Fun with flying

“It’s good to see your face

You ain’t no worse for wear

Breathing that California air.”

— Bon Jovi, “Just Older” —

I actually cried when my plane touched down at Reagan National, just along the banks of the Potomac. I saw the Capitol building and was grateful not only that I made it safely through four flights, but that I wanted to come back to my adopted home. Even my mom, who hates it that I live so far away from her now, was grateful that if I can’t be in Pittsburgh, at least I’m in D.C. and not three time zones away from her.

The air was so clean in California, come to think of it. It was invigorating to walk outside and immediately feel the gentle breezes blowing my hair out behind me as I walked between venues, and the air smelled of the endless flowers and trees around me. I only have a few digital photos, as my formerly beloved Nikon pooped out after taking a photo of the “Brady Bunch” kid (Christopher Knight, aka Peter) with Pride Fag, our incoming association president. Yep, Pride Fag officially broke my camera! Allow me a “South Park” moment — “You bastard!” 🙂

The flights were fine — it was less than two hours between here and Chicaco, and nearly four hours between there and John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif. The longer flights were more arduous and turbulent. On the way to Cali, I was blessed to have window seats, but on the way back, I was sandwiched between passengers in middle seats. For the four-hour flight to Chicago, I was between two hot men, one of whom is the proud possessor of my contact information. 🙂 His name was Richard and was a beautiful California boy with blue eyes and sun-streaked hair and a golden tan. We hit it off and had a lovely talk about anything and everything.

On both of my longer flights, we had a set of twin one-year-old girls. The first time around, they were cranky and miserable. I suggested to a fellow convention attendee, before the flight back, that we ask their parents to thoughtfully consider seventh-trimester abortion before hopping on a plane with those little sacks of screams. Luckily, they were sacked out and quiet during the flight back to the Windy City, but that was because their mom was running them around the airport, trying to tire them out. I was going to ask the pilot if we could put carseats on the wings. 😉

Security at airports is even stricter than it was post-Sept. 11, 2001. On the flight between Chicago and D.C., the pilot made an announcement that if we had to go potty, do it ASAP, because no one is permitted to walk around for a half hour before the plane touches down on the runway. And of course we were all practically naked as we checked our carry-on luggage before we boarded — we had to remove our jackets and shoes, and even remove our cell phones and cameras and computers from their respective bags. So, it looked like a unisex dressing room at the end of the conveyor belts, as we all hurried to get our shit together and back onto our bodies. Luckily, I move 100 miles an hour anyway, and I got it together before the security guards yelled at us to shake a leg.

Shake a leg. That’s a term I used a million times in California. It isn’t another state to me — it’s another country when you think about it. Everyone there moves so slow — nobody’s really in a hurry, and everybody’s all smiles when you look at them. I was 14th in line at a confectionery, waiting for the best caramel apple of my life, and I was tapping my foot and flipping out at how fucking slowly the cashiers were moving. But that is their way there. Some pals of mine couldn’t get a cashier to come to the front of the 7-11 store for 15 minutes to wait on them — can you picture that in Northern Virginia? Half of the store would be shoplifted in that time! Hell, our 7-11s have police stationed in most of them here! But yeah, in Cali, everyone’s in sandals and Bermuda shorts and without a care in the world. I think the traffic is so damn bad out there because everyone’s got their cars on cruise control at 40 mph. Argh! Some vendors in Downtown Disney, where I went during my final hours in Anaheim, even remarked on my impatience with a, “Oh, you must live on the East Coast.” lol — was I that obvious? But really, is it a bad thing to want to accomplish a thousand things in a day? 🙂

At any rate, while I was sad to leave the sun and the fun of California, I was happy to see Shan in the airport, waiting for me. I ran up and hugged her, and she and John got me safely onto the highway and into my apartment complex … and back to my beloved Maddie.

Maddie was waiting for me at the door when I arrived. I was bogged down with four pieces of luggage, so I asked her to follow me to our bedroom, which she did. As soon as my bags were on the floor, she cooed and jumped up on me and wouldn’t leave me alone for quite some time. That was perfectly OK with me — I’d missed that loving sack of fur and poop. 🙂 She’s been attached to my side ever since, and she doesn’t even suspect that she and I are hitting the bricks tomorrow and heading to Pittsburgh for another whirlwind trip. I look forward to seeing My Hero, Susan and her newly expanded family, Lori and possibly Brat, if our paths should happen to cross.

Again, clicking heels three times. Blogging will be lighter than before, as I will have no computer within any reasonable proximity. But I assure you, I will be running around like a fool and loving every minute of it!

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