Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm now in Boston, swimming in free time as Andrew is usually at work and will be gone this holiday weekend for a wedding in CA. I originally intended to work for Warm2Kids during the break, but they've been kind of unreliable with actually paying me, and I have plenty of my OWN volunteer work to do! (Because even though the grad school applications are done, you can imagine that fellowship applications are pretty damn similar.) So now I'm working on finding funding for grad school, catching up on sleep, and working on my thesis. I'd also like to read White Noise finally, as soon as I find a used copy. Oh, and there's no connection between the book and the movie, but seeing that movie title plastered on the TV everyday DID serve to remind me about needing to read the novel...

Here's what I've been doing...

Before leaving Oregon, I hung out with Mum, visited Dad once more (thanks to Tim driving me), went along on Mum's visit to her old piano teacher (Lois), visited Shannon at her apartment in Parkdale, & generally just enjoyed being at home. It was pretty sad leaving, and Tim was trying to get me to change my plane ticket and stay longer! Although I'll be in great pain, I'll enjoy being at home after my wisdom tooth removal ordeal in June. On that front, I've discovered a great food that I can eat even while my mouth is "laid up" -- cream of wheat!! Mum hates it, but after having some at a restaurant I told Andrew that we must try to recreate it for our own home use. Yesterday morning we made a yummy batch -- when it's made with milk and supplemented with sugar and cinnamon, it's SO GOOD.

Ok so the plane ride now. I had a short leg up into Seattle. This was on an airbus. It was literally the size of a bus with wings. I did not feel safe. In fact, I felt pretty damn UNsafe in that rickety little swaying contraption. I managed to eat lunch, however, and it was nice having the whole row to myself since the plane was not even half full. After walking freaking half a mile in the Seattle airport, and searching in vain for an AA worker to confirm that I was at the right terminal, I settled down to waiting for an hour till the plane started boarding. Boo!

The flight was OK, they even fed us (although it was gross pasta and marinara sauce, how do you screw up marinara sauce? worse than MHC's!!!). We were even half an hour early into Boston. I was happy. Then the bad news hit, because we all know that there is no such thing as an uncomplicated airplane ride. The pilot came on to say that we'd be stuck sitting on the runway for 20 minutes as they were waiting for a terminal to slip into. I was sitting there like, BS, it's 9:30 PM, the snow/rain was supposed to be done by early evening in Boston, they've had plenty of time to plan for this expected weather and clean up afterwards. I've flown in worse with no problems, what's going on? I accepted this, however, as there is nothing else for a passenger to do but protest and be thrown in jail (according to one obscure passage in the Patriot Act or another). So I sat there for twenty minutes, after being on the plane for over 5 hours while it was in flight. In "compensation," the pilot put on the radio. That did not make me happy. You know that loud underlying hiss noise of airplanes? Well the radio wasn't much louder, and just sounded fuzzy. I was getting a headache from all the noise and the canned air. Then the pilot came back on. His first word was "unfortunately." We all groaned. Another thirty minutes sitting on the f*&#ing runway.

Again, I sat there for the full time. Around 10:30 the pilot came on again. We'd been sitting there for an hour already. He said it'd be "five minutes, and we'll be in shortly." 15 to 20 minutes later the plane actually started moving. The air steward people were no where to be found, so I finally called one out for a cup of water. Hint for airlines: If you keep passengers sitting in an unmoving aircraft for over an hour, you need to AT LEAST offer them water or beverage service to keep them calm. To keep them happy, you should offer free alcohol. In fact, you should always offer free alcohol in case of mishaps. This is what I'm used to when flying, and I was sorely disappointed that I wasn't compensated for my wasted time by the chance to put myself into a fuzzy stupor.

By the time we got off the f*&%ing plane, everyone was practically running to the baggage claim. More bad news there! I could see piles of luggage in roped off areas. That is never a good sign. It means someone screwed up, because that luggage is not with its rightful owner! I waited 15 minutes as the same old luggage that wasn't our plane's floated by, round and round. Andrew magically appeared with Dunkin' Donuts and I whined loudly to him about the horrid state of affairs with AA. After waiting another 15 minutes, and sharing notes of the mishaps witnessed on both our sides, we were convinced that my luggage was not going to appear. Asking an attendant, we found that they already had a freaking form letter and hotline set up to deal with the luggage issue. The lady was uncertain about my using it, however, saying that I hadn't yet waited "30 minutes." I informed her that I had just waited an hour and a f*#$ing half out on the runway, and nearly 30 minutes in baggage claim, and that we needed to catch the T asap. She shut up and handed me the paper with the info. A few minutes later they announced that our luggage was actually coming out for flight 2270, so we headed back over and (miracle of miracles) my bags soon appeared.

Moving on from my American Airlines debaucle... We got home pretty late after all that hassle, and I ate chicken soup and advil to counteract my headache. Slept till about 1:30 the next day (but that'd be 10:30 am Oregon time). Watched Garden State with Andrew in the afternoon, and joined Jon & Jen for dinner, an impromptu viewing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (to get us psyched up for the new one), and the first Carnivale of the new season.

Tonight we're going to Sugar & Spice for Thai, and doing some food shopping to get ready for the rest of the week. I need to get string cheese and TV dinners for while Andrew's gone this weekend.

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