Friday, June 10, 2011

Quick Trip and Back to the Grind

My son and I just returned from a quick trip to Arizona.  Even though Tempe is a crowded city, not one single person annoyed me.  Everyone was not only friendly, but people went out of their way to make me feel welcome and to accommodate my needs.  For instance, my hotel gave me a free shuttle ride to the airport even though I wasn't staying there the night that I needed the ride.  They even offered to let me cool off in their pool if I just needed a place to hang out.  Thanks Four Points Sheraton in Tempe.  Every time I go to Arizona I have a good experience.

Then I got to the gate of the plane that was flying back to Reno and I instantly started remembering why I can't stand living in Northern Nevada.  I was sitting there trying to read a book when this loud-mouthed man showed up and stood in front of me yelling into his phone loud enough that the people one gate down could hear his conversation clearly.  I said to my son, "I hope this guy doesn't end up sitting next to me."

The time came to board the plane.  I had purposely reserved a window seat for my son, so that he could enjoy the night lights from the airplane.  We got to our row, and watched in disgust as loud-mouthed man decided to move from his assigned seat down to my son's window seat so that he could fall asleep leaning against the window.  Uh uh.  No way, dude.  I reserved that seat weeks ago.

I made him move and he acted like I was forcing him out of his assigned seat.  I pointed out that we held the ticket for the window seat he was in and he acted innocent, like it was an honest mistake, and he moved back to his seat on the aisle beside me where he promptly passed out with his chin buried in his chest.  The deeper he slept the further his elbows would point out, so his thigh and elbow was taking up half my seat and I had to practically sit in my son's lap.  Then whenever someone walked up or down the aisle, they'd bump his elbow and he'd jerk awake, elbowing me in the ribs with his other elbow.

The guy reeked of hard liquor and cologne.  My eyes started tearing up, my nose started running non-stop, I began sneezing and coughing and managed to go through an entire purse pack of tissues on the plane ride home.  The ventilation in the back of the plane was terrible.  I felt like I couldn't breathe, and I broke out into a sweat.

When the plane began taxiing into the gate, everyone stood up and hovered in the aisle, but they didn't open the door for another five minutes.  I was really sweating hard and struggling to breathe.  Then I got hit with the stench of vomit.  Everyone around me seemed okay, but I was on the verge of yelling out to the flight attendant to turn on the air before I passed out.  As soon as the line started moving, we snaked our way out of our seats and up the aisle to fresher air and I mentioned to the stewardess that it was really stuffy in the back of the plane.  She just said, "I know."

I know?  So, she couldn't have turned up the air for our comfort?  That explains why I didn't see any attendants in the tail of the plane for that last part of the trip.  They didn't want to be back there any more than I did.  This wasn't one of those planes where they have nozzles to let the passengers control the air.  Thanks, US Airways!

Right off the bat, before we could even get out of the parking lot, someone who was speeding almost took off our front end.  You NEVER under any circumstances drive faster than 10 MPH in a parking lot.  The speed limit is usually posted at 5 MPH.  Then trying to get out of the airport and into the lane that we needed required a lot of aggressive driving.  In Arizona, if you put on your turn signal, people actually slow down to let you in.  In Northern Nevada, if you put on your turns signal, the a-hole drivers speed up to cut you off so that you can't get into the lane you need to be in to get where you are going.

The whole way home we were dealing with jerk after jerk after jerk. I had taken two anti-anxiety pills and was still digging my claws into the arm rests.   This was at midnight and there shouldn't have even been that many cars on the road.  I purposely chose a later flight to avoid traffic, but all it takes is one jerk on the road to ruin what would otherwise be a pleasant ride.  I felt safer in Tempe with bumper-to-bumper cars than I did in Northern Nevada with less traffic simply because of the quality of characters behind the wheels.

Then we got home to piles of more paperwork to read and forms for me to fill out.  Oh joy.  Also, my husband woke up to give me the bad news that the rest of my haystack got moldy somehow and almost caught on fire, so he had to take the tarp off and break up the stack.  Great.  Couldn't the hay problems have waited until after the first cutting?  I have no way to get fresh hay until that happens.

I hate returning home from traveling only to get hit with problems the second I walk in the door.  I wish people could let me rest for a few hours.  I'd say I got some rest on my trip, but I really didn't.  My son and I walked for miles both days on his college campus and spent the rest of the time sitting in stuffy meeting rooms with wall to wall people listening to the same message be told over and over by different speakers, all of whom acted as if they thought we were hearing it for the first time. 

News flash!  If you organize a day-long college orientation, arrange for each speaker to talk on a different topic.  I felt as if I was  the victim of someone else trying to kill my time, and my time is valuable.  Even after having the same message repeated to us multiple times by multiple presenters, there had to be a handful of parents who raised their hands to ask questions that had already been answered dozens of times by the speakers.  Where the heck were they?  Their bodies where present, but their minds were obviously elsewhere.  By the end of the day, my ears were ringing and I was seeing purple spots in front of my eyes.  I worried that I might pass out from hyperventilation, but I recovered.

