Get Better

Posted in Life, Random on August 23rd, 2008 by Tom

[Really, how many of my posts start this way: “Sorry I suck at posting, etc.”]

So yeah. Once more I dropped the ball on the old blog. Summer semester picked up, and turned out to be a lot more busy in July than I had expected. Once I got home, my life lacked anything even remotely akin to a normal schedule, which always spells certain doom for the blog.

July 15th marked the second birthday of Schrödinger’s Blog, which is pretty exciting! I was taking a quick peak over at the archives, and I think we’re already way ahead of the Brak Blog in terms of the rate at which I’m updating (despite little droughts like this past one). June was a great month for us in terms of content, and I hope now that I’m back at school I can keep that going.

Especially with my new devotion to personal projects that I actually like (see: radio show, blog, notstudentsenate), hopefully the blog will keep this upward trend going after my little vacation. Within the next few times I post, one will be the Update Post for 2.5, as that’s more than half done at this point!

That was the site-business. Now on to house-business: There’s only one item on the agenda here, and it’s spiders and how much I detest the little buggers. Between Ethan and I, we had to have killed maybe 20-25 of them. Does anyone know how big spider hordes are? It’s obviously more than 25, becuase upon my return to the house, we were once more infested.

Speaking of being infested… we also developed two bee hives in the back yard, as well as a mouse problem in our foodstuffs. I’m gone for like… three weeks, and this whole place goes to pieces. I swear. But things are really looking good. The house is currently 80% full, with only Leah not living here just yet, and things are going pretty well. We need to do some organizing, and we have about three times the requisite amount of cutlery a normal house would need… but it’s all good.

The last little bit of summer consisted mostly of my family vacation to Maine. Really, most of the trip was us hanging out and seeing National Park-type stuff. It was fun to be there (also the weather was 10x better than Kirksville, and 100x better than KC), but not exactly worth delineating every little detail. One item that was so absurd that I practically live-blogged it was the little trouble we had at the end of the trip at the airport(s).

We arrive in the Portland airport in order to head home, and instantly it becomes glaringly apparent that something is not quite right. There is a small line forming at our airline’s desk. Shortly after queuing up, we find that the plane is delayed to such an extend that we will undoubtedly miss our connections in Detroit, and then obviously also the one in Minneapolis. My father springs into action, well-traveled man that he is, and instantly is trying to rout us through another airline, change the connection; a whole battery of solutions apparently were attempted.

All the while a Lifetime Original Movie played out in the little sitting area right by us, where the small asian girl was in quite a state over the departure of her overtly indie man-friend. When he finally left, and she with him, there was quite literally a wasteland of used tissues left over for the rest of us to… notice. Reluctantly, I cleared some of them away, just enough so we had a place to sit while my father worked in vain to fix our airplane situation. It was eventually confirmed that, despite his best efforts, the best we could do was complete the first leg to Detroit and bunk there for the evening.

So we’re off to Detroit… but when our plane finally arrives it incurs a second mechanical failure, one which is quite time-consuming to repair. During THIS, I sat next to a young man who smelled like he had neglected to bathe anywhere in the past week or so. The plane was eventually fixed though, and we were on our way…

A first for me, we experienced some turbulence en route. I’ve had bumpy flights before, but this was honest-to-god, “Hey kids, I turned the seatbelt light back on becuase this shit just got real,”-turbulence. It was actually a little exciting, truth be told. Sure, we could have died, but my faith that my life is destined for far to boring things to end in a fiery crash assuaged any fears that I may have had. Mix in a crazy flight attendant with all this, and you’ve got all the makings of a good plane ride.

Even when the ride was over though, it wasn’t really over. Since we were so late, there were no open terminals for us to park at. Granted, the wait for a terminal was only around five to ten minutes, but this extended into something resembling a few hours as I begin to immediately regret my decision to drink an entire Pepsi during the flight. Oops.

The harrowing trip to Detroit was worth it though. That airport is a work of art. Between the speed-tram-monorail-thing that zips you between the two biggest wings the airport and a fountain that does something of a “show” by timing the pulses of water that it shoots, you’ve got enough entertainment to pass away an evening. The fountain was a little like the fountain in front of Union Station, if that rings any bells for the Kansas City people, but indoors. It occupied my time for a good half our, fruitlessly searching for repetition of the pattern. My interest in the fountain finally began to wane though, and it was then that I fell in love with the Denver Detroit (I made this mistake like a zillion times, BTW) airport: they had a Chili’s. A CHILI’S. IN THE AIRPORT. HOLD THE PHONE. I’M MOVING HERE. (here =/= Detroit, here = the Detroit Airport)

Too bad it was CLOSED since we got in so late. Opportunity missed, but still bonus points for having such a high-quality restaurant so close. The best part though, was the means by which you travel between the “upper” and “lower” portions of the airport (it’s divided into an H, with the trains that take you up and down the big arms, and a tunnel that bridges the two bigger arms together). See, normally you’d think: “Underground tunnel, OK. Lots of tile, sterile-feeling halogen lighting, maybe a handful of security cameras.” And normally you’d be right. But not in Detroit.

The tunnel was incredibly long, and the arched ceiling was filled with countless colored lighting elements that changed their pattern and shade depending on what tone the dramatic soundtrack music was playing in the background!!!! It was entirely excessive, and probably hated by most airport patrons, but as I road that powered-sidewalk (think Jetsons-esque ‘flat escalator’) thing through this orgiastic amount of light and sound, I couldn’t help but laugh with joy that someone, somewhere, had thought of such an awesome idea, and another person had thought so kindly of it as to contribute untold sums of money to make it a reality.

