Archive for July, 2009

Home again

I managed to get into San Francisco. The flight was delayed by an hour because of bad weather in Boston, but I didn’t care because I’m already late getting home and I ran into my friend, Ken (thanks for getting that stupid Barbie song stuck in my head), who also happened to be on my flight (or I was on his flight), so I had plenty of entertainment.

He had a rental car—or better yet, a maroon grandpa boat—waiting for him, so I caught a ride, but only as far as Menlo Park. He couldn’t get me to the train or else he’d miss his meeting, so he ditched me with the attendants at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel & Spa. They were fabulous. They called a cab for me. They offered me water. They were worried about what time my train was. And they probably enjoyed wondering why Ken and I drove up but I needed to go to the train station while he was staying for a meeting. Always good to make people at 5 star hotels curious.

So a $20 cab ride later, I successfully bought a Caltrain ticket. Only waited a few minutes for a train. I even looked it up to make sure I didn’t accidentally get on an express train.

I walked a lovely mile home to drop off my bag. Pablo, the one with the unexplained fever, not to be mistaken with Mitsy, the one with the brain fungus, was under the bed and not coming out. However, he did blink slowly at me, indicating everything would be okay.

I put the top down on Myrtle and drive to the specialty vet. The highway was at a standstill, so I took back roads and hoped I’d find my way to Campbell. I did, but arrived 10 minutes after they closed. However, they took pity on me and let me in to pay my ginormous bill.

I then broke Perl out of doggy daycare jail after paying their ransom. Now we are all home and all is in order. Perl is licking her paws, Mitsy left the room because she wasn’t getting enough attention, and Pablo, King of the Castle, is hogging all my time.

And it may only be 8 pm, but i am off to sleep.

Night!

Safely at Logan

The conductor only charged me for the zones I needed today. My pass from yesterday worked and got me on the silver line. The bus had a medley of passengers. A cute bookworm. A midget. And a hot, pierced, touchy-feely lesbian couple that I befriended later at the airport while standing in line. I thought they might be going to SF, but they live here and are going to New Orleans for the weekend.

Now if I can just get in a plane that takes off and lands in California today.

Let me try this again

I’m on the commuter train back to South Station. Didn’t know where to buy tickets, so I don’t have one. Didn’t really sleep. Showered at 4:30 am since I wasn’t sleeping. Know I should eat, but not sure if I can.

Not exactly starting the day off right.

Because that wasn’t enough

Sister-in-law T finally has a new name. Bat Woman. We were just watching He’s Just Not That Into You when I saw a bat flying in the stairwell. Bat Woman took the tennis racket and went after it. I got plastic bags, opened the front door, and held the cat. It was tough because one swing took it down, but then it was moving under the racket. Bat Woman figured out how to get it in the bag and threw it on the front lawn. We watched safely from behind the glass as the bat wiggled its way out of the bag, fluttered around dazed and confused, and eventually flew off into the night.

Hopefully not back into the house.

I have a lot of respect for Bat Woman.

I was a pansy.

The saga continues

There was no way I was going to make my San Jose flight from JFK, so I was moved to a flight tomorrow.

I picked up my bag from baggage claim and looked for cheap hotels, but I’m an amazing cheapskate and I refuse to stay in less than a three star hotel after tenting, so I’m taking the train to my sister-in-law’s house.

I bought a Charlie Ticket and put on enough cash to get to and from South Station. When I tried to use the ticket, the bus driver grabbed it when it came back out. Seems that my card couldn’t be read. But he looked it over and let me on anyways. So now I had an extra two dollars on the card.

I got to South Station and it took half an hour to figure out the system. First I realized I didn’t actually want Amtrak. Then I figured out which train I needed. Then when I tried to buy a ticket, I had to cancel and go find the zone. I tried to buy the ticket again an realized I needed to know how much a ticket costs, so I cancelled it again. Finally, I added the appropriate amount to my Charlie Ticket

I went in search of food. It was after 6 pm and I’d had an English muffin, a peach, a bottle of water, and an iced vanilla latte. So I was shaking like mad and my ears are ringing so much it is hard to hear.

My choices included McDonalds, Chinese, pizza, or fresh sandwiches/salads. I really wanted pizza. Or a cheeseburger. I’d been saving myself up to eat at the JetBlue terminal at JFK. So I was starving and having a har time caring about my diet.

Guilt finally won out and I got a 408 calorie sandwich, carrots instead of chips, and a mojito lemonade.

As I was eating, I got a phone call from the vets holding Pablo hostage. Seems the bank declined their request for a couple grand while I’m in Boston. And they don’t take American Express. So I begged and asked if I can bring a check from my other secret off-shore account tomorrow. No, I don’t have a card for it. Money just magically appears in it when I wave my wand. And my checks for it have a wicked old address, but please, let me pay tomorrow and release Pablo today. He needs to go home.

They called back and the connection was so bad, I had to hang up on him. I called back. Little do they know about my sand wedge hostage situation that I am negotiating at the same time.

The vet had agreed to let me pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Pablo is going home. I’m not.

As I was walking down the track, carrying a half eaten sandwich and negotiating the release of my cat, the conductor smiled at me. After hanging up the phone, I went back to him and asked if I had the right amount on my ticket.

I had the wrong ticket.

I asked if I should go back and get the right one. He said to get on an I could buy one on the train.

So I did. And he charged me for zone 8 when I only need zone 4.

I’m too tired to argue.

