Random adventures through my life... in all their glory and splendor.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

I am tourist, hear me whine

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I really blogged...
Well, right now I'm on a 3 hour flight to Salt Lake City with the better part of a laptop battery and a fully charged iPod, and nuthin to do but get a little caught up... So here I am and you're my captive audience.
This is my first solo flight. I'm usually the brave one left to guard the homestead, not the one boldly going. Catching the bus was simple, and getting through security was a dream, once the MAN confiscated my Dr. Pepper. (Guess I forgot that a 12oz can is greater than 3oz...) Anyway, I'm sure it goes without saying that my flight was at gate 17 out of 18 and therefore at the far end of the terminal. What surprised me though, is that Gate 17 is actually FARTHER than 18. Thank you OHare. Anyway, I digress... So their I am, at my gate, a solid hour before boarding, and then I have to start making decisions. Flight is at 6pm which means there's no meal. I can deal with that. But now I have to decide which cleverly disguised 'restaurant' at the airport has food with the least amount of evil in it. You can pretty much kiss any actual nutrients goodbye. I've accepted that too. But that doesn't mean that I can't make an intelligent choice. After all, I have close to an hour, I should be able to find something so I start looking, full baggage en tow, because you know, I wouldn't want some loon to load up my carry-on with c4 while I'm not looking. First up, Starbucks. I asked myself one question, Do I want to have to pee in the next 3 hours? No Starbucks, QED. Next, McDonalds. Again, Do I want the runs while belted into an airplane seat? Then, after passing about 4 'bookstores' (i.e really expensive magazine racks) I came to pretty much the gates of nutrition hell, the OHare concourse food court. I believe Obi Wan said it best when he said, "No where in the galaxy will you find a more whetched hive of scum and villany than at an airport food court." So this is kind of like your average mall food court except it's totally evil. They know that if you're there, you're desperate. I'm pretty much convinced that their intention is not to feed, but to mock. Why else would you have a chinese fast food joint at the gateway of flight? Oh please, let ME sit next to the guy that's all MSG'ed up and quivering. That'd be fantastic. Otherwise you can pretty much choose from sugar, fat, or fatty sugar. And then I see Satan wrapped in a tortilla. Burritoville. Now come ON! Only the devil himself would offer a weary traveller a burrito before catching a connecting flight.
So at this point I panic, which is exactly what they want. They want you to rely on your fallback foods... so I step up to the counter of some Pseudo-Americana Grill, which btw, "Grill" is pronounced "boiled" at OHare. And before I realize what I've done, I've ordered the CornBeef. Yes, I wanted a meal that wouldn't leave me gassy, bloated, or uncomfortable for my flight so deftly avoided the burritos only to land face first into a Reuben. I've become what I detest.
So far though, my seatmates haven't keeled over, but I'll keep you posted as the situation "develops."

As a side note, Theresa's Bizarro twin is on this flight. Pretty much T's features, all just a little more pronounced and angular. She even has lighter hair layered over dark, which I believe is opposite Theresa's. Like I said, Bizzaro. But lest you think I only have eyes for T, I've seen about 45 guys that all match my general desciption. Brown short hair, meduim build, glasses... your basic throughbread Midwestern geek archtype. Yeah, this plane is full of us. It's like we're all going to the same convention or something. I swear, someday I'm going to rob a bank and make the police question about 75% of the Mississippi Valley, just to prove my point... there's too many nerdy white guys around here. Somebody's going to figure that out one of these days and start thinning our herd. How hard would it be to put up a sign that says "Magic: the Gathering tournament This Way" in front of a bear trap? Seriously, most of us are either too nearsighted to focus in on a large pointy object at our feet, or we would be too engrossed in tweaking our Decks to notice. Open season, dog. Open season.

Farewell to thee Mine Cheetos, I shall miss thee most of all.

So, I made the mistake a couple weeks ago of sitting down at one of those blood pressure machines for the first time since high school. You know the one's I'm talking about, that machine innocently sitting in front of a pharmacy that calls to you and says, "Hey big boy, let me sqeeze your arm for a minute... unless you aren't man enough." Bear in mind that in high school, I ran crosscountry and could get my heart rate down to 48 bpm. So I did what any real man would do when taunted by a chair, I took the bait and insisted my wife check her blood pressure. "I'm always low," she says rolling up her sleave. "Yeah, me too." I said casually, not to be outdone, because you know, 15 years ago I was... So 45 seconds later, happy little green numbers popup and Chris is putting on her coat. "See, I'm always low." she quips. So now it's my turn, and I ever so smoothly do a little circular dance as I try to get my left arm out of my coat. Then I somehow manage to wedge into the seat with my winter coat lodged somewhere between my right arm and my spine. While trying to convince myself that I'm comfortable in the happy white chair suddenly, the life is getting wrung out of me one limb at a time I realize the absurdity of the situation. I have now willingly shackled myself to a chair in a public setting in the hopes of somehow out-bloodpressuring my wife. I know full well, that the trick to getting a good score is to relax. So while all the blood that wants to be in my arm stays in my torso, and my vision goes purple, I'm trying to tell myself that this is perfectly normal. Finally the deathgrip releases and my pale left arm flushes red, I open my eyes and see alarmed orange numbers BLINKING on high alert. As if to say, "By the gods man! Orange is one step away from RED!" Or more accurately, "I WILL CONTINUE TO BLINK THESE NUMBERS UNTIL YOUR WIFE COMMENTS."

"Borderline Hypertension, huh? Didn't see that coming" she says.

The chair smirks and with satisfaction, stops blinking.

So I've pretty much decided that knowing you have high bloodpressure is the worst thing possible for ever trying to lower it. So I do what all geeks do when they panic, I hightail it to the internet. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of looking for medical advice on the worlds largest hypochodriac network, let me tell you... Theories about hypertension range from "totally expected as individuals get older" to "You will be dead by the time you finish reading this senten... GAK!" Would you care to guess what the perscribed remedy is? Yep, you got it, diet, exercise, and keep your sodium intake in check. I'm pretty sure that's clinic-ese for "It's your own damn fault, deal with it" but whatever, I'll play your sick little game, stupid chair. So I did some more research. Do you have any idea how many things have soduim in them? Holy crap it's everywhere! I'm pretty sure if my iPod had nutitional information listed, it'd show soduim content. Finding out that all of my favorite foods cause hypertension was NOT helping the cause. But the kicker was Cheetos. The little 1 oz bags that are pretty much what you suck off your fingers when you polish off a real bag, contain 25% of your daily Sodium allowance. That means you could literally inhale a quarter of your days sodium just by walking next to someone with an open bag. Unbelieveable. It's like secondhand Sodium. Next time remind me how much I enjoy staying ignorant and tense.

Random Quote of the day from Brainshare, "If you fantasize about putting users in a blender, Get help. They're heavy."