I'm writing this to you from the comfort of seat 13D on Southwest Flight 393 en route Burbank CA via Denver. My 0800, direct flight was at some point since I purchased my ticket, turned into a 0720 with one stop in Denver, something I discovered several milliseconds before beginning my morning sprint through the terminal. Luckily, I was there just as boarding started, and was able to assume my place in the famous Southwest Lineup.
I love Southwest. A lot. It is a particularly well-run airline. I even like the lineup/no assigned seat policy. I always pay for "A" seating, so there's always plenty of overhead space and I get a seat that I like. One thing I don't like? The invariable discussion with those who simply MUST know your number so that they can get in the exact order their boarding number states. Today, I was number A-29. If you're familiar with the way SW seats, the last pole has "30---26 <" on it, indicating that boarding numbers 26 through 30 should line up there. There is no pole after it, just space. So, I assumed a spot approximately 6 feet aft of the pole. Wouldn't you know, I get approached by the lady who must know my number. Now, this was not a necessary question. If she were 30, then she should know to get behind me. If she were not 30, there was seven feet of space for her to slide into without having to engage me. I know, I know. I am a curmudgeon.
For those hoping for some kind of zany traveling rig, I must disappoint. I guess the new, slightly slimmer me (see BFFFFA) rejects the betracksuited approach for travel in favor of something a bit more stylish, this time a tweedy sportcoat, special forces quality crew neck long sleeve black T, jeans, and cordovan tassel loafers. The method in the madness is 1) slip on shoes 2) wear shoes that I will wear with all business rigs 3) lots of pockets in the sportcoat. I look downright dandy, if I do say so myself.
The travel Gods are smiling, as the middle seat in my three person side of the plane is unoccupied. The window seat is taken by a pleasant and engaging woman of about my age, who is deeply engrossed in the Washington Post crossword. I am not a crossword guy, nor a Sudoku (sp?) guy. I suppose I am bound for Alzheimer's or some other affliction in my dotage, but I simply cannot get into those kinds of things. I'd rather write to you. She has already signaled her intent to sleep much of the way, so I will blissfully occupy my aisle seat without much fear of having to get up for my seatmate's potty breaks.
I am headed west, young man, en route this day to Southern California. I will be attending the Reagan National Security Forum at the Reagan Library all day tomorrow. It is new this year, and its organizers are looking for some kind of "mini-Davos" like National Security networking shindig. All the biggies will be there, and I will skulk about the perimeter. I land midday California time, will likely head to the Reagan Library to tour it (free! as part of my $500 signup) and then head to my hotel. All day tomorrow is spent at the Library for the forum, overnight again at the hotel, and up early Sunday for a flight to Denver.
In Denver, I will grab a rental and drive to Colorado Springs to check in at a place called The Broadmoor. The good folks at the Heritage Foundation have asked me to join a panel discussion at a conference they are hosting Monday and Tuesday, and so I'll sing for my supper on Monday morning, flying home to arrive at an ungodly hour on Tuesday night.
My all-star Texas debutante college girlfriend and her family were frequent visitors to the Broadmoor, and I remember her raving about it some 29 years ago. I'm looking forward to the visit. This should be a good trip all round, with a lot of good panels, discussions and networking. The Reagan National Security forum is aiming at bipartisanship (giving Carly Levin an award), but it will be well-attended by GOP defense and foreign policy types.
I have never been to Burbank, or to the Reagan Library. I cannot say that I have ever wanted to go to Burbank, but the Reagan Library will be a treat. The only thing I know about Burbank is that it is where Johnny Carson used to broadcast from, and he often poked fun at it.. Perhaps there is a Johnny Carson Museum, with wax figures of his many wives. I shall look into it.
Someone seated in my vicinity has a bit of a flatulence issue this morning, issuing their essence with some vigor and texture. Truth be told, I am sometimes the offending lout, but not today. He or she should be proud of their work, both in terms of intensity and duration.
One final point for this post. Is there anything quite as wonderful as The Skymall Magazine? Where else can one person find so many really cool and dubiously useful things? I am both attracted and repelled by it, paging through thinking that I must have many of the items ("One Handed Barber", or the "Peeing Boy" fountain") while simultaneously upbraiding myself for even the thought. Though that ManCave sign does look mighty nice.....