#TBT: January 8, 2009

I missed my Wednesday post! Oh well… אלה חיים (eileh chayim which is Hebrew for c’est la vie). Maybe I will get the post intended then for tomorrow or Saturday.

This is one of my “Travel Debacle Nearly Averted” stories. However, I’ll tell it through bullet points this time… with brackets to indicate additional clarifications

Thursday, January 8 [, 2009]

  • Up at 525 to my watch [in the Washington DC hotel]
  • Changed, packed, and paid for the hotel
  • Took the Metro: the Red Line to the Blue Line, to the Airport
    • Checked in to Northwest Airlines at 645-ish
    • There’s a SNAG! The MSP plane won’t depart until 1000, and I’ll miss my connection!
  • Northwest sent me to United, and their agents were at bay… but I somehow got on!
    • I got patted down going to security, but at least I didn’t miss a flight!
  • Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast
  • Got aboard United 604 with no problem
  • Did some journal transfer, and when there were no electronics allowed, I journaled
  • Got to ORD in 1 hour 37 minutes, and so we were faster than the estimate by 4 minutes
  • Found Gate 22A and it’s the tarmac gate! This is just like last time in returning from Boston!
  • Transferred up to June 25 while I charged up the PC
  • Searched the terminal for lunch and chose Johnny Rocket’s
    • The burger and fries were good, but the rings only fair
  • Journaled and relaxed while taking to some Husker divers—they were at Tennessee for a meet
  • Boarded and got on—I’m on the window in the last row!
    • Played Pearl on the way there
    • Whoops! I left my journal on the plane!  Luckily, it’s waiting for me at the airport
  • Went to the office and then to Super Saver
  • Pot stickers for dinner 😦
  • Lazed around for a while
  • Turned on Mom & Dad’s TV for the BCS championship game: (2) Oklahoma (1) Florida

1) The Sooners elected to receive after winning the toss, and got a first down before a miss.  Florida did no better, when getting picked in Oklahoma’s territory.  In short, both offenses did squat!

*Watched Mom & Dad make pot stickers while I had chili

2) The Gators scored first, but the Sooners responded.  Later, OU threatened but couldn’t score.  Their play-calling seems suspect today!

*Fast-forwarded through halftime… [we weren’t watching truly live]

3) Another bad choice made Oklahoma flub a drive, and then Bradford later turned it over.  Thus, Florida got a chance to have a touchdown and a field goal to open up a 10-point lead.

4) The Sooners made the score 14-17, but turned over the ball at a critical point.  Later, in going for it on fourth down, OU missed, and Florida got 7 more points.  This means that the Big 12 South loses another bowl game!  Ouch!

  • Slept immediately thereafter


פסח: י”א ימים (Passover: 11 days)

ארץ ישראל: ס”ו ימים (Israel: 66 days)

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[M.M.X.I.V. 283] Eighth ORDer

The pun of the day is based off the airport code that I departed from today: O’Hare International Airport (ORD).  As it turns out, today was the eighth time in my life that I had been there.  And almost all of them have been eventful or salient.

First, some music:

Experience Number One.  Starting with October 7, 2004.  Dad and I were flying from Omaha to Boston in order to visit MIT and Harvard.  But, it was a day of debacle.  My journal describes it:

I woke up at 5:30 and got dressed. Then we left at 5:50 for Eppley. Unfortunately, disaster struck. I looked on the “DEPARTURES” board and did not see our flight. When we got to check-in, we found that the flight had been RE-SCHEDULED for EARLIER [at 6:20. The change was made a week after the reservations were made, and Mom printed out the ticket from the original e-mail instead of the website]. We got STANDBY ticket[s] for the next flight. Of course, Dad was fuming.

We managed to get the next flight to O’Hare, and somehow managed to standby our way to getting to Boston that same evening.  Dad’s infamous line, “I don’t travel well” came in an apologetic tone after the anger had subsided.

Experience Number Two. That quick weekend ended with us getting A LOT accomplished on the 8th, and then having a nice brunch with Cousin Margot on the 9th.  We had no difficulties with flights this time, as we made positive that we would not run into another debacle.  The worst part of the evening was instead dinner: it reinforced my disdain for heavy cheese (it was Uno Pizzeria at O’Hare).  Also, the Husker football team was down 3-21 in Lubbock at halftime.  Later on the flight, with about 9 minutes remaining in the game, the captain said, “We have an update on the Nebraska game.  Texas Tech 56, Nebraska 10, 9 minutes left.”  A disgusted groan emanated throughout the plane!

Experience Number Three. Oddly enough, the next time I went to O’Hare was with the whole family, on July 28, 2007.  It was a connecting flight to Boston, again!  This time as a full family vacation.  There were no travel troubles, but it was fun in the terminal at O’Hare, getting to go through the Psychedelic Tunnel connecting a couple concourses.  I had a Cinnabon for breakfast, and it was nice just being around.  That was the prelude to a great vacation!

