Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bean and cornbread supper

Surprisingly enough, I wasn't always the hip and cool person that I am now. Some of the activities of my youth might have been considered dorky. For example, I played the tuba in band. I know it's what today's cool kids want to play, but way back then it wasn't quite so awesome.

In January or February of every year, our school bands put on a concert in the school cafeteria. A dinner of beans and cornbread was included in the price, and it was also the very first concert for the 6th grade beginner band.

When I was in 6th grade I was a little on the small side. It's safe to say that the tuba probably outweighed me at that time. However, that wasn't an issue because I didn't actually have to hold the tuba. It sat on some brackets that were attached to a chair, and I just sat there and played.

At the concert we didn't have our tuba chairs, so we had to hold them for the first time. Most marching tubas have a pad strapped to it in the area where the tuba meets the shoulder; however, these did not. And again, I was trying to hold up more than my body weight on my left shoulder.

So I struggled. Several times during the first song, it looked as if I was going to tip over and crash to the ground. And I probably would have if one of the dads hadn't walked up from the audience to stand behind me and hold the tuba up.

Was that a hip or cool moment in my life? Probably not, but it was better than if I had dropped the tuba.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

King of all Dance Land

I have a new nickname, and unlike the one I'm called at work (Awesome Don), it's not one I gave myself.

The other day I was in the grocery store with my girlfriend and her daughters, and the store was playing music over the PA system. One of the songs played was I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys. Naturally, I sang along and got down with my bad self.

The 6 year old daughter looked at me and asked, "Why are you dancing? Are you the king of all dance land?"

I am now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That time I won Lance Armstrong's Ride for the Roses

Several years ago, Lance Armstrong and his buddies would have a friendly bike race in the Austin area with the winner being awarded a dozen roses. They called it the Ride for the Roses. Later, it became a charity race to support those fighting cancer, and since then it has been expanded into the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Back in the late 90's when it was still the Ride for the Roses charity race, I was actually the first to cross the finish line.

One Saturday, my friend Henry and I went on a short 100 mile bike ride. In fact, it was so short it was closer to 30 miles. On one part of the ride, the right lane of the road had been blocked off with pylons and motorcycle cops were spaced along the route. At a stoplight we asked one of the cops why the lane was blocked off. He said that it was part of the route for the Ride for the Roses, and that the cyclists should be riding through soon. We thanked him and continued on our ride.

We came over a hill and saw that the banner for the finish line was a few hundred yards away with a small crowd awaiting the riders. We decided to race to the line and took off. As we got closer, the crowd noticed us and started cheering because they believed we were actual participants in the race.

As I crossed the finish line first, the crowd roared, flashbulbs popped, and I raised my arm triumphantly!

And we just kept on riding.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I guess you could say we idiot proofed them

I don't drink, not because I think it's evil, but more because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't handle it well. Since I don't, I can't blame anything on alcohol. The stupid things I say and do can mostly be blamed on ... well, stupidity.

Several years ago, I was a software developer at IBM. My department worked on the floor control software for the RS/6000 manufacturing line. One portion of the line was called the pickpack area. In this section the operators would put the loose materials into the box: the mouse, documentation, support disks, etc. However, we got frequent complaints from customers because necessary items had been left out of the box.

So, my department implemented a very nice scanning system in that area. The scanners had small LCD screens on them. The operators would scan in the serial number of machine, and a list of pickpack items that needed to be placed in the box would be displayed. When they scanned in an item before placing it in the box, it would be removed from the list. After it was implemented, the plant manager made an appearance on the floor and even scanned in a few items.

At the end of the year, my department was making a presentation to the plant manager. My part was to present the department's significant accomplishments that year. And one of those was the scanners in the pickpack area.

When I mentioned that accomplishment, the plant manager commented that he was impressed with how well the scanners worked because even he was able to work them.

And without thinking (obviously), I replied, "Oh, I guess you could say we idiot proofed them."

A collective hush fell over the group and a few gasps were heard. I immediately continued with my presentation thinking, "Well, maybe he didn't hear me."

After the department presentation was done, the plant manager thanked us and talked about all he learned from it. He concluded his list with, "And I learned that Mr. Young is obviously independently wealthy or else he wouldn't risk his job like that."

