Friday, February 17, 2006

An Apology

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.
I had a break-of-sorts between classes this past weekend so I decided to take advantage of a cheap fare on AirTran and grab a short trip to the windy city. Just a two-day trip, because while we just finished our second semester, we still had classes this past week -- Wednesday/Sunday -- but at least I didn't have to worry about a quiz early Sunday morning because we were starting a new module. A good opportunity to spend some quality time with the SOOTTAD. She'll be back in Boston next weekend, but she'll be spending most of her time at the Sci-Fi Marathon, so I don't know how much I'll actually see her.

The plan was to fly in Thursday evening, work from her apartment during the day Friday and fly out in the early evening Saturday so that I could be back home to get some rest and make it to class at 8:30am Sunday morning. It gave us two evenings, a good chuck of one weekend day and potentially six meals together, which seemed to have good EV and didn't feel too crazy. I think signal-to-noise was something like 9:2 (46 hours together, 10 hours of travel time, including getting to/from and waiting at the airport.)

I don't think I've hidden the fact that I don't care much for Chicago. The city has stolen my girlfriend, after all. And then there's the matter of the availability of Chinese food (we hit the much-raved about Lao Si Chuan and Ed's Potsticker house and were verily underwhelmed) and quality ice cream (Margie's just wasn't all that). And there was the whole matter of being frequently thwarted on my first visit in May. And while I admit that the Korean BBQ and Mexican food has been excellent and I appreciate that the bars don't throw you out at 1am, I just have to say that I'm just not much of a fan.

Things started out well enough on Thursday night: my first Chicago Italian Beef and finally got the SOOTTAD to see 40 Year-Old Virgin and all the extras on the DVD. Friday: work. Thank you, modern technology. Thank you, internet. I love that I can "work from home" from Chicago, actually busy trying to get things done so I can roll off onto another project. Hit a lull in the early afternoon, but started getting back into my stride when the internet connection randomly died. Check the router. Check the modem. Try power cycling each in turn. And wondering if there was any service getting to the house, I finally tried the TV.


I call the SOOTTAD at the office, get the number for Comcast. Deal with voicemail hell. Get disconnected. F. Try again, eventually getting through to a customer service rep who is of no help except to schedule a technician to come by the house on Sunday. (because the SOOTTAD can't wait around the apartment at the timeslot opening they have on Saturday because she's going to accompany me to the airport.)

Damn you, Chicago! *shaking fist in air*

Saturday, a delicious brunch at Lula Cafe, a walk around Logan square, followed up by a tasty BLT and fries at Johnny's Grill. Ah, excess. We get back to the SOOTTAD's apartment around 4pm, plenty of time for my 6:50 departure, which is scheduled to arrive back in Boston a little after 10. Plenty of time. Oh yes. I figure we should give the airline a call (phone? yeah, internet is still down) to see if the flight's on time. Is cancelled a time? Right, the Nor'easter. While I'm on hold waiting for customer service, the SOOTTAD calls several friends around New England and confirms that the storm isn't showing up until after midnight, well after my flight should have landed. It turns out that I've been rescheduled for an 8:30am flight, like that's gonna fly. (nyuk, nyuk) And as I'm thinking it while talking to the service person, that flight gets cancelled. She ends up booking me onto the 6:50pm flight on Sunday. Shit. Now I'm not going to get back in time to make class. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Chicago, you're fucking with me again, aren't you?

I'm frustrated, annoyed. But I slowly realize that it's because I feel like I'm getting screwed over by large corporations that don't give a shit about the people they're trying to serve. I saw my flight cancellation as an arbitrary business decision -- hey, that Saturday flight hardly had anybody on it, let's just cancel it and save a few bucks and stuff that guy on the Sunday flight. I'm pissed at the why.

Eventually breathing resumes and oxygen returns to the brain. If the storm is canceling flights, they're probably going to cancel class. And I get an extra two days with the SOOTTAD! Yay, me!

It seems like Chicago was just giving me another chance to give Chicago another chance. And we saw the awesome Shaw Brothers film New One-Armed Swordsman at the Gene Siskel Film Center, ate Chicago-style Hot dogs, drank Old Styles at a local dive bar and even found a decent looking Shanghainese restaurant in Chinatown that we'll have to eventually try.

The situation was totally FUBAR and it worked out to be a great weekend. kat mentions the twists and turns life sometimes takes, and's totally like that. (There's also some business about faith and spirit which is sync'ing with me a bit today as well, but perhaps I'll delve into that some other time.)

So anyway, I think I kinda owe Chicago an apology.

Sorry about that, dude. Are we cool?

1 comment:

Leah said...

i was thinking about pretending to be chicago and accepting your apology, but i figured you'd know it was me anyways. :-)

cool post, i want to hear more on this sync-ing business!