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May 14th, 2001 - 3:13 a.m.

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Reflections on Airline Flights

I'm writing this on the plane to Atlanta, which is eventually going elsewhere. Airplanes are strange creatures. Wonder what the airport in Georgia is going to be like. After this, I can officially say that I've been to "The South"...or an airport in it at least. I don't really think I'll learn much about Atlanta from it's airport, but stranger things have been known to happen I suppose. We were delayed b/c we were 6th in line to go off the runway. That's never happened to me before. Damn morning flights. Morning flights suck for many many reasons. First of all...it's Morning...and as we are all well aware of...I Hate Mornings. Second of all, all morning flights result in me not sleeping beforehand due to the whole "I can't get up from my alarm going off, which is packed anyway and it's not like I can sleep without sheets either in this weather b/c the mattress is freaking Plastic and really, Really uncomfortable in the heat thing." Oh, that was too specific. Normally morning flights irritate me b/c of the aforementioned hatred of mornings (like you should be surprised with a name like Mistress of the Dark!), and like early morning exams, there's this whole fear of not waking up in time and missing my test or plane altogether deal. And sometimes there's just no point in going to sleep before the flight anyway b/c I normally don't go to bed until 4, 5, 6 am nowdays and if I have, say an 8 am flight, then I need to leave to go to the airport around 6, 6:30 am. This is really not conducive (? spelling?) to me sleeping. And I can't exactly sleep for a period of 1/2 hour to 2 hours max, it just doesn't work like that. My body insists on sleeping more and then the whole "missing my plane and losing lots and lots of money" thing kicks in again. I can't sleep on planes either. I don't know why...it could be the elevation, me not trusting the plane, me just not being tired, me being too tired, anything.

It's feeding time in the zoo...a Nutri-Grain bar...some unidentifiable-until-opened strudel kind of thing (I think?), a rather tiny apple, and a container of blueberry yogurt. Airline food isn't really as bad as most people think it is...well, either that or it's been complained about so much that they've been forced to alter the quality of the food (that's probable...I mean, hasn't that been around for decades?). But I'll admit, I hate blueberry yogurt and this apple cinamon/brown sugar twist thing isn't too great either. I think they were going for some weird fruit theme or something. Sharing armrests with a complete stranger is hard. It's always like the movie theater, only the seats are closer together, and you have to share one side with a complete stranger and then you sit and wonder what to do...hog the whole thing, be generous and never let your arm even touch the rest in the middle, touch it on and off, try and share it with your arms touching (something that freaks out people who have personal space issues...which I sort of do), hope that they're the kind of person who doesn't like to touch the armrest, I don't know...

People go up and down the aisle way too often. It's too easy to get your elbows bashed to pieces that way. I guess the danish/strudel thing is cream-cheese flavored? Maybe? I haven't exactly been able to Taste the filling after all...

Speaking of scary touchy things...when I finally got on the plane and was sitting down, I noticed a tiny spider crawling on my shirt. That really Really freaked me out. Friggin spiders. I didn't like jump up and down the aisle screaming or anything, I just blew it off of me, but still...Spiders. Ugh. *shudders*. Bugs are icky, icky, icky things.

This amuses me...from Instructions de Sécurité. "Si vous êtes assis près d'une issue de secours, et vous n'êtes pas en mesure de lire l'anglais, ni de le parler ou de le comprendre, veuillez contacter un représentant de la compaigne US Airways pour obtenir un autre siège." I wonder if this is prejudiced? I mean, just because they can't understand, speak, or read English, why *shouldn't* they be sitting in an exit seat? I mean, can't they still help? Aren't all flight attendants multi-lingual? Or does US Airways just assume that b/c they have the "US" in their name that they shouldn't have to be able to understand foreigners? Oh yippee...we're going to get into Atlanta a little bit early so now I get to wait in the airport even longer! Oh joyous day! I must be the luckiest girl in the whole world to have things like this happen to me. Well, I think this is all I've got for now. I might write some more in this on the way to Minneapolis or something if my computer still has power and stuff. Or maybe not. After all, it's not the most comfortable thing in the world to type a diary entry on an airplane. Oh wait, I thought of something else. They keep telling me to stow my carry-on luggage in front of me....now why would I want to do that? Almost everyone I can see who has luggage has put it underneath their legs, not underneath the seat in front of them. They'd much rather be able to stretch their legs out than put stuff in front of their feet. I don't know why they don't just tell everyone to store them in things behind them and just redesign the bottom of the seats or something. They also appear to want everyone to eat at warp speed. Oh wait, I'm just slow b/c I've been typing while eating, nevermind. I don't think they wash those tiny apples of theirs. I've got that icky pesticide chemical aftertaste in my mouth now. Or maybe Red Delicious apples just always taste like that. If they do, I have to say they're really not living up to their name. I won't be putting this on my diary until at least the 14th of May, maybe later, depending. Vacations are always interesting like that. Anyway, time to go!

Later...

