Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “boston

Flight Patterns

You shouldn’t fly with me.

I might be the black cat of airline travel. Over the past five trips I’ve taken by plane, at least two of the flights have been cancelled, at least three of the flights have been delayed over two hours, and one plane was struck by lightning as we landed.

I abandoned checked luggage ages ago. I’m never on the plane I’m supposed to be on, and my bags aren’t, either.

Air TravelI booked my trip for Boston over a month ago, back in September. I like to book early for prices and for convenience. Besides, I need that time to allow people to abandon the flight before I actually make it to the airport. I usually give myself an extra day. I’ve spent two nights on separate occasions sleeping the Chicago’s O’Hare airport, once by myself; another time with over 1,000 stranded people.

It’s easy to point at O’Hare and say, “Kate, you’re flying to a bad weather hot zone.” Fair enough. My trips to Michigan are almost always in the dead of winter and the cause of my flight delays are the same reason I’m going up there in the first place: snow.

But, things were supposed to change. At the end of September, I went back to Dallas to surprise my friends. The day before the flight was supposed to leave, they cancelled it. They rebooked me on a flight that would have me landing four hours later and (consequently) ruining my elaborate construct of surprise. Orbitz (I will say again) ORBITZ! took my call and was able to book me on a different flight that routed through Denver rather than San Fran and had me arriving at the original time (no extra charge). Surprise saved.

I will always recommend Orbitz because of this. They took care of me.

On the flight back to Los Angeles, lightning struck our plane as we descended into Denver. It’s not very exciting.

On my flight to Boston (routed through San Francisco {or, as I told my dad “The new Chicago”}) the flight was delayed so long that my connecting flight had left San Francisco before I even left LA. United got me on a different flight and I landed in Boston at 1:00AM.

Which brings us up to today.Hurricane Sandy

I am sitting out a hurricane.

Now, it could be worse. I don’t have a job I have to get back to because I work from home. I’m missing my classes, but hopefully I can make them up later. My car is slowly accumulating day after day charges, but it’s only $10 per day, so an extra 20 isn’t going to break the bank.

I’m not going to stop flying anytime soon. I love that air travel makes our world smaller by hours. I love that I have income flexibility that allows me to travel to places like Michigan, Boston, Dallas. I’m lucky to have friends and family in these places that give me a place to crash.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that all my karmic dissonance plays out in the form of terrible airline travel. A few things I’ve learned, though:

  1. Flexibility is essential.
  2. Pack light.
  3. Pack extra underwear.
  4. Be nice to airline employees.

That last one is probably the most important.

If I live to tell the tale, I’ll post about what it’s like to sit out a hurricane on the MIT campus. This coffee shop I’m posting from is playing “Singin’ in the Rain” which is either genius or in very poor taste.



With Apologies to my Mother

Mom decided to start reading my blog (one year later) and, of course, she joins my small herd of followers on the post of the family reaction to moving to LA.

She was less than thrilled of my portrayal of her. So, Mother, if you still count among my followers, this is the one post devoted exclusively to you.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to continue posting stories with you in them. In fact, I’m starting a new topic about growing up in the Midwest.

I’m sorry you wanted to be a perfect parent. Perfect is boring.

If you were a perfect parent, I’d be a lawyer married to a small-time politician who cheated on me with his campaign manager, but we would stay together for the kids. I’d hate my job, my husband, my house, and my dog. I would be satisfied with that life because it carried the facade of perfection and it would be good enough.

I wouldn’t read. I wouldn’t have listened to Janis Joplin. I wouldn’t have Motown in my karaoke wheelhouse.

I sure as hell wouldn’t be a writer.

I’m sorry that you think I only remember the bad things and the friction. I’m your daughter. We’re not going to get along all the time.

But, who would have gone with me to the Cher concert? I know everyone there saw us and thought, “Oh, what a good daughter, coming with her mother to see Cher,” when they should have been thinking, “Oh, what good mother, coming with her daughter to see Cher.”

Who would have flown up to Boston in the hot-as-hellfire summer of 2007, so I wouldn’t have to drink alone on my 21st birthday?

Who would have sat out in the freezing cold night after night while I struggled to breathe through my fluid-filled lungs?

So, why do I focus on the negative? Because that other stuff makes people sad. No one watched Everybody Loves Raymond to see how nice Marie was to Deborah.

There’s conflict, there’s story. And, while there’s universal truth in the sweet as well as the bitter, it’s just not funny.

I know I don’t have any children, and you think I can’t possibly understand what it’s like, but that’s not true. I’m a writer. I have children. My characters hate me more than half the time. If I was a perfect nurturer to my stories, who knows what that crap would look like.

So, that’s it. That’s the only blog apology you’re getting. If it makes you feel better, just pretend I’m talking about someone else. Usually, that’s what I do.