August 2nd, 2001


Having a great time. Wish you were her.

Travelers log, August 2, 2001. I flew from National on a suprisingly pleasant, surprisingly short flight to Houston last night. I was concerned at first to be on board with Boy Scout troop 182 on their way home from the Jamboree, but they did provide ample entertainment while waiting for my flight. The troop leader was having trouble making sure some of the scouts kept their belts on, shirts tucked in and pants around their waists. I guess there's no telling a fourteen-year-old that your Boy Scout Uniform will not look cool under any circumstance, even if you put the pants low and untuck your shirt. On the opposite side of the Scout Spectrum from the thug life ones were the four behind me who were playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons from memory: "You walk into the cave and find a pile of armor." But I'm not interested in the armor. Tell me more about the swords. "Okay, you divvy up the armor between the guys who need it and you take the swords".

On board, the scouts were very quiet and well behaved, contrary to my fears. The guy on the aisle and I had the good fortune to have the middle seat empty, which made up for the cramped seats. I napped like a queen after making the mistake of choosing the tuna sandwich over the turkey.

While flying over Houston, I looked out the window and saw things I have never seen before. Miles and miles of flat land with big squares marked out in them and a road cutting diagonally through the middle. Unreal. Then, in a moment of public-education satisfaction, I saw a river formation below that I learned in ninth grade science is called an Oxbow Lake, and took great pride in knowing what it was and finally seeing on for myself.

And the Houston airport, while having Texas-themed almost-anything, I came up snakeyes on the boxer shorts.

After a short layover in Houston, I boarded another plane, this one completely full. I was being stared at by the million-year-old lady in the seat next to me who was had a pet carrier stowed beneath the seat in front of her. I asked about the pet and she showed me pictures of her 8-year-old Pekinese who has flown 8 times but never whined like she was last night. The lady then told me that I could be the twin of her great-granddaughter and began rifiling through her purse for a photograph. I knew what was going to happen: I was going to be faced with a picture of a girl who not only doesn't look like me, but is horribly ugly and probably enormous. I was right, but I didn't let on to the lady, but actually played along, pointing out similar features. I figured that made her happy.

I was seated next to a latino man from East LA on his way back from his vacation in Cancun. The man sounded like Cheech Marin, but had a wealth of knowledge about linguistics, the lost city of Atlantis and conspiracy theory, topics which were discussed for the majority of the three-hour flight. He had some interesting things to say, and a few book recommendations, but it never failed to lower his voice and whisper when talking about something that they uncovered at Roswell or how kevlar was only released to the public to cover up government studies on the subject.

I landed in LA 24 minutes early, and remembering that VJ said he and Dale would be waiting for my flight to come in at the President's Club, I found it, went in and saw my friends sipping Sam Adams compliments of the airline. We drove the short trip to VJ's apartment, stopping at an all night taco joint for a midnight snack.

It is now 10:30am. I have been awake for two hours after a long night's sleep to the sound of the Pacific lilting in the background.

It's nice to be on vacation.
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