Damn! Why did I book a 6:30am flight? Oh yeah - it's half the price of a sane-hour flight. So, it's up at 4am, down some cheerios, and head to the airport. My wife, Jaye, sees me off with sad anticipation of three weeks without me, the longest we've ever been apart.
The check-in line is long, but I have an e-ticket, so I can check myself in. The woman in front of me is waiting, too, for the terminal to open. When it does, she presses a button, turns to me to say 'I don't have a credit card,' and gets back in line. I ask her if she's going to use the terminal, and she says 'no'. As I begin the checking in process, the woman approaches an attendant (who is unnaturally cheery for this hour, if you ask me) and hands her ticket over. The cheery attendant says, 'This is a paper ticket. Normally you would have to get in the other line, but I will help you.' Cheery cheery cheery! And much too nice, I think. She's rewarding the woman for acting stupid, and I wish she would make the dingbat get back in line for manipulating her like that.
The airlines want us to leave our luggage unlocked these days, in case the Government wants to take a peak. Big Brother is gaining more and more ground, I think, and I don't like it one bit, terrorism be damned. I tell yet another attendant that I have about $4,000 worth of mics in my bag - surely she doesn't expect me to leave it unlocked. Her reply is tart: if They want to look inside, They will break the lock if I don't comply with their demands. Welcome to America, dude. Luckily I see some Feds near-by, so I have them snoop through my carry-ons in my presence - Feds know what microphones are, given all Their spy training. It occurs to me that this would be a great time to smuggle drugs, if I did such things, since I have a small battalion of prescription pills (which aren't written under my name, mind you), and They don't question them at all. This is to say nothing of the oh-so-mysterious black vile of Green Tree Frog Poison in my side pocket. They are looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction, I guess - explosives, chemical weapons, rap music. One agent tells me that the package I have in one of my suitcases will be 'highly suspect' (and he used that term ). The smoking gun in question contains Sun City Girls CD's.
My first flight is 4-1/2 hours long. I've brought along a bagel, a granola bar, and some raisons, but am still so hungry! I pass the time reading Schrodingers Cat Trilogy, which was recommended by the band I'm on my way to record. What a strange and wonderful book. I will tell Jaye about it later, which will spawn an interesting conversation in quantum mechanics between us.
When I land in Philly I look for food. Their airport fare is 'interesting', but not very plane-worthy. The Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is appealing in the same way Spam is (meaning that you really need to try it once). The problem is that we also call a mullet a Philly Cheese Steak, so I'll have to rely on the salami and cheese sandwich I packed at home to get me to Manchester.
Once there, I am greeted by snow - eight inches of beautiful, fluffy white ice! I hold my phone out in to its path for Jaye to hear its descent. We both miss snow, having grown up with Midwest winters.
Paul (North East Indie Records) and Chriss (Cerberus Shoal) are there to pick me up, and soon we are off with no troubles, but the drive to Portland is hectic. If you've ever driven down a turnpike at 45 mph in a near blizzard, not really knowing where the lanes are, you know how bloodless Paul's knuckles were that evening. After what seems like an awful long two-hour drive, we arrive in Portland and head straight to a sushi bar. Ahhh' edible food!
Afterward, we stop by the Shoal house, have a few beers with the rest of the band, and listen to the Singing Tard. Later I will call Jaye, who will say, 'One day down, 20 more to go.' And my day is complete.