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Florida To Las Vegas: A Trip Through Hell
I still have to gather you kiddies around the fire and tell you about Vegas last week, not to mention write updates about the myriad of fascinating crap currently happening to me. So for the indefinite future, my entries will be divided into the Past and Present. And maybe the Future, but don't push me, bitches.

The Ghost Of Jamie Present:

My sleep schedule is still blonked up from last week in Vegas.

I just woke up from a 4-hour nap, during which I missed Tae Kwon Do AND Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Damn it.

My brain is apparently flooney, too, because I just realized that after spending all lunch break convincing Shawn Christmas isn't for two weeks... well, I don't really even have to finish that sentence, do I? I'm flying out to Ohio this weekend, not next, like I was planning. And all those gifts I ordered yesterday and today? Not thinking those are going to make it on time.

In randon good news, I found out today Shawn is going back to college. I'm really, really happy for her.

The Ghost of Jamie Past:

Neal and I had planned several stops on our way to the Miami airport before I was scheduled to depart for Las Vegas.

My flight wasn't leaving until 9:35 p.m. On the way, he was going to surprise me with a special little mini-date for us before I took off for the week, and I wanted to stop off at the dry cleaners' to pick up a skirt.

I fell asleep in the car on the way north, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up as we pulled into the airport. Neal explained that while I was in Slumberland, we had been caught in traffic behing an accident for almost two hours, and while we were arriving a little earlier than planned, he didn't want to risk making any extra stops.

When I checked in, I looked at my ticket, saw that it said "8:50 p.m.," and was relieved that we were early, since I'd apparently screwed up my departure time. Whew. Now, all was had to do was head to gate... check ticket... 9A.

The Miami Airport is shaped like a U, with Section A at the end of one arm, and Section H at the end of the other. Travelers generally entered at the curve of the U, right next to Section D. Within each section, the gates run from 1 to 20, with 20 being the farthest from the security entrance, about a half mile down the hall.

Neal and I turned and headed for Gate A. I debated whether I needed food, but all the shops were packed, and still cranky from my nap, I wasn't in the mood to deal with it. When we got to the Gate A security entrance, we said a nice long goodbye, involving lots of kissing and stuff. As I handed my ticket to the airline employee, she got a sour look on her face and said, "No. This is wrong."


"This is not your gate."


"You are in SEAT 9A. Your GATE is H20."

"Son of a bitch."

That's right. There was no possible way I could have been farther from where I needed to be.

Neal and I took off. The trip there was pure running, darting-in-and-out-of-slow-ass-people hell, with Neal muttering things like, "You're not going to make it!" And me retorting with things like, "This is Vegas, bitch. I WILL make it." So much for our nice goodbye.

My ticket said 8:50. By the time I arrived at Section H, it was 8:39.

I flashed my ID and boarding pass, while hurrying like a sweaty madwoman through the security bit. Waved to Neal, and took off down the long, long H hallway until I got to H20.

I stormed up to the gate panicked, irritated, and dripping in sweat. I immediately knew something was wrong.

There was an ARRIVAL at my gate. Even if I'd missed the flight, there shoudn't have been an ARRIVAL at 8:45.

I practically assaulted an airline employee who didn't speak English, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. She was no help. When I finally calmed down, I looked around.

Hmm. My flight was leaving at 9:35 p.m. I was right all along. My boarding pass said 8:50, because that was the BOARDING time. Not the departure time.

I almost peed right there. Instead, I looked around, and noticed all the people waiting to board my flight, looking at me in fear and horror. They were about to fly across the country with me, and every one of them thought I was a sweaty, violent lunatic.

Like any other lunatic would do, I cleaned myself up, bought an ice cream from the machine and then relaxed until boarding time. When the airline employee FINALLY announced that it was time to board, I got in line with the people I'd scared, and grabbed my wallet so I could show my drivers license with my boarding pass, because you have to do that now.

No drivers license.

No drivers license.

Oh, my god.

I had a mini-panic attack, then ran up to a customs desk, dumped my purse on the table, and told them I couldn't find my drivers license. I HAD to have it. I couldn't have gotten into Section H without it.

I gave the customs guy permission to root through my purse o' crap (good thing I left the crank at home, although looking at my wild eyes, I'm sure he expected to find something), and he said soothingly, "You got in here. We aren't going to let that plane leave without you."


Customs Guy: "Uh, good point."

The airline guy called the security entrance to see if anyone had turned it in there, while I began yet ANOTHER sprint down the H Hallway to see if I could spot my license. When I was about 4 gates away, the airline employee called after me, "They have it! We'll hold the plane for a little bit, BUT MOVE."

I moved.

About halfway down the hall, I saw this short, chubby woman dressed in "I Work For The Airport" garb running like hell toward me. Like lovers about to be reunited, we both started running faster. And shouting.


Airline Goddess: "WHAT'S YOUR NAME?"

Me: "JAMIE!"

Her: "YES!"

We finally met. I snatched the license, checked it out, gave her a big hug and a thank you, and took off back down the damn, damn hallway.

Why does it have to be so LONG?

I grabbed my purse, was keyed into walkway (because, you know, they were HOLDING THE PLANE), and leaped onto the plane. I slumped down in my seat, a part of me still not believing I was actually making this flight.

Then, I started to realize something.

You know all those people I scared before by assaulting that airline employee? All those fellow passengers, just waiting to board a plane to Vegas?

Well, they were on the plane. They had probably been told the plane was being held for some dumb bitch. Then, they watched me board, once again sweaty and panicked.

THEY WERE ALL STARING AT ME. Once again, the entire plane thought I was a lunatic.

Neal thinks I should end this entry here with, "And they were right."

Eh, OK.

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