First, I sat in gum on the L to the apartment – I took the bus to Chicago the day before the conference, to spend the night, do a little work, and then catch a noon-ish flight to Denver from Midway.
I discovered the gum at the start of my last phone call student advising meeting for the fall advising period. The student had missed their appointment earlier in the day when I was still in Madison, so we agreed I’d call when I got the apartment in Chicago. Where I found I was sitting in something sticky. Yuck. I took off these leggings and put on another pair and covered up the gum on the chair with a piece of paper until I could remove it after the meeting. Straight Dawn™ did the trick. But I didn’t know there was also gum on my dress, and a little got transferred to that other pair of leggings. Happily as of Tuesday, back home, everything is de-gummed and hanging in the basement, only a slightly oily scent of Goo Gone lingering.
Next, I got stuck at Midway for about four hours. As I was checking in at 11:30 for my 12:50 flight, it said delayed until 2:45. No text message from Southwest, unfortunately. I paid $6.95 for wifi and got a lot of grading done.
When we got lined up to board, I was in between a tired-looking woman about my age and a young guy. She said she was so glad to be leaving, and we compared notes on how we each found out about the delay. She said Southwest is so good most of the time, it’s extra disappointing when they act like all the other airlines.
While I was waiting forever in the airport, my upper lip started erupting with cold sores. When I got to Denver I Google mapped for a Whole Foods, thinking I’d get lysine, but it was about 3 miles to the closest one from downtown where I was, so I went to Walgreens. I looked in the vitamin aisle and couldn’t find any ointment, so I spent $10 on some tablets. The Abreva cold sore medicine cost even more and seemed to me to be mostly vile chemicals. Back at the room, I took two tablets and went out to dinner with Mark and a bunch of conference people. After dinner, we went past Walgreens again, and I decided to get some Carmex, and of course the lysine was with the chap stick, not the vitamins, so another $10. The ointment healed my cold sores, but the oral lysine just gave me a stomach ache – or maybe that was the burger I had for dinner.
The conference was good, interesting programs, good conversations, but the travel mishaps began again when we left on Sunday night. We got on the light rail to the airport, which reminded me to look for my Ventra card for the L back home from Midway. I checked every pocket, turned my bag upside down, but it was lost. And of course this was especially annoying to Mark, because it’s his card, plus he just hates stuff like that.
On Monday I took the orange line to the blue line out to O’Hare to get the bus to Madison. That was all fine. I bought oatmeal to take on the bus for breakfast, and since I had just turned my bag inside out I was sure there was a plastic spoon in there – but of course, once I had the oatmeal, there was only a knife. So I ate my oatmeal with the knife handle. The bus driver was either new or a sub – he seemed unfamiliar with the route, and not so good at changing lanes.
Once back in Madison, I had a day of meetings, and the last one had some pretty spectacular debate. After, I trundled my little wheelie bag over to University Avenue and got the bus. An irate Madison street person got on, carrying two big bags of what looked like mostly old newspapers, plunked those down, sat next to me, and complained loudly about how late the bus was. He got up to grab a printed schedule and fell on the guy sitting across the aisle. I tried to pull the stop request in advance of my stop, but it wouldn’t pull – I thought we were still too close to the prior stop. So the driver blew past my stop, and, as I was getting off at Allen, I asked him why he’d skipped Forest, and he replied, “gotta request your stop a block ahead. Can’t pull it so close.” Sigh. Glad to be home.