Monday, January 15, 2007

Mom is still alive and well

So far so good. See, mom and I love each other, but it works better at a distance of one, or two, thousand miles. We get along great over the phone. Not so much in person. But we managed a day and a half with no screaming, which is good. Now I'm at work and she's cleaning everything she can reach and we're both happy. I hope.

We had hoped my dad would be able to join us as well, but there wasn't enough room on the flights for him to get on as a standby. And maybe by the time he does get here, I'll have more room for guests.

Good things;
  1. Mom made it here. And the time worked out well because I had enough time to blow glass and eat yummy Indian food (which she doesn't think is yummy) before picking her up at the airport which is about 2 miles from glassblowing and food. And no shouting.
  2. Confirmed that the sink I want at IKEA is still there and it's a beauty and I need to own it.
  3. Got in some exercise even with company. Took a walk around the neighborhood. Then had to move the guest air mattress out of the way to get through the body rev routines, but that was easy enough.

Cranky bits:
Had a bit of a row with one of the "parking enforcers" at LAX. I had called mom, knew she was waiting at terminal 2, pulled in at terminal 2, and as I was pulling toward the curb and reaching for the cell phone, this guy in a "traffic" vest yells through my window "You need to move or I'll give you a ticket!" WTF? Oh screw it. What the FUCK!?!?! I've been there 2 seconds. He then says, "you need to point out your party right now or you need to move" - well, he can make severe trouble for me or give me an expensive ticket just because I can't see my short mom through the crowd of people bursting out of the airport??? If I circled around, I'd just have the same problem. If I call while I'm driving, I'm likely to hit someone. If I'd been sitting there for minutes looking bored, that's one thing, but as I'm fucking pulling to the curb is not a reasonable time limit.

So it was my 3rd time, ever, driving at LAX. In theory, it's a simple U shape numbered counterclockwise from 1-7. I went to number 2. It turns out that number 2 covers a lot of area and is not labelled uniformly. It was stressful in the extreme to be:

  1. yelled at the instant I pulled in
  2. under threat of getting a ticket
  3. trying to talk to/reason with the parking attendant while talking to my mom on the phone at the same time
  4. while both of us were looking for the other AND trying to figure out where we were.

As it was, between my dual and confusing conversation, my mom eventually found us and came over. The traffic guy actually apologized to me. And the whole procedure took about 5X longer than it would have had he not pestered me at all.

Here's the thing. Letting someone sit at the airport for >5 minutes while not appearing to look for anyone, I can see making them move, just for reasons of courtesy. But someone who is clearly actively looking for someone and has been there mere moments, should be left the fuck alone.

I now hate pretty much everything about air travel. The TSA rules are so restrictive that half the value of travelling somewhere in person by air, that of couriering items that would otherwise be cost prohibitive or pointless to ship, is completely lost to us. AND WE'RE NOT SAFER! It's like a sick, terrible, badly done joke. (If you don't understand why we're not safer, I can write that up in another entry.) In this case, my mom wanted to bring me some hand lotion and soaps and some homemade jelly. The lotion and soap I could buy here, but not for the discount she got, which was excellent was not enough to justify the postage. The mom-made wild-plum jelly, I can't get from anywhere else in the world but my mom. Yet all of these things are banned from carryon luggage as a placebo for people to feel safer and Mom was flying standby, so couldn't easily check luggage. She showed up at my place like a refugee fleeing a third world nation, but with better shoes.

Hopefully some retail therapy will get me out of this crank. Because even thinking about the airport is enough to make me want to scream and yell. And for those who don't know, I've been flying all over the US and Europe for nearly 18 years. And it's only really started to suck out loud since last august. In my opinion, 12 guys with some bags of gel have now disrupted the regular lives of millions upon millions of people - "the terrorists" have already won.


Anonymous said...

Mom and I live 2 hrs away. It's a healthy distance :) Somedays I wish the MIL was the same... but.. can't have it all I guess.

As for travelling... my passport when I came and saw you before.. won't travel without one. I need to go somewhere this year. Still waiting to find out if there's an event. If not... might land on your doorstep :)


Wade said...

Yow. That's just crazy what happened to you at LAX. I've never had an experience at any airport like that one...if something like that happened here in Austin, I'd be shocked.