It’s so special, I’m staying near my toilet in case my stomach turns parenthesis green.
1. Why I hate airports (aka airpits)
Here is the nutshell ho-hum version: At 6:30am Pacific time on January 13, I left my sister’s home for the hour drive to the airport in Ontario, California. I’m a TSA Pre✓® , so I breezed through the line (I highly recommend this system, unless you’re a terrorist.). The 3 flights home were on time. EVERY Delta staff person and sky cap was exceptional, and I was on the tarmac in Florida at 11:38pm.
When I flew TO Ontario California on December 23, it was an hour drive to the airport and the same 3 flights backwards. When you’re poor, your choices are “buy this cheap ticket or hitchhike.”
The FloridaBorne version: Imagine you’ve just died and gone to hell. (Hey! I know you’re not going to hell. Just humor me.) You’re strapped into a roller coaster seat, there’s an e-book bolted to a bar in front of your eyes and you’re told that you have to read a page of it before you can get off.
I’m not done yet.
The roller coaster starts…and that’s when the carnie shines into your eyes the brightest spotlight you’ve ever endured. You try to look away, glancing at the e-book. The letters have faded into a light gray and the backlighting is now as bright as the spotlight. You close your eyes, hoping the light will go away, but your head wants to explode.
You’re going up, down, around the track as spotlights of every color flow past your war torn eyes. The headache has intensified, threatening to blast out of your temples. Finally, you reach the exit.
You can’t tell up from down and the world looks a lot like this, only swimmier:
You hold onto the sides just to ensure that you are, indeed, sitting upright and not spinning into a black hole.
The pain is over
…or is it?
“What’d the book page say?” The carnie asks.
“Book? What book?”
“Are you blind?”
“I am now.”
“Hold on tight,” The carnie says. “You gotta take 2 more rides.”
You’ve just experienced the twilight zone I call “FloridaBorne at the airpit.”
2.What is the point of this lousy analogy?
This is what the inside lighting of a typical home tends to look like:
This is the lighting inside a typical airport:
This is what the inside of my home looks like when the camera flash doesn’t work:
Can you imagine having everything so bright you have to keep your eyes closed? Did I mention the blinding headaches even with 2 pairs of dark glasses and a hat?
This, dear readers, is the reason I’m wheeled from one gate to the other; not because I’m totally blind (I’m only 1/2 blind), but to prevent “Bowling for Passengers.” For some reason, people don’t like to be used as bowling pins.
3. Why was I in 4 airports for 1/2 a day, and why did I agree to take 3 flights?:
Well, it wasn’t quite free. I still had to tip the skycaps and get a plane ticket.
4.Was it worth it?
You tell me. I’ll give you a quick tour of my sister’s home.
This is my sister’s 90 pound dog. She runs the place along with her sidekick, Sunny:
The desk where my sister edited for 3 weeks is in the background.
Here, I’m trying to make the bed in the guest room. It was such hard work!
First, I had to go to the kitchen, throw a few pieces of meat in the dog bowl and then quickly run back to the room.
This was the view of the guest room window from the back yard as editing progressed:
Notice the edge of the 10-person hot tub I never used, and the edge of the pool that no one wants to swim in when it’s 50F.
Now for a picture of the outside world from inside the guest room:
Yes. That’s snow on the mountains. Yes, that cloud was preparing to dump rain on us. Yes, that’s supposed to be a pool. Any other questions?
Did I hear someone ask what the hot tub looks like during the worst part of their yearly 3-day rainy season?
During the 21 days of hell I put my sister through, she complained to all her friends that I’d chained her to her desk.
With this view out your window, would you care if you were chained to your desk?
5.Getting away from it none: From the refrigerator to the freezer.
I did take one day for sightseeing. My sister’s friend, Bob, bought a cozy little place in Arrowhead. It’s 5,700 feet up and his backyard is about 50 feet of mountain slope that stops where the road winds upward to make a curve toward his front yard.
Just in case you’re wondering if this is a remote hide-a-way, there are houses 30 feet to the left and right for about the next 20 miles. Sort of like wooden sardines packed upright in the ice.
This is the view from their living room porch (aka, backyard). The bottom half of these trees are firmly adhered to the sloping edge of the mountainside.
This is a picture of Bob and his housemate, Shane, standing in the living room, the loft and its window showing above them. What isn’t pictured is the windowless family room below them, accessible by a spiral staircase.
If you took the same house and moved it near my home in North Florida, it’d be 10 times cheaper.
This picture was taken in back of a McDonald’s on Lake Arrowhead.
I considered buying something to drink at this upscale fast food establishment, but after finding out what Bob’s house costs, I was afraid to look at the menu.
If you’re wondering why…
…at home, this is what my car looks like when the family is preparing to go for a ride:
This is what Bob’s car looks like in the snow (notice that his tires actually have tread):
Shane is showing you the depth of the snow and providing a comparison for the size of Bob’s car.
You’d think of a trip to California as fun, sun and frolicking. But if it wasn’t the cold stares from my sister, who hates editing, it was the cold wind, rain and snow.
Wish I could say it was great to get back to Florida, but as I write this, it’s 30 degrees, the heater is begging for a break, and the dogs are begging for more warmth:
I gave them a choice: Get under the covers or be grateful they weren’t outside dogs. Fat White Dog and Errrrr Dog chose the former shortly after turning into Zombies, but Dingo Mutt chose the ladder.