Experience Number Four. The return leg of that trip, on August 4, involved a layover of more than two hours in O’Hare.  After a failure to agree on somewhere to eat in the airport, we all got our own items.  I shared popcorn with Mom, and in some sense, this may have been a precursor to my tradition to getting Nuts on Clark whenever I go to Midway or Union Station.

Experience Number Five. The first time that a trip has involved O’Hare only going one way for me.  This was January 8, 2009.  At the beginning of the trip, I had flown on Northwest Airlines, from Lincoln to Minneapolis, and then from Minneapolis to Reagan in DC.  It was for the Joint Mathematical Meetings, and I did a poster presentation on my REU research during said conference.

In returning to Lincoln, I got to DCA and saw that my flight to Minneapolis was delayed, in such a way that I would miss my connection.  I don’t know how this worked, but I managed to transfer my reservation to United Airlines, fly through Chicago instead of Minneapolis, and arrive in Lincoln just two hours after I was originally scheduled.  Obviously, I was selected for a full patdown, but I didn’t mind.  However, I had another near-debacle after getting to Lincoln–I left my journal on the airplane, and managed to get it back from the Lincoln airport the next day!

Experience Number Six.  It was March 17, 2009, the day after I had done my campus visit to Northwestern.  This was the first time that O’Hare was the ORIGIN of my flight, rather than a connecting flight.  There were no problems with traveling, and this time, I wrote in my journal that, indeed, Nuts on Clark was the food that I got.  A tradition begins in earnest here!

Experiences Number Seven.  This was the starting at O’Hare en route to New York en route to Israel.  It was a day fraught with emotion–unbridled excitement of visiting Israel.  For once, I did NOT include Nuts on Clark as part of the food, since I was with others.  Indeed, this was my first time traveling through the air with non-family companions.

Experience Number Eight.  That’s today!  There were no travel debacles, no crashed trains (then again, I didn’t get there at 02:00 :p)  There was a slight delay that I was okay with, because I intentionally planned my travel so as to avoid any debacles with delays or cancellations.  But I don’t have the Casey Curse!

I love when the theme of Eight can fit right in with my daily activity.  Now, the fun weekend of Molly’s wedding begins!


Today is the two-hundred and eighty-third day of M.M.X.I.V.   That makes forty weeks and three days.

Today is the eighty-eighth day of the Character Building Trial.  That makes twelve weeks and four days.

Today is the tenth day of the third round of O.C.T.O.B.E.R.  That makes one week and three days.

[M.M.X.I.V. 71] A perpetual deficit

Nope, I am not always trailing in the sports score.  I am not talking about the national debt of the United States either.

Instead, I’m talking about the deficit on my journaling and journal transfer.  As I have alluded and stated explicitly on my blog before, I write in my journal on not-quite-a-daily basis (there are days where I may be too busy to do it, or simply not build in the time to write for about 15 minutes.  Actually, I should try to build in a designated journaling time.)  Clearly, once I write down something about the current moment that I am on, my journaling then falls into a deficit (i.e. not being current).

Clearly, though, the journal is not my minute-to-minute play-by-play of my day.  Depending on the situation, a deficit of 24 to 72 hours is common when I write in it.  This is especially true on Sundays, when I may not have written anything since Thursday or Friday due to services, activities, and whatnot.  Of course, that is something advantageous about a long “L” ride to League–I will catch up on the deficit and be engrossed in a non-electronic device!

The other “perpetual deficit” relating to writing that I hold is a perpetual deficit on journal transcription.  I like to transcribe my journals to the computer after writing them, so that I have a searchable record of my writings, as well as a way to remember what I had done in the relatively recent past.

This idea started when I started at UNL, and wrote a journal of my first two weeks.  Because I wanted some of my family members to read it, I also transcribed it to the computer so that they could have a copy that was readable, because my handwriting can be difficult to read :).

Once I started journaling daily the next semester, I occasionally transferred journals on the weekends, but did not make much progress with it.  During the summer, however, each year I managed to eliminate the deficit at some point.  Throughout each year, the deficit was somewhere between 0 and 330 days, but always cut to 0 by some point in the summer.  Then, the deficit would crawl up again as I started having coursework and other responsibilities.

The last time that my transfer deficit was 0 days was on September 6, 2009, en route to moving to Chicago.  It ballooned during my first year of grad school, until I started paring it down during the summer.  But, it never got completely deleted, since the summer was busy trying to learn new concepts and such for my research.  At worst, I think that my deficit grew to 340 days or so.

Since then, it seems that I have chipped at the deficit in order to usually trail somewhere between 150 and 270 days.  Currently, my deficit is at 240 days, but when I transcribe my journals, I can usually cut the deficit by 7-10 days per hour of transcription, when the days are only in bullet points.  If full paragraphs, it may be an hour per day.

What ongoing projects do you, my readers, hold in constant deficit?


Today is the seventy-first day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes ten weeks and one day.