Here too many times

Blog entry

I've been in Boston way too much in the last year. This is visit number five inthe last year and a half, and it's to the point that I can actually find my way around. I can't give directions, nor can I neccesarily find my way home blindfolded as I once did out of Hollywood in college, starting with only an intersection. I do, however, recognize city names. I recognize buildings. I know which direction is North. I can navigate to the airport. I can drive without being flustered.

I have clearly spent too much time in Boston.

Time for a new city.

Town of Bitch, population: Me.

Blog entry

All I wanted was a bed.

Instead, I got a one way ticket to the town of Bitch, population: me.

So, this is my last tournament with Mischief. With the roster solid, and full of enough women players that I'm not needed, this should be the last tournament I go to with the team. Certainly as a player, as I haven't ruled out taking statistics. Of course, that assumes the team is okay with my tagging along. I think the next tournament isn't until the middle of August, so I have time to ponder the next tournament.

Given this is my last expected tournament with the team, I was really hoping, hoping beyond hope, that I would be able to go to the tournament and, like everyone else, just have everything taken care of for me: someone else rent the car, someone else deal with the rooms, someone else deal with game times and getting the players to the right fields, someone else deal with the organizing and coordinating, and just let me play.

The biggest reason I became the defacto team manager so long ago was because every time I left it to someone else, something disastrous happened and I would get screwed. Okay, a bit dramatic there, and a definite exaggeration, but if not screwed, certainly get the short end of whatever stick happened to be presented.

Think: Rippit, Regionals 2002 and the disgusting hotel to save $20 a night.

Of course, there are serious, way big exceptions to this rule, Nationals 2005 being the perfect example of this.

Yeah, well, tonight wasn't an exception, unfortunately. Since I was flying in from Chicago, and not with the group, despite the fact I was scheduled to arrive two hours before everyone, there wasn't car space for me, I'd have to get my own car. WTF? I'm arriving BEFORE everyone else so that they don't have to wait for me, but I have to rent my own car.

Fine. Whatever.

My carload, which I have to admit, was the best carload ever, with Mark, Wade and Andy, went to get cannolis in Boston's North End. However, by the time we finished eating and the retarded GPS unit navigated us through Boston to the hotel, we were the last to the hotel.

Last to the hotel that gave us three rooms with single king sized beds instead of two double beds. So, each room sleeps two, maybe three on the big bed, instead of four.

Last one to the hotel equals no bed space.

This is why I make the travel arrangements. This is why I always want to be the first to a hotel. This is why I always get more rooms than the team thinks it needs. $100 / 20 people is $5 a person, and $5 I'm willing to cover if needed. Hell, I was willing to get my own room tonight, I didn't care.

I went up to the woman at the front desk for help. "You gave us three rooms with King sized beds. That's six bed spaces. We reserved three rooms with double beds, that's twelve bed spaces. One of those missing spaces is my bed space. What are you going to do to fix this problem?"

"We don't have any rooms available."

Right. So much for getting another room. "That's not what I asked. I asked what are you going to do to solve my problem, the problem you created?"

"We don't have any rooms."

"Do you have any rollaway beds available?"


"Perhaps you should move several rollaway beds into each room, and comp the cost, since this was your error."

"Uh... I'll have to wait for my manager."

In the end, I was so angry with the incompetence of the woman at the front desk that I just launched into bitch-mode, becoming completely ineffective in resolving the bed issue. Mark saved me by running down the hall, around the corner, and returning with a rollaway bed and three blankets. The rollaway had been used, but sleeping on a blanket and under another one, and I was fine.

Now that I have bed, I'm embarrassed about my inability to resolve the problem myself. If someone else had a problem, I'd be able to solve it. My problems? I just become bitch.

I need to know when Regionals are this year to make hotel arrangements sooner than later. That, and I'm glad the team has Spawnfest hotel rooms already. Gah.

Boston Naval Yard buildings

Daily Photo

Boston photos

Blog entry

Random shots from Boston these last few days:

Boston buildings

Daily Photo

No taxi this morning

Blog entry

I didn't take a taxi this morning to the conference. If I had known that Bostonian drivers couldn't drive in the rain, I would have slept in and skipped trying to make the first session of the conference.

Instead, I stumbled down to the lobby, where I had arranged to meet up with a co-conference attendee to catch a taxi ride together. We were told the taxi wait was 30 minutes, because traffic was so bad, how about taking the bus to the subway?

Uh... okay.

