Monday, December 31, 2007

So Much to Report

I have been so bad. I haven't written since Thanksgiving. So I'll just update events.

Christmas was destined to be low-key this year. Mom died two days after Christmas last year and I just wasn't into it this year. J is never into Christmas, so we did cards, a few decorations, bought ourselves a digital camera, and let it go at that. I did cook a turkey with Mom Dressing for Christmas, and it actually turned out well. The secret, though, was using turkey stock (prepared by J, of course) instead of water. And of course, the purchase of an expensive organic turkey.

Midmonth I headed off to Oklahoma City for my niece, C's, bat mitzvah. Auntie assisted in the preparation of cookies and a cake, arranged food on trays and in baskets, lit candles without setting the temple on fire, delivered the blessing (in English only) and refrained from tripping on steps four times. However, I was unable to properly prepare instant mashed potatoes and produced a weak potato soup.

I do not understand, though, why anyone takes trips by air in December. My flight to Oklahoma City was uneventful, but the flight home took two days and required extensive late-night haggling with Customer Service Representatives. All was well as I boarded the plane in Oklahoma City. There was a dusting of snow on the ground, but no blizzard certainly, and the plane was taken for de-icing. Two and a half hours later, the plane took off for Dallas. There had been high winds in Dallas earlier in the day and air traffic control shut down the airport for several hours. So when we arrived in Dallas, we had to wait a half hour for a gate. Which meant that I had long since missed my flight home. And so had a lot of other people.

We gathered at the gate for the last flight of the day to Sacramento. It was scheduled to take off at 9:20, but finally left the gate at 11:20. I was not on it. Very tired Customer Service Representatives were then left to deal with very tired passengers. They tried to convince us to come back in the morning on standby. Yeah, they wanted 50 of us to fly standby two days before Christmas. I don't think so. They then tried to convince me to fly to San Jose. Noooo. Finally they scheduled me for a flight to Los Angeles, and then to Sacramento.

My flight was at 6:45. I was there on time and the plane took off only 40 minutes late. I was a bit worried about my connection to Sacramento, but figured that if I missed it, there would surely be another flight to Sacramento from Los Angeles with room for me. No, there's no more adventure. I made the flight, but was selected for additional screening. (This is common when one airline gets you on a flight with another airline. That way, they meet their random check quota without having to make their own customers mad.) The TSA screening was, however, perfunctory, as they had figured out why I was selected and that I didn't appear to be terrorist material. The poor guy was forced to close my overstuffed carry-on and, as he struggled with it, I smiled sweetly and noted that I kept my liquids in my backpack just so I wouldn't have to open and close the carry-on. Finally home and taken out to brunch. Did I mention that I called J about every 15 minutes to vent?

We spent Christmas Eve day with our friends, P and J, who do a Christmas Eve dinner when they're in town. Last year they adopted G, a delightful toddler, who is now fully mobile. This means that everything has been moved to adult eye level. (The upstairs bar had long since been converted to a formula bar.)

And today I'm going to clean the bathrooms.