The Long Way Home

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I meant to post this blog entry last week, but, as usual, life gets in the way…school, work, personal life, etc.

So I attended the midwinter conference of the American Libraries Association organization, that took place in Chicago from January 30 – February 2 (Super Bowl weekend ugh!). It was an uneventful conference. I gave a few presentations which I thought went very well. I snagged a few (umm, 12 or 15 or 20) galleys. They just seemed to jump in my hand or in a bag that I was carrying, it was awful all those books and the authors signing them, just attacking me like that. Even watching the Super Bowl in the hotel lobby was fun, as the blizzard raged outside.

Monday, February 2, however, was when all the fun began. As early as 7:30 a.m., my 11:30 a.m. flight was scheduled to be on time. I kept looking and looking at the airlines app making sure. And yet, at 9:30, while I was on the shuttle going to the airport, the airline canceled my direct flight to Regan National (DCA) airport and rebooked me on a flight with a layover in Buffalo to DCA. Ugh! Seriously! I’m already a nervous flyer, especially during take offs and landings. I watch too many movies and documentaries where the plane crashes during the take off or the landing. Yeah, I’m that girl.

I was able to get a hotel room about 2 miles from the airport, at the government hotel per diem (I was reimbursed for the room for the additional night.), thank goodness. Unfortunately, the hotel was in the middle of nowhere, so I could only eat at the hotel’s bistro. It was an early night and my flight was scheduled to leave at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

I couldn’t sleep, fearing I would oversleep and miss the shuttle to the airport. I was waking up every hour and finally, I was just awake from about 4:30 Chicago time. I checked out of the hotel, hopped aboard the shuttle, and made it to the airport with time to spare. But as things would happen (again), the pilot for my flight to Buffalo was late arriving to O’Hare. My flight to Buffalo was pushed back 10 minutes and I would still be able to make my connecting flight to DCA at 11:30. Except that the pilot was more than 10 minutes late and when he did arrive, he wanted to get the plane de-iced. Okay, it was pushing it, but I could still make my connecting flight. Only once we got in the air about 9:00, an hour late, a passenger took sick and we had to make a medical emergency landing in Cleveland. I didn’t know Cleveland even had an airport. (No offense to anyone from Cleveland.) Despite the understanding of getting someone the medical care that they need, I was frustrated beyond reason.

Okay…despite the diversion, I will admit to a little relief, my seat was cold as f–k. I was sitting in row 2, a single seat just as you enter the plane. I could see and hear the pilot and the co-pilot when the door to the cockpit was open. I was almost right across from an emergency door and cold air was seeping in. And my feel was so cold and almost numb. So while we were waiting for the pilot to fill out additional paperwork so that we could leave, there was heat and my feet were warm.

So back to the story, needless to say, this emergency landing just pushed all hopes to make my connecting flight into the trash. In fact, we landed in Cleveland at 11:30, just as my flight was leaving Buffalo. So we finally made our way to Buffalo and landed about 12:30. Now let me go back just a bit, the airline took my carry-on luggage as a part of their valet service. And I was suppose to get it back when I got off the plane. Y’all know what happens next, don’t you? That’s right…due to weather conditions in Buffalo, my checked bag would be returned to me at baggage claim. So I had to leave the secured area of the airport to retrieve my carry-on. And go back through security with my carry-on bag. Ugh!

The good thing about the Buffalo airport is that it isn’t big. And the trip to retrieve my luggage and back through security wasn’t too bad. I even was able to stop at the ticket counter to get my board pass to DCA, no one in line much to my surprise.

The airline booked me on the next flight to DCA at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. I camped out in the airport’s food court for 3 1/2 of the 4 1/2 hours that I had to wait. I was a little nervous, though, when I was the first to arrive at the boarding gate. But slowly airline staff and other passengers started to trickle to the gate. But my concern returned when a couple with a crying toddler in tow stopped at my gate. OMG!! I was getting ready to be stuck on a plane for 1 1/2 hours with a f–king crying toddler. But when we boarded the plane, the flight attendant gave the little crying girl some potato chips. Thank goodness for that!

After the resolution of the crying toddler, the last leg of my journey home was pleasant. I even had a nice view of the sunset…although the guy sitting across the aisle thought I was looking at him as looked out his window. And even though I hate landing at DCA from the side of the 14th Street Bridge (does anyone remember the January 13, 1982 plane crash? obviously I do even though it was over 30 years ago.), it was a smooth landing.

It’s taken me two weeks to get that extra day back in Chicago. Between work and school and personal commitments, that extra day caused so much trouble. And yet, I’m going to continue to travel in the winter, just hope and pray for better travels.

