Friday, November 23, 2007

Everyone's a comedian on southwest airlines

Welcome back to the DrawingIn Room. I'll assume you have been away, as I have, working up more adventures to relate in a way that makes them sound like Real Livin', and inspires you, I hope, to mutter, "well, if that's all there is, I could have a blog." Because I need things to read on the job too.

I started a list of topics, with the clever intention of back-dating them, to make you feel like there was a LOT to catch up on. But you know what happens when you make that choice is that each post has to have a story arc and a satisfying conclusion, which is not always readily available. If I lump them all together as one big week of posting, I only have to do that once, and I could accurately date this as today and we are all caught up.

So I am going to compromise. I am going to consolidate vacation week into 1 post, dated Nov 23, as you see today, then a couple of things that have been on-deck. You don't really want to see this much of the process, do you?

Here then, my whirlwind tour of central TX.

Memo to Southwest Airlines - we don't need you to be "funny." We understand that the saefty instructions are dull, and rote, and you are looking for a way to make us pay attention. We admit we are captive to you and you have a microphone. But seriously... it is 6am. It is Thanksgiving Day. Spare me.
Anybody remember this story? I heard no one, in 4 take-offs, say "eenie meenie," but I did hear a flight attendent proclaim (in an imitation Mickey Mouse voice) that we were landing in "the happiest place on earth," when in fact it was Baltimore. It might take a talented lawyer to equate such sarcasm with racism, but the real lesson of the original lawsuit is "stay with the script."

Thumbs up to the new boarding process, though. It will take people some time to feel comfortable "cutting" in line, but we adopted a sort of hold-your-number-in-clear-view posture and an ask-before-you-step in practice. It will catch on. I had B-17 at one point, and couldn't get the song out of my head for the whole day.

Crazy thing we did - Friday, 4am. Arrived at the San Marcos Prime Outlets by 5. When I lived in this town 20 years ago, there was no such attraction. People came to San Marcos for the river, the university, the natural darkness of Wonder World. (2 things that haven't changed: that logo, and Buddy, who still runs the place)

But this was a story about the Prime Outlets. They opened at midnight on Thursday, and by 6am Friday were rummaged into complete disarray. We actually had to leave the Gap when I was overcome by the need to fold everything. In the Pottery Barn we met a man who had been at it since the doors opened after a 200 mile drive from Corpus. ("when in Rome" tip: never add the "Christi.") He didn't seem aware of what he was buying, but did comment that the crowds were "thinning out." We bought several baby outfits and went to Johnny Rockets for breakfast/lunch.

What did I buy, you ask? Nothing for you, I am afraid. I selfishly hit the Kaspar outlet (50% off already marked down merchandise before 8am) then needed to get a new suitcase at Samonsite to carry them home in.

We held out until 12, then had to come home to nap.

The baaay--beee, of course - (ya gotta see the bay-beee) Much progress since last year, in the form of standing, walking, vocalizing (sounds just like English, only no words you would recognize). The current favorite game is making chairs out of things, like baskets and bongos, by turning them over and sitting on them. Then standing on them to see if Mama will say No every time. She will, kid, and sometimes just with that look. You can't beat it. I've tried.

Canyon of the Eagles - is only here for people who Google it. we'll cut to the chase: The Great Escape package is only great, Theresa, if you tell the customer the correct date for the river cruise, it is not raining through the star-gazing tour, there is entertainment actually booked, and the restaurant is open. None of which was true. We elected to drive back home rather than pay to stay in a cabin the size of Thoreau's house, dining on wine. Maybe in the Big '80s, Theresa, but not anymore. This is the mother of a 1-year old, and she was promised a Great Escape. It was clear from our front desk experience that Theresa would not be fired, or even remotely scolded, but we agreed that Buddy at Wally World would have put his size 10s right up her bee-hind.

Hey, Austin has music in it - so we went out instead. Even a sudden cold snap can not keep the locals off their patios, where your table comes with a Mexican lap blanket and an overhead heater. The band is working hard enough not to need one, and a couple of martinis in... well, you hardly notice. As middle-aged ladies, we went inside at 7:30 for our dinner reservation -- the exquisite tuck-n-roll booths pictured above are from our establishment, called The Belmont.

My best friend now eats meat. It's the damnedest thing. She says now that her daughter is weaned, she will wean herself, but I had never heard her ask a waitress if she should have the salmon or the New York strip. I was so scared I had the butternut squash, so as not to upset the universe.

3 rounds of Scrabble - 2 me; 1 her. Dr. A has taught me the double-play, which my best friend does not think is fair. I have promised to draw the line at memorizing anagrams.

It is 11 o'clock (really) though not really the 23rd. I wanted to post one more 70s repressed memory before retiring. I think you'll agree it's a good one.

Back to work tomorrow.

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