Funny the World...

CHEEK TO CHEEK

April 28, 2000

I'm sitting in a very plush office of the head of the University of California at Santa Barbara Washington Center. The guy is in South America and I've been plunked here to kill some time while my friend Melody is working

I haven't a clue how much sleep I've had, but it ain't much. Who are all these people taking a red eye across the country? I thought I might at least have an empty seat next to me on the plane, but the thing was filled to the rafters. We left Sacramento at 10:30 p.m., arrived 5:30 a.m. in Atlanta (that's 2:30 a.m. California time).

The plane didn't have enough pillows, so I didn't get a pillow and I had an aisle seat, so I wasn't able to lean against the window, and every time anybody came down the aisle (which is narrower than my carry-on suitcse), I would get bumped. Can we say grumpy?

I changed planes in Atlanta and had another hour flight to Baltimore, then was hijacked by a middle eastern type who pulled me out of the line to buy a ticket for the Super Shuttle in here to DC. Actually he was quite nice and picks up a few extra bucks by bringing passengers back into Washington when he has been hired to take someone out. There were four of us in the car, so he made $100 just for driving us in here.

I want to comment on airlines these days. Maybe I'm too old, too fat, and too crotchety, but flying used to be at least comfortable. Now there is zero leg room, if you are overweight, there isn't even enough room to lower the tray table (and lord help you if the guy in front of you decides to recline his seat--then you have his head in your lap). They charge you $5 to see a movie you can rent at home for $2.50 (and see on a bigger screen). I got very chummy with both people sitting next to me on the two flights. We were literally cheek to cheek....and they were "normal sized" people. I haven't been on a single airline lately that has enough pillows or blankets. They all apologize and say they are going to order more--but it's just a ruse. And of course "service" is a thing of the past. Our breakfast, which we picked up in a bag as we entered the plane, was a bag which at one time had been a muffin, but was now muffin crumbs, a black banana, and a warm bottle of orange juice.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. I'm one of those people who haunts Priceline.com for bargains and takes the cheapest I can get. I'm willing to put up with the inconvenience for the privilege of getting to where I want to go. But I'd sure like to be able to cross my legs, reach my purse under the seat in front of me, have somewhat decent food, etc. (grumble, grumble) But I'm here at least.

The drive in was shared with three other guys who are also here for the March for Equality on Sunday--promised by fanatical Rev. Fred Phelps to be "the largest gathering of perverts in the history of the country." And I'll be there. Woohoo!

Today I'm hanging around the Washington Center until after lunch, then heading on over to the PFLAG convention hotel in Virginia, meeting up with some folks from The Last Session group, going to dinner, and then attending the $50 dessert at which Tipper Gore, Barney Frank, Jimmy Creech, and Steve will be appearing. I hope to have pictures to go with this report tomorrow. In the meantime, maybe if I close the door here and put my head on the desk, I can get in 40 winks and nobody will be any the wiser...

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created 4/28/00 by Bev Sykes

 

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