Monday, November 27, 2006

oregon for thanksgiving: thursday

(per your request…)

for those of you who don’t yet know, I have bad travel karma. It seems like if someone is going to have a problem, it’s gonna be me. With this in mind…

I had a long trip ahead of me...see? Looks kinda scary on the map.
Thursday AM I got to the airport an hour and fifteen minutes before my flight. Figuring my security wait would be long, I used the skycap for my suitcase. He kindly agreed to not weigh my bag, and I kindly gave him a fiver.

Security took five minutes. Maybe less. They didn’t have to go through my bags, I didn’t get “screened” and I even had time to get my stuff all back where I wanted it without being rushed off. This, clearly, made me leery.

I then proceeded to my gate. Which didn’t change! I found a place to sit, and watched the weather channel for a bit. And got on my flight, which was on time and quiet. The flight attendants were kind, and I had a nice little nap on my way to the impending horror that most people refer to as Chicago’s O’hare airport.

Upon our arrival, I found that my next flight was only a few gates down, the airport was pretty empty, and there were plenty of places for me to sit while I waited. I read, I talked on the phone, I had lunch (and some huge amount vitamin c in an odawalla bottle!), and kept getting more and more anxious about the travel disasters that were clearly lurking in the wings, waiting to jump out and wreak havoc. I also called some family members, and listened to a message from my granny that made me get all teary—about thanksgivings of yore. [single tear…]

After a few “very full flight” announcements, I boarded my plane to Portland—on time, no glitches, and with a window seat.

It was a bigger plane, the kind with three seats on each side. I remarked aloud my disbelief about the Christmas music playing in the airplane, and got a chuckle out of my neighbors in the rows in front of and behind me. You’ll notice not those beside me. Because I had a row ALL TO MYSELF. Seriously. Well, until the guy in the row ahead of me moved into the aisle seat—but that was fine by me, I still had plenty of elbow room.

And, as it turns out, I talked to him pretty much the entire four hour flight. His name is Kelly, he’s thirty three, recently divorced, has a son named Sam, does environmental chem. for a living, and likes driving and good music and books. We talked about the book I had out to read, and bands and movies and all sorts of stuff. College, careers, divorce, you name it. Our perpetually cheery and stereotypically-gay-behaving flight attendant dubbed us “social butterflies.” I was having lots of fun. And then something kinda odd happened. I went to the bathroom, and after washing and drying my hands I blew my nose—this is all normal—but the paper towel reeked of smoke! So, of course I had to share the weirdness with Kelly. We also remarked on the woman behind us, who we believe might have been recovering from chemo (hose-things on her arms? Kelly though that was what they were for?), who asked the man in the seat next to her “are you single?” “no, he said, I’m married.” “well,” she asked, “are you happily married?” “yes, I am.” He replied. She proceeded to basically throw herself at him, saying she could make him happy. I think it might have made for an awkward remaining two hours of the flight as each other's seatmates…anyhoo. So, the paper towel thing led to talking about cigars!

Kelly likes cigars a lot, he actually had some in his coat in the overhead compartment for him and his buddy to enjoy in Portland. He told me to try Onyx cigars, and I told him that Avo are my faves. It was a fun convo.

Then I decided to try for a little siesta—but no dice, as I could hear too many noises. So, instead? Yeah, we played Scrabble on my new travel Scrabble. He actually beat me by 8 points—which isn’t an easy thing to do. And for the fun and despite my loss, as we deplaned I got a consolation prize—of a cigar! Yippee.

So: flight summary? Security was a breeze, everything was on time, my seatmates were either silent or pleasant, and I arrived in Portland having caught a hour and a half nap, sixty pages into my book, with a very on par scrabble game, a short list of music/book recommendations (and I told him some music/books and to go watch garden state el pronto!) and a cigar. I. Was. Amazed.

And my official trip hadn’t even yet begun.

The rest of my Thursday was enjoyable but not riveting, as I was tired and still getting to know everyone. I waited on Jeremy in the airport, and Kim and Atanas came to pick us up. It was raining, and apparently this is (maybe) going to be the most rainy November in Portland ever. We had Thanksgiving dinner with Kim’s extended family—good food and (mostly) good convos. Well, except for the part where, upon being asked about how my identical twin and I could be so different, I very very briefly explained how you can have identical DNA and different RNA, and that a lot of traits are in your RNA…and Kim’s dad said, “you know what? I’m going to go to work on Monday, and I’m going to issue a survey, and I’m going to see if anybody even cares.” Um, harsh much? Esp when I was ASKED about it, it’s not like I brought it up. Weirdness. Anyway. Here's Kim Jeremy, Atanas and Kim's sister Jessica, from L to R.

We went back to Kim and Atanas’ place, hung out with Cricket her kitty cat, and watched some of Da Ali G show, which I’d never seen before. A little weird, but quite funny. And politically amusing. Like, Butros Butros Gali is in one of the eps, and says amusing things to “Ali G” who also keeps adding Butros-es into his name. Like Butros Butros Butros Butros Gali. Funny. Maybe you have to see it. But word to the wise? Take in small doses.

Jeremy also gave me a very excellent little present--this guy. I know that I will enjoy this very very VERY much. And anyone around me just might hate him for it, just a little.

Oh, and Jeremy and I had some Airborne. Yuck. Here’s us cheers-ing pre drink.
And then drinking.

Serious ick face. But I was hoping to avoid getting sick, y’know?

I made it until, oh, 1030 west coast time, which was pretty good considering that was 130 my time, and I’d been up since 6. and then I passed out on their couch in my counting sheep pjs. Mmmm pajamas…don’t they sound comfy right now?


Mr. Junk said...

Hey, I figure that in order to compensate for all the crap that is involved in travel, every once and awhile things incredibly well for at least one person traveling.

The next person is due in 11,000,000 years.

Liv said...

but did you get his #??

Ali G...small doses is a def- I can't go see Borat b/c I'd have muscle cramps from 1)laughing or 2) cringing

To go with your book (help us all)

Carrie said...

oh, o, that's AWESOME. thanks for sharing. others will hate you later, I'm sure. :D

and no, didn't get his number. he lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. so, no go...pity though. he was cute!

turner said...

so.. the Dad just up and said that? what a dick!

congrats on the lucky airport trip

Erik said...

So is it really RNA expression that makes identical twins different? I always thought it was the effect of the environment on gene expression. Well, regardless I'm still a scientist who's not afraid to kick some ass. So, I would have punched him in the face, then told him that there are genes in his tomatoes, and that he's going to become a mutant becuase of them.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing what you can find on the internet. Carrie+RTI+scrabble and look what I find. That was a good flight. I was just curious if I could find. You were a topic in Portland.

Carrie said...

amazing, indeed!
you should email me--it's on the right.

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