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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blogging from an extremely busy O'Hare airport

On my way to Las Vegas for an IA Summit. I don't often break form away from the book thing, but I'm bored out of my skull, forgot my headphones, and can't connect to my work email. As far as I can tell, a plane has neither taken off nor landed here in... 6 hours? a fortnight? It's a mess.

Some observations:

1. Approx. 150 people crowded in front of McDonald's, with only slightly fewer McD's employees pinballing off each other trying to fill orders. Older woman in front of me drops A PENNY and bends over to pick it up, crashing into at least 3 people (yours truly included) with her Iowa-sized ass. I will die a poor man -- I know this -- but if that's the price I have to pay for not picking pennies up off the floor on what is giving the Sunday after Thanksgiving a run for its money, I'm OK with that.

2. Two kinds of milk -- "white" and "chocolate" -- seem to have a tourist couple confused. "Is the white milk vanilla milk?" Oh, to live in a country where "white" always means "vanilla."

3. Word most overheard: FUCK!

4. Word most overhead in the presence of small children: FUCK!

5. Small children often sound like ducks -- very angry ducks -- when they are bored, hungry and otherwise DONE.

6. It amazes me how tech-stupid airports are. Announcements from one airline blend with those from the airlines next to and across from them. Hell, even Lollapalooza pretty much figured out the sound bleed problem last summer, and they had to deal with some real crap: yes, I'm talking to you, Jared Leto. Where the hell is the airport / airlines SMS?

7. I'm reminded of why there are several plastic surgery shows on TV. It's because lots of people get plastic surgery. I haven't seen this many fake boobs in a long time. I am waiting to go to Vegas, though...

8. The portable DVD player market must be dead. There are about 18,000 people milling about in terminal 2 and I think I've seen about 3 kids watching something on a DVD player. Just saw one kid who couldn't have been 18 months old watching something on a Mac Book Pro. Must have been Neal Pollack's kid.

9. The sky has gone from Midwestern-there's-gonna-be-a-twister green to, oh, I don't know, puce. It's lovely and I think my plane, now projected to take off about 4 hours late, can cut right through it like a knife through buttah.

10. Other than Neal Pollack's kid, myself and some dude with dreadlocks who is clearly on his way back to Oberlin, there are very few Macs here. Steve Jobs, just thought you would like a field report.

11. Apparently, two planes are racing toward gate F10: one will pick up the good people who want to go to Phoenix, and another will pick me and all of my silicone-enhanced friends and go to Las Vegas. See observations 3 & 4 above for what came out of most Pheonix-bound mouths, as apparently the Vegas-bound plane is in the lead and we'll get first crack at sitting on the tarmac for a few hours.

12. There's the plane. Talk to you later. Thanks for keeping me company.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog :)

Pocheco said...

I love that green color in the sky right before a tornado...I grew up in Oklahoma, so I was able to enjoy that every spring. Out here in Las Vegas, where I currently live, it is sunny, warm, windy and gorgeous, so you have that to look forward to. Hope your flight goes well and enjoy your time in Sin City! If you get a chance, you must visit the Peppermill Lounge, which is on the strip, across from what used to be the Stardust Hotel (imploded last week.) It's truly "Vegas". Make sure you go to the lounge, not the restaurant. There is a fire in a pit of green water surrounded by a lovely velvet red round sofa. Great drinks, and the coctail waitresses all wear evening gowns...

Anonymous said...

I am the proud new owner of a Macbook. My first mac. I have accepted Steve Jobs as my personal savoir. Just in case you want to add that to your report.

Joseph said...

Pocheco: loved the Double Down.

Anonymous said...

[Preamble to long comment: found your site while wrestling with my own book's cover . . . but, as change would have it, my next book is to be about airports (hate flying, love airports), and now I'm procrastinating.]

I'm amazed you didn't buy new headphones. Strength.

McD's and airports: I understand that there is no reason for an airplane to be a restaurant. That said: people: no strong smelling food (or anything, including you) allowed on the aircraft.

Fuck. (I should do a piece on that, thanks.)

In the words of House, give your child 20mg of antihistamine or they will die because I will kill them.

American sound anything and transportation is a nightmare. I can be on a train in Tokyo and completely understand what the next stop is, knowing no Japanese. In NYC, I'm lucky if I make out a word. Also, do we need ALL those announcements about security and smoking and baggage? If it's an international terminal the people who do understand are really, really annoyed already.

Although, it's it amazing how well sound-targeted those "the moving walkway . . ." announcements are? And tech props to O'Hare for the United terminal walkway: it's the future, in the past!

Google has an SMS flight service. Rocks.

While I was happy to see that aiports now have chairs near their over-used outlets: when I see renos without outlets at every chair: argh!

Regarding mail. 1) wireless should just be free, seriously. Come on. 2) do you have to block every single port other than 80? Maybe we want to use our mail programs? Mail, that's not to much, right?

I love watching Palm Springs, Fl deplanings. LOL.

Macs: people still ask me "what kind of computer *is* that?" 'Course SFO, different story.