Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Day At The Races

So the title of this blog post is a joke. I was not at the races yesterday, but, instead, was experiencing the antithesis of a day at the racetrack. I guess 'antithesis' isn't the right word really, though, because there was a lot of sitting on a my ass watching other people freak out about the little slips of paper they held in their hands, but the little pieces of paper I'm talking about weren't betting slips. No, they were something far, far worse...they were airline boarding passes.

All the itinerant bad weather had seriously screwed up the air travel world, so much so that I saw more delayed and canceled flights then on time ones yesterday as I sat in the Manchester Airport in New Hampshire–after driving by Robert Frost's childhood home on the way, how cool is that?–while I waited for my flight.

The irony was that my flight was one of the few that was on time. I counted myself among the lucky as I sat across from an elderly couple–the woman in a wheelchair–as they tried to decide what to do with themselves because their flight to Chicago wasn't happening that day. Period. I felt pretty bad for them. If they'd been heading to LA, I might've even given'em my ticket, it was that pathetic to see them struggling.

But LA wasn't their destination, so I climbed on board my flight and thanked my lucky stars. Until we got to the runway and had to turn around because of a generator failure. We taxied back to where we'd come from and sat on the plane for the next two hours while they tried to figure out what to do with us. To everyone's amazement, they actually got the plan working again and we took off, heading for Phoenix and for all those missed connections. Only, as we hit the air, a rumor started circulating through the plane that no one was missing their connection 'cause all the flights–except the peeps going to Orange County and Portland–had been delayed.

It was ironic and kind of weird.

I spent the remainder of the flight drinking a bloody mary, trying to write, but mostly watching Season 2 of The Wire. We landed in Phoenix and the rumor proved true. I saw my dazed compatriots checking out the flight board and scratching their heads. Everyone had at least an hour or four to wait for their original, now delayed flights...even the Orange County peeps made their flight 'cause the airplane held an extra few minutes for them.

After seven hours with no food, except two tiny bags of peanuts and an equally minute bag of baked pita chips, I had a killer headache (the bloody mary didn't help the headache like I'd hoped and was my original impetus for drinking). I had three and a half hours to kill so I ate a cheeseburger that I'm pretty sure came out of a freezer bag and watched more Wire.

At 11:10, after an almost 11 hour odyssey, I trudged onto the plane and promptly fell asleep. I've never slept in my hard contacts before and, after that experience, I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.

I got to LA and got my bag and was standing at the curb of Southwest Airlines at 1AM.

I don't know why I felt like sharing my yesterday with you, but there it is.

You know what the funny thing is? It really wasn't that bad. People have much crappier things happening to'em in this world right now. In the end, I got where I needed to go, I didn't get beaten up and there was always a restroom to use.

It was a win/'sort of' win...and, really, isn't that all you can ask for from a Wednesday?


  1. I'm not sure why I read that whole thing considering it was generally a description of a whole plethora of flights to places of which I have never heard (with the exception of LA, wooo). Is PHOENIX really a place? WOW. (My general knowledge skills need some work.)

    My yesterday was spent revising for further maths stats 2 module, plus, rather coincidentally, also doing some Robert Frost studying for my AS exam the Monday after next. These bothersome UK exams, honestly. I have better things to do with my time. Eat aeroplane peanuts, for example.

    No one even read that, did they? I really need my own blog.

    toodeloo :)

  2. That's a good philosophy for a life well lived: "In the end, I got where I needed to go, I didn't get beaten up and there was always a restroom to use."

  3. That's a hell of a long day and traveling usually gives me a headache too. Caffeine usually helps that.

    What were you doing up in Cow Hampshire? That used to be my neck of the woods.


  4. It always pisses me off when my flights get delayed. Worst time though was when all the flights got canceled and I ended up having to call my aunt so I could get a drive. It was a long night xD

    But, like you did, in the end, I got where I needed to go. So it all worked out :)

  5. It may sound cliche...we learn to appreciate more when we see people in a wors situation...which we probably should feel guilty about, but then, so there is always a bright side/hope. Does it make sense?

  6. You have the right attitude...things could be so much worse. I get a migraine when I don't get to eat regularly, so I know your headache must have been bad. Like someone else said, caffeine will usually help. And I bet you would have given that couple your ticket if they had been heading to your destination. I wish everybody could be a bit more like you and see the positive side of things when they don't go quite as planned.

  7. Well, I'm certainly glad you did share! I hope you'll post more stories like this in the near future. You have a really interesting way of recounting even the most mundane details, and it's really fun to step into your life for a few moments!

  8. Joe AKA AmberAddictMay 27, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Hey sorry you had such a long journey but I'm pleased you got home safely! It has been 15 years since I was last on a plane I'd forgotten how bad delays could be.

  9. Hi Amber and very happy your looooooong trip is finished
    Few years ago ,I was in my car 10 hours on an expressway because of a partial strike (trucks).Nothig to do ,no food,no water,no... Up to now it was a very ,very bad memory.BUT now I have something to share with you and it's really....pleasant!Finally,a good memory !

  10. Sleeping with hard contacts in... I believe the appropriate terms (based on personal experience) are, in order, "Yeesh", "ow" and "ick". :-P

  11. Well honestly I think that's the best anyone can expect from a day of flying. I hate flying. That said I've flown in and out of Manchester NH many times to visit family inVT. No direct flights from Baltimore to Burlington so into Manchester and rent a car. 2 hours driving through beautiful VT beats hours waiting for connecting flights!

    So yeah.. what brought you East?

    And yes Rosa, I read your whole post! I'm so glad I'm not in school anymore.

  12. Well, as the saying goes "if it hurts when you do that, don't do that."

    Sorry. That was about your ill-timed if much-needed-at-the-time bloody mary; I have a permanent angry place when it comes to alochol (a relative--I won't say who--was a mean drunk)...and there have been plenty of times when I could have used a belt, myself.

    Good luck on the "Under Your Spell" project; I can only offer, for what it's worth, some free advice: go nuts. BE a naughty little monkey, a magnificent crazypants. Just don't censor yourself ahead of time; as long as it provides truthful clarity, that's what editing is for.

    Hoping today was funner for you...

  13. Hi Amber
    Sorry for this message but I have a little problem.I told a very little moment of my not interesting life few days ago and I think I bothered everyone.Nobody cares that!Shame on me!So please forgive my intrusion ,your great blog deserves better ,you deserve the best!And honestly,with me it's not the best...

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  15. I admire your upbeat response to something which would have left me seething with anger; which I know would have been pointless less I could sprout wings and fly (quietly seething in my own airspace).