To say that it’s been a bit of an odd trip doesn’t do it justice. It rained both weeks except for yesterday. It’s raining again. My flight into Newark delayed by 2 hours. I don’t think Newark should even have a license to operate as an airport at this point. It’s certainly not the airlines fault that air traffic control has no control over the non-weather related back-ups. In fact, an Air Canada flight going to Newark was just cancelled (14:30 announcement at the Montreal P. E. Trudeau Airport). I hope the same fate doesn’t happen to this Continental flight. Air travel is definitely getting worse. I would settle for higher (not astronomical) prices for better service at this point. Hell… scrap the whole system and return to the Golden Age of flight where it was a luxury, complete with fine china and a lounge singer for entertainment. If I needed to get dressed up to fly, I would.
Back to the trip. I decided to take a taxi to the Las Vegas airport since I had to be there by 5 a.m. It took 25 minutes for him to get there, and was extremely chatty. Mind you, this is 4:45 a.m. I am not chatty or awake at this time of morning. Do the check in routine and then off to security. The guy who checked my ID and boarding pass asked me if I lived in Cleveland. Uh – what type of question is that? Realized that he was trying to flirt with me when he kept watching me as I put my things on the conveyor belt. I already told you I’m not the most cognizant person at 5 a.m. My first flight to Cleveland was uneventful until I arrived at the airport. Found my connecting gate without problem, and went to the Pizza Hut express to get some lunch. I take it back to the gate where one of our fine, feathered friends decided to try and steal it. Yes. Three chickadees flitting around the terminal were swooping and trying to nibble on everyone’s food. That’s just weird. Birds inside. And that flight was not delayed, so I made it to Montreal to find a long cattle chute of people waiting to go through customs. This hour wait actually worked to my benefit. The Canadian customs official was about my age and didn’t seem to want to deal with a single person there on a business trip. Besides, he shot me a smile that kind of said, “Hey, baby… how you doing?” as I left. Eeehhh. Nice, but geez. You’re working and protecting your country.
Made it to work again. Found out that my desk was moving due to hiring another ATD. Yeah, well. I was too distracted by everyone walking by my desk to the photocopier. Second day I was there, I talked with the creation director. He seemed surprised to find out that I am an American. Which took me aback. It started me thinking on my rush home to avoid the next storm. I guess I’ve always been fascinated by other countries or never really minded traveling. I try to adapt myself to the local culture and learn the language (slowly, but I can at least say please, thank you, hello, how are you, etc.). I respect their traditions and customs. I was fortunate to travel to Europe for three weeks before my freshman year of college and experience Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland (left one day before the Montreax Jazz Festival – damn!). I lived with a host family twice, once in the country with a nice older lady and another time with a traditional German farm family. Yes, at one point I counted 22 people in the huge farmhouse, not including pets and other livestock or the occasional chicken that would run in. Travel intrigues me. Experiencing cultures intrigues me. My dream to visit Japan, revisit Switzerland, and make it to Thailand will one day come true. The other part of the equation is befriending people from different countries and heritages. My best friend in elementary school was half Japanese. I was a friend to the African American students (all two of them!) and wish Esther, my German exchange student doppelganger, would’ve stayed around a little while longer. That didn’t end in high school. One of the coolest people I knew in college was André who was from Brazil. He shared my love of music production, performance, and Macs, and now runs his own studio back in Brazil. But, yes, I love to travel despite all the difficulties like I am now experiencing.
I haven’t determined if my low energy level the past two weeks is due to the weather or simply needing to decompress for a bit. I haven’t spent more than 3 weeks in one spot since April when I moved. It’s tiring living out of a suitcase. I am single-handedly keeping TSA and travel-sized product manufacturers in business. My cat is not happy and apparently wound and starved for attention. I miss my fuzzy buddy. I am happy to have good friends and a great roommate who watch him while I’m gone. I am eternally grateful to them! Then again, all of this exhaustion could be because there was a ton of ragweed around my flat. It would also explain my semi-clogged ears and lack of energy. I’d like to thank the makers of Xyzal for keeping me sneeze-free for the last two weeks, and the Flonase people for keeping me breathing!
