December 1st, 2004

the only earth?

notes on the much extended weekend of national thanksgiving

All that I can think to write about the long Thanksgiving weekend is that the travel started very much earlier than I would have preferred and that it took much longer than it should have. The airplane flew to Grand Rapids, but once it was over the city the pilot found that the runway was too covered with ice and the air too full of snow to allow a safe landing. After circling a bit, the captain gave up and returned to Cincinnati, where I was left to spend a few hours wandering through the three concourses looking hopefully at other flights, searching for power outlets, ating terrible Chinese style fast food, and watching old episodes of the o.c. on my laptop computer.

When any reasonable hope for a way out of Kentucky faded, I considered camping out at the airport, but learned that various sections would be closed for cleaning throughout the night. This made me think that it would be better to arrive the next morning after some actual rest, rather than prolonging my day and a half of mostly sleeplessness. This, it turns out, was a poor decision. The discount hotel accommodation provided a pleasant enough location for falling asleep before the law portion of Law and Order concluded, but their wake-up technologies were severely inadequate. The result was a decent night's sleep, but missed morning flight, and a rushed departure.


Still, I arrived with plenty of time to get to Pentwater for Thanksgiving dinner and to watch the Lions lose, as is the annual tradition in Michigan. Mysteriously, it was snowless in the more northwestern parts of the state, and the sunset over lake Michigan suggested the ocean rather than a winter wonderland. The temperature, however, was still cold.


The rest of the trip sort of went along nicely, with not much notable activity. Our participation in "black Friday" was minimal, save a trip into town and a family stop at the theater to watch National Treasure. My expectations were low and were slightly exceeded. At the very least, it is a movie that was enjoyed by audiences of all ages -- our group of ten ranged in age from eight to early seventies.


Beyond that, we spent a couple of days at my parents' house, which is now home to a new puppy and is the temporary residence for a couple of shy cats. From time to time it is like animal kingdom, especially when one of the cats gets bold and is chased to a vantage point unreachable by the dog. Occasionally one of the cats would sit on my lap and I'd think that it might be fun to have an illegal pet. Then I'd think that being a single guy living alone with a cat would be really a little too depressing for my taste. A dog, maybe.

Later, we rented the Terminal, and it didn't really change my feelings about my poor choices in the other airport. Not that I would've built a fountain or made enemies with the DHS.

Per usual, we made a visit to our favorite Americanized Chinese restaurant, where the owner always seems to remember us and asks about absent diners. There will be a few pictures posted eventually, but the home internet is beyond slow.

I realize now that I could've made an attempt to meet up with people while I was in town(s), but sort of fell too much in the groove of hanging around the house so that my parents would get their maximum value for flying me there.


Now, I'm on the way home. Writing about domestic air travel makes me want to kill myself. My mom and I got to the airport early, and there's a Starbucks there; so I had a peppermint mocha while we waited for it to be time to go through the security gates. I had it made with nonfat milk, but told the barista to include whipped cream. That drink really is the best thing about Starbucks.
the only earth?

toilet propaganda

"god loves you ... and has a wonderful plan for your life!"

Apparently, this plan involves getting punched in the face and it's so interesting that you're expected to read about it while urinating in an airport restroom! I wasn't brave enough to face the propaganda and the germs to learn the details.
the only earth?

trend mapping

Spotted today at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport: UGG boots in the line at the Delta ticketing agents.

We can't confirm that the wearer was even a West Michigan native, but hope this data point assists the trackers of outdated trends as they cross the country.