austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

But I am so lazy, Don't want to wander, I stay at home at night

Sunday. A quiet day. Maybe? My mother had spoken of getting together for brunch. I think of this after midnight. I propose a nearby Coney Island, for the distinct local flavor. My casual reference to tomorrow in an e-mail sent after midnight confuses everyone. My mother is stranded at the hotel because my father, my brother, and the car are going to the Henry Ford Museum. Other relatives in other cars are coming, though, and assemble as I fetch my mother and learn of my Rhode Island aunt and uncle's trials. Nobody at the Coney Island has a coney dog, but one of bunny_hugger's friends has an olive burger. I forget completely that the place is not Vegan-friendly. My vegan brother and his significant other get fries. We're very glad seeing everyone before heading out.

We mail the marriage license in from the post office box there. I suppress my paranoia about post office boxes inspired by Philip Roth's The Plot Against America where the narrator mentions mischievously tossing lit matches into mailboxes. I've never heard of scorched mail indicating this thing happens with any notable frequency.

skylerbunny has an afternoon flight. We dash home and he packs, taking not too long, and we drive him to the airport. We couldn't have got done all we did without him, not just because he was the officiant. It turns out he'd have the chance to meet my Rhode Island aunt and uncle in the Lansing airport. We don't know at this point if he did.

bunny_hugger, one friend, and I go to Meijer's. They have a giraffe statue atop their gas station. We buy sodas, and limes, and some fresh casual pants and cargo shorts for me. We go back home and watch a couple of movies while writing thank-you notes. Advantage of a small wedding: we get the thank-you notes written during the course of The Loved One and part of The Aristocrats.

We're hungry. We think to go to the Travellers Club and International Tuba Museum. We had recommended it to my Vegan brother as a place he could definitely eat vegetarian-friendly. We joke about what if he were there as we got in, but dismiss the possibility since he's got a ten-month-old so who knows when they'd eat. He's there. So is my whole immediate family, including my father and other brother. They're finishing up, but we have enough overlap to hear how their day went and delight my elder niece. Also I get the roughly full story as of that date of what happened to my Rhode Island aunt and uncle.

We go home. We try to check in online; I'm annoyed to see United apparently wanting to charge for checked baggage despite our being international travellers and me one with 84 million frequent flyer miles. Their web site is useless. I call their 24-hour service outline and am told the next operator is expected in three minutes. They're off by only 21 minutes. bunny_hugger and I do indeed get one checked bag free. I finish checking in and go to print boarding passes. I get things which are Not Boarding Passes. We have to finish checking in at the airport. I go through my wallet, bulging disturbingly, and take out things I maybe won't need in Europe, like my Waldenbooks loyalty card.

We do laundry. We pack.

My Rhode Island aunt and uncle: they were checking in and found United bumped them from a 10 am to an 8 am flight Friday. They buck up and wake at 3 am to make it. They reach Chicago for a scheduled five-hour layover. Massive storms roll in. Nothing moves. They get booked for a 6 am Saturday flight. My uncle proposes going on standby for anything available. They put him #2 on a 9 pm flight. They forget about my aunt. When my uncle discovers this they put her on the standby list, but there's a couple between them. The storms roll out and they start boarding. There's two free seats. My uncle figures to send my aunt in his place. The person at #1 on the slot gave up and isn't there to be called. The couple between them doesn't want to break up. My aunt and uncle make the 9 pm flight and get into the hotel room after 11 pm, following a twelve-hour layover.

Sunday they went to Lansing and discovered they had no reservations. Why? Because they weren't on the 6 am Saturday flight. My uncle explains the situation to them, at considerable length. They're booked for a later flight, or so we hear. They'll get back home somewhere near midnight, and home later still. I dearly hope they do. The whole story is incredible. We are going to have to send incredible postcards to them for all they've been through.

Trivia: The Computing-Tabulating-Recording comapny was chartered in new York State and began business on 5 July 1911. Source: Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing, Geoffrey D Austrian.

Currently Reading: Today and Tomorrow And ... , Isaac Asimov. Mostly short miscellaneous science pieces of the late 60s and early 70s not run in Fantasy and Science Fiction so it's science history plus population-bomb stuff.


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