A Play in Two Acts

July 23, 2010

Act one: A handsome young man is travelling from Philadelphia to Istanbul, via Paris. The plane ride is a nightmare, and arrives in Paris two hours late, so he misses his connection. The return trip, Sofia to Philadelphia via Paris, is again with Delta Airlines, and is again a nightmare. At the Paris ticket desk, he’s informed he’s been bumped off of the flight. Under pressure, the gate agent, not realizing the dashing gentleman speaks french picks up a phone and says “He wants to get on the flight. No, he’s being very nice about it. Yes, he’s right here. Yes, very nice. His ticket is in order. He did not make any errors, it’s our fault. Yes. Yes. Oh? I will send him over.” And the young man sprints through the airport, stopping only to shout “BIG EVERYTHING, MON AMI!” at a security guard that points at him and says “BIG SHOES! HAHA!”

Act Two: A chemistry lab. The phone rings.

“Hello?”

“Planflarg abuldeebop?”

“Hello? I can’t hear you. Speak a little louder?”

“Flimbloawg Sakoolish?”

“This is Aaron Sakulich. Who is this?”

“blingflap pronouncing your name wrong, mindsserb Sakoolsush. Flimblarg Charles De Gaulle.”

“What? Who is this?”

“Bindlefagaadsg wanted to extend a courtesy to you on vbeflaf of Delta Airlines.”

“Okay?”

“We will despondizt fliblarg frequent flyer miles into your account for sbleeeepblarg inconvenience.”

“What? I don’t have an account.”

“Purrgy flrapl lop anything else to add to the email you sent us?”

“Wait, I don’t have an account. How do I use those frequent flyer miles?”

“Bindlesghadf.”

“What?”

“Thank you for flying with Delta Airlines.”

“What? Hello? Hello?”

(curtain).

Epilogue: Delta airlines, will I ever not be dissatisfied by you? Even your attempts to please me by giving me free stuff, which should be real easy, are an abject failure.


New Job

July 17, 2010

When I was looking for a job last year, before I got the offer from Michigan, I applied for a research position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). My application was rejected twice, but after my resume got a little beefier, I got offered a position. The irony is that I’ve been writing a grant application for my current job, and with the experience I’ve gotten from doing that, when I reread my NIST proposal I wasn’t impressed. I feel like if I had to re-write my proposal now, I’d really knock it out of the park.

My feelings are mixed. The NIST position has fabulous pay and benefits, and I would be doing research full time- not screwing around trying to return equipment schmucks swore was the right model when it arrives and turns out to be the wrong model. Uh, I had to do that friday. Specific, I know, but still. And NIST – I mean, for scientific research, that’s prestigious as all hell. I almost said “prestigious as balls” but apparently that doesn’t mean “very prestigious” in Michigan? They talk funny here.

Anyway, the reason I am conflicted with having this stunningly amazing job offer is that Ann Arbor is pretty sweet. I finally met some neighbors, and they’re fun. I started working the angle on a sweet dame, and that’ll come around. My apartment is nice, and I really enjoy what I do at work. Everything is finally turning up posi, and then it’s time to go.

I guess the idea of “go do a couple of postdocs in different places once you get your degree” didn’t really translate to “live like a hobo for a few years, never able to settle in, constantly on the move, with the future always up in the air.” Ah well. Ann Arbor, you were good times, but so long.

Plus, when I move to DC I’ll be able to come back to Philly on weekends, sometimes, for Dungeons and Dragons. And I guess seafood is cheaper there? Hell yes.


From ‘The Bombard Story’

July 12, 2010

“The castaway must never give way to despair, and should always remember, when things seem at their worst, that ‘something will turn up’ and his situation may be changed. But neither should he let himself become too hopeful; it never does to forget that however unbearable an ordeal may seem, there may be another to come which will efface the memory of the first. The best advice that I can give is that whether things go well or ill, the castaway must try to maintain a measure of detachment.”


Happy Fourth of OH SHIT, DUCK!

July 6, 2010

So. I’ve finally met one of my neighbors. She looks exactly like my friend Kelly, and has a similar personality. Her name is Kelly. Anyway, she invited me out to a lake with her buddies for the 4th of July. It was a lovely time. Her buddies got caught with an open booze container and got a ticket, and despite not having indulged, I suggest we pass the hat. Since there were ten of us, a fine ruinous to one would become but a nuisance to ten. And let’s face it, had I planned ahead and hitched a ride, I’d have been bilged to the gunnels, as it were. The guy who got the ticket takes the $5 from me, and points out that all the others might have offered, but would never pay up. They were right there, but didn’t disagree. So. There that was.

Anyway, I’m driving home, and I make a wrong turn that I don’t realize right away is a wrong term because there’s a detour. So I get turned around, I’m back on roads I recognize, I’m just north of a village called Dexter, and I see three white streaks rocket out across the road in front of my truck. They’re making this weird whistling sound. I immediately assume someone is shooting at me, so I scrunch down in the passenger seat and floor it. I pop my head back up just in time to avoid an impromptu off-road experience. All of a sudden there’s a sound like God slamming a toilet seat, and the whole world turns red, then green, then red again. It’s like I’m driving a kaleidoscope down the road.

It’s about this time that I realize someone was shooting roman candles diagonally across the road in front of me. It scared the high holy hell out of me, but I decided not to stop and push the issue. On the outskirts of Ann Arbor something similar happened, but I think it was a misfire that was directed vertically and went off a hundred feet off the ground.

If I catch you shooting rockets off at cars, I’ll hit you with a crowbar. The end.