Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's A Dog's Life Flight, and Other Stories

Some random thoughts from the whirlwind trip to Cleveland:
  • The flight up there was...interesting. It was one of thsoe "regional jets" with one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other. I had the "C" seat--the window seat of the set of two--and when I got there, a haggard-looking woman was in my seat. She was wrapped up in blankets, trembling, sniffling...she pretty much looked half-dead. I was almost reluctant to ask her to move, but I did request the window seat, so I politely pointed out that the "C" seat was mine.

    Once the flight started, it was obvious that she was a "crowder"--she kept stretching her legs out so that they touched mine and almost looked like she was going to fall asleep on my shoulder a few times. I was reluctant to catch whatever might be ailing her, so I had to sit in this awful, convoluted position for most of the three hours. But the kicker came about two hours into the flight, when I noticed the main reason she was under all thsoe blankets: She had smuggled a small dog aboard the plane in her carry-on bag! To the dog's credit, it didn't bark the whole time, didn't try to lick me when it was uncovered, and I couldn't see--or smell--any evidence of elimination on its part. Still, it was quite surreal when the lady said "ok, time to get back in now" (meaning the carry-on bag) to the dog as we approached the end of the flight.

  • From the Cleveland airport, I took the Rapid Transit train downtown. I was born in a suburb of Cleveland, and my grandparents lived in that suburb, so all these memories came flooding back--the street where we'd go from the airport to their house, the street where Mom and Dad had their first apartment after getting married, and so on. And there was a point where the RTA tracks parallelled the "real" railroad tracks for a while. I wondered if Grandpa, who was a railway mail clerk, worked on those same tracks once upon a time.

  • I got there too late to go to the Indians game that was part of the convention, but I saw both Jacobs Field and the new Browns stadium up close during my trip. In a way, it's too bad that the Cowboys weren't able to work out a deal for a move to downtown Dallas, because these venues definitely added something to downtown up there.

  • As you probably know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, much like Dallas has lots of brightly-colored Pegasus statues in honor of that iconic sign atop a downtown building, Cleveland has lots of giant, brightly-painted electric guitars around town, quite a few of which were in our hotel. I got a picture of one of them with my phone and will post it here eventually, once I figure out how to do stuff like that.

  • The weather was great; it was in the 60's and somewhat drizzly when I arrived, whch was a nice contrast to the 106-degree days of Texas last week. We went to an outdoor Cleveland Orchestra concert last night, and it was quite pleasant; some people even got a little cold. (Also, on the way to that concert, we arrived at the Blossom Center, a great outdoor amphitheatre, and the bus in front of ours suddenly had smoke start billowing out of it; it turns out that it had totally blown a tire. Better there than at 70 mph, I guess.)

  • In the Extreme Irony Department, there was a dog on my row on the way home as well....but this one was in an approved carrier, and I was in the (single) "A" seat, while the dog-owner and her husband were across the aisle.

  • In the Small World Department, I saw a guy with a UNT Homecoming '05 shirt in the Tower City food court in Cleveland. Also, the conductor at the Clelveland concert was the musical director of the Ft. Worth Symphony, and several of my fellow Texans remarked at how funny it was to travel a thousand miles and see a guy from your own backyard.

  • I noticed something upon both departing and arriving at DFW: There's a cartoon of some guy's head on the back of Alaska Airlines jets; I'm not sure who it's supposed to be, but it looks a lot like the famous Che Guevara image that's on all those T-shirts. Surely it's not, but...who is he?
More later...


Ms. Worley said...

How did she get the dog through security? What the heck...

Kev said...

Yeah, I have no clue how that could happen nowadays. I remember one time before 9/11 when someone sent a dog through the X-ray scanner as a little joke (with which security played along) and you could see all the bones, undigested food, etc. as it went through. I have no clue if the dog had a little green glow to it or not, but I assume it was OK if security let it happen in the first place...