A few other items of note for the week. I’m managing to keep my 4.0 going in grad school so far. I received the grade for my mid-term paper, which was 25/25. Yay! Not bad for procrastinating on it until the last 2 days. Oh, the research was done, but I don’t like writing them. I always wonder what types of papers get turned in if I can write a 10 page paper the night before and ace it. Or maybe I’m one of the lucky ones who just “gets” it. Mom is still always right. When I turned it in, I thought it sucked. She told me I said that last time and got 100% on it as well. Well, she wasn’t home when I called to let her know the news, so I talked with dad for a while instead. Somehow the conversation got turned to finances (go figure), and he said that they have $10K placed aside for my wedding. If I want it, I just need to let them know since they’re not sure if I’ll ever get married. What?!? Yeah, I don’t have a boyfriend, and really haven’t had a relationship of note over 6 months for 2 years or more, but have a little faith! I told him to hold on to it. I don’t need it right now. Besides, I do plan on getting married someday, even if I do plan on eloping.
On to yesterday and today. I found out at noon yesterday that our production meeting was being relocated to The Zone, a pub just up the road from HQ. Yay! I finally got the drink I needed, and the bartender mixed a mean rum & Coke. Well, earlier in the day I decided to trek to La Paryse for a tasty burger and fries. I was craving beef because I didn’t eat any the past two weeks. So, I decided to leave my laptop and supplies at my desk because I didn’t want them at the bar, figuring I’ve got an ID and should be able to access my office at 18:30. Well, of course this didn’t work out as planned. My ID wasn’t coded to let me into the locked office, and the security guard was insistent that only 3 people had access to the studio third floor. Trying to explain to him what production I worked on (in Frenglish), he finally called someone else to let me in. Got my things, walked home, dropped everything off and ran out to catch the bus. Got to the Jean Talon station to catch the bus, and I waited. And waited. And ran across the street to pick up maple syrup in a can for Henri-Jules. And waited. It would’ve been better for me to take the train to Sherbrooke and walked! But it did come, got to La Paryse and waited for another 15 minutes to get a table. Ate my fill, and then headed back home at 23:00. Did a load of laundry, and headed to bed around 2:00 after working with Kevin on some Pack Rat feats.
I did not want to get up this morning. Again. It seems a chronic problem of mine lately. I finally did roll out of bed at 9:30, took a shower, washed the sheets and the towels, took out the trash, finished packing, ate my last Danish, and froze the food that I could. In 2 hours. Left around 12:15 for the airport where there was a bit of a wait to get through customs again. This time, another guy Customs agent around my age. Shaved head. And not bad looking! The guy in front of me in line…well, he questioned him a lot. I don’t know what it was about. Me – Immediately asked how it was going, I replied, and then the obligatory declarations. None. Okay. Have a good day. Wow. Painless for once! Decided to pick up a bit of lunch at Burger King. My appetite wasn’t huge since I ate the Danish and an apple around 11, but chicken tenders were going to do just fine. Got them and a Coke and headed to the gate. When I opened the box the gimmicks of all gimmicks appeared – maple-leaf shaped nuggets. Makes me all gooey just like warm maple syrup. Ugh! Just after finish them, I found out the flight was delayed by a half hour. Then delayed for 2 ½ hours, all forced by Newark. Decided it was time to grab a litre of water and some sugar (another thing I really didn’t eat all that much of while in Montreal). Some gummies and a king-sized Coffee Crisp (slowly making its USA debut) did the trick.
Finally on the plane to Newark, where we ended up in a holding pattern since we weren’t cleared for landing even though the flight left Montreal at the proper wheels up time. We flew through and over some completely amazing thunderheads. I’m still fascinated by meteorological phenomenon. Finally landing, I’m just glad to have enough time to use the loo and then grab some dinner at Sbarro (a few cheese pizza slices and a garden salad). Amazingly, we got off the ground almost on time for the second leg of my journey home. A family of five with 3 children under eight sit beside me. Drillbit Taylor is playing as the in-flight movie, even though frequent flyers such as myself have not seen it at least five times. Now I chase daylight across the U.S.A. Sunsets are always amazing when the clouds are below you.
A parting thought that I saw in this morning’s New York Times:
I have had a very adventurous life, but not because I have an adventurous nature or yearned for a life full of adventure. Fate just wanted it this way.