So I guess he did hear me.

But at least he knew who I was. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Hannah Montana Karaoke Sing-along and Petting Zoo

My girlfriend has a theory: when an ex-husband who was typically delinquent suddenly starts showing an interest in his child it's probably because he has a new girlfriend. After all, he has to impress the new woman with his dedication and commitment.

A couple of weeks ago a friend's daughter was having a birthday party. The ex-husband asked if he could plan the party and have it at his house. The mom was skeptical, but would never turn down his offer to do something for his daughter. (And yes, the ex-husband had a new girlfriend.)

So he planned a Hannah Montana karaoke party. Not a bad idea, if you assume the daughter was a Hannah Montana fan ... although that assumption was incorrect. However, the bigger issue that was pointed out to him was that the party was also going to have little boys in attendance, and the odds were pretty high that they were definitely not Hannah Montana fans.

So what would they like to do at the birthday party? A petting zoo, of course.

Thus, the first ever Hannah Montana Karaoke Sing-along and Petting Zoo birthday party. Where else could you pet a goat, ride a pony, and sing Best of Both Worlds?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'd like some ham on that burger please

Texadelphia is a restaurant chain in Texas and Oklahoma featuring cheesesteak sandwiches and other items. There are several locations in the Austin area; however, one of them is very close to where I work, and I visit it frequently. In fact, when the cooks see me walk in the door, they start making my food before I even order because I am a creature of habit. I'm not sure if that is really cool or really sad. I'm going with "really cool."

Earlier this week I was picking up lunch and noticed a seasonal item on the menu: The Veggie Cheesesteak. The sandwich is made of cheese, peppers, mushrooms, and various other vegetables that I don't like on a 6" whole wheat roll.

So I was thinking: can you really call it a cheeseSTEAK sandwich if it doesn't have any meat? That's like getting a HAMburger without any ham.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Growing up, I constantly corrected the grammatical mistakes of my friends. I was even given the nickname The Master Grammarian. It wasn't a compliment. :) Luckily, I've learned to let things go as I've matured.

Perhaps not.

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who shall remain nameless. We were discussing her current relationship because I'm such an expert. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) She mentioned that the behavior of her significant other had improved greatly after a long talk, although he still had a "stupid moment" or two. However, she said stupid moments are part of being a man so she was going to give him some "leadway."

I paused, thinking, and decided to point out her mistake, "Don't you mean leeway?"

She laughed and said, "You couldn't just let it go, could you?"

I said, "I would have, but you just insulted my gender and called us stupid."

Sweet, delicious irony. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's another name for a cat

NOTE: Names have been changed to protect the innocent. But I'm still Don because I'm not that innocent.

This past Sunday I was at my girlfriend's house doing some computer work and lounging around. Mostly lounging around. She had let her dog outside to go do dog things, but she later realized that the dog had gotten out. I'm no detective, but more than likely she got out through the open gate.

I jumped in my car to drive around the neighborhood and look for the dog. Riding with me was my girlfriend's almost 6 year old daughter (we'll call her Felicia) and the 8 year old daughter of the next door neighbor (we'll call her Amanda). I gave them each the job of sitting in the back seat and looking out their respective window so that they could help.

Felicia was concerned for the dog and in her nervousness proceeded to talk non-stop, saying things like, "Oh, there's an open gate. Maybe she's in that backyard. I think that mean lady across the street called the pound. I hope she's not at the pound, they'll be mean to her. What if she went in someone's garage and they kept her? Maybe we should ask those people if they saw a dog? What if she's cold and scared?"

For that last comment I replied, "It's 106 degrees outside, she's not cold."

Felicia continued, "What if she's at the lake and she gets in the water and can't swim?"

Amanda replied, "Oh, all dogs can swim. Well, unless she's a p*ssy."

Yes, she said the p-word. At this point I nearly ran off the road. I wasn't sure what to do since she wasn't my kid. Plus, I didn't want to overreact because I was thinking that if I let her know she said a bad word she'd just want to say it more. And I wondered if she really knew how bad that word was.

Felicia wondered something as well. She asked Amanda, "What's that mean?"

Amanda replied, "Oh, it's another name for a cat. And cats can't swim."

