Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

I'm the kind of guy who really likes to work quickly to get things accomplished. I'm also a multi-tasker, so I tend to be juggling a few different things at once. In college, this served me well because I was able to handle a pretty decent load while also still making time to hang out with friends and have fun. Unfortunately, I'm now in the two-week countdown window until I move to DC to begin A-100 training, and my list of things to do seems to have dwindled significantly. Either that, or I'm also procrastinating...something I'm also quite good at.*

There are a few obvious things that are currently causing me to hurry up and wait. First up is my new laptop. I ordered it a week and a half ago, and it has yet to arrive. I love technology and gadgets, so from the moment I placed the order I have wanted the laptop in my hands to begin playing with it and loading all of my junk onto it. I have checked the UPS tracking information more than any normal human being ever should. This means I watched as it flew from Shanghai, China to Anchorage, Alaska to Louisville, Kentucky in the span of about 36 hours. Then I watched helplessly as Customs put a hold on it and wouldn't release it from the UPS warehouse there for four solid days while they were waiting for information from the shipper. Then there was that time when they "accidentally" scheduled it for delivery even though it wasn't released by customs, which only slowed things up a bit more. Luckily, I was reassured over the phone by a UPS agent that it has finally cleared Customs and should be delivered by the end of the day tomorrow. I'm now hurrying up and waiting for the end of the day tomorrow!

The second thing causing me to hurry up and wait is emailing back and forth with folks at the State Department. Now, don't get me wrong - these folks are extremely busy and important people who probably get hundreds of emails a day. They're typically great about getting back to you quickly, and thus far they have been. As my luck would have it, there was a slight discrepancy on my travel authorization that I had to email them about for clarification. After about a week, everything is cleared up, but it caused a hitch in my current moving plan that I'm going to have to find a workaround solution for**. Suffice it to say that I need to book a hotel for a night in DC, but I can't quite do it just yet. Being the kind of person who really wants to get things done... this certainly stinks. I'd rather just go ahead and make the reservation and be done with it, but I can't. Sigh.

In other news, I went to the beach this past weekend. Yes, the BP Oil Spill Gulf Shores beach. I couldn't really see any physical evidence of oil on the sand or in the water, even though I knew from previous news reports that things were better than originally thought. I find it fascinating that Mother Nature is cleaning up another one of our messes. Someone must have finally put all five magic rings together and summoned up Captain Planet.

In any case, I was still pretty cautious about swimming in the Gulf because of all of the mystery dispersants BP used to clean things up*. I also got to see a concert by Train and Needtobreathe with a friend of mine and my brother, so it was definitely a great weekend.

Next weekend some friends of mine are throwing me a Goodbye BBQ as a kind of farewell type thing. I'm super pumped about it, and a lot of my good friends are going to be in attendance. I am definitely going to miss them, though I expect all of them to come visit me wherever I end up*! (yeah.. that means you. No, not you. You.)

I found out today that the State Dept is going to issue me a work computer to use while in training, though its uses are limited due to security concerns. I'm pretty excited about that, to be honest.

I think that's about all I have for now. Sorry this blog is so boring at the moment. My UAB packout is on Wednesday, so I'm sure I'll have some reflections about that coming up soon.

Until then...peace.

*I know you're not supposed to end sentences with prepositions, but the "correct" version of this just sounds clunky: "something at which I'm also quite good." Really? Can't we just change the rules of English grammar once and for all and allow prepositions at the end of sentences? Please. There's a famous quote by Winston Churchill (though there seems to be some debate on to whom the quote is really attributed and what the original line was) that I think addresses the matter perfectly. In response to a writer who rearranged one his sentences so that it wouldn't end in a preposition, Churchill wrote, "This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put." I agree.


  1. If there was a "like" button here, I would hit it 8 times. True story.

  2. Love the Winny Churchill debate. I'd always heard that "It was an abomination up with which he did not put"!