The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

A chapter in an occasional series of posts documenting an autumn 2021 road trip through the Midwest.

Continued From Purgatory at the OAK

Bound for Omaha, baby.

The gate agent announces the boarding sequence; special needs passengers, military, first class, and economy.

Walking past the proletariat towards the jetway and my first class seat I could almost feel their mixture of envy and hatred. Settled in my seat I feel the pain of the passengers filing past and back to damnation.

In truth, this will only be my second time flying first class, so I’m well acquainted with economy, the search for overhead space and squeezing into a seat. I know what it’s like having someone’s seat back in my lap and feeling my own seat back yanked from behind as a fellow passenger steadies himself while he shoe horns his way into his own seat in back of mine.

The previous time I flew first class Cora and I were returning from Richmond, Virginia and I had to be at work the next day. No day of decompression. From two weeks away from work, straight back to the office to face 500 emails, whatever work my office back up decided she didn’t feel like doing, and an ass chewing from my boss for having the audacity to take time away.

I decided to liquidate damn nearly every American Airlines mile I had and upgrade to first class.

I’m flying first class this time because COVID isn’t done yet and I’d like to have as much space between me and the rest of the public as possible.

That and the fact that the first class price wasn’t much more than economy.

Continue reading

A chapter in an occasional series of posts documenting an autumn 2021 road trip through the Midwest.

September 10, 2021
I’m relaxing, if relaxation is actually possible, in the Delta Airlines boarding area at Oakland International Airport, known in airport-speak as simply, OAK.

At the airport, relaxation is an earned and short lived luxury. There’s a gauntlet to get through before you can put your feet up and read, or take the edge off with an overpriced, undersized cocktail in which the main ingredient, the one that takes the edge off, is often metered by an infernal invention called the precision pour. Bartenders at the airport lounge are not usually given any license to be generous, a constraint cursed by thirsty travelers, cherished by harried flight attendants, and let’s be honest, born of reasonable common sense.

Given COVID’s flighty, on again, off again nature and the dearth of pilots, attendants and every other body charged with getting an airliner in the air and safely back on the ground, a short lived airport stopover can, in the click on an airline app notification, become a protracted, patience sucking ordeal.
Update. Flight 3456 scheduled out of OAK at 0800 has been canceled. You have been automatically rebooked on flight 6789 which is scheduled to depart OAK at 18:10. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for choosing our airline.

“Hey, bartender!”

Continue reading

Banner photo. The Downtown skyline taken from The Embarcadero.

If you ever have the opportunity to ramble the city sidewalks (assuming you have a city that’s handy ), look around you. No, not for muggers. Okay, yeah always keep an eye out for sketchy fellow citizens, but also keep your eyes open for the varied patterns.

The city is alive with geometry; a plethora of squares, rectangles, triangles, circles and cylinders. And if precise angles don’t move you there’s plenty of the shapeless, and the precilelessly planned amorphous.

And by all means look up.

I visited the Financial District one Sunday morning, specifically on Sunday, because on a Sunday the Financial is essentially closed and as devoid of people as downtown small town America. That might be the only thing that tiny Pocahontas, Iowa and San Francisco’s Financial have in common. On a Sunday morning you can fire a cannon down the middle of the street and not hit a thing.

Forsaken streets make it all the easier to photograph the architecture without the intrusion of photo bombing humans.

Standing on a plaza between Market and Mission Streets I noticed four highrise buildings separated by three city blocks. With a little imagination you can almost see it as one building composed of four designs. (Okay, maybe a lot of imagination).

From the plaza I walked up a flight of stairs and when I looked down, the pavement looked as if it had been laid unevenly, complete with uniform folds.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: