Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gianna's Trip: A Recap

Zorro looks great on a National  Rifle Association flag.
[I have to fly to Amarillo tomorrow, I haven't unpacked 90% of the boxes from my move, and I can't properly display my NRA flag because Zorro is sleeping on it.  What?  Doesn't everyone own an NRA flag? Anyway, Gianna is currently hoofing it back from her second New York trip in two weeks, so I thought it only fitting that I procrastinate by posting this piece about her first trip.  Also, I think it's worth stating that even though we frequently travel for work, on these work trips we rarely have a moment to play tourist.  Days are long, the food sucks, and some days you want to give the finger to the world.  I compensate by swallowing down my rage and taunting the cat.  Gianna copes in other ways...I think she might be on the crack rock.]


I know how much our little Lizzy likes to keep our readers (sorry, reader) abreast of how she spends her days. I always thought my days were far too boring to share, but after reading Liz’s last account where there was not just one, but two pictures of what appears to be a morbidly obese cat sitting on a nearly empty, but buckling bookshelf--I know the camera adds 150 pounds so maybe Zorro just looks chubby--I now think "Gee, people will read just about anything."  I mean, I have a cat…plus I am going to New York City! The Big Apple, the land of a thousand bad accents, and one collectively crappy mood. So excited, picture me as Babs in the boat scene of Yentl (Papa, watch me fly!).

It's not often that Gianna
makes a Babs reference.
I mean, look out Empire State! I am headed your way with my University of Texas Press catalog, and if there is one thing I know for sure about the city so nice they named it twice, it's that they love to read about anything other than New York, written by people not living in New York. They’re a lot like Texans I guess, modest and curious beyond their borders. [If everything's bigger in Texas, doesn't that mean that Zorro is average sized?]

No line at the taxi stand at JFK--a promising start. My cab driver can’t be bothered to help me with my suitcase (perhaps sensing that it is loaded down with catalogs, advance reading copies, and cash). Hey, no worries pal, I got it; this old feminist can change a tire, put up drywall, and lift a heavy suitcase. (I can’t actually change a tire. I also cannot put up drywall and am not completely sure what drywall is. But I did carry my own suitcase). [For the record, Gianna helped to rip a hole in my drywall the other night.  If I'd actually read this piece earlier I would have watched her more carefully.]

This *might* not actually be
Gianna's taxi driver.
Halfway to Manhattan my driver asks where I’m from and when I say Texas, he makes a sad sound and then says, “Oh…George Bush.” So I say as upbeat as I can, “And don’t forget Rick Perry!” He makes another sad sound. I ask where he's from and he informs me that he's from Angola. Then he says in a voice you would hear from a preschool teacher, “That’s in Africa.” I say, “Yes, West Africa, of course.” Now I immediately regret saying this because I’ve sort of insinuated that I might know more about the geography of not only Africa, but, God help me, my own country. The reality is I can probably name five countries in Africa, and, you know, if pressed, half the states in the US. I’m very much a USA Today reader…lots of pictures. So yeah, sure enough, the old son of a bitch says “Are you familiar with Africa?” I have no choice but to say “So do you like George Bush?”

As you can imagine the conversation fizzled after that. Good thing, though, because a sporting event on the radio was about to begin and the national anthem was playing. My African pal turned it up and began to hum along. I think it's one of my sweetest New York moments ever.

After rolling up to the incredibly plush, celebrity laden, Roger Smith Hotel (new bar on roof!) and my pal once again makes a point of not even pretending to get out of the cab to help with my suitcase (seriously, I got it!) I head up to my room, drop my bags, and hit the Duane Reade. A bag of pita chips: $164, nail file: $332, and a bottle of water: $1,287. [Anyone else curious what one could do with water, pita chips, and a nail file?] Then I hit the streets hardcore. In other words, I went back up to my room and worked until 9:00 pm preparing for the next two days of meetings.

When not complaining about travel,
Gianna pitches UT Press books
I’d fill you in on the next 48 hours but most of it is even less exciting than a cat on a shelf (it’s the Elf on a Shelf for the non believers!) so let me skip to my last day. After spending $5.00 on toast (I know talking about how expensive shit is in New York is about as lame as talking about the heat in Texas…but truth is…sometimes it's just so damn hot you have to say something), and finishing my final two meetings, I shot right to the airport. Good thing I got to the there early, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to board my flight, get to the end of the runway and then be told we had to return to the gate because an engine light wouldn’t go off. Let me tell you something, if I were to turn around every single time an engine light went on in my car, I would never get anywhere!

Good news, though, they know they won't be able to fix it within two hours so they have secured us a different plane which would take off in 45 minutes. I mean, just hearing that shit you knew it was a lie. Glass half empty. We did get a $10 gift voucher though (that’s four pieces of toast y’all!). Three hours later and the only thing keeping my spirits up is Liz’s nearly constant John Travolta / massage therapist updates. [I am a wealth of information on a variety of topics.] So a little more than three hours later I am on the plane headed home.

We had to listen to the flight safety twice, and each time I could have sworn it said that the flight attendants would come by and do a cavity search. Obviously I misheard because I never did get searched. In other words…American is no Southwest.

She's the Dolly to my Latifah.
Or the other way around.
More good news, and the cherry on top of my trip was the in-flight movie. Joyful Noise (written and directed by Todd Graff of Beautician and the Beast fame) starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah (the greatest onscreen couple since Peppermint Patty and Marcie); I simply could not get enough. I would say it was only slightly better than watching any episode of Glee (calm down Randy, calm down). [Feel free to comment; I'll happily forward all tacky comments on to Gianna.] Thank God Kris Kristofferson had the sense enough to die in the first five seconds of the movie. Oh…spoiler alert. I want to be clear that I watched every single frame and highly recommend it to anyone stuck on a plane or in prison, if it’s free.

Side note, the original itinerary home said the flight time was three hours and thirty minutes. The flight time for the make up flight was three hours fifty minutes. A last little F.U. from the city that never sleeps.

Touche New York….touche.

1 comment:

  1. For the record (in case anyone keeps such records) I have not one but TWO NRA stickers on my truck. One on the front windshield and one on the creepy white guy camper shell cover thing on the bed. Yes, they are from the previous owner, and yes, they're only on there because I couldn't get them off without a torch, but they do make me immune to road rage by people with McCain/Palin bumper stickers in the nether regions of Missouri.