Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ready, Steady, Go

...I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing and it was everything that I thought it could be.
Okay, that is not a completely accurate description of the time I've spent away from blogging, but it is accurate in relation to anything tech-related. The most techy thing I did during my absence was listening to my beloved iPod mini on the airplane. No e-mail, no internet, no instant messaging, no text messaging. And it was all I hoped it would be.

Here's how my little vacation started:
On my trip to the capitol of the red state to beat all red states, my flight was delayed. This meant my connection at IAH was going to be tight. In fact, the check-in assistant looked for seats on other airlines before I boarded because they were so convinced I would miss my connection. Since all the other airlines were booked solid, the check-in assistant gave me a smile, a shrug, and cheerfully said, "well, maybe you'll make it." I shook my head, walked away dejected, and spent the next two hours reading Founding Brothers, which is actually pretty fascinating.

So my flight landed in IAH at 9:00 pm, and my connection was scheduled to leave at 9:10. A number of passengers had similarly tight connections. The moment the little bing went off, the lot of us sprung into action, jumping out of our seats, tapping our toes anxiously for the flight attendants to open the door. Since IAH is a rather expansive airport, I headed straight for the gate attendant, who was inundated with harried passengers demanding to know their connection. He asked me where I was headed, and when I told him, he asked my name. My stomach sank. Then he told me where my gate was, and that the flight had not yet taken off. My stomach jumped. Then I realized how far the gate was, and a sudden surge of adrenaline pulsed through my veins.

Cue techno music and my best Run Lola Run impression, my legs carrying me faster than my cardiopulmonary fitness should allow. I am singular in my purpose, and the airport people-watchers have melted away from my thoughts. And just as I approach the gate, the completely empty gate, an attendant comes out and watches me barreling forward. He yells "Are you on this flight?" And I nod, because I can't breathe anymore. He says "Well, stop running! We're gonna wait for you." And I stop, my lungs having their way with me, my legs turning to rubber, but all I can think about is loving that gate attendant. The holiday spirit causes me to give people a ridiculous amount of credit for being decent, but that's what I happen to like about the effect of the holidays on me, so screw it.

Onto the flight, the last passenger on, everyone aware that I've been running, since my breathing is still shallow, and let's just say I'm glowing from my sprint, I take my seat. I think to myself, I've made it. Just then a flight attendant's voice comes on the speaker, and chirps "Those of you in the front of the plane may have noticed that there are no pilots in the cockpit. We're working on locating them, and think we should be off the ground in the next 30-45 minutes." And my lungs have a good laugh at me.

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