I should be in Boise Idaho tonight.
I'm NOT-but I SHOULD be. Instead, I'm sitting in the very last hotel room available in Beaverton, Oregon. That's right-Beaverton, Oregon. Because the flight I was scheduled to be on was cancelled at the last minute. I complained to the gate agent about the cancelled flight, started in on some diatribe about poor management, about it being inexcusable.
He listened politely, and when I finally tired, he said, "Mechanical Problems." He told me though that, he understood where I was coming from, and after hearing me out, they were going to make an exception. If they could find a pilot, they'd make the flight-with only me aboard. I declined.
At any rate, it's been one of "those days." Apparently, the only excitement these guys ever see is when flights get cancelled, so they maximize the thrill-by getting as creative as possible in helping to create the passenger's "alternate itinerary." He enthusiastically began to search the flights, and I must say, if creativity was his goal, he's a champion. I don't recall exactly, but I think his first plan had me flying from Sacramento to Phoenix, with a 17 minute layover, then a flight from Phoenix to Seattle; Seattle to Boise (arriving Thursday evening, I think). The good news was that the airline would cover all of my meals (they gave me meal vouchers-worth $16), as well as hotel stays (they gave me a card to fill out and send in with receipts; the title on the card-I swear I'm not making this up-is, "Does Anyone Actually Read These Things?"). I declined (as I have meetings at 7 AM tomorrow just outside of Boise).
The agent finally tired, and grudgingly agreed to put us on a flight into Portland. I jumped on the phone, frantically searching for a hotel, only to find there are multiple conventions in town this week, and the closest hotel room was "10 miles away," in Beaverton; not too bad. I arrived-and promptly found out that Californians are to Oregonians as Americans are to the French. A gentlemen (who looked like he was from Berkeley; tie-dyed shirt, khaki shorts; long-hair; Birkenstocks), cordially asked if I was from Oregon. I said no, that I was from Central California. He froze, got a very angry look on his face and glared. I asked if that was a bad thing. He said, "Yes. Very bad."
I quickly moved on-only to, just moments later, while walking through the baggage claim area, find the same tie-dyed guy standing with a woman, long, straight hair with a braid on the side, wearing a tie-dyed gypsy skirt and a headband (I'm not making this up folks). He was pointing at me, glaring, and whispering in the woman's ear. When I got within hearing range, he said something about "stinkin Californians," about how we're the reason real estate is so expensive here. "I've lived here thirty years," he said, "and you arrogant people come here and jack up the home prices!"
"Um. I don't live here sir. I've never bought-or even TRIED to buy any real estate here! How could I have anything to do with your escalating property values?" He grumbled and shuffled off, dragging the woman behind him.
I've told everyone else I've met here that I'm from Arizona.
So, now, I'm lying in a hotel room (10 miles away-but an $89 each way taxi ride-from the airport), readying myself for bed, because I have to wake at the ungodly hour of 4 AM (typically, I'm going to sleep at that hour).
Which is why I don't have the time or the energy to post tonight. I'm sorry.