Ok, so because something's happened in the past few days other than going to work, we're going to have a post today. Olé.
For those of you that aren't me or haven't heard, I'm going to be going to Northwestern University in the fall, which is all fine and good except that until this weekend, I was going to have to be commuting from western Pennsylvania, which, being an 8 hour drive, limits the time I can be in lab to 8 hours per day (clearly, this is unacceptable) and also eliminates all sleep. I like sleep. Sleep is good. Given the choice, I'd probably pick never being able to eat French Onion soup again over never being able to sleep again. Solution: Find an apartment in Chicago.
Father-unit and I left at 5am Sunday to accomplish this objective, and did indeed accomplish the hell out of it. But let's start with the beginning of the journey.
I've got this weird phobia concerning flying. It's not that I hate flying. I like getting somewhere 400 miles away in about an hour. That's good, as far as I'm concerned. The problem comes from the latent mortality thing that's been setting in over the last 22 years, something that knowing people that have died before their 24th birthday has amplified. This, inevitably, as all good realizations of mortality do, led to Giant Eagle's magazine section at about 12:30 am that morning. Which brings me to my first topic. Advertising. The advertising surrounding this trip was actually incredible, in that I didn't believe what it was telling me. The first example showed up at Giant Eagle in one of those magazines that a wholesome mother spun around so you couldn't see the near-nudity. It's subject: Crown Royal. The brilliance of the photograph shattered bottle of the whisky in question with the caption "Oh hell no." is what makes me happy.
On the subject of shattering, Southwest Airlines needs to stop it. Two advertisements placed on the walkway to the actual plane (both to and from Chicago) involved shattering things, one depicting a breaking water cooler bottle (which I thought were usually plastic...but whatever) and an X-ray of a broken index finger (from, the ad indicated, excessive clicking through Orbitz or the like). I'm not very picky, and usually I wouldn't have minded, but if a group of people are about to get on something that, while statistically safer than automobiles and all that do have the slight chance of plummeting 28,000 feet, try not to show them pictures of injuries and crashing, no matter how minor. It's just not sensible.
Finally in the subject of advertising, another Southwest ad shows a green with a golf ball about 4 inches from a hole you could park a car in, along with a caption urging the flyer to enroll in the "Rapid Rewards" program, which isn't based on Frequent Flyer miles, but on the more familiar "Pizza Shop system" of getting a flight free after buying eight. The actual wording is something along the lines of "Rewards are Easier in a world without miles". Fine. I accept the concept of the program. What I don't understand is the advertisement. Surely, it's easier sink a put into a cavern than a typical golf hole...but is that supposed to tie in with the "no more miles" thing, indicating that by getting rid of one of the central measures of the English system, we would construct things haphazardly without regard to relative size and COULD end up with such a golf hole? Where's the sense? I'm reading too much into it? It's just supposed to be silly? Who knew.
Backtracking a bit to shortly after I got through security, I would like to make the point that everyone in Pittsburgh is aware of, that the so called "Sky Mall" is impressive but essentially useless. Because you can't get to it unless you're flying somewhere, at which time your need for a giant green ceramic porcupine is, I imagine, somewhat diminished. I don't want to know who's buying these things, but I'm going to guess they're not doing it in the hours of downtime they have before catching a non-stop to Phoenix. The most important lesson of the Airmall is in one of the many Hudson locations, which run like convenience stores. Specifically, one should always be aware of the kind of products you may be selling when naming your company. A little care would have avoided the sale of Support Socks by New Life, which when glanced at quickly enough appears to be a box containing NEW! Life Support Socks. I very nearly bought a carton in case I fell into a coma, hoping to be saved by my socks.
Finally, (and here's the indication I'm not going to go into any of the actual important aspects of my trip, such as where my apartment is because I'm not sure I can handle the thousands of Murphspot groupies that would kick down my door) a word about RedRoof Inns. I'm surprisingly loyal to these guys, usually because they're the cheapest, but since my stay at exclusively RedRoof inns on the roadtrip to Boston a few years ago (during which we uncovered the secret of free parking, which I may tell you eventually, once you have progressed towards ParkingEnlightenment) I've been going there first for my lodging needs. I can recall only one other motel that I paid for, and that was because our trip took longer than we thought and hadn't booked a room in advance. That might end. I may have to consider breaking my loyalty streak with RedRoof for one very simple, but very important reason. What kind of motel doesn't include shampoo. Having just finished a stint with McDonalds, greasy isn't what I wanted to feel.
On the other hand, their beds are soft.
Away! (More about today's news later, as well as possibly a review of "Up for Grabs")