Monday, May 14, 2007

No Place Like Home

I’m sitting at O’Hare, tucked away in the corner, on the floor, at one of probably two electrical outlets (oh great!! It doesn’t work, so I’m depleting my already overtaxed and nearly drained battery—long story, I won’t bore you with the details). You would be right to think that in this age of wireless devices, having more than two electrical outlets, at the busiest air hub in the U.S. isn’t asking too much—particularly when you’ve been herded like cattle, had your water confiscated and encountered major road construction that makes the Big Dig seem like a residential driveway repaving. Oh, and the suit-wearing business hard-ons are all walking around, talking on their headsets and being assholes.

After having a whirlwind five days (two, if you count travel days, which I don’t—traveling by air in the U.S. is the antithesis of fun) of productivity and positive social interaction.

Fortunately for me, I left my hotel just after 7 am, knowing that I didn’t want to spend any time on the Dan Ryan, the Kennedy, or any other expressway I didn’t have to. I took the alternative route, via the Chicago Skyway, which allowed me one last look at the steel mills of Gary, which continue to fascinate me in some odd sort of way.

I got to retrace the route I used to take to work in Chicago, when I first moved out here in 1982. I was working for a security firm at a 40 story condo on Lake Shore Drive and used to enjoy driving through South Chicago, along U.S. 41, passing along Stony Island Parkway and through Garfield Park.

I stopped and took some photos along upper Lake Shore Drive, north of Grant Park and Navy Pier. I don’t have time to download photos from my camera before my flight takes off, so I’ll probably post a bunch of pictures Tuesday, or Wednesday, sans commentary, or offering very little. That will come later in the week, hopefully. I’m back to my day gig tomorrow and after being gone for a week, I can only imagine what awaits me when I walk in tomorrow morning.

Well, it’s time to board. Hopefully I don’t have to sit next to some freak that is averse to basic human interaction. And as Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home.”

[Addendum—my favorite airport, O’Hare, doesn’t have free wi-fi and I wasn’t giving the state of Illinois any more of my money—they rape you with tolls for roads that I’d rather not spend time on, going back to my sentiments earlier in the post.

For all the weirdness that is JFK, the jetBlue terminal has free wi-fi, outlets and the gate I’m flying out of is in the new terminal and the seats aren’t ripped and it’s clean. I must admit, I do have to bitch about something. Since I need an outlet as my battery is drained from O’Hare, I’m sitting here near an electrical plug and to my right is a three-year-old monster, with the typical mother who knows nothing about how to corral her child—beyond having her strapped into a harness, of some type. She’s pulling on the harness, screaming and the mother is like, “Yolinda, please don’t scream—you are giving mommy a headache.” Yeah and you’re adding to my travel-induced migraine! C’est La Vie!!]


weasel said...

Re: O'Hare's lack of outlets- they are probably sulking about losing the "World's busiest airport" designation to Atlanta Hartsfield back around the turn of the decade.

I take a French existentialist approach to flying. I just repeat Satre's assertion that "Hell is other people" over and over. Life is a Sisyphean challenge, especially flying.

Jim said...

I'll add this to my list of coping phrases/mantras.

I know it's easy to complain about minor inconveniences, compared to what many in the world go without--like food and shelter. However, we wouldn't be "ugly Americans" now, would we, if we didn't think the world exists for our own comfort?

Still, as airports go, O'Hare is the worst U.S. airport I've been to. I always bypass it, except when having to land in Chicago and jetBlue doesn't fly into Midway, which is a shame--I really prefer the smaller airports.