Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Wednesday, December 31, 2008  
New Year's Evolution
They finally let me out of Oklahoma City. I wasn't in some weird limbo with airport muzak while waiting my final judgment after all. I hated to think the Oklahoma City airport is where we go when we die, but on the other hand, the bathrooms were clean and the people were friendly and they had good veggie burgers. Limbo or eternity could be a lot worse.

It's New Year’s Eve, and along with all the year-end re-cap lists and astrology forecasts, the guide to resolutions, the step-by-step procedures for saving money, quitting smoking, losing weight, securing a new job and finding love are bombarding us from everywhere. Magazines, television, newspapers and the internet (oh my, the internet) are brimming over with guides and steps and advice and how-to and services which will help us set and maintain goals and resolutions to fill our new calendars. We can all be new! and improved! in every aspect of our lives if we just follow someone else’s plan/guide/steps/advice.

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you want or need to change something - a behavior, a situation, an attitude – why wait for a specific date on a calendar? New Year’s resolutions are for procrastinators. January 1 offers a fresh start on a numerical year, and if that inspires you, great. But more often than not it’s an excuse for people to delay starting a course of change because they’re going to “wait for the new year.” The new year arrives and for a few days or weeks they make their change and then they fall right back into their old habits. The new year was merely an excuse to not embark upon change when they first realized something needed changing. If you don’t start and stick to a diet in September, you may do it for a while in January, but odds are good you’re lacking the true motivation and desire to change. If you had that fire in your desire you would have started in September. Just an observation, not an absolute.

Sure, reflection is a natural reaction to the end of a calendar year. There’s a bittersweet paradox to throwing out a calendar at the end of the year. It’s cathartic but melancholy, too. And there, in its place is a new calendar offering 12 new months of opportunity. Out with the old, in with the new. Literally.

Last year I was dating that guy for a couple months. I was still recovering from surgery, and my dad had just had cancer surgery, but the year ahead looked hopeful, maybe even promising. The pain in my ankle was decreasing, my dad's cancer was completely gone, I had an interview lined up with a company I respect, and there was that guy I was dating. Meanwhile a friend was recovering from a break-up. She’s a divorced serial dater and rarely goes more than a month or two between men. She’s had a couple long term relationships but more of the "couple months then fizzle out" types of relationships. You and I know what her “problem” is, it’s easy to see it from our vantage point. She dates for the sake of dating. She’s afraid to be alone.

When her relationships end she suffers. She cries. She berates herself. She berates him. She gets angry. That's all normal. But then she gets even by rebounding. Fast. Really fast. Every time.

Last year, a few days before New Year’s Eve we had a long chat. She's the type who drops all her friends when she's dating a guy, so it was our first long chat in ages. I have to catch her between men if I want to have any real conversation with her or see her. Through her sobs and rants she asked me why "this" kept happening to her.

I know. Me? She's asking me this loaded question? Me? Man pariah Trillian?

Phew. Well.

I’ve spent a lot of time not in a relationship. I keep busy. I volunteer. I travel. I take classes. I read. I spend time with my family. I’m an active participant in the world.

And I pay attention to how I’m evolving. What I liked three years ago I might not like now. Until last year I kept trying yoga because I thought I liked it, or that I would like it. I don’t. I hate it. So I stopped trying it. I used used to be too polite to say no. Now I say no unapologetically and without lingering guilt.

It’s personal evolution, no big deal, happens to everyone. But I pay attention to it. The men I wanted to date - my ideal guys five years ago – are far from my ideal now. I take a running inventory of myself and try to change the things I don’t like and cultivate the things I do like. Sure, the core is there, the values, the intrinsic characteristics, and I have a few Big Things, lifetime “goals” about who I want to be, the sort of person I am. But other things change. New experiences and insights evolve. So the running inventory check helps keep my perspective on myself fresh, keeps me on track with my goals and gives me a strong sense of myself.

When I go on dates I learn from them. Even the bad dates teach me something useful. I make notes about what I liked or didn’t like about the guy, or how I felt with him. Positive and negative are useful as long as you pay attention and remember what you liked, or didn’t like, when you meet men in the future.

