Day One Oklahoma:
I don’t know if I’m cut out for this. I’m 20 years older than most of the other participants in this little extravagance. Many of them are still in college. Once we get past the subject of what beer should we drink there’s very little else to say. But I’ll come back to that…
My day. My day started around 9:00 when the alarm woke me. I jumped up and began packing. Last night I had made little piles in the living room of things I needed to bring with me, but none of it was in a bag. I’m sure Chuck was wondering what the hell was going on when he got up this morning, because there was stuff on the couch, the chair, my desk, the floor, and the kitchen table. So I jumped out of bed at 9:00 and began the task of packing. First I had to go downstairs to pick up my laundry which I had dropped off at 2:30 to have done. Thank God for the 24 hour laundry place downstairs. I arrived back upstairs and promptly dumped my laundry on the bed. Oh, Fuck. I forgot to tell them not to use dry sheets. I love the smell, but I’m severely allergic to them. Before I could even get that first thought out I began sneezing. I searched through the laundry found them all and dumped them in the trash.
Then I began packing. I was packing to be away for 4 weeks, living in a dorm. So I needed to pack as many clothes as I could, towels, sheets, plus all the materials I need to function as a designer. I started throwing things in suitcases, trying to balance the weight. I have the mother of all suitcases and it’s huge, but unfortunately it almost always weighs more than 50 pounds and the airline wants to charge me for it. So as I’m packing, I put all the light stuff in the big bag…towels, pillows, blankets. I put the tripod, printer, scripts (4 tons of paper) in the little bag. After about 30 minutes most everything is in and the bags don’t feel too heavy so I hope for the best.
After I’m packed, I jump in the shower. I take the quickest fucking shower ever. I’m in and out in 5 minutes. I get out, dry off and realize that I’ve packed the clothes that I want to wear. I quickly find them, pull them and get dressed. I spend the next 20 minutes picking up around the apartment doing a couple of favors for Chuck in the kitchen and getting ready to leave. At 10:45 the phone rings. It’s my master electrician. (Little bit of theatre information at this point. I design the lights. I figure out where they go, what color they’ll be and when they’ll be turned on and off. I have a Master Electrician or M.E. who is in charge of implementing my design. In a perfect world I wouldn’t lift a finger. I send off the design, come back in two weeks and it would be in the air ready to go.) So my ME calls. He’s called to tell me that he doesn’t own the software program that allows him to access ALL the information contained within the design. He doesn’t own the program that let’s him know what color the lights are, where they are focused and what they do. How the fuck is this possible. Everyone owns this program who even thinks about being in lighting. Hmmm. One more notch in the hat for things going wrong. I explain to him that I’m waiting for the car to pick me up and that we’ll have to wait to discuss it when I get to Oklahoma. He says okay.
I haul all of my shit into the hall, lock the door, go downstairs and am greeted by the grumpiest driver ever. He doesn’t speak to me as I load my stuff into the car. I get in, and buckle up. At which point he asks me direction to the airport. What the fuck. The whole point of having a driver is so that I can sit in the back seat and sleep on the way to the airport. I don’t know how to fucking get to the airport. If I knew that I’d be the driver. I tell him what I think is the right way and we are off. It takes a few minutes but finally we are on our way. It was a rough start but we get there without incident.
I check in. I scan my credit card so the automated machine can find my reservation. I check my two bags. I select two seats. I print my boarding pass. I go the ticket counter. At this point I say a little prayer. Please don’t let my bags weigh too much. I plop both of them on the scale hoping this will confuse them. I have my id checked. I’m asked the questions about liquids. I’m then asked to take the small bag off the scale. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Yeap. My big bag weighs 65 pounds. How is that possible. It has two towels, two pillows and a blanket. I’m asked to distribute the weight more evenly. I explain that the other bag is too full. That I’m stuck and will just have to pay the fee. I take out my credit card and am about to pay when the person says…”Oh, never mind. I know what kind of day you are about to have.” I get a little scared at this. She tags my bags and then makes me promise to be nice to every ticket agent I come in contact with today. I say okay. At this point she explains that all the morning flights to Dallas have been cancelled. All the afternoon flights are postponed. I’m checked in but there’s no guarantee that I’m going anywhere. I’ll have to check in at the gate once they finally announce the time the flight is leaving. And so I’m checked in with a promise of niceness and 50 dollars richer than I should have been.
