Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “hurricane sandy

Stranded

I’m changing my superpower.

Flight and invisibility are the poor man’s game. When I played pick a superpower, I always played it with the full X-men dossier. Everyone said Wolverine because he was cool and great and awesome and who hasn’t wanted to brandish knuckle-sprouted blades at some inconsiderate line cutter. (or is that just me? my bad…)

I just want to point out that “badass” is not a superpower, it’s a state of being.

Anyway…

I usually went with Storm. I mean, come on. You can control the weather. Snow. All the time.

But, I’m changing it to Nightcrawler teleportation. Nightcrawler has a roughly three-mile radius in which he can teleport. At the very least, I would use it to cross the street.

But, the real reason is my damnable travel karma (see previous post). On with the tale!

What you need to know:

Hurricanes come with their own stages of emotions.

1. Mild Surprise

I got a text message from my dad on Friday that read: “How’s the storm situation?” At the time I had no idea what he was talking about. My flight the previous night had been delayed (see previous post), so I assumed he was talking about that, even though I hadn’t mentioned a storm. I told him I got in late last night. About 45 minutes later, I saw the news and sent him this. “Oh. Now I see what you mean.” It was far away, I was young and inexperienced. Certainly I would not fall victim to such a thing.

2. Irrational Fear

Okay, so the president’s talking about it. And, apparently it’s pretty bad. And, Twitter is abuzz. Oh, my God. I’m going to die. What are my last words? Who should receive my last farewell? Who gets my stereo?

3. Coy Nonchalance

I’m staying in Cambridge, on the MIT campus. Where else in the world would be a better place to sit this out?

4. Irrational Fear

ANYWHERE ELSE THAT IS NOT IN A HURRICANE! FIND THE TORNADO ROOM! NO, GET TO HIGH GROUND! WIND IS SO LOUD!! WHY IS WIND SO LOUD?!?!

5. Cabin Fever Bat Shit Insanity

I’m never going to get out of here. Every flight that ever existed has taken off or been cancelled. I’ll never see anyone again. Are the walls closing in? Why is it so bright? I can’t see. No, wait, I’m looking at things. I can see. I’m never going to get out of Boston.

6. Overwhelming Frustration

Okay, this one hit when I was told that my rescheduled flight was also cancelled. The new one? Friday. I’m trapped in a dorm until Friday. Admittedly, a big part of this frustration stemmed from the fact that I am supposed to fly to Vegas from LAX on Thursday. Yeah.

7. Acceptance of Fate

Do you know what it feels like to flush money down the drain? That’s what happens when there’s no possible way you can get to Los Angeles before Thursday and your ticket is non-refundable. Rebooking the flight costs more than the original ticket, and I’m not going to throw good money after bad. Oh, and I’m flying to Dallas on November 15th for the week and a half of Thanksgiving. At this point, I might still be in Boston, but, whatever, man. Whatever.

As far as the hurricane itself, well, it didn’t really hit Boston. It was simply a rainy, cloudy, windy day where everyone stayed inside. No flooding, no power outage. I ordered delivery.

Yes, I have a place to stay with power, a bed, Internet, and all those things that so many are without. I am grateful for all those things. I know a lot of people have it much worse than I do. Right now, I just want to go home.

But, let me make one thing known. You don’t want to be in a hurricane. You don’t even want to be near a hurricane.

Oh, and:

Dear Mom,

Send underwear and shampoo.

Love, Kate


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.