Today I traveled from San Francisco to Greensboro, North Carolina. I decided to keep a running diary of the day. All times listed are whatever the local time was when I made the note.
My bag is packed and I lean down to give Patch a kiss on his head. He seems disgruntled that he’s being disturbed at such an ungodly hour. I do some quick math and figure I’m about 12 hours away from being in my hotel room in Greensboro, NC. Which is when I’ll publish this post. It's gonna be a long day.
Cab shows up. His name is Mahmood. I know this because it says so on the dashboard. He comments on the sunshine. I ask how his day’s going. He says fine. The conversation ends there.
I’m getting better at business travel in the sense that I know how to pack. I’m strictly carry-on these days which is a huge feat for me. I like to have outfit options, which makes carry-on difficult, but this being a 48-hour trip it’s completely possible.
Security is standard. It takes 4 buckets to get my stuff through. I’m quickly thinking this post might be the most boring ever. No seriously, ever.
I call my mother. I call my mother every time I fly. She’s already got the flight tracker up on her monitor at work waiting for takeoff. She’s a Jewish mother, what are you going to do?
I stop by the newsstand to stock up on magazines. Luckily, all the new monthlies are in so I have a slew of stuff to read. I grab the latest GQ, Esquire, Details and Rolling Stone. I’ll read the GQ first. It’s far and away the best magazine out there.
Flight is airborne. They have wireless on the flight. I quickly sign on to IM so I can talk to Jericho. He asks how my weekend was. I say fine. The conversation ends there.
I’d love to describe the other two people sitting in my row with me but they’re being nosy and computer screens are hard to hide when sitting side by side. I describe this situation to Jericho. He says, and I quote, “fuck em.”
The captain comes on to explain “we’ve reached our cruising altitude of 36,000 feet.” He then goes on to describe a few of the natural wonders we can see from the plane, our flight route and the temperature in Dallas/Ft. Worth. I love this. I stop my iPod to listen. I wish the captain would talk throughout the entire flight. I’m completely serious. I want him to explain every single bump we encounter. I want him to do a complete dissertation of turbulence. I want to know if he packed a lunch or opted for the $10 Boston Market Chicken Carver Sandwich. He concludes his announcement with “we’ll check back in with you in a bit” and I am literally counting down the moments until this happens.
It should be worth mentioning I have a routine down when it comes to music on flights. It started a couple months back when I flew SF to LA. That flight is insanely short. Actual time in the air is about 55 minutes. So I’d put on Bright Eyes ‘I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning.” And I knew around song 8 they’d tell us it was time to shut down personal electronics. (please note, when flying, I fast forward the first 1 minute and 23 seconds of the first song on this album. Check it out and you’ll know why.) So I continue this approach whenever I fly. Regardless of the flight length I always start with this album.
We’ve reached song 8, “Land Locked Blues”. Fuck. This would be a lot cooler if we were landing in LA.
Having wi-fi on board, I send my mom an email from the air. She thinks this is the coolest thing ever. She writes back about 5 emails in the span of 45 seconds. Half of them center around the other ladies in the office amazed at technology these days. Within 90 seconds I get an email from my dad asking how the flights going. I half expect them both to show up out my window in a 2-seater so they can accompany me the rest of the way.
The fasten seat belt sign has been turned on. The bumps are getting worse. I can’t help but think this is it for me. I’ll have to stop typing for now. And reflect on my life.
Seat belt sign is off. I take my first breath in 7 minutes.
Seat belt sign is back on. I'm convinced my world is about to end. (I do appreciate a pilot who is accurate in his communication though)
Seat belt sign is back off. I’ve put Fleet Foxes on my iPod. I update my Facebook status with a line from one of their songs. The line I post is “Tell me anything you want. Any old lie will do.” I’m anticipating 1 fan of Fleet Foxes will give it the thumbs up. One fan will actually mention Fleet Foxes in the comments. One chick who ‘likes’ any status update I do will also ‘like’ this one. And my friend Drew will tell me an actual lie that equates to how miserable his life is. He has never heard of Fleet Foxes. I'm feeling good about this prediction.
The pilot makes a quick announcement to tell us something about somewhere in Arizona which we’re currently flying over. I don’t hear a word he says. Instead I focus intently on his voice. Is it calm? Is he hiding something? Does he think we’re about to go down but is tricking us? He sure sounds confident.
