Sunday, December 11, 2005

High School Reunion Recap...kind of.

So here's a rambling of the recap. Part of it's written during the weekend which explains the changes in the tense. I still don't know if the whole trip was worth it.

Thursday - Friday: I’m a moron. A couple months ago I thought for some reason that going to my 15 year high school reunion was a good idea. When I found out that it was in December I still thought it was a good idea. I thought it was such a good idea that I bought an airplane ticket. Now I’m stuck in O’Hare at 2 in the morning. I’ve just sat on an airplane for seven hours. Three and a half of those hours the plane was in the air. My real mistake was booking a flight that went through Chicago…in December. What the hell was I thinking? I thought it might be nice to see Chicago in the winter time. I’ve only seen it during baseball season, so I thought it’d be worthwhile. I’m a moron. At least I’m not alone. There are plenty of strangers sleeping on cots or just sitting around. Oh how I love strangers! I have another six and a half hours left in O’Hare till I can hopefully fly into Columbus. I wish I could sleep but I can’t. There’s no way I’m sleeping with all these strangers. It can only go up from here, right? Right? That is till I have to fly back. At least my Christmas flight goes through Atlanta. What I wouldn’t do for a Pepsi and a cigarette.

Friday: It’s now 1:00 PM and I just got in from the Chicago. This has been the most wheels off flying experience I’ve had. It even beats sleeping in La Guardia. So my morning flight into Columbus at 9:00am was cancelled. But, there was a 7:15 flight that was delayed to leave at 8:15. So, I ran down and put myself on the standby list or so I thought. The desk lady said there already were four on the list, so that would make me numero 5. I wait patiently and a few others walk up to get their name on the standby list. I’m guessing there are about 8 now. People begin boarding the plane. After awhile they started calling the standbys. After the fourth name was called I had my fingers crossed. “Just one more! Just one more!” Then they called someone else’s name, and then someone else’s. What the hell? They skipped me! I ran to the desk and asked why I was skipped. She said I wasn’t in the system. Not only was I not on standby, but I wasn’t even listed anywhere to be on any flight. This was the same lady who entered my information. I asked her how she could forget me. I just talked to her ten minutes ago. She said she was sorry but the plane was full. There were 44 passengers and that’s all they were allowed to put on the plane. Then I heard the magic words, “I only have 43.” Apparently, someone checked in but didn’t get on the plane. So they kept paging this person while I prayed and prayed and prayed. Finally, they allowed me to get on as passenger number 44. With my own paranoia mixed in with watching Lost, I was a little worried that I had doomed the plane. Or, the plane was already doomed and I “luckily” got the last ticket to ride. There were two babies on the plane so I thought we were pretty safe. Still I’ve clearly watched too much TV in my life. Perhaps the fact that we sat on the plane until 10:30 reversed any doom effect I brought on the plane. Yes, 10:30 is an hour past the flight time of my cancelled flight. With a short hour flight I finally landed in Columbus 13 hours after I was supposed to. I understood the canceling of flights due to weather. I just don’t understand the complete lack of communication. I felt like I was looking for an Xbox 360.

Maybe I should start going without sleep every now and then. It’s midnight here in Columbus and I still haven’t gone to bed yet. After landing I had breakfast with the Bens and Ben K’s wife Julie. Then I went Christmas shopping with Julie and was able to get gifts for 2 nieces and 2 siblings. Thanks to Julie, I feel pretty confident with my purchases. Still my day and night wasn’t finished. My niece Moira was singing in their church’s Christmas kid’s choir. They were called something “Jam.” Being the great uncle I am I went. Riding my fifth wind, I was able to stay awake. When the adults got up to sing I was tempted to nod off, but then Moira sat next to me and we had our uncle and niece chat. Besides with the smoke machine and stage lights shining in my face sleep was out of the question. Then we all met up at Ben K’s house after picking up some grub at the Mad Greek. I was able to summon up what was left in my tank and played with Evie and Moira. Eventually Ben I. and the family had to leave. The nieces were up past their bedtime and it was beginning to show. Finally, I’m able to go to sleep. I hope I wake up in time for the reunion.

Saturday 10AM: Grumble…grumble…roll over…zzzzzz.

2PM: I finally wake up, and still have that airport grime on me. It takes another three hours for me to be able to put words together to form sentences. Eventually I shower the airport off of me, and get ready for the reunion.

Arriving at the Rusty Bucket, my first thought was ”What the hell am I doing?” After a cigarette I scoured the parking lot for familiar faces. Seeing none, I decided to just giddy up and go for it. I had the flop sweat going as I climbed the stairs to the “party room.” There were only about 13 there from my class. Add in the spouses and you had about 25. Not bad I guess for a class of 50ish. Of the three people I wanted to be there, Karl actually showed up. I got to meet his wife. Every single one of my conversation consisted of two topics. First was what are you doing, and the second was how is your Dad. He is everyone’s favorite teacher for 19 years and counting. It took awhile but I’ve accepted the fact. Nothing really spectacular happened. I just talked for around three hours and left. Obviously, I over analyzed the whole thing before coming. Also, most everyone knew what was going on with other people in our class. I was sort of the wild card and my ego liked that. The nerdy comic book, shy, baseball loving kid left town and came back with after making good in Hollywood. At least that’s what they think and I’ll let them think that.

The flight home was a breeze…of course.

Side note:

I’ve always been disappointed with my lack of celebrity sightings when I fly. I made up for it all on this trip. Two are pretty cool. R. Lee Ermey was actually on my flight to Chicago. You might remember him for Full Metal Jacket and all the other movies where he played the same character.

Waiting for a taxi after returning to LA, I saw Robert Loggia wandering around the airport. I felt like he should help him out, but he just wandered off. He may still be wandering.

My favorite though was on my flight from Chicago to LA. I saw what I thought was for certain a pimp. Can you guess which one I thought was a pimp? It wasn’t till I saw the other two that I realized it was R&B supergroup Earth, Wind and Fire! Earth, Wind & Fire! They clearly can’t stand each other anymore because I never saw the utter a word to each other.


bobby said...

If ever there's a jinx on a flight, it's seeing Earth, Wind and Fire.

Keymaster said...

So...will you be at your 20th???

Bradford said...

If I knew there would be more people there then I would consider it, but not if it's going to be like it was this weekend. I would assume there would be more at a 20th. If I do go I hope the Ohio Players will be on my flight this time.