Up and out,
over the Bay Bridge,
International Airport, receiving a voucher allowing one to park in the
short-term lot for the price of the long (good deal).
Down and up, and immediately into the heightened security check, full body scan (arms over head -- joy), forgetting to remove a wallet, hand-dusting and pat-down (more joy),
pleasant computer station, at which to begin grading Music Theory Composition 2's, chatting (mostly about cameras) with other denizens, parked two waiting rooms from the gate, within site of the gate, within sight of part of the gathering hallway and wait station, seemingly within earshot of boarding announcements. Ten minutes before departure, there's been nothing, so think it prudent to head over there anyway, grading one more paper. Lo and behold, there's another assembly hall and waiting room which I've been unable to see, and the loudspeaker has not reached my ears -- the plane has been boarded and the gate is closed. Imagine the surprise. Luckily am rebooked on the next flight out (even another window seat) and resolve to stay in the immediate area for the aria of departure.
While the flying is beautiful over California,
Colorado -- penance takes the form of a
screaming toddler throughout the bulk of the journey. The years of daycare and avant-garde music hold in good stead, however; wails become simply variant sine-waves and sirens, probably easier for me to take then all the nearby captives. What's more difficult is when the not-thinking-through-things-clearly dad sets up a portable DVD player in the middle seat (vacant since a comely and cordial Asian-American woman -- who had temporarilly borrowed the History of Rock text while I perused Ptolemy / Copernicus / Kepler -- abandoned the seat for a quieter one in the back) without benefit of earphones and proceeds to play Thomas the Tank Engine. Bela Bartok on the earbuds proves a panacea. Eventually the vidiot box is turned off and we make nice, encouraging the child with other diversions (no doubt my combined iPod, iPhone-iPod, and computer would not have combined battery power to have competed with the video contraption anyway). They are pleasant enough people when behaved, and somehow we all barely make it to the
destination, a stuck jetway notwithstanding.
At last a reunion with Bette beyond the security gate, and eventually soon with George,
craftily at the departures drop-off point. A quick soft-pretzel fix and Philadelphia Inquirer at the local Wawa and we are labyrinthianly