That worked for me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I may be right, but I'm also hungry

When I'm paying cash for anything and I don't have the exact amount, I like to give what seems like an unusual amount so that I can get the fewest number of coins back. For example, if the total is $4.86, and I don't have 86 cents, I'll give $5.11 so that I can get a quarter back. An added benefit is the look of confusion in the face of the cashier when I hand them the unusual amount.

One Saturday morning, many years ago, I was on my way to work, and I decided to stop for breakfast. I'm not really a fan of Burger King, but it was very close to my apartment, so I hit the drive-thru for a breakfast sandwich and a drink.

My total was $2.79. I gave the cashier $2.84 expecting a nickel back. She proceeded to give me 4 pennies back as change. I stared at the change, looked back at her, and asked, "Uh, excuse me. I gave you $2.84."

She replied, "No, you gave me $2.83."

I thought, "Now why would I give her 3 extra pennies just to get 4 back?" And I also knew that I gave her 4 pennies --- not 3 --- and that she was a big stinky poopy. So I muttered some obscenities under my breath and roared out of the drive-thru in anger.

I calmed down on the 15 minute drive to work. However, as I sat in my office I was still thinking about how right I was. Then I realized something.

I never got my food.

I had two options: 1) slink back to Burger King and get my food, or 2) forget about it and learn a $2.84 lesson in anger management. Or a $2.83 lesson if you believe the cashier. I went with option 2, and I've never gone back to that Burger King.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Big Easy

My incredibly handsome twin brother just returned from a business trip to New Orleans. The Big Easy. And although he and his coworkers don't have time to go sightseeing, he did make it to Bourbon Street briefly.

He said there are four types of businesses on Bourbon Street: restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and adult-themed businesses. Sometimes they combine two of them and end up with a restaurant and a souvenir shop.

And I thought, "You know, if they had an adult-themed souvenir shop, someone could buy a vibrator that said, 'Welcome to the Big Easy!'"


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm popular in Brazil!

Several years ago I was sent on a two-week business trip to Brasilia, Brazil. We were installing our software at several locations of a large bank. Since it was important that the computers be available during business hours we were only allowed to work on those computers during the night. And because we were sleeping during the day it didn't allow much time for sightseeing.

One evening the computers weren't available so a group of us, and our translator (none of us spoke Portuguese), decided to find a dance club. Our translator took us to what he thought was a popular place. And it was crowded. The place was full of incredibly stunning women. But something seemed a little off.

We sat at a table, and I observed my surroundings. I noticed that there were more women than men (about a 6:1 ratio), and that there wasn't really an unattractive woman in the place. Also, it seemed that every guy (or group of guys) in the place was being chatted up by the ladies. I pointed that out to the translator, and he went to get more details on the club.

He came back to the table and told us what kind of bar it was in Portuguese. When we all stared at him blankly - since we didn't speak the language - he told us in English, "This is a prostitute bar." Prostitution is legal in Brazil (or it was back then), and this club was for men to come see what was available, buy the lady some drinks, negotiate a price, and take her back home.

Later, I made the mistake of asking someone to dance. She considered that the beginning of our negotiations, and she became rather offended when our translator had to tell her I just wanted to dance. After talking to me through the translator, she finally said, "Why even come to a country if you don't speak the language?" :)

So I sat at the table and didn't ask anyone to dance. Unfortunately, that didn't work too well either. Since there were so many more women than men, the odds were that a girl wasn't going to be "chosen." And if she wasn't, then she didn't get any money. So if there was a guy by himself, one of the ladies was going to talk to him and try to start the negotiations. I fended off many women that evening.

For a moment I thought I was extremely popular in Brazil.

EPILOGUE: When our group got back to the hotel our concierge asked us about our evening. After telling him, he told us that we didn't have to go that place because the hotel would provide those services for us. Apparently, they had a book with pictures of "working women" for the guests to choose from. Your choice was then called and sent to your room. The reason the hotel provided this service is because they would charge you for having a guest in your room overnight.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desire with an extra e

A couple of years ago my roommate Nono had a personal assistant named Desiree. Also, to help earn even more money she cleaned my house and took care of my pets during the day. A year later she had to move back home for health reasons, and I haven't really heard much from her since.