By knowing myself and what traits in men evoke positive responses I know a “right” one when I meet him. The “wrong” ones have big neon arrows saying “stay away.” Why? Because I have a strong sense of myself. There’s nothing wrong (usually) with the “wrong” men, they’re just not right for me at that point in my personal evolution.

I hear you say, “That’s all very zen and enlightened of you, but if you’re constantly changing what you want in a man and relationship you’re never going to have a long term relationship. That's your problem with men, Trill, maybe you don't really know what you want.”

Maybe. Maybe that’s why I’m still single. But I think it has more to do with timing. Meeting the right person at the right time, when your personal evolutions are in synch with each other.

It’s also about winnowing down the traits. Basing a relationship on a specific commonality like a particular band or sport will lead nowhere. Think about your favorite band when you were 17. Think about your favorite band now. What if you married a person who liked your favorite band at 17 - and they still loved that band as much as they did then. Your taste in music evolved and theirs did not. In all but a few rare cases this would be disastrous.

Taking music as an example, is it enough to find someone who likes music in general? It’s a good start. Granted, a Flaming Lips fan and a Celine Dion fan are probably not going to ignite a lot of romance sparks, but get to the heart of the matter. A Flaming Lips fan is probably creative, open minded with an offbeat sense of humor and a proclivity for loud music and raucous concerts. A Celine Dion fan is probably more predictable, doesn’t like surprises, watches American Idol and prefers quiet evenings by the fire or in the company of like minded civilized people in large, lush, expensive auditoriums.

See where I’m going with this? Dig down to the roots and open your mind to possibilities that could sprout from those roots. So what if the new person you meet doesn’t share your enthusiasm for a band or sport. What do they like? Are the roots similar? Ta dah.

Back to last year and my friend. She took my idea and ran with it. Instead of getting drunk and crying and drunk dialing her ex-boyfriend, or falling into the arms of whomever she could find, she stayed sober and took a personal inventory of herself and what she wanted in a man and a relationship. She made a list.

You know where this is going. In April she met that guy. He possesses 96% of the traits on her list. All she needed to do was spend some time alone getting to know herself, be honest with herself, acknowledge herself and her likes and dislikes, and focus on what she wanted in a man and from a relationship.

It’s not magic. It’s shifting focus from what you’ve lost to what you want, and from what you dislike to what you like. Her determination to stop feeling sorry for herself and take responsibility for her own life and desires was the biggest hurdle. It meant spending time alone not dating whomever came along. It meant focusing on what she needed long term and not what she thought she wanted in the moment.

It’s like taking a look in the cupboards, planning meals and making a list before going to the grocery store rather than just stopping at the grocery because you’re hungry and will eat whatever looks good in the store. We might not like broccoli but we know it’s good for us and we have a recipe which calls for it. Put it on the list, buy it, make the recipe on Wednesday night and voila! healthy eating. Better for us than that impromptu frozen pizza and ice cream. A healthy relationship with the right person is the planned meal of broccoli. A bad relationship with the wrong person is frozen pizza and ice cream. Maybe satisfying in the moment, but you know it’s bad for you, you know there’s nothing lasting in it and you’re going to regret it later.

It all sounds so simple that it’s embarrassing to even think this weekend motivational seminar drivel. It’s the fodder of self-help authors with cliché catch phrases and Dr. Phil non-advice. And if I’m so smart about dating why am I single? Valid point. I’m not implying I’m perfect. My evolution has many stages left to conquer. And I haven’t met the man whose personal evolution is in synch with mine. But I’ve had a few good relationships and some great dates. And I’ve avoided some potentially disastrous dates and relationships because I paid attention to the huge neon arrows flashing “stay away.” I haven’t met The One. Maybe I never will. But. I evolve and so does my dating life. I don't keep dating the same type of guy over and over.

When you’re honest with yourself and know yourself the “wrong” people become blazingly obvious. You develop a keen sense of what matters most to you. The better you know yourself and what matters to you, the better your judgment becomes in terms of weeding out the “wrong” people. The people who don’t share those outlooks tend to have the “stay away” neon arrows pointing to them. They’re not bad, they’re just not right for you right now. Timing.

Last New Year’s Eve my friend was crying and angry over a break-up. Last week her 96% guy proposed to her on Christmas Eve. The moral is not that marriage is not the be all and end all ultimate prize. The moral is that you have to be honest with yourself and make knowledgeable choices about who you date if you want a healthy, fulfilling, long term relationship. Frozen pizza can be good in the moment, but broccoli is better for you. Take the inventory, make the list and evolve.

This year it’s me who’s alone on New Year’s Eve. I’m not crying over a break-up. Those January 2008 points of hope turned out to be false. My dad's cancer surgery rid him of cancer but gave him a deadly bacterial infection. My foot and ankle are still swollen and painful, and now scarred. That job interview didn't lead to a new job. That guy I was dating unceremoniously dumped me. That's one reason why I don't make New Year's Resolutions. The calendar dates are meaningless. They're just ways to mark the passing of time for historians and scientists. My 2008 calendar was filled with promise in January. By April the dates were marked with hospital stays, doctor appointments and no dates with that guy or anyone else. The coming months brought dates which will now forever be sad anniversaries for me.

It's evolution, not resolution. I’m sticking to my rule about no New Year’s resolutions. But I'm running a personal inventory check and bringing my list up to date with my evolution. A lot has happened since my last full personal inventory. It’s not out with the old. The old is useful, I’m keeping most of it. And it’s not in with the new. Magic will not happen at the stroke of midnight. I'm using the old to update my inventory so I can embrace whatever new comes along on my path of personal evolution as the person I am now, not who I was a year ago.

So, happy 2009. I hope it's healthy, happy, prosperous and evolutionary for all of you.

7:15 PM

Sunday, December 28, 2008  
It's December 28.

I'm staring at a sign that reads: Welcome to Oklahoma City!

So apparently I'm in Oklahoma City.

I felt the plane decreasing altitude. I heard the pilot tell us there was a problem at O'Hare and our flight was being diverted. I looked out the airplane window and saw black dots on green ground. As our altitude decreased the black dots took the form of cows. Kansas, I thought. Kansas City. But no. Oklahoma. The re-booked ticket the agent gave me says OKC to ORD. So. I am not in Kansas. I'm in OKC. The sign and my ticket say so.

I'm not supposed to be in Oklahoma City. I'm supposed to be home in Chicago unpacking and heaving a sigh of relief that I got through the first Christmas without my dad. You know the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles? Steve Martin's character Neil Page has fantasy moments of his warm home, wife and kids, all the pleasant, happy, comforting places he'd be, should be, if he wasn't in travel Hell. I keep having fantasy moments of my little condo, the sheets freshly laundered waiting for my arrival, my unpacked suitcase tucked in the closet...

In the past seven days I've logged 4,800 air miles.

I'm on my fifth flight in seven days. I'm entering my 18th hour of flight delay time. Actual time in the air: 8.25 hours. If I ever leave Oklahoma City (which is looking doubtful today, and I'm considering relocating simply because I was on a plane that was diverted here and here seems as good as place as any to just say: I'm here. I'm done. This is it. My last stop. Ever.) If I do decide to leave I have another two hours in the air.

Using mph in flight time I've earned 581.8181 air miles/hour of air time. using the same ratio I've earned 10,472.727 miles on the ground waiting in airports or on tarmacs. Thus far. (I like how the equation works out to .727. It's a little math joke the airlines are playing on me.)

I've learned a few things traveling across, up and down America in the past seven days.

If the wind chill is low enough plane de-icing trucks will, themselves, freeze. I know this because I sat on the runway at O'Hare for three hours when the air temp was -10 and the wind chill was -40. We needed to be de-iced before take-off. We couldn't get de-iced because two of de-icing trucks were frozen and inoperable. I would think they could just squirt the de-ice slime on the truck and voila! back in action. But apparently that's an over-simplistic presumption. I'm all for safety first. I'm not complaining. But. I did spend those three hours contemplating the safety of taking off at all if the temperature is so low and wind is so strong that de-icing trucks are frozen and wondering when (and why) I choose to trust flight crews and airline management with my life. Note to self: Evaluate judgment.