Hello Boston

Guess I’ll be here for the night. They rescheduled me for tomorrow and sent me out the door.

Stay tuned!

Never a dull moment

You would all be highly disappointed if my travel today were completely uneventful, so here I go.

Concord Trailways got me to Logan on time and without incident. JetBlue got me loaded on the plane, in time, and ready to go. That is where the trouble began.

First off, I’m not looking forward to the flight because I’m pretty sure there are three pets on the plane. One guy has a carrier covered in a blanket, and then there is a Jamaican family with two Chihuahuas. The Chihuahuas are across the aisle from me, and it is a small plane, only four seats across. You know I love pets, but I feel bad for them when they have to fly. And I worry unnecessarily, even though they aren’t mine.

Then there was the woman who raised her hand when the attendant asked if there was anyone on the plane not going to JFK. She had just misheard him.

Then there was a brief dispute about what kinds of snacks were available in this flight. It was resolved quickly.

And then we deboarded the plane.

No, I didn’t forget to mention take off or turbulance or landing because I didn’t experience any of that.

There are four flights to JFK today. The last two are already cancelled. When I had checked in, I was warned to watch for delays. Then I saw the weather talking about golf ball-sized hail around NYC. When we got on our plane, I was certain they were trying to get us there before the weather started. But JFK stopped us before we could leave the gate.

To JetBlue’s credit, knowing the wait is about an hour and that there will be landing delays and time to get us back in the takeoff line, they let us deboard. And I know they can’t control the weather. Some passengers are not as laid back about it all as I am. I feel bad for the crew having to deal with angry people.

So I got off and saw there is a flight later to Oakland. After acquiring an iced vanilla latte, I returned to the gate and inquired as to switching to that flight. The attendant thought it was a reasonable request, however, the flight is sold out.

So now I wait with the contents of my plane to hear back from New York. I will keep you posted.

We are boarding again.

Photos from Frankie’s Memorial Service

I felt a little awkward taking photos at a memorial service, but there were so many memories there. So hopefully, I will be forgiven for that—and for not using a flash, which produced a bunch of blurry photos.

I’ve attached a few below, but you can find all of them in My Gallery








Frankie’s memorial service

Usually I go to Maine for the Fourth of July. I used to go for Christmas, but a few years back, Meine Schwester and I started wondering why we went back during the worst weather instead of the best.

This year, I came out a little later so that I could attend Frankie’s memorial service. It is part of my Four Weddings and a Funeral year. Hopefully this will be the only memorial service this year.

Frankie was the guy who would yell at you to get off his lawn—or dock, as the case may be. He and Virgie have the camp next to ours. They and my grandparents used to live together in the house I grew up in. They like to think of it as the first commune.

As much as Frankie was that mean, old bastard who’d yell at you for making too much noise, Frankie was an instrumental piece of my childhood.

Frankie and Virgie ran Rollerland on Sebec Lake, just a few hundred yards from my house. My summers consisted of four things: sleeping, eating, swimming, and rollerskating. Every Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday nights, and Wednesday afternoons, we would gather our change and don rollerskates.

At Rollerland, you didn’t just skate in one direction and change direction for one song. Our play time was structured. We feared, respected, and loved the sound of Frankie’s whistle. Sometimes it meant reverse skate. Othertimes, it indicated time for a game, such as the wheel, memory with six wooden cards, or the game where we would all pick different special locations around the rink and Virgie would call out a location and those kids would be out of the game. Frankie also used the whistle to punish someone (usually one of the boys) for skating too fast, or hot dogging in a way that was dangerous.

What the girls all waited for was the whistle blow that indicated a couple’s skate. This was when you found out who liked who. There would be a slow song, and the lights would dim, and couples would go out on the floor hand in hand. I spent a lot of couples skates looking out the big window at the boats in the marina, but occasionally I’d get a chance to skate.

My favorite boy was Zippy, who would come up from the exotic Boca Raton to spend the summer with his grandmother. He was the kind of boy you’d find in a magazine or Abercrombie & Fitch ad. The girls all loved him. I adored the Adonis. I was fairly homely as a kid, but he’d hang out with me, and occasionally, he would make my night by asking me to a couple’s skate. Those were some of the best nights of my childhood.

And those nights wouldn’t have been possible without Frankie and Virgie. They provided a safe environment for teens to hang out. They gave jobs to my brothers who worked in the skate room. And when we didn’t have the money to get in to the rink, they would let us in for free.

When a girl with my size skates left hers at the rink and didn’t claim them, Frankie and Virgie gave them to me. At least that is the story they told me. The skates were beautiful. White and perfect in their own case. I eventually got new rubber wheels for them and new stoppers and they would glide on the floor. I never skated as well as Frankie and Virgie, but we all aspired to their grace and talent.

Frankie passed away back in October. It was probably for the best, as he hadn’t been doing well for a number of years and hadn’t been able to spend his summers in Maine. But he is certainly missed—every time there is silence when someone slams the screen door on the camp. And every time I hear a whistle and think maybe this time I won a prize.

On the bus

I was going to take the Downeaster train into Boston, but they don’t seem to have any between 8 am and noon. So I’m on Concord trailways bus line. Not as sexy as the train, but they have headphones and play a movie, so it makes the trip go by really fast. And I can go directly to the airport without taking the T.

So I’m watching New in Town. Not a great movie, but I am drooling over Harry Connick, Jr. And laughing at Minnesota. It is kind of like Maine, but different.

– Post From My iPhone

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