Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I iz in Chicago.

Hotel shrine- Seshat, Seshat, Set, Seshat, Ma'autseshat (me!)

I arrived in Chicago yesterday. I'm here for Kemetic (Ancient Egypt) New Year. We have convention every year to celebrate, which I have attended for the last four years. Festivities begin tomorrow morning, but people have been arriving for the last couple of days. Most of our activities are at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Joliet (suburb south of Chicago), which is where most of us stay for the week. Those of us who have arrived have been running around the hotel, meeting for meals, and are currently enjoying "Sharknado" with coconut tequila and rum. We suspect that the tequila and rum are critical to really appreciating "Sharknado", although the acting of Ian Ziering and Tara Reid is delightful as usual. We've actually decided the character Nova, played by Cassie Scerbo, is the most competent and sympathetic so far. I could talk sharknado all night. I am convinced that some executive at SyFy has been pushing these fantastical disaster movies since the days when SyFy was actually the Science Fiction channel. He was reaching the point where everyone at the network thought he was crazy for supporting these movies, which he considers visionary but are usually consumed in the form of clips on "The Soup", but "Sharknado" has brought him the recognition that has so far eluded him. Good for him. His persistence has brought us the most enjoyable "wishes it was good enough to be a B movie" movie ever on SyFy, maybe even in the history of cable TV.

I was hoping to start blogging my adventures yesterday, but my travel itinerary was rough. I took Southwest because you can check two bags for free, but I was trying to fit everything into one suitcase. It exceeded the weight limit, so after packing all night I repacked the suitcase three times and then finally transferred everything to two smaller suitcases. Ergo, I was late leaving for the airport and late checking the bags in. I was warned that they might not make the flight. I then discovered the security line was out the door and down the sidewalk to the next terminal. I was so convinced I wouldn't make the flight I called my husband to alert him to turn around and come get me. The line was MOVING though, and I made it to the gate before my check-in group had even started boarding. I made it on the plane in plenty of time, although there were no aisle seats left. I have been insanely nauseous for the last couple days, so I was hoping to be a quick lunge to the bathroom. I ended up between two teenage young women and behind two screaming babies and in front of an occasionally screaming toddler. I picked that seat both for me and the young women since I didn't want to end up next to someone creepy and talkative, and I imagined they didn't want that either. I only had to crawl over the woman on the aisle to stumble to the bathroom once, for privacy to moan over abdominal cramps. Plus, I had a piercing migraine, wicked acid reflux, and was dizzy, so I spent most of the flight lying on the seatback tray trying to sleep. If I turned my head a certain way and kept perfectly still I could drift off for 10 minutes at a time. It got bad when the plane started to descend. The nausea hit me like a bus. I dug the air sickness bag out of the seat pocket and carefully positioned it so I could projectile directly into it. The teenagers looked horrified.

Disturbingly, this kind of illness mitigation is pretty normal for me. I have lots of experience with situations and physical conditions that cannot be escaped and only managed. I was also anticipating a long day of managing- bags that may or may not arrive, taking a number of buses for almost three hours to the hotel, and trying to find something to eat that wouldn't make my symptoms dramatically worse. I made it off the plane without hurling, ran to the first store I saw to get acid reflux medication and water (safe liquid), and, hooray! my bags made it. Little victories. The rest of the day I averted major disaster- after an hour on the first bus, I was unable to find the bus stop for my connection. My cell phone died, but just before I wrote down my friend and retreat roommate's cell number and called her from a bank. She drove to retreat and was able to find me even though her phone was about to die and I was in some strange suburb 20 miles from Joliet that neither of us had ever heard of. She was driving around getting supplies when I called, and after she rescued me we got fruit and other food gentle for my stomach. So I survived, but when I got back to the hotel I was ready to lie down for the rest of the day.

Bottom line is that I survived, and I am now sipping coconut tequila, laughing at the greatest TV movie ever and the commentary from a room full of new sharknado enthusiasts, and enjoying the company of people I see only once a year if that, but feel like know me better than most people who see me far often. I am hoping that the rest of the week continues to rise above mere survival.

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