Until yesterday. There was a call on the home phone, but I let the answering machine pick up since I didn't recognize the number. After the outgoing message played, I heard a voice say, "Hey Don, this is Desiree, and ..." at which point I picked up the phone.

I said, "Hey, I haven't heard from you in a long time. How come you never comment on any of my blogs?"

She replied that she hadn't received any of my e-mails, so she gave me her current e-mail address. I noticed that she spelled her name differently than I remembered, so I told her, "I always thought it was spelled like 'desire' with an extra 'e'."

She asked how I was doing so I gave her a lengthy 10-20 minute speech on what was going on in my life (I do tend to ramble). I asked her about her job, and she was doing something (graphics art) that I didn't remember her being trained for. I asked her about moving back home, but she said she was in a different state now. I also asked her about her health issues, but she said she wasn't having any.

It was at this point that I realized I was talking to a different Desiree (or as she spelled it, Desarae).

So after wasting more than 20 minutes of her life with my questions and talking, I explained our confusion (ok, MY confusion) and apologized for thinking she was somebody else. And after hanging up, I thought, "You know, her voice didn't even sound the same."

I think I'll let the answering machine pick up the next time she calls.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It sucks to be me!

Several years ago I had a girlfriend who had a couple of close female friends. Julie was a very attractive and happily married redhead, and Beth was an attractive blond who was engaged to Julie's brother. Both of their significant others worked nights, so they would go out with my girlfriend and me because 1) their significant others knew I wasn't a threat to steal their ladies away, 2) my girlfriend didn't mind if I danced with them, and 3) I was a good designated driver since I didn't drink. And I didn't mind them tagging along because they would try to make me blush by complimenting my butt the entire evening. Yeah, it sucked to be me. :)

One evening we were at a dance club, and Julie, Beth, my girlfriend, and I were standing near the dance floor. During the course of the evening, several guys asked Julie to dance, and she turned them all down. A couple of times, she asked my girlfriend permission to dance with me, which was granted, so we hit the dance floor.

Later in the evening I had to use the restroom. For the female readers, let me explain an unwritten "guy rule." Unless you know the guy standing next to you at the urinal you keep your eyes forward and your mouth shut. There is no small talk in the men's room. On this night, a guy broke that rule. The guy in question had had a few drinks, and he was one of the guys who had asked Julie to dance. And he had also noticed that Julie had been dancing with me.

So, as we're taking care of our business ... individually, of course ... he turned to me and said, "Hey, you're making out pretty well with that redhead." Since I knew I was their ride, I replied with confidence, "Yeah, I think I can get her to go home with me." When I got back to the group I told them what had happened. So Julie asked me to dance a couple more times just so that the guy would wonder what I had that he didn't.

And yes, he did notice us all leave together later that evening. Mainly because I waved to get his attention, pointed to Julie, and gave him the thumbs up sign.

It sucks to be me! :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

A belated eulogy

Today would have been my mom's 72nd birthday. However, she suffered a stroke on June 24, 1999 and died two days later. She worked as a secretary at our local high school for more than 20 years and was generally liked by nearly everyone. Her funeral was on a cold, rainy day, but it was still standing-room-only in the church. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "It doesn't matter how good or how bad a person you were in life, the attendance at your funeral will be determined largely by the weather." Apparently my mom was an exception to that.

Let me tell a story about her, and although it may seem like a bad one I promise it gets better by the end.

When my incredibly handsome twin brother Ron and I were seniors in high school, my mom wanted us to get a class photo together, in addition to our individual ones. So she arranged for our photo times to be back-to-back. Since we didn't really want to take one together, we just refused to do it. (It was not one of our finer moments.)

As you can guess, mom wasn't pleased, and she refused to speak to us. For an entire week, she would tell our sister things like, "Would you tell them it's time to eat if they feel like eating?" Since we were sitting in the same room as our sister, it wasn't really necessary for her to pass that on. After the first week, my sister told our mom, "Don't you think it's gone on long enough?" Apparently not, because for the next week she didn't speak to me, Ron, or my sister. After that second week, my dad finally told her, "Nancy, would you please talk to someone else? I'm tired of talking to you."