De-iceman ComethAmid the surly gate agents, unhelpful phone reps, and TSA agents with power gone to their heads there are many unsung heroes of air travel. The people who clean the airport bathrooms. The wheelchair assistants. The guys who work the de-ice trucks. By definition these people do the difficult and unpleasant jobs. We don't really "notice" them when things are running smoothly, but just wait until a bathroom runs out of toilet paper, a handicapped passenger has to get from gate C78 to gate F42B or it's -10°. Without the people working those jobs air travel would be truly awful, unsafe or impossible.

Every flight has to have a cabin crew. The ratio is one flight attendant/50 passengers. I know this because I spent five hours in Detroit waiting for a flight attendant to arrive from another flight so my mother and I could take off to O'Hare. Yes. We could have driven to Chicago in those five hours. But we still would have missed our connecting flight to Los Angeles. So. No real point in driving when, eventually, a flight attendant will arrive. Right? Right?? I also learned that apparently there is a flight attendant shortage in Detroit. Or maybe it was because not enough flight attendants in Detroit wanted to work on December 23rd. Note to self: Look into flight attendant salaries.

When some flights are delayed or there is a "flight slow down" at an airport, airlines have a built-in excuse to cancel other flights. My mother and I missed our connecting flight to Los Angeles (see above, MIA flight attendant) but no big deal, right? There are flights from Chicago to Los Angeles every hour. No big deal if you miss your flight. Unless the airlines cancel those flights. I'm not saying the weather wasn't bad. It was unpleasant. I understand why there was a runway slow-down. But. I don't understand why a slow-down meant four out of six flights to Los Angeles were canceled. Not delayed, canceled. Again, I'm all for safety. If it's not safe to fly a plane, then by all means, don't even attempt it. Angry passengers be damned. But. Flights were taking off - just at a slower pace than normal. So why cancel flights full of holiday travelers? Don't know. Don't get it. But there it is. It just is.

Traveling with a senior citizen in a wheel chair greatly increases your odds of getting rebooked on another flight when yours is canceled. If you're lucky enough to have healthy senior citizens in your family, consider borrowing a wheel-chair bound travel companion if you plan to travel during the holidays or during a runway "slow-down." I wish my mother didn't have physical limitations. Don't get me wrong, I'm not basking in glory of her impairment. But. Since she's already physically challenged, well, it's a nice perk to get priority treatment for re-booking and boarding. I saw agents who were surly to other passengers turn to pleasant, customer service oriented professionals when they saw my mother. Strings were pulled. Exceptions were made. We got on a flight where there were 124 people on stand-by.

Having frequent flyer status never hurts. A log of thousands of miles and a few banked upgrades comes in handy. I hate to jinx myself, but, so far on United I've never paid for an "Economy Plus" upgrade but inevitably I am offered one at the gate. Do they "owe" me a seat with a few inches more legroom considering I've logged thousands of miles on their planes? Well...to some that's debatable. I should have to pay like everyone else. ($39 on most flights) But. If no one takes the bait for the few inches more leg room and the seats are going to go empty, why not upgrade a frequent flyer which will then give a non-frequent flyer more space due to the vacated seat? I mean really, everyone wins. As for those upgrades, when our flight was canceled I had enough upgrades banked to put my mother and I in first class. There were seats available in first class on other flights long before there were seats in the rest of the planes. If we hadn't made the first hoped for re-booked flight, we were assured first class seats when (if) the next flight left. (Note to self: Hate them though you do, those air miles on those stupid airlines come in handy so keep using your frequent flyer number.)