One parent was required to attend the orientation with their student, and we had to pay for the airfare, hotel, meals and orientation.  Then after all I went through to get there, I found that it would have been sufficient for my son to attend on his own.  All they did was tell the parents to cut Junior loose and stay out of his business, because he's an adult now.  At the same time they told us to push Junior into joining as many clubs as possible, so that he doesn't get lonely and so that he feels like he belongs, because then he will more likely graduate and the university can collect their money for the full four years.

So, I'm back to my routine of filling in paperwork and putting out fires.  I'm looking forward to seeing that light at the end of the tunnel.  We haven't even received the transferred deed to our house and transferred home insurance and car insurance policies yet, and the county assessor is already hassling me to fill in forms declaring who owns the house, how it is used and what it is worth so that he can raise our property taxes.  Two weeks ago the insurance agency was hassling me to change our home insurance and I told them to give me a break because my mother just passed away and I can't move at light speed when it comes to such things.  Of course, the house almost burned down right after that phone call, which would have been a really bad thing, so I guess I'd better kick things into high gear again.

Here's a picture of a wild horse statue at the university.  It was behind construction fencing and I took it with my mobile phone, so I couldn't get in close, but you get the idea.


Mikey said...

NV just has bad juju for you. I hope you don't get sick being around all those people (I know I would, especially planes) Wish I could have gotten to see you, but appts just keep coming and I can't seem to get away from them. I hope you come down for the Arabian show in Feb.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Aahhh-Live in AZ in the winter and you'll come to find out that the drivers are just as bad as anywhere else. After 3 years...I can fully attest to the fact that 'road rage' is not a myth. As much as I came to hate the pressing summer heat...I couldn't wait for summer to roll around and get rid of a good portion of the traffic. Maybe they all went to Northern Nevada? LOL ;-)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mikey - That's okay. I didn't expect much on such short notice, but wanted to let you know I'd be in the area just in case you were in the same area and had a few minutes to spare.

BEC - Good point. A lot of people leave the snow in the winter to warm up in Arizona and bring their a-hole driving methods with them. In Northern Nevada we look forward to winter to get rid of all the tourists, but then the snow wears out its welcome quickly too.

Cut-N-Jump said...

BEC's You speak so kindly of the snowbirds! *snork* The saying in the valley is "Thank God for the heat! Otherwise they would NEVER leave."

Come Arpil 15th- Tax Day and they are all hussling out of town, getting home to file.

I'm a resident and native 'Zonie too. Drive through Tempe every day on my way to work and home again. My Dad also used to work at ASU in the central plant which oversees all of the heating and cooling on campus. Yes, you can easily chalk up a few miles getting around.

As for the bad drivers- we get them from all over! The midwest, left coast, PNW, some parts of Canada... and for some reason none of them understand- slower traffic, keep right.

Breathe said...

Very scary about the hay. I keep hoping things will settle down for you, but perhaps a move will do it (I recommend the texas hill country, of course!)

Rising Rainbow said...

The drivers are rude here too. I know when I am hauling my horse trailer if I must change lanes to make a turn I better start looking for an opening miles ahead.

What really makes me crazy are those people who dart into the opening I have left between me and the vehicle in front for stopping room and then they slam on their brakes. Don't they know they're taking the chance of having me smash right into them? So dumb!! but it happens all the time.

Jame said...

I really wish I could offer anything but words to help, but they are all I have. Are you thinking about a move once you finally have your mother's estate settled? If you are tired of winter & bad drivers, the Willamette Valley is beautiful year round, with about 6 hay cuttings a year & none of that white stuff :) I'm sorry for your flight experience-it seems you can either get a great one or a horrible one, & reading yours makes me fear for my family's upcoming flight back east for a wedding...with a 4 month old in tow!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooh! I love the statue. Too bad noone can get up close to it. :P

As you know my hubby works for US Airways, as did I when I was working full time before kids. But even though we can fly for free, I rarely ever do because it's a hassle and I really hate being locked up inside a plane at the mercy of the fellow passengers, the stink, bad air, everything! I feel like a cow in a trailer going off to the slaughter house! yuk!

And now that John is working at the Phoenix airport, because of the lack of hours available at the ABQ airport, he'll be flying home every other week or so and will be using Southwest or America West.

By the way, you're scaring me about the whole college orientation stuff. I'll have two going in at the same time. I hope they go to the same college!


achieve1dream said...

Wow that sounds like an incredibly stressful trip!! Glad it's over with. I'll keep thinking good (speedy) thoughts for you on all the dumb paperwork. There has to be an end in sight soon!