First, start by standing in the rain for 15 minutes on the corner over there. The free local shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the subway station. The directions were actually "go through the building over there," but we missed the "through" part, and hence the bus that arrived every 15 minutes.

So, my conference companion, Troy, and I started asking each and every pedestrian walking by which way to go.

Well, actually, I asked them. Not sure it didn't completely annoy Troy, but well, I didn't care much. If I'm up this early, I want to get where I'm going as quickly as I can.

So, we missed the bus. Again.

One woman finally gave us the brilliant suggestion of taking the ferry. The ferry? Sure! it takes you to the Aquarium, where you can catch the blue or green line.

Uh... okay. I'm so full of this pauses and agreements today, I can't stand me anymore.

So, we head down the pier to where a boat is coming in. It was an itty bitty boat, with maybe an 80 person capacity - waaaaaaay smaller than the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry I'm used to riding, but, hey, so what. If I'm lost in Boston next to the Boston Naval Yard, why NOT take a ferry where I need to go?

The ferry took us to the Aquarium. What I found most entertaining about the ferry was the slide the ferry did as it pulled into the dock. The ferry ended up parked, er, docked at a 90° angle to its incoming direction. Quite enterntaining to both realize this was happening, and watch it actually happen.

So, off the ferry, then off onto the street, and off we go. It was three blocks before I remembered one of my travelling cardinal rules: "Always look at the map before you start out, don't trust the map reading directions of your companions." We started out all of 20 yards from the subway entrance, and ended up about 200 yards from where we were going, backtracking the way back.. Eh....

So, back we went, onto the subway,. This time, I did look at the map. The helpful subway guy told us to go a particular way than what the submay map indicated we should go ("less walking"), so we went the way he suggested, ending up only slightly lost, but catching each train as we went along.

The subway ride was uneventful. I did notice that everyone on the trains seemed to be living an extrememl ordinatry life. Is that all we are? I wondered. Completely ordinary?

Eventually, after two subway stops and their complementary track changes, we made our final stop, walked up the stairs and hoofed it to the event center. If we hadn't wasted the first 15 minutes standing in the rain, we would have ended up at the convention center at approximately the same time as the people who called a cab 10 minutes before we arrived in the lobby.

I'm not sure they had the better trip.

Boston red light walk

Daily Photo

Worst taxi yet

Blog entry

Okay, now I'm not so enamored of these Boston taxis. Not that I've ever been enamored of the taxis, actually. I find them more of a necessary evil than a convenience.

Anyway, tonight's made me very, very nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I started texting Kris with updates of where I was as the taxi was driving, the wrong way in some cases. The Bruins game just got out, and the normal way was blocked, we have to go this way. He turned left, instead of right, right being the direction of the hotel, the direction of last night's taxi route back to the hotel.


I realized that Kris probably wasn't going to get these text messages, or respond to them. I started texting Andy. At least he has a data plan. I sent the various locations as we were passing them, thinking, well, even if something bad happened, at least they'd know where I was last. I don't know, maybe I overreacted. Okay, yeah, I overreacted. But the taxi driver was creepy. I mean, not only did he drive the wrong way, but he kept muttering as he was driving, and looking back at me, and quickly looking away. He didn't use the windshield wipers, or defrosters, the windows started fogging up. All the windows. I ended up rolling down the windows to see out. Well, rolling down the windows, looking out, freaking out, and texting Andy.

I made it back to the hotel safely. To my surprise, the fare was less than last night's fare.

Well, if you don't add in the text message costs, I guess.

Boston water

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Boston. Again.

Blog entry


It was one of the last things I expected to hear when I walked into the baggage claim area at Boston's airport. For having never been in Boston before last year, I keep coming back here enough.

Maybe I should apply to M.I.T. for graduate school. Now THAT would probably please all of my M.I.T. friends.

I turned to the sound of my name, expecting to see some person I'd met at the various Drupal events recently. I did not expect to see Vinny.

He was on his way home, having spent the weekend in Boston with his mom.

We have good timing.

So, I'm in here Boston now, for the 2008 North American Drupal Conference (I'm sure most Drupal people would go "Huh?" with that description, and just call it Drupal Con Boston, but historically there have been two Drupal Con conferences a year: one in North America and one in Europe, so I'm using that name).

This is the first conference I've gone to where I have a list of people I want to meet and a list of questions I want to ask various developers. I happy to be excited about a conference, even though it feels odd to be so.

If meeting Vinny is any sign, it's a good one. This should be a good conference.