austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

There's a kid in a band

Last Friday, after my last class of the day, I skipped my usual pause for a soda in the student union --- the better to let traffic disperse --- and joined the traffic jam leading out, to save a few minutes. I was driving up to my brother and his wife's, there to catch the train. You can guess what came next. I had not appreciated how many traffic lights there are on the path up there, but I managed to get a red light and pretty near every one of them. And even in the brief stretches between red lights, other cars were driving ... well, stupid is the way to put it. Not just slow, but at varying speeds with unnecessary lane changes so there just wasn't a flow to the traffic. I admit making things a little worse for myself, by taking a wrong turn that cut about ten miles of freeway out of my route, but it was mostly seething at the bad driving of others, and being slowed down by them. It took two hours to get up there. I had figured on under 90 minutes, at the outside.

My sister-in-law was running around, frantic, trying to get her daughter ready and a little fed so they could go to a late birthday party. Really. My niece was invited to a birthday party that was starting at 6:30, and wouldn't have pizza until 8:00 (thus a little feeding now, to reduce the hunger pains), and wasn't even a sleepover. The birthday kid was just allowed up very late. I'm fairly sure my bedtime back then was 7:30; I remember my joy when I was finally allowed up late enough to watch The Muppet Show every night. She'd forgot about driving me to the train station. My niece was slow about eating and my sister-in-law gave up, tossed her in the back seat of the car, and we set out for the train. My sister-in-law insisted on driving around the block so as to let me off right up against the train station, when I would've been fine walking across the street; unfortunately, the time it took to drive around let a train to the airport arrive and depart with me still looking anxiously out the passenger's seat.

The train into Newark Airport turned out to be an express, happily, and I found through my iPad that the iPad cell phone network was having its slowest day in the history of ever. But it let me establish that my plane's gate had been changed, since it always is between when I check in and when I actually get to the airport, and that the plane was already a half-hour late. This took the edge off having to wait for the next train, but, boy, how late could the flight eventually be?

But I got to the airport, and I was complimented by the Transportation Security Agency guy for my skill in putting my belongings in plastic bins for scanning. How low does the standard for ``putting things in bins'' have to be that I should be singled out for praise? The sum total of my experienced slickness is I used a transparent plastic bag to put all my power bricks and cords in. I realize airport screeners have to deal with the public, and the public is capable of astounding feats of head-cracking dopiness, but still, this rates a mention?

The answer for the plane question would be about 45 minutes, before the plane left the gate, and it'd be a little longer still before the plane took off. bunny_hugger was aware of the delay, but still underestimated how slow it would be; when she arrived at the Detroit airport, she wasn't able to usefully wait in the cell phone parking lot but had to resort to short-term parking. We were cheated out of some time together, but, we were together now.

On the long drive back, we talked, we listened to music, we discussed recent events, we listened to each other. We had got together for a long weekend, but a short visit. We went to bed early, for us, so there'd be more time for Saturday together.

Trivia: The Inter Gravissimas, by which Pope Gregory proclaimed the Gregorian Calendar, orders or instructs all bishops, priests, and other religious officials to implement the new calendar. It merely asks civil leaders to follow. Source: Marking Time: The Epic Quest To Invent The Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel.

Currently Reading: The Medieval Calendar Year, Bridget Ann Henisch. I expected it to be more about the amazing muddle that is medieval time-keeping, but no, it's more about the art of medieval calendars and what it all meant.

PS: Happy bissextile day! Unless that was yesterday.


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