Life Changes

The most exciting thing in our lives right now is that my husband has taken a job at my company! He spent 9 years working as a government contractor, but in October his project came to a screeching halt and he was being paid to go to work and do nothing. The government couldn't decide what they wanted the programmers to do with the software, so the engineers couldn't move forward with building out networks because no one knew what configurations would be needed for the future software.

The thing about my husband is that if he isn't doing something, he's not happy. He's very much like my father. Not being productive makes for a bad day.

My company has been looking into web work and e-commerce, and my husband has a solid background in e-commerce sites from the consulting work he been doing on the side over the last 5 years. He was offered a position and decided to make the move.

Some things about our life have to change... going from a 150,000 employee company to a 65 employee company is hard. We took out a 2nd Mortgage to pay off our credit card, and we just hope having a steady payment will help. The good news is he's so much happier now! I'd rather be married to a happy husband with some lifestyle changes than be married to a grump and just keep on the way we were.


United Airlines Sucks

WARNING - Blatant slamming of United Airlines in this posting - so if you're an employee of United Airlines, you can kiss my ass and stop reading now, or accept the truths I am posting.

I didn't want to get raped by any airline company this year, so immediately after Halloween I began shopping for tickets to go home for Christmas. Yay! Home to a log cabin in the mountains, with a view of one of Montana's tallest peaks, and a Christmas tree from my family's property.

After shopping and calling, I found some great ticket prices through United Airlines. I bought two tickets home for $436.00 a piece... to be with my father at the holidays the cost was worth it to us both. I only had one vacation day, so the tickets were to fly out Thursday night, have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Montana, then return on Christmas Day.

Everything was going as planned until Dad got hospitalized. I called United Airlines the morning after my dad had emergency surgery. They couldn't get me out of town that day, but the following morning there was room on a flight, and for $200 (give or take $15) more per ticket we would be in Montana and at the hospital the following afternoon.

I went to work to finish up my responsibilities for December - - if we were stuck in town for the day I may as well tie up any loose ends in case my dad went downhill.

The following morning we were out of bed at 3:30AM, drove an hour to the airport, and got in line at the United ticket counter. So picture this... United has approximately 40 self-ticketing booths, and 3 employees handling customers. The area is COMPLETELY vacant save the hippie and her boyfriend ahead of us arguing with one of 3 attendants about the international weight limit on their baggage bound for Jakarta, Indonesia.

The other 2 United attendants are standing a few kiosks over discussing some other employee that they speculate got pregnant by their manager but because she was such a slut there was no way to know for sure... except for the condom found in his trash can after said pregnant employees review. Finally the 2 United employees see us, and ask why we're in line. I explain that we need to exchange our tickets for our Thursday departure, and I had a confirmation number from the phone call I had made the day before to swap the tickets. One of the women says, "I am supposed to be helping the e-ticket people only," to which the other gal says, "Yeah, he should be done with the International flight questions in just a minute." They return to their previous conversation...

THIRTY MINUTES LATER - I have heard the two women discuss abnormal pap smears, someone's cousin Lisa on welfare, Hillary Clinton, fluorescent colors from the 80s, and farts. A total of 1 e-ticket customer has come and gone. The man at the counter excuses himself and tells us he hasn't had a break all morning and that he will be right back. Three more minutes pass and he returns with a hot cup of coffee.

I was understandably irritated at this point, but the bigger concern is my father and just getting home. The man looks over our tickets, punches in our confirmation code, and then says, "I can't honor what you were quoted on the phone. We have to treat your tickets as though you are buying them today." Clickety-clackity-click-click. "Well, from here to Salt Lake City it will be $856 per ticket, then from Salt Lake into Montana it will be $530." I swallow...... "How much do we get as credit for our existing tickets?" "You will lose those... especially if you keep your return flight." "What about bereavement fare?" "Lady, it's the holidays. We have a black-out right now." I start to get really pissed off. "What if we fly stand-by?" "You can only fly stand-by the day of your original tickets." Tears start pouring down my face as I try to keep from going into a Berserker Rage... and then I snap.

"WELL MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!" I shout so loud my voice echoes to the nearby (and crowded) Delta ticketing area. A new customer gets in the United line behind us as my husband and I walk away.

We drove to Montana that day. Got into town about 4 hours later than our flight would have. It cost us $138 in gas. I had bought travel insurance - - so United gets nothing from us except for a big fat


Back In The Saddle

Alright... I have completely neglected my blog since early December. Why? Because I am fucking busy in December, and then the stuff with my dad, and, yeah.

So to put everyone's mind at ease... Dad is going to be AOK, eventually. His appendix burst, and the doctors had to basically pressure wash his insides. Ten liters of fluid, 20 staples, and an 8" battle wound later he was out of surgery, but the road to recovery is going to be a long one. My husband and I drove home to Montana to spend a week with him (we were going to fly, but I'll explain that later), but unfortunately Dad was in the hospital almost the whole time we were there. I felt as though I took over the role of my mother - - I cooked meals for my Uncle Bull (Dad is his caretaker usually), did some laundry, and cleaned up. Hubby maintained the boiler at Dad's house - - loading the wood every morning and evening, and taking a couple of hours to clean the giant machine (I think it was so he could play in the soot).

The best gift this year was my father getting to go home from the hospital. I was freaked out when I first got the call and learned that he had to go into emergency surgery. Later, I called the ICU, and a sweet nurse (Janet) helped pull me out of panic mode. I was crying on the phone to her... and explained that the last time someone was in ICU they died. She knew about my mother, and so she took the phone into my dad's room and let me speak to him. Granted, he was pretty goofy with everything they had him on, it settled me down.

There's a long road ahead. The doctor says 3-6 months to full recovery, but that my dad is amazingly healthy and has some good years to go.

So to everyone - - MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND COME BACK SOON (because 2007 is a whole new year of drama)!!!