The point is this: of the 30+ years that mom was in my life, that's the one "bad" story I can come up with, and it's really not bad. Growing up, Ron and I played 8 years of baseball, 9 years of football, and 6 years of basketball. We were in the band for 7 years. Of the hundreds of games or performances that we were a part of, our mom (and dad) made almost all of them. She was there to support us even though we sometimes wouldn't even get in the game.

She ran the concession stand at the baseball games and was in the booster clubs for football and band. When we were in elementary school we had to read books to our parents to get gold stars. Dad worked the night shift so she listened to every book twice. Most of all, she exhibited monumental levels of patience in dealing with two bratty kids like Ron and me. Mostly Ron, of course. :)

I miss her every day, but I'm thankful for the time she was here.

P.S. When Ron and I were freshman in college, we had professional portraits done of the two of us, and we gave them to our mom for Christmas that year to make up for not getting senior pictures together the year before. That was one of our finer moments.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It helps to be lucky

In life, you can succeed by being smart, hardworking, and handsome. And I should know. :) Of course, it also helps to be lucky.

Many, many years ago, my friend Geri was flying in from California to attend a wedding in San Antonio. Since I make an excellent wedding date, and because I was one of the few people she knew in Texas, Geri asked me to be her date. Since she was in the wedding party, we drove down for the rehearsal dinner Friday evening.

Several hours later, we were driving back to Austin. The weather had turned worse during the day, and it was now in the 40's with wind gusts of 40-50 MPH. I wanted to get home before the weather got any worse, so I was driving a little over the speed limit.

When I was pulled over by the cops, I was clocked doing 85 in a 55.

When you're going that much over the speed limit, the odds of getting a warning are very slim. In fact, they can sometimes give you another ticket for reckless driving if your speed is significantly faster than the posted limit.

The cop took my license and went back to his car to make sure I didn't have any outstanding warrants. I watched in my mirror as he walked back, and I noticed that he stopped at the back of my car and shone his flashlight around for 5-10 minutes. I had no idea what he was doing back there.

Eventually, he came back to my window. In a dejected voice he said, "Mr. Young, it looks like it's your lucky day. The wind blew your drivers license off my clipboard, and I can't find it. I'm going to have to let you off with a warning."

I replied, "No problem, officer. I'll just get a new one." And I proceeded to leave the scene as quickly as possible. I sure didn't want to lollygag and give him time to suddenly say, "Oh wait! Here it is."

You can bet I didn't drive much faster than 55 the rest of the way.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Watch out for that tree!

A couple of weeks ago I went dirt bike riding with my friend Wayne. Since this was only the second time I had ever been on a dirt bike, I didn't have any gear. Wayne was nice enough to provide the shirt, gloves, and helmet. Oh, and the motorcycle. With the right equipment even a beginner like me gives off the appearance that he knows what he is doing. Looks can be deceiving though.

One thing I noticed is that when you tell someone you're going to get on a dirt bike, they feel compelled to tell you about all the injuries that they, or someone they know, received the last time they were on a dirt bike. I heard stories about cracked ribs, collapsed lungs, concussions, and broken legs. The last time I was on a dirt bike I bruised my ribs, but at least I was nice enough not to remind myself about it.

Being a beginner I fully expected to have a spill or two. Fortunately, I got the first wreck out of the way in the first 5 minutes. I came into a turn a little too fast and had to brake hard. Since the bike was new to me, it braked a lot harder than I anticipated, and I slid into the turn on the ground. I was OK, but I damaged the clutch bracket (as you can see) which made it difficult to engage the clutch. But that didn't stop me from riding.

The course we were riding had some easy sections and hard sections. I stayed mostly in the easy sections because you make your biggest mistakes when you go beyond your capabilities, as I learned from experience. One part of the course split into two trails. The hard section included a nice little jump that the easy section bypassed. On one of my laps, I decided to give the jump a try. My friend Wayne told me that when telling people about the jumps you should always say they were huge, no matter how big they were. So this jump was HUGE!

It was also deceptive. What I couldn't see from the front side of the jump was that it wasn't flat on the back side. Instead, there was a HUGE ditch on the other side, one that required a lot of speed to clear. Speed that I didn't have when I made the jump. A more experienced rider possibly could have recovered in mid-air, but I was not that rider. I was the rider that hit the ditch front-wheel first and flew headfirst over the handlebars and onto the ground. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, and there didn't seem to be any witnesses either. If only that were the case for my other accident.