It’s taken me just about two weeks to recuperate from that extra day in Chicago, between work and school and personal commitments. I feel a lot better and rested now. It was an adventure getting home, but I’m going to continue to travel in the winter and just hope for better travels.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday

Well, it’s been one hell of a week. Busy, busy, busy!

Life: Work is in full swing for preparing for American Libraries Association (ALA). And then they added another project for me to work on before I leave for ALA this Friday. Ugh!

I had a paper due in my class. Ugh! I didn’t think I did well. This professor isn’t as helpful as previous professors that I’ve had. I’m a student, I don’t know what information should be included. An example (at least a partial) of the paper would have been nice. So I’m going to include that in my evaluation of the course.

And to top of my week, my daughter had a temperature and was vomiting yesterday, the day my paper was due. My assignment was more complete than not, so I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to get a good grade on my first assignment. But my daughter comes first and I have enough time to make up for that grade. And I’ll work on my next paper on my flight to Chicago.

Reading: I did manage to finish one of my audio books, Die Again by Tess Gerritsen, during my daily commute. I really enjoyed the book. I’m not really an audio book reviewer, but I thought the story was good as well as the narration.

I started the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I’m having a little bit of a hard time getting into this book. I always feel like something is wrong with me when I don’t enjoy an award-winning book. So I’m going to put it down for now and try again later in the year. I may have another trip to ALA annual in June so I’ll try it again then.

So what am I reading this week?

I’m finishing up Ignite by Sara B. Lawson. I’m only listening to Ignite while I’m at work. And I think I only have 20 minutes left in that book.

And I’m also reading Stolen. I’ve started it already, but I’ll probably read most of it on my flight to Chicago.

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Stolen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 18th 2014 by Penguin Young Readers Group

Publisher summary: Who is Eliza Wesson?

Months after Nat and Wes said good-bye on the shores of the Blue, Nat is learning how to control and use her new power. She and her drakon are the last of their kind—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. When she receives a mysterious distress call, she races to help, soliciting the guidance of her new friend, the beautiful and aloof Faix Lazaved of the Blue.

Still heartbroken over losing Nat, Wes is racing cars on a New Vegas racetrack while his team is scattered and lost. When he finds out that his sister, Eliza, is being held in the golden domes of El Dorado, he does what he’s best at—running to her side—and gambles on luck to see him through one more time.

Magic, romance, and danger collide as Nat and Wes become entangled in a dark new adventure that leads right to the heart of the mystery of their frozen, broken world. They soon discover that the answer to both their quests lies in the same question: Who is Eliza Wesson—what is she capable of, and why was she stolen from her family so long ago?

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly book meme hosted by Book Journey.

What I’ve been up to last week…

Life:
Last week I’ve been very busy. At work, we’re ramping up for the midwinter conference of the American Libraries Association  (ALA). I’m scheduled to give two presentations to different groups of librarians and two more general presentations at the exhibit booth in the main exhibit hall. I’ve never really liked speaking in public, but I’ve grown a little more comfortable with it over the years.
Also, my online classes have started again. I’m taking classes to earn B.S. in Information Systems Management. So now the extra writing has begun. Ugh! I write almost like I talk…I’m a woman of few words, only speaking when I have something to contribute to the conversation. In these online classes, participation is about 10% of my grade. I have to write something in response to other students writings even when I don’t have much to add, and I usually end up repeating what another person has already written. And let’s not forget about the papers that have to be written, always a case study that we’ll add on through the course. It usually takes me the entire week to come up with the required 3 to 5 pages and one more for references, even though the pages are double-spaced.

Books:

Both book that I’m I’m reading this week are audio books.

Die Again: Rizzoli & Isles

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 34 minutes
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 30, 2014
  • Publisher’s summary: Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case of a big game hunter found dead in his apartment, alone with the body of a beautiful white snow leopard he had recently been commissioned to procure and stuff for a high-profile museum in the area. Medical examiner Maura Isles connects the case to a number of seemingly unrelated deaths where the victims have all been found hanging upside down, the hallmark of a leopard’s kill. Rizzoli follows the puzzling trail of clues all the way to Botswana, where she uncovers the unsolved mystery of a deadly camping safari four years prior. When she realizes the two cases are connected, Rizzoli must track down the sole survivor of the tragic trip to discover who – or what – is behind these gruesome deaths

 

Ignite: A Defy Novel

Ignite by Sara B. Larson

  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 19 minutes
  • Publisher: Scholastic Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 1, 2015
  • Publisher summary: Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson’s acclaimed YA debut, Defy. Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion’s people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy – before it’s too late?

 

What are you reading this week?