Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stranded Fun

I had a fantastic time in Minnesota. I got to see great friends and catch up on lives. However, the trip was not without glitches. Remember how excited I was about the early Radiohead download? Well, I got several good listens in on my way to and waiting at O'Hare, and I was loving it. But then when I got on my plane I discovered that one of the earpieces on my earbuds had come off (I have a great and comfortable pair of Klipsch earbuds). The little rubber part was missing, lost either on the floor of the plane or somewhere else en route. Well the missing piece wasn't just for comfort like the black foam covers of Apple earbuds. No, they are the essential sound-channeling aspect of the equipment. Without the rubber tip, the earpiece is just a hard plastic stick.

Long story longer: I couldn't listen to music on the plane. Fortunately my rental car had an AUX input so I could listen on my drive to Brainerd and back.

Then came the snowstorm. I suppose when one voluntarily flies to Minnesota in February, one will eventually have to contend with the weather. And this was a pretty massive snowstorm. I was supposed to fly out around noon on Monday, but the storm was still in full effect, and my flight was canceled. On a positive note, it was canceled before I ever left Brainerd, so at least I just spent the day at my friends' house instead of the airport.

So I was booked on a flight that would depart early Tuesday morning. I decided it made more sense to drive down to the Cities on Monday night, so I got a cheap hotel and then went about all the necessary arrangements for missing work on Tuesday: writing sub plans, arranging a sub, calling my department chair, etc.

After a very long and white-knuckle drive on wind-swept highways and unplowed interstates, I had a good sleep at the hotel. The Minneapolis airport was insanely busy at 5:30 on Tuesday morning since so many flights had been canceled, but I made it on board and was ready to be back in Chicago.

Not so fast. As the plane pulled out of the gate and the crew de-iced the wings, the captain came on the intercom: "Ladies and gentleman, that sound you heard was the second engine shutting down. Because of ice in Chicago, there's a ground stop at O'Hare, so we cannot take off right now. We'll update you in an hour."


At least we were allowed to use our phones while camped out on the runway, so I surfed the internet and played Words with Friends. But I still couldn't listen to music.

Anyway, we were stuck on the runway for an hour and a half, which could have been much worse. I had visions of Liz Lemon going crazy. But I made it home, and though I missed the school day, I made it to school for rehearsal.

So I had a great visit with friends and a big headache getting home.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Apparently your pilot didn't subscribe to Carol's half hour theory. He immediately went to the more demoralizing 'hour' mark.


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