This past weekend I flew up to Boston to spend some more time with Meg. I also needed a break from this whole thinking thing school keeps forcing on me. I spent Veterans Day studying statics all day, and then taking the most brutal exam I’ve ever taken. A few days off were in order.
No weekend vacation can happen without a few kinks. Mine started bright and early when I apparently turned my alarm clock off and stayed in bed for an hour longer than I planned. Doing something so brilliant meant I had roughly one hour to shower and get from Katy to IAH for boarding. No problem. Only the car was out of gas. Add a speedy gas stop to the list of things to do.
Somehow, I managed to get to the airport before boarding was scheduled to begin. With a fairly bulky carry-on, and a ticket seated in the rear of the plan, I definitely wanted to make the boarding call and minimize my time waiting for my things in Boston. One look at the line for “regular” passengers assured me there was no way that was happening. No way at all. The “Elite Access” line looked a lot more promising. VA card to the rescue. This line was moving fast, very fast.
Or it was moving fast until I asked to have my 8 rolls of medium format film hand checked. According to the friendly TSA agent my film, freshly removed from its box the night before I flew, tested positive for “explosive traces.” My options seemed to be a voluntary full-body “pat down”, or maybe a trip to a back room with Jack Bauer. I wanted to scream “I’M RUNNING OUT OF TIME!” but I figured that joke probably wouldn’t work too well for me. After the TSA goon explained the pat down procedure, with which I was well familiar from my two vacations to Iraq (where the hell do they think they got the procedure from anyway?), I put my arms up and let him do his job. Had I ever done such a shitty job searching someone when I was a private I’d have fully expected to spend a few hours in the sun filling sandbags and low-crawling them from one place to another. Anyway, a few more swipe tests and my film was magically no longer explosive. I made it in time for boarding with my section. Excellent.
Boston was fun. It was much colder than Houston, but it was still nice. Things were nice and colorful from all the leaves changing color. It’s not like I’ve never seen fall before. I’ve even done a bit of raking myself. It just doesn’t happen nearly as much here in Houston. I flew up with my Canon 5DMKII and my Mamiya C3 to catch some of that color. I’ve finished the digital photos, but I’ve not yet developed the three rolls of film (2x color, 1x B&W).
On Saturday night I went out to celebrate Meg’s Dad’s birthday at a Johnny A concert. I’d never heard of the guy before, but I wish I had. It’s an instrumental act and I definitely approve. He played a pretty cool version of Jimi Hendrix’s The Wind Cries Mary and a medley of Led Zeppelin at the end of his set. I will ignore urges to play a ton of guitar for the time being. My grades depend on it.
Since I kept hearing about how I absolutely had to have clam chowder that’s what I ate for dinner on Sunday. It’s food. I’ll eat it again. It wasn’t something that made me want to jump up on the table, dance a jig, and kiss the chef. It was still pretty good.