I spent most of last week in a hotel conference room, getting trained on the interventions we'll use with students if we ever finish giving assessments. We had a different trainer each day, all of whom thought they were doing us a favor by putting Halloween candy on the tables. So I basically spent the week trying to look like I was paying attention to PowerPoint slides while accumulating a Candy Wrapper Pile of Shame on my side of the table. But on Friday, we got out at noon, so I was able to head over to the base to meet Raj for the Blue Angels Homecoming Show.
We watched a helecopter go far up into the air, then drop toward the ground, spinning. This was followed by a small plane that I was quite certain was going to turn the whole festive atmosphere tragic by crashing directly into the ground. But it didn't. Then we came to the main event: the Blue Angels.
First of all, let me say that the Blue Angels are everything you think they will be. High-speed, high-precision, highly dangerous and very loud. It's all very impressive. Second of all, let me say that one of the pilots is named Lieutenant Commander Tickle. I can only assume that having the last name Tickle would be very motivational in pushing a young man to pursue a badass career. All the kids who made fun of you in school can suck it, because you're a Blue Angels pilot!
Naturally, this talk of Lieutenant Commander Tickle caused Raj's hand to start wandering toward my side.
"No!" I told him, "You are not Lieutenant Tickle!"
"You're not Dr. Tickle either!"
"You're not even Ensign Ticke or Mr. Tickle!"
It may not surprise you to learn that this debate rages on.
Then on Saturday, we classed it up a little. (More so than drinking a can of Limearita in metal bleachers while watching near-collisions of aircraft? Yes, more so than that.) We went to the symphony. For as small as Pensacola is, I have to give it credit for having a surprisingly good arts scene. The symphony was lovely and the Saenger Theater, where they performed, is very nice.
In case you were wondering whether you will be dressed appropriately for the Pensacola symphony, the answer is yes. But you don't know what I'd wear, Lori. Well. Did you want to wear a floor-length evening gown? You will not be alone! Maybe you'd rather wear jeans with a denim shirt. You're in good company, friend! Perhaps you'd prefer to wear an extremely short and bedazzled dress with extremely tall platform heels. Pensacola has you covered.
Personally, I went with a semi-formal black dress that's probably on the informal end of cocktail, with flats (the better to wear a lift in!) For the first time, I broke out the make up I bought at the MAC counter at Nordstrom when my friend Melissa took me there to get a lesson for my wedding. I was supposed to practice with this make up, but I hadn't yet. Sure, I'm a bit of a procrastinator in general, but that's not why I put off my make up practice.
It's because I was afraid of my eyeliner.
I've never used liquid eyeliner before and I'm extremely intimidated by it. Except, when I opened the bag, I found out I hadn't bought the scary eyeliner after all! I was saved! I used my regular old eye pencil to do liner and then followed the chart the nice Nordstrom lady made me to do the eye shadow. I think it could have been better if I'd had eye shadow brushes instead of having to do it with Q-Tips, but it looked ok.
We went out for tapas first, then to the theater where the usher told us, "Go up all of the stairs, all the way to the top." That's right, the penthouse. Only the best. I think I've mentioned before that despite my inability to sleep in public, even on overnight flights, or to ever nap anywhere, I have a hell of a time staying awake at the symphony. I made it through the first piece just fine, but by the end of the second one, just before intermission, I had to resort to counting people on the stage to keep myself awake. I was just fine through the last piece though, even without any coffee at intermission.
I am sorry to inform you that restaurants serving dessert do not stay open past the end of the symphony in downtown Pensacola. Good thing there was Nestle Quick at home.
You stay classy, Pensacola. We're clearly doing our part.