The chick next to me gets up to pee. I too get up to pee. Let me tell you something about me on a flight. I will get up at any opportunity. I prefer the window, so I can stare outside, but do better with an aisle seat since I like to get up so often. Even if I don’t have to pee, I’ll squeeze out a few drops. Whenever I look in the mirror I immediately think of that one scene in Cast Away…a scene which I’ve never actually seen only heard while my eyes were closed tightly in the theater. Neurotic? Paranoid?Um, yes.
Jericho informs me that he’s going to a meeting and is signing off for the day. Just like that. Can you believe him? What a dick.
Hunger sets in. I’m determined to not buy anything on this flight. Over salted processed turkey slices wedged between two thick soggy pieces of white bread and plastic lettuce sounds awful. Looking forward to seeing what the Dallas/Ft Worth airport has to offer. Hell, I have an hour or so to kill when I’m there.
Powered threw Bright Eyes, Fleet Foxes, Yeasayer, Them Crooked Vultures and now onto Hot Chip. I listen to albums start to finish. Except for that one song on Hot Chip. It’s super gay.
On our decent into Dallas I stare intently out the window. I’m always fine on the decent. As soon as we get low enough to actually see the cars, I’m confident if necessary, I could tuck and roll and land safely. Only if necessary.
There’s basically 2 types of people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport today. First, native Texans. Big. Lots of facial hair. Lots of mid section. Lots of big logos in various places including their mid section. The second is the business traveler. Loafers, sport coat, lots of blackberry checking and sighing. Lots of Bluetooth talking and selling. I am not this guy. I fear if I continue to travel like this I will turn into this guy. I will never be this guy.
I check the results of my Facebook posting. So far only 1 comment. It’s from a chick I used to go to High School with. She responded with ‘One time at band camp…’ Not sure how to take that one. She obviously isn’t a Fleet Foxes fan. Maybe she’s trying to tell me she likes putting foreign objects in her cha-cha. Interesting.
Explain something to me. How can Dallas be so awful at Mexican food? Aren’t they 10 feet from Mexico? Fuck I just had the worst Chicken Quesadilla in my life. Ez cheese, microwaved chicken bits, generic salsa that tasted like a crayon. I did however tip the waitress 5 bucks on my 14 dollar order. I felt bad for her. She was a lady boy, half-Asian, wannabe hipster working at the Tequillaria in the airport. Nowhere to go but up.
About to board. Two hours and twenty minutes until we land in Charlotte. Wish me luck. (Fuck that was gay. Stop being so gay Magglio. I’m going to get a coffee.)
Just before take off I check my Facebook status again. Lo and behold, my friend Drew responded. I’m literally panting with excitement to see what he’s said. “I have a full head of hair” it reads. Fuck I totally called that one. Sadly this makes my day.
We’re about 45 minutes into the flight. The wi-fi isn’t working. I’ve sorta peed twice. The stewardess reeks of self tanner. The dude next to me is reading a book called ‘Helping you understand your emotional abuse.’ I’m exhausted. Did I mention I got in to SF last night from Boise at 9pm. What the fuck am I doing to myself? I decide I’m going to buy a pack of cigarettes when I get to Charlotte for the long drive ahead. I don’t even smoke anymore. But fuck it, I do tonight.
I’m secretly excited for the 2 hour drive from Charlotte to Greensboro. Yes, 2 hours. I’m excited because I’m banking on my rental car having satellite radio which I never get to listen to. I’m going straight to Shade 45 and whatever the other Hip Hop Nation station is. This truly will be the highlight of my day. You want to hear good rap music? Put on satellite radio.
Unfortunately this marathon day will not end. The asshat at the Avis car rental place must get paid hourly. There are 8 people in line and he’s taking his sweet fucking time. Fuck my car had better have satellite radio.
Ball sack! We all saw this one coming. No satellite radio. But I did grab some smokes. Fuck North Carolina.
Four other people responded to my Facebook status. Nobody caught the Fleet Foxes reference. Who cares? Facebook is stupid. Can you tell this day (and this post) has gone on a bit too long?
I finally pull into my hotel. Here’s the final stats for the day:
Total travel time: 12 hours and 28 minutes.
Number of flights: 2
Number of miles traveled: 2,717
Number of cigarettes smoked: 3
Number of times Lady GaGa played on the radio: 14
Number of times I want to do this trip again: 0
Number of days until I do this exact trip again except in reverse order: 2