Thursday, March 27, 2008

Peeps are Gross

This yellow mutant may or may not be Eric's car for the next few days. Give him a honk.

One time I went to Shoppers with Micah. He bought Peeps. That's gross. But what's worse is that Micah ate an entire box of Peeps before we even left the parking lot.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One More Transportation Story

I often leave school late at night. Metro is my ride home. Trains don't come very frequently late at night, and after a long day sitting at school, I often pace the platform while I wait for the train. One night last semester I arrived at the Metro in somewhat of a daze. I was exhausted, I had been studying all day, and I just needed to get to bed. So I slowly paced the platform.

At one end of the platform I noticed large cables at the entrance to the tunnel. I checked the other tunnel and noticed the same large cables in an identical formation. This was interesting to me as I stared in my daze. After a minute I realized that a voice was speaking over the intercom. I eventually realized that the voice was the woman in the security booth and that she was speaking to me.

Now, the security booth is at the entrance, which is not near me. I have descended the escalators from the entrance and walked the length of the platform to the very end. If I were to speak to the woman, she would need to exit her booth and I would need to yell so that she could hear me. So I realized she was speaking to me. She kept saying (read in your best ghetto voice), "Sir, whaddya doin at the enduh the platform?!" Notice that this is not a request to remove myself or a general safety announcement; it is a question. How was I supposed to respond? Should I yell back at her? Should I go back up there and tell her I was waiting for the stinking train to come? I was confused. I turned and looked up in her direction (I couldn't actually see her). I took a step or two toward the center of the length of the platform.

About a minute later, the same woman came over the speaker and told me to step away from the edge of the platform. The message definitely was directed only to me. I angrily stepped back a little. I really wanted them to leave me alone. I never entered any restricted area, and I was perfectly fine where I was originally, and I had already moved once for the faceless speaker. Then a final announcement said that since there were only 4 to 6 car trains at this time of night, everyone should move to the center of the platform to facilitate loading. I resumed my pacing.

Apparently studying all day makes me look like a terrorist or a suicidal maniac. My consolation is that I was important enough to have 3 personal announcements over the intercom in the Metro. Thank you, over-zealous security guard, for keeping Metro safe from me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tire Slashing on the Tarmac

So I'm not a frequent blogger. I just don't feel like I'm good at it. But today, I will post about the time when Baltimore-Washington International Airport left me to wander the tarmac, like a child whose mother forgot about him.

Now, I was not in the United States on 9/11/01, and I wasn't much of an airplane traveler before that, but I know that airport security is tighter now. Or at least you'd think it would be. We can only bring certain things on planes in small quantities, we must remove our shoes in public, and all that. I even had to stand and wonder what was going on one time when a security officer felt the inside of my waistline. I'm still unsure of what he was looking for, assuming he is moderately chaste. Anyway, the point is, airport security is supposed to be tight, controlled, and, well, secure.

Last Christmas I flew from SLC to JFK in NYC. It was fantastic to fly into NYC when it was still dark and see all the lights of the city below. Of course, it would have been more fantastic if the child behind me hadn't been making so much noise the whole night that I couldn't sleep at all, but whatever. I waited at my gate for my flight from JFK to BWI for a couple hours. During that time, the fire alarm went off three times. Each time it would ring for several minutes. Each time, nobody moved. I looked at all the airline employees, store workers, and custodians, and they all went about their business as if nothing were blaring in their ears screaming for them to evacuate the building. I think the only thing the alarm did was to motivate more people to line up at Starbucks. I was happy to sit. I didn't want to go outside or miss my flight. I figured I'd move when I saw flames.

Finally it was time to board. We walked down the extension thing, down the stairs and outside into the frigid wind. There were ropes and painted lines clearly directing us where to go as we made our way around the plane to the door. There were also easily identifiable officials directing us. Besides the wind, there was no problem. Then we landed in Baltimore. I figured it would be similar to JFK, with ropes and lines and officials directing us to safety in the terminal. I stepped off the stairs and looked around. There was nothing but a vast, flat expanse of tarmac, and passengers milling about. Some passengers decided to head toward the terminal, but although there were many doors, none was marked as an appropriate entry for passengers. I looked and saw other passengers slowly walking in every other direction. Some passengers started to shout what they thought were the appropriate actions to take. Some told us to head for the doors, others said to stay put, and others told us to head for the extension thing that you normally use to board and exit planes. I was flummoxed. It was like the great mist of darkness in Lehi's dream. I couldn't believe that BWI would just leave us without direction to wander and explore the tarmac. I started to head for the doors that I assumed lead to the terminal. Finally, an official-looking person told us to head for a certain staircase that lead into the terminal through one of the extension things.

Doesn't it seem like a post-9/11 world would require BWI to direct us and make sure we went where we were supposed to go? I could have just run off to slash airplane tires or steal baggage off one of the trucks. Fortunately, I'm not like that, and it seems my fellow passengers were not either.