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Saturday, 2005 July 30 - 11:20 am
Checking in briefly...

Friday 8:45 a.m.
I'm about to leave. All the preparations have gone smoothly, I think, except that I only got four hours of sleep last night. And, I think I've got a nose pimple. Ugh.

The weather this morning is overcast, with a little bit of drizzle. I think I prefer it this way, because it'll make the arrival in sunny California all that much nicer.

Friday 9:45 a.m.
I'm here at the airport, and for once, I'm only moderately early, not insanely early. My flight leaves in about an hour and a half.

Flying first class comes with privilege. I got to skip ahead to the front of the security line. I'm sitting here in the Admiral's Club enjoying free orange juice. Actually, you're only supposed to be here if you're flying first class internationally, but the lady at the desk took pity on me. She said, "You can be our guest today, because we appreciate your business." And she sounded like she really did!

Even though free alcohol is technically available to me right now, it's just a little bit too early, even for me.

It would be nice if they provided free Wi-Fi too, but I guess that's too much to ask.

Friday 10:30 a.m.
It's actually more interesting in the normal waiting area than the Admiral's Club lounge. Here I can watch people go by, see if I can guess what their stories are. Everyone seems like a little caricature: there's the straw-haired surfer boy with his hat askew, carrying a boogie-board; there's the prima-donna blonde teenage girl with the belly-baring halter top; there's the elderly Chinese couple with their hopelessly out-of-date (or perhaps, profoundly timeless) clothes; and there's the ever present legion of traveling businessmen, dressed down for travel but seemingly still in uniform.

Observing the crowd, I had guessed that I wouldn't be seated next to the college-soccer-team girl or the fashion-magazine-editor woman. No, as usual, I get seated next to an old guy. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but I just didn't want to go through the usual rigamarole of "where are you from", "where are you going", and "what do you do". So I decide in advance that I'm going to eat, sleep, and read, and avoiding talking.

I wondered, in seat 6F, if I was sitting in the designated "You Used Your Frequent Flyer Miles" seat. I don't know if I'll ever feel like I completely belong in first class. It's as if I'm wearing a big F on my chest: Frequent Flyer Guy (warning, avoid giving him too much alcohol). But then I look around, and I can't say that anyone else looks like

In seats 6A and 6C, there's a couple there, in their mid-forties. There son has been relegated to steerage.

In seats 5D and 5F, immediately in front of me, there's a guy who's about fifty, and a woman in her forties. He's from Michigan, and she's from North Carolina. They strike up a conversation that would last the whole flight.

The flight attendant for the first class cabin is a pretty woman named Kelly, who's perhaps just on the better side of forty. She does her work with calm efficiency and a bit of detachment.

Kelly asks if we want anything to drink. Other people are getting bloody marys and glasses of wine. But I'm still feeling loopy from lack of sleep, and I'm not quite ready to start drinking yet.

We are served mushroom pizzas for lunch, because the passengers in rows 3 and 4 all opted for the roast beef sandwiches, so all they have left are the pizzas. They are deep-dish style pizzas, which seems ridiculous for a pizza that's four inches across... the pizza is almost taller than it is wide. The woman in 5C only eats the cheese and mushroom filling, leaving a little bowl of crust on the plate. She must still be holding out on that low-carb thing.

First alcohol of the day comes at 12:07 p.m. (Eastern time). I get a little bit of cabernet sauvignon with my lunch. It is served in this tiny little glass, as if I'm drinking cough medicine. But it's surprisingly good.

A guy from steerage comes up to use OUR bathroom. I am OUTRAGED! Should I report him? Should I confront him? I do neither, but as he goes by, I take an extra-long sip from my thimble of free wine, staring at him to let him know how the privileged class lives.

The flight is uneventful. I notice that we no longer get a free goodie bag with a sleep mask and a toothbrush and cheap socks. Damn those budget cutbacks. Oh, and what happened to the footrests? We have no footrests here. My ass is falling asleep.

I read a little more from my book, I sleep for about an hour, and we land.

I'm in DFW now, and I have about an hour until my next flight. I've flown through this airport so many times, it feels homey and familiar. It's bustling with colorful people, but somehow everyone seems a little bit sad. Travel no longer seems as romantic as it used to. Now, it's this tedious process of taking off your shoes and turning off unapproved electronic devices, and maybe that just drains people.

This was a pretty uneventful flight too. I finished my book, As Simple As Snow, which was excellent. I'll post a full review later on.

Steerage guy again came up to use the first-class toilet AGAIN, and this time, he brought his screaming baby with him. Yay.

Not much else about this flight to report. We land in San Jose, and the weather is sparkling and gorgeous. I take a cab to the Westin, and when I get out, I am accosted by protesters. (It turns out, lots of people would have this same experience.) There's some vague claim of the Westin not treating their workers properly, blah blah blah. I push by and check in.

Friday BlogHer Dinner
There's so much to say about this dinner, but time is short right now and I'll just have to give the rough outline. On the elevator down from my room, I run into Melissa, Mrs. Kennedy, and Finslippy!

We get to the dinner, and I feel somewhat invisible... until Heather sits DIRECTLY OPPOSITE FROM ME. Then, I feel like a security guard, trying to queue up all the fans who are trying to meet her. Heather is terribly, terribly funny and charming. Actually, it turns out that everyone is even more beautiful and charming than their blogs would even predict. (And Heather said this to me: "Even YOU look good in person.") I have pictures, but I can't post those just now.

After dinner, I went to the hotel bar with a few women, and we had a grand old time. Baketown, who wishes to remain anonymous (and is eagerly waiting for me to finish this blog entry so she can read it), had three martinis with me! Whooo.

Saturday morning: a little rough. But some water and Advil and coffee, and I'm good to go.

Looks like we're about to start... gotta go. More later.
Permalink  2 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: bloggerslifetravel


Comment #1 from Phil (Guest)
2005 Jul 30 - 9:56 pm : #
Ripping awesome! If you get this message on time (and of course you will), please give an awkward hug to Melissa S. for me.
Comment #2 from Phil (Guest)
2005 Jul 30 - 10:02 pm : #
Here's a pic of you!

Comments are closed for this post.

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