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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« harp playing | Main | harp arrived! »

flying woes

Congratulations to Andrea and Jim on their new jobs!!

Many thanks for the congrats on the harp. :-) Unfortunately I haven't had much of a chance to play it lately because of being out of town on a business trip. Anyone who thinks that frequent business flying is glamorous is sadly mistaken.

I am preparing this Blathering while on an airport shuttle bus home from the airport. I haven't had much luck with the airlines lately. Headed out for my trip on Wednesday for a 6:40 pm flight on US Airways. After checking in, I watched the flight schedule display with growing dismay as I watched my flight's departure time being increasingly delayed every hour. We boarded at around 9 pm only to be told after about 1/2 hour that our flight had been delayed for another hour and a half. The pilot apologized but said it was the government's fault; he went on a mini-tirade, actually, which was pretty interesting. (Confusing, but interesting)

We weren't allowed to wander the airport since we had already been processed for check-in, so were confined to a very dull waiting area whose snack bar offered rather dry-looking sandwiches, hot dogs, and an assortment of drinks. I planted myself near an electrical outlet, plugged in my laptop, and did some work. I'm going to try to find a way to find a way to connect to the Internet by hooking up my computer to my cellphone somehow...technnonerdboy/girl suggestions out there welcome!

We boarded (again) at about 11:30 pm. After 20 minutes, we were told that there was a mechanical failure, and that they trying to find a replacement part. Unfortunately if they couldn't find a part, the flight would have to be cancelled. Much groaning from the passengers. The pilot was sounding pretty frustrated himself by this time.

While we waited, the flight attendants served drinks in an attempt to calm the restless mob. One of the attendants, by the way, was gosh-darned cute in a craggy, "Das Boot" sort of way. He was also remarkably good-natured despite the initially disgruntled atmosphere, and this had a visible effect on the mood of the passengers (mine, anyway :-)). Anyway, we finally did take off (to the cheer of passengers), and I got to my hotel at around 3 am. Only got three hours sleep, however, and was pretty spacey the next day.

When I arrived at the airport yesterday for my flight home, I could barely keep my eyes open. I tried to take a nap on the chairs in the waiting lounge, but I was too paranoid about (1) missing my flight and (2) having someone walk off with all my stuff while I was in dreamland. Even in my half-conscious state, however, I heard an announcement over the PA system. I sat up groggily and turned to a woman sitting nearby.

"Did that announcement just say what I thought it said?" I asked.

She nodded grimly. "Looks like the flight's not leaving until 12:15 am."

Augh. There was no way I was going to last that long; I could feel my brains leaking out my ears from all the hours of waiting in airport lobbies, the delays, the lack of sleep, the rubber chicken sandwich I had had for dinner (don't ask!). Plus a very bad headache had developed behind one of my eyes (don't you hate those?) and was getting worse. I got my ticket changed to a morning flight the next day, went and crashed in a nearby Marriott.

And so here I am, in a shuttle bus going home from the airport via the most convoluted route imaginable. The regular Airport Express shuttle had gone out of service for an unexplained reason (of course), so they waylaid the driver of another shuttle to do combined routes. "No one tells me anything!" he rages, "I don't know what's going on!" I don't recognize the area we're in right now, but I'm sure we'll make it back home eventually.

During one of my waits in the airport, Jeff called me on my cellphone.

"Thought this would cheer you up. Hold on a sec..." He pauses, I hear some movement, and then I hear my harp being strummed!! My mood immediately improved; I didn't feel like strangling the Extremely Loud Woman a few seats away from me anymore. I felt like hugging Jeff to pieces, but that would have to wait.

Oops, bus driver just announced my stop's next, woohoo! Gotta go.

(6:17 pm, at home) Hey, I think William Shatner is in front of my building. He's being inducted into the Canada's Walk Of Fame at Roy Thompson Hall along with a bunch of others, including Martin Short and Maureen Forrester. I'm using my binocs to check in on the proceedings. Quite the media crowd...

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