wow, what a crazy busy week.
I'm in Phoenix right now, taking a break from the Network Management Tool consolidation whiteboard session I'm down here for.
And it's hot down here. 108 degrees outside although it's a "dry heat". Hah. Water still boils at 212 F, dry heat or no dry heat.
The good thing about this trip, though, is that I got to spend Father's day with my dad, who lives down here. I got in Saturday, and he got me from the airport and I pretty much went right to sleep at it was 12:30 my time by then.
I went to church with my dad, and after that we went to see Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward. It's a play about a guy whose first wife comes to haunt him and his second wife. I liked it, even though it took us 40 minutes to get tickets due to a printing problem.
I'm a wee bit afraid to go home, too; I think I used all of my airline karma up on the flight here. I must have -- not only did my flight leave on time and arrive on time, the flight was totally full except for one seat. Do you want to guess where that one seat was? Yes, it was the middle seat between me and the woman at the window. Talk about luck!
Meeting's starting again, I'll probably write more later.
Well, wa-hoo. My meeting is all done, and my father isn't going to be here to pick me up for another half hour at least, which gives me time to goof off -- er write some stuff in my journal.
One might wonder, how did it come to pass that I am in Phoenix? Well, turn the clock back about a week or so.
The week was hellish, not in a horrible everything is going wrong sense, but more of a 'two out of three senior network engineers are out in training this week and I'm the 3rd senior engineer' way. It behooves me to mention that my manager was also out for the week, as well. In toto (is that a word, and not just a name of a dog?), this means that I was doing the work of 3 people in about 3/4 of the time normally alotted to me; 1/4 was allotted to helping everyone else do their jobs.
Now, I really don't mind this too much, but it's stressful. So on Friday the 8th, my boss calls up and says, "What are you doing on June 18th?" Now, I know that there's going to be a Network Management meeting, but it's supposed to be in Schaumburg, and I tell him that. He informs me that, "Well, now it's in Phoenix, so you need to make reservations." I told him, well, that's kind of cool, as my dad lives down in Phoenix and I hardly get to see him.
He then says, "Well that's just in time for Father's day!". I say something along the lines of "GAAAAAH!".
Now, this is not because I don't want to see my father, it is due to the fact that it has just sunk in that I have to get the plane tickets that day or on Saturday, because otherwise I won't get under the 7-day limit. Which also sinks in that I'm going to be in phoenix in 8 days. More stress. But good.
So, now I'm in phoenix, where they really like to run their air conditioning and I'm turning into a popsicle.
If it weren't for the fact my dad lives in Phoenix, I would be terribly grumpy about having to come here for business.
Can cellphones harbor poltergeists? I have to wonder, after this weekend.
Sunday, when we came home from the play and dinner, Dad checked the answering machine messages, and one message sounded as if someone had taped a conversation. As I listened, I heard my voice, and my stepmother Sue’s. We wondered if it was a cell phone, but mine was at home, Sue’s was in her purse, and we looked at Dad’s and couldn’t find any sign that it had called the house. Which was probably due to my dialing the house as I was trying to find the last-called numbers in Dad’s phone.
Then, after coming back to Dad’s house (in Surprise, AZ – no, really, that’s the name), my phone started ringing as I was getting out of the car. Since it was shoved in my laptop backpack, I couldn’t quite get to it. When I got in, I checked the caller ID, and it showed that the last person that called was from J, R and P’s house. So I dial the number back and say ‘Whaaaat?’ And J, who had picked up the phone said ‘Huh?’. I explained about the phone ringing and asked if he had called, and he said no. He asked R and Pon my behest if they called and they said no, at which point my voice mail started ringing.
I said good bye to J, and checked my voice mail. It was a bunch of static filled gibberish for about a minute and then I heard Sue’s voice like a tape recording. What the? Truly bizarre.
After seeing if that was really Sue’s voice, we tracked my dad down, and checked his outgoing call log without calling the last number again and saw that he had called as we were getting out of the car. I guess by carrying the phone in his pocket, he’s been accidentally hitting the ‘send’ button, which calls the last number he dialed.
I told Dad that it was most likely Sue practicing a little early on her haunting of him, a la the wives in Blithe Spirit.
I think I’ve grown apart from my dad. We don’t have a lot to say to each other these days; just general intellectual talk, really. I know he loves me, and I love him, but we don’t really talk about what we’re thinking and feeling; we’re emotionally distant. I know he’d be there if I needed him, or needed a shoulder to cry on, but I don’t know that we’re really that close. It makes me sad.
He’s a good dad, too. He’s always treated me like an adult, even when I was a kid – not that I wasn’t allowed to be a kid, because that wouldn’t be true. He’s always respected my opinions and taken them seriously, even when I was 5.
I just don’t know what to talk to him about. I mean, right now, he’s out in the living room, and I’m in here, typing. We’ve spent a lot of time alone this weekend, too, which is nice, but it’s also punctuated by lots of silences, which I’m prone to, and I suppose he is too.
I just wonder when we drew apart. We used to be able to talk about a lot of things. I guess most of it begun when he married Sue. Sue tries to be a good person, but she’s never had kids, and she’s a little controlling, and she can’t stand silence. She hates silence so much that she points out every obvious thing on the road to the theater, and repeats information my dad has already told me.
It’s been difficult for both my sister and I to be around her, and thus, also my dad, which means we’ve grown apart.
I’m also slightly jealous of my sister; she gets to go hiking and do outdoorsy stuff with him. I’m not here long enough to do that, and my dad doesn’t think of me as the outdoorsy type – that’s my sister. I know I could suggest we go hiking, and maybe next time I’m down here I will; he just plans different things for me.
I do love him. I wish, sometimes, that I could be 8 years old and roughhousing with my dad. Or I could be 13 and be daddy’s girl, helping him install a light fixture. I miss that closeness.
Is this the height of geek, or what?
My dad has two phone lines. He's on the computer one, on his computer, I'm hogging the main line for my laptop to dial up.
And he just sent me email.