Tags: airports

me blue hair

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I'm home, having arrived on our front doorstep in the wee hours of yesterday morning. I'm exhausted & oversocialized, and I've been diving back into some solitary pursuits that were in my mind when I left & have been languishing for more than a week:

1. Trying to clean the bike grease off my high top shoelaces. They got accidentally greased almost a year ago & I cleaned them at the time, but didn't take them out of the shoes before doing so, under the assumption that grease would only have affected the parts of the laces that were actually showing. When I took the laces out before Christmas (in order to put in red laces for the holiday), I saw that there were pretty large, dark spots of black grease here and there all along both white laces. Yuck. So I'm cleaning them with Lestoil (nasty smelling stuff, but very effective on stubborn grease stains) and crossing my fingers. At the same time, I'm trying to get the glue off of the blouse I wore on Election Night, because I forgot to remove my "I voted" sticker on the front before the blouse went into the laundry, after which the glue is flatly refusing to be removed. I'm putting my faith in Stinky Lestoil.

2. Reading the documentation for my prepaid cell phone, because I discovered on my trip that I don't know how to do some basic stuff like picking up voicemail. Or, you know, ANSWERING the phone. I can make calls, but I couldn't figure out which button to push when the darn thing started ringing in the Dallas airport.

3. Writing some delayed Yelp reviews and Etsy feedback.

4. Hanging the prayer flags I got for Christmas. The most difficult part of this task was the fact that strings of prayer flags get really really tangled really really easily, so I spent a lot of time futzing and twisting strings and untwisting strings and cursing. But now they are up, and they look gorgeous. I keep looking at them and smiling.

5. Loading a bunch of Buffy episodes to iMovie so that I can make a new Spike fanvid to the song "Loser Like Me" (from the tv show "Glee"), contrasting the moments when Spike is nerdy and/or pathetic with the times when he is confident, arrogant, and just basically a rock star. Transferring the files takes FOREVER. Seriously. I've been doing it for the last 6 hours or so, and there's probably another 1-2 hours to go.

6. Perusing The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Okay, this wasn't on my "To Do" list, exactly, but the books arrived in the mail only a few hours before I flew to Tallahassee, so I hadn't had much time to check them out. They're amazing.

7. Looking up the difference between airport "backscatter" scanners and "millimeter wave" scanners. This wasn't something lingering from before I left, but came up during the trip itself. I always "opt out" of the backscatter scanners, as increasing my likelihood of getting cancer isn't an idea I relish, and this often involves a ridiculously long wait for an Official Fondler to come and feel me up, while I watch dozens of people stroll through the cancer machine in the meantime. But the woman working the machine in Tallahassee insisted that the millimeter wave scanners (which was what they were using) were safe and don't cause the same problems as backscatter machines (including the invasion of privacy, as their machines didn't show nudie pictures of you). My cursory research seems to indicate that the millimeter wave scanners use non-ionizing radiation (like visible light, infrared, microwave, and radio waves) and are much much less dangerous than the backscatter ones. I guess when I'm at the airport and they try to get me to walk into one of these machines, I need to ask which kind it is.

Also, there were some general "returning home" kinds of tasks, like unpacking, doing laundry, and picking up the random home supplies that had run low while I wasn't paying attention to them (both before and during my trip).

Tomorrow, I meet with my writing group, where I will get to make use of a book Shannon gave me for Christmas. For each day, it has a few paragraphs with an anecdote or such that is intended as an inspiration for your writing, and then for each day there is a corresponding writing prompt. I'm going to see if my fellow writers in the group like using it.
Christmas polar bear, winter

New Years

I'm ridiculously behind on reading my Friends List. I apologize. If you have big news and think I haven't heard it, please tell me in comments (or message me on LJ if it isn't appropriate for everyone's eyes).

I've also been ridiculously busy the last couple days, getting ready to fly to Florida tonight to visit my mom & brother, which is terribly exciting. Spending time with them is always a great treat (we laugh so much when we're together that we make people look), and I love to travel (I even love hanging out in airports, which Shannon says is completely crazy), but the packing and getting ready part always stresses me out a bit. I'm always sure I must be forgetting something important, or I've left something in my bag that is going to get broken or spill or otherwise cause disaster. I think I have these vague worries because many such problems have occurred in the past, which I think is probably pretty common among people who have travelled a lot. There's the time sunscreen exploded in the suitcases and coated all your clothes ... or the time you got to the airport and realized you hadn't brought the tickets (back in the days when people had physical tickets) ... or the time you didn't leave enough time for transit and missed the plane ... or the time you forgot to pack enough pairs of underwear ... or or or or an infinite number of little disasters. None of them are the end of the world, of course, but I always feel these little niggling doubts that I'm missing something, and I don't like feeling like I'm missing something, especially when the feeling is likely to be wrong.

So I've spent a lot of time today on packing and going through my list to make sure I have everything, and the iTouch is charged, and the audiobooks are not set to "shuffle" (this has happened to me before, and I haven't found any way to fix it on the iTouch once the book has already been loaded -- I can only fix it on my Mac before the sync -- and so the audiobook ends up completely useless while I'm away from home, because audiobooks aren't particularly enjoyable when the chapters are played in random order), and the things I will need in transit are in my backpack and not in the suitcase, and all that random stuff.

So anyway ... I'll be flying the "red eye" for the first time within the U.S. All flights to Europe and Great Britain fly overnight, of course, but that's a little different. You don't have to change planes in the wee hours, for example. On this trip, I'll have a 3-hour layover in North Carolina, starting at what will feel to me like 3 a.m. Luckily, it'll be 6 a.m. there, and so some of the stores and restaurants will probably start opening, and so I'll be able to explore a bit and stretch my legs. Also, the entire terminal apparently has free wifi -- woo hoo! -- and a pleasant relaxation area with very comfy chairs (including, oddly enough, rocking chairs) and sometimes live music on a grand piano. I'm curious to see it all, which is lucky, since I'll be there for 3 hours.

I'm not sure I said this, but I'm hoping you all have a happy 2013. I like new beginnings.