Friday, September 18, 2009
Airport Confessional -- SRQ International (part deux)
Well, I’m back in the airport again, this time heading to Washington state for a vacation. I think this is the same gate I left from for Cleveland (SRQ is small in spite of calling themselves an international airport.) I decided to eat a cold sandwich from the Wolfgang Puck line next to the airport lounge. Eight bucks for the flipping sandwich, a “turkey remoulade on cibatta.” Well, I don’t want to survive on airplane cookies and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chewy bars all day - I’ve got 12 hours of travel ahead of me after all - so I paid for the bloody thing.
Mommy’s sammiches are so much better.
I’d like to chalk it up to it being an airport convenience, like the need to take off our shoes and separate our laptops from everything else we’re carrying onto the flight for the security checkpoint, but I have a feeling that if I were to go to a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, I’d find the same sandwich for $10 so, maybe I got a bargain. It wasn’t a bad sandwich, it just wasn’t good and certainly not worth eight dollars. The gum I bought afterwards was better than the sandwich.
I got about five hours of sleep. I had to work last night and it being a Thursday, which is the busiest night for projectionists as that’s when we break down and move prints in preparation for the new prints to open on Friday, I didn’t get home until two in the morning and didn’t get to sleep until three. Thankfully, the only excitement last night was a couple of random pieces of matching luggage that were left outside the emergency exit of one of the auditoriums. I went up to my boss, who was sitting in his office with someone from corporate, and said, “Hey, uh...you might want to know that there are two bags outside one of the emergency exits. Now, either it’s Her Royal Highness’ Matched Luggage, a body chopped up and split between two bags, or a bomb. Just so’s you know.”
He didn’t even giggle at the Spaceballs reference. There’s no hope for him. He also said that it was for the Jennifer’s Body promotion (which of course we’re not doing) and while I played along and said that I wish I’d known since I know people in the special effects field (the corporate person is the regional head of promotions so I might have gotten my FX friends some work in the long run), it just showed his colossal ignorance of what’s being shown in the theatre he “runs.” However, he’s not that different from the people running the company as far as knowing that people are actually there to watch a movie, not give us their money willy-nilly.
When my alarm went off at the unGodly hour of eight this morning, I was deep in REM sleep, dreaming something about a baby. Lord, and maybe Morpheus, knows what it was all about. Not my kid and swaddled all in red. And I kept thinking, “Man, if I knew you were going to be here, I would have gotten you a onesie from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well!” (I got my friend’s baby a cute onesie that read “Future Rocker” in the AC/DC font. Watch the kid grow up to be an accountant.)
I’m still not quite awake. I probably won’t be awake until after one in the afternoon my time (Eastern.) From here, I go to Charlotte, North Carolina, to catch a plane to Phoenix, Arizona, and from Phoenix I go to Portland, Oregon. I was so tired this morning, I told my mom I’d never been to Charlotte. Charlotte-Douglas is the airport with the bathroom attendants and the tasty mints. Yeah, brain no workie at 8 am, but somehow I managed to remember to pack my cell phone charger. All other chargers I packed on Wednesday. No, I’m not excited or anything.
I was on the phone with my wireless carrier the other day and the operator, who so kindly helped me with my phone issues, asked me where I was calling from, just making conversation while we waited for technology to catch up with us.
“Sarasota,” I replied.
“What’s Sarasota known for?” he asked.
“What?” Obviously, he wasn’t expecting that.
“John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, pretty much founded Sarasota. The Clown College was here until about ten years ago when it was forced to move to, I think Michigan, because the rich, white majority found it too unseemly.” I’m just assuming that last part, but I’ve lived here long enough that it’s most likely the truth.
“Oh,” said he. “Wow...”
“Yeah...” said me.
He went on. “I lived in Orlando for a while and always heard about Sarasota...” I figure that was a lie, but he’s paid to fix my phone and be friendly and all I’m spending is my time so whatever. I neglected to tell him that Walt Disney considered building Disney World in Sarasota, but the then-current city elders thought that was a bad idea. I wonder if, in some alternate universe Disney actually had built his Floridian empire here, the guy would have said that he was from Sarasota and that he’d heard of Orlando.
The airport is filling up now. There’s one airplane that’s been here, and its passengers waiting, for about five hours. They had to wait for a part from Tampa. Tampa’s only an hour away so it must have been one hell of a part. I wonder if they flew it down or drove it.
I’ve seen a few pilots just aimlessly ambling around this particular area. I think they’re with the plane that’s been delayed for several hours. Or they’re zombies. I just saw a pilot running. I guess they were zombies.
You know, I don’t see Egon’s assessment that “print is dead” being true. I see lots of people, myself one of them, traveling with actual, physical books. I have Level 26 by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. The dude across from me is reading the movie edition of My Life in France by Julia Child. The lady next to me is reading an actual newspaper (poor darling...)
Time to be packing up. The flight should be here soonish (it’s running a little late according to the gate attendant, but she assures us that we’ll be fine for our connecting flights...) and I should save some battery power for later on. I’ve got a writing contest starting today, too. :D