It's 7:30 AM and I'm sprawled across the marble lobby of John Wayne Airport
because the gate areas simply don't have AC power. It's a 7:40 flight, and
as usual, half the adventure with Rohit is just getting to the airport.
Adam called to wake me up at 4:19AM in a panic over Internet-scale event
notification models, as it dawns on him how strategic this nexus is. His
first week with the Borg has been spent staring slack-jawed at the gamut
of competing proposals already out there.
My natural response was to hit the snooze button until 5AM, at which point
I had two hours to pack. I took a shower, lost a contact lens in the
process. I hate my opthalmologist: the curvature on these things must be
real off if they pop off once a day, without even drying out. I realized I
needed my glasses as backup for this trip, but after searching frantically,
the rule of Lost Prev kicked in: I never find what I'm looking for, only
the last thing I was looking for. In this case, a commemorative 1994 World
Cup Gillette Sensor shaver. The glasses, however, were back at the office.
So I drive over to the office to pick up the glasses, checked mail and read
Adam's screed about my "fhine whine" (as CobraBoy puts it), and dashed back
to the car and ... no keys.
Rummage, rummage, rummage, nope, no keys. Must be locked in my office. The
office door is unlocked, but at 6AM, there's no one else to let me into the
building. My spare car keys are at home, and my only house key is... locked
At this point, I have less than an hour to pack, too. So I hike back home,
bang on the door long enough to wake my roommate, open up my overnighter
(still half-packed from Boston) and toss in a few more clothes and some
truffles, hoping that's enough to survive six days in Seattle.
Called a taxi and intercepted it on the street like a madman. Raced to my
car (parked in a precarious VIP please-ticket-me-now spot), reached for the
spare keys... and out came the original set. Hiding behind my cellphone all
along. Wonderful. And then I got to waste another five minutes waking up
the laptop, rebooting Win95 b/c plug and pray failed, to send email
countermanding earlier pleas for key recovery.
At least I can nurse the crick in my neck here in 2C now. ("What would you
like to drink, Dr Khare? [the UCI agent screwed up the ticket] "Oh, a
Bloody Mary" "A virgin?" "No, I'd rather get my weekend started now, thank
you very much.")
SFO was down to one runway, so we sprialled around San Francisco for quite
a while. Between that and our mechanical delay in SNA, I missed my 9:30
connection, lost my first class upgrade, sat through two insanely long
security lines, and for the cherry on top, a passerby knocked over my
laptop bag and shattered the lower-third of my LCD screen.
Oh, and I'm stuck in a middle seat in coach right now for good measure. And
they gate-checked my carryon, which is a nightmare in Seattle (luggage
takes forever from the silly satellite terminal United operates out of.
Shit. What the hell am I going to do about my mom's HiNote?It's an old
P100, with a marginal battery ($150) and a mere gig and ... oh, who am I
kidding? Even though I have a new UC laptop on the way (a 292MHz Powerbook
G3), I can't let this one go to pasture. And yet... it may be $600 for a
screen, on a laptop that was $2500 new, bought for $2000, and probably
depreciated today to under a thousand.
The alternative is limping along: most any application can still be used in
some form, and it's certainly good enough for telnet or solitaire, the only
two apps my mom uses.
It's not insured; I'm sure the standard homeowner's doesn't cover computer
Shoot, and it was wedged in my old tandby knneth Cole shoulder bag, padded
on both sides by reams of useless schoolwork...
At least on the bright side of destructon, I've had exquisite views of
Crater Lake and Mt. St. Helens. Making up for that, in turn, is the
air-conditioning on the plane, which has dried my contacts into little itsy
bitsy teeny weeny scraps of 200-grit sandpaper. And my rewetting drops were
wedged into an overhead three rows back by a harried FA. Ah, the joys of
PS. Adam: regarding your kind and considered comments on my late attempts
to have a social life: fuck off and die. See you at 11:33 at SEA/TAC... er,
12:02... plus however long it takes to fight for my downgrade compensation
and my bags (in which the truffles have probably been pulverized, grrr.
--- "Why Wait? Check Voice Mail, Call the Office, Phone the Kids" -- seatback display advertisement on GTE Airfones, distilling the priorities of the 90's corporate warrior