Well, this isn't exactly the plane to Minneapolis. More like in the car on the way elsewhere. I have several things to talk about too. Yay me. I don't know if this'll ever get posted on my diary without at least some selective editing, but we'll see. This might be a bit too personal or something....or even if I want to break that rule, there's no way I can do it without certain people saying something about it. Which gets irritating sometimes. But then again, I irritate sometimes as well I'm sure. Okay, so when we left our heroine was descending into the Atlanta airport. The Atlanta airport is really weird. The escalators, just like Catmomma warned, are really scary. Going down is really horrible. Going up isn't much better. So I get there and then I have a couple of hours to kill, so first I go to find my gate. Trying to find my gate, I passed some of the strangest stores I've ever seen in an airport. There was an entire store devoted to selling pearl jewelry. Um, huh? How many people do you know who are going to buy pearl jewelry in the airport or even better, go specifically To the airport just to buy a pearl necklace? Also, they had a men's clothing store and for those who really just can't live without the internet, they had a store which supplied T1 connections and things for a price. I think it was 5 minutes for $5 and then $.65 every minute thereafter. It sounds about right at least. They also have airport people who run around with "cabs"...basically golf carts or something with seating for like 5 or so. The weird part is they have lights on the front...I have no idea why though. I mean, it's not like they're ever going to be in the dark and going to need these lights. I mean, what, are they expecting a sudden blackout to occur when they're going to suddenly have a need for golf carts with headlights? Or maybe they use these carts to play massive games of airport employees polo. But handsdown the strangest thing about the Atlanta airport is ice cream vending machines. I kid you not. There are vending machines which sell Good Humor and Klondike ice cream things. Ice cream sandwiches, Klondike bars, those round ice cream/chocolate chip cookie things, and chocolate & strawberry eclair bars. Of course I Had to buy some, just to see how they did it. They put an ice cream freezer chest inside the vending machine, and after you choose your ice cream, the lid opens mechanically. Then this big vacuum hose thing moves into position over the ice cream requested and suctions the ice cream bar up against it. The hose then moves over to the appropriate place, then the suction stops and the bar drops. You then push open that thing just like any other vending machine and grab your ice cream from it. Quite ingenious I guess, but still really, really bizarre. Not only is it odd, but the ice cream was so frozen that I had to literally gnaw off the first bite and then wait a few minutes before I could eat it somewhat normally. I got to ride on one of those cart things by the way. That was kind of cool, but I still think they're sort of silly. There's an awful lot of water in Minnesota. I just had to throw that in. 10,000 lakes...well someone told me it was a lot more than that, but I don't know why they keep the whole 10,000 lakes slogan thing if it's that wrong. So since I still had another hour or so until my flight, I decided to get some lunch. There are an awful lot of choices in the airport for lunch. I didn't want Sbarros, Popeye's looked like it was a Southern version of KFC, so that was pretty much out, so I had Mandarin Express there. I guess it was okay...the sweet & sour chicken was really good, the fried rice was terrible, and the egg roll was completely composed of cabbage, which is a bit different from normal egg rolls, so I couldn't eat more than a bite or two of it. But if you just go there for the chicken and nothing else, it's recommended. So then I went on my Delta flight. Their idea of a snack was rather icky, but I was so tired I didn't really care. I guess I got put on a 727, which is the first time I've ever been on one of those...normally the planes I fly in only have 5 seats, this one had 6. Anyone have any idea why when there's only 5 seats they skip the letter B in their seat numbering? AC aisle DEF....and no 13, which I can understand...but what's wrong with the letter B? Both TWA and US Air planes when they have 5 seats for the plane skip the letter B and I want to know why damnit! The plane flight from Atlanta wasn't too bad. I might've almost been able to sleep too, which is a first. The plane was too damn cold though. Descending really sucked. Every time they started to drop the altitude they did it in such a way that the bottom dropped out of my stomach. It's sort of like some of those rides in fairs and amusement parks. I hate that feeling, it makes me nauseous. And when you repeat it multiple times, it makes for one unhappy and almost airsick woman. Landing isn't fun either. They always have to stop really, really fast b/c of the limited amount of runway space, but I don't like that feeling either. Basically I'm fine as long as we're actually in the air but anything else makes me uncomfortable.

So we spent some time in the famed Mall of America. It's really close to the airport, unsurprisingly. There was also this whole fiasco of getting out of the airport, but I don't want to really talk about it here. If you're really curious about it, write me an e-mail or something and ask about it and I'll tell you, otherwise you'll just have to remain forever curious. Anyway, now we move onto my Mall of America experience. First of all, the Mall of America is prohibitively huge. It's so big that you can't find anything you want without specifically looking up the store on the directory or wandering past it by chance. They do have some interesting stores though. I saw a Hot Topic store for the first time ever. I didn't go into it b/c by that time we were starving, but I saw it. I don't really see what the big deal of it was, their clothes didn't look that interesting, with maybe a couple exceptions, but I didn't exactly go in, so maybe I'm wrong. There was also a store called "Rave" of all things, which looked interesting, but again, the hunger thing prevented my perusal. There were other cool/interesting things about the Mall of America, but do I remember them? Not really. Which is really pathetic since it was only yesterday when I was there. The cinema on the 4th floor is too expensive, don't go there. $8.25 for general admission, good grief. The only thing I really wanted to mention otherwise about it...oh wait I thought of a few more. There is an entire store devoted to Haagen Dazs! I saw it, but thankfully I didn't go in. My willpower can only take so much of a beating you know. And according to the directory, there is also an entire store devoted to Godiva chocolate. I didn't see it, but it exists, and I'm glad I missed it. Another example of my willpower caving on site. I had enough trouble getting past Fanny Farmer and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The only place I didn't get through unscathed was Barnes and Nobles, but that's just b/c they had this one book which is the second in this trilogy to which I have the first already and they had it at 30% off. So I couldn't resist it. I probably would've if I knew they had a Barnes & Nobles at home, but I know that there isn't one, so I really couldn't resist then. Besides, this is a book we're talking about here!

Oh, and I've never seen a hotel which supplied their patrons with hairdryers, an iron, and an ironing board before, but I have now. More later...maybe. Or maybe not, since I'm posting this now.



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