What does the X in LAX stand for? I've pondered this in the past, but just thought this was an opportune time to present it to the Universe. I know the IATA codes have to be three letters, but why X? Why not LAG? or LAN? ORD, by the way, comes from ORcharD which was the original name of an airstrip in the area. Conveniently, Butch O'Hare, a WWII Navy Commander, had a last name starting with O so it was an easy rename. Though I question the appropriateness of naming an airport after a Navy airman who died in a plane crash. I can see both sides of the discussion and it's nice to have some kind of tribute, but given the circumstances of his death I'm not sure how fitting the tribute is. Seems a little crass, a little insensitive. But I'm not a pilot and maybe pilots think the best tribute and honor they can achieve is to have an airport named after them, even if they die in a plane crash. But the X in LAX is an elusive mystery. Note to self: Talk to pilot about questionable taste in naming airports.

PlaneAlso a good place to interject that the Getty Museum in Los Angeles is awe inspiring. Every time I've been there I've been knocked off my feet by its stunning beauty. (Happy place happy place)

The Theme Building at LAX (the arched quintessential jet-age poster child of architecture and LA) is still under re-construction. I have it on good authority, though, that the original plans and construction are being strictly adhered to and the design integrity of the building will remain unchanged and unscathed. (Whew!) The Encounter restaurant will still be there when it re-opens. (drums fingers on laptop...waiting waiting waiting patiently waiting waiting waiting) For those of us who are not keen on the whole SoCal scene the Theme Building is a comfortable welcoming committee to a place we'd rather not be. I hate LA and dread trips there - passionately - but every time the plane touches down and the Theme Building comes into view I get a rush of excitement and a smile finds its way to my face. LAXThe building says, "Look, I know LA is a weird, pretentious, shallow, expensive, phony charade, but we're not all that way. Good can be found, here, or at least hope can be found here. There are hopeful places, inspired places, just ignore all the rest of it and seek out the sincere. It'll be okay, I promise, and when you leave I'll be right here waiting for you and will bid you a safe journey." Note to self: Make peace with Los Angeles.

Oklahoma City, OKC, is now Will Rogers Airport. I did not know that. Now I do. I did know that Will Rogers died in a plane crash, though, and naming an airport after him seems a little inappropriate. (See above, O'Hare.) I like Will Rogers. I don't go around thinking about Will Rogers accept when they play that Will Rogers Institute thing before movies, which, now that I think about it, I haven't seen in a long time. But I like Will Rogers. Had I known I would be stopping in Oklahoma City I would have been more excited about landing at "his" airport. I guess if Will Rogers liked Oklahoma then it's okay (OK!) by me. It's just that I hadn't planned on stopping here now, today. Looking out over the runway from the terminal it's very flat. Very, very flat. I can see for miles and miles and miles. A couple hours ago I saw a beautiful sunset over Oklahoma. The Sun lingered on the horizon for a very long time. Sunset OKC And then the purples and oranges of twilight lasted a long time. I guess that's how it is here in Oklahoma City. Out on the wide open prairie. I bought some crackers and gum in the Capital City gift shop. They had a nook of Native American pottery, jewelry, books, photographic prints, and a postcard showing "Popular Indian Symbols." The back of the post card refers to "white man" and "red man." I guess out here in the real prairie they don't go much for political correctness. Nonetheless I winced when I read some of the vernacular. Every now and then I'm really, really, really proud that my family is very new to this country and "we" missed all the socially accepted degrading racial stereotyping that went on here way back when. (Speaking of socially acceptable degrading stereotyping, I saw the original Holiday Inn a few days ago. I'd never seen the uncut version. Holy weird and uncomfortable racial weirdness. Bing Crosby in blackface? What the...? Even for 1942 this seems insensitive and racist.)

The airport is very clean. Small, but very clean. I like that. And the people who work in the airport are very friendly. They all seem like they could be neighbors or relatives of Will Rogers. That's cool. I'm guessing they're so darned friendly because several flights have been diverted here and they're busier than normal. There are lots of stranded travelers who are hungry, thirsty and bored. Their cash registers are ringing up bigger sales than expected. The weather snarls around the country are a boon to the economy in Oklahoma City.

One negative aspect of the airport: Lack of electrical outlets. One per gate is what I've found thus far. I'm guessing they don't have a lot of travelers spending enough time here that they need a lot of outlets. But. On a day like today with flights diverted and stalled here, outlets are premium real estate. I found one in the ladies room and re-charged there. Thankfully the ladies room was exceptionally clean and quite large and my laptop charges fast.