Eventually we arrive at our airline’s help desk, where we expected them to give us arrangements for a hotel and maybe some food, since their mechanical problem was the reason we were stuck in Detroit in the first place (as we missed all our connections by a number of hours). My parents stood in line while Erin and I stood guard over the luggage. Except we didn’t actually stand, we sat down. As I’m sitting there, typing notes that would eventually become this lengthy synopsis, a small child seats herself beside me.

Fine.
She shakes the poorly-secured row of seats slightly.
Fine.
She starts swinging her legs.
Fine.
She starts manically bouncing.

NOT Fine.

“Stop doing that,” I say. She continues. “Really. You’ve GOT to stop that right now.” She ignores me again. I tightly squeeze my cellphone, worrying that it will snap in my white-knuckled fist. Fortunately, just a few moments before I was pushed to a full-on rage-out, her parent sat down with her, and she had to stop.

Finally we receive a hotel voucher, and one for food too. When we hopped on a bus to the Day’s Inn, the driver even let me sit up front! My father got Titaniced (see: “There’s not enough room in this lifeboat, you’ll have to try another.”) onto another bus, which of course caused my mom to get a little worried. Our driver informs us at around halfway there, “Hey, guys. No rooms at Days Inn. We go to Quality.” Nobody seems to notice. Or care. They were all blissfully ignorant.

We arrive at Days Inn. True to the driver’s word, it is full. We literally run across the street to the Quality Inn, managing to snag a room. It is now 12:00, and we leave for the airport again at 5 AM. We could have gotten a whole five hours of sleep, but…

I was hungry, and so was Erin, so we ordered food. Food arrives at 1:15. I manage to spend two food vouchers (26 USD $) on a pizza, garlic bread, and chicken wings. Plus an accidental Mountain Dew. Yuck. The Fugitive is on (one of my family’s all-time favorite films). Erin’s ability to quote that film is both amazing and terrifying. [She is a golden god.] “What about bullshit, Sam?”, my favorite line, was noticeably absent from the TBS Superstation edit of the movie.

Finally, stuffed and ill, at 2 AM, we turn in, knowing we will need to awaken in 4:30. It is a poor excuse for a full night of sleep, despite awesome pillows. We awaken the next morning, and drag ourselves, like zombies, out to the shuttle. It is piloted by the same dude from last night (which then makes one wonder if he slept at all…). He seems to recognize me, maybe because I gave him a dollar or because he let me sit up front. That was cool.

We arrive at the airport. On the bus ride, we hear that some people are en route for a 7:30 flight. Meaning they got the airport about 3 hours before the flight. Why? They’re elderly, and have nothing better to do is my guess. One such old-timer is apparently an idiot. In the giant revolving door to enter the airport he is too eager to reach the other side, and he stands too close to the revolving bit. The door stops as a type of safety feature. Someone in the back pipes up, “You’re standing too close to it.” It moves again. Once more, the old man moves as if to make love to it (so close does he want to be to this door!). Once again it stops.

The cycle repeats itself, about four times total. My entire family, making it through on the pre-old-man-cycle of the door, wonders what has happened to me, a poor prisoner of the old man’s love affair (or perhaps simply woeful technological ignorance of the device’s true function) with the door. Around Go number three, I start to get irritated. The old man’s hurry is making this whole process take double what it should.

I shake my fist at the ceiling as if to say to my parents, “I will kill this old man in a duel if that’s what it comes to.” Finally, the revolving door cracks open a little bit. Thinking he can exit, the man jumps at the gap. The door stops, but it is wide enough for him to escape. He is in some hurry.

I finally exit that tiny, tiny hell, and shout angrily after the old man, at quite an inappropriate volume, particularly given the earliness of the hour, “KAAAAAAAAHHHHNNN!!!!!” It is the most epic moment of this entire fiasco.

We then got to ride the little express train, which was fun. While we waited for the plane, the couple across from me in the boarding area had matching light-pink Nintendo DSs. I wonder if they play each other online in “Brain Age” or “Separation Anxiety”. Probably not, though…

BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT TO [expletive deleted] PAY FOR THE [expletive deleted] INTERNET, HERE IN THIS [expletive deleted] HOLE. That’s a crime, I swear. To open up your laptop, flip on the wireless, and have every page you load display the same disgustingly cheery message requesting eight dollars for access to the internet… Bah. I don’t think I want to live in a country where airport wi-fi is not free. For heaven’s sake, we’re all stuck in the airport, the least you could do is give us something to do. And if we can make it work at KCI, nobody else really has an excuse, becuase let’s face it: Kansas City is, in many senses, the bare minimum in terms of things required to be a major metropolitan area.

As I sat there, waiting to get on the last plane to KC, I could feel that Mountain Dew from the hours previous in the early morning starting to give me trouble due to its overtly sugary, bubbly nastiness. I decided to purge it with a few bottles of water.

Suffice to say, this proved to be a poor pre-flight strategy.

All-in-all, I’m glad I’m back. Airports are trying, and I’m kinda sick of them for now.

EDIT: Ian informed me that this entry had some grammar errors after he read it. I neglected to proof it since I was tired when I first finished it. My bad kids. I proofed it, and hopefully I found everything.