The travelling isn’t so bad. My 1:40 flight has been postponed until 3:30. There’s no guarantee I’ll make my connection into Oklahoma, but we’ll cross that bridge later. So I sit in the airport and wait. I’m actually not so bad at it. I took a poll of the boys walking by that I would sleep with. I’m finding that my type is switching to older men as I get older. Not that I would turn down any number of the cute young ones playing around in the airport today. We finally boarded the flight at 3:30 and at 4:07 left NYC. There were still no guarantees that I would make my connection but what can you do. The flight was packed. I was sitting next to a guy equally as large as me and we were squished into a chairs like sardines. We arrived in Dallas at 6:30.
It was my lucky day. My connecting flight was the plane I had just gotten off of. I got off the plane, peed, got a Diet Coke, and then got right back on the same aircraft. I was one row behind where I started. The flight was not crowded this time and so the middle seat was empty. What wasn’t empty was the window seat. “Bertha” was sitting in the window seat. During the 55 minute flight I discovered that she works on main frame computers…if you keep them with tape and nothing crashes it’s quite the easy job . Her sister had been waiting since 1:00 to pick her up at the airport. She was visiting from Baltimore because her nephew was getting married in St. Louis. Her sister and her husband were leaving tomorrow to head to St. Louis and Bertha and her niece would be leaving on Friday. Bertha also love Sudoku. Her mother’s family is from Oklahoma. Her brother -in-law is a minister. He was in seminary in Texas and they wanted him to get a church in the east but it didn’t happened. I could go on but you get the drift. When we landed she wished me well in Oklahoma and I was off.
I was met by the Technical Director. Sort of. There was a yound kid with a mohawk standing by baggage claim. He kept looking at me but I couldn’t tell if he was cruising me, or waiting for his girlfriend. I grabbed my luggage and went outside. About 5 minutes later the kid with the mohawk approached me and asked me my name. We introduced ourselves and then he led the way to the car.
First Stop: The Dorm of Love. Actually it’s called Honors House and looks like a frat house. I was given the key to my room and shown where it is. Unfortunately it’s on the second floor. I say unfortanetely because that’s the floor without air-conditioning. Fuck. It’s was hotter than hell in my room. I dropped my stuff off and then it was off to dinner. We went to an Irish Pub that I don’t remember the name of. The food was good and the beer was better. We were joined by my ME. The one without the software. I might add at this point that the ME is beautiful. He’s soft spoken and sweet, and is very easy on the eyes. In fact he’s quite sexy. I couldn’t help staring at him all through dinner. We ate, had a couple of beers and headed back.
I of course made them stop at the grocery store so that I could get Diet Coke. We also bought more beer since that seems to be the staple they all exist on here. We then headed back to the Dorm of Love. It was over flowing with people this time. There were people cooking in the kitchen, hanging out watching TV, drinking in the halls. It was just like being in college, except I’m 42 and getting paid. I came back to my room made a few phone calls and then went downstairs to find the gang. We hung out and had beer and laughed a lot, got some work done and the whole time I’m thinking I’m old enough to be there fathers. Oh God, what have I done.
About the dorm. It co-ed. Including the bathroom. I’ve never done that before. It’s quite small with about 7 or 8 rooms on each floor. The average age of the participants is 22. This was before I moved in. I’m sure I’ll fuck the average. It’s loud. Right now its 1:52 and there are people yelling every where. There’s no air conditioning on the second floor. This may be a problem.
I’ll finish by saying…OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO!!!!!!!
ps…I’ll pull my camera out and start documenting my adventures tomorrow.
pss…I was going to include a random picture of a dorm, but when you Google “dorm” you get tits. Lots and lots of tits. UGH!