 15 minutes away. I was back with new shoes in 17 minutes.
Avoid Saucino's formal wear shop. The fuckers there were in the shop at 11:30a.m. Sunday even though they didn't open until 12:00. I had a plane to catch back to DC. The bastard wouldn't even open the door to let his own employee in. The kid waiting outside took the suit for me and as I got back into my car, the guy with the VanDyke beard opened the door and started bitching and moaning at me, telling me to plan my time better. Yes, an entire planeload of people should wait an extra hour because he learned customer service in Germany and couldn't even take a tux back which had already been paid for and for which no additional paperwork was necessary.
No, really. Bite me, AirFrance.
I waited for an hour at the baggage carousel in CDG and my bags didnt show. I had 25 minutes until my connecting flight to Munich. The staff made me wait for 15 minutes before checking the tag numbers. They weren't lost; they'd been checked through. WTF?! Upon entry into the EU regardless of where, you're supposed to pick up your bags, pass customs and then re-check or return them for intra-EU flights. She called the gate and told them I was on my way.
Half a mile later I arrived to be told the shuttle to the plane was gone. I wasn't going anywhere. Sent from one desk to another -- each one a mile or so apart from the next -- for the next 20 minutes I finally got to the correct Transfer Desk only to be scolded some more and to be told how lucky I was that the guy was re-issuing the ticket for free; he'd be damned if I was getting a lunch voucher. I had another two and a half hours to wait. I ate a really shitty Royale with Cheese, had a Heineken ad worked on a rough for Steini's video.
BG met me at the airport and helped me carry the bags home. Either the TSA or AirFrance opened one bag and lost 6 forks out of a set of flatware which can't be replaced. Yes, I'm filing a claim but I'm also sending pictures of the remaining fork in case AF or the TSA possibly stumble across them. Unlikely, I know, but it's a nice set I got from mum's estate. The fuckers also broke a well-wrapped bottle of ground pasilla so everything in the bag is covered with tasty chili powder goodness. On the plus side, I did manage to get the two 4-lb. packages of corned beef over without a problem. Tonight we're having New England Boiled Dinner, and with four pounds of meat, we'll be having it tomorrow and Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and probably Wednesday, as well.
BG got very drunk that night and started talking about puppies (among other things). She doesn't really want them but knows I do and said she was willing to give me one or two. Huh? I don't think I like the sound of that. OTOH, it was emotional drunken rambling, heightened by the drama which is her working life.
So that's about 1,000 words more than I'd intended to type. I need suggestions for the rest of the day.
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