Charlotte’s Web

I’m in Charlotte. O! O! O, what a gal!

I think I used this schtick before.

No matter, I’m sitting in a Starbucks (one of six!) in the airport. I’ve got my internet HSDPA/HSUPA thingy (well, it’s called a Sierra Wireless 881 USB modem) and it’s cranking a respectable 500kbps down, 300kbps up.

I’ve set it up to share that connection through my MacBook Pro’s Airport radio and now my iPhone thinks it’s connected to real WiFi, which means it can talk to the iTunes WiFi store. The Starbucks apparently isn’t yet doing the iTunes affliate thing, but even if it did that would only get me access to Starbucks tunes….and their selection of Christmas music is spotty (Johnny Mathis singing “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, thumbs up! Ray Conniff/Percy Faith Singers-type Whitey McWhite choir singing, well, anything: two thumbs down, waaaay down. If you don’t get the reference, it’s like Lawrence Welk in 4/4 time instead of waltzes. I guess this isn’t helping. How about The Association singing “Cherish”? Does that help? Whatever, I’m old and you’re left wanting. Just kidding.

I’m in a great mood! I’ve got a fairly long layover in Charlotte (ahem)—just over four hours. I was going to try to get them to put me on other flights to connect through to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (I love saying that) but I remembered that they won’t do it at all because I checked baggage—the external kind—and they won’t honor requests to get off the flights the bags were going on. You know how these things play these days.

Speaking of, did you know there’s a sort of two-strikes policy for airport security? I walked through the scanner and beeped. Oops. Forgot to take off my belt. Took it off, held my jeans up (yeah, I need a new pair…the ones I’m wearing are from twenty pounds ago) and she rushed me through again. Again with the beeps. I hadn’t had a chance to take my keys out of my pocket. They wouldn’t let me have another do-over by taking out my keys. Instead, they dragged me over to some other little glass hallway and had to scan me with the hand-scanner and patted me down. It’s like a reach-around, except for not like that at all and with no happy ending. I was offered the choice to have this “done in private” and I declined before it hit me that there was a remote chance of a rubber gloves and body cavity type session, a mixed blessing. There’d be public embarrassment, but the notion of a happy ending was back in play.

Have I said too much?

Oh, grow up. Just do the big gay math and move on.

Anyway, he patted down every rivet on my 501s, had his hands up in my armpits and managed to stay on the polite side during his focus on my inseam. If i wasn’t absolutely punch-drunk dog-ass tired, I would have been angry. Or at least embarrassed. Sam watched with bemusement and I was like, WTF? He smiled and said “too many times beeping”, or something like that, and then trumped my experience with a tale of his last airport experience. He’s always doing shit like that.

Well, shit. Apparently Apple is too clever for my own good: they set the timeouts and/or speed tests on access to the iTunes WiFi store at a point where probably they calculated the minimum would be for a good user experience with the whole shebang and this little cellular jobby isn’t cutting the mustard. I blame Charlotte. Or at&t’s HSDPA coverage in the Charlotte airport, at least. I’ll have to wait until I get back to my folks’ house to download “The Carpenters’ Christmas Album”. Totally serious here.

So yeah, I’m happy to be getting back to my family and for such a long visit. I’m happy that there’s a very good chance I’ll get to NYC for a few days somewhere in there to see Bill & Edgar, Jenniebear, Glenniebear (he’s Glennalicious and bearalicious), the JoeMy of the Gods and who knows what other manner of folk.

I’m at the right point in the pharmacokinetics curves of the vicodin, the muscle relaxants and the anti-migraine medicines that I’m nearly entirely pain-free. That’s not why I’m happy, that’s just why I can be appropriately emoted to my state of mind.

See here, nearly cleanly shorn, expecting to be clippers-less for more than three weeks:

Sorry for the fuzziness of the lack of fuzziness. Low lighting, unfortunate ergonomics of self-portraits with an iPhone, and the tremors in my hands (nothing new, been there for months). Tis me, tho.