November 4th, 2010

Goth marquise

What I did in America, part 1

So we went to the USA for 10 days.
It did not begin well. We set off in good order for Heathrow to be greeted with large signs telling us that our flight -- fine when we set out -- had been cancelled.'Oh,' said the American Airlines rep, 'the computer has rebooked everyone'. Except us, it transpired, and the marquis had a flight he had to get the next day, and 'it is half term, you know'. I never did work out how, somehow, it was our fault that it was half term. I said, 'Look, no children', and 'business trip', firmly, but it did not really get through. The rep was nice, but we were complicated or something and and and... We did eventually get rebooked, onto a United flight the next day, which was fine, though we had to pay extra to sit together and the marquis missed seeing more than a fleeting glimpse of our Chicago friends B & J.
The reason for the cancellation? AA had run out of planes. This later turned into 'technical reasons', but we are still picturing someone counting planes and coming up short. And they did not at any point apologise. (They put us up for the night in the Renaissance Hotel, beloved of Eastercon overflow, and we did get to go to the good pub, which was something.) When I rang B to tell her what had happened, she laughed and said, 'That's so like American.'
We finally got there around lunchtime on Sunday and went out for brunch at a very nice nearby place before the marquis had to head on out to Ohio. His flight -- AA again -- ran late and he ended up not getting to his hotel till midnight, having had to negotiate the Cincinnati by-pass in a strange car with an automatic transmission. Then he spent three days working in Milford, Ohio, which seems mostly to consist of malls and intersections. By this point, AA were becoming distinctly unpopular with both of us.
I meanwhile had headed back to B & J's where I was rapturously welcomed by B's two beautiful, huge black-and-white cats. All trips are improved by friendly cats. Spats followed me around so that he could wash my hair (long hair is a novelty) and Mambo regularly came by for fuss. It's been something like 6 years since I last saw B and J, which is far too long, and I had the best time. We ate doughnuts, and watched movies and talked and talked. (tamaranth, B and I have decided that there needs to be a remake of Some Like it Hot with Messrs Depp and Downey Jr in the Curtis and Lemmon roles. Can you bear that?) Monday night, they took me to a wonderful wine-tasting place in Chicago, where I had a really good Viognier from Oregon. And we watched Religulous, which was hysterical, and talked politics -- the negative campaigning going on was gobsmacking. I'm used to parties badmouthing each other, but this was solidly personal, and the only Ohio candidate with a policy was the anti-abortionist. I love spending time with them -- B and I are founder members of the International Yuen Biao Sisterhood -- and I missed them the whole time I was in Ohio.
More later.