Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Some Things Are Bigger In Texas

Like the cockroaches.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Megan came to pick me up from my hotel this Saturday morning for some girl time bonding and catching up.  While we were having lunch Megan noticed an alarmingly large cockroach wandering about the room.  Needless to say, table after table started jumping up and lifting things up off the floor. It was a horrifying way to track the cockroaches progress around the room.  And just our luck the roach was finally intercepted and squashed right next to our table.  I can't even pretend I didn't have a shameful response of lifting up my feet and freaking out pretty hard.  But I felt ok about it since everyone else did it first. The waiter who smashed the cockroach got a round of applause.
We also went shopping before this horrifying cockroach incident and as one of the many salesladies came over to help.  The conversation went something like this.
Megan: "We are both brides and both getting married this next year!"
Me: "We both have our dresses, we are really excited. We are getting married in the spring! "
Saleswomen: "To each other?"
Megan: "Oh no, not each other. Though weirdly enough both our fiances are named Travis."
I'm not sure the saleswoman quite knew what to do with us.  I'm not sure how legit we sounded. And just to clarify, we went to the Galleria.  It was gigantic. And we barely went anywhere inside it.  Basically it was a giant mall with plenty of stores I wouldn't feel comfortable going inside without dressing nicer.  Like Chanel, Coach, and Tiffany's. And its has its own ice rink, it is that big.

Texas is way too warm and humid.  I can stay outside for about ten minutes before I go running inside.  But at the same time, people keep the buildings way too cold. It's rough.  Though I do think if I had to pick between dry or humid heat, I'd go with humid.  I've also been told not to go outside because the mall next door is the "Gunspoint" not "Greenspoint" mall.  Feels like Greeley to me. I should probably make another shank.  The other uncool thing about Houston, the driving.  Everyone is aggressive and the traffic is awful despite the 14 lanes.  And forget about trying to find your way anywhere.  People keep asking where I am and I can't really give tell them anything specific.  I also got to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and meet their triplets!  They were adorable. Very easygoing as three year olds go.  Plus about three times as cute.

The plane I rode to Texas on was larger than normal too.  I rode one of those dreamliners. I was already sitting on the plane when I realized I was on a dreamliner. It was just last week I was thinking about how I'd never want to ride on a dreamliner because I'd be paranoid about battery problems.  I resisted googling plane crash statistics on my phone and played with the tint settings on the large size windows instead.  I also found out I had a usb port and my own electrical outlet. There were almost forty rows with three sets of three seats in each row.  Which means like 330 people could be on that plane according to Boeing. So we sat on the ground for almost an hour during boarding.  Then, because I bring a trail of bad weather with me when I travel, we had to sit on the ground in Houston forever during a thunderstorm.  Naturally, once I trekked through the airport for miles I arrived to find my bag was mysteriously missing and I would not be refunded my 4 dollars I spent on a luggage cart.  Not that I cared about the four dollars, it was the principle of the thing. However, I was assured I'd be returned a quarter if I returned the cart.  Thanks a bunch.  Something like three hours of my life were wasted in the Houston airport.  My hotel is awesome.  You could fit a house or two in the lobby alone.   And I made a great first impression wandering in with no luggage in the previous day's clothing (I took the red eye from Fairbanks to Denver).  But United had assured I would get my luggage by nine that evening.  Luckily other Travis (Megan's Travis) was free to come rescue me and drive me for dinner and for buying a nice set of clothes in case my luggage did not arrive.  Shockingly enough, my luggage had not arrived by the time I went to bed at ten thirty.  Less than perfect air travel service but what can you do.

The next day everyone took shuttles over to the training center for class.  It was all intro and orientation the first day.  I met the last two Alaska guys I hadn't met yet and saw the other two I have already met.  There are 28 people total in our class, 7 of which are women (assuming I can count correctly which is not guaranteed). People are working all over the place, Venezuela, Thailand, Canada, Scotland, all over the US....I'm probably missing places.  And everyone's from different work and educational backgrounds.  Mines definitely over prepared me for hard work but under prepared me for socializing. This first week we've been learning the basic tests we use when running a mud check and we worked some basic hole volume problems. (See? that whole taking fluids twice was on purpose...) Next week we get to do mass balances (this also makes me pleased because the only test I ever got 100% on was a mass balance test). Overall, I'm really pleased how much I'm actually getting to do something related to what I learned while feeling so much less stressed than Mines made me feel.  But I'll have to decide if that's still how I feel after the first test!

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