Did I mention that I ran into a tree?

Some sections of the course included some trails that went around and between several trees, including some parts where the bike barely fit between the trees on either side. One of these sections involved a lot of hard turns back and forth, also known as a switchback.

The proper form in a turn is to move forward on the bike so that more weight is on the front wheel. This allows more control of the steering. Also, you can give the throttle a little blip and force the rear wheel out in order to make the turn quicker. Unfortunately, I did not do a good job in one of the turns. My weight was too far back and blipping the throttle caused me to go in more of straight line than I wanted, and I ran nose-first into the tree that was on the outside just past the apex of the turn. I didn't actually get thrown off, but I did come to a stop. And there were plenty of people to witness it.

Personally, I think the tree jumped in front of me.

After a few hours we called it a day. A slightly bruised stomach and a bruised ego were the only injuries I suffered, so I think that counts as a success. Next time I'll watch out for the trees.

Monday, March 24, 2008

There's a decal for everything

While driving to work this morning, I found myself behind a car that had a few window decals on the back - the ones with the child's name and his or her sport or activity. I've seen decals for baseball, football, soccer, swimming, band, and honor students. I thought I had seen all the variations, but I was proven wrong, for the decal I saw today: Kickball All-star!

Kickball? Is there actually organized leagues of kickball in school now? I remember we played kickball in P.E. or at recess, but there was never any school or recreation leagues. I know there's adult leagues for kickball, but that's more of an excuse to drink and not for exercise. Kind of like bowling.

And not only is there a kickball league somewhere, but this particular child was an all-star! Apparently, the best kickballers from this league were traveling the country playing all the other kickball all-stars to see who would be the national champion kickballers!

Of course, that would mean another window decal.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Getting people to vote

I don't really care for politics. It's not something that interests me, and I think most politicians are a little on the dishonest side. I'm what I call a political agnostic: I'll believe in an honest politician when I see one.

In fact, I haven't voted in the past couple of elections, simply because I was tired of choosing the lesser of the available evils. I know I could just leave my choice blank for some of the offices and only vote for the candidates I like, but I don't know if that really conveys my disinterest in the available candidates. All it means is that the number of voters for that particular office would be one less.

So here's what I propose: make "None of the above" one of the choices. That way, if you don't like any of the candidates, you can let them know. Also, if "None of the above" gets a majority of the votes for a particular office, then the election for that office has to be redone, and most importantly, none of the candidates who were running can run again. We the public have already said we don't want any of those candidates, so new ones should be brought in.

If we do that enough times I think our choices will get better.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I don't remember if I forgot something

Coming into work this morning at my usual crack of dawn seemed different this morning. Something felt off, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. The weather wasn't bad, and traffic was flowing at the usual early morning pace. Did I leave the stove on? No, that wasn't it (because you don't need to use the stove to make cereal). Did I forget my badge? Nope, I had that. I had no idea what was off, but I couldn't shake the feeling.

So, I walked into work, said "Morning, Frank" to the security guard who happens to be named Frank, and headed to my office. I unlocked my door, put my laptop in its docking station, and powered it up for the day.

Well, that's what I would've done if I would've remembered to bring my laptop to work today. At least I know now what was off.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

There's no place like the airport

Sometimes the simple questions are the hardest to answer. On Sunday night, I was at the Austin airport waiting for Lidiya's flight to arrive. I was standing in the baggage claim area when a family approached. The wife asked me, "Excuse me, do you know how to get to the airport?"

I was stumped in how to respond to that question. First, Austin only has one commercial airport. Second, the woman happened to be standing in it. I thought perhaps this woman knows of another Austin airport - a secret one that no one else even knew about.

I tried to come up with a response. I thought about spreading my arms wide and responding with, "Ta da! You're at the airport! I'm magic!" Or perhaps I could have told her to close her eyes, click her heels together, and say, "There's no place like the airport. There's no place like the airport." Instead, I stood there quietly with a very confused look on my face, a look I do quite often.

Sensing my confusion, she added, "I'm sorry, I know I'm AT the airport. What I meant to ask is where are the ticket counters?"

To which I replied, "They're at the airport." :)