There's a grill by my gate. I gave in to hunger and sauntered over to look at the menu. Burgers. All kinds of burgers. And steak. And a veggie burger. Wait. Am I just delusional from the long delay and possible loss of oxygen on during the unplanned landing? Veggie burgers in the Oklahoma City airport??? Is it a joke on us non-meat eating travelers? Is it really animal free? I just came from LAX and I had difficulty finding veg friendly food fare in salad heaven LA and yet here, in Oklahoma City, at the airport, they offer a veggie burger? I timidly walked up to the order area of the counter. A very, very friendly man beamed a big smile at me. "Good evening, ma'am, you look tired and hungry. I can't help you with the tired part but I can get you something good to eat! Where you trying to get to tonight?" (I told you they were friendly and happy to see us diverted travelers. Cha ching.)

"Chicago."

"SWEET HOME CHICAGO!! Small world! My sister went there last year for a teachers' conference!"

Yeah. What are the odds. I wasn't going to get into the discussion about my destination and his sister's work conference not qualifying us for small world status. And he was just trying to be friendly. So I smiled and said, "yep, getting smaller every day."

"So what can we make for you?"

"Erm, a, erm, *veggie* burger, please." I quietly said, leaning close to him so no one around me heard me order a veggie burger. My instincts told me ordering a veggie burger in Oklahoma City is cause for stares and whispers. After all, across the concourse they're selling postcards using the term "red man." But on the other hand, they do offer veggie burgers, there must have been some demand, some reason. Still, I felt an instinctual need to keep it on the down low. But the super friendly order taker blew my cover, "You a vegetarian?!" He seemed a bit too enthused. Like maybe I was the first one he'd ever met. Or that he was going to get a good laugh out of faking out the vegetarian with some kind of an animal disguised as a veggie burger.

"Erm, yes." I said as shortly and quietly as possible.

"Alrighty then! ONE VEGGIE BURGER!!!" he yelled to the short order cook who was no more than six feet away. "Do you eat dairy? We've got three kinds of cheese if you want to dress up that VEGGIE BURGER."

"Um, sure, yeah, that'd be great."

"We have Cheddar, Provolone and Swiss!"

Wait. Cheddar, Provolone and Swiss? At an airport? Huh? Where am I?

"Swiss, please."

"SWISS ON THE VEGGIE FOR THE LITTLE LADY FROM CHICAGO!!!"

Aw crap. Ya know, friendly is nice, really, I appreciate friendly. But. There are limits. Boundaries. Too much joviality in an obviously bad situation is uncalled for and annoying. I was still wondering if this was some sort of mockery, making fun of vegetarians and weary travelers.

"Now don't you worry, we cook our veggie burgers separate from the cows!"

Okay. I was worried. Was my look of dismay that obvious or did this guy have telepathic powers?

"Great! Thanks! Appreciate that. A lot." I paid and in 10 minutes my veggie burger was ready. Made to order. On the "special" end of the grill.

And on my honor it was the best veggie burger I've had in ages. Maybe it was an animal and maybe the joke was on me. But, two hours later and no stomach issues have arisen indicating that it was indeed veggie friendly.

Somehow, someday, I may leave Oklahoma City. All the shops and restaurants except one bar have now closed. The night cleaning and security crews have arrived. They're all friendly and helpful. Which is making me wonder if my plane crashed and I have in fact died and am in some afterlife waiting area for people who die in plane crashes. "Will Rogers Airport" my ass. It's OKC, not WRA. Will Rogers seems like a fitting welcoming station for people who died in plane crashes. Comforting, friendly, non-threatening...yep, it's all starting to make sense, now. Will Rogers...the beautiful lingering sunset...the clean bathrooms...the veggie burger...the Swiss cheese...I was worried about getting home to Chicago tonight, but now I'm scared about what this diverted layover really is and where my next flight will be taking me. OKC

9:13 PM

 
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