30 marchposted swedish travelogues 28 and 29 march
at heathrow both american and united airlines screen their passengers heavily (as opposed to air iran and scandinavian air service). some american thing between the dept. of transportation and the FAA and paranoid patriots and the quest for full employment - the young woman cursed with questioning me, we achieved a sort of edgy nirvana right here in heathrow neither one of us was making anything easy but we could see clearly to the end and the beginning of where we stood and so we continued to dance and eventually withdrew
where do you live?my mom always says, make things easier. i probably don't by answering questions honestly, like, i live lots of places. and then i don't make things easier by getting a boogie in my butt when they start trying to pin me down - "i have a personal web site with pictures of myself in the nude." but at least i have the paper to back it up and i really don't mind because i keep it amusing for myself and i hope to make some light or commentary on the procedure by making it difficult for all involved. i don't see why i should have to go quietly, or easily. i am not immediately amenable to all manner of extra-pertinent questions from people who could give a shit acting on behalf of paranoid patriots somehow secretly accumulating additional power and/or money from these petty surviellances.
well, lots of places, philadelphia mostly.
where did you come from?
where is your final destination?
what was the purpose of your visit; business or pleasure?
business, well, both - business mostly.
what is it you do?
i have a large personal web site with pictures of myself in the nude
who purchased this plane ticket?
i don't know - some guy named johann.
how did he contact you?
how did he hear about you?
i appeared in a film that someone in his company saw.
why did they want you to travel to sweden?
to appear on television and talk about the internet.
do you have any sort of material confirming this, did you recieve a fax or something?
could you show it to me please?
so then i open my bags and take out my piles of paper and thrust them on her desk and proceed to point out my participation and add all sorts of clauses from my hosts apologizing to me for american airlines intrusiveness as i'm reading out loud the travel arrangements.
between that fiasco and the quality of the lcd screen embedded in the seat in front of my on my flight from new york to london friday, i've decided american airlines sucks. that and they wouldn't honour my friday ticket for frequent flyer mileage because it had expired from the computer database since the flight had flown. i now need to send my reciept to some address in puxatawnee arkansas so that they can cheat me and meanwhile their computer has track of all my address and is at this moment preparing another mass mailing in conjunction with american express to further their involvement in my waking expenditures.
united, i'll have you know, is little better, aside from the fact that they cover a range of destinations and including san francisco and chicago my homes, they have for years considered me an eligable "silver wings" frequent flyer - the club reserved for those 55 and older and though i have scrawled in my most serial killer script "i am 21 years old stop harrassing me" and mailing back the customer response card to crushing falls new jersey they continue to innundate me with octagenarian promotions.
screw them all!
the scandiavian airline is nice, good food, and they offer you hot freshish bread twice per meal. but they all think i'm swedish and talk at me and they act a little taken aback when i say "no parle francais." at least they didn't sniff my butt before i could enter their country!
all of the abuse that my body has endured in the last month continues to linger in me because between travelling to meet amy, her coming to swarthmore, leaving for new york and sweden has meant a lifestyle of constant motion and excitement and sleep deprivation that precludes concerted self-tending and maintenance. specifically - i still feel pain in my neck, wilson dropped me on my head. this pain was aggrevated by new york -> london friday - i was unable to be comfortable and properly postured in my cattle class seat.this morning i spoke with the other american tv panelist sheldon, he flew something like over 147000 miles last year. he's a united airlines premium platinum plus pluperfect 1K gold standard red excellence club member, which means all of his miles are somehow doubled, so he has like 300k miles. and he gets first everything, and they use his name in direct address, and they offer him food first on the plane in case they run out of anything, and i was trying to figure out how these intangibles amount to anything big, and then i remember sitting cramped in the back of planes, i guess it's comfort. and better food. why does the airline afford him this respect? because people like him account for 25 percent of their revenues. i think it's because he pays for the respect by sacrificing time on the ground. if you live in the air, you will be a respected head of air. so as he commented, it's strange: the airport occasionally affords him better treatment than home (ie, after fighting with his wife).
i have a lingering sore throat and facial snotfest, from two weeks ago.
but now i return to swarthmore, and the only scheduled excitement in april is a visit from balky. in my room. for four days. so that will be a distraction probably, but nothing like airtravel and american airlines security.
what's especially weird about watching the streaming hundreds filling up air singapore after air singapore jumbo unbelievable manbird is having just been reading technology criticism beforehand. about the only thing to give me pause is the current trend towards wonderbras and tight shirts amongst teenage girls, and the fact that svante said he would readily drink water from the river and bay in the city of stockholm. they have invested millions in cleanup and ongoing plants to treat the water. now that's a technology priority.
i went to get a baguette with brie and tomato to take on the plane and watched two japanese women separately deal with a polish clerk at a french brasserie in a british airport (fortunately they accepted my american money). anyways, these women didn't do much english, they were clearly tired and running late, they wanted him to count their change and dropped quid in amongst the sandwiches and changed their orders and everybody had this creeping frustration - he became agressive and they became withdrawn and i laughed to see it unfold so literally. i later teased him about not being able to speak swahili with me.
i calculated things - for this swedenfest: 32 hours in transit for 36 hours on the ground. i think i acquired a hemmrhoid. perhaps the elk last night?
on the way back london-nyc i sat next to joe, a law enforcer for the department of agriculture. he does stuff like guard the secretary of agriculture, or investigate fraud, food stamp theft, all sorts of stuff. he's been with them 22 years, 5 years from retirement. works at least 10 to 14 hours a day, so he doesn't have hobbies he looks forward to developing after work is done. he spent much of the flight staring at a continuously updating map lcd screen in the seat in front of him and sipping a bud lite he was allowed to drink because he wasn't packing a gun. i told him i felt like a convict riding back with him on the plane, after i saw his wallet/badge.
at swat my room has been inhabited by a now departed visitor, weird to return to no word and no sign and leftover materials of their life they may come back for. and then, a 2 hour meeting about this bradley smith/laura barandes anti-semitism school newspaper publishing board of managers fiasco here. it was fun to watch people state their positions and perform their personalities - many unique individuals who do their thing in a distinct and often hilarious fashion. i love laughing, i got shushed a few times. people were too tense. i was probably laughing as a reaction and statement about the pole-up-buttedness of the proceedings, but perhaps that's mostly knee-jerk and adolescent. perhaps it's having been awake since midnight (6am sweden) and not sure why i'm doing anything except i really want to update my site:
and i arrive back at swat to 89 degrees at 7pm! the revenge of el nino: no winter is sultry unworking heat in march. good for drinking and maybe poetry, but translating middle english into phoenetic script?
killah priest: heavy mental. one of the wu tang clan, a recent independent release, i borrowed it from ben. he styles the spiritual - many of the tracks deal with typical themes, but i dig on some of extended echo effects and crazy intimated quasi-religious mush mindstate from which he draws his rhymes.
and boymerang: balance of the force. more ambient drum and bass, recommended to me by noah oliveira-susswein.