I am honoring a request to conquer the blog beast that is my trip to Connecticut and New York in multiple parts. For now, I think it will be two.
All day at work I was squirming in my seat thinking, in ten hours, I'll be in Connecticut, in 8 hours I'll be in Connecticut, in 3 hours I'll be in Connecticut!! 10 a.m. couldn't get there soon enough. I got put on the assignment desk between producing the "Today Show" local news cut-ins. Of course I'm confused b/c I've never had to work the desk. The scanners are chattering away fielding no less than 10 different police/fire/EMS departments. I would be lying if I told you I understand the desk right now. So after filling in a little on the desk after 10, I quickly got outta there before I got roped into something else. Plane time!
I called Chinagirl to see where her and CC were taking me to dinner that night. She transcribed the conversation for email dissemination. Here it goes.
Ashli: Do you like Italian food?
Jameil: Ooo I love Italian food!
Ashli: Great we're going to Vinny T's.
Jameil: Oooo Vanecci's, that's sounds so classy and upscale.
Ashli: Uh Jameil, too bad I said Vinny T's.
Jameil: That sounds ghetto. Why would you take me to a ghetto restaurant?
Lolololol. How hilarious is that conversation?!! That's great. So that was while I was pulling into the airport parking lot. I got off the phone so I could lug my ridiculously heavy, overpacked suitcase, carry-on, and purse. Little did I know how far I would have to lug this mess or I might have ordered a coronary for the road. By the time I got to the ticket counter, my arms and shoulders were a jelloid mess. I'm shaking asking the lady at the counter for some help (with the e-check-in thing) and its then that I realize I haven't been on a plane since I went to Europe in 2000. Dang. 5 years. That's a long time not to ride a plane. So I wasn't used to this. Do you know the woman is like follow the directions on the screen? Ok, so what are you, the woman you're talking to, and the two people next to you here for? Because none of you are helping a customer. So I'm still looking at the screen shaking like a crackhead wondering when one of these bitches is going to talk to me instead of each other. After about 40 seconds, the woman standing on this side of the counter starts to walk me through it. Clearly b/c otherwise we would all be standing there looking at each other. I know a lot of other bloggers have brought it up, but damn its hard to find good customer service today. Then the crack-ish one (me) has to drag her luggage over to this strapping young man so he can put it through the screener thing. What??? When did they start this b.s.? What happened to the US Air ticket lady taking your ticket and your bags and you walking away to board your plane? Nonsense. If I could fly British Airways everywhere, I would. Their service is unparalleled. Pesky Americans.
Anyway. I get on the plane finally and someone is hacking out their left lung. Really. I look on the floor and there's this grayish thing down there. I get a little nervous. Ok maybe not but I started to think about all the possible ebola strains that could be trapped on that incestuous little plane. Should passenger planes be allowed to be that small? I'm thinking no. When we get off in CT, we are let off on the tarmac to walk several yards to the stairs leading up into the terminal. What happened to curbside service? With all that, why not just drop me off w/a parachute and let me wade through the snow to the airport? Is that next? Drive by airplanes? Will those tickets be cheaper b/c they don't even have to land? Just *ploop* you're there.
Welcome to Hartford. As soon as I walk into the airport my phone rings. Kyle! Yay!!! So I'm like, "Yes I'm walking off the plane right now." He says, "I'll be there in 20 minutes." What??? So I'm forced to wander through this little crap excuse for an airport to baggage claim, talk to my sister for like 5 minutes on the phone, and try to read my book. Finally, he's outside (the best friend). I'm soooooo excited!! We hug then leave. Its my first time in Connecticut. We start figuring out the plan for the day but first I have GOT to get my grub on so we stop at "D'Angelo's" for some subs. Then we head to his apartment. Great fun. We watched one of my all time favorite movies, "When Harry Met Sally," and had a grand time. Then his friend comes to cut the hair for tomorrow's trip to Broadway!!! Then we get dressed and head to Vinny T's to meet CC and Ashli. Lol. It was great! Just like old times at the real HU (stop your hatin). So I know you're wondering what all these black people and fellow Hampton alumni are doing in CT. Working! CC and Ashli are those corporate America people. Get it girls!! I'm so proud of all my friends! Puttin them expensive private school degrees to use in our fields. Amazing. I'll get to the b.f. later. So we're hanging out at Vanecci's and decide to get a pitcher of Sangria for old times sake. Please realize these were my fellow addicts at the good ole HU. Alcohol!! Whoo hoo! That's the worst thing about living in Pitt, I don't know anyone to drink w/other than my dad. Clearly I'm not complaining b/c he'll buy the beer and that's great. But sometimes I just want to drink it up with my girls. It was great fun.
After dinner, me and Kyle head to his job. Are you ready? At ESPN!!!! How great is that??!! Isn't that so cool?? We head up to "campus" as they call it for my tour. This place is ridiculously large. I can't decide what my favorite part is. Here are the highlights. The newsroom-- I see the sports center cubicle cluster (so cool), the back of Steve Levy's head, BJ Armstrong, watch part of NFL Live (or some NFL show) being recorded. Then we head around the building (there are multiple buildings connected and though Kyle told me when we were leaving one and entering another, it just all became a blur, so we'll just call it "the building"). I see the main control room. You know how people hear angels singing and see a golden light? That's what the control room was to me. Probably b/c I love control!!! And it was like a producer's wet dream. Fabulous. So much going on.
Then he takes me to a couple of secondary control rooms, past editing bays, then to the different sets, ending at the... SPORTSCENTER set!!!! O. MY. GAH! That is like 15xs cooler than it even looks on tv. And it looks pretty cool there. FAB. The cafeteria. Why do they have a cafeteria? Like a real one. With a chef, and just about every kind of food you would like including a sandwich/salad bar. WHAT???? I'm just sayin. Can I get all that at my job? Oh and there's a fitness center, too. Wow. Can I get the free workout on? One of the most impressive parts? The "DC," the digital center. Wow. Computers and huge flat screens everywhere. Mini 9" tv screens by computers where people can sit and watch and log games. ENORMOUS tvs on the walls, smaller tvs, a ticker w/constant game updates. A sports fan's wildest imaginings. Unnecessarily great. Tres wonderful with a great tour guide! Part II coming soon to a blog near you...