Stranded at the airport... I don't really know why I even decided to go home for Labor Day weekend. It's only a couple of days, and then I have to come right back. It was a complete whim--airfare is still low, and I just did it. But now its Saturday morning and I'm at the airport early for my flight, which has been delayed for 3 hours for no apparent reason. I overheard some people saying that the crew was late, but seriously--three hours late?! A lady just sat down behind me and said, "Unbelievable! How dey not have a crew available when dey know dey gotta go somewhere da next day?" Luckily, I have a lot of things to keep myself busy:
Music. I've got the new album by Deer Tick on my ipod, "Born on Flag Day." It's terrific! Deer Tick is a group fronted by John McCauley, a skinny skanky moustachioed guy with a voice like gravel who sings songs that sound like a mixture of the Doors, Creedence, Dylan, and Guns'n'Roses, in a good way. Doesn't sound appealing? Oh, it's amazing. It sounds like what would happen if a hobo became a rock'n'roll singer, went on tour, partied all the time, broke up with his girlfriend, then sang about it how much he still loves her. A couple of other new additions to the Ipod: "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear, a band that seems to get better every time they do something new, and "All Tomorrow's Parties," a Velvet Underground song covered by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. As much as I want to love Nick Cave, most of his music still seems unaccessible to me, but this song is easy to like. Also, I'm still pretty obsessed with Elvis Perkins in Dearland.
Magazines. Succumbed to boredom and purchased Glamour because it has Gwen Stefani on the cover and because I have no willpower. Flipped through over half of it in less than 15 minutes and remembered why I never buy magazines anymore. Then I found a New York magazine and a Vanity Fair on a chair. Now I can read about the "12 Secret Signs He's Into You," find out "Who Will Save Christian Lacroix?," say farewell to "two tragic icons" Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett one more time, and then discover "Who is Italy's Most Rebellious Designer?" Ooh--and a Mad Men fall preview! That should be good. I recently discovered Mad Men (late, I know, but I don't have a TV so what do you expect?) and I love it!
Books. In my bag is "Sentimental Education" by Gustave Flaubert. The back cover says, "He loved her without reservation, without hope, unconditionally." Sounds good to me. It also says that the book is based on Flaubert's "own youthful passion for an older woman," and "blends love story, historical authenticity and satire to create one of the greatest French novels of the nineteenth century." Hmmm. We'll see about that. So far, have not opened it.
Food. For some reason I always feel like eating chicken nuggets when I'm sitting in LaGuardia airport, and one time I almost missed my flight because I was waiting in line to buy some. But it's still "breakfast" over at McDonalds, and they won't give me any nuggets. So I got some really watery hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts and I'm contemplating the candy in the gift shop. There is a kiosk with fruit and sandwiches, but its all so expensive. It really ought to be a crime to charge $2 for an apple when you can get one in a grocery store for 25 cents.
Television. The TV screen above my head in this airport terminal is showing news interspersed with interviews with Elmo. Now, if I were a traveler to the U.S. from Japan or Russia and I was sitting in an American airport and looked up at the tv and saw a woman in a business suit interviewing a little red furry monster puppet, I would seriously wonder about the country I was visiting. Ugh. Why did I take my headphones off? If she starts asking Elmo about the President's speech to school children, I'm going to scream.
Computer. I've got a couple of hours of internet. Whoo hoo! Quick--get on facebook! Blog! Shop! Actually, nobody is on facebook this early in the morning on a Saturday, and I have no money to shop, and I think I'm officially addicted to the internet because as soon as I found out my flight was delayed, I pushed the magazines, books, and ipod aside and logged on. It reminds me of that Elliot Smith song "The Outdoor Life," where he sings about how he can't go camping because something might come on TV that will never be shown again and he doesn't want to miss it. Its interesting to think about whether something fleeting and ephemeral is therefore more precious or more of a waste of time?
Other: I had actually planned to write a letter to my brother while I was waiting. There is also people watching, exercise from being shuffled from one gate to another as the airport powers that be try and make up their mind where this flight is going to take place, browsing through the NYC knick-knacks for sale in the gift shops, and looking impotently out the window at the beautiful sunny clear day and wondering why I'm wasting it sitting in an airport. I had planned to be sitting by the pool by now.
So you see, there is really a lot to do. I